Over the weekend, there was some sort of vote about endorsements or some shit involving Democrats in Orange County, a possible party endorsement, and the 69th Assembly District Democratic primary in June. All you need to know is that Julio Perez--formerly of the Orange County Labor Federation--handily got more votes than his opponents, former Anaheim mayor/current county clerk-reporter Tom Daly and SanTana councilwoman Michele Martinez--and that's driving the OC Dem establishment APESHIT LOCO.
The liberal-leaning publications 'round here are making a big fuss about this primary, saying it's a referendum on the future of the party and casting Perez as a union man, Daly as the establishment person, and Martinez as some sort of upstart, a ludicrous assertion given she's very much a part of the Don Papi Pulido machine. But what no one is reporting is that Perez''s campaign is forcing the Democrats to finally reckon with their future: they can either go with Daly or Martinez and continue their run as a party of incestuous also-rans, or embrace Perez and finally embrace the only people that give them any power in la naranja: Latinos.
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Perez has the perfect story for the 69th Assembly District, hitting all the necessary notes: born in Anaheim, in the Tijuanita neighborhood just across the street from Disneyland, to two immigrant parents, which makes him fluent en español. He's an unapologetic progressive who has earned the respect of the district's nonprofits and various social justice movements (and their car trunks of volunteers) for not only talking the talk but frequently joining them in the trenches--most famously, Perez was part of the protesters arrested who staged a sit-in a couple of years ago on the intersection of Katella Avenue and Harbor Boulevard to draw attention to the labor struggle of Disneyland hotel workers. He's also helped out the Orange County DREAM Team, once participating in a play where he read the words of an undocumented student struggling to make sense in this crazy land.
In short, Perez IS the 69th Assembly District, one far away from the corrupt, feckless corridors that mark OC Dem politicking (although one does have to wonder about Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez's enthusiastic support of Perez--is she finally turning into the Aztlanista we've always wanted?). And yet this is exactly what's freaking out the Democratic Party establishment, from chair Frank Barbaro to state senator Lou Correa and Jose Solorio, all who insist the district is moderate because...well, they're moderate.
BULLSHIT. The district is as moderate as I am gabacho. All you need to know about this line of thinking is that their anointed boy for bigger things is Anaheim Union High School District trustee Jordan Brandman, who's currently running for city council and is a pal of Curt Pringle--and that's all you need to know about HIM. Our local Dems like career politicians who properly grovel to the weak reign of Barbaro (i.e., Daly, Martinez), and don't like upstarts who prove how ridiculous that sort of logic is (i.e., Loretta back in the day; pre-Papi Martinez)--and on that alone, people should support Perez over the other hacks.
Perez, of course, isn't perfect: he roots for the Oakland Raiders. Go figure THAT one out...