In a couple of months, Orange County Supervisor Janet Nguyen will seek reelection in the First Supervisorial District. The race will be brutal, as Nguyen will have to fend off Trung "Don't Call me Tan" Nguyen (whom she beat earlier this year in a special election by a scant three votes) and whomever the Democrats trot out to the abattoir. OC Blog reports Janet will kick off her fundraising efforts on Nov. 5, but she's already scored one of the most prestigious endorsements in Orange County--the 22 Freeway.
If you drive on the 22 West before the Harbor Boulevard exit, you'll notice one of the many Adopt-A-Highway signs that dot the state's freeways. This one is different--it states "Janet Nguyen," "Orange County," and bears what looks like the county seal. There is no mention of her political seat--just the name in big, black, visible letters. A similar sign also greets commuters on the 22 East just after you enter from the Harbor entrance. I'd post pictures, but my cell phone camera is terrible--first person to send me one at GArellano@ocweekly.com gets a free autographed copy of ¡Ask a Mexican!.
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Caltrans' Adopt-a-Highway website states the program "is not a forum for advertising or public discourse," but we all know that's a crock--otherwise, auto dealerships wouldn't have a stranglehold on those signs. And Adopt-a-Highway's own rules allow political candidates and their election committees to buy signs provided they don't "reference the office held or their individual title." Regardless, it's downright Machiavellian and Ozymandian of Janet to buy a non-campaign sign campaign sign. Gracias a lot, Janet: now county commuters can expect to see more trash on our highways in the form of other candidates following your lead.