Like standing for the national anthem before the game starts, nodding at the uniformed officer before zooming through the border checkpoint or throwing toast at a movie screen flashing a sweet transvestite from Transylvania, the formality of a Jan. 12 special election is all that stands between Chris Norby and California's 72nd Assembly District seat.
Though outgoing county Supervisor Norby belongs to the same Republican party that gave the 72nd a drippy windbag who would disgrace himself, his office, his constituents, common decency and shapely lobbyists everywhere (Mike Duvall, come on down!), 14,038 district voters--or 37.2 percent of those who cast votes--went with Norby.
Much better-funded and -connected Republican Linda Ackerman, the wife of former state Senate GOP leader Dick Ackerman--collected a pitiful 7,416 votes (19.7 percent). Goodness gracious, that was almost 3,000 votes less than the Democrat--you read that right, 72nd-ers, Democrat (!?)--John "Don't Call Me Fred" MacMurray.
With 10,201 votes, or 27.1 percent of those case, MacMurray, with or without Uncle Charlie's help, will represent the donkey party in the run-off against Norby, as will the Green Party's Jane Rands (1,067 votes, 2.8 percent). They've got a name for candidates who will display the tireless, thankless and persistent political courage it takes to muster spirited campaigns against Republicans in that central Orange County district:
Speaking of slaughters, Ms. Ackerman's disappointing finish is more likely outfall from Duvall's downfall than Norby's victory was accomplished in spite of it. After all, she and especially her husband were closely aligned with Yorba Linda's nasty storyteller. Dick is the one who propped up then-Mayor Duvall for state office. Meanwhile, it was common knowledge before yesterday's polling that Linda also sleeps with a lobbyist. That is, she does if she still sleeps with Dick. And yes, that mental visual just made me vomit in my own mouth also.
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Speaking of leaving food on the floor, here's a fun anecdote from the dueling Norby-Ackerman victory parties, which for some reason were held a few doors away from one another in Fullerton last night. A Norby supporter, under the mistaken impression he'd just walked into his candidate's event, got into the buffet line and started loading his plate. "Where's John Lewis?" he asked out loud, a reference to the Norby campaign spokesman and longtime GOP insider who got blasted by members of his party for supporting County Clerk Tom Daly, a Democrat, for the supervisor seat Norby is leaving.
State Sen. Mimi Walters (R-Laguna Niguel), who was practically connected to then-Senate Republican leader Ackerman's hip during Monday morning Southwest flights from Orange County to Sacramento, dutifully marched over to the schlub in the buffet line, grabbed his plate away and barked, "You're at the wrong party!"
Call it the Orange County Republican Hierarchy Diet.
(R. Scott Moxley contribued to this report.)