Primary Madness

Photo by Yoshitaka Okada March 5, 2002

3:50 p.m. Christian radio station KBRT of Costa Mesa encourages listeners to vote against the "evil, radical, extremist" Gray Davis. 6:34 Pauline Aguilera, a clerk at the adult-entertainment store Nighty's and Naughty's, says no one has come into the store talking about the election. "Mostly, they just come in here for, you know, pornos." 8 Polls close across California. 8:04 Asked about the election, "Sean" of an activist collective in Long Beach, says, "Don't associate me with voting." 8:15A lonely television set glowing in the corner of the Athenian Room at the glorious Biltmore Hotel relays the first returns of the night to the Tom-Umberg-for-Insurance-Commissioner "party." The news ain't good: Garamendi has a big lead. 8:16A tightly wrapped woman in—well, a tight-fitting dress with her hair in a tight bun—rushes from the back of the room, positions herself in front of the Umberg TV, and shrieks, "This doesn't mean anything! There's a long way to go!" 8:23 to the moment you're reading this The numbers don't get any better for Umberg. 8:24 With the polls closed, two women watching Iris begin a new debate: "I really don't like Kate Winslett's hair." "Yeah, but that's probably the way that Iris wore it." "Yeah, I know, but still . . . " 8:30 Five men in suits scan absentee-ballot results at the Registrar's Santa Ana office. 8:32 Ikea shopper Jim Foley mistakes a reporter for a store employee. When told the reporter works for OC Weekly, Foley immediately asks, "So is Commie Girl really good-looking?" 8:40 The first results are distributed at the Registrar's office. The suits leave the building. 8:47 Dressed in white pants and red shirts and shaking matching pom-poms, Republican youth sing patriotic songs for an overflow crowd at the Sutton Place Hotel in Newport Beach. 8:53 Republicans dressed in business attire exchange business cards and chat about business as Republican youth sing a terribly off-key rendition of "God Bless America." 8:59 Jo Ellen Allen, Republican Party vice chairwoman and unapologetic wife of a man who defrauded millions of dollars from elderly conservatives, closes her heavily made-up eyes and offers a rambling prayer. 9 Observers file into the Registrar's waiting area wearing yellow name tags. Muhamed Amin of the Democratic Party says it's his first time as an observer. Same for Robert Lauten. Neither seems to observe much. 9:01Bob Zemel asks the Republican crowd, "Isn't Jo Ellen Allen just wonderful?" and then leads the Pledge of Allegiance. 9:07 Supervisor Todd Spitzer declares, "When you prove yourself, the Republican Party embraces you." 9:13 OC Republican chairman Tom Fuentes excitedly declares Bill Simon is stomping Dick Riordan. 9:16 Speaking during the pro-Measure W party at the Laguna Hills Holiday Inn, anti-airport activist Bill Kogerman asks "those taken in by the lies of the radical pro-airport forces" to "come aboard" the Great Park. 9:17Measure W backers sing "The Impossible Dream." 9:18 KABC's Al Rantel invites listeners to delve into the evening's big news: John Nash, subject of the Academy Award-nominated film A Beautiful Mind, was a raging anti-Semite who wrote letters to Jews with the salutation, "Dear Jewboy." He adds that listeners "can also talk about the election, if you still want to." 9:19Former Nixon aide Hugh Hewitt tells Republicans that Simon has "honor and candor" and that Davis "does not have a prayer in November." 9:20 Fuentes urges all Republicans to subscribe to Affluent Golfer magazine. 9:24 A swarm of ants are spotted in a trash can and on the floor near the front door of Registrar. 9:25 Amin at the Registrar's office says, "They say Orange County is going to be a majority Democratic county in 25 years. What do you think?" 9:26 A pissed-off looking Supervisor Tom Wilson leaves the GOP party. 9:27 Black-clad psychic reader and non-voter Dave Bralise at Fountain Valley bookstore Psychic Eye asks if the Weekly has any job openings. 9:33 GOP auctioneer insists the Weekly's R. Scott Moxley has made a $525 bid on a golf club; he was merely pointing a photographer in the direction of Jo Ellen Allen. 9:39 Fuentes again hawks Affluent Golfer magazine. 9:40 At the Registrar's office, bored KCBS and KCAL TV-news producers discuss the rumored Letterman deal. 9:43 Republican YAFer Brian Park wanders around the party hoping people will see his lapel sticker, which reads, "Youth Director for Judge Kline." 9:47 TCA CEO Wally Kreutzen walks around the GOP party, no doubt looking for future government handouts. 9:54 Kellie Bieber, wife of former YAFer (now direct-mail guy) Jim Bieber, offers to show Commie Girl her tits but then says she's just kidding. 10:02 A dozen people inside the Fullerton Abbey watch the Lakers win. Bartender Kyle Crabb says not one person has talked about the election. 10:11 Congressman Chris Cox calls GOP headquarters from Washington, D.C., to brag that he's just had dinner with Rudy Giuliani. 10:12 In a hospitality suite at the Laguna Hills Holiday Inn, one anti-airport PR executive accidentally drops a press release draft in the toilet. But the soggy document is actually just a copy of the song "The Impossible Dream." 10:15 A Tony Rackauckas supporter tells Commie Girl she "hates" OC Weekly. 10:30 At the Registrar's office, an election observer eating pizza and cold cuts on a seat next to ants brags he has been shot seven times as a night watchman. "The only way to deal with these gang bangers is put them all in the stockade, line 'em up and knock 'em down," he says. 10:31 Two Republican candidates declare that their party represents "working class values" in addition to "faith and freedom." 10:32 Fuentes urges GOPers not to leave because "we still have a lot more fun for you!" 10:34 A Republican guy with two females says, "Let's get out of here." 10:42 A stuttering Supervisor Jim Silva tries to lead Republicans in a cheer. Everyone stares on. 10:45 Congressman Dana Rohrabacher calls GOP headquarters from Washington, D.C., and brags that he, too, has just had dinner with Giuliani. 10:46 Jeff, his chin pierced, wearing a Slipknot sweat shirt, strolls the Huntington Beach pier with Tiffany. "I have no idea about any of that [election] shit," he says. 10:50Bored observers at the Registrar's office discuss burgers and coffee. In-N-Out and Diedrich are declared winners. Elsewhere at 10:50 Moderate Republicans in Laguna Hills watch Riordan's concession speech, yelling throughout, "How did you lose?!" And at GOP headquarters, the band plays over Riordan's remarks. 10:57 Republicans scream with joy that Simon is their nominee for governor. 11 The Green Party delegation leaves the Registrar's office for an In-N-Out run. 11:01 Otto Meyer hustles us out of the Huntington Beach Youth Hostel. "Come back tomorrow; it'll be fun," he apologizes. "Not this time. Too late." 11:20 Re-elected DA Tony Rackauckas tells everyone he feels "so good." 11:27 Orange County Register writer Steven Greenhut drinks a beer and relishes conservative victories. 11:45Irvine Mayor Larry Agran reminisces about the 1976 presidential primary election. 11:55 Green Party observers return to the Registrar's office with In-N-Out burgers.

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