Orange County has long provided a cushy home for Republican wingnuts. Bob Dornan was the most famous, but there was also Dana Rohrabacher, Wally George, John Schmitz, and many other names that it’s probably best we try to forget. For many years, the Republican Party kind of shunted these people aside–never sanctioning them, but also never really giving them the kind of power they craved. But after Donald Trump rode the racist and misogynist wingnut wave all the way into the White House, all bets are off.
Enter Amy Phan West. On July 9, we received a news release and the above low-res photo that were “approved by Amy Phan West” stating that she would run against Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) in the 47th Congressional District. Well, it stated a lot of things. Like this:
Unabashedly pro-life, committed to ending California’s shocking SeXXX Ed curriculum (officially known as “CA Healthy Youth Act”), a believer in legal immigration and fervently committed to keeping socialism away from America’s shores, West looks forward to meeting members of the community throughout the primary season to discuss issues that affect them.
Is Bob “Every lesbian spear-chucker in this country is hoping I get defeated” Dornan secretly advising West? Because that “seXXX ed” nonsense really takes us back to 1992, though not in a good way. And West isn’t kidding, either:
Schools must stop sexualizing our children. This means teachers must be released from unions and bureaucrats and be empowered to teach our youth the fundamentals that equip them to become productive members of society.
Wait, teacher unions are sexualizing students? Never mind the sheer fantasy of all this–what is West even talking about?
The news release–which we remind you was “approved by Amy Phan West”–also contains this gibberish:
West also sees issues related to illegal immigration important since to the district is located just 100+ miles from the southern border.
Yeah, pump that shit directly into our veins. Because there’s nothing this nation needs in Washington more right now than another Republican who can’t write a declarative sentence.
West is a Westminster resident who works at a car rental company. She’s also a member of the right-wing evangelical organization Concerned Women for America (CWA), which actually explains a ton about West’s news release.
“Concerned Women for America protects and promotes Biblical values and Constitutional principles through prayer, education, and advocacy,” states the CWA mission. “Concerned Women for America is leading a movement dedicated to impacting the culture for Christ through education and public policy.”
As far as political experience is concerned, West has, well, none. She ran for the Westminster City Council in 2018, but came in fourth. This was surprising, given that she ran on a platform of “increas[ing] police to fight rising crime,” “enforcement of laws,” and “fully funding our police and fire departments.” Granted, there were 13 candidates, so her 12.1 percent of the vote is probably a solid accomplishment.
West was also a member of the Orange County Parks Commission, but apparently only for five months. The county Board of Supervisors (at 1st District Supervisor Andrew Do’s urging) appointed West to the commission in September 2018, but meeting minutes show that the February 2019 gathering was her last with the Parks Commission (the 1st District seat on the commission is still apparently vacant).
Oh, and earlier this month West posted a photo on her Facebook page of her with some “supporters” and guess who we couldn’t help but notice in the middle? Yep, that’s Republican Dave Garofalo, the disgraced former Huntington Beach Mayor who was convicted of felony corruption and thrown out of office nearly 20 years ago (and banned from ever seeking political office again). At this point, we would be shocked if Garfalo wasn’t backing West.
Then again, given that West is taking on the incumbent in a congressional district in which the Democratic Party holds a 13-point registration advantage, according to the Cook Political Report’s Partisan Voter Index, we’re sure that we’ll be hearing a great deal more from West in the future.
Anthony Pignataro has been a journalist since 1996. He spent a dozen years as Editor of MauiTime, the last alt weekly in Hawaii. He also wrote three trashy novels about Maui, which were published by Event Horizon Press. But he got his start at OC Weekly, and returned to the paper in 2019 as a Staff Writer.