It'll take more than a lifetime of failed election bids (not including one wildly successful, from a comedic point of view, tenure as a school trustee), and repeated arrests for shoplifting to stop Steve Rocco.
On March 8, one day after Janet Nguyen filed her own declaration of candidacy for a second term as Orange County's first-district supervisor, so did Rocco. Describing himself as a politically unaffiliated “retired educator,” Rocco is so far the only candidate other than Nguyen herself to join the race.
Let the batshit-loco insanity begin!
Back in 2004, after years of unsuccessfully seeking public office and refusing to sell vintage albums borrowed from the public library to potential customers at Santa Ana swap meets, Rocco won a seat on the Orange Unified School District board
of trustees. At monthly meetings, he intrigued audience members, including television news crews, by wearing black beanie
caps and dark sunglasses, and for delivering rambling
tirades about a secret cabal called the “Partnership” which he claimed
controls Orange County government and had threatened his own life, which as the Weekly revealed at the time, was actually a piece of performance art by the deceased comedian Andy Kaufman.
Historians as well as astute observers of Orange County's absurdist political landscape know that Rocco's first brush with the so-called Partnership (which is helmed by Albertsons, Kodak Corp. and SmokeCraft Sausages) occurred back in 1981 when police arrested Rocco for shoplifting some camera film and sausages from a Santa Ana supermarket. It wouldn't be the last time the Partnership used the shoplifting smear against him.
In Sept. 2008, a Chapman University security guard busted Rocco biking away from a cafeteria with an unrefrigerated, half-consumed bottle of Heinz Ketchup. Rocco fought the arrest, but after a gleefully absurd trial, he was convicted the following year. That didn't stop him from unsuccessfully running for a job as Orange County's public administrator in 2010.
So to sum up:
Steve Rocco is a retired educator. The Partnership wants him dead. Rocco likes Johnny Cash records. That ketchup bottle was unrefrigerated. Rocco is Kaufman wearing a beanie.
Don't forget to vote on June 5!