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  • Sunday, September 26, 2010


    Orange candidates follow Rocco Ballot strategy

    eLECTION Watch 2010
    an Orange Net News Special News and Analysis Series

    Orange candidates follow Rocco Ballot strategy
    Former Orange Trustee Steve Rocco is running as a “Retired Teacher” this time in his bid to regain a seat on the Orange Unified School Board. Last time he ran his win is widely attributed to his ballot description as an educator vs. his more well know and financed opponent who was a community activist, had children in the schools, but happened to be a Park Ranger. So, Rocco won. Since then others have tried the Rocco Ballot strategy also known now as to Rocco-up their ballot descriptions in the hope of gaining votes. Sometimes they are challenged, but most often not. Most recently, Chris Enami tried a similar tactic when he ran in 2006 against Trustee Kim Nichols. Enami a walk-on (after school) girls basketball coach tried to be listed as a “Teacher” on the ballot. Nichols went to court and won an order that forced Enami to remove the misleading moniker. That route is expensive, and few candidates take it that far, allowing less than truthful ballot descriptions to remain unchallenged.

    This year in Orange Unified, the Registrar of Voters reports that they were approached about two OUSD candidates- Chris Ngyuen and Steve Rocco. Nguyen is Chris Enami’s fellow Board member on the Orange Villa Park Republican Assembly (OVPRA). Nguyen has himself listed on the ballot as “Education Policy Advisor”. Graduating from USC in 2007 as a Political Science major and from Stanford this year with a Masters in Public Administration, Nguyen’s resume on the Linked In website showed five political internships over a period of two years and being a Legislative aide only since January 2009. While his resume is heavy on political experience, nowhere did his on-line resume mention anything related to being an “Education Policy Advisor” as he describes himself on the ballot. After Orange Net News ran the link to Nguyen’s Linked-In site- Ngyuen deleted the site.

    Other interesting ballot designations around town include:

    Orange Councilman Jon Dumitru is running for the Orange Mayor’s job, his full time job with the Orange County Fire Authority is as a Fire Communication Dispatcher. However on the ballot Dumitru lists his occupation as Firefighter Coordinator- a position that does not exist.

    Running for re-election, Orange Councilman Denis Bilodeau has another fulltime bureaucratic job, he is Chief of Staff to Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson. However, in his ballot description he describes himself as a businessman.

    Candidate Mike Merino list himself as a Military Officer/ Businessman. He is a Military Reservist and an Architect.

    Attorney Fred Whitaker, who is also an Orange Planning Commissioner, pays homage to Shakespeare’s dislike of lawyers by taking no chances and listing himself him self as a Businessman/Planning Commissioner.

    Who knew that Steve Rocco would be such a trailblazer.

    To see all the Orange ballot designations CLICK ON: BALLOT DESCRIBE

    Villa Park’s Sentry Newspaper to host Orange Candidates Forum
    With Villa Park City Council Candidate Bob Faxteau the official timer, Foothill Sentry owner Anita Bennyhoff hosting, and Foothill Sentry writer Marjan Dunn asking questions, you have to know this is going to be an interesting evening. Oh and if that’s not enough- Cliff Robbins is billed as the “wistle blower” for the evening.

    The “Hill People” will be hosting the Foothill Sentry Orange Candidates Forum at the Orange Women’s Club 121 S Center Dr., Orange, Monday September 27 from 7 pm- 9 pm.

    eLECTION Watch 2010
    is an independent news service of /O/N/N/
    “Independent Local Insight
    Ecast on the
    A 21st Century Communications System
    Produced by the
    Orange Communication System /OCS/

    For accuracy, I am and have been a commissioned officer in the United States Navy for 22 years - currently holding the rank of Captain. I am also the owner of Michael Merino Architects - a business holding a license in Orange for more than 14 years. I stand by my ballot designation without reservation.
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