Room with a liberal view: When it came time for the Republicans to select their new Capitol Hill offices as they assume the reins of power, the choice made by Rep. Robert K. Dornan (R-Garden Grove) proved to be a harbinger of the days to come.
Dornan, staunch conservative and thorn in the side of many Democrats, will be moving into the congressional offices of outgoing House Speaker Tom Foley (his personal suite in the Longworth House Office Building, not to be confused with the official Speaker's digs at the Capitol).
Brian Keeter, Dornan's aide, said the suite was selected because it is roomier, more conveniently located, and "the icing on the cake is the beautiful view of the Capitol." Of course, Dornan also delighted in the fact that it's Foley's office.
No word yet on whether Dornan plans to call "Ghostbusters" to rid the office of Democratic spirits, but Keeter said the staff "will be instilling Republican virtues in that office and ridding it of all Democratic tendencies."
Ready and waiting: The city of Lake Forest is eager to again challenge the legality of Measure A, the Nov. 8 initiative that could put a commercial airport at the El Toro Marine base, said a confident Jerry M. Patterson, the city attorney.
Patterson, a former congressman from Santa Ana, said Measure A is illegal for six reasons--all of them technical but nevertheless important. Primarily, he said, the measure creates an inconsistency in the county General Plan by increasing the intensity of the development on the base without addressing what would be a threefold increase in traffic in the area.
"Courts have held repeatedly that ordinances not consistent with a general plan are illegal," Patterson said.
Using basically the same arguments, the city was unsuccessful at keeping Measure A off the ballot, but Patterson said the judge acknowledged "that we raised some good points."
Patterson is also awaiting a California Supreme Court decision that is "right on point" with this issue--De Vita vs. Sonoma County--where slow-growth supporters are trying to prevent the conversion of vineyards to commercial and residential development.
On the rise: Assemblywoman-elect Marilyn C. Brewer (R-Newport Beach) hasn't even been sworn in yet, but her status in Sacramento already appears to be rising. Brewer, who was elected to represent the ultra-Republican 70th District, was asked--she's not saying by whom--to second Garden Grove Assemblyman Curt Pringle's nomination of colleague Jim Brulte (R-Rancho Cucamonga) as the leader of the state's Republican caucus at a meeting Nov. 10.
Just being asked is considered an honor, and Brewer said she readily accepted. She added that she is 100% behind Brulte in the up-and-coming battle for Republican leadership in the Assembly.
Brewer, the owner of a manufacturing company, also said the Orange County delegation of Assembly Republicans plans to take a hard look during the coming months at onerous regulations placed on business people in the state.
"I think you're going to see a very proactive Orange County delegation," Brewer said.
The wild 69th: Newly reelected Assemblyman Mickey Conroy (R-Orange) claims to have uncovered some serious discrepancies in the voting patterns of Democrats in the 69th Assembly District, the site of a recent slugfest won by fellow Republican Jim Morrissey.
Morrissey beat Democrat Mike Metzler by about 3,000 votes, but Conroy said the turnout in the largely blue-collar, Latino district in Santa Ana and northward between Anaheim and Orange to the Riverside Freeway was down from 1992 by about 9,000 votes, largely because Republicans complained to the registrar of voters that many Democrats in the district were registering twice, Conroy said.
"We have very good indications that there was quite a bit of wrongful voting in this district over the years . . . but this year was probably more flagrant in voting hanky-panky," said Conroy, a Santa Ana resident for 24 years whose own district used to include much of what is now the 69th. He said his staff is undertaking a complete review of the vote and will make the results known soon.
Dorianne Garcia, chairwoman of the Orange County Democratic Party, scoffed at Conroy's claims as nothing but more hot air and partisan politics.
"(Mickey) has a big mouth and he's just trying to act like (Rep. Robert K.) Dornan," Garcia said. "But, like Dornan, he's all talk and no action. If he feels he has evidence to substantiate these charges, he ought to be forthright and come forward. If he doesn't have any, he should spend his time taking care of the job the people are paying him to do."
Another battle ahead: Fresh from a wild election campaign featuring 22 candidates, the Huntington Beach City Council appears headed for a long, perhaps costly battle to fill the seat of departing Councilman Jim Silva, who was elected to the Board of Supervisors.