UPDATED: Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang lost 40% of his campaign funds in the Kinde Durkee scandal, according to the OC Political blog – and to make matters worse for Kang, his Republican opponent, U.S. Rep. John Campbell, has over one million dollars in his campaign account. Epic fail for Kang!
You have to feel for Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang. He had barely started running for the newly redrawn 45th Congressional District when we all found out that he, like so many other O.C. Democrats, got taken by former DPOC Treasurer Kinde Durkee. The poor guy had to start raising funds all over again – and he could not take more money from those who had already maxed out to his campaign.
The real question though is why in the world is Kang going to all this trouble? Maybe there is more to his campaign than meets the eye. “Kang is part of the majority block on the council that includes Krom and Councilman Larry Agran, who routinely builds election slush funds that piggyback off higher-profile races,” according to the OC Weekly.
“Kang became the first Korean-American mayor of an American city with a population more than 100,000 when he was first elected Irvine mayor in 2008. He was subsequently reelected the city’s mayor by a landslide last year,” according to the Voice of OC.
It is true that Orange County’s Korean-Americans don’t generally pay heed to partisan registration – many of them will vote for Kang regardless of their own partisan registration. But will that vote be enough to put Kang over the top in the 45th? The facts don’t support this. Only 16% of the voting age population in the new 45th are Asian, while over 68% of the voting age population is white, according to the Healthy Cities website.
While the 45th differs from the 48th, which is the district that Campbell used to represent, it is the same when it comes to partisan registration, according to a district map. Republicans make up over 45% of the electorate while the Democrats come in at just over 28% of the electorate. Decline to State voters make up 22% of the electorate but in the open primary system they will only be offered two candidates in the general election, likely Kang and Campbell. There will be no third party candidates on the general election ballot, which favors Campbell.
The other factor that weighs in heavily in Campbell’s factor is the Presidential election. Campbell is already pimping for GOP candidate Mitt Romney, who is likely to emerge as the Republican nominee. Poor Kang will be saddled with Pres. Barack Obama, perhaps the most unpopular U.S. President since Jimmy Carter. Obama won the 48th in 2008 – I think we call all rest assured that he won’t be winning the 45th in 2012.
Picture of the Agran Machine courtesy of the OC Weekly
Kang earned the endorsement of the O.C. Labor Federation in November of last year, but Krom had that too. It didn’t help in the 48th and it likely won’t help in the 45th either. In the 113th Congress, the 45th Congressional District of California will include the cities of Irvine, Tustin, North Tustin, Lake Forest, Laguna Woods, Laguna Hills, Villa Park, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, Coto De Caza, and portions of the cities of Anaheim and Orange, according to Campbell’s website. Those are not areas heavily populated by members of labor unions!
What I find really hilarious is that Kang sounds like a fiscal conservative, on his website, but he is part of the Great Park mafia that has blown hundreds of thousands of dollars in really stupid ways – even spending a fortune on intricate plans that have been since been set aside. Kang also supported the expenditure of public proceeds on a private party at the Great Park that Krom threw for their supporters. For this guy to pretend to be a fiscal conservative is simply ridiculous!
I have said this before and it bears repeating – the DPOC needs to focus on winning more local elections. Running hopeless campaigns for the U.S. Congress and the California State Legislature is a waste of their money and resources – and the latter are sorely lacking due to Durkee’s alleged pilfering. It is really looking like 2012 is going to be a terrible year for the DPOC. Now more than ever they need to stop with these ridiculous, hopeless campaigns and try to hang on to what they already have.