Remember when Santa Ana Council Member Carlos Bustamante went after his colleague, Santa Ana Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez, after she compared landlord and developer Irv Chases’s business practices to Adolf Hitler’s ethnic cleansing? Well, last week the Orange County Grand Jury found that Alvarez was right about Chase and his friends at Downtown, Inc. – in a report that slammed the Santa Ana PBID tax. And Bustamante? Well he is now rotting in jail after being arrested today on multiple felony and misdemeanor counts.
When Bustamante raises bail he will have quite a few decisions to make – like hiring a lawyer, but eventually he will also have to write his formal letter of resignation. His time on the Santa Ana City Council is done.
I expect that one of our City Commissioners will be named to replace him – perhaps one of the many Planning Commissioners who live in Ward 3. Bustamante’s seat will be available this November in the General Election and his replacement will have a leg up on the rest of the competition.
The last time Bustamante ran for office I kept waiting for the local Democrats to find an opponent to take him out, given that Bustamante was the last Republican on our City Council. But Orange County’s Democratic Party gave him a free pass. I ended up running against him and of course he raised a mint and beat me. Many Democrats ended up helping Bustamante, including Liberal OC blog editor Dan Chmielewski who didn’t contribute to Bustamante’s campaign but did contribute to a hit piece mailer that Red County blog editor Matt Cunningham put together, with contributions from former Assemblyman Van Tran’s cronies, OCEA boss Nick Berardino, Ware Disposal and GOP consultant Michael Schroeder. Yes, Bustamante was helped by a rogue’s gallery of despicable O.C. politicos. Now that he is in jail they all have some explaining to do…
Here are some of the other folks who made Bustamante’s 2008 election possible. This list of endorsers comes from Smart Voter:
ELECTED & APPOINTED OFFICIALS
Congressman Ed Royce
State Senator Dick Ackerman
Orange County Superviosr Bill Campbell
Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach
Orange County Supervisor Chris Norby
Orange County Supervisor Janet Nguyen
Orange County Supervisor Pat Bates
Orange County Public Administrator John Williams
Santa Ana City Mayor Miguel Pulido
Mayor Pro-Tem Claudia Alvarez
Santa Ana City Councilmember Vincent Sarmiento
Santa Ana City Councilmember David Benavides
Westminster City Councilmember Andy Quach
Westminster City Councilmember Kermit Marsh
Irvine City Councilmember Christina Shea
Santa Ana Unified School Board Member Rob Richardson
Santa Ana Unified School Board Member Dr. Audrey Yamagata-Noji
Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce
California Women’s Leadership Association
Lincoln Club of Orange County
Building Industry Association
OC Automobile Dealers Association
Orange County Republican Party
Santa Ana Police Officers Association
Santa Ana Fire Fighters Association
Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs
Apartment Association of Orange County
Bustamante also listed Santa Ana Councilman Sal Tinjaro as a supporter but that simply was not true. Tinajero endorsed me in 2008, as did State Senator Lou Correa and Santa Ana Planning Commissioner Sean Mill – who has never supported Bustamante for any office.
When Bustamante resigns he will likely become the last Republican to serve on the Santa Ana City Council in our lifetime. The OC GOP has given up trying to back Latinos since Bustamante got spanked by Supervisor Nguyen back in 2007. This year, in the Open Primary, the OC GOP endorsed Jerry Hayden to run against U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez. He won the primary but will be toast in the General Election. The OC GOP refused to endorse Jose “Joe” Moreno for the 69th Assembly District – and he was the only Republican who ran in the Open Primary. He now advances to the General Election and likely will still not get the OC GOP’s support.
But I digress – what about Bustamante? The charges he is facing are simply stunning. He is looking at serious jail time. I fell bad for his family, especially his long-suffering wife. What a mess.