Let’s kickoff the Thanksgiving holiday with a big serving of cynicism. The old cliché, “Elections have consequences”, doesn’t seem to fit Orange County politics when Chris Norby, our newest political has-been, can lose an important Assembly election and find himself under consideration for a six-figure job running the County Clerk-Recorder‘s office. The Liberal OC did a credible job of covering all the perversions and possibilities here.
Consider that Norby’s 4-point loss to Sharon Quirk-Silva, an unknown Fullerton Councilwoman who was reportedly convinced to run by Loretta Sanchez, helped complete a tectonic shift in the State Assembly which gives Democrats the two-thirds majority they’ve coveted in order to raise taxes and commit political mayhem without even the approval of the utterly worthless (and now unneeded) Jerry Brown. The State Senate achieved the same goal, and it took no time at all for Torrance Senator Ted Lieu to propose tripling the car tax. Lieu later rescinded the notion for reasons unclear, but it’s evident there will be no hesitation in either Chamber to exercise all the power that comes with one-party rule. These majorities are THAT important and sooner or later we can count on these Democrats to go after Proposition 13.
Norby’s award for running an inept, poorly funded campaign (he was beaten by a rookie campaign manager) could be a job he has no experience to do. The Clerk-Recorder would be a management nightmare — staffed with cubical-dwelling OCEA unionistas, the ex-high school history teacher and now political hanger-on is going to be overwhelmed and find himself managed by the career bureaucrats, lying bimbos and the file clerks that inhabit that office. As well, he’ll have his hands full dealing with ex-Clerk Tom Daly’s follies like the decrepit building he suspiciously acquired outside County policy and some of his political appointees like his Archivist, an ex-LA Times reporter.
We wonder if Norby’s ever had a job as an adult that wasn’t on a government payroll. He’s got quite a personal and political resume:
- Allegations of domestic violence involving his fourth wife per a Register story quoting Fullerton Police Sgt. Andrew Goodrich
- Investigated, but cleared for using campaign funds for a hotel stay while “researching homelessness” in 2007
- Found sleeping one off at the Old County Courthouse in Santa Ana while apparently homeless himself
- Questioned by his hometown Blog for a campaign endorsement of a dirty cop
- Couldn’t get the endorsement of his disgraced Assembly predecessor, Mike Duvall, when he ran for Clerk-Recorder in 2009, but he did get them from John Lewis and Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido, a Democrat
- Sexual harassment charges in 2003, later settled
The Norby family seems quite adept at massaging their political network for well-paying government jobs. In 2009, the LiberalOC reported that “Eric Norby, brother of Supervisor Chris Norby. Until the 6th of February Eric Norby was Supervisor Chris Norby’s Chief of Staff. Suddenly, Eric Norby was appointed to a top level management position at the Health Care Agency. He also received a $5,000 raise, boosting his annual compensation package to more than $100,000 to go along with his move.” This lengthy story, with plenty of other examples of buddy-hiring in County government was written by Chris Prevatt, himself a County employee.
It’s NOT impressive that Norby’s friend, Supervisor Shawn Nelson is aggressively pushing him for the Clerk-Recorder appointment. Nelson’s otherwise having a good run in his Supervisor’s position. He ran a great campaign and as far as we can tell, he’s made all the right decisions so far. He’s well positioned if he desires Ed Royce’s job in Congress when he decides to retire. But this obvious pandering to a failed friend is nonsense. It will damage his career and will certainly be seen as blatant political patronage that would be admired even in Chicago.
To say this is the “ol’ boy network” at work is an insult to the fine art of understatement. Norby’s a lifetime political hack going after a job he can’t do and doesn’t deserve. If he’s appointed (we hope the other four Supervisors know better), he’d be depriving a long-time County Manager of a job he appears well-qualified for and deserves since he’s paid his dues, climbed the ladder like regular folk and doesn’t have the shaky reputation of his predecessor, Tom Daly.
Chris Norby doesn’t deserve this gift. He didn’t take his latest Democrat opponent seriously and got beaten for an important Assembly seat that will be hell for the GOP to recapture. He has a questionable reputation, can be erratic and unstable and has NO known accomplishments on his resume that a pro would be looking for if this was a private sector job he was seeking. He’s never managed a large, unionized workforce. He’s a terrible choice for this job.