UPDATED DECEMBER 11, 2018: radical progressive activist Victor Valladares has officially announced his candidacy for DPOC Western Vice Chair:
As we reported last month, Valladares is part of a progressive identity politics slate seeking to win leadership of the Democratic Party of Orange County and shift it even further to the Left.
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON NOVEMBER 30, 2018: OC Democratic Party Chair Fran Sdao’s unexpected resignation last week has set off a scramble for the suddenly more relevant leadership of an energized Democratic Party in OC.
We reported earlier this week on former Irvine City Councilwoman Beth Krom dropping out of the 3rd Supervisor District special election to run for DPOC Chair.
At the same, more radical forces of progressive identity politics are maneuvering to seize control of the DPOC. Ada Briceno, the militant chief of UNITE-HERE Local 11, is running for chair. Briceno – along with her close ally, now-Councilman Jose F. Moreno – has played a leading role in organizing and funding the ongoing progressive political project of taking over Anaheim city government, beginning with campaign to replace at-large council elections with district elections. This election cycle, UNITE-HERE led the Resort union coalition that spent more than a million dollars to impose an $18 minimum wage on certain Anaheim Resort businesses.
According to her Facebook page announcement, Briceno is “running for chair because I bring experience and passion to help transform our blue wave into an effective, unified, and progressive leadership into 2020 and beyond. As a labor and community leader, woman of color, and proud democrat I see the need to fight for progressive democratic values. Orange County is at the heart of the resistance, and our party needs voices that focus on representing our working-class families, support higher wages, defend undocumented communities, protect LGTBQ+ rights, and promote a clean and green future.”
Not exactly mainstream.
Briceno is running with a slate of fellow radical progressives: Jeff LeTourneau for North Vice Chair (running for re-election), Victor Valladares for West Vice Chair and Beatriz “Betty” Valencia for Central Vice Chair.
Brea-resident LeTourneau is a pugnacious long-time left-wing activist who frequents the public comments at Anaheim City Council meetings.
Huntington Beach-resident Valladares is a protege of Couniclman Moreno and vocal advocate of ethnic identity politics. He is founder of OakView ComUNIDAD, a progressive political advocacy group, and a co-founder – along with Moreno – of the Chicano Latino Immigrant Democratic Club of Orange County. Most recently, Valladares has been advocating that Central American immigrant caravaners have the “right” to live in the United States while their asylum claims are processed – even raising supplies for the caravaners:
Valencia is a progressive activist who ran a strong but unsuccessful race for Orange City Council this year, finishing in third place with 13.9%. Her campaign message was off-key for Orange but she benefited from dogged canvassing efforts and the huge ballot harvesting and provisional ballot push from the Katie Porter for Congress campaign. Valencia plans to run again in 2020.
The DPOC is already a reliably liberal organization. A successful takeover by the Briceno slate will push it decisively leftward into radical identity politics territory. If the Briceno slate is successful, expect the DPOC leadership to support an expected attempt by Jose Moreno to challenge either Rep. Lou Correa or Assemblyman Tom Daly in the March 2020 primary. It is no secret Moreno and his Berniecrat political allies hold both Correa and Daly in contempt as “corporatists.”
One party activist observed a DPOC under Briceno leadership would be inordinately focused on Anaheim and Moreno’s political fortunes. “The Democratic Party of Orange County would become the anti-Disney Democratic Party of Anaheim,” this politico said.
Orange County Democrats successfully generated and surfed a blue wave to score historic victories in Orange County. Let the post-victory intra-party blood-letting and scramble for power begin.