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Recount Rumors

The only thing certain about a close election is that whether or not anyone has officially decided to seek a recount, the rumors start the moment the election results are certified. As soon as Orange County Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley certified the results of the June 5th Primary Election, I started hearing rumors from a variety of sources that a recount was going to happen in the 69th Assembly race.

We have been unable to get an answer out of the Perez campaign or his supporters at the Orange County Labor Federation as to whether or not there is any truth to the rumors.

Julio Perez missed coming in second, and making it to a runoff against County Clerk Recorder Tom Daly, by 242 votes, 0.8669% of the votes cast, to Republican candidate Jose “Joe” Moreno. What our sources are suggesting is that there is hope that there may be 242 votes in the 1,873 under-vote and over-vote ballots cast.

Tom Daly (Photo: Chris Prevatt)

It seem s like a long shot but, even if a recount were to fail, it would certainly cause a delay in final certification, and cost Daly some campaign cash to defend against the challenge. There is certainly enough bitterness between Perez supporters and Daly supporters to make the possibility of a recount challenge plausible.

I have also heard the rumor that lawyers are looking into whether there are legal grounds to challenge Jose “Joe” Moreno on the basis of ineligibility because of the federal law, the Hatch Act. That federal law prohibits state, county, and municipal workers, whose jobs are funded by federal grants, from seeking partisan elected office. Since Moreno, is a county worker with the Social Services Agency determining eligibility for the federally funded food stamp program, the Hatch Act would seem to apply.

Jose “Joe” Moreno

LiberalOC asked the Social Services Agency whether they had sought an opinion from the U. S. Office of Special Counsel regarding the possible violation of the Hatch Act by Moreno, they declined to answer because they “do not comment on personnel issues.” When asked whether the Agency was aware of the Hatch Act, Social Services Agency spokesperson TerryLynn Fisher said; “the Agency is acutely aware of the Hatch Act.”

We’ll probably know for sure in the next several days if there is any truth to the rumors. Until then, I’m guessing that Tom Daly and his supporters will be sweating, at least a little.


  1. Paco Barragan Paco Barragan June 18, 2012

    @ Jose S:

    Thank you for the update.

    1) RECOUNT: With respect to recount, it seems that this is out of the question, because a recount is called for if the difference in votes is within 1/2%, but the difference seems to be GREATER of 2% (242 difference / 11,718 votes cast for Julio & Joe).

    2) HATCH ACT challenge:
    It also seems that even by challenging Joe Moreno’s candidacy that nothing is guaranteed for the other candidates because Joe Moreno would have the option of REMAINING as a candidate, although possibly at a great risk of loss of his county job.

    So if Joe Moreno stayed in the race at his own choosing and as the rightful second place candidate, the OC Labor Federation and other groups would have engaged in an expensive and distracting exercise in futility. This is money that they could use for other productive purposes.

    Paco Barragan

  2. Reader Reader June 18, 2012

    I disagree with the assessment that this will cost Daly anything. Who will pay for the recount? The Labor Fed? OCEA? The Perez campaign? People don’t like watching their money being wasted. Will the Speaker support siphoning precious resources that could be used for November on such a frivolous recount to determine a DISTANT second place?
    While Perez or the Labor fed keep spending money on the past, the Daly campaign can be raising money for the future.

  3. just asking? just asking? June 18, 2012

    I agree with Reader, Perez and Moreno are the players who would be spending $$$ on a recount. While the impact to Daly would be significant, his win by a surprisingly wide margin should only increase the likelihood for additional monetary support.

    As for the Hatch Act, the penalties are specific to the job not the political position. Moreno could receive a warning or be dismissed by his agency. No provisions exist which would remove him from a race or declare him ineligible. Think that was why they would not let him withdraw from race on grounds of Hatch Act issues, as well as the late date of the request.

    Can’t we all just move on???

  4. Paco Barragan Paco Barragan June 18, 2012

    @ Just Asking:

    Although Joe Moreno tried for about a month to pull out of the race, by law, once a candidate takes the OATH of CANDIDACY, no candidate can withdraw from the race.

    All of us candidates were clearly warned about this by OC Registrar of Voters, prior to taking the official Oath of Candidacy, after we candidates met all requirements for the position.

    Paco Barragán
    Past candidate for State Assembly June 2012 Primary – 69th AD

    • Joe Hill Joe Hill Post author | June 18, 2012

      Good point. I had forgotten about the Kline case. Maybe it’s not too late for Moreno? The clock is ticking.

  5. cook cook June 18, 2012

    Reminds me of the 2000 election, where the demo’s tried stealing an election from the Rep winner.

    • Joe Hill Joe Hill Post author | June 18, 2012

      I love how Republicans try to revise history to suit their own set of facts. Recounts are not stealing of anything. They assure the accurate counting of votes cast by the electorate. That is not stealing; it’s DEMOCRACY.

      • cook cook June 19, 2012

        “They assure the accurate counting of votes cast by the electorate. That is not stealing; it’s DEMOCRACY.”

        Glad that you agree that Bush won fair and square

        • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski June 19, 2012

          Actually, they stopped the recount and had inconsistent standards by country for ballots. And the Florida Secretary of State was on the Elect Bush Committee which screams conflict of interest. Imiagine what Gore could have done as president?

  6. Let him play! Let him play! June 18, 2012

    Whatis wrong with you guys?

    You absolutely have no sense of what democracy is all about. Moreno ran and came in second place. He shouldn’t be threatened again with the loss of his job again. The worst part about it is that Joe Hill AKA Chris P should not be attacking another union member with bringing light to another union member.

    You guys have no shame. You guys just don’t like Mexicans and it shows.

    • Joe Hill Joe Hill Post author | June 19, 2012

      How you get from calling out Moreno’s failure to follow federal law to hating Mexican’s is a mystery to me. Last I checked, Julio Perez is Latino. Unless of course you’re a process server and want to swear that he isn’t.

      As far as bringing to light Moreno’s failure to follow the law being about attacking a union member… You’re nuts.

      The Orange County Register broke the story on April 11th, and I wrote about their story on April 12th here:

      Get your facts straight before you fling feces head on into a fan.

    • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski June 19, 2012

      Pedroza is that you? We’ve written a number of positive things about Mexican-Americans and are frequently called shills for Loretta Sanchez. If I think someone is a moron, trust me it has nothing to do with their race or ethnicity.

    • Tired of Uneducated Buffoon Posts Tired of Uneducated Buffoon Posts June 23, 2012

      It is bad enough that I have to read Dan C.’s drivel at an otherwise stellar website, but posts like “Let Him Play” take the cake.

      The issue of a Hatch Act violation does not render the candidate a non-candidate, or disqualify his/her candidacy. What it does is penalize the EMPLOYER of the candidate running in violation of the Hatch Act if they do not take prompt and immediate action against the employee by either (1) terminating them, or (2)taking reasonable, short of termination measures against the employee who promptly terminates his Hatch Act violating candidacy. If the Employer does not, as here, act promptly and deciisively, they must pay back a large penalty from the Federal Funds they received/distributed. The goal is to prevent a pay for play environment with Federal tax dollars being used and steered by a candidate to for their political race.

      Moreno is just another typical Republican who is happy to screw those who are need of the social program funds he directs for the underpriviliged, for his own benefit.

      Buffoons like “Let Him Play” could give a crap about social policy and integrity, as is demonstrated in the total lack of depth and understanding reflected in his/her ignorant post.

      • Veryclearitmightbeunconstitutional Veryclearitmightbeunconstitutional June 24, 2012

        Buffoon, should understand that the only enforcement agency that interprets the Hatch Act is the Federal agency, not the County.

        If the county act, it has no legal authority because there are local and State law that would apply then if it interpreted that it has authority and a legal standing to enforce a federal law.

        I think candidate Joe would welcome a Buffoon decision that would allow him to take time from his work, which will ultimately be paid back wages, and given him some time to maybe walk a few precinct and tell voters that his opponent’s supporters put him out of work.
        A Buffoon is actually someone who can’t read the law and just believes what they want to believe.

  7. It's a Secret It's a Secret June 19, 2012

    Who will help poor Joe Dovinh?

  8. Paco Barragan Paco Barragan June 19, 2012

    @ WWWYG:

    Your “love” of Joe is making you blind to the facts.

    In the years I’ve know Dan C, and Chris P, I’ve known them to be ethical, fair and not racially or ethnically motivated. (and I’ve known Chris for over 6 years). There is no need to “jump”to their defense, because their actions and behavior speak for themselves.

    You are barking up the wrong tree by trying to misdirect by making this a racial/ethnic issue.

    The issue of Joe’s job status with the county is still a very OPEN question, because of a very likely violation of the Hatch Act.

    And this is a separate issue as to whether Joe Moreno is the official 2nd place candidate. He is the legitimate 2nd place candidate.

    Paco Barragan
    Former candidate for State Assembly June 2012 – 69th AD

  9. max max June 23, 2012

    Get this Republican guy in trouble or terminated doesn’t sound like a good politics strategy. Can you imagine how many voters would feel sympathy for this guy?

    I do believe in democracy thrives with choices but Latinos split the vote whiched allowed for Daly to win this one. Which in itself is a trick by elistist white democrats who absolutely have no respect for the Latino community. Tom will not be an advocate for the issues effecting the latino community as he was never and those like Francisco who are backing him will be not forgotten. Tom will be a one term legislator and Jose Solorio (maybe even Francisco) and others who have turned their back on this community will pay as well.

    • Joe Hill Joe Hill Post author | June 23, 2012

      Not sure why anyone should have sympathy for Moreno. He was warned that reunning for Assembly violated the Hatch Act and he ignored the warnings. His fate, whatever it may be, is the result of his willful and completely informed actions. He may have one more chance to save his job and that would be to drop out before the candidates for the November election are certified.

      He has clearly violated the act, the issue now is what the price will be for him and his family.

      Choices have consequences.

  10. Veryconfused Veryconfused June 23, 2012

    Why can’t we just get along? Or just stop the threats and just man up and file a complaint with whoever needs to be called.

    If someone breaks the law, it’s the right thing to do by reporting it. Don’t threaten a person, sounds a lot like what white employers do when they low ball undocs workers when they don’t pay them a fair wage. It is not right there and it’s not right anywhere. Call the authorities or whoever and file a lawsuit or complaint or whatever or just drop the cowering bullying tactic.. Man up or just walk along with your tail between your legs.

    • Joe Hill Joe Hill Post author | June 23, 2012

      There is no way to know, one way or another, if a complaint or inquiry has been filed with the Office of Special Counsel. That information is confidential. Both the County Social Servies Agency and the Office of Special Counsel will not disclose if there is an inquiry or investigation.

      I can only suppose, based upon the potential liability that SSA faces, that they have submitted an inquiry and are awaiting a response before they take action.

  11. Veryconfused Veryconfused June 23, 2012

    OK. I still don’t understand about the threats. Whatever?? Why threaten a possible but not confirmed complaint or inquiry when you should as a responsible law abiding person file a inquiry or whatever. Is there a law against file multiple inquires, of course not. Don’t be a chicken, when it’s the law and our duty to report. Otherwise there is something else at issue, just do it.

  12. cook cook June 24, 2012

    The only office that was partisan in the June election was for the President of the US, all the others are now non-partisan because of the top 2.

    Even the ballot had a whole page in the instructions dealing with partisan vs. voter nominated.

    Hatch act: May not be a candidate for nomination or election to public office in a partisan election.

    (State Assembly is not a partisan office anymore)

    Another unintended consequences of not understanding what is being votedon in an election.

    • Chris Prevatt Chris Prevatt June 24, 2012


      It is partisan if you’ve campaigned as a partisan candidate, accepted funds as a partisan candidate, and displayed a partisan ballot designation. Moreno did all of these things.

      • cooik cooik June 24, 2012

        Further Restricted Employees:

        May not be a candidate for nomination or election to public office in a partisan election.

        May be a candidate for public office in a nonpartisan election.

        Currently the state assembly elections are “Voter nominated” (non-partisan)
        Before the top 2 was passed, those elections were “party nominated” (partisan)

        I don’t think JOSE “JOE” MORENO, has violated the Hatch Act, but reading the example and a few of the case law sites, it appears sticky. And my opinion don’t count for much anyway.

        • Joe Hill Joe Hill Post author | June 24, 2012


          From the Office of Special Counsel FAQ’s:

          Can a nonpartisan election become partisan?

          Answer: Yes. If state or local law mandates a nonpartisan ballot for a particular local office, there will be a presumption that the election for that office is nonpartisan. If evidence is presented, however, that shows that partisan politics actually enter the campaigns of the candidates, e.g., the employee solicits the endorsement of a partisan group, advertises the endorsement of a political party, or uses the party’s resources to further her campaign effort, the nonpartisan election can be transformed into a partisan one in violation of the Hatch Act.

          Seems clear to me.

          • cook cook June 25, 2012

            I read that too.

            So what did he do other than have his name on the ballot?

    • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski June 25, 2012

      Guess you missed the central committee elections Cook. Those were completely partisan

      • cook cook June 25, 2012

        he wasn’t a canidate for the commitee and I think I read the hatch act does not apply to those because they are not elected public offices

  13. Veryclearitmightbeunconstitutional Veryclearitmightbeunconstitutional June 24, 2012

    Just looked the act. It’s not as clear as your answer. There are some constitutional issue that might conflict with it, like free speech or it may need to be reviewed given the voter nominated election.

    I would even recommend the ACLU or a good civil rights lawyer might help this candidate. If he prevails, The government would have to pay his lawyer fees so i think there would be many lawyers (who like politics) interested.

    But, it still seems that someone needs to man-up and file the complaint instead of acting like a school girl tattle tail.

    • Joe Hill Joe Hill Post author | June 25, 2012

      The Supreme Court has already ruled on the constitutionality of the Hatch Act.

      In 1939, the United States Congress passed the Hatch Act, which barred federal employees from taking part in political campaigns. In United Public Workers v. Mitchell, 330 U.S. 75 (1947), the U.S. Supreme Court had held that the Act did not violate the First, Fifth, Ninth, or Tenth amendments to U.S. Constitution.[1] The same day, in Oklahoma v. United States Civil Service Commission, 330 U.S. 127 (1947), the Court rejected a similar Tenth Amendment challenge to the Act.


      United States Civil Service Commission v. National Association of Letter Carriers, 413 U.S. 548 (1973), is a ruling by the United States Supreme Court which held that the Hatch Act of 1939 does not violate the First Amendment, and its implementing regulations are not unconstitutionally vague and overbroad.

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