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The Passion of St. John Hanna

No doubt you have been reading Claudio’s posts about DPOC endorsements in the Orange Juice. Not only was I there, but I claim full responsibility for what went on. I still feel like a rug after a few good whacks of a broom.

Overall, things went well, considering what has to be done to make it work. Thank you Ray! My BIGGEST disappointment was the treatment of John Hanna, Democrat Extraordinairre, Conscientious Trustee for Rancho Santiago CCD (Community College District), and I hope, a Friend. Unfortunately, another friend (who may not remain one after this) did John dirty.

Let me begin by saying that John Hanna is an encyclopedia of political savvy and someone who has a strong sense of history with the DPOC. He has served as Chair or the DPOC back in the “Feel Good” seventies (sorry to date you John) and I believe an original member of the “Raucus
Caucus”. If you were to look at photos of John from the seventies, I swear he looked like George Harrison. John has served as a Chair for the State Party’s Resolutions Committee and is conscientious and fair. As a Trustee for the Rancho Santiago CCD, his primary goal is to do what is best for the students enrolled RSCCD.

What many of us hard-core partisans fail to respect is the fiduciary responsibility of our friends who are elected to non-partisan office. You must take care of your constituants before you get into the partians stuff. I seriously believe that constituants want the potholes filled, public buildings clean and safe, and tuitions reasonable – you don’t need an :R” or a “D” behind your name.

Because John puts the students and employees at RSCCD first, he is the guy who gets the PLA’s to assure decent wages for employees and capital improvements. He also works very hard to secure the necessary funds to make sure that the buildings are safe, and students have the necessary equipment for study and vocational training. This generally requires putting a bond measure on the ballot.

Since Reps hate anything that even suggests the word “investment”, in 2004, John had to make a “deal with the devil” to obtain the support he needed to pass a bond measure that would benefit RSCCD. He got the support he needed for the bond, but ended up having to endorse a
Republican (remember, he is a non-partisan trustee) in a partisan race. It cost him his membership with the County and State Democratic Central Comittees. I am not sure if it was necessary to do it again in 2006, but perhaps it was insurance. In both cases, John assumed responsibility for his decision and resigned from both COunty and State Central Committees.
Interestingly, one of our County Committee members continues to appoint him to the DPOC Central Committee AND the State Democratic Party continues to reappoint John to the State Central Committee where he does such an excellent job as Resolutions Chair. Does John like endorsing Reps – of course not – however he puts his district ahead of partisanship and has the respect of politicos on both sides of the aisle.

Our friends in Labor may be unhappy with a non-partisan to non-partisan endorsement in the June Primary, but the other Republican had spearheaded the Gray Davis recall. As a Democrat, John could not endorse Labor’s preferred candidate. Party loyalty came first for John on that one.

Unfortunately for John, one of our members could not wait to pull John Hanna from the consent calendar (he is the only Dem running in the only contested seat at RSCCD). My friend went on about John’s past transgressions, but implied (based on conversations the next day) that
John had made the Republican endorsement again for this election cycle. Another friend, who was assisting me thought John had also made an endorsement for Marilyn Brewer in last Novembers special election to fill Cox’s seat. 4 individuals spoke in favor of John and attempted to remind DPOC Central Committee members of John’s accomplishments as a Democrat and as a Trustee. These individuals were booed and cat-called. Needless to say, John was not endorsed.

For the record: John Hanna HAS NOT endorsed any Republican for this election cycle nor did he endorse Marilyn Brewer for last year’s special in the 48th CD. I asked him the day after his non-endorsement and he told me. Of course, now that the DPOC Central Committee has repudiated John for acting in the best interests of his district, he may as well endorse anyone he chooses, including any Rep.

I confess to being a Yellow Dog Democrat. (Voting/Endorsing republicans only encourages them), but I respect the situations our non-partisan Democrats are in and have learned to forgive and move on. So long as those Reps are working with our local representatives to improve our community (which is rare). IT does not mean that I will support any Rep for any office, but I will support my Dem friends in non-partisan office if it benefits the constituancy.

As a reminder to my friend and others who voted with her (and I do understand where you are coming from) we need to continute to support and cultivate out friendships with our brethren who hold non-partisan office, not vilify them. That’s what the OCGOP does.

In the meantime, I will help John Hanna in his bid for re-election (does anyone really want to vote for Hanna’s opponent?). John has a fundraiser here in beautiful downtown Santa Ana on September 19. I hope you can be there to support a real public servant.


  1. demmother demmother August 31, 2006

    I understand where the majority was coming from. I have been there myself. It feels like a kick in the gut and I went through my period of wanting to lambast without knowing all of the circumstances.From working with John and other non part Democrats, I have also learned of the difficulties they have – staying true blue and perhaps too mired in ideology or serving their community which is what they are elected to do.

    Bottom line – we need to create a majority in this county. That will give us more options.

    With the reps constantly working onour non part electeds to switch, I think we need to be more forgiving. We also need to keep communication and support going to diminish the possibility of one of our non partisan friends of endorsing or switching.

  2. Andrew Andrew August 31, 2006

    Now I like John Hanna on my community college board as well.

    However he did endorse Ed Royce in 2004. This was an endorsement for a very partisan Republican for a partisan office. Now from what I understand, Hanna said early this year that he was making no endorsement for the 40th Congressional at that point because of the contested Democratic primary between Christina Avalos and Florice Hoffman. However, he did promise to endorse whichever Democrat won the primary.

    Though Florice Hoffman won the primary, Hanna still has not endorsed her. This is why quite a few folks in Central OC are a little miffed at Hanna. Again, I appreciate Hanna’s work on the college board, and of course I personally support his reelection. However he has made questionable endorsements over the last couple of years, and unfortunately this situation turned into a nasty brouhaha.

  3. Andrew Andrew August 31, 2006

    Oops… I forgot to add something.

    Thanks, Susan, for the post. Seriously, this helps explain why many of you were disappointed with the non-endorsement of John Hanna. You have given a calm and reasonable defense of John Hanna, and I hope more of us on the “other side” take notice. He may have committed certain “misdeeds” with his endorsements, but that still gives us no right to slander an otherwise trustworthy trustee, honorable man, and longserving Democrat.

    As I’ve been thinking about this since Monday night, I’ve actually been grateful that I’m not a voting member of the Central Committee. This certainly made Monday’s meeting a painful one, but I hope this will not be blown out of proportion and further split our party.

    Hopefully, we can move on from this and work together on our crucial races this fall. We all know Lou Correa needs our help to win in SD 34. We all want to see some much-needed new faces on our city councils to serve alongside some old, friendly faces. We want to support all of our great Congressional challengers: Florice Hoffman, Jim Brandt, and Steve Young. We need to stay together this fall in order to make progress come November.

  4. Hanna rules! Hanna rules! September 1, 2006

    Unfortunately, Hoffman has turned into a very bitter candidate for Congress. I wish she would take all that bottled up anger and go walk a precinct rather than whine about John. She needs to get over it and move on. This is one Democrat that won’t be voting for her, but I will vote for John.

  5. demmother demmother September 2, 2006

    Thank You Muffin!

  6. […] John Hannah  Susan Freeze said it best in this post, so I’m just going to quote her verbatim: “John Hanna is an encyclopedia of political savvy and someone who has a strong sense of history with the DPOC… John has served as a Chair for the State Party’s Resolutions Committee and is conscientious and fair. As a Trustee for the Rancho Santiago CCD, his primary goal is to do what is best for the students enrolled RSCCD.” […]

  7. Ed Garza Ed Garza March 1, 2007

    why does Ed Royce need a democrat to do something for RSCCD? It seems to me that by bribing him with a democratic endorsement we are helping him to look good come election time and we are sowing dissent amongst democrats

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