Our conservative-minded friends up north at OCPolitical in Orange County (imagine them as OC’s version of your trusty SDRostra blog) have been writing lately about a term limits conundrum that’s occurred in their
most populous city county seat, Santa Ana.
Three-term Councilwoman and Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez, a Democrat, is seeking a legal ruling through a third party on whether or not a 2008 ballot measure in that city would guarantee her the option of running for a fourth term.
The third party who filed the suit, Alvarez’s appointed Santa Ana Parks and Recreation Commissioner Max Madrid, is being represented by none other than Republican Steve Baric — who serves as Mayor Pro Tempore of Rancho Santa Margarita, and vice-chair of the California Republican Party.
So, while this story may not tie directly to San Diego politics, it does provide an interesting question that deserves to be raised about Vice-Chairman Baric.
Why is an accomplished, strongly conservative attorney like Mr. Baric willingly representing the interests of a partisan Democrat, who has run for partisan office — twice — and is seeking to run for a possible fourth term on a city council in staunchly Republican Orange County?
It should be noted that Councilwoman Alvarez last year invoked an ethnic slur from the dais during a council meeting when she compared successful Santa Ana businessman Irv Chase, who happens to be Jewish, to Adolf Hitler.
Although Councilwoman Alvarez later issued an apology, the comments brought bi-partisan condemnation from both the Orange County Republican and Democratic parties, among other politically active non-profits and organizations.
To be fair, I’m not fully aware of how Baric runs his practice personally, although he must be in-demand and successful enough to warrant bi-partisan legal opinions.
However, with the number of practicing attorneys throughout all of Orange County of many different political persuasions — Alvarez herself worked as a Deputy District Attorney — why did Baric not simply decline to accept the case given the background of its partisan-leaning?
It’s not out of the question as well that in all of the years Baric has been practicing law, that he wouldn’t know of at least a few Democratic-leaning attorneys that he simply could’ve forwarded the case to.
Just food for thought, I suppose.
However, it worries me that the next time you hear Baric — in any capacity as a state Republican official — give a speech about sticking to one’s conservative principles, helping to elect conservative Republicans, and/or defeating Democrats at ever level of government, you may want to consider the source.
Unless, of course, those sentiments are only felt on a case by case basis.
This isn’t the first time.
Represented disgraced Democrat Council Member John Tran in a recount. Lost.
Represented a Signal Hill council candidate in a recount and lost.