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    Endorsement: Vote no on recall of Santa Ana Councilmember Jessie Lopez
    • October 26, 2023

    Voters have started receiving their ballots for the recall election of Santa Ana Ward 3 Councilmember Jessie Lopez. We urge an emphatic No vote. The final date to submit ballots is Nov. 14.

    We certainly have our differences with her on policy. But this recall really is about the lock-grip on power in the city of the Santa Ana Police Officers Association. The police union and its allies have offered a litany of tangential reasons for the recall, but there’s no reason to pretend this is anything other than a power grab.

    Lopez retorted in a Register op-ed that the real reason for the recall is that she stood up to longtime police union boss Gerry Serrano, who was recently “separated from city service.” Lopez supported requiring Serrano to actually perform police work, since he was being paid with taxpayer funds, and pushed “for a public review of millions of dollars in healthcare funds being given to the POA every year.”

    That is why she is facing a recall attempt. Don’t let anyone mislead you into thinking otherwise.   

    According to the Registrar of voters, the recall itself will cost taxpayers from $607,403 to $666,990. A replacement election could double that amount. What a waste. 

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    It was just three years ago when the POA led the recall of Councilmember Ceci Iglesias for opposing $25 million in fiscally irresponsible police raises. Politically, Iglesias and Lopez couldn’t be any more different. The key linking both recalls is the ire of the POA.

    When in 1911 Gov. Hiram Johnson explained the recall and initiative and referendum reforms, he said they were not “the panacea for all our political ills.” The 2024 primary election for this office is next March 5, just around the corner. Then those who disagree with Lopez on policy can back another candidate when the next election comes.

    But if the POA gets away with another recall, no councilmember would dare resist it in the future. It would become the dictatorship of Santa Ana. This union must be tamed. It must be brought under the control of the voters. The only way to do that is to roundly defeat the recall of Jessie Lopez. Vote No.

    ​ Orange County Register