Political Landscape: Assembly veterans committee supports O.C. cemetery

A bill that would allow the establishment of a state veterans cemetery in Orange County earned unanimous support in the Assembly's Veterans Affairs Committee, the bill's author, Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton), announced.

The bill is expected to be heard in the Appropriations Committee next week.

Quirk-Silva, who chairs the Veterans Affairs Committee, said in a statement, "Orange County's veterans and their families deserve an accessible location to celebrate the life and contributions of the brave men and women who have courageously served our nation."

Assembly Bill 1453 is a necessary step toward the construction of a cemetery for local veterans, who have pushed for the city of Irvine to make room for one in the Orange County Great Park.

It would request a federal grant to establish the cemetery to be run by the state.

Members of the local veterans community spoke at the bill's committee hearing in Sacramento, according to a news release from Quirk-Silva's office.

"I believe that a Southern California state veterans cemetery would be a valuable benefit [to] the families of those soldiers who spent part or all of their lives defending our freedoms," said Robert Brower, a longtime Irvine resident and a decorated Vietnam veteran.

Officials throughout the county have backed the bill, though some have expressed concern about getting veterans' hopes up when the state may not have the money to maintain such a facility.

Others have said Quirk-Silva, in taking up the veterans' plea, is making the idea something of a political football. Quirk-Silva is up for re-election this year.

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Moorlach endorses Mansoor

Assemblyman Allan Mansoor (R-Costa Mesa), who is running for Orange County supervisor, has been endorsed by the man he is vying to replace.

Supervisor John Moorlach, who represents the board's 2nd District, will be termed out next year.

"Allan Mansoor pretty much grew up in this district," Moorlach, a longtime county official who lives in Costa Mesa, said in a statement. "He has a solid understanding of local issues and wouldn't have much of a learning curve. He could hit the ground running."

Mansoor debated his opponents — state Board of Equalization member Michelle Steel, Coast Community College District Trustee Jim Moreno and Huntington Beach councilman Joe Carchio — earlier this week at the most recent Feet to the Fire forum.

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Petros, Daigle, Hill back Steel

Board of Equalization member Michelle Steel recently announced a round of endorsements.

In a news release Friday, she said she had won the support of almost 60% of the 52 council members in the 2nd Supervisorial District, where she is leading the field of four candidates in fundraising.

Among those supporting her are Newport Beach Mayor Rush Hill, along with council members Leslie Daigle and Tony Petros.

She also listed Seal Beach Mayor Ellery Deaton and Fountain Valley Mayor Michael Vo as supporters.

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Deukmejian, Hutchens are Curry's co-chairs

Assembly District 74 candidate Keith Curry announced a slate of honorary campaign co-chairs this week, including Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens and former Gov. George Deukmejian.

"I have known Keith Curry for decades," Deukmejian said in a statement. "He is just the kind of strong, conservative, Republican leader we need in Sacramento today."

Among the other honorary co-chairs are local political heavyweight Marian Bergeson, former secretary of education and state senator, and the current mayors of Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Irvine and Laguna Woods — Rush Hill, Elizabeth Pearson, Steven Choi and Bert Hack, respectively.

Steve Rosansky, Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer and former mayor, was also listed.

Curry, a former mayor of Newport Beach who currently sits on the City Council, leads fundraising in the race.

"I am privileged to have the support from so many established community leaders from every city in the district," he said in a statement. "I look forward to working with all the cities and residents of our district to improve our representation, reduce taxes and regulations, and get California moving in the right direction again."

His opponents are Huntington Beach Mayor Matthew Harper, teacher Anila Ali, Assembly aide Emanuel Patrascu and small-business owner Karina Onofre.

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