Real Choices in Southern California’s Primary Election



As a resident of Southern California I feel compelled to address an issue that should be of grave concern to us all. It’s about the perversion of the political process and a cynical attempt by one candidate to manipulate her way into public office.

I am speaking of a candidate for the California’s 74th Assembly District Seat, a seat that represents the voters of Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Woods, and Newport Beach. That candidate is Karina Onofre.

Let me tell you a little bit about her. In 2012 Onofre ran unsuccessfully as a Republican during the nonpartisan Santa Ana City Council race.  Now the former self-proclaimed conservative Republican is seeking to replace Republican state Assemblyman Allan Mansoor.  Earlier this year Onofre claimed she is a friend of the Tea Party and then after months of campaigning as a conservative GOP politician she switched her political affiliation to Democratic and did so at the last possible moment.

So please someone, anyone, please explain why Karina Onofre is running for public office and how can she possibly represent the citizens of the 74th Assembly District when she herself doesn’t seem to know what she is or even what she believes?  There is something especially frightening about a candidate that in such a short time believes herself to be a “conservative Republican,” then a Tea Party sympathizer, then registers as a Democrat at the filing deadline.

Onofre was quoted last month by the OC Register as saying, “It’s definitely going to take time making the switch, but I know I’m going to earn the Democratic trust.”  Well I for one am tired of politicians that either don’t have or that switch beliefs on a dime and ask us to trust them.  If a candidate wants our vote, first they need to get out and work tirelessly for the issues that matter.  Demonstrate who you are by your deeds, don’t expect the electorate to simply accept your words.  You haven’t earned that right and the Democratic Party under whose banner Onofre seeks to present, has refused to endorse her. The California Political Review, hardly a liberal publication, said of Karina: “Karina Onofre is Simply an Awful Assembly Candidate.”

But I’ll let Karina Onofre’s own words speak of her delusions:

1. “I was a Democrat before seeing the light and becoming a Republican. So I’ve been there and I know what it’s like and what they, what they do and what they’re thinking.”

2. “I can easily cross party lines and gather support, because I can genuinely relate to both. And representing the future of the Republican Party, I can help our Party grow and make our state conservative bloody red again.”

3. “I believe that people that stay home and collect unemployment are not as creative, not as innovative, and not as bright and engaged in our economy…”

And finally:

4. “We have wonderful role models, like Sarah Palin.”

Well, at least we know Onofre’s role model and apparently her intellectual inspiration. We also know Karina Onofre may be many things, but she most certainly is not a Democrat and the Democratic Party certainly doesn’t want her, regardless of her attempt to pretend to be one to obtain elected office.

In the course of two years all Onofre has demonstrated by her deeds is conservative Republicans can’t trust her, Tea Party conservatives can’t believe her, and Democrats can’t support her.  I hope and trust that the citizens of the 74th District will send a message loud and clear, that we expect better.  Integrity, beliefs, and deeds matter.

Seriously, my friends, we deserve better.

Thankfully we do have options.  Last week on my show I spent nearly two hours having a conversation with the candidate actually endorsed by the Democratic Party, Anila Ali.  Please go to KX.OneLaguna.Com or to Anila Ali’s Facebook page to listen to our discussion of issues including education, the economy, minimum wage, and much more. I think you’ll find Ali to be intelligent, thoughtful and insightful.

When you listen you’ll find that as an educator herself, Anila Ali supports investment in our children, both in K through 12 and in our colleges and universities.  She believes in investing in renewable energy such as wind and solar because of what they mean to business and the environment. Anila Ali also understands the importance of access to healthcare, and while supporting the Second Amendment she also recognizes the need to have reasonable gun control laws.

The antidote to political game-playing is an informed electorate.  I hope you’ll listen to the Anila Ali interview and make an informed decision based on your values and your beliefs, whatever they may be.

Ari Grayson is host of “Perspectives ~ with Dr. Ari Grayson,” broadcast Saturday on

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