Batiste Campaign: Food For Votes

They’re at it again.

In August, it came out the Kenneth Batiste campaign was in disadvantaged neighborhoods in District 5, handing out food boxes topped with Batiste for City Council campaign flyers. Using food to appeal for votes was the brainchild of local blogger and Democrat activist Vern Nelson. A backlash prompted him to admit having the campaign use food to garner votes was not a good idea, and he promised not to do it again:

That promise didn’t last long.  Earlier this month, Batiste and Nelson were handing out food boxes, while wearing Batiste for Council campaign t-shirts:

Victor Valladares, a Jose Moreno protege and controversial former OC Democratic Party vice chair, chronicled it on his Facebook page.

Attuned to the apparent break with his promise not to use food as a campaign vote harvesting tool, Nelson quickly posted a comment explaining how he and Batiste simply had no time to put on different t-shirts (while taking a dig at Yesenia Rojas, whose sin is thinking for herself and supporting Councilman Steve Faessel):

Sure. There’s no way Batiste and Nelson could have ditched the campaign shirts so as not to coopt a food distribution as a campaign tool. It’s not as if the Batiste campaign had a history of using food to entice votes.


  1. Matt, why are you making this such an issue? I had extra food and I knew there was a need in this area so I allowed them to pick up and distribute food to those in need. Why does this need to be a Republican or Democrat issue when there are needy individuals of each party? This just shows that if someone does not have the same beliefs as you you make it look like a bad thing. We all need to support each other during this time of need and not work against each other just because they are affiliated with a different party than us.

    • George, your indignation is hard to take given that you frequently come on this site and anonymously trash others, like Steve Faessel and Harry Sidhu, under a fake name.

      Helping those in need is a good thing. Mixing campaigning for office with charitable giving is questionable, at best – especially from a crew of activists who routinely question the integrity and motives of those with whom they disagree (as you do, as well).

      I’m curious to know how you square being president of the Anaheim Republican Assembly while simultaneously supporting a left-wing Democrat like Councilman Jose F. Moreno?

  2. Don’t know where you received this false news.. please email me so that I may clarify. I am one of Kenneth Batiste volunteers.. thank you

    • David Michael Klawe

      False News, look at the photo….

      It isn’t like Vern Nelson admitted to breaking the rules on August 14th.

      The photo clearly shows a campaign violation.

  3. I can’t think of a single politician in OC who *hasn’t* participated in some sort of food distribution lately, and they all post about it on their Facebook pages. Kenneth has been helping with food sharing for years. Is he supposed to stop now, just because he is campaigning?
    Find something consequential to write about next time, Matt.

  4. Matt hasn’t been allowing me to post on this blog – it’s the silly season after all! But on my Facebook you can see quite an impressive array of photos, taken from SOAR and police union mailers, of Steve Faessel and Yesenia nobly giving out food in poor neighborhoods! But that’s different of course.

    My position is it’s good for Steve and Yesenia to give out food, and it’s good for me and Kenneth to give out food. Grow up, people.

    • “A” for effort on trying to blur the issue. You and Kenneth mix food distribution and campaigning for office. You try to justify by claiming Steve Faessel does the same thing – which is untrue. Plus, you and the other inhabitants of your hive publicly attack Yesenia Rojas for the sin of breaking from the pack and thinking for herself. You can’t agree to disagree: you attack her motives and integrity. And she’s not the only one who gets that treatment. That is par for the course for your faction, starting at the top with Councilman Jose F. Moreno, who is the king of insufferable moral posturing.

      • No, we criticize Yesenia for acting outraged about what we do, when she and Faessel do – YES – the same thing but in a way that someone with MILLIONS OF DOLLARS BEHIND THEM WOULD DO IT.

        Briefly: Kenneth has been giving out food for years, long before he decided to run for office. I started helping him a few months ago. ONE AFTERNOON in August I had literature on me and started handing it out along with the food; some friends criticized that and I decided they were right so I didn’t do it again. And one time in October Kenneth and I were still wearing our shirts from a day of campaigning, because the whole production was a last-minute rush. Big deal. I don’t apologize for still wearing our shirts. But we usually don’t.

        Faessel and his backers on the other hand get numerous pictures of themselves (along with Yesenia) handing out food, and include them on all their glossy mailers that have been deluging District 5 mailboxes, their TV ads, etc.

        Only someone already absurdly biased would look at that and say that what we do is “campaiging with food,” and what Steve (or his special-interest backers) do isn’t.

        Anyway this is a dumb issue. I hope Steve and Yesenia keep giving out food when they have access to it, and Kenneth and I will continue to do the same, before and after Nov. 3 however that goes.

    • “Matt hasn’t been allowing me to post on this blog – it’s the silly season after all!”

      Says the guy who blocks me from his Facebook page. And you aren’t banned – you are in comment moderation.

  5. Isn’t councilmember Faessel doing the exact same thing Mr. Cunningham? Why aren’t you calling him out?

  6. I helped at a couple of food giveaways where Faessel showed up and this is what I saw. Faessel and his wife got there as we were getting ready to start. The giveaway organizers told him what to do and he did it. His wife did some picture taking and then also helped. They stayed and helped the entire time. They took more pictures at the end with the organizers and left.

    I get Faessel’s mail advertisements because I live in his area and they have pictures of him helping at the giveaways. I see photos like that from Ling Ling Chang and Josh Newman mail too.

    Faessel was NOT there telling people to vote for him. Faessel was NOT there handing out fliers. He was NOT wearing a “vote for me” shirt.

    It really does look like this Bastite guy was trying to turn a food giveaway into a campaign event for him. That’s NOT right in my book.

    Those people in line for food were there because their families needed something to eat. They were NOT there to be told to vote for a politician.

  7. Vote Mayor Pro Tem Steven Faessel for District 5 Ctiy Council. One thing I am happy he did was fight for the return of our flag. He is good for District 5.

    • He was part of the crew that designed one of the three finalist flags for that “waste of time and money (like the American flag did in the late 50’s)” community building project. A flag that people businesses, and churches even liked for Pete’s sake. They even wanted to fly it in their homes and businesses and what not (their pursuit of happiness if you will) and he took that away from them, He’s no community leader.

  8. Here is the deal,
    This website helps balance out three other websites that constantly attack Faessel and Valencia. So pointing out that Ken Batiste is doing borderline things with shady characters is fair.

    Jose Moreno will stop at nothing to gain control of the city. Batiste and All the others that are on team Jose benefit greatly, while the people they are claiming to fight for get nothing.

    They are not nice about it either- nothing proves what hypocrites they are more than how they have treated anyone that doesn’t share their communist, socialist , victimhood narratives. If they can they destroy the careers of teachers, administrators, public servants and if they can’t touch their employment , they spread horrible lies and shameful attacks. Just look at what they have been saying about Yessenia Rojas – once used as their poster child, now vilified for Saying Steve Faessel is an honest and good person.

    Ken Batiste very well may be getting into this with all of the best intentions- I just hope that he understands that the support of the team Jose, along with the Rueles kiddie crew- comes at a price.

  9. Team Jose has a very repeatable and I would say to this point a very effective game plan.

    1. Convince the small cadre of active teachers union activists ( the ones that go to union meetings) that all candidates that are not on team Jose will support charter schools. Usually it’s not true, but the fear of charter school competition scares them to death.

    2. Use the school resources to walk the precincts- headed up by Ryan Rueles and his army of kids that think they are doing a good community service.

    3. Fire any principal or superintendent that questions Rueles’s tactics…. other employees like the one running for city council are also protected from any type of site discipline. One call to Jose, and either the pathway is opened or the obstacle is cleared.

    4. Blame any individual or company that has success in Anaheim for poverty. I think Tait associates is the only wealthy company that got a pass on this.

    5. Throw as much crap at all opponents- focus on their character and never concede that an opposition could just have a honest and valid difference of opinion. Always attack their character…. call them sell outs, look for any donations and see if you can call those who donate out as corrupt. Of course don’t tell anyone how we hire and promote our own family members!!!! Hahaha

    I too was once inspired by the amazing American success story that Jose Moreno embodies. But I am now sad that he offers little inspiration, rather it’s a message of how the man is holding you down.

    The truth is that what Disney and Arte Moreno do to maximize profit is what every for profit company in American does and if they didn’t do that way, the CEOs would be fired. Jose wants it both ways…. Run a business here in Anaheim and share all your profits with your workers…. Sorry that’s not how it works and if Anaheim insists it does, more and more companies will leave town.

    We can grow business , and partner for the community, we can also disagree on where to drawn the line…. but team Jose will never do that. You go all in with them or we call you all manner of names , attack your character and go after your job.

    Vote for hope, vote for teamwork, vote for lifeline Anaheim residents that have the support of the real teachers in the community, that have support of our hard working many homegrown police officers , that have support of ex mayor Tom Daly, congressman Lou Correa and the workers unions… vote for Faessel in district 5 and Valencia in District 4.

    • Wise words! But point of order, Lou Correa endorsed the third candidate in the D5 race, Sabrina Quezada, not Faessel. She too has been ostracized by this crowd for not going to kiss their ring apparently.

  10. Vote for Lucille Kring and not Juan Paolo Magacalas. One by one let’s get them out. Anyone is better than members of this group. We need to break up the Jose Moreno/Mike Matsuda, Juan Alvarez/Ryan Ruelas group hold on Anaheim’s School District.

    No on 15 and No on Juan Paolo Magcalas. Vote Lucille Kring she is better than Jose Moreno follower Magcalas. Let’s take back our schools. Let’s take back our city.


    • The important thing to remember is that Elections Code 18520-18522 are on the books to prevent the inducing of voters with money, gifts, employment or other valuable consideration to vote in a certain way.

      The behavior of Steve Faessel and other candidates that are advertising their participation in efforts to help those in need is perfectly acceptable. They are not trying to induce those people in need to vote for them by giving gifts of food.

      Vern Nelson, on the other hand, put himself and Kenneth Batiste in a terrible spot by asking for the votes of those people in need by distributing campaign materials along with the gifts of food. Vern claims that Batiste didn’t know about it. However, Vern is a part of Batiste’s campaign team and it would have been best for Batiste to dismiss him for such a stunt.

      Batiste doesn’t dismiss Vern. Instead, Batiste goes to another food distribution along with Vern wearing t-shirts that communicate a request to vote for Batiste while they are giving gifts of food to people in need.

      Vern can try to distract others by falsely accusing Steve Faessel of the same behavior or getting into an argument about who is blocking whom from a Facebook page. But, Vern Nelson and Kenneth Batiste are still responsible for their inappropriate actions.

      Vern’s distraction efforts are like an innebriated individual getting into his car to drive himself home. He excuses his behavior by saying, “Well, that other guy had a glass of wine.”

  11. I thought you had to be an adult to make comments. Those last comments belong in middle-school. Instead, we should be talking about the struggles that the American citizens are going through because our CA governor is so anti-American, and brags about his full support of illegals, criminals, violence, etc. and nobody seems to be able to restore lawfulness. Give all the food to our homeless veterans!!!

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