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Karina Onofre

Karina Onofre

A few people have sent me an unusual press release from the campaign of Karina Onofre, the Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-Democrat Karina Onofre running for the 74th Assembly District. She’s created a task force to bring the LA Clippers professional basketball team to Orange County. AD 74 runs along the coast from Huntington Beach to Laguna Beach, extending inland to take in Costa Mesa and Irvine below the I-5 freeway.

According to her campaign press release, Onofre’s “Orange County Clippers Task Force” are: Donald Craig, attorney and President of Orange County NAACP; Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait; Joyce Hall, Orange County Food Bank community activist; Lou Rossetti, Executive Director of Apartment Association of Orange County and former District Director for Congressman John Campbell; Jeff Shanton, Orange County business owner and Lakers fan; Katherine Daigle, community activist and former candidate for Irvine Mayor; Jeff Belle, sports attorney and African American political advocate; S. Deacon Alexander, President of L.A. Black Panther Association and former Green Party candidate for Governor; Max Trueblood, airline analyst and twenty-two year Clippers fan; Efrain Nuno, business owner and founding member of ADELSA (Asociacion de Empresarios Latinos de Santa Ana); Edgar Sebastian, Telemundo reporter, founder of InterAmericana sports league and small business restaurant owner.

Onofre doesn’t says where in Orange County (which she refers to as “our hometown”) she wants to locate the team, but Anaheim – although it lies outside of AD74 – would seem to be the natural location, being the only Orange County city with an NBA-ready arena.

On her Facebook page, Onofre says bringing the Clippers here “will give Orange County our very own NBA team, stimulate our local economy, create hundreds of new jobs, and enhance our quality of lives for generations to come!”

Onofre’s cheerleading makes Mayor Tait’s inclusion seem odd, since he and his supporters have been hostile to the idea that having a professional sports team stimulates the local economy, creates hundreds of news jobs and enhances quality of life for generations. At least, that’s how their attitude toward the professional baseball team that’s been in Anaheim for half-a-century.

The press release’s goofiness makes it hard to take Onofre’s effort seriously:

When asked to address concerns Onofre’s involvement was a ploy to publicize her State Assembly bid, she replied, “Being a candidate helps magnify the fact that we in Orange County are on-fire-serious about bringing the Clippers to Orange County. I’ve invited my leading State Assembly opponent, Newport Beach Republican Keith Curry to join the Task Force! I hope he accepts.”

Also asked if she would step aside once Orange County Clippers Task Force is up and running, Onofre replied, “As my campaign gets closer to June 3rd Primary Election, this has really taken attention from me! But I will continue to balance my passion to be your State Assembly representative and my lifelong passion to have an NBA team in our hometown and bring the Clippers to Orange County! Contact me at or 714-360-2011.

Who was asking her those questions about a task force she hadn’t announced?

Throughout 2011 and into 2012, Mayor Tait said he was very optimistic the Sacramento Kings were coming to Anaheim, but wasn’t able to bring it off. The Anaheim business leader who ought to be on her task force is missing: Henry Samueli, who owns the Ducks, runs the Honda Center and financed upgrading the arena so it can accommodate an NBA franchise.

May 24: Onofre’s campaign placed an ad in the OC Register today, using the same photo above. Her promises:

– “I will create Hi- Tech Knowledge based jobs!

She’ll create them personally? Also, they apparently won’t be grammar-based jobs.

– “I will Preserve our Safe Neighborhoods, sandy beaches and Beautiful Open Spaces!”

Single-handedly? Will she do anything about our Unsafe Neighborhoods?

“- I will help you reach your dreams!”

Is this Karina Onofre, or Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite?

She promises that “whey I get elected…I’ll put the cities of Irvine, Costa Mesa, Laguna Woods, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach and Huntington Beach first.” Except when it comes to bringing the Clippers to OC, right? Then Anaheim will come first, right Karina?