Ong Is Trying To Outflank Quirk For Far Left Voters, 20th Assembly Immigrants

ELECTION ‘12//ASSEMBLY 20//ANALYSIS | When it comes to the newfangled open primary system, the appearance of two Democrats on the November ballot has proven to show early and expected signs of fraying upon the party fabric. This is happening in the nearby 18th Assembly, but not so much in the 20th where former Hayward Councilman Bill Quirk has the solid backing of the district’s Democratic Party over political newcomer Dr. Jennifer Ong, another Democrat. So, it makes sense for Ong to move to the left of the already solidly blue Quirk. In fact, Ong is going full bore in immersing her rhetoric with the words of the Occupy movement.

Wednesday night, Ong commingled her soft opposition to Proposition 30, the governor’s sales tax initiative on the November ballot, with calls to help those with less. Her opponent, Quirk, has made his support for the measure one of the major policy pegs of his campaign. Many other Democrats have also taken to stumping for the proposition, but not Ong, who admits her stance has elicited frowns from local party leaders. “Of course, I’ve had pressure from the party, but if I was here just to do what everyone else says I’m supposed to do, instead of who I’m supposed to be serving, then why should I even run for office?” said Ong. “This is it. This is where I’m supposed to say something. Were we serious about the Occupy Movement? Because that’s who I’m listening to.”

In most ways, being elected to the State Legislature is like becoming a small fish in a big pond. Ong says she understands the ramifications, if elected, for eschewing the party line. “It’s a big risk for me, but I’m speaking more for people with a lesser voice and I thought that’s what the Democratic Party was standing for, too.” Ong, however, says she is not actively telling voters to vote against Prop. 30, but for herself, she cannot back it. “I won’t be able to personally support that,” said Ong. “It’s trying to stick it to the poor.”

Her move to the far left would appear to be a strategy to gain the support of hardcore Progressives who may feel disillusioned by President Barack Obama’s lack of action over the past four years on social and economic issues regarding the disaffected and poor. While many of those type of voters largely exist in more liberal Oakland rather than the Hayward area, Ong is co-opting some of their rhetoric to gain a larger portion of a demographic that does dominate the 20th District—immigrants.

Although, Ong denied the allusion to the Filipino populist uprising of 25 years ago called “People Power” used during last Wednesday’s forum was used on purpose, it nonetheless makes sense when gaining the vote of people steeped in the immigrant’s experience. “It’s not about who you are connected with or how much money you have,” said Ong, “it’s actually what you believe in, and if you work hard in this country, people power still works.”

Categories: AD20, Bill Quirk, Democrats, Hayward, Jennifer Ong, Jerry Brown, occupyoakland, President Obama, progressives, Prop. 30, sales tax

4 replies

  1. Ong dumb as always flip flopping and now something different what she said in the primaries. I will not vote for a flip floper.


  2. I am very disappointed in Jennifer Ong her inexperience shows. She did not even put out a candidate statement for the November election.
    I voted for her because she was for prop 30 at the primaries. If I had known she was such a wishy candidate I would not have voted for her. So sad. I think the people are right Jennifer Ong is dumb.


  3. It takes gall to claim you are defending the poor and listening to the Occupy Movement by opposing Proposition 30. Public schools, community and State colleges, and many other policies and programs which Occupiers defend and wish to expand are in desperate need of the revenues Proposition 30 would bring.

    It is also disappointing that Jennifer, a good woman in many ways, either does not understand or is willing to lie about the balance of citizens who would pay into Proposition 30. 79% of the revenue which would be gained would come from Californians with over $533,000 in annual income. Only 5% would come from those with incomes less than $37,000, and only 1.7% would come from from those with incomes less than $22,000. Someone aspiring to the Legislature should carry the knowledge or honesty necessary to educate voters on this basic issue of State revenue.

    Here's good detailed information about Proposition 30:

    In my view,


  4. Jennifer is the dumbest candidate I have seen trying to run for a state seat in a looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong time
    Previous post is right. She did miss not having a candidate statement. And she does not understand the propositions.


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