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Novelist / Politician
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FEC ID# C00581207

EMAIL BILL | OPPONENTS... Isadore Hall III (D-Compton)  |  Nanette Barrigan (D-San Pedro)  |  Marcus Musante (D-Compton)  |  Chris Castillo (R-Wilmington)

The Flag
Bill's campaign for Congress
As your congressman, I'll be like Pizza Man.
You'll see me all the time, and I'll deliver.

Protesting Donald Trump an all-American experience


This campaign is about America's greatness, which is always a worthy subject for those seeking federal office.

Despite bitter differences that divide Americans, we remain the greatest power on the planet, and have been for a century. But a quick look through history shows how the greatness of a nation can be easily lost, when the people are consumed by bitterness and stop working together.

I believe in the greatness of the American people -- in their ingenuity and productivity, their innate fairness and decency. I believe in the boundlessness of this nation's future.

Our government, though, is completely broken. Dysfunction threatens our nation's ability to retain our greatness in the world.

I cast a pox on both parties.

But as Americans, we have also lost our sense of what the mission of this nation should be.

Americans used to work together to achieve great goals. We won WWII. We defeated Soviet communism. We landed human beings on the moon. But we've been disunited for decades.

A nation born of revolution and sustained through sacrifice must know its mission, so that we can put the world's most productive people to work, on great endeavors.

Politics need not be tackle football on every play. If we are to retain America's greatness, then we must build bridges between ourselves, stop yelling at each other, and work together.

My pathway to victory is incredibly narrow. This race may not succeed at electing me, but the message of America's national mission is one that I hope other candidates -- of both parties -- will adopt. Let there be in the next Congress an intrepid band of Americans who work across party lines, to help retain this nation's greatness.

I ask for your vote for Congress.



Summer newsletter -- front
Summer 2015 -- Front Page PDF

Summer newsletter -- back
Summer 2015 -- Back Page PDF

LETTERS TO THE TIMES "History, Warts and All" (on the Confederate Flag) (July 14, 2015)



Novelist enters race for Janice Hahn’s congressional seat
Long Beach, Calif. – July 1, 2015 – When U.S. Rep. Janice Hahn (D-San Pedro) decided to chase a lifelong dream, by running for the County Board of Supervisors, she set in motion a game of musical chairs.

Hahn’s 44th congressional district – running from Watts, South Gate, Lynwood and Compton, through Carson and north Long Beach, and taking in all of Wilmington and San Pedro – is prime property for a Democrat.

Coveting the seat are state Sen. Isadore Hall (D-Compton), and Hermosa Beach city councilwoman Nanette Barrigan.

The newest candidate in the race holds no elective office, but he certainly knows politics.

Bill Orton (Ind-Long Beach) spent 15 years working for five members of the state legislature. He’s been a PR guy for the union representing west coast dockworkers, and president of the Long Beach Democratic Club.

His top priority as a congressman?

Inspiring Americans to find a common mission for our nation.

“We used to come together to achieve enormous goals, like winning World War II, and defeating communism,” said Orton. “A nation such as ours, born of revolution and sustained through sacrifice, must find its mission, and that can only happen by building common ground across partisan divides.”

He even knows the subject of his first bill.

“It actually takes an act of Congress to change the faces on paper currency,” says Orton, who wants to put Ronald Reagan on the fifty, replacing Republican Ulysses S. Grant, and Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt on the twenty, replacing Democrat Andrew Jackson.

But in politics, the money question that matters isn’t whose face is on it, but how much you have.

Under California’s “top two” system, only the two finishers in the June 2016 primary will advance to the November general election.

The other two candidates for Janice Hahn’s seat just filed campaign finance reports with the Federal Elections Commission, detailing the money that poured in to each campaign.

How much did Orton raise? None, but the candidate says that since he can’t compete with money harvesting operations, he will find ways to make money matter less.

“Creativity will result in press coverage, community awareness, and a viral message, but that can only be the start,” said the 53-year-old writer, whose latest novel tells the story of two women whose marriage is dragged into the culture wars of the 2016 presidential election. “I want people to wake up and smell the power.”

He may not have money, but Orton spent six years working as a political staffer in a district that overlapped much of Hahn’s old seat, and earlier was the PR guy telling the dockworkers story, giving Orton a deep understanding of the complicated politics of a little-understood district.

Orton is also no stranger to campaigns.

In 2004, as a political consultant, he ran races for two Republicans, a Democrat, and a Libertarian. He guided a statewide candidate to a 15-point win in a contested primary, and raised $200,000 through direct mail.

Orton is unfazed about the work ahead.

“Between retail politics, media, and the digital campaign, the tools to start a mini-revolution are in place,” says Orton. “Bold, clear positions on issues that regular people care about makes revolutionary change possible.”

Does talk of revolution play well to both parties?

“The Liberty Movement shows that Republicans are all about revolution,” said Orton, recounting one of his GOP campaign clients, Maggie Underhill, of Lakewood, whom he called “TEA Party before there was a TEA Party.”


A lightning round.
  • Pro-choice, pro-labor, pro-environment..
  • Single payer? Yep.
  • Champion our ports? I will.
  • Freeway toll-lanes? Absolutely not!!!
  • Veterans medical and mental health care? Damn straight. It is a sacred promise.
  • Restore the Voting Rights Act? We must.
  • Comprehensive immigration reform? Si.
  • Label GMOs? Absolutely.
  • Marijuana? Treat it like alcohol. No open container, no DUI, not for minors; otherwise legal, taxed, regulated.
  • Enough gun laws? Let's enforce the laws we already have.
  • Universal preschool for 3-year-olds? Yes. Prosperity lay in people attaining their full potential. That starts with early childhood education.
  • Shipping lanes in an ice-free Arctic? Unwise.
  • Homeslessness... Think what you want about homeless adults, but kids are total innocents. They had no say in their fate. We should feed homeless kids and give them the normalcy of going to a school... one that helps their family get services.

What will Bill spend his congressional career seeking to bring back to the 44th?
  • San Pedro Butane Tank Farm... Get Dept of Energy into talks with Plains All-American about the company vacating their site.
  • The Waterfront... Get the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Admin to berth vessels at AltaSea to study ocean acidification, whale incursions into shipping lanes, and sea-level rise.
  • Carson... Create a National Institute on Goods Movement, at CSUDH.
  • Asian Pacific Trade... Work with the ports and myriad agencies to boost trade with Samoa, the Philippines, and Cambodia, but I would vote no on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
  • Somewhere in the 44th... A federal building dedicated to handling immigration and naturalization cases, with space for an OSHA office (to investigate accidents at the ports), EPA (to monitor air and water quality), Army Corps of Engineers, and Fish & Game.

We have to take care of it forever... or we can't live.
  • EARTH... Massive federal effort, with legislation if necessary, to save bees, which stand as perhaps God's greatest gift to the planet; investment in topsoil preservation; a federal version of the Williamson Act, to reduce the pressure to turn cropland over for residential development; coordination with Native American nations on habitat restoration and long-term, sustainable economic development on reservations; support through USDA of urban victory gardens to encourage a re-connection with the cycle of growing seasons.

  • WATER... Greater capture, percolation, treatment, and re-use of stormwater runoff; the soft-bottoming of channels now hardened with concrete, like the Los Angeles River; continued talks between the feds and California to assure the continued viability of the Great Central Valley as our nation's most productive cropland; restoration of degraded wetlands, particularly along the Gulf Coast; research to advance desalination to bring down costs and lessen environmental impact; and bringing realistic assumptions into the management of the Colorado River watershed.

  • FIRE... Investment in forest management, to reduce the fuel accumulation that leads to super fires; added firefighting resources, in light of dryer hotter times; matching funds for state and local firefighting, since the fire "season" is now year round.

  • AIR... Mandate all US sea and air ports create emission reduction plans for mobile sources, similar to work done by the ports of LA & LB; cooperative efforts with the major automakers on electric battery technology.

How do we send people to war?
How do we treat them when they come home?

  • WAR... We must be prepared for major warfare, but anticipate fighting asymetrical conflicts against force like the Islamic State and Al-Queda, but a headlong screaming plunge into war is irresponsible. We must brace for sacrifice, but choose conflicts carefully, so any sacrifices hold meaning.

  • ON THE FRONT... We need more forces, particularly throughout the Marines, in civil administrative units of the Army, and special operations in each service. Full integration of women into all jobs in the military must continue. We need more airlift, like the C-17 Globemaster, which is the modern truck for moving personnel and materiel. With more airlift comes the need for more air bases.

  • WHEN THEY GET HOME... Everyone exiting military service gets a full physical and mental health assessment, which is formally conveyed to the VA. Guarantee three months of home base stationing after final deployment, to conduct health assessments and give a transition into civilian life. Include contract provisions to give exiting personnel a dog or gym card, to smooth the transition.


Bill's Novels
The 'Hope for Change' trilogy

Go, Washington Fat Cats

A Business Plan
Monument House

Father's Day Essay
Two Years on the Water

Election Finale 2008
POTUS Knows Best

September 3, 2008
Palin masters first week on national stage

July 22, 2008
Shoot them, try them or set them free

June 1, 2008
The Anvil of History

March 4, 2008
Cheers, Mr. Roosevelt

February 20, 2008
Going Beyond a Single Word

February 6, 2008
The President's Lawyers Fight our Troops on Health Care

August 22, 2007
Lots of ’splaining to do

July 12, 2007
More Happy Talk from the President

April 13, 2007
End the Army's Bull Puckey

April 12, 2007
Americans in the crosshairs of death

January 30, 2007
SPEECH: The Three Paths to Power

November 11, 2006
Clean Government, Civility and Cooperation

October 8, 2005:
Bill's break of support for Senator McCain

June 28, 2005:
On the President’s War Speech

January 1, 2004:
The Three Rs: The Path to National Recovery

November 22, 2003:
In Memorium: John Fitzgerald Kennedy

November 3, 2003:
Iraqi farmers, Achilles & The President

September 24, 2003:
The President's Most Feared Foe

May 31, 2003:
Springtime Snowflakes: The Rummygram Blizzard

May 13, 2003:
George, Victoria & Empire: A new ballgame for "The Big A"

April 1, 2003:
Resign, Mr. Rumsfeld

March 13, 2003:
The War, the President & Mr. Lincoln

March 6, 2003:
Press conferences, U.N. vetoes and Jacques Chirac

March 1, 2003:
IRAQ: War, Peace & Secrecy

February 13, 2003:
Ari's 'Old News,' or Who let the North Koreans get The Bomb

Jan 27, 2003:
POLITICAL SUPERBOWL: Our team isn't scoring too many points, but the game isn't over.

January 13, 2003:
Stopping the Second Korean War

May 22, 2001:
GMO labeling & testing is cure for crop export panics

Bill's 2002 campaign for the state legislature

Campaign Home Page

Press Releases Page

Sample ballot candidate statement

The 'First Day in Office' series
First Ten Bills
First Ten Phone Calls
First Ten Resolutions
First steps on budget reform

Bill Didn't Win
Official Election Results
Bill's Concession Statement

Congratulations to those who Bill endorsed during the race who won their own elections:
  • Margie Rice, Russ Parris and Andy Quach, in Westminster
  • Bruce Broadwater and Mark Leyes, in Garden Grove
  • Jill Hardy, in Huntington Beach
  • Jack Rosenthal, in Rossmoor
  • Tom Daly, of Anaheim
  • Esther Wallace, of West Anaheim
  • Denese Jayne Mansfield Reinking, in the Anaheim Union HSD
  • Matt Harper, Brian Garland and Bonnie Castrey, of the HB Union HSD
  • Lan Nguyen, of Garden Grove Unified
  • Laura Lee, of Cerritos
  • Jenny Bethune, of Carson
Warm wishes to local candidates Bill endorsed who step from the arena unbowed:
  • Frank Feldhaus, of Anaheim
  • Joey Racano, Steve Ray and Jim Moreno, of Huntington Beach
  • Joe Pak, of Garden Grove
  • Sergio Contreras, of Westminster Unified
  • Victor Manalo, of Artesia

Bill Orton is a novelist and historian living in Long Beach, California.