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“Go for it,” Vern the Proprietor told me in the context of our speaking earlier this week about my joining the motley crew of stringers here at Orange Juice. ”You can write about whatever you want.”
Those aren’t verbatim quotes. (Neither is this quote from Vern: “You can even put things in quotes that people didn’t actually say,” which he also didn’t actually say.) But, I’m taking the “write about whatever you want” sentiment to heart, and I’m testing my boundaries. Here goes:
Art Pedroza!!! WTF???!!!
As I write this, at the top of the box at the right-hand corner of the screen, which links to stories from “New Santa Ana,” current blog of OJ’s former proprietor, is found a link to the following story: “Will Solorio endorse Daly for a job at the Clerk-Recorder’s office?”
I was intrigued by this, so I followed the link. Tom Daly already has a job at the Clerk-Recorder’s office — as Clerk-Recorder — so I couldn’t figure out why he’d need anyone’s endorsement, let alone Assemblyman Jose Solorio’s, for a job he already had. But that’s not what the story was about.
Here’s the gist of it: As reported here yesterday, Jose Solorio has second-billing (after Bill Lockyer) on the list of guests/endorsers at Tom Daly’s campaign kickoff event for AD-69 in two weeks, despite the fact that he already had top-billing as Michele Martinez’s guest/endorser at her campaign kick-off event last month. This apparently turned Art livid — vivid livid, as he’s spending much of his time on the blog promoting Martinez as the proper and inevitable victor in AD-69 – and he went after Daly and all associated with him with hammer, tongs, and a few surgical instruments that I don’t recognize. [See my personal disclosures re AD-69 at the bottom of this post.]
I’ll summarize the points in Art’s fulmination. (By the way, the “WTF?” above stands for “Wherefore Thy Fulmination?” What can I say, I like Shakespeare.) Art states that:
- Solorio is only doing this because he wants a job for the time between when he is termed out and when he (thinks he is going to) succeed Sen. Lou Correa in the new SD-34
- Solorio hired Daly’s wife to work in his office
- Solorio wants Daly to beat Martinez
- Daly’s replacement at the County will be his External Affairs Director, Jordan Brandman
(n.b., Pedroza selects a shot of Brandman here that depicts him in a pose and clothing befitting a cover model for I Am So Gay That Charles Busch Is Afraid To Write Plays About Me magazine — which proves nothing)
- Solorio wants Brandman to hire him as his External Affairs Director, a job with which Solorio had experience at OCTA
- Daly expects to beat Martinez in a district that is majority Santa Ana and majority Latino because … he is in league with Julio Pérez
- The arrangement is that Pérez will attack Martinez and give Daly a free pass
- Daly will then hire Pérez as his Political Director — the job that Perez has held with the Orange County Labor Federation
- Pérez is not on the ballot to win, but just to split the vote
- Daly wastes public money
… I think I’ll save #11 until I get through with #s 1-10
I rate the above assertions as follows:
- True so far as I know: #2
- Fair prediction for whenever it happens: #4 (not including picture)
- Conceivable but unsupported here: #10
- Speculative: #1, 3, 5
- Wildly speculative: #6, 7, 8
- Just wrong, wrong, wrongity wrong-wrong-wrong: #9
Beyond that, in AD-69 and a top-two primary world, the scenario makes no sense! These three Dems aren’t competing for a Democratic Party nomination, but against a minor league conservative Republican who will only take votes from Daly to the extent that he is successful at all! And … the Latino vote is the majority here. So play this out: only one or two Democrats (depending on how the Republican does), Pérez is out to divide the Latino vote with Martinez, trying to drag her down with him, and then when Daly and Martinez make the runoff he’s going to spend the following five months slagging her so that the district elects a relatively conservative Anglo — and he can leave a job promoting political positions that he clearly for one where he’d be continually frustrated by his boss’s relative conservatism? No fever burns hot enough for that addled dream to make sense.
If Pérez has a problem, it’s that he shares a hometown base (Anaheim) with Daly and an ethnic base (Latinos) with Martinez. If there were a tacit agreement in place to apportion both spots in a top-2 primary, it would presumably be to hammer away at Pérez from both sides. (And, in fact, Solorio — who seems to dislike Pérez — has endorsed to achieve that end.) But, Solorio’s grudges aside, I don’t know that there is such an arrangement — and I’m not going to assert it as a fact, or even a strong suspicion. Bloggers get to speculate; we don’t get to lie.
Look, folks: we have exactly 13 months between today and Election Day, Nov. 6, 2012. I suggest some ground rules for those covering OC politics in the blogs (and in the less freewheeling media as well).
- Ground rule 1: Don’t do this sort of thing.
- Ground rule 2: Speculate as much as you want. Label it as such. Avoid declarative statements that are fuhhhreaky!
- Ground rule 3: Go ahead and write about why you think that a particular candidate may be in trouble. I did it just yesterday, regarding Martinez. But don’t just wildly make up facts to justify your assertion.
[ED Note: Originally there was a Photoshop here of Art in drag with Matt Drudge, inspired by an offensive paragraph Art had written in his post. Now Art has deleted that paragraph, so, per my agreement, that Photoshop is gone. It was pretty wild though!]
Now all that, by itself, would not have been enough for me to stop operating on a heart patient and crank out a blog post in the middle of the day. Unfortunately, this dial goes to 11. Here’s what Pedroza wrote:
[ED Note: Art deleted the offending paragraph in question, so the description of it below is also now deleted...]
Memo to Art: you write some good stuff sometimes. You seem to cherish your role as the Matt Drudge of OC. You may not think that this is beneath you. I hope that you’ll pretend that it is, though, because it makes me want to never read another … You can do better than this, Art. One hopes so, anyway.
Memo to Michelle Martinez: this hit piece was done to help promote your candidacy. That means that it falls upon you to denounce at least the use of insinuations in point #11 — and as much of the rest as you see fit. This sort of crap only stops if decent people, among whom I count you, treat it as crap. So, please let Art know that this is not what you want. I have faith that you’ll do just that — and when you have, please let us know that you did.
(1) I support Julio Pérez in the AD-69 race; I am not affiliated with his campaign. I do so because I got to know a lot of people in OC politics while I served as Jerry Brown's County Coordinator (later Co-Coordinator) last year, and no one exceeded Julio in terms of knowledge, perspicacity, industriousness -- and honesty. As you may know, union groups -- like the OC Labor Federation, where Julio is on leave as Political Director -- aren't supposed to coordinate with candidate campaigns. As you may suspect, this is sometimes treated with a wink and a nod. Julio made it clear to me that there were some union activities that he couldn't talk to me about after a certain date -- and some that he couldn't talk to me about at all. And he stuck to it. That's the kind of person I want to see in Sacramento.
(2) I have no animus towards Michele Martinez, Pedroza's actions aside. I'd be happy to see her do well in her career and for that career to eventually include legislative office. She'd be fine, but we can do better than fine.
(3) I wouldn't support Daly solely because he's more conservative than I prefer and than I think this district warrants (and I wish he hadn't run because I think that the most Latino district in the state ought to be represented by a Latino), but I have no current reason to believe any of the attacks against him. I've never met him. I would have supported him for Supervisor had he ran. I know and like his Dad Bill, who's active in North OC politics.
(4) When I moved back to OC from New York via a brief Campaign Management stint in Nevada, I started attending Drinking Liberally events in Santa Ana, where I met and occasionally talked to Art Pedroza, Michele Martinez, and many of the liberals in the area whom Art appears to hate -- including The Liberal OC's Chris Prevatt, whom I consider a "political friend." After a while, I stopped attending -- largely because I didn't like the personal vindictiveness of the politics I saw many practicing, of which Art's post reminds me. Now you know.]