All right, to review: on Wednesday night someone laundered a hit job through OC Register Sacramento correspondent Brian Joseph alleging that Julio Perez did not live in the 69th Assembly District, based on a contradiction (or almost-contradiction) in sworn statements between Perez (who claimed to live at a given address) and a process server (who claims that he couldn’t find him and was told by the occupant that she didn’t know him and he didn’t live there. Mysterious and benignly explicable, perhaps, but at the time still disquieting.
This was picked up by the Voice of OC, of all places, pretty much without challenge. Conservative apparatchik Matt Cunningham and libertarian car wreck Art Pedroza started pounding the story for all it was worth. On Thursday morning, Voice of OC editor Norberto Santana puts the story to rest. Those excited by the story are not, however, mollified. So Andrew Galvin, Joseph’s stablemate (along with Martin Wisckol) at the Total Buzz blog, went to Perez’s house, did some journalist torture tests, and came away convinced that Perez lives there. (One thing that suggests that he found legitimate and compelling evidence of Perez’s residence is that his employers would have loved, loved, loved for him to have found otherwise — but he didn’t.)
That would seem to have ended it, but certain more squirrely segments of the local political blogosphere appear to be unwilling to give up their toy. Despite the personal visits to the house, despite published photos of bills with Perez’s name at that address, despite logic, despite decency, despite any regard for good sense and fair play — they are continuing to pursue this supposed scandal (the value of which to them is purely as fodder for an inevitable hit piece mailer to be sent to low-information voters) no matter what.
Well, OK, then. No, seriously, we know how to handle it. This is the home county of Orly Taitz, for crying out loud. Do you think that we don’t know how to deal with crazed conspiratorial scandalmongers? I hate to do this, but everyone suit up and we can nip this particular piece of bullflop in the bud.
I am not in personal contact with the two candidates rumored to be the likeliest sources of this absurd anti-Perez attack — but I know that a lot of you are. What they have to do now is that responsible Republicans have had to do with respect to the birther controversy over the past four years — publicly reject it. (Well, that or own it.) The evidence of Perez’s residence is out there and the counterarguments are clearly designed to bamboozle and confuse. So — by e-mail, by phone, by carrier pigeon, by personal visit, whatever it takes — let’s see how long it takes to get Michele Martinez and Tom Daly to state unequivocally that these rumors are false. Please feel welcome to note your attempts to contact them — and especially your attempts to talk to them — in comments.
In case they profess not to be aware of the controversy — and please, take good notes and let us know if they say so, by the way! — here are the links that they should read. It will take less than 10 minutes.
I won’t link to our own pieces on the matter; they shouldn’t be necessary for Michele and Tom to be able to reach a conclusion as to Julio’s residency status. The task — it shouldn’t be much of a task, but we’ll see — is to get them to say that they are satisfied that Julio is a resident of the 69th Assembly District, if they believe it, and to say that they aren’t satisfied with it if they aren’t. Real, real simple.
If they give arch and winking “well so far as I know” kinds of comments, please let us all know. There is already enough information out there for anyone to make up their mind without equivocating.
We will either see a nasty, lying, whispering campaign in the 69th or we’ll see a hard-fought but decent one. How we deal with this now as political observers, and how Tom and Michele deal with this now as candidates, may go a long way to the various campaigns deciding that they can get away with murder or that they had better play it straight.
So as not to invite a flood of calls all at once, I’m not publishing their contact information (and, subject to Vern’s overruling me, I will redact that information if others publish it.) If you’re an informed political observer, you can find out how to get a message to them — and you’re probably the sort of person from whom they should hear in order to take this seriously.
The question, again: “Are you entirely satisfied that Julio Perez resides in the 69th Assembly District?” We’ll post information on how this drive is going as it develops.