His Name is “Albert Chavez,” but Don’t Call Him a Cop: Split Decision in Lodge-Ward Hearing


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Vern asked from just outside the Superior Court courtroom of Judge Margines, where one is not supposed to be blogging, that this report be posted: 

Juice friend Cynthia Ward has prevailed in part against corporatist Anaheim council candidate Steven A. Lodge, ensuring that he must list his occupation as “construction publicist” rather than “retired policeman.”  Lodge does get to call himself “Chavez” — but not as a sole middle name.  He will be listed on the ballot as “Steven Albert Chavez Lodge” — whether that will be catnip to Latino voters (and whether his signs will have a very small “Steven Albert” on them) is left to the reader.  It is not presently clear who is responsible for the court costs. 

[This paragraph is from Greg, having taken a call from Vern upon his leaving court.]  Ward’s high-priced attorney Fred Woocher did not make his own appearance in court, but sent some associates instead.  Also presumably high-priced attorney Steve Chavez Baric, last seen in these pages pushing for Claudia Alvarez‘s right to run for another term on the Santa Ana City Council, did appear himself.  Baric told the court that he had personally had S. A. Chavez Lodge testify in court using the name “Chavez” before — my guess is that this may perhaps have been before a Latino-dominated jury, which doesn’t exactly testify to its common usage if so, but that’s just a guess — and this jogged the judge’s memory of such an occurrence.  The previously announced tentative ruling, that Steve could not use the name “Chavez,” was thereby (wait for it!) “dis-Lodged.”   (It’s odd when a judge himself turns out to be the one with a personal memory that decides a case — but that’s where things ended up today.)  [Back to Vern!]

MORE DETAILS TO COME when I get out of here.

I’ve been thinking about Steven’s insistence on trying to tie this whole lawsuit to unions and the OCEA – Maybe he put more thought into that nonsense than I gave him credit for, maybe there is some political calculation behind a Republican candidate doing that.

He really has nothing to run on besides his support from the Disney-Pringle establishment, and a Spanish middle name which is now controversial and a subject of jest.

If he can present himself as the Republican candidate whom unions most hate and fear, that WOULD appeal to a certain sector of the electorate.  I understand Steven is also going before the OC GOP Central Committee tomorrow night to ask for their endorsement – one more reason to burnish his Sudden and Supposed Anti-Union Cred.

Lemme show you labor-bashers out there just some of the ways in which that would be absurd:

1. This is a 54-year-old retired cop living large on his 3%-at-50 pension, buying an Anaheim Hills spread with his public spoils.  A living, walking reminder of the worst, most unaffordable deal our craven OC politicians ever made with labor.

2.  He is the ideological twin of his DINO running mate Jordan Brandman, who, as part of a secret deal between OCEA and Disney, actually HAS labor’s endorsement (to the chagrin of many of us Democrats and progressives who generally back labor.)

3.  As I’ve written before, there aren’t likely to be any big labor questions coming up in the next few years in Anaheim anyway, thanks to the sweetheart deal OCEA wrung out of the three Council corporatists earlier this year, (who were joined by longtime labor supporter Lorri Galloway, who probably regrets that vote, as it came at the very moment the OCEA was preparing to stab her “Let the People Vote” initiative in the back.)

4.  Steve’s career as a public employee has been particularly expensive to taxpayers, from his $615,000 settlement for excessive force in 1990 to his worker’s compensation claim against the City of Santa Ana earlier this year.

In short, any Anaheim voters who are primarily motivated by hostility to unions – for one thing, this year’s Council election doesn’t offer you any great choices or opportunities, but in any case Steven Albert Semi-Chavez Lodge is not your man.

I think we should now begin to focus much more of our attention on the far more dangerous Jordan Brandman.


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.