It just gets better: Steve “Chavez” Lodge vs. Cynthia Ward showdown!


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“Chavez.”

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Fun stuff, fun stuff.  This Murietta carpetbagger and Sudden Mexican, this Disney-Pringle candidate for Anaheim City Council, this Steven Albert “Chavez” Lodge, has decided to spend the twelve days since he was served, not focusing on defending his choice of name and occupation on the upcoming ballot, but instead attacking the woman who initiated the lawsuit, conservative blogger Cynthia Ward, and trying to fundraise off those attacks.

Probably not such a good idea.  Cynthia Ward is a porcupine.

I know, even me writing this article is playing into Steven’s silly game by focusing on Cynthia rather than the problems with Steven’s designation of himself as a “retired policeman” when he’s really a construction flack, and his sudden politically expedient rediscovery of his birth name Chavez.  But it’s irresistible.

I’ll tell you one thing, nobody needs to be bellyaching over Steven “resorting to attacking” a “mother” (of four grown children) and “housewife” (she prefers the phrase “trophy wife.”)  If anyone in OC politics can take care of themselves it’s Cynthia.  (Although Steven’s wondering aloud how a mere “mother and housewife can afford such an expensive undertaking” as ensuring candidates like him present themselves honestly speaks volumes about how he regards the female half of the electorate, and who’s entitled to the inner workings of democracy.)

Porcupine.

Technically, Cynthia’s not even suing Steven, as he falsely claims in all his fundraising e-mails (apparently he’s finding this situation to be a gold mine, or hoping to anyway.)  Technically, Cynthia is suing the OC’s registrar of voters and city clerk – and not with any malice, but simply in the accepted method traditionally used to ensure ballot designations are truthful and accurate.

It’s funny to always see these corporatist types looking for some secret powerful backer or puppeteer behind everything that small independent people dare to do – last month it was  Galloway, Tait and Take Back Anaheim who were secretly manipulating the poor people of Anaheim’s Latino neighborhoods to rise up and revolt;  now there’s some mysterious deep-pocketed entity encouraging and funding Cynthia’s suit.  But who could that be?  There are NUMEROUS people across the political spectrum who want to prevent the continued manipulation of Anaheim’s government by Disney, Curt Pringle, and his clients.

I had to laugh when, reading further, I saw that the prime suspect in Steven’s mind was the OCEA – first, because Republicans see evil, omnipotent unions behind EVERYTHING that inconveniences them;  second because anyone who’s followed Cynthia Ward’s career and writing just has to laugh at the idea of her being a union tool.  The issues she brings up in her suit are legitimate ones – Steve shouldn’t be able to sneakily get the votes of Latinos who may think he has lived as one of them, OR cop lovers either when he’s mainly working as a construction publicist now.  AND there are legitimate reasons for ANY of us to fight against the ascendance of another corporatist politician in Anaheim, reasons that have nothing to do with the interests of organized labor.

Poor Steven, as a Republican, seems utterly confounded at being challenged by a well-known Republican blogger.  Being so new in Anaheim, he’s clearly unaware of how non-partisan the main issues confronting the town have become:  how positions on corporate welfare, district elections, and police brutality slash across the two major parties in a sort of diagonal scar.  Why is a WOMAN from his own PARTY going after him, wonders Steven.  There’s GOTTA be something fishy going on!  Steven smells a rat.  And here he’s made the most powerful friends in Anaheim, and done everything so far exactly as he’s been told to do – why are things suddenly going so unsmoothly for him?

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Anyway, I know this much from Cynthia, whom I trust:

  • The idea to file this suit was her own;  this expensive lawyer Fred Woocher, who is one of the state’s top election lawyers, was recommended to her by another lawyer, NOT by the hated, feared OCEA.
  • Cynthia hasn’t received a penny for launching this suit, and as far as she knows Mr. Woocher hasn’t received a penny for his work thus far;
  • She fully expects this suit to be paid for by STEVEN ALBERT “CHAVEZ” LODGE when she prevails and the judge awards her legal fees.  (See the linked documents, below.)

And, characteristically unable to steer clear of the comments sections of blogs where she’s being badmouthed, she’s already written most of the above publicly.  Close readers, including some anonymous blog denizens, Lodge himself, and this bold anonymous OC Political blogger, perceive a possible scenario peeking through the way Cynthia parses things:  Perhaps OCEA (or someone else, but it does make sense that OCEA would cheer this suit on) has agreed, with or without Cynthia’s knowledge, to compensate Mr. Woocher in some way in the event the suit does not prevail and Steven is off the hook.

Well, I don’t know, that seems possible to me.  The desperate Lodge even goes so far as to suggest that such an arrangement, even if unknown to Cynthia, would be an illegal gift to her as a cemetery district trustee.  Well, good luck with that!  All of this of course has nothing to do with the issues Steven is going to have to answer for THIS TUESDAY AFTERNOON.   And by provoking this professional researcher, Steven is helping to uncover illuminating bits of his sans-Chavez history, such as:

  • ” ‘The jury had assessed $120,000 in compensatory damages and $500,000 in punitive damages against Officer Steven Lodge and the city after finding that Lodge used excessive force.’  – Los Angeles Times, 1990.”  [No Chavez mentioned]
  • “According to the February 6, 2012 minutes of the Santa Ana City Council, Lodge recently filed a worker’s compensation claim against the City of Santa Ana, titled Steven Lodge vs. City of Santa Ana, apparently only using the name ‘Steven Lodge.’ ” [conspicuously absent the Chavez.]
  • “Lodge was involved in a traffic collision in Nov. 2010, which resulted in him being cited and brought to court.  The traffic citation identifies his California Driver’s License number and was issued to ‘Steven Albert Lodge.’ ”  [note lack of Chavez.]

But there is much, much more to come over the next two months, regarding this “Chavez” cabron – to be rivaled only by the bombshells you should be expecting here and elsewhere on his even more troubling corporatist running mate, “Democrat” Jordan Brandman.

This year’s Disney-Pringle slate:
Jordan “Jesús” Brandman-Rodriguez,
and Steven Albert “Chavez” Lodge.

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 Hey, Blog Bloviators!

Before you bloviate any more about this lawsuit, you might wanna peruse the actual documents, which I’ve taken the time to upload for you here:

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Attempting to keep her vow of blog silence on this case while stuff like this gets written about it leaves Cynthia a sputtering wreck in the corner of her home.  So she writes to her friend Vern:

Thank you for contacting me to get my side of the story before running it, I appreciate the courtesy (which is more than OCPolitical gave me.) Please feel free to quote anything here.

I have attached the original court documents for your review, so that you may report based on factual evidence, rather than the hearsay running wild in the blog-o-sphere…

These suits are filed routinely in elections all over the country, most without the fanfare and negativity that this one has been subjected to. Which leads one to wonder, how did the press even find out about this? I did not do a press release. Voice of OC was tipped off about 24 hours after the suit was filed, and to confirm factual information I posted a short notice to a new, raw, non-revenue generating blog I am working on, one that is not even tied into Google yet, so the media frenzy did not come from me. My attorney would not run a press release without me. Did Lodge or his campaign team generate the press attention? One has to wonder.

We are expected in court Tuesday at 1:30, in the courtroom of Judge Charles Margines, the Judge who just heard the Claudia Alvarez case. Interestingly, it appears Lodge has engaged the same attorney (Steve Baric) that represented Alvarez before that Judge. Baric took major heat for representing Democrat Alvarez, given his involvement with GOP Central Committee, and as an elected official in South County. Alvarez’ suit was brought on her behalf by someone she had appointed to a City Commission, but their side has the nerve to accuse me of conflict of interest. Oh, by the way, Steve Baric lost that case.

As far as the OCPolitical article you asked me to respond to, and you may quote me here,

“My husband and I had hoped to make this a politics-free weekend, given that Lodge’s supporters have dug in their heels and refused to accept any explanation anyway. However, the OCPolitical piece was forwarded to me, and while I will not dignify the mud-slinging with a direct comment on the site, I will answer the OJ blog’s inquiry as a matter of courtesy because, unlike them, you asked. I had respected OCPolitical as a site for factual, fair, and accurate information-until today. The piece was posted under a pen name, the author could be anyone, including Lodge’s own campaign manager. The site is run by individuals linked to Lodge’s supporters. Nobody from OCPolitical even bothered to contact me for my side, instead lifting info from other blog posts. Is OCPolitical a credible source for information, or have they simply become a gossip column?

The piece is not only one sided, but either they fail to understand the facts of the case, or they have chosen to misrepresent them. I am unsure of which. Their claim that I have violated any gift reporting standards is unfair, and untrue. I have accepted nothing, I have received nothing of value, and no parties related to the suit are in any way linked to the Orange County Cemetery District. I have informally run my situation past two lawyers, and I believe to my bone marrow that I am in the clear. I have every confidence that I have done nothing immoral, illegal, or unethical, and if anyone has a problem, they need to file a complaint with the FPPC, rather than flinging mud at me on political blogs.

What is particularly galling about the OCPolitical piece is that not once do they stop to address the suit itself. They question me and my motives without questioning whether or not Lodge is able to defend his position on Tuesday. I am not compelled by the courts to give an answer, he is, but they do not address that in any way. OCPolitical has some nerve claiming the moral high ground.”

Vern, you asked about my attorney’s connections to OCEA, and about my motives for filings this suit.  Others have pointed out that my attorney is one of the best in the business, then in the next breathe ask why I am using him. Uh…because he is the best and frankly I do not care who else they work with.

I am acting on my own moral compass, without bribes or any personal benefit, I do not know what else to tell you. I owe nothing to anyone, and I certainly do not owe answers about my personal finances to bloggers who lack the courage to put their name on a blog post.

Why did I do this? Because it is the right thing to do. Several years ago I backed a candidate that came out with a ballot designation that struck me as a work of fiction. It made me seriously question the character of a candidate who would stretch the truth that far in introducing themselves to voters in what is supposed to be an unbiased representation on the ballot. I said nothing, I assumed that one of the candidates who actually had a stake in the election would challenge the wording. Nobody did, for whatever reason the candidate’s information remained, was presented to voters, and the candidate went on to win elected office. As it turns out I was right to question their character, their leadership in elected office has made my blood boil and my heart break, and i am ashamed to have ever had anything to do with helping them. I do not ever want to feel that regret again. People question my motives for challenging a candidate, but frankly I would have to question my motives for NOT challenging what I believe to be a misleading representation of a candidate to voters.

I believe in what I am doing, I am doing the right thing for the right reasons, I have not compromised my integrity in any way, and win or lose Tuesday I will never regret what I have done. I am especially glad because in further researching Steve Lodge’s background trying to determine if he used “Chavez” in his adult life prior to becoming a candidate for Anaheim City Council, I have discovered a lot of information related to “who he is and what makes him tick” and I am more committed than ever to ensuring that the voters of Anaheim are provided with accurate information on this candidate.

Again, thank you for asking for my side of the story, it is a courtesy not all have given to me, and some have twisted my answers even after I provided them. I will let you know how the case works out on Tuesday, or you are welcome to join us in court, the information on where and when is on the court docs attached here. Have a wonderful weekend, other than answering you I am unplugging and detoxing for a bit until Tuesday. Enough already.

CW

To which I respond:  Come on, none of us here are objective journalists.  I’m giving you favorable press because I agree with what you’re doing – undeniable merits of the case aside, I too want to keep Brandman and Lodge out of office so Anaheim can have a government relatively independent from corporate interests and open to reform.  The guys at OC Political, who also give Kris Murray a soapbox when she wants one, obviously disagree.  It’s all good.  Break a leg Tuesday, I hope to break the story!


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist 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.