And again — R. Scott Moxley comes out with another column responding to my reply (which, allegedly, “no one read”) to his first column trashing me for, uh, being a “sacrificial lamb” candidate. Okay then! Once again, paragraph by paragraph, let’s enjoy this together!
Gregory A. Diamond, the purposefully mysterious Brea lawyer who is on the November ballot seeking a seat in the California state senate as a Democrat, is outraged (again!) that I featured his campaign follies in a recent column.My report noted the stark contradiction between Diamond’s promise earlier in the year to fight “like hell” to honorably represent Occupy Wall Street in his campaign for the state legislature, but instead is running California’s worst, most inept effort for the senate in memory.
As I pointed out last time: “I don’t think I’m mysterious.” (That’s a direct quote, so Moxley’s intern can find it for him using Control-F.) Nor am I “outraged.” I think that Moxley’s apparently ordering up a nude drawing of me based on (he underlines in his new piece) a famously grotesque photo of a nude blogger is a startling piece of attempted bullying by someone who (thanks to all those ads from the sex trade) is able to send out thousands of copies of his writing all over the county. He seems bent on teaching that people shouldn’t cross him because he has the power of wholesale ridicule and no compunction against crossing any lines. Well, to hell with that noise. That action says a lot about him and not much about me. (You can see my photographic retort above. I’ll identify the guy later.)
His continuing that volley by printing that famous photo twice in his story (along with reprinting the previous homage featuring me) — which is the equivalent of unironically yelling “GET IT? GET IT?” after one tells a joke — just tells me that he’s upset that I’m not squealing about it, throwing a fit, and crying uncle. My wife and 20-year-old daughter thought that the drawing was funny and plan to frame it and put it up where I can see it (as a reminder to me to diet and exercise more.) But because Moxley is, or rather used to be, a respected journalist, I went after him on the proper grounds — for his mangling of the facts. I’ll do that again here.
Here’s what (speaking of “excreted” from his last column) came out of the horse’s ass:
–How Diamond, who is running against incumbent Bob Huff, told his supporters he’d raise more than $100,000 but hasn’t been able to raise $25,000–or far less; he hides the exact amount in understandable embarrassment.
I WHAT? I never “promised supporters that I’d raise more than $100,000.” As I recall, I had said that I hoped to raise at least $100,000. At the time I did. Since then, I scaled back my goals. The important things that I had wanted to do were to put my ballot statement into voters’ hands; pay for a share of the campaign office that supports the voter registration and turnout efforts in North Orange County; do some online ads where I thought that they might hurt Huff the most; have a web presence and use social media marketing; do some good videos for YouTube, and use whatever was left for printed material to supplement the slate material that was coming out. I accomplished the first four. I didn’t get the video production into gear the way I’d wanted. I’m on numerous slates (not the ones you have to buy, like the COPS mailer that Bushala has used for his team) and walk pieces and have appeared in a decent number of stories. I’m pretty satisfied with that — and it should leave no donor unhappy with their (average of about $50) contribution. I still have one or two big tricks to pull on Huff, beyond online writing, but I decided not to leak that info (or my current cash on hand) in advance to Moxley because — well, he was obviously a biased and obnoxious prick and I’d prefer that it be a surprise to Huff.
–How Diamond describes himself as “tenacious,” “incisive” and “dedicated” but in reality has proven to be a hand-wringing whiner who is clueless about how to run an effective campaign; With the election weeks away, he hasn’t held a single, meaningful public event and when asked to explain his inactivity, claims his events are “closely guarded secrets.”
I’m about to do something that I’m sure I’ll regret use foul language. Here are the relevant passages in my e-mail exchange with Moxley:
Moxley: “ince July 1, how many hours a day on average have you spent campaigning for your senate race and what events have you orchestrated?”
Me: “How much I’ve campaigned per day and what events I’ve orchestrated that aren’t already public record are closely guarded secrets. (Alternatively, there’s just no reason for me to tell you — especially you.)”
This will be more clear in context — I’ll probably provide the entire unexpurgated interchange after the election — but this was essentially a nicer way of my saying “sir, you are being an annoying asshole, so please fuck off.” I expect that Moxley has heard that enough times before that he shouldn’t need a translation.
How much I’m campaigning (and frankly I’m not logging my hours, because that would be bizarre) is my business — and to the extent that it is significant I would just as soon not deliver the information to my opponent just because some washed-up crime pornographer bellows for it. If anyone truly would choose to vote for Bob Huff over me because they think I’m not campaigning enough, then they should feel welcome to do so. (I hope that they’re wealthy, straight males, because otherwise they’re probably going to regret it.)
Moxley says that he doesn’t read anything I write here, so he has no way of knowing whether I have held “a single meaningful public event.” What he can fairly say — if he ever chose to say things fairly — is that I haven’t updated my events page on my website. That’s true. Dear Reader, I am far, far from alone in that. I do my own webpage and mostly don’t give it much attention. When I’ve done events (mostly with other candidates) it has come out here or through other channels.
To make it really, really clear — I’m not affronted by Moxley saying these things about me. It’s more weird that anything else. But what it suggests to me is that his writing has become screwed up. He pays little attention to facts and less attention to reporting what facts he discovers faithfully. I’m in essence making him the issue — not a campaign issue, but an “Orange County Political Writing” issue — here because I am just boggled by how atrocious he seems to be.
–How legitimate candidates focus their attention on their own races while Diamond has been oddly obsessed with digging into the marital affairs of a candidate in a different race.
Oh, now here’s the crux of things! What is really bothering Moxley is that I did a public records request — that is a request for public records, aka records that are public, as opposed to (as FFFFwads would have it) digging through someone’s dumpster (as FFFFwads have reportedly done — regarding a rumor regarding domestic violence perpetrated by Assemblyman Chris Norby against his fourth wife, who like my second and current wife is a U.S. permanent resident.
I’m going to bowdlerize my cursing, this time for emphasis, in this case: Scott, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS NOT SOME FRACKING MARITAL AFFAIR, YOU IMBECILE! It is a matter of public interest — and all the more so when it is committed by a sitting legislator. AND IT DOES NOT FRACKING MATTER IS THE FRACKING POSSIBLE ABUSER IS IN MY FRACKING RACE OR SOMEONE ELSE’S FRACKING RACE. IN THIS CASE, IT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE CAMPAIGN AT ALL, BUT WITH MY INTEREST IN WHETHER MY ASSEMBLYMAN HAD VIOLENTLY ATTACKED HIS VULNERABLE IMMIGRANT WIFE.
By the way, I still don’t know the answer to that one, because my public records request was brushed off and I had given up pursuing the matter. I’ll deal with this more on my separate story, when it appears, on Norby. For now, just note that it’s absurd and offensive for a knowledgeable adult and professional journalist to term my public records request as being “obsessed with digging into the marital affairs of a candidate in a different race.” The sole article I’ve had published in the field of Law, when I was an editor on the Columbia Law Review in 2002, was on domestic violence. (Anyone with LEXIS is welcome to look it up; the reference is 102 Colum.L.Rev. 729.) I’ve been interested in this issue for a long time — and the notion that, as the rumors I couldn’t confirm went, that there was compelling evidence of domestic violence that was suppressed by the Fullerton Police Department at the direction of then-Chief Sellers, pisses me off primarily as a decent human being, not as a candidate.
–How Diamond, 52, responds to accurate observations about his often neurotic conduct by threatening retaliation.
Well, as Dear Readers may suspect, I’m going to concede neither the accuracy of the observations nor the neuroticism of the conduct. But as for retaliaion: I’ve tried to rebut his loopy and contorted allegations one by one, setting forth the evidence as I’ve done so. He’s published one article online and in print and now another online ridiculing me by concocting a drawing of me blogging nude. Dear Reader, who do you think threatened whom?
OK, now we’re to a series of shorter sizzles of illogic from Moxley:
In response to my report, Diamond fired back in ways that have kept me shaking in fear of exposure:
According to Diamond:
— Because I dared write about him, I must be “in the pocket” of local Republicans.
— The initial “R” in my byline stands for “arse.”
— The Weekly has adults ads in the back of the paper and this means its reporting can’t be trusted.
— My suggested, pre-publication headline for the column was reject according to, get this, “his friend”–a brazenly stupid fabrication underscoring the lengths this freak will go in hopes that one of his wild punches lands.
Sigh. In order:
(1) No, he was sucking up to the pair of anti-union hellhounds Costa Mesa’s Jim Righeimer and Fullerton’s Tony Bushala long before he ever “dared” write about me. He favors destroying public unions (at least first), in the style of Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin and other Republican Governors in Michigan, Ohio, Florida, and elsewhere — as he demonstrated with his bizarre and inappropriate rant against how Democrats at the Truman Dinner didn’t recognize “the elephant in the room” of the need to stomp out “unfunded pension liabilities.” (Complicated topic, which I’d be happy to discuss with someone less emotionally unstable than Moxley.) That “because” in his charge? It’s made up.
(2) I do not believe, nor have I ever said in any context that would not be obviously taken as the joke it was, that the “R.” preceding “Scott Moxley” stood for “Arse.” I did nickname him “Arse Caught” when he got his “arse” caught practicing bad journalism. That was it. Let me be really serious and somewhat contrite here for a moment: I was told this past weekend by a source I trust that Moxley is openly gay. (I hadn’t know that he was gay at all; I do know that he has regularly provided excellent coverage of GLBT issues, but I made no inference about his sexual orientation from that.) I mention that solely because of the possibility that my use of this nickname was some sort of sly gay-bashing — and that all that has come since might have derived from his being pissed off at that. (I can’t figure out why else he’d reference the misremembered snipe at him here.) If I gave him or anyone else that impression, then I am very sorry for having done so. It was just a pun on the name of someone who was bashing a friend, something that I expected a writer at the rough-and-tumble OC Weekly would easily be able to take. If he thought that my intent was homophobic than I understand his strong reaction to me and hope that my clarification and expression of regret will be accepted. If he doesn’t like being called “Arse Caught” just because he’s a thin-skinned whiner, then no apology is offered.
(3) No, again, I don’t think that the Weekly’s “reporting can’t be trusted” because there are ads for people who I presume to be hookers paying the bills. Playboy, notoriously, has been a venue for excellent journalism. There’s no causality asserted or to be inferred there. I think that his current reporting in particular is untrustworthy because, for whatever reason, he’s doing an abominably bad job of it — as I’m trying (at length, alas) to document.
(4) Here’s the communication that I got from a Facebook friend (“FF”) late Wednesday night. (I had known that a story would be coming out, but I expected in later in October.) I’ve changed the language, while leaving in as much meaning as possible, just enough to prevent the person from being identifiable, because I don’t think that anyone but me wants to cross Moxley right now. I encourage my friend not to take credit for these comments!
FF: Greg, I’m sure you that you’ve seen the OC weekly story. WOW!
GD: Not yet, but I’ve been looking forward to it!
FF: I think the writer changed the headline to something a little nicer. Before it has said “the worst State Senate Candidate in California ever,” but I think that it was changed.
GD: If I can give Scott Moxley a stroke, as seems likely to have happened, I think that makes me a REALLY GOOD candidate!
FF: Good night!
GD: I guess I’ll see how good it is once I find the story!
FF: http://www.ocweekly.com/2012-10-04/news/moxley-confidential-gregory-diamond-brea-state-senate/ It looks like he did change the headline. Take care!
GD. The drawing is, sad to say, pretty good!
I will swear in any court that that (as slightly adapted) is my conversation with another person. Of course, you can’t know that that’s true — I admit that, while I’m not, I could be making all of this up (and by changing FF’s language it probably sounds more like me.) But, even if that’s what you expect are you sure that that’s what I’ve done — enough to state that as a fact? Moxley’s sure — which is why he called it “a brazenly stupid fabrication underscoring the lengths this freak will go in hopes that one of his wild punches lands.”
This is someone who makes his living as a crime reporter!!!
And my favorite….
–I am “so amazingly ignorant” about Orange County affairs because I don’t read his blog musings.
That’s not actually from our e-mail exchange, but from my article. Here’s the offending paragraph:
Moxley’s just so amazingly ignorant. That’s one of the things I found most difficult during our extended e-mail conversations. There’s so much he doesn’t know — and so much of that that he has no interest in learning about. I suggested that he read some of what I’ve written about this and other issues, but he made a point of pride of stressing that he’d never read even one of my blog posts here (or elsewhere, where I have reached more readers.)
Moxley seems to have serious problems (I’d say “pathological,” but he’s already beaten me to the psychiatric diagnosis trope) with the word “because” — enough so that every time I see that he’s written the word “because” in an article I’m going to have to presume that he has absolutely no idea what he’s saying.
No, I don’t think he’s ignorant because he doesn’t read my blogging. This was a long, multi-day conversation and he said a lot of things that made me think that he was ignorant of what’s happening in OC politics right now. If I’m ignorant about some matter, I try to do some background reading on it. Moxley, again, seemed for whatever reason to want to stress to me that he hadn’t. I pointed out that, when you’re writing an article criticizing someone’s thinking — or in this case, my actions (because after all I’d already presented some of my side about how and why I turned in the record request on Norby), it would seem to be a prudent step to go read that stuff! He showed no interest in that.
I certainly don’t consider myself a “must-read,” although — well, from our e-mail exchange, take a look at what Moxley apparently considers to be a good diet of blog reading in 2012 (which it happens now to be):
I routinely read a cross section of accomplished county political bloggers. Examples: Art Pedroza, Dan Chmielewski, Jon Fleischman, Chris Prevatt, Geoff West, Tony Bushala and Allan Bartlett.
Geoff West (of “A Bubbling Cauldron”) — a Republican, by the way — writes what I consider the best political blog in OC, limited in value only by its limited geographic scope. I like Chris Prevatt and his writing and sometimes Dan C’s as well, although I prefer the cheekier but less nasty current OJB sensibility to the current version of Liberal OC. (Joe Hill was damn good. I wonder if Moxley even knows that they had a writer of that name this year?) Bushala — well, his crew puts out some good stuff and piles of ideological crap (with which Moxley apparently agrees.) I don’t read much by Alan Bartlett. Pedroza and Fleischman? Remember how the supervisor at Office Space used to say “Yeah”? Just imagine my saying that here.
Besides, I seem to have done okay covering this county during the 16 years before he parachuted in from out of state and declared himself important.If the standard for ignorance in OC is not reading Diamond’s bloggings, then count me as one of proud 99.999999999999 percent–a figure arrived at by optimistically assuming that at least a few of his poor relatives occasionally read him, but I could be wrong.
I agree: no one should be considered ignorant because they don’t read my writing. I think that they miss some good stuff — and all the more so with Vern and Quimby and others here — but there’s plenty of other good stuff to read. As for Moxley’s first sentence — yeah, he did a lot of good stuff, which makes his meltdown sad for us all to see.
The trouble with Diamond goes beyond his joke of a senate campaign, his pronounced, sweaty awkwardness in social settings, his determination to be known as the smartest guy in the room or his hamfisted penchant for picking stupid fights merely in hopes of raising is name ID.
His problem is that he’s a nobody. He’s done nothing professionally or politically in OC worthy of the least bit acclaim. And yet he desperately wants to be considered a player.
Can I remind everyone right now that this diagnosis comes from someone who claims never to have read my blogging? I have no idea what Moxley looks like (other than probably middle-aged and bipedal); if I’ve ever met him in a social setting, it blew right by me. I was feeling pretty much at ease during the Truman Dinner. So I have to presume that his discussing my “sweaty awkwardness” comes from secondary sources. Now, what sort of a twisted dork writes that about someone based on someone else’s backstabbing? What’s the point of this, uh, “reporting”?
Those “stupid fights” that Moxley speaks of are, I’m guessing, on FFFF — where I’m almost daily taking on at least a dozen people cowardly hiding behind pseudonyms and viciously throwing balls of crap wherever they can. (I’ve long suspected, though I can’t prove, that Moxley himself is among them. The “cowardice” part of that approach would fit.) FFFF is often saturated with lies and distortions; I’ll happily give examples when Moxley probably makes this the focus of a future story. Because of how those who go against the site’s groupthink are treated, most critics sooner or later (usually sooner) flee in disgust; I think that I’m the only critic there who writes under his own name. In so doing, I’m reaching FFFF’s readers that aren’t part of the groupthink but will tend to believe the propaganda in the absence of a consistent, coherent, and contrary view.
So why even bother with FFFF? It’s because they just took over a City government and want to impose a radical libertarian-conservative agenda on the city — though they usually hide it under a blanket of ire over the killing of Kelly Thomas. (The events of Anna Drive, once of at least slight interest to Tony Bushala and Chris Norby, who showed up at a protest rally for a photo op, seem to have been forgotten. Only Kelly’s is the “murder that matters.”) If they were just another blog, I wouldn’t waste my time there — but thanks to Tony’s fortune and some dramatic political opportunism they’ve had a major impact on the city and no one else was seriously demanding that they justify their onslaughts of assertions and insults. That may not be the best move for a candidate, but I don’t care — it’s the best move for a citizen and the best move for an activist. That’s enough for me.
As for my alleged lack of accomplishments, it makes we wonder who if anyone he interviewed and what he considers an accomplishment. OK, this part is interesting.
Perhaps I’ve been slightly unfair. In OC’s blogosphere, nobody spends more time each day feverishly attaching his name to rambling, obnoxious comments to the works of people who actually have something to say.
Even fellow Democrats know this sad truth. How’s this for weighty status? At at recent, multi-hour party event at a Disneyland hotel, Diamond wasn’t invited to speak. I don’t recall them even acknowledging he was sitting in the room.
There’s one very good reason that Democratic Party Chair Frank Barbaro didn’t mention me — I’m clearly an underdog. So I don’t resent it on those grounds. But, an actual reporter might have noted how many candidates he could have mentioned and what political figures he did: Lou Correa, Jose Solorio, Tom Daly, Jordan Brandman, over and over, along with a bright smiles towards Tom Umberg and Gavin Newsom.
There’s a theme there — and an interesting story behind it. I am not a favorite of the more moderate and business-oriented factions of the party, though the only one I can’t stand is Solorio. It would take a pretty good reporter to do such an interesting, intricate, and still-unfolding story justice — not one whose understanding of the county is limited and out-of-date and whose apparent primary interests are in preening and grinding axes. Moxley may have been a good, even a very good, reporter at one time — but at least on the general county political beat, he isn’t now.
I think that my real crime, in his eyes, is that I’ll say that — I won’t defer to him and I won’t be cowed. Bullies like him, who thing that larger readership gives them a license to ride roughshod, hate that. If OC Weekly comes out with two new derogatory drawings of me per week between now and Election Day, that’s just how it’ll have to be. Too bad for them, but life goes on after Election Day — win or lose.