Why is Matt Cunningham Afraid to Comment on His Own Blog? (As If It’s Not Obvious)


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Teddy Bear with Gun

This is not Ryan Cantor, except perhaps in avenging spirit.

Teddy Bear Snuff Photographer Matt “Jerbal” Cunningham went on a triple-threat rampage of obfuscation yesterday at Anahamster in the wake of Kris Murray’s declared victory — oh yes, she did! — regarding districts.  Let’s review them.

There was one (pseudonymous, natch) comment on his post slamming Jose Moreno for not suing the School District of which he is a Board Member  for not instituting single-member districts.  (Putting aside the problem of “he is a Board Member,” a voting-rights suit requires unfairness to a demographic group — which, as Anaheim Hills isn’t part of his district, is a much harder case to make.)

Then there was one in which he tries to blame Jose Moreno (sense a pattern here?) for wasting $2 million of the City’s money because they wouldn’t settle the case earlier without acceding to a citywide vote on the measure.  Allen Wilson takes that one apart at OC Political (to which I will link), eliciting some nonsensical Cunningham comebacks.

My response to Teddy Bear’s point is simple.  Yes, Murray and the rest of the Pringle Ring do want citizens to vote on this action — even though a charter City doesn’t actually have the right to violate the CVRA even if it wants to.  (That means that a failed vote would not just leave an illegal system in place, but would simply lead to another lawsuit.  True, it could not be brought by one by the three plaintiff’s named in this suit — but I can think of other potential plaintiffs.)

So if the City truly believes that its right to discriminate would be held up in court, then why is it settling this lawsuit?  (One possible answer that some — me included — have thrown around is “because depositions were coming up,” but did the City Council majority REALLY just spend and EXTRA $1-2 million of taxpayer’s money — on top of the $1 million or so they spend on their own defense – just to avoid their being personally deposed?  (That would seem to be an unimaginable waste of public money — except that it’s imaginable.)

So if they weren’t settling with the ACLU out of pure self-interest, then it must have been because they thought that they were too likely to lose.  Therefore, the suit had merit.  Therefore the City was, likely (despite it not being proven) doing something wrong.  And if the City was doing something wrong, then it’s not Moreno’s fault for bringing the lawsuit — because the City was doing something wrong.

In other words: if the Plaintiffs didn’t want to drop the lawsuit if the remedy in the settlement required citizen approval, and the City thought that it was in the right, then it shouldn’t have settled.  But it did settle — and it paid a heavy price for doing so.  (That was, shall we say, a bigger concession than plaintiffs agreeing to have an election.)

But that’s not what I’m writing about today.  My interest is in the third piece, the one that did generate comments by figures including our own Fightin’ Ryan Cantor — and one comment by Matt Cunningham himself under his own name.  One would think that, given his clear interest in the topic, Cunningham would be in the thick of such a discussion — but (unless one or more of the pseudonymous comments was really him), he wasn’t!

In fact, his comment was to ask the pseudonymous commenter to use a different pseudonym, one that didn’t taint Servite High School.  So either it can’t be him — or he just wants us to think that it’s not him — but I refuse to be cynical about this.  Matt says (well, implies) that he’s not the pseudonymous commenter; that should settle it!  (For now.)

So, in that case: Why is Matt Cunningham afraid to take on Ryan Cantor’s arguments?

I mean, seriously.  He went to someone else’s blog to take on Allen Wilson and engage in a colloquy with Ryan Cantor there, so why not on his own blog as well?  Here, take a look at OC Political’s comments:

Matthew Cunningham said (January 8, 2014 at 8:50 PM)

Allen: did you actually read the post? The plaintiffs — I repeat, the plaintiffs — told the city they would NOT drop the lawsuit even if the city council put single member districts on the ballot. You understand what that means, right?

They wanted the court to impose them directly on the city without a vote of the people. They even went so far as to say that putting single-member districts on the ballot would be discriminatory against Latinos.

  • Ryan Cantor said (January 8, 2014 at 9:59 PM)

    So what? That doesn’t mean they cost the city $2MM.

    The council majority took a risk when they voted to oppose the suit and rack up legal fees. Guess what– they caved and now they pay.

    They voted to accept the risk. They’re at fault. End of story. Zero opportunity for spin.

    • Matthew Cunningham said (January 9, 2014 at 10:02 AM)

      Sure it does. This settlement could have been reached much sooner, but for the plaintiffs’ opposition to putting single-member districts on the ballot. That puts the onus on them. That’s not spin. That’s reality.

      And are you saying the council majority should simply have capitulated to the ACLU, surrendering to their demand to impose single-member council districts without any input from voters – simply to avoid legal fees? That’s a sensible way to govern. No way that wouldn’t invite more attempts by interest groups to beat down the council with threats of litigation.

      • Ryan Cantor said (January 9, 2014 at 11:12 AM)

        Yes, a responsible group of city leaders ought to consider the consequences of entering into any litigation and they should make a reasonable informed decision that best reflects the interests of those who selected them to govern. In this case, the majority tried to engage in some misguided crusade against the validity of the CVRA rather than accept the consequence of a law that can only be changed in Sacramento. They were going to lose from the beginning.

        Here’s the issue with your point, Matt: The majority didn’t offer to hold a vote. They delayed, they delayed, and when it became apparent they weren’t going to get their way, they made a grab for as much as they could get. Had [they] offered to hold a vote as a condition to dropping the lawsuit, well, then maybe your suggestion would hold water. The fact is they didn’t, so it doesn’t.

        They spent $2+ million dollars delaying the inevitable because they lack the skills required to make reasonable decisions. The biggest one they clearly lack is intellectual curiosity. Had they listened to their city attorney, who probably told them they were being stupid, they wouldn’t be in this mess. Instead, they fired her and got a new one who did what he was told, which hands Anaheim taxpayers this bill to pay. Hubris + stupidity = big fat check.

        What the majority in Anaheim should have done was use their position of influence to take action to ensure that members of their city felt represented on their council rather than just mouthing off that they speak for all the people. Had they backed up their talk with action, there probably wouldn’t have been a suit. Instead, they put their time and effort finding new ways to give away public tax dollars and land to their campaign donors.

        This is a losing battle for the GOP, Matt. Instead of complaining about a vast liberal conspiracy theory, the GOP and conservative community leaders ought to be engaging voters who aren’t rich and white and give them a reason to believe that the conservative vision of limited government is best suited with their values and their family’s values. Since the GOP didn’t and GOP won’t, the GOP is going to be irrelevant in North Orange County by 2020 and will likely have its available political capital severely curtailed in 2016 . . . all because they’d rather be “right” than do the right thing.

        The majority in Anaheim is killing the party. This is just the latest reason why.

Wow.  Ryan’s making some strong points there!  No wonder Matt went there and took him on!

Matt also took on John Mejia, thusly:

John Mejia said (January 8, 2014 at 9:38 PM)

Matt – the city attorney also said that it would be highly unlikely that the judge would allow the suit to move forward if districts had been in place back when Mayor Tait originally called for a vote. This council dragged its feet in order to ensure their re-election which enables them to continue to waste taxpayer dollars on giveaways.

  • Matthew Cunningham said (January 9, 2014 at 10:07 AM)

    I heard that exchange between the mayor and the city attorney. Let’s examine it for a moment. If the Anaheim already had a single-member council district system in place, then its unlikely the judge would have allowed a lawsuit demanding single-member districts to move forward. Of course not – since the goal of the lawsuit would already be in existence. That’s tautological reasoning.

Of course, this overlooks that last year Kris Murray was trying to say that “from districts” — ones with a residency requirement along — were just as much “single-member districts” as “by districts.”  ”From districts” were voted into existence — and yet the lawsuit was still potent enough for Murray to vote to settle.  In other words, settling is an admission that despite that act (unwound by the settlement agreement), “the goal of the lawsuit” is NOT  “already in existence.”

So we know that Matt knows how to argue the points!  But what about what was happening on his own blog?

Ryan Cantor was riding into battle, taking (pseudo) names and kicking (pseudo) ass, that’s what!  Let’s enjoy this:

January 8, 2014 at 9:26 am  Reasonableguy2

Tom Tait is as left-wing as they come. Holing press conferences with the ACLU and labor unions.

What’s next for this rich “republican”….does he want to ban large sodas like Michael Bloomberg tried in NYC? Kiss his Republican party endorsement goodbye.

January 8, 2014 at 9:41 am  Ryan Cantor

That’s not very reasonable, Reasonableguy2. Better go find Reasonableguy1. He appears to have cornered the market on your reasonableness.

For argument, Kring just held a press conference a few weeks ago with at least two labor unions in her corner. Two plus million tax payer dollars later, she just voted for the settlement that Tait is discussing today.

Going by your logic, siding with the ACLU and labor unions is anti-republican. I guess Kring can kiss that Republican party endorsement goodbye, too. Not only does she side with big dollar labor, she wasted a few million delaying the inevitable and followed it with a flip-flop vote. I guess we can throw Murray under the bus too as she called this a “win.” Calling anything the ACLU supports must be anti-Republican, right? Anyone else running?

Lining up Tait against Bloomberg is WAY beyond a reasonable comparison. Tait hasn’t done anything that restricts your individual liberty. You want to slam him? Do it on his record and not with an anonymous slap form the dark that has no basis in fact. If you really want to stick with throwing stones, be sure you’re not standing in Kring’s glass house first.

Ooof!  Round to Cantor!  One would think that Matt would ride into the rescue, but he didn’t — despite that he himself is presumably not a ReasonableGuy of any number!

Unbelievable. It is continually disheartening to see the mayor giddy to be lead to slaughter by the lefty groups he hangs around with these days. Doesn’t he have any friends left that can open his eyes?

What?  He’s “… to be lead [sic] to slaughter”?  How is being on the popular side of an issue, on which one’s opponents have now been exposed as either “Bastards of the Universe” for wasting taxpayer money for personal gain or as total idiots, being “led to slaughter”?

Anyway, now here comes the really fun part:

January 8, 2014 at 9:29 pm  Credo

Bloomberg? A closer parallel would be NYC’s new Lib Mayor Bill De Blasio with his inaugural speech the “Tale of Two Cities.” Hmmmm, where have we heard this before? Tait and De Blasio’s divisive class-warfare style of governance is right out of the Lib’s playbook. Divide and conquer baby! (Hence the Tait/Galloway Riots). The DNC and ACLU love Mayor Tait (a liberal deep inside with a fat “R” next to his name). Here is a New Year’s resolution for you Tait: Be honest with the Anaheim tax payers for once and change party affiliations. (And while you are at it, stop playing “Hide the Property” over at Angel’s stadium).

  • January 8, 2014 at 10:33 pmRyan Cantor
  • Credo, indeed. If you understand the significance of that word in Anaheim, shame on you for misappropriating it as a pseudonym to sling mud. If you’re just ignorant, look into it.
  • What’s the fascination with calling Tait a liberal on this blog? You folks clearly don’t understand how to use the slur.
  • There are two Republicans in the race for Mayor in Anaheim. One has a record of expanding government’s reach to the tune of billions of dollars. One has a record of voting against public encroachment of the private sphere.
  • For the record, if you’re going to use the word liberal as a slur and time travel back to 1988, you use it to show that a politician believes the government has a substantial role in picking winners and losers under the guise of leveling the playing field. It means that they believe in taking your tax dollars and appropriating them to fuel concepts that aren’t demanded by the market but rather by politics. It means that when confronted with opposition, they demonize their opposition as uneducated and malicious.
  • If you want to use it as a slur, there is only one Republican in this race who has a voting record of taking public tax dollars and handing them out to the winners of her choice while claiming public opposition is just a product of misinformation and malice. It isn’t Tait.
  • January 9, 2014 at 4:47 am  Credo
    • 1988? A short walk down memory lane indeed but let us revisit the results of failed liberal policies in both New York City and Anaheim. Results that all but chased away job creators in their most iconic world renown locations respectively and replaced them with crime infested havens for drug thugs and prostitution. Giuliani’s hard work to rid crime and embrace new business has served NYC extremely well and has made New York City one of the greatest come-backs of our time. As for Anaheim, the results of a city hospitable to new businesses is evident: its called a booming economy and jobs!
    • Tait knows all about capitalizing on booming economies and the jobs it has provided for the employees of Tait & Associates, as he has personally profited from Garden Grove’s pro-business climate while choking up our own. How convenient. Anaheim voters beware – just as Obama knowingly perpetuated one of the biggest lies upon the American people to get himself elected so has Tait. His secret personal land transfers of property near Angels Stadium was done so he could thrust himself into negotiations while fooling the Anaheim tax payers. And his business dealings with Garden Grove while attempting to obliterate Anaheim’s opportunity to compete is hypoctitical… This decoy, who advocates for ACLU principles, hobnobs with the likes of Jose Moreno, appoints extreme left-wing activists like Vivian Pham, all while killing jobs in Anaheim is no Republican.
    • January 9, 2014 at 7:34 am  Ryan Cantor

      • 1988 isn’t a short walk. It’s quite a ways, actually.
      • I hear you killed some jobs. Yeah . . . and some butterflies. And quite possibly some puppies. In fact, I understand you’re a Communist. Not because you fit the definition of the term, a term whose definition I clearly do not understand, but because I don’t like you. I know that Communists are supposed to be bad, that you’re bad, ego you are a Communist. As part of your Bolshevik propaganda you advocate the overthrow of freedom and democracy beginning with the Mayor of Anaheim, who eats moonbeams and poops freedom. I need not offer any evidence to support these claims, I need only publish them for their truth to be self evident.
      • Look, smart guy. You’re confusing “job creation” with corporate welfare. On top of that, you can’t call Tom Tait a job killer while extolling his success in private enterprise– where clearly he is creating jobs (anyone running this blog ever have an opportunity to work in a job created by Tait in the private sector? Know anyone who has? Feel free to chime in and condemn this jackass.) Furthermore, you can’t claim that Anaheim has a booming economy and also claim that Tait stifles it for his own benefit. He either stifles it and it’s stifled OR he doesn’t stifle it and it booms. You can’t have both, son.
      • What exactly is a secret land transfer and how does Tait’s position on Angel negotiations benefit the value of his secret land? I’m pretty sure his position is that he doesn’t want the Angels to leave, which does nothing to either enrich his position or to harm others. If you have evidence to the contrary, offer it up to support your non-claim.
      • What hypocrisy are you accusing him of and how has he stifled Anaheim’s ability to compete? Are you talking about Gardenwalk? You understand that the ONLY reason that $158,000,000 public tax giveaway was necessary was to support a loan with poor terms that the developer secured (8% interest vs. 4.25% or market rate). Opposing that kind of white color welfare is not obstructionism, let alone a basis to call someone a hypocrite, and clearly, CLEARLY, Tait could not have possibly benefited from his “no” vote, which wasn’t successful anyway.
      • Advocates ACLU principles? You’re kidding me right. You get, I mean seriously, that the ACLU’s “principles” are advocating for the Bill of Rights. Maybe you don’t like some of the people they don’t defend and you meant something else, but that’s what the principles of the ACLU are. Additionally, he doesn’t advocate them any more or less than anyone else on the council. This week’s settlement was a unanimous vote. Unanimous!
      • The only thing that could possibly make your liberal conspiracy theory more tin-foil like is if you claimed that Kurt Pringle was behind all of it for his own personal gain. Show me the votes, Credo. Show me how Tait ripped off Anaheim taxpayers for his own personal gain. Show me how he took taxpayer dollars to benefit campaign donors for projects that taxpayers don’t need let alone didn’t ask for. Pony up, then we’ll talk about your secret liberal agenda designed to hoodwink the populace– because I will happily show you the votes from Kring that do exactly that. I’ll show you her position before the election that she used to fool voters into electing her to office, I’ll show you the flip flop votes and statements from the dias, and I’ll show you how people connected to her campaign donations directly and substantially benefited from her flip flop vote. There is exactly one hood winker running. Again, it isn’t Tait.
      • This is a race about records, who supports the taxpayer interest, who makes the case for change in Anaheim to benefit its citizens and their families rather than advocating for the already wealthy, and who does not.
      • If you’d rather not pony up the votes, take your tin foil and your abusive insensitive use of a screen name and stay home. It’s a word that’s use to promote faith, understanding, and GOOD in this world. It’s not something you get to tack on as a tag on your attack dog collar. Doing so is disgusting.
      • January 9, 2014 at 9:00 am  Proud Colonist
        Cantor – you can’t name one thing Tait has done other than take credit for the kindness of others. He’s a marketing gimmick and a hypocrite. He voted for the programs you call corporate welfare over and over again as a member of the council and the record is well documented. Now he pals around with people who sue the city and then congratulate those plaintiffs on “their victories” while lieing to the general public that the council should have settled sooner – really? I notice you are silent on Matt’s other post with plaintiffs letters clearly stating they refused to have a vote as a term of settlement. Where’s your mea culpa on earlier statements that council is the one who cost taxpayers by delaying unless you believe ACLU and the courts should decide for voters? That’s outrageous and if that’s what you believe then no one in Anaheim including my Hispanic neighbors gives a damn what you think. Tait pumping his fist yesterday and chanting Its Time Anaheim was disgusting pandering for a man who said repeatedly that he supports the programs you criticize on the campaign trail and repeatedly to local community members in local meetings in our homes. Tait is the only one picking winners and losers – unfortunately, his consistent denegration of our leaders and antics in public make Anajeim the greatest loser as a result of him having been elected Mayor. I would personally take anyone over him in the next election.

        • January 9, 2014 at 10:01 am  Ryan Cantor

        • He voted against Gardenwalk. Was it two or three times? He voted against that absurd MOU to giveaway Anaheim’s largest public asset for $1 a year. He also voted (or wanted to vote but failed for a second, right?) to let Anaheim residents VOTE on districts. Good enough for me. His opponent? Yes to giving away $158 million dollars even though she campaigned to oppose it. Yes to giving away Anaheim’s biggest public asset for $1 without ever soliciting input from the public, and no to letting the voters have their say regarding districts. Liar, liar, pants on fire, why don’t you go jump in a river and float away.

        • Mea culpa? You’re mistaken. The council is responsible for 1) deciding to incur legal bills and 2) settling. They own the pay out. That’s it. It’s not the ACLU’s fault that the majority in Anaheim weighed the risk and rolled the dice, figured out they were screwed, and agreed to settle. There was only one way out of having to fork over money: Win the case. They didn’t. That’s the consequence for being elected to a position of power, making a judgement call, and getting it wrong. You’re accountable for your own (good or bad) decisions. In this case, the council wasted years and millions of dollars to just do something they were asked to do at the get go. Yeah, they deserve to get beat over the head with this. Absolutely.

        • As to your statement about what I do and don’t believe regarding districting . . . well, i suppose that’s up for debate with you and your neighbor. The good news is that you get to debate districting with your neighbor and finally get to be heard this November. Nice, right?

Far be it from me to defend the honor of the Republican Party, but I think that the notion that being a Republican means that one must want to disenfranchise minority voters — like Curt “Poll Guards!” Pringle notoriously did — is a hell of a lot more insulting towards the OC GOP than I’ve ever been.  No, he’s just a reasonable Republican.  We good-government Dems differ with him ideologically, but not in terms of the basic non-ideologically notion that people should not rip off the government and that government extension of benefits to private interests had better serve the benefit of the larger population.

Is that ideological?  Do only Democrats think this?  That would be cool, in a way — and frightening in others — but I know that Tait and Ryan Cantor and Cynthia Ward think so as well.  (We do sometimes disagree, as a matter of ideology, as to what constitutes a rip-off — but that is a legitimate, and somewhat ideological, point of debate.)

Ryan’s doing well-enough above for me not to feel the need to add anything, but his opponent — “Credo” or “Proud Colonist” or “Anaheim Jack” or whatever really does interest me with his attack on Tait, because much of it seems to have been cribbed from Denis “The Gadfly” Fitzgerald’s attack on Tait at the last Council Meeting.  This raises a shocking possibility — is Cunningham now working with Fitzgerald?  I doubt it –  but I’m surprised to see some Cunninghamster aping his talking points.)  Anyway, Ryan takes care of them in short order.

Whoever that is arguing with Ryan, though — they sure do sound a lot like Matt in OC Political!  But it can’t be Matt.

But waitthere’s a coda!

January 9, 2014 at 9:55 am  Matthew Cunningham

Credo – would you mind using a different pseudonym? Ryan and I are both faithful Servite High School alums, and “Credo” is the signature salutation of our school and closely identified with it.

SEE, I TOLD YOU! MATT CAN’T BE “CREDO” BECAUSE HE JUST TOLD CREDO TO CHANGE HIS PSEUDONYM!

Only a madman contemptuous of his readers would tell one of his sock puppets to change their name as a means of throwing people off of the trail — and I refuse to believe that Matt has done it here (without more evidence.)

Of course, if Matt is not one of those pseudonymous posters, that means that he’s afraid to take on Ryan Cantor’s argument in his own blog.  And who can blame him?  ”Credo.”


About Greg Diamond

Worker's rights attorney now moving into "good governance" litigation. North Vice Chair of Democratic Party of Orange County and occasional candidate. Proud to be prolix. Unless otherwise specifically stated, his writings never speak for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level. He tries to either suppress or openly acknowledge his partisan, issue, ideological, and "good government" biases in most of his writing here. If you have a question about any particular writing, just ask him about it and (unless you are an pseudonymous troll) he will probably answer you at painful length. He lives in Brea but generally doesn't blog about it. A family member works as a campaign treasurer for Wendy Gabriella in AD-73; he doesn't directly profit from that relatively small compensation and it doesn't affect his coverage. He does advise some campaigns informally and without compensation, although in 2014 he may receive some compensation for campaign consulting and fundraising for the campaign of Jorge Lopez for Orange County Assessor.