Chris Nguyen Writes an ALMOST Great Story on Candidate Residency!


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I’m on record as an admirer of our competitor OCPolitical.com, which provides lots of useful information and coverage of both out-in-the-open political developments and those occurring behind the OC Republican curtain.  So I happily give 2-1/2 cheers for Chris Nguyen‘s story from Monday pointing out that while County Board of Education Area 5 Trustee candidate Kimberly Clark is not actually a paper goods corporation running for public office, she does claim on her filing papers to be living in a U.S. Post Office.  I’d love to have added that last half-cheer to make it a full three — but, well, he left something pretty significant out of the story.

Chris Nguyen and Mimi Walters

Writing about Kimberly Clark (foreground right, artist’s conception) OC Political’s Chris Nguyen *almost* covers up the relevance of Mimi Walters to any OC story on candidate residency — but she’s *still* slightly visible.

After lampooning Clark to shreds, apparently serving the political interests (am I misreading you, Chris?) of Linda Linholm’s campaign against the perfectly reasonable Republican education advocate and incumbent Elizabeth Dorn Parker, Nguyen then goes on a rollicking rant about candidates with residency problems — from beleaguered State Senator Rod Wright to beleaguered former State Senator Richard Alarcon.  “Well, there’s an example closer to home than THAT!”, I thought to myself, giddily anticipating Nguyen’s having to mention the fact that State Senator Mimi Walters, when challenged by Steve Young about her implausible (and readily falsified) assertion that she and her family had moved out of a palatial estate in Laguna Niguel into a spare apartment in Irvine at the time that she ran for her newly redistricted State Senate seat – did not even bother to refute Young’s well-researched claims but instead had her attorney say that Walters’s qualifications to serve could only be challenged by the State Senate, not in court.

This thrilled me, because I know that while her qualifications to serve may be the sole preserve of the State Senate, taking her to court for committing perjury when swearing to her eligibility for office is the province of the County District Attorney.  In fact, the basic difference between State Senator Mimi Walters and State Senator Rod Wright is that the Los Angeles County District Attorney went after Wright and the Orange County District Attorney chose not to go after Walters, perhaps being busy with something like coming up with more unconstitutional ordinances to promote.

I was thrilled not only because I covered the Mimi Walters residency story here, but because, according to several respected local news sources, I myself will be running for District Attorney this year.  And I would very likely go after people for perjury if they made false claims as to residency on candidacy applications.  (That would be evaluated on a case by case basis, of course — but the candidate’s party affiliation would have nothing to do with my analysis.)

So, I read Nguyen’s story with an increasing smile, expecting an admission against interest …  and then … I got to the end and there was no mention at all of the Mimi Walters residency challenge.  None.  It was like it didn’t even happen!

I was fleetingly irritated with Nguyen, because that’s a pretty blatant omission in an article that is, after all, about candidate residency challenges in and around Orange County.  I almost downgraded him to one and a half cheers.  But then I realized that I was being too harsh.  Nguyen, as a Republican political consultant, may live in a bubble into which news of the Mimi Walters residency problem never penetrated!  So it may not be that he was selectively going after Democrats to buttress a hit job for a client – it may be that he doesn’t know that Mimi Walters went through this scandal at all!

I want to give Chris the benefit of the doubt, so here are some links to my contemporaneous coverage:

“She’s Not There!”: Steve Young Files Suit Slamming Schemin’ Mimi Walters on Sham Residence

(Note: the introductory article setting Mimi’s scandal to the lyrics of the classic Zombies song, linked to above, has been represented to me by more than one person as one of the greatest all-time political blog stories in OC political blogging history.  I’m not making that claim myself; I’m just reporting on that opinion.)

Matt Cunningham (from 2007) Supports Steve Young’s Case Against Mimi Walters

“ZOT!” Steve Young Files His Argument Against Mimi Walters — and It’s Devastating

Someone Get Mimi Walters a Glass of Water Before She Hears about Richard Alarcon

IT HAD “RICHARD ALARCON’ RIGHT IN THE TITLE, CHRIS!

It’s Sham Residence Hearing Day! Is Mimi Walters More Like a Canadian or a Corpse?

I hope that, in further discussions of the residency of Kimberly Clark non-corporation, Nguyen will remember that there’s a really important recent local example of this to discuss — and that his blog, and other Republicans (including the DA) who should have spoken out or acted on the topic … didn’t.  If Republicans truly didn’t know about this, then I hope that Chris will spread the word to them.

(Postscript: To remind Chris that there’s no percentage in trying to hide an obvious truth where it obviously belongs, I also include this smackdown of Mimi on an unrelated allegation of corruption.  I’m not doing this for your benefit, John Moorlach, but I expect that you’re smiling as you read it.)


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.