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Self-deprecatory humor — that’s what the title of this post is, which I explain given the almost certainty that Dan Chmielewski doesn’t get it — generally does not play well in politics. I engage in self-deprecatory humor all of the time — I consider it much nicer than other-deprecatory humor — but it tends to weird out political people. That’s OK; I think that it’s good to expose them to more of it! And the more people say that I can’t do something, the more — after I think it through — I generally realize that I can, if I have the guts.
Anyway, this post’s title notwithstanding, I do not actually have delusions of grandeur. I do not think that the entire local Labor movement is going to defund the Democratic Party unless I resign my position as Vice-Chair. Moreover, I don’t think that the entire state Democratic Party will do so, or the national Democratic Party, or whatever secret alliances may exist beyond that. But I’ll tell you what — if I’ve inadvertently hit the sort of huge throbbing nerve that Chmielewski’s heaving bosom suggests that I have, then there’s no way that I’m leaving party office other than on a rail or a slab!
If the Building Trades want to bring that much of a spotlight onto the Convention Center bonds, Poseidon, the 405 toll roads, the GardenWalk Giveaway, San Onofre, the Stadium Giveaway, and all of the other boondoggles and disasters that I’ve opposed — then I guess that I will just have to let them do so. I’m not seeking to become front-page news — but if it happens, I know just what to do with it. And it’s not the sort of thing that the Building Trades should want.
So that you don’t have to go to The Liberal OC to read Dan’s screed — and you know that you don’t want to — I’ll review it for you here, a protected practice of rebuttal called “fisking.”
Two independent sources tell TheLiberalOC that at Wednesday’s special Executive Board meeting of the OC Labor Fed, that all 90-plus unions represented by the Labor Fed united with the 20-plus Building Trade unions in demanding that the Democratic Party of Orange County remove Greg Diamond from his North OC Vice Chair post or organized labor will withhold support of Democratic candidates in the coming June primaries and November elections.
Unless I’m mistaken, the 20-plus Building Trades are part of that “90-plus” (actually, it’s 93) unions in the Labor Fed. And, unless I’m mistaken, the threat that “organized labor” — not just the Building Trades, but the whole shebang — will withhold support from Sharon Quirk-Silva and other Democratic candidates is ludicrous. Some people are so insular that they have absolutely no idea when they have gone over the top.
Diamond, a candidate for District Attorney and a blogger for the Orange Juice Blog, also represents CATER, a secretive organization suing the city of Anaheim over the Convention Center expansion and alleged Brown Act violations concerns negotiations with the Angels. And its the lawsuits that represent thousands of union jobs that has raised the ire of organized labor.
CATER is no more secretive than any other 501(c)(4) group. (Nor is it more so that Dan’s source.) And the rationale for and importance of the Convention Center expansion bonds — especially the $120MM of the $300MM that aren’t slated to be used for the Convention Center — will become more clear in time.
“Organized labor was united in declaring Greg Diamond to be anti-Labor no matter what Greg Diamond says he is,” said a source granted anonymity by this blog.
Ask yourself: why would someone demand anonymity to say that? You have to positively delight in anonymity to want to keep that anonymous.
Beyond that, I recently printed a whole bunch of my responses to the absolutely excellent COPE questionnaire from the Labor movement; did you see even a single response there that addressed a question like “will you support gigantic spending projects that produce some union jobs even if they are adopted illegally, threaten public health, waste huge amounts of taxpayer money (most of it on Republican-oriented corporations and middlemen rather than on Labor, by the way) and play into every bad (and generally incorrect, at least in Orange County) public stereotype of what Labor wants?
Why do I have to worry more about Labor’s “brand” than the Building Trades do? Well, at least that will be something worth a good discussion — if Chmielewski’s chmielickenshit source has the guts.
The Building Trades sent the DPOPC a letter on march 31 calling for Diamond’s removal or else. Representatives told the Liberal OC then that the letter was “the tip of the iceberg” and they would be seeking support from other OC unions to join their effort. The Building Trades were successful in convincing the OC Labor Fed and its 90+ unions to sign on in support. We’re told each labor union at the meeting in Orange County as well as labor connections in Sacramento stood united and joined the Building Trades of OC and Los Angeles in demanding the Party remove Diamond.
In their position, that was the right thing to do. The Building Trades may need to do this, as they have said, to show their members that they are doing something to create jobs. Other unions don’t need to get in the way of that. But it’s not going to make me leave the post — and, if the DPOC follows its Bylaws, it won’t allow them to remove me. All it will do is to focus public attention on the basis for the rift. I’m fine with that.
It is also highly unlikely Diamond will receive any labor support in his race to defeat Tony Rackauckas including Labor Fed support he sought. Diamond’s campaign website currently posts no endorsements, no events and no issues.
Yeah, I’ve been busy writing complaints and other court submissions to worry much about the website. It will be more complete within a couple of weeks — around the time that people other than inward-looking politicos start paying attention to the race. I have spoken at several events already and have another one or two next week. And we’ll soon be announcing a low-dollar fundraiser. I came into this late, remember?
The prospect of tight Democratic races in AD-65 and SD-34 without Labor support would be devastating to Sharon Quirk-Silva and Jose Solorio chances in November.
Let me see — the rest of the state gets wind that the OC Building Trades have gone completely around the bend. Now, do they send less money to Sharon — a deserving candidate in a critical race, or do they send more, to make up for the wackos? I guess that we might find out!
It takes two thirds of the DPOC Central Committee to remove someone from a leadership post; it’s unclear if Diamond has enough votes to defeat a motion to remove him from his party position. But fighting his removal from Party leadership in the wake of a unified labor move to demand his ouster holds serious consequences for the Party and our candidates.
You may be wondering what grounds are required for removal of someone from office. I’ll let Dan and his chickenshources think about that for a while. I think that it’s online, if they care.
If he were to fight his removal, doing so with so much at stake is simply the height of arrogance that places his own interests ahead of those interests of Democratic candidates, the Democratic Party’s interest, and the interests of organized labor.
Ah, this is where I have to get serious. What’s at stake here is whether a faction of Labor, threatening who-knows-what consequences to other unions if they don’t fall into line, can demand the ouster of a party official for taking stances that, in most cases, most of the party also supported – and for, in his private capacity, fighting an underdog battle against huge amounts of corruption in Orange County’s largest city.
They really thought that hostage-taking would be the way to get me to resign? How stupid are they?
Diamond needs to be a team player here and do the right thing. He should resign his Party leadership position effectively immediately. This would free him to continue his lawsuit against the city of Anaheim on behalf of CATER, maintain his campaign for DA, and continue his long winded posts and commentary on the Orange Juice Blog.
Diamond is already doing the right thing. He is already free “to continue his lawsuit against the city of Anaheim on behalf of CATER.” He is already maintaining his campaign for DA — although he may be blogging less for the next while. The only thing he is doing “effective immediately” is to stop talking about myself in the third person, which I consider awkward.
I don’t speak for Chris Prevatt who publishes this blog and is a union member. But I call on Diamond to resign from the DPOC North Vice Chair and Central Committee. Make amends with Labor. Don’t hurt our candidates. Do the right thing and resign.
I’ll say one thing to that: Chris Prevatt is a good guy who has more brains in his ankles and more grace in his toes than Dan Chmielewski does in his entire body. (Even pre-surgery.) So I’m glad that Dan does not speak for him — but I’m worry that he continues to hang so heavily — flapping wildly like a wounded penguin — around Chris’s neck. It will be a nicer political world in OC when Dan, Kris Murray, Matt Cunningham, are his other political supporters (like the mysterious people who leaked this to him) are no longer part of it. And we’ll also have a better Labor movement, including the Building Trades, who will be able to get more jobs when so much public wealth is not being siphoned into plutocrats’ private pockets.
Meanwhile, I call upon Dan Chmielewski to grow a brain — and on his anonymous sources to grow a spine. This sort of crap is what turns people off to party politics — and, as someone who cares a lot about having a party worth people’s votes, I will not take it meekly. Whoever predicted that I would do so is an idiot.