AD-73: Is “Unpaid Bill” Brough a Scummy Sadist — or is He Just Running THAT SCARED?

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[Prefatory note: While OJB was working on this post, blogger Art Pedroza came out with his own related story, which covers some of the same ground as ours and some quite interesting different ground, including giving away some of our intended later punchlines. We discovered it shortly before publishing.  We are happy to give Art credit for the good work and for beating us to the punch.  In compensation for this plug we are stealing part of his photo of Bill Brough grilling — which readers who do not like really morbid humor should please ignore and skip right down to the story. (Seriously, all of those pets are, to our knowledge, safe from being savaged by Bill Brough — unlike other people’s legal contracts.)]

Bill Brough with Pets and Meat

OJB has no definitive information as to whether the meat that known wrongdoer Bill Brough is grilling may come from a horse named “Equity” that constitutional attorney Wendy Gabriella may or may not ride on the weekends to relieve the stress of campaigning against a desperate thug — but experts assure OJB that it is too large to come from the sad cat at right and probably also from the fluffy dog. (If it were a smaller cut of meat, OJB would not venture to guess.)


Money is the neither the heart or the brains of political campaigning, but it is the life-blood that nourishes the muscle.

AD-73 candidate Bill Brough has done something very bad — as in, “lawsuit bad” and possibly even “illegal bad” — to choke off the money supply to his opponent Wendy Gabriella’s campaign.

So Republicans — and of course also independents and Democrats — will be sniffing this man over during the next 60 days.  One thing that they’ll need to consider is whether Brough engaged in this vicious and legally punishable act because he’s just a sadistic scumbag (out of courtesy, I reversed and eased up those words in the title or because he’s really afraid that he’s going to lose.

Increasingly, it looks like the answer is that what he did is an act of desperation.  He does not want Gabriella to have the money to send out mailers.  If she can afford mailers, she has a killer story to tell about Brough.

Admittedly, Gabriella would probably not normally have had a great shot in the very Republican 73rd district.  An opponent like Steve Baric would have been a very difficult match.  But the notion of having “Unpaid Bill” Brough (I’ll explain that name another time) as their Assembly representative for a dozen years is generating about as much enthusiasm among Republicans in the area as having to prep for a colonoscopy,

There are not-so-very hushed murmurings — our commenter “truck drivin’ mike” emitted one here yesterday (and no that was not set up in advance) — that having an economic conservative like Gabriella in office for two years (during which she’d largely have to reflect her electorate’s views to have a shot at re-election) would be much more tolerable than having to put up with Brough — who could, remember, just be a sadistic scumbag! — throwing his weight around local politics.

Sometimes you just throw the fish back into the water — especially if it looks unappetizing and is not something you’d hang on your wall.  So let’s see how how unappetizing Brough looks.


A candidate like Unpaid Bill Brough, with once-patrons like Diana Harkey and still-patrons like the wealthy Beall family (whose Tony Beall is on the Rancho Santa Margarita City Council, along with Brough’s primary opponent Jesse Petrilla and almost primary opponent Steve Baric), can theoretically raise lots of money by snapping a finger.

An independent, non-machine candidate like Wendy Gabriella has to work harder for it.  She had one good fundraiser a few weeks back and is getting ready for another one tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon, Sept. 14.  But Gabriella has hit an obstacle in the road — not a natural one, like a pothole or a tree branch or a suicidal possum, but more like one of those nail-studded boards designed to rip up your tires — and it makes for a very interesting story.

Here’s what she has recently had to say to her supporters:

Dear Friends,

We have a change of venue and time for our September 14th Fundraiser: Jacks Restaurant 24462 Del Prado Ave Dana Point, CA 92629 from 2:00-4:00pm. My opponent, Mr. Bill Brough, was responsible for this last minute change due to his connections with the owner of Stillwater. The owner of Jacks, Jack Loconsolo, was gracious enough to help us make this event happen on short notice after the last minute notification from Stillwater. Please plan to attend. We have important campaign updates and information you need to know. Things are heating up in the deep south and we need your support to get the word out to voters. I apologize for any inconvenience.

Please join fellow supporters of 73rd District Assembly Candidate

Wendy Gabriella

For an afternoon fundraiser

Sunday September 14th, 2014 2pm – 4pm

Jack’s Restaurant/Bar

24462 Del Prado Ave Dana Point, CA 92629

Co-Hosted by Assembly District 73 Delegates

Rosemarie Allaire + Steve Stewart and Orange County Democratic Party Chairperson Henry Vandermeir

Please contribute before the event:

$25-$50 Supporter; $100 Sponsor; $250 Co-Host

RSVP: 949.290.1376

[Ed. note: RSVP if you can; come even if you don’t RSVP.]

Vote November 4, 2014

You should, of course, attend.  (Get her money some other way if you can’t.)  Even if you don’t live in her district, after reading the next section, you may well want to.


So we have a change in venue and a one-hour change of time for an event; nothing so unusual there.  But there may be something in Gabriella’s statement that you missed — especially if you are color blind and didn’t notice that I put it in a big bold red font:

My opponent, Mr. Bill Brough, was responsible for this last minute change due to his connections with the owner of Stillwater.

Huh?  What?  Is there some sort of a story there?  Why, yes indeed — it turns out that there is.

Here’s what “successful small business owner” (his ironic self-description, not my choice of words) “Unpaid Bill” Brough did.    (That nickname will be explained another time — but I’ll bet that Mr. Brough knows exactly what it’s about, and it’s something that I wasn’t going to mention publicly until he pulled this bush league stunt.  Feel free to start using it now in preparation for the big reveal, of course.)

Oh, I can almost hear you wondering: how do I know that Unpaid Bill really did what I’m about to say that he did?  Why, it’s through the magic of INCRIMINATING EMAIL!

Specifically, this one, from which I will excerpt, with my comments in green:

From: Matt Guzzetta [email address held back unless the veracity is challenged]
Date: Tue, Sep 9, 2014 at 6:10 PM
Subject: Rosemarie
To: Nick Cozens <> [email address not held back — because with great power becomes great responsibility.  Note: OJB asks you not to address him abusively.]


So after speaking with Rosemarie (the lady whose event we cancelled) over the phone she showed up in the restaurant with her husband tonight.  She keeps saying how “suspicious it is” left a voicemail on Edgar’s phone saying this is [expletive deleted] etc and knows we are playing politicos.  I told her on the phone we had to cancel the event due to unforeseen circumstances with our cooler going down and launching our restaurant this weekend as I didn’t want to come out and say “we aren’t allowing you to have this event because our boss is friends with the owner”.[Some material deleted here.]  She came in today and asked if we can’t do it this week can we do it next week, or the following one (basically trying to goad me into saying we aren’t ever going to hold it).

I need some assistance on how to handle this further….

Matt Guzzetta
General Manager
24701 Del Pravo Ave.
Dana Point, CA 92629
w: 949.661.6003
[cell phone deleted out of courtesy]

Wow.  “Sadistic scumbag” is definitely doing well in the competition so far.  But maybe Brough is desperate too — the race isn’t over!


In imagining that what Brough did here is just the “look at me, I’m an entitled asshole” equivalent of scratching the paint on her car, let’s not leave out that what he did is not just illegal, but pretty easy to prove if someone gets access to the email.  It’s more like scratching the paint on someone’s car in full view of a security camera — and then waving and bowing at the camera.

Meet the offense of “intentional interference with contractual relations” one of the two main flavors of “tortious interference.”  It says basically that if someone has a contract — that is, a legal document entitling them to either receive money or have the opportunity to do so — and you intentionally do something that with the purpose of that contract canceled — you have taken something of value from them without being entitled to do so.  Whether it’s worth suing over depends on many things, such as the stakes.  (The Stillwater’s competitors may have more reason to be pissed over this sort of business practice than Gabriella does.  Taking illegal actions to ingratiate one’s business with a prospective elected official gives one an unfair advantage.  I’d be happy to explain this concept privately and at greater length to businesses in the area.)

I don’t think that we have to go into the California Jury Instructions that would come into play here and now.

That’s just the normal legal system.  You can’t do this, for example, to screw up the wedding reception of your “frenemy’s” daughter.  Take it into politics, though — and now you’re bringing in the Fair Political Practices Commission — or “FPPC.”  What can and will the FPPC do to take advantage of a candidate who engages in such practice not simply because he is a sadistic scumbag, but because he is afraid of the career-ending embarrassment of losing the most Republican-leaning Assembly seat in California to a political newcomer?  I don’t know!  I’m really busy through Sept. 23, and I haven’t had time to research it yet!  He’s not likely to have leave office over it without a whole lot more — so you can relax, Paul Glaab — but, official punishments aside, it could well mean that means that he’s likely to be even more politically impotent than your average minority Assembly member.  And that’s not good for Orange County.

So yes: to pull an easily identified and potentially damaging illegal stunt like this, I think that one’s being a sadistic scumbag helps — but I think that it’s still not likely unless one is absolutely terrified about the political implications of one’s opponent having enough money to afford a good number of mailers.

And that’s what I suspect that Unpaid Bill is right now.  Terrified of mailers that explain his nickname, explain the problem with describing himself as “a successful small businessman” — and explain his role in the swindles perpetrated by the husband of Diane Harkey, whether they involved her or not.

I expect that Wendy Gabriella herself might have a thing or two to say about some of the above if someone at her fundraiser asked her about that this Sunday afternoon.  It would be pretty cheap for some people in her area to attend and find out!

About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Deposed as Northern Vice Chair of DPOC in April 2014 (in violation of Roberts Rules) when his anti-corruption and pro-consumer work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, who then worked with the lawless and power-mad DPOC Chair to eliminate his internal oversight. Expelled from DPOC in October 2018 (in violation of Roberts Rules) for having endorsed Spitzer over Rackauckas -- which needed to be done. None of his pre-putsch writings ever spoke for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level, nor do they now. One of his daughters co-owns a business offering campaign treasurer services to Democratic candidates and the odd independent. He is very proud of her. He doesn't directly profit from her work and it doesn't affect his coverage. (He does not always favor her clients, though she might hesitate to take one that he truly hated.) He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)