Chumley’s Cancer Post: So This is How (and When) It’s Gonna Be, Huh?

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[Note that part 2 of this post, showing the reactions of mostly anonymous commenters, is here]:

[1] This is the sort of post best published on a holiday weekend.

I’d just as soon take up some stories while the people least involved with them are busy with their vacations rather than reading blogs.  Internal Democratic County of Orange County (“DPOC”) fights are especially alienating, so I’ve waited a few days to touch on this one.  The people most interested in reading it will surely find it when they get home, but it doesn’t need a long-term seat as our “most recent story” during this blog’s prime time.

Dan “Chumley” Chmliewski is the primary author of what I now think of as The Neoliberal OC (slogan: “Channeling OC’s Right Wing Noise Machine”).  For the uninitiated, The Liberal OC is a once respectable, now usually unreadable (and except when previous longtime dominant voice Chris Prevatt posts, largely unread) blog.  Last Thursday, it published a story with an attention-getting title:

“The Cancer in OC’s Democratic Party”

My photo — with my mouth attractively wide open as I decry the lawless (seriously, I mean lawless —  just brutally crushing any party bylaws or parliamentary rule that got in the way) removal of yours truly from the position of DPOC Northern Vice Chair a bit more than four months ago — appears just below this title.  This clarifies to even their mostly illiterate readers Chumley’s notion that “la malignité, c’est moi.”

Well, OK then.  We can discuss this like civilized adults — or like whatever Chumley is.  Either way works for me.

[2] Two asides before we get going

First: attentive readers will notice that I have now thrice referred to Dan Chmielewski (or “Chm’l’i”) as “Chumley,” which warrants some explanation.

  1. Chumley is the sidekick in the cartoon, from the era when Vern and I (and I believe Chmielewski and Prevatt) were growing up, known as Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales.  Don Adams, most famously of Get Smart, voiced the starring penguin — to whom Prevatt has some slight resemblance, physical and perhaps even otherwise, and I mean that in a reasonably positive way.  (Also, we have gay penguins now, so that works.)  Chumley — his dimwitted walrus sidekick with the catchphrase “Duh, OK Tennessee” — was voiced by Bradley Bolke, of whom you surely haven’t heard before, especially not outside of this context, and of whom likely won’t hear again.  This also fits.
  2. A “Chumley” also appears in “Pawn Stars”; that’s not the intended reference, not even ironically.
  3. I’m tired of typing “Chmielewski,” which this site’s autocorrect wants to change to “Schlemiel.”
  4. If you want the benefit of basic human courtesies, do not refer to someone else as “a cancer” — especially if you are a loathsome idiot.

Second: even more attentive readers will note that I have never written in any depth, in the four months since the meeting that Chumley brandishes and parades around with, about what happened on April 28 .  (When one of Chumley’s allies, naturally working under cloak of anonymity, eventually complained that I hadn’t changed my “biography” since my removal — because I usually don’t attend to it — I did go post a tiny smattering of what there is to say.)

This omission is intentional.  There’s a time and place for everything — thus, there are times and places not  for some things.  I haven’t written about it until now — and even today I’m pulling by far most of my punches — because this is an election year and I broadly support Democratic candidates.  (Where I think that their campaigns will likely hurt the party or the public, I will raise that at an endorsement meeting — but I’m supposed to.)  Given this, my flinging dirty laundry in the faces of Chumley and his crowd doesn’t help me accomplish what I want to see in local politics — although Chumley’s ally and bosom buddy Matt “the Teddy Bear Murderer” Cunningham probably is egging him on to do so in a desperate attempt to re-ingratiate himself with the OC Republican Party.

But — “cancer”?  He leaves me little choice.

Even now, given the task of explaining why I am not the equivalent of an aggressive fatal disease — not how I like to spend a Labor Day weekend —  party loyalty restrains me from raising more ruckus than I think is necessary to rebut attacks against me by Chumley and surrounding anonymous cowards.  After the election, I might have more things to say about our local party leadership, but that can (and should) wait.

Chumley, though, has no actual party loyalty.  He is loyal to the neoliberal faction of the party that he wants to take him seriously.  He gives the appearance of loyalty to the Irvine Democrats — but scratch the surface and that looks more like loyalty to his hero, Republican public relations consultant and public money sump pump Arthur Forde.  Forde’s actions tied an anchor around the political fortunes of Larry Agran in 2012 and may do so this year as well, though South County’s most prominent Democrat is gamely trying to kick free.

(The other main reason that Agran and his allies got whacked in 2012 and remain in trouble right now, of course, is Irvine Republican Establishment perfidy.  But when I write about that sort of thing, even those who disagree with me generally seem at least to take the argument seriously.  When Chumley writes about it, one knows it’s just going to be more manipulative PR — and it is taken as such.  It’s not really written to impress the discerning public, but only to ingratiate himself with the “client.”)

Let’s get to it.

Chumley and Tennessee outside

I mean nothing but kindness towards the obviously talented Chris Prevatt, playing the role of Tennessee Tuxedo at left. And Chumley, the creature on the right, is obviously not ACTUALLY Dan Chmielewski, because he has tusks. (But it’s close enough for our purposes.)

[3] The Cancer Diagnosis, with Commentary Interspersed, Part 1: My Public Shame

Here’s Chumley:

It’s become increasingly apparent that Orange Juice blogger Greg Diamond’s “advocacy” on political matters is hurting the Democratic Party in Orange County and our candidates more than helping it.  His combative style, bullying tactics with those he disagrees with, and demands for attention in OC’s news media are a distraction at worst and a detriment at best when it comes to appealing to independent and DTS voters our party needs to get candidates elected.  And with each passing week and month, it just gets worse for Diamond rather than better. But’s it’s time to give Diamond some of the attention he craves.

Being called a “bully” by Chumley is like being called “stinky” by a dung beetle.  Without going into too many details now, what has upset my opponents in the party is not my alienating independent voters, but my trying to get the party leadership to follow the freaking party and procedural rules (including those involving disclosure of party finances); stop turning the DPOC Chair position into a Nixonian dictatorship that its present occupant, even with all of the help he pleads for and gets from outside, is ill-equipped to manage; and (in the process) sometimes making people stay later than they would like.

Diamond was ousted from a leadership position as the DPOC’s North Vice Chair; two thirds of the vote were required and the party dumped him with a 70-30 split.  Now .300 is good if your a hitter in baseball at any level, but its abysmal in every other respect.  And with each new blog post, each appearance at DPOC meetings, and in interactions with various members of the Central Committee and DPOC regulars that grow increasingly negative, Diamond’s stature declines further and his poor reputation starts to drag down those associated with him.

I’d really love not to get into this now, but since Chumley keeps repeating this bullshit (and here uses that vote as partial justification for describing me as “a cancer on the party”), I feel I must.  (If anyone doesn’t like it, his post has been up for half a week — you had a chance to step in and tell him he was out of line, but you  didn’t, so you take a bow as well.  Here’s less than half of what I’d have to say on that meeting:

  • The charges made against me had not been presented to me in any coherent matter ahead of time.  (Florice Hoffman will say otherwise based on a voicemail she left — which I’d happily share.)
  • They did not match the charges that the Chair had previously (and privately) made to justify my removal: that DPOC couldn’t risk upsetting the Building Trades over my pro-environment and pro-consumer positions.
  • They did not even attempt to honor the permitted grounds for removal set forth in the DPOC Bylaws.
  • They were only presented to Central Committee members five minutes before a vote on them was supposed to begin.
  • At that time, they were slipped onto my own desk, after I had stepped away, onto the midst of a pile of other papers I’d brought to debate what I’d thought were the charges.  I didn’t even notice them until shortly before “debate” was supposed to begin (at which point I asked for and received another ten minutes to prepare.)
  • I was then given three minutes to respond to them — while opponents (the Chair and ten of his allies, all equipped with copies of the bill of charges against me along with, in most or all cases, with prepared statements written statements that they read out loud) presented an orchestrated carnival of false and misleading representations.
  • I had no control over who spoke on “my side” of the debate, some of whom raised arguments that I considered weak and none of whom — like me — had time for more than extemporaneous answers.
  • Challenging the Due Process legitimacy of these procedures proved impossible because the Chair had brought in his two biggest allies to help him: the Chair of the Los Angeles Democratic Party — a notorious and effective bully himself — ran the meeting, which included slamming down my challenge to his objectivity (at the state party convention less than two months prior to this meeting, he had drunkenly told a group of people, within my earshot, that he “hated me” — apparently because of my ties to the reformist wing of the state party and my not understanding that I am supposed to shut up when I’m being threatened) and the former Chair of the San Diego Democratic Party served as an almost entirely passive Parliamentarian.
  • There was definitely bullying and public pressure present– but it was not coming from me.
    • This vote came within a week or so after the OC Labor Federation, after (I’ve heard different stories) they were apparently either solicited by or assured the cooperation of the DPOC Chair and his allies, voted against endorsing me for District Attorney.  This was a little surprising because part of what I told them in my interview was that as someone who has spent most of the past five years (less so this past year) working primarily as a plaintiff’s employment attorney, I planned to make worker’s rights, including the right to organize, a MAJOR priority as OCDA.  They, unhappy about the prospect that my client CATER was going to sue the City of Anaheim to force a vote on bonds for the Convention Center (which we have since done), were slamming me with questions about opposing San Onofre, the 405 Toll Roads, and Poseidon.  I told them that I was completely for public works projects, which I felt should use union labor (as a service to both workers and the community that benefits from their greater expertise) — but only when those projects served the public good, not for what became in essence “make work” projects.  I gave the example of repair and upgrading of our water and bridge infrastructure — to which the reply was that that was well and good for some of the trade unions — but not, for example, for carpenters that need work build flooring.  I forget what my response was, but it may have been reduced to “too bad, if that’s not what the public needs.”
    • When people disposed to vote for me talked to me about pressure they were getting from their unions to support me after the failed Labor Fed bid — I told them that they should not risk their livelihoods on my account.  (I did this because I am a bully.)
    • I told the leadership in the OCLF — easily enough votes to block my removal — that under the circumstances I was not going to ask for their votes.  (I did this because I am a big bully.)
    • I told Democratic candidates who were being threatened with loss of labor support that I hoped that they would abstain, but that if these oh-so-loyal-to-Democrats organizations were really going to retaliate against me, I thought that they should do what they had to do.  (I did this because I am a huge bully.)
    • Among the people who had committed to me but switched their votes on the day of the meeting due to social pressure rather than to protect their job or their incumbent seat, I have never slagged them in print (despite obvious opportunity) and have at most a handful of times expressed to close friends that I thought that they should have shown more strength of character, but that I understood how hard they had apparently been bullied by their peers to fall in line.  I am supporting at least one of them, a decent person with whom I have not even once discussed their vote, without reservation in a local race — because I am an enormous bully.
  • Here’s why I’m told, directly by friends who voted against me — people who are not fans of the Building Trades and who thought that I showed both bravery and skill in the fights over San Onofre, the 405 toll road, Poseidon, and others where they agreed with me and appreciated my leadership, why I lost that vote:
    • The then-current situation, in which the DPOC Chair was concentrating the party’s power within a small circle of devoted supporters and spending an incredible amount of his time (by his own admission) focusing on the threat that my actions posed to his administration (by which he meant his chances of reelection, because their wasn’t much “administering” going on) rather than doing real work to benefit the party, simply could not be allowed to continue.  It didn’t matter that (as I was told) I had been right in the questions I was asking, reasonable (if persistent, but not prone to scream like some of his supporters) in trying to get answers, and had the party interest rather than self-interest in mind: one of us had to go.  There was never going to be a 2/3 vote to remove the Chair, given his core of loyal supporters and willingness to use any tactics to get his way, and as I had neither the will or the means to fight that kind of fight, it would have to be me.  We could revisit the Chair’s fitness to serve next January, when his term ends.
    • Here’s the weird thing, which I’ll say because I am the worst frigging bully in the history of California politics: I think that, except for its crapping on the Bylaws, that was a perfectly valid reason to vote for my removal.  It’s completely unfair as a matter of substance– but politics is not always about substantive fairness.  And if I had lost a procedurally fair vote, the culmination of a fair process, I would have shrugged and moved on.  (Many people slagging me can’t believe that this is true, apparently because they’d never do the same in such a situation.  More is the pity.)  What I couldn’t abide was the cheating — the wholesale, brazen cheating that made every person in the room who didn’t oppose it complicit in the wrong. Given the pressure politics, cheating should have been unnecessary — but evidently they were panicked about having the votes, so they acted shamelessly.

If you’re a Democrat and are unhappy at seeing this aired, even on a holiday weekend, then thank Chumley and his highly placed allies.  I could, I suppose, dismiss his calling me “a cancer” because he’s a graceless and classless idiot.  But when he starts to make revisionist arguments, I think that I have to rebut them — because clearly no one else is going to do so.  Again, we’ll recap this and MUCH MUCH MORE after the November election — and, if we don’t have a DPOC Administration worthy of trust and respect after January, no doubt for much longer.  Because, you know, telling the truth is bullying.

Let’s move onto the next section number.

[4] The Cancer Diagnosis, with Commentary Interspersed, Part 2: How to Spot a Tumor

Back to Chumley’s story:

Where to begin:

  • Diamond all but endorsed Conservative Republican Tom Tait for re-election to the Anaheim mayoral race at Monday’s DPOC endorsement meeting claiming Democrat and former Council member Lorri Galloway wasn’t a “viable candidate” and that her presence in the race would prompt a Lucille Kring victory.  Given the last two campaigns that Diamond himself has run as a candidate, he’d be an expert in what constitutes “viable candidacies.”

“Viable candidate” was Galloway’s term, not mine.  (I didn’t see Chumley there; he’d have no idea.)  If “all but endorsed” Tait means that I did not endorse him, that’s true: I haven’t.  Barring Galloway doing something so heinous and insane that it demands such a response, I won’t.  (As an ex officio member of the body, I think that I can — but for reasons covered above I can’t rely on the present DPOC regime following the rules.)

Yep — my concern is and remains that Galloway’s presence in the race could prompt a Kring victory — which would be disastrous for Anaheim.  Unlike Tait or Galloway, Kring is a bigot, a would-be tin-pot dictator without respect for civil rights, and completely willing to spend the City into oblivion and then rely on the tender mercies of municipal background if necessary.  (ARE YOU LISTENING, PUBLIC EMPLOYEES?)

I’m partially rethinking this now, though, based on something that slipped out of her mouth at the meeting.  I was told by some Anaheim residents that a poll that was obviously done by Disney or its allies, based on concerns expressed in some of the questions, had asked questions about support for Tait and for Kring — and had not even asked any questions about Galloway.  Someone being left off of such a poll is generally a sign that whoever paid for the result does not think that they have a chance to win — and it definitely factored into my view of her as, in the words I actually used to the Central Committee, “is going to finish third.”

Galloway, in her dramatic rebuttals to what I said — she was given two, rather than the announced maximum of one, but of course that’s how things work now and I am a vicious bully for noting it — had a really interesting point.  She said (and of necessity I’m paraphrasing) that she was aware of that poll, she knew why they were doing it, and that her omission had nothing to do with her being non-viable.

Well, if she’s telling the truth, what else could it be about?  The only think that I can think of that she’d be likely to know about is that the poll was testing whether Kring was still a viable candidate.  In other words, it could have been testing whether Disney (and, much more to the point, its booster club “SOAR”), should shift from supporting Kring to supporting Galloway.  (If so — thanks for the scoop!)

That makes sense — and it would make her viable (at least if the public safety unions to which Kring has been appealing also dump Kring.)  The wholesale dumping of Kring would be cause for celebration, but it does raise an interesting question: what would Galloway have to agree to in order to get Disney in her corner?  Galloway had taken strong, good stands on police misconduct, district elections, and the Stadium negotiations — and then has been almost entirely absent from the issue debates in Anaheim for more than half a year now.  (The prospect that she’s been spending months in a chrysalis transmogrifying into a brunette Kris Murray is terrifying.)  Her main issue has been that it’s time for a woman to become Anaheim’s Mayor and that she’s qualified — but getting her back into the debate over these major spending and policy issues would be very helpful.

  • Diamond has written before that his poorly-run candidacy for state senate in 2012, well documented by OC Weekly’s R. Scott Moxley, was designed to keep Bob Huff away from Sharon Quirk-Silva’s assembly race in 2012.  The reality is SQS ran a smart campaign focused on November and not June and had a great GOTV effort.  Huff’s considerable financial resources were more than available to help Chris Norby, but Huff really didn’t, making Diamond’s claims factual only in his mind but not in reality.

Chumley doesn’t know what he’s talking about.  My writings about my race against Huff are available on this site.  Huff would have gone unopposed had I not run against him — and I raised almost all of my money from outside of Orange County while telling people here that it would make sense if they instead gave money to Sharon, because she was highly viable.  On OJB, I provided an early and widely read — Chumley wouldn’t have checked, of course — post-primary analysis showing why Sharon was viable when no other political writer in California thought that she had a chance.  (I know that it was widely read because people at the state convention told me that they had read it.)

What more?  Democrats of North Orange County would not have rented the campaign headquarters from which Sharon’s team worked for most of the fall had not I put up something like $250/month for a share of it — a substantial part of my budget for something it was not clear I’d need — back in March, after she had demurred.  Moxley was pissed off at me (in my opinion) because I wrote a scathing editorial reply in this blog to his article claiming that OC Dems had given up on Obama and then when he tried to bigfoot me with the famous cartoon depicting me naked, I refused to go away but just hit back at him harder.

So, if you’re keeping score, I ran where we needed a candidate, got a surprising 45% of the vote on a budget of about $13,000, avoided taking any money away from Sharon and directed donors her way, made the critical difference in funding the party campaign headquarters in Fullerton,  wrote the seminal article (read statewide) on why she could win, and had the guts to take on and stave off Moxley even after he did his best to humiliate me.  What was that criticism again?

  • Diamond routinely brings up his thousands of hours of volunteering time with Occupy, a leaderless organization where Diamond assigned himself a position that would allow him to chat with the press.  While Occupy did a nice job nationally to call attention to the plight of the 99%, it failed to elect any candidates to OC office who strongly identified with the Occupy movement.

Factually wrong again.  I never claimed to have volunteered “thousands of hours” with Occupy; I’ve said that Occupy OC continued on, entirely non-violently, for 2442 straight hours — during all but 100 or 200 of which I wasn’t there (though I was on call.)  I wasn’t a press liaison, I was a liaison to city governments and their police departments.  I talked to the press mostly on legal issues because (most, not all) people there trusted me enough so that I became the group’s de facto lawyer.  Chumley says “well, but you didn’t elect a candidate.”  Yeah, and George Washington never won a battle in the Revolutionary War.  So?  We helped change public opinion without winning elections — something Chumley apparently can barely imagine.

  • Diamond is proud of his race against District Attorney Tony Rackauckas even thought T-Rack’s margin of victory was one of the biggest out there in the June primary.  There are a certain number of voters who will always vote for whatever candidate has a particular party affiliation or against any incumbent, not necessarily for Greg Diamond.  Diamond had one public fundraiser, campaigned primarily via blog posts on the Orange Juice, and had missing information on a poorly designed website.  His race for the water district seat will surely be as inept as his race for DA.

Racky got over 300,000 votes — most in the county — while running unopposed in 2010.  Again, I decided to run against him (I’d have otherwise taken on Royce or AD-55) because out of all these OC lawyers, many of whom know that he’s a waste of office space and authority to fight corruption, no one else had the guts.  (Of course, as an aside, the current DPOC Chair’s handpicked Endorsements Committee — not in the Bylaws, of course — recommended against my endorsement for DA.  They did so again last week, although no one could explain why, which I have to admit was pretty amusing.  Both times, the full body endorsed me over the DPOC Chair’s objections.)

In 2014, Racky got about 202,000 votes and I got about 77.500 — a margin of about 125,000.  That is an accomplishment — partly because, instead of the party looking like a chastened cringing dog, someone took up arms against the rotten incumbents.  (When I run into people now and talk turns to politics, I sometimes ask them what they think about Rackauckas and whether they voted for him this year.  If they say that they voted against him, I tell them that in that case they voted for me.  THAT is what a good politician, if able to shake barnacles like Chumley off of his or her leg, is supposed to do.)  Party affiliation isn’t listed on the ballot.  And if there were 77,500 people prepared to vote against Racky — well, now we know that and without me we wouldn’t have.

My inability to campaign much was due to the Anaheim Baseball Stadium and Anaheim Convention Center cases from CATER heating up — along with the Building Trades cooperation with the DPOC to hamstring me making me not want to drag others into pissing them off.  Ultimately, they don’t give a damn about the Democratic Party, despite being smart enough to endorse Democrats — especially in races where it won’t affect the outcome.  And after the trades went after me I stopped seeking candidate and prominent public official endorsements, and unilaterally chose not to publicize some that I’d received, to spare people from revenge by the Building Trades.  (Bully, bully, bully — remember?)  As for “Diamond had one public fundraiser” — yep, I did because I didn’t have time or resources to do more.  (And, anyone who knows squat about political campaigning knows that in most races fundraising events don’t much matter.)

Chumley apparently thinks that if you can’t fundraise, it’s better that you don’t run at all, thereby giving no one the chance to vote against the entrenched incumbent.  This is just arrant stupidity — although from his perspective it does give all the cards to the major donors, which I guess is what he craves.  Yes, I campaigned primarily via OJB blog posts here, which got a lot of reaction.  (Also, check out how many big reforms the DA’s office trotted out in the two months before the election versus the months since and the years before.  That timing was likely arranged to defeat me.  You’re welcome, Chumley!)  My website was pro forma; I was pretty sure that it wouldn’t make the difference between victory and defeat and prioritized accordingly.  My race for Water Board will depend largely on my available time and money, but I’ll promise you one thing: my opponent will very much wish that he had been able to run unopposed — and likely within the next week.

  • Diamond has already predicted his victory in the water district election over incumbent Brett Barbre; but in Diamond’s mind, a victory usually means he got 30% of the vote and provided voters with a choice.  That’s not a victory, it’s delusional thinking.

I don’t mean to be insulting here, but this is the sort of thing that makes me wonder exactly where Chumley fits on the autism spectrum.  (Note: this is neither a joke or an insult; my wife works with autistic adults and I’m fairly familiar with behaviors like this sort of concrete and detached thinking.  If it doesn’t involve money or actual election victories, he literally cannot perceive the value in it.  That’s really bad politics.)

Here’s what a victory is: something that advances a political program.  Getting 30% (or 45% against Huff) is a victory for providing a choice, especially in a county where Democrats largely have the reputation of being either corrupt, complicit, or mild and inert losers.  The current DPOC Chair at one point understood this and campaigned on it.  Now it seems to have fallen by the wayside — and belief in it is a sign that one is “a cancer.”

  • Diamond’s latest pitch is for the DPOC, an organization in much better financial shape these days, to fork over $5,000 a year to political operatives in Ferguson, MO to help African-American candidates run for and win city council seats; many Democrats in OC would prefer to keep the cash right here to benefit Democratic candidates in this county.  It’s not the DPOC’s charter to help Democrats anywhere but in OC.

Again: factually incorrect.  It’s not $5000/year; it was to be a one-time donation to prepare for their April 2015 municipal election — and had it come up at the meeting, before Florice Hoffman called for an early adjournment, my request was to be for only $1000.  The notion that county parties can’t help outside of their own county is flatly incorrect — and it a party can’t donate, it can certainly bundle contributions.  However, given how many people are distraught and frustrated over what’s going on in Ferguson and their seeming inability to do anything to change it, for the DPOC to take a leading role and tell OC citizens that “we will collect your money to Ferguson to help African Americans to throw off this oppressive government in April 2015 would be extremely popular and likely a net gain for the party financially.  Again, concrete-headed Chumley is the enemy of creativity.  (As a friend of mine notes, how much great publicity and spirit was generated by out-of-state payments for pizza for Wisconsin protesters?)

  • Generally speaking, one gets the impression Diamond wants to run the party here in OC and is much like Tom Tait…a “my way or the highway” kind of person.  In a party that is supposed to have a big tent that embraces many ideas, Diamond routinely denigrates and attempts to harm the reputation of anyone who has a different position from himself.

That’s simply untrue — and ironic, given how the current DPOC Chair said at the time of my removal that we could not afford to alienate the “my way or the toll highway” Building Trades.  I don’t denigrate conservative Democrats per se; I denigrate people who are corrupt and who themselves oppose a big tent that gives real power to liberals.  (Not to “progressives” — a term that people here bend to mean whatever they want — but to people on the left on more than abortion rights and the like.)  I have good relations with lots of people in the party whom I’d describe as moderate to conservative — but not with the sellouts to horrific interests like the private jail system and not with people who line their own pockets and expect real Democrats to defend them.  One good example: Wendy Gabriella, who is much more conservative than me but who is exactly right for her district — and who practically beams integrity and work ethic.  Zero problems with her!

  • Diamond is unaware of how many people just reject his brand of politics; every anonymous commenter is either me or Matt Cunningham.  I don’t have a single IP anonymizer on my systems and they know my IP address at OJ.  But conspiracy theorists need an enemy.

No, they’re showing more variety now as the current Chair’s claque seems to have stepped up a bit.

  • Under the page of “you can’t pick your in-laws,” Diamond is the brother-in-law of long time party activist Jeff Letourneau and Jeff was seen working Central Committee members over to sway enough no votes to save Diamond’s North Vice Chair position.  It didn’t work because when the vote came down, there were several members who were considered Diamond “friends” who voted for explusion.  The lobbying has hurt Letourneau as well with some Central Committee members telling me his association with Diamond is hurting him. Jeff needs to know you can’t pick your in-laws.  Jeff actually gave his time to speak at the last meeting for Lorri Galloway to address the Party at Monday’s meeting in defiance of his brother-in-law’s recommendation that she not be endorsed.

Jeff and I often disagree, but I have great respect for his intelligence, decency, integrity, vigor, and values.  I’ve explained why I lost the vote above.  Had I followed Jeff’s advice and played hardball, I would have won — but with more harm done to the party than I was prepared to accept.  We argued about that quite a bit, but in a situation of mutual respect.  Anyone who looks down on Jeff because he married my wife’s brother is simply an asshole — but if he ever wants to disassociate with me, on one issue or all, I’ve told him that he should.  It won’t change my high opinion of him.  (And by the way, can you even imagine writing the sort of anonymously sourced poison pen note about another families internal dynamics that Chumley did there?)

  • Oddly enough, Republicans who want Lucille Kring to win in Anaheim, use Tait’s affiliation with Diamond and support of Dr. Jose Moreno to paint Tait as a faux conservative. Tait and Kring are likely to split the Republican vote in Anaheim.  Tait wants to peel off Democratic and Latino votes that represent Galloway’s base.  Galloway’s strong track record of working with Republicans on the council to get positive progressive change done in Anaheim is well documented.  The more Diamond promotes Tait, the more it hurts Tait with Republicans.

Chumley’s good friend Matt Cunningham is one of those people working (my belief is … for money) to support a Kring victory, so if that’s where Chumley is getting the information, it’s highly suspect.  But, if it is true, then I guess that Chumley should celebrate it, given his close relationship with Kring’s de facto running mate Kris Murray.  Happily, it’s not true.

I have no idea what Chumley means by “positive progressive change” — but I have doubt as to whether it’s positive or progressive.  I expect that it’s just shunting money with reckless abandon to the same business interests that Chumley’s friends get paid to promote.  (I also wonder: was this before or after Galloway was stripped of the position of Vice-Chair by the Republican Majority that Chumley so respects?)

  • About the only elected Democrats that ever seem to get nothing but praise from Diamond are State Rep. Sharon Quirk-Silva and Garden Grove mayoral candidate Bao Nguyen. Loretta Sanchez, Tom Daly, Lou Correa, Larry Agran, Beth Krom, Jordan Brandman — all with several election wins under their belts — have earned Diamond’s scorn on more than one occasion. If only Diamond were so critical of Republicans

I’ve routinely praised Lorretta and Beth and Larry, as well as Al Lowenthal, Linda Sanchez, Jan Flory, Team Huntington Beach, and lots of Democratic school board members.  Daly, Solorio, and Correa earn praise or scorn as the situation dictates — just the way that independent voters say they think is appropriate.  Most recently, I think, I went after Solorio for being a selfish asshole when he stood by and put nothing into his June ground game, this letting Jim Moreno lose his Supervisorial primary.

Diamond’s recent post on Orange Juice, about supporting efforts to elect more African-American candidates in Ferguson, MO, has merit but he wants to spend other people’s money to do this — namely the DPOC.  I’d rather see DPOC money staying here to pay the organization’s bills, support candidates who need more fundraising help, fund GOTV initiatives and voter registration drives and bank some for a rainy day.  Frankly, it galls me that someone who routinely berates business Democrats would call on them to fund an effort in another state.  From Diamond’s post, it sure sounds like he wants to go to Missouri himself to help these people get elected.  On December 31, 2014, there’s a one-way fare from OC to St. Louis for $206.  Just how long do you think it would take for me to raise $206 to pay for Diamond’s airfare if he promised to relocate to Ferguson and move out of his humble abode in Brea?  I’m guessing 10-15 minutes after this post goes up.

That some local assholes want to see me leave does not, perhaps surprisingly, motivate me to want to leave.

Diamond’s political reputation isn’t beyond saving.  He can rebuild it, if he chooses too, but will require one on one communication with those he’s angered, being humble, listening more than speaking and perhaps working on being a better soldier than a someone who believes he’s a general.  And its not an overnight conversion.  Many of the party influencers I speak with tell me Greg talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk.  There’s a lot of chatter about what the party should do but he’s never around to actually do it.  Diamond’s choices are pushing people he needs away and its really hard to accomplish anything in the Party on your own.  But hey, he can always go DTS.

Nope — I’m a Democrat, period.  (It may be hard for some people from OC to recognize the authentic thing.)  I’m a Democrat who respects Republicans with whom I can intelligently debate social policy where we disagree, like Tait, and who has no use at all for the ones who are all about pandering and profiteering, like Kring.  One can reach reasonable compromises with the former; rarely with the latter.

As for the anonymous assertion that I don’t “walk the walk” — first, Dan is likely lying about what he’s told by “party influencers” — and what they say is based on what they want others to believe rather than what they think is true.  But aside from what else you see, here’s a recent example of my “walking the walk.”

I spent much of last week fighting against the Water Board candidacy of Reprehensible Dave Ellis in court by challenging his ballot designation.  I won a partial victory — one that leaves him with a confusing designation (he decided to accept it) and that, once I lay into him over it on this blog, will likely prove a serious hindrance to him.

Did anyone else step up?  No.  Do most “party influencers” even know who Dave Ellis in and why it’s so important to defeat him?  Probably not.

When they talk about “walking the walk,” perhaps they’re talking about high “face time” activities like voter registration, canvassing, and attending fundraisers — which tend to be great for those who want to rise through the party ranks and get invited to the good parties.  All of that’s fine — but others without my training can do those activities as well (often probably better) than I can.  What I can do through litigation and writing and being willing to stand up in front of corrupt interests is something that others generally can’t or won’t do.  That Republicans and their allies (like Dan) go nuts over me, but not his Business Democratic buddies, tells you a lot about what actions they fear.

Some of what I do involves taking on interests where some Democrats are complicit in and profit from either corruption or at least selling out the public interest.

Yes, I do try to destroy those sorts of cells — but where Chumley sees cancer, I see chemotherapy.

[Note that part 2 of this post is herepublished separately so that it can expand as comments to Chumley’s page expand, we’ll check out Chumley’s readers’ (mostly anonymous) reactions!]  

About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose worker's rights and government accountability attorney, residing in northwest Brea. General Counsel of CATER, the Coalition of Anaheim Taxpayers for Economic Responsibility, a non-partisan group of people sick of local corruption. Deposed as Northern Vice Chair of DPOC in April 2014 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. Occasionally runs for office to challenge some nasty incumbent who would otherwise run unopposed. (Someday he might pick a fight with the intent to win rather than just dent someone. You'll know it when you see it.) He got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012 and in 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002. 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. A family member 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.)