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These were our most viewed stories in 2016 that were first published in 2016.
This was not supposed to be our endorsement piece for the November — look a few slots below for that — but things got out of hand. Greg was not able to finish that endorsements on time due to “life happening,” and so people started looking for the next best thing: his article on who had filed back in August, which also contained some information about who we like. It got over 3500 hits, mostly in the six weeks before the election. Even after we published the actual endorsement list, even after we referred people there to the correct post, we still could not turn this damned thing off. (We blame the Russians for this.)
“Friend of the blog” Carol Levers had not written for us before, but she came back from her experience as a Sanders Delegate to the Democratic National Convention with quite a story to tell. Over 3,000 of you read it.
The title Vern used is ironic — Disneyland didn’t do this intentionally — but it did have a “silent night” due to a protest over the killing of Joel Acevedo.
The first of many stories on this list where Vern takes on goings-on in Surf City and its most obnoxious former journalist. (last few words V)
By Greg with help from others. This was what y’all were supposed to read! By the time it finally came out, about a couple thousand of you did.
Vern stays strong on the “questionable deaths in Anaheim” beat.
Greg’s story got a lot of interest, but while Rios shuttered his online campaign he still won.
Our “Tyler in Irvine” ripped his homeboy a new orifice before the OCGOP delegate elections — once you’re established as a writer here you get some leeway over your topics — but Lalloway also still won. (V – the REAL reason this story got so many hits was the amazing comments section, where Jeff jumped in to defend himself and his multiple Irvine Republican enemies jumped in to trash him, and the rest of us, Democrats and others from across the county, were able to just kick back and watch, laugh, eat popcorn, puff on a bong, all of that good stuff.)
Vern moved inland this year, but he didn’t lose his focus on Surf City and the stinking up of a poor elementary school.
Vern’s title was a metaphor — and this was the “tamed-down” version. (Original and better version – Chris Epting Sends Suicide Bomber into Vern Concert.) Still, reading it gives a good sense of the dynamics of HB local politics this year.
This is the sort of story that Greg would like to be able to read, which unfortunately means his writing it. (Check out the part about SD-29 — OJB was an “early adopter”!)
Another of Vern’s Epting-related HB reports. Like him or hate him, people sure did read ’em!
The Winships weighed in with our second-ranked story about the national election.
By Vern. OJB’s greatest regret, among political outcomes that we conceivably could have helped accomplish, is Diana Carey’s loss. Westminster now hops on to the greased skid that Costa Mesa just departed, downhill to insanity.
By Greg. OJB’s greatest satisfaction, among political outcomes that we conceivably could have helped accomplish, is a tie between Newman’s victory and the results of the Anaheim City Council races. We’re not sure what to do about having a State Senator this decent and good, but we’ll figure something out.
Part of what seemed even to Greg like an interminable series — but we have it on good authority that various candidates do watch our updates as they decide about where and whether to run, so we’ll try to keep doing them.
Vern calls out the cretins at UCI. Some of the cretins, anyway.
Fullerton’s Tony Bushala showed up to let everyone know that he was going to smack around Sukhee Kang as long as he was in the SD-29. People from out of the district didn’t get this, but those of us up here did: if Kang had won the primary, Bushala was going to rip him apart and Ling-Ling would have won. (He is no fan of Ling-Ling Chang, but this was the Great Park story coming to his own backyard — and how could he have been able to resist it?) This was a significant shot across the bow.
This piece by Vern will be of some historical interest someday.
By Greg. More people should vote in primaries. And yes, we should get these guides out earlier.
Every year, some stories retain readership despite having been written earlier. The two top stories on this list were our two top stories of the entire year. The second one, had it been written a few months later, would have topped our “annuals” list.
Vern’s controversial piece is still probably the top source of news for this story about what he describes as a grave injustice. And people are still very interested in the case. Just thought you should know. (V: Jesus’ dad is pretty sure that Proposition 57, which he fought hard for, will let his son out a lot earlier.)
By Greg. Brett Murdock finished about where Jay Chen did in his own 2012 against Royce, but he did it with far less money behind him. Like Chen, he kept Royce from being as active outside of the district as he might have liked, which is its own kind of victory. The continued pre-election interest in this post was unexpected and unrelenting. What Murdock — who had the second-best use of campaign signs this year (after Newman’s) — got for his trouble is this: a much higher profile, a clear reputation that includes being unbought — and a very good poll of how well voters in the largely overlapping 4th Supervisorial District liked him. If he runs for that seat in 2018, he’ll unburden himself of Yorba Linda and add almost all of the largely Democratic in Anaheim flatlands. No other potential candidate — including the disgraced Jordan Brandman — starts with the same advantage. Now, will he run? That is an unwritten story for another day.
The managers of this blog are not believers in astrology — but we have to admit that what is written here, which was published on AUGUST 18 2015 and not substantially revised thereafter — is uncanny. TOJO should be made Trump’s Court Astrologer. Start a writing campaign for this or something.
Vern’s 2014 story still gets a lot of readers because it still matters a lot to a lot of people.
Inge Scott, now of somewhere in eastern Northern California, wrote some of the most powerful and popular stories ever on this blog. This one got the most readers this past year. (She also did the first serious general interest article on TPP — which, as you may have heard, eventually became a thing.) Here are links to Inge’s OJB writings on TPP, starting on June 19, 2012!
We wish that people would stop clicking on this. It’s from April 2009, for God’s sake!
Inge’s second-ranked blockbuster evergreen — and still timely
Vern’s droll report was from December 2015, an honorary 2016 story, but we’re still putting it into this list.
Putting aside that John & Ken story, this is the top-ranked piece from the Pedroza days still got almost 1,000 clicks.
And this, by Larry Gilbert from 2010, is the second-ranked one from the ancient regime.
We have a few “honorable mentions” that we’d like to remember from this year, mostly about politics in a year filled with consequential political news. Some of them helped change history. The first five are from Vern, though they have been hand-selected by Greg.
Vern on a pivotal moment in the HB “Oak View Elementary” controversy.
Vern reports on what will long be a day to remember.
Vern posts the outcome of the struggle “when the Kleptos caved,” but what makes this piece most valuable (as this site’s managers are well aware) is the quality of the discussion in comments.
Vern’s interview the the man who would be State Senator
Vern’s definitive report of Brandman’s mendacity over his role in the districting process
Cynthia Ward gets the drop on Kris Murray’s — who may regret this venture of hers by now — illegal proposed pre-primary attack on Donald Trump.
Ricardo Toro throws down a gauntlet at the DPOC Chair after Chumley attacks Donna Acevedo-Nelson.
Cynthia’s piece got a little over 65o views — but may have had a huge effect on Anaheim’s future. The video of Lodge sucker punching a guy in a hotel lobby (about the details of which he later lied under oath) preceded by not all that long the Atlas Group and others dropping their endorsements of Lodge, in some cases switching to Barnes. Disney backed the wrong horse in District 1 — and so lost control of the City.
Occasional contributor Sean Paden offers up something less than a boycott list, but something that is still jarring.
We can probably safely say that the answer to Greg’s question in the title is “no.” A nice example of why the Kang campaign was largely viewed as skeevy.
Greg reminds voters of Ling Ling’s lies — occasioned by a persuasive mailer that cited lots of OJB writing.
We could go on, but we’ll leave it here with Greg’s tribute to Amin David — who, in the year he died, was still arguably the most significant individual in Orange County politics. The changes, as opposed to the continuity, in Orange County largely can be traced to actions that Amin took to awaken Latino voters in his city. That gets you the election of Jose Moreno and arguably, given the cooperation with Tom Tait, of Denise Barnes. Those votes carried Sharon Quirk-Silva back into office and led Josh Newman to break new ground to the north. If Amin David was a “scaffold,” a metaphor largely saluted in the wake of this tribute, he left behind him a strong structure. Not a completed one, of course — in politics, there is no such thing as “completed.” But still: strong.