Weekend Open Thread: HB Far Right-Wingers Seek and Get Purge of Liberal Reformer


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Huntington Beach solidifies its status as the haven for far-right wing white supremacy, with its suppliant far right-wing majority council — out of step with its moderate citizenry — kept in place by massive onslaughts of campaign contributions from the Lincoln Club and developer interests come each election time.  What the far right wants from the HB City Council, in exchange for its votes for economic subsidy conservatives, is a purge of anyone who even smacks of liberalism.  This pasts week, they came for former City Council candidate Shayna Lathus, who was among our featured candidates in last year’s election.  Here’s her story as told on Facebook.

Left to right: Mission Viejo’s Mahmoud El-Farra, Huntington Beach’s Shayna Lathus, Brea’s Blake Perez

Shayna Lathus for Huntington Beach City Council
May 2 at 9:31 PM

As many of you know, I have been removed from the Citizen Participation Advisory Board for the City of Huntington Beach. I had been appointed by Councilwoman Kim Carr and served in this position for 118 days. It was a privilege to have done so.

After a partisan smear campaign was mounted against me, Councilwoman Kim Carr was asked to remove me from my seat. Without any investigation or due process, she did.

I learned of her decision the same way many of you did. I was sent a screenshot of a post made by the founder of the HBCF. This was highly inappropriate in my opinion.

I want to be very clear that I have never known, associated, or been acquainted, with Antifa or any other extremist group. I support our local law enforcement and denounce attacks on our police and other law enforcement.

I will continue to serve our community with the same dedication you have come to trust and I will not let you down. Thank you for all of your support. I am humbled and grateful.

Andy Lewndowski, writing on Facebook, provides some critical background:

The allegations that Shayna Lathus is associated in any way with any extremist groups are unfounded. I was the lead organizer for one of several local groups who attended Saturday’s rally to counter the anti-immigrant rhetoric of the “March to End Sanctuary State” being held by the far right Republican group “What You Can Do Now”, and I acted as police liaison on behalf of all peaceful counter-protesters in attendance. I first contacted HBPD eight days prior to the event to notify them of our intentions to peacefully assemble, as per our constitutionally protected First Amendment rights, and remained in communication with Sargent Toby Archer during the week leading up to the event. We spoke several times on Saturday before, during, and after the rally, and legal observers from the National Lawyers Guild were present at our request to document all interaction with PD or with the group we were counter-protesting.

An extremist group would not take those precautions to ensure the community’s safety. No one in attendance, including Shayna, had reason to expect anything other than a peaceful First Amendment assembly and passive resistance. We can not control who attends a public event, and anyone choosing to exercise active resistance is responsible for their own actions. As Shayna has stated, she and her friends left the area at the first sign of any altercations, however minor.

The lack of transparency surrounding Shayna’s removal is alarming. The CPAB strives to represent the diverse views of the community, yet the community’s views were not sought. It’s shameful that a small, but vocal, group of residents were able to pressure the HB City Council into unceremoniously removing her by mounting an unwarranted and partisan smear campaign.

#IStandWithShayna

Tarring Lathus with support for violent extremists, because she supports nonviolent protest of violent anti-immigrant extremism (which is far cry from “black flag” anarchism), is perverse and obscene.  I feel bad for Kim Carr having to stand up for what’s right at the possible eventual cost of her Council seat — but that’s what politicians have to be prepared to do.  She’s going to find out that the non-violent left can make a hell of a lot more trouble for her politically than the violent anti-immigrant right — which isn’t going to be voting for her anyway.  We’ll seek out public comment from her on Facebook and publish it if and when it appears.  More on this as it develops.

This is your Weekend Open Thread.  Talk about that or whatever else you’d like, within reasonable bounds of discretion and decorum.


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.)