John Hanna assaults an activist at the Democratic Party Resolutions Committee

Things got heated at last week’s California Democratic Party Resolutions Committee meeting, as progressive activists trying to censure Senator Dianne Feinstein were rebuffed by Resolutions Chair John Hanna, who quite frankly is not having a great year. Not only did he find a way to stop the resolution against Feinstein, he also got into an altercation with an activist, as detailed on the Calitics blog, by Julia Rosen:

I entered the California Democratic Party Resolutions Committee meeting room with Eden James, Courage Campaign’s Managing Director, bearing our sign and easel. We found a free space at the front of the room and set up the sign.

Almost immediately, Resolutions Chair John Hanna approached us, demanding that we remove the sign. Eden politely asked if there “was a rule” against signs in the meeting rooms. Hanna replied “yes.”

Kathy Bowler, CDP Executive Director, then calmly approached me, stating that the sign should be removed because the room was getting full and she had staff she needed to get into the room.

John then grabbed ahold of one side of the sign, attempting to remove it from Eden’s hands. Eden, maintaining his hold on to the other side, repeated the question to John about whether a rule existed against signs inside the meeting room. John said “yes”again and Eden asked to see the rule, saying that if there was an actual rule against signs inside the room — he would respect it.

Increasingly angry, John threatened to call security. Eden, surprised, calmly responded that John “should go ahead if that’s what you want to do.”

Suddenly, Hanna then shoved his side of the sign and Eden at the same time, forcibly pushing Eden backwards. Eden held on. John shoved again, then pushed Eden’s shoulder back with the palm of his hand.

Stunned, Eden let go of the sign as John ripped it from his hands and threw it to the floor. An unknown person then picked up the sign and sprinted it out of the room, taking it to the staff room (according to Kathy Bowler).

Hanna later responded with a long apology. Here is an excerpt:

It was a stupid move on my part for which, before the Committee adjourned, I apologized for my actions. Following the Committee meeting I apologized personally to Eden (and I should have also to you Julia) for my unacceptable conduct. Eden graciously accepted my apology and he, Julia, Brian, Steve Preminger and I had a very thoughtful discussion about a variety of subjects including ways to improve communications between the party and Senator Feinstein.

It struck me, while reading about this fracas, that the Democrats treat their liberal activists the way the Republicans treat their conservative activists. They want their votes, but don’t necessarily want to hear from them. For example, Karl Rove was an expert at placating the Christian conservatives, while President Bush made a complete mess of our foreign policy and our budget.

And the Democrats keep putting people in the right places to stop the progressives. Hanna, for example, has endorsed at least two Republicans in the last two years – Congressman Ed Royce and O.C. Treasurer Chriss Street. The latter move blew up in his face this year as Street turned out to have a lot of issues – and even his longtime supporter John Moorlach called on him to resign.

On top of that, Hanna, as President of the Rancho Santiago Community College District, oversaw the spending of $30 million on the Carona Sheriff Training Facility, and most of their bond money was spent at the Santiago Canyon College, which lies in a rich, white area, instead of at Santa Ana College, which is in the headlines this week for not fixing their fire alarms, which have been broken since 2005.

And Hanna joined with Red-faced County/OC Blog editor Matt “Jubal” Cunningham in defending the actions of Monsignor John Urell, who covered up for molesters in the Catholic Church. That blew up too when documents naming the victims of these molesters were posted on the short-lived “Friends of John Urell” blog.

Hanna is a nice guy, except when he is assaulting progressives at his meetings, but he is clearly damaged goods. So why would Democratic Party Chairman Art Torres appoint Hanna to Chair the Resolutions Committee? The answer appears to be that he is good at using the Resolutions Committee’s arcane rules to stop the progressives cold.

Why do the liberal activists take this B.S. from their party? They ought to quit and join the Green Party, and mail their torn up Democratic registration cards to Torres. Now THAT would send a very clear message.


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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.