Orange Land-grab double-take: Ridgeline spent $233,270 for “goons and blockers???”

Mayor Quimby’s story — whoever she, he, it, I, they, or you is or am or are (and I have it on good authority that the only actual fictional Simpson’s character who writes for this blog is the school superintendent, Chalmers, and he sticks to the Santa Ana Schools thread) — focusing on Matt Cunningham earlier this week has led to some entertaining if not always illuminating clashes in the comments section between Cunningham and various pseudonymous beings here.  (You didn’t really think that “Vern Nelson” could be a real name, did you?)

Regardless of that, I do have one big problem with the article: it buried the lede.  And what a lede it is.

Here is, in my opinion, your actual lede:

Olson and Associates, the Tulare-based provider of goons and blockers grabbed an amazing $233,270 for bringing in campaigners from the central valley who served as “blockers” to convince voters not to sign the referendum petitions. The Olson workers harassed volunteers,  going as far as to follow young female volunteers home. The outsiders also circulated their own petition so voters would know that they had already signed something when a volunteer came to their door with a referendum petition.

This was an attempt to block the petition to put a referendum undoing what Quimby describes as “The Orange Land Grab” onto the ballot.

$233,370.

All right, I hate to admit my naivete, but I had never heard of “Olson and Associates” before this, and while I had heard of strong-arm tactics to bust up petition drives, I had always thought that they tended to be on the illegal side (in practice if not in theory) and don’t recall seeing a bill for them, at least not of this size.

So: I will be away from my computer for the next several hours.  By the time I come back, I want to know everything you all know about Olson and Associates and their “blockers.”  Because this is one story that I don’t want to see buried.


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. Corrupt party hacks hate him. He's OK with that too. He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)