Sit Back and Enjoy Part 1 of a Conversation That Might Bore You to Death

You might call that headline “provocative”; I call it “truth in labeling.”

If you’ve really wanted to get a sense of what it’s like to run for office, you could do worse than to read through the conversation I’ve had on and off for the past three weeks in a comments section at the Voice of OC.  It’s appended to their article on my removal from the position as Vice-Chair three weeks ago tomorrow; a topic I haven’t had time to address here in the full richness it warrants.

I interact primarily with one fictional persona (a longtime commenter going by the name of “beelzebub”) — our relationship starts out pretty warm, for people of very different political views, in Part 1, and then cools markedly in Part 2, but stops short of freezing — and another persona straight out of fiction, Stanley Fiala.  (Fiala says a lot of floridly anti-Semitic things that I won’t publish here, although I will summarize at least them, so if exposing yourself to old-school Nazi-grade bigotry interests you, you can click that link.)  A few others make cameo appearances, which I’m being selective about including.

My guess is that almost nobody has followed this conversation, but I think that it shines light on both my own background and the concerns of one sophisticated conservative voter — who sympathizes with me in many ways but still plans to sit this one out — about not only policy but, among other things, a candidate’s responsibility to the public when campaigning.  I think that beelzebub’s concerns are widespread (some of them, anyway) — and they’re so odd to my mind that I think they’re worth discussing.

This post is rated Not For Everyone, in BRIGHT BOLD LETTERS, so if you turn out to be in that category but read it anyway, you can’t say that I didn’t warn you.  If you’re a politics junkie, though, you may enjoy it — and my guess is that you weren’t about to go to the VOC to see what that 200-comment thread was about.  It starts out sort of silly, but then becomes more serious — and revealing.  (I’ve combined some of the comments to make this less unwieldy — and it’s still unwieldy.)

Skeletons having conversation

Don’t worry — even if it bores you to death, you’ll still be able to talk about it.

Don’t worry — even if it bores you to death, you’ll still be able to talk about it.  It’s the Internet, after all.

1. beelzebub posted at 2:36 pm on Tue, Apr 29, 2014.

[Responding to my statement at the meeting that the DPOC’s removing me as Vice Chair on the same evening that it endorsed me for OCDA would “send an interesting message.”]  Yes, it did send an interesting message, Mr. Diamond. And it told me exactly what I wanted to hear as a fiscal and social conservative. It convinced me that my vote is reserved for you, unless you do something really stupid in the interim that makes me change my mind. But I don’t anticipate that happening. You main objective now should be to spread the word to the citizens. The ignorance out here is overwhelming. None of they pay attention. You have to make them pay attention if you want a chance at winning this DA election, Mr Diamond. You need to take some risks to make that happen because Tony will outspend you by 20 fold. Think creatively, Mr. Diamond. Don’t think like a lawyer. Think like an artist or think like a dancer or think like a playwright. Hang your lawyer hat up when you plan your strategy. You need ATTENTION GRABBERS. I could think of many, too detailed to explain on this board. You need HUMOR, Mr. Diamond. Make the people laugh. If you can get them to laugh WITH you and not at you, you will win their votes. You are a major underdog, sir. You cannot run a conventional campaign. You need to outshine Tony with a campaign that has personality! His campaign will be as boring as molasses running downhill. Outshine him, Mr. Diamond! You can do it! I know you can! If I see you employ some of these techniques and you have a chance at being a real contender – I will jump into the circle and knock on doors for you if you need help. Since the dems kicked you off their Central Committee fo ideological reasons your image has grown tenfold in my eyes! Envision VICTORY, Mr. Diamond! Many of us are rooting for you!!! “D

[LATER APPENDING]   Here would a good one-liner for one of you Campaign flyers, Mr Diamond:

A Defrocked Democrat in the Rough – DIAMOND FOR DA!!!!

______________________________________________

The OC conservatives and moderates and independents would fall in love with you!

2. Rex The Wonder Dog posted at 4:15 pm on Tue, Apr 29, 2014.

“Are you aware that he put on a hand puppet show at a televised [Anaheim] City Council meeting?” Said party Chairman Henry Vandermeir, who had pushed for the removal. “These kinds of behaviors as a party officer do not reflect who we are.”

This ^^^^^ Comment is hysterical, as the entire Democratic LEADERSHIP today are HAND PUPPETS of the public labor unions.

3. beelzebub posted at 4:58 pm on Tue, Apr 29, 2014

I would have loved to see that puppet show. Is it on video somewhere? I would love to see a modern day Kukla, Fran and OIlie show hosted by democrats. Kukla and Ollie could be 2 liberal democrat victims who are employed by OCSD as Deputy II’s and forced to live within their means through a collective bargaining agreement. It could show them crying and banging their little heads against the jailhouse wall when forced to pay a 15% contribution to their cadillac pensions with no pay raise. And when they didn’t get their way it would show them in a work slowdown to clog up the court system. Then it could show Kukla driving to the river in a new 250 Ford XL 4WD with Olllie riding in the interceptor boat being towed from behind while singing “I’m just a po boy and nobody loves me”.

4. Greg Diamond posted at 5:43 pm on Tue, Apr 29, 2014.

[Long, long, long comment addressing the content of Adam Elmahrek’s original article.  I’m not reproducing it here.]

5. Greg Diamond posted at 5:50 pm on Tue, Apr 29, 2014.

[The puppet show — a “children’s programming” parody performed at a special meeting of the City Council at 8 a.m. on a Monday morning — is in] the third graphic (maybe 1/3 of the way down) in this Orange Juice article (which itself remains quite timely):http://www.orangejuiceblog.com/2013/10/transparent-lies-if-brandman-wants-transparency-in-setting-the-agenda-reform-the-city-mgrs-role/

6. beelzebub posted at 10:11 am on Wed, Apr 30, 2014.

Mr. Diamond. I hope you put on a good show for us as we near the June 3 election. We love to be entertained. Take off your lawyer hat and be an entertainer. Reminisce over the great ones: Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Rodney Dangerfield (He would be a great one to mimic with the “I can’t get no respect” theme), Jackie Mason, Mel Brooks, George Burns, Woody Allen, etc…..the great ones! Make it fun, Mr. Diamond. Substance is not as important as laughs! Make us laugh and you get our votes! You may not like that system – but it’s the one we’re stuck with. And as a candidate who is tremendously outspent – you have no other choice. You MUST play the hand that your dealt! I wish you well, Mr. Diamond! You give me hope!

7. beelzebub posted at 11:20 am on Wed, Apr 30, 2014.

Stanley [who had just identified my with Clippers owner Donald Sterling, because of our shared religion], have you ever followed political campaigns? I am bored to death by them! If I were a candidate for office and a MAJOR underdog in the race with little money I would pull out all stops. I would have people bending over backwards laughing – and not AT ME, but WITH ME! The people would LOVE ME by the time it was time to cast a ballot! They would vote for me BECAUSE THEY LIKED ME – not because I was necessarily the better choice. A man has to do what a man has to do in life! And if I wasn’t the best looking candidate in the race with the finest hairstyle – I would use that to my benefit as well! I would throw in a little self-depricating humor as well! Come on, Stanley! THAT’S THE AMERICAN WAY, MAN! One has to play the hand that he’s dealt and use all techniques to pull off a win! That’s what our Founding Fathers did! And many great Americans used the same methods! THAT’s WHAT MADE AMERICA THE BEST NATION ON EARTH! But we have lost that fine art. And that is why the nation is in decline. Because people don’t have the ability to think outside the box anymore! We have become a nation of liars and robots! This is why we are a dying nation today – AND WE NEED TO TURN THAT AROUND FORTHWITH!

[Later adding in reply to Fiala’s statement: “Who created this racist/ hate hysteria, huh?…….. Jews, Homosexuals and liberals.”]

WTH are you talking about, Stanley? It’s my understanding that Mr. Sterling is, in fact, JEWISH! Under your assumption – since he’s JEWISH he should be protected by the system. He’s NOT! He got thrown under the bus! So stop it!

How long are you going to carry your cross, Stanley? Do you really want Rackaukas for another 4 (or 6?) years? Think RATIONALLY! Drop your hatchet! Sometimes you are your own worst enemy!!!

8. beelzebub posted at 3:06 pm on Wed, Apr 30, 2014

[A]ll I know is that Mr. Diamond enraged the dem leaders to such a point over ideology that they voted to remove him from a position of high leadership. Mr. Diamond REFUSED to budge on his positon – knowing the hammer would fall – and, sir, that shows me TREMENDOUS courage and character and conviction – and that is essentially why AS A SOCIAL AND FISCAL CONSERVATIVE that Mr. Diamond gets my vote. I put COURAGE and CHARACTER and CONVICTION above all else. Give me 3 in one package – AND I’M SOLD.

But you can choose however you wish. For that is the American way. And I do not resent you for your opinion. We can all co-exist. Just as long as they don’t start confiscating our ownership rights and property for saying politically incorrect things. At that point we jump to a completely other level. And that is why I defend Mr. Donald Sterling while the rest of you condemn him. FOR I AM A TRUE RED, WHITE AND BLUE AMERICAN! I am not a fair-weathered American. Nor will I ever be, nor will someone force me to act against my conscience. And, in a nutshell, that’s why I have so much respect for Mr. Diamond.

DIAMOND FOR DA!!!!!

[Later adding]

Think about how many female votes (both republican and democrat) that “Diamonds are a citizen’s best friend” [a slogan that he had recommended to me] would pull down! Women LOVE that kinda stuff! And they would vote based on it! I’ve seen it happen before! It’s something that was enter the skull and stick!

Listen, this is what you need to do, Mr. Diamond! Play to their wants and needs! There’s nothing illegal about it. Look at the Superbowl ads at halftime – that’s why they do!!! When in Rome, do as the Romans do!!!!

9. beelzebub posted at 5:52 pm on Wed, Apr 30, 2014.

Oh, and one other thing, folks. Don’t any of you accuse me of working for Mr. Diamond like some in the past have accused me of working for VOC. That is more than crazy! As you can figure out, I am a social and fiscal conservative. My posts should leave no doubt. However, I am a VERY fair minded and objective taxpaying citizen and I belong to NO ONE’S HOME TEAM! I go ‘rah rah’ for NO ONE unless I believe in that person or organization. And even though I am known to go after a supervisor or two on the OC board – I am the FIRST ONE to praise them if they do something right!!!! So don’t go throwing darts at me to make me out to be something I’m not! Please. Let’s play fair. I want this to be an educational experience for all. I want all of us to learn and to be cordial with one another. Oh, and if the facts change I ALWAYS reserve the right to change my opinion!!! Always. I am NEVER stuck in the mud when it comes to my opinions. IF Mr. Diamond does something to change my opinion – I will chastise him too! NO ONE OWNS ME!!! NO ONE. I want to make that clear so you know where I stand on the VOC board. If you have any questions, ask me!!! I NEVER dodge a question no matter how stupid it may be. And YES – some questions are STUPID regardless of what your 3rd grade teacher might have told you!!!! I will tell you the truth!!! And if your question is stupid – I will tell you so!!! Thank you.

10. Greg Diamond posted at 10:29 pm on Wed, Apr 30, 2014.

It is true, by the way, that I have banned Stanley more than once (usually it’s a porous ban) from the blog that I help manage due to his effect on the comments sections. My guess is that by now many readers may have an inkling as to why.

As for beelzy — I have some great (informal volunteer) advisors with many great messages. What I need to a way to get those words out! That means money, You can donate here: https://democracy.com/DiamondForDA/donate.aspx#form.

For every $100 donation, you get to pick a handmade sign with a slogan of your choice for one of my supporters to carry. (Offer subject to campaign approval of slogan — but we keep the $100 either way. Sorry.)

11. beelzebub posted at 11:23 pm on Wed, Apr 30, 2014.

Mr. Diamond. I know you need money. Everybody needs money. But money will not win you an election. You are seeking an American style solution to a problem that often fails. I am willing to give you MORE than money. I am willing to give you my TIME and my PERSPIRATION if you show me that you are a real contender. What more can you ask of a man, sir? That’s a MUCH bigger sacrifice than money, my friend. You can’t think conventionally if you want to beat TR. You can’t. You will fall flat on your face. You need to think outside the box. Otherwise TR will stomp all over you.

12. Greg Diamond posted at 11:55 pm on Wed, Apr 30, 2014.

Believe me, I’m thinking outside the box. I think that I could beat him with an expenditure of about $5000. If I can raise that over the next week, you’ll see what I mean.

Come on, people — aren’t you curious?

13. beelzebub posted at 12:24 am on Thu, May 1, 2014.

You can’t come up with $5,000, Mr Diamond? That’s a month’s worth of rent on the good side of the tracks in Santa Ana. I suspect your problem isn’t money. It’s lack of creative thinkers. It’s the lack of imagination. It copying methods that have been proven failures in the past. You don’t have the luxury of doing that, my friend. You are a major underdog. Are you sure you want to win this race, or are you just in it for the publicity to spark a little extra business? I support you soley on account of your honesty, sir. Lay it on me. My eyes and ears are wide open.

14. Greg Diamond posted at 1:05 am on Thu, May 1, 2014.

I’m in it to roll the dice. I think that disdain for Mr. Rackauckas is far more widespread than people realize. We won’t know, though, until we see.

Most of my money isn’t liquid — and if I can’t raise $5000 in a week from the public, then other people aren’t doing their share. If $5000 were the key to certain victory, of course I’d spend it. It’s just the price to roll the dice with a legitimate chance of winning. Was it you who said it was 20-1? Well, that’s about the chance of rolling an 11. So let’s see if people want to see me take that roll.

By the way, most of clients are of extremely modest means and I charge them well below market — because I am not one to squeeze blood out of someone who has already lost a job. The fees that I’d get from government accountability litigation are both speculative and down the line. I’ve never focused on getting rich in my career, but on using my talents to do the world some good — like the lawyers I most admire. So, no, I’m not one to toss $5000 around lightly. But I spend other people’s money very frugally — as (I hope) you’ll see.

15. beelzebub posted at 6:32 am on Thu, May 1, 2014.

Thank you for your explanation, Mr. Diamond. I understand your perspective. You are an intelligent man and certainly you understand the perspective of the guy sitting back in the 22nd row at the track. Nobody wants to bet on a longshot to win without some inkling of belief that he’ll be able to cash in a winning ticket at the window at end of the race. Something has to spark that belief. Practice times, position in former races, allowances, track record of the jockey, etc…there has to be something more than just a hunch or a desire for the longshot to win for people to lay their money down. A ‘place’ is without value here. Now admittedly I haven’t been evaluating the race program with a fine toothed comb here, but up to this point I haven’t seen any creative strategy from your camp that gives me confidence that you can bring home a winner. When folks offer you their time and perspiration at no charge and you seemingly discount it by focusing only on the money angle, it makes me wonder how serious you are about the race? Do you understand our perspective? I looked in the sample ballot and voter information booklet. I didn’t even see a statement from you with regard to your mission as DA next to TR’s? Give us some sort of hope, Mr. Diamond. Please, consider our perspective as well as citizens, as voters and as taxpayers. Thank you.

16. Greg Diamond posted at 8:09 am on Thu, May 1, 2014.

I completely understand your position, beelz. I hope that you understand that my chances in this race depend substantially on last-minute tactical surprises that the dinosaurs can’t maneuver quickly enough to encounter. I do have them in mind; I don’t know whether I’ll be able to afford them. I’m sure you will understand why I’m not inclined to share them here and now.

When I’m asking for money to pursue such tactics, by the way, I’m not aiming that request even primarily at you — but at anyone who reads Happy’s post (and I do not know who wrote that) and says “You know what? To heck with it — I’ll pitch in.”

(I say “heck” because this site prohibits comments with what it deems “profanity.”)

As you can tell, I’m not a traditional politician. I subject myself to aggravation and disappointment because I think that the need for deep social change is urgent — and few people are both willing and equipped to force it. Apparently, judging from the unprincipled and out-of-proportion response to me, I’m doing something right — despite what some anonymous commenter will probably now show up here and say.

17. beelzebub posted at 11:17 am on Thu, May 1, 2014.

Your reply is appreciated and respected, Mr. Diamond. You get two points on the approval score for that. Most pols who are the subject of an article wouldn’t dare show their face on the board. However, Spitzer deserves a point for that too. But only one point. you get two. Occasionally he’ll show up to comment but usually refuses to field questions. Sometimes he does. But mostly not. I guess after we elect them to office they feel safe and determine it’s no longer necessary to respond to the needs of the electorate. Go figure. All the other pols get 0 points. Never once to my knowledge has another pol other than you or Spitzer had the courage to enter a discussion board conversation.

I still don’t understand, Mr. Diamond. It would seem one HUGE asset for your campaign would be volunteers. And I volunteered my time and perspiration. Yet you do not even acknowledge that. You only ask for money. And I am a social and fiscal conservative volunteering my time. And I previously explained to you the rationale behind my offer. Surely, you must have other folks knocking on your door to volunteer as well. You can’t put a value on that, Mr. Diamond. If I were SERIOUS about running for elected office and people volunteered their time to help me if I had a tail I’d wag it. So that really confuses me, Mr. Diamond. You are an intelligent man. You surely could understand why.

The only reason so far that tells me that you are not a ‘traditional politician’ is that the dems ousted you from your vice-chair committee position. And that essentially why I want to help you. Otherwise, you strike me as being as traditional as pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. Prove to me that you are not a ‘traditional’ run-of-the-mill politician in your campaign strategy. You don’t have much time left. In a couple days it will be a month to the June election.

Show me, Mr. Diamond. Show me. And you don’t have to have money to do it if you are truly creative. Thank you.

18. Greg Diamond posted at 2:23 pm on Thu, May 1, 2014.

beelz, I’m sorry not to have responded to your willingness to volunteer. You’re welcome to sign up as a volunteer at this page: http://democracy.com/DiamondForDA/volunteer.aspx#form. I hadn’t taken your offer that seriously because your volunteering would compromise your anonymity, so far as I am concerned, and I presume that you would not want to do that. If it’s a matter of giving your advice, you’re entirely welcome to do so, here or on OJB; please realize, though, that I’ve got dozens of people doing the same thing, that their advice is mostly contradictory, and that I can’t follow them all.

19. beelzebub posted at 5:28 pm on Thu, May 1, 2014.

Thank you for our kind reply, Mr. Diamond. If I signed up on your volunteer list how would you know that I’m beelzebub unless I told you? As far as anonimity is concerned, I am very proud of my opinions. It’s taken me a long long time to form these opinions based on what I’ve read, talking to others and my own personal life experiences. So I would not hesitate to give my opinion face to face to most anyone who would care to listen. Some people don’t care what I think, and I respect that. In that case I just tip the hat and give a polite “Hello. Hope you’re having a good day” and leave it at that. But some people take opinions very personally. Some even get angry at what other people think about matters A thru Z in this journey we call ‘life’. I have read some horror stories about some people getting death threats, losing their jobs, having their homes vandalized or even retaliation against family members for simply expressing their opinions on-line. Who needs that? But opinions are supposed to be as American an apple pie (always thought the germans invented AP first – but whatever) and the NY Yankees. And as a firmly grounded American I do my part to uphold the American tradition. Despite our difficulties as a nation, I still love my country and pray everyday that we can rebound and return ourselves to sanity. If not for our sake, for the sake of our children and future generations.

But I may sign up to be one of your volunteers, Mr Diamond, if you show me that you are a real contender and take the race seriously. I don’t like to spin my wheels for nothing (what human does?), so you will have to show me first that you have what it takes to bring home a winner. Not that you will win. But that you have the potential to win. The passion to win. The passion must be there.

I hope my answer clarifies my position.

All the best.

20. Greg Diamond posted at 5:45 pm on Thu, May 1, 2014.

beelz — I plan to either win or to leave a (metaphorical) dent in him and a larger dent in his chosen successor Susan Kang Schroeder. I think that ought to be enough, eh?

I’m really not going to broadly discuss my specific plans before all of the painted vampire bats have been — ARRRRGGGGHHHHH! I GAVE IT AWAY!!!

[TO BE CONTINUED!  IN PART 2, LATER TODAY, beelzebub TALKS POLICY!]


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.)