AD-73 – Chumley Being a Dipstick Again ‘Cuz OJB is Mean to Him; Doesn’t See Stillwater Email as ‘Evidence’

Chumley (whose actual name, “Chmielewski,” he admits in writing today is less readily understood when spoken aloud, justifying my nickname for him as a service for vision-impaired readers) wrote an ALMOST GOOD STORY today in The Liberal OC.  Normally, that wouldn’t call for a story to be written here; LOC’s writer Editorial “Eddie” Staff published a substantially better story today as well, about why the Supes are Stupes to oppose a County Political Ethics Commission — but I’d normally do no more than hat tip him for that in a comment.

Chumley’s take on OJB’s story on AD-73 candidate Bill Brough apparently spiking Wendy Gabriella’s fundraiser by intervening with the owner of the Stillwater restaurant that had contracted to host it was along the lines of Drax the Destroyer’s “Nothing goes over my head!  My reflexes are too fast! I will seize it!” hyperliteralism.   (The reference is to Guardians of the Galaxy.  If you don’t know what that is, you will have to look it up.)  This is especially bad because the Stillwater is in Dana Point — where Brough is a City Councilman.  (And this is a good point to remind Brough, as he perhaps starts to panic, that THE COVER-UP IS USUALLY WORSE THAN THE CRIME!  So don’t do anything stupid, right?)

Chumley the Destroyer

OJB was forced to place this illustration this far down in the story in order for readers to have any chance whatsoever of “getting it.”

The manager of the Stillwater said, when challenged on his dissembling about why the event was cancelled, said that “sure, that’s the ticket, the cooler is broken” — and so Chumley has called the Orange County Health Department to and asked them to deploy someone to check out the restaurant.  His doing so is not a violation of the law because it would be impossible to prove that Chumley does not believe it.  (Nothing goes over his head!  He will seize it!)  I’m glad to see him acting as best he can, within the range of his competence, for pretty much the same reason that, if Chumley were a small dog, capable of assessing someone’s character using special canine senses, it would be fun to see him yapping angrily and continuously at Brough until the candidate fled in terror at the prospect of a sentient life form staring into his soul.  (Could be worse; could be staring into his financial records.)

But then Chumley’s story went south but fast.  I explain how and why in the comment I left there, but as I can never be entirely sure that one of my comments will survive, I’m posting it here as well.

I actually came here to compliment your taking Stillwater at its word and acting on it. Then I read what you wrote. Of course, given your political priorities, you just had to take the opportunity to attack OJB — which (if you want to editorialize and demean) I guess you can say has indeed “breathlessly report[ed] that the Bill Brough campaign pressured the restaurant into cancelling the Gabriella event,” [but] “there’s no actual evidence of this in the ‘smoking gun’ email.”

[N.b. The portions in red are my corrections, offered only here.]

You don’t understand what “evidence” means. This is evidence:

… as I didn’t want to come out and say “we aren’t allowing you to have this event because our boss is friends with the owner”. I don’t think that’s a message that should come from me…

Is it conclusive evidence? Perhaps not — although LOTS of evidence is suggestive (we call if “probative” — affecting the probability that something is true) rather than “conclusive.” And if it’s not entirely conclusive, it only fails to be conclusive to the extent that Mr. Guzzetta has an alternative explanation for what he wrote. That’s pretty unlikely.

He didn’t write something random, like “we aren’t allowing you to have this event [that you contracted for] because … our astrologer and geologist agree that the spirits from the Indian burial ground beneath us may rise up through the floorboards during that exact same time and inflict damage upon Euro-Americans.” His choice of what he “didn’t want to … say” was MUCH MORE SPECIFIC.

The specific statement that he cited as not good for him to utter is that “the boss is friends with owner.” (We might wonder why!) And then he added that the burden to pass on that information as the apparent cause of the cancellation “shouldn’t come from [him]” — suggesting not that the statement ISN’T TRUE — in which case it shouldn’t come from ANYONE — but that it should come from someone higher-up.

The only person higher up seems to be the owner. (Maybe the boss’s spouse or lover would count too.)

So, it’s quite a fair inference that the directive came from the boss. Now, it could be that the boss, having presumably approved this event . suddenly decided on his own, perhaps after being visited by spirits in a dream, that he had to cancel an event. But there’s a more convincing and parsimonious likely reason: that he heard about it from someone in the Brough campaign — and who more likely from the person that is his friend?

I would not even agree that Tim Clark “denied that the candidate had anything to do with the cancellation,” based on what you wrote. You quote him as saying: “to the best of my knowledge, Mr. Brough had nothing to do with the cancellation” and you write “when asked if Brough sent a text message, Clark responded that he didn’t know.” That’s not a denial. That’s sort of a weak, beleaguered shrug.

(For future reference, the follow-up questions are “Did you ask him?” and, “OK, given that you DIDN’T, WILL you ask him?”)

For someone willing to go to political war based on no evidence, or even false evidence, it’s a mystery as to why you suddenly get so needlessly meticulous here. Just kidding — it’s no mystery at all: among your political priorities, taking an unwarranted swing at “the cancer on the Party” who is trying to help elect a Democrat in AD-73, even at the cost of your own being willing to credit an obviously damaging e-mail about Brough’s campaign, which one would think would be useful in that effort!

Pretty pathetic. Now go ahead and trot out various anonymous commenters to slag me. No compliment for you today after all.

Oh the bright side, at least having a small blog war with the dimwitted walrus over this helps to keep Brough’s vicious thuggery in the news.  I’d love to be able to say that we planned it this way, but in truth — as usual — I’m just moved to defend myself.  Too bad for Brough that he gets caught in the crossfire — but that’s the risk you take when you mess with someone else’s campaign event!

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.)