OJB Seeks Powerful Objective Writer Exclusively to Cover the Miguel Pulido Corruption Beat

[1] It was only a matter of time before we delved into real journalism…

OJB has had it up to here with Miguel Pulido — and we’re going to do something about it.  We want to “hire” a writer, ideally an underemployed journalist , to take on the Pulido corruption beat.  Gather the history, report the facts, do the analysis — the whole nine yards.  We’ll print it daily, if you can write that much and that fast, and with a topic that rich you have a decent chance at a good audience.

We want you to be entirely objective — as shrieking hellions like Susan Kang Schroeder, Chief of Staff to corruption-blind OC District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, will try to tear you apart limb from limb for pointing out their utter uselessness when it comes to policing Pulido’s corruption — but we also want you to be inquisitive, incisive and indefatigable.  As those quotes in the first line above indicate, “hire” is sort of an inside joke — there’s no money in it for you, but perhaps a measure of glory and a chance to show your chops.  (In other words, you’d get paid what I get paid.)  And you’d be doing the world a favor.

Pulido hiding behind Rackauckas

“Nothing to see here except me pretending to look through this law book twenty years ago! Definitely nobody hiding behind me!”

[2] What prompted this crazy turn of events?

Well, Pulido and his supporters — who seem to include the OCDA’s office, because Orange County is at heart just a larger version of a small Southern town that makes its living pulling delivery trucks off of the highway and pillaging their contents — are apparently going apeshit over the Santa Ana City Council’s decision to release its City Attorney’s Report and they are acting very badly.  OJB will be damned if we are not going to enjoy it.

We’re going to have to go backwards in time to explain what’s going on, so just pretend that this is an experimental novel.

Today, Adam Elmahrek of the Voice of OC published a story stating that the OCDA is warning the Santa Ana City Council not to release a report by its City Attorney on the now-notorious “property swap” between Pulido and a city contractor, one of the numerous plausible ways by which Pulido, over decades in office, has managed to enter City Hall not-that-rich and leave it (if he does so this year) awfully-darn-rich.  Such a disclosure — coming shortly before early voting begins in the general election, just like the continual drips of new information from depositions in the Irvine City Council’s investigation, which does not seem to bother the DA “would allegedly compromise an ongoing criminal investigation into the Mayor’s dealings by ‘multiple law enforcement agencies.'”  (The quote is from Elmahrek’s story.)

The problem with the position of the DA’s office is that there is no good reason to think that they will do anything to take on official corruption by a well-connected political leader in OC, unless first forced (and humiliated) by the press.  And there is ample reason to believe that Rackauckas will fail to pursue Pulido until after the election is over.  The City Council believes that voters should know about what looks like an exchange of $200,000 in property value going to the Mayor and kind treatment from the city (in the form of a $1.35 million no-bid contract) going to a City Contractor.  That’s why they voted, 6-0, to release the report.

(Schroeder went apeshit today when Elmahrek quoted her as saying that the OCDA’s office would file charges against Pulido after the investigation is finsihed, which is undetermined.  It is certainly plausible that she instead said that if they filed charges, it would be after completing the investigation — although it seems more likely that she misspoke than that she was misquoted.  Schroeder informed the world, in a widely dispersed open letter, that no one should trust Elmahrek ever again.  We tend to trust Elmahrek on this one — and pretty much any other conflict with Schroeder or Rackauckas.)

[3]  What Pulido means to Orange County Democratic politics

At the DPOC Endorsement meeting a week and a half ago, at which several Santa Ana Council Members appeared to push for an endorsement of incumbent Councilman Roman Reyna over Pulido, former DPOC Chair Frank Barbaro put on his best country lawyer voice and made this pitch to the crowd (paraphrased here by a bemused attendee ):

“I’ve known XYZ for a number of years and as a matter of fact, Governor Jerry Brown slept at his house many times when he came to Orange County.”

(Despite the fact that the message from the Councilmembers included the warning that Pulido could be indicted at any time, Barbaro did not disclose to the crowd that he was Pulido’s personal lawyer as well as head of the “Victory Fund,” Barbaro’s PAC that takes money that, in most counties, would go to the County Committee — which Barbaro long chaired.)

The writer — newish to DPOC and unfamiliar with Barbaro’s yawps — wanted to know, essentially, what was possibly being conveyed to the audience there.

Maximally connected Democrat John Hanna — the earnestly reasonable-sounding member of the Santa Ana based triumverate that had long dominated the local Democratic Party, was happy to chime in and explain:

It was meant to suggest that one candidate had a good and close relationship to the Governor which could prove useful to a major Orange County city.

So there you have it.  In Orange County, which state Democrats tend to see as nothing but a somewhat Democratic ATM sticking out of a Republican vote-creation machine, the only thing that we have to sell is our connections.  Even if one is corrupt, or even criminal, one may still be connected — and isn’t that enough?

Nope — that’s no longer enough.  People want leadership that doesn’t promote vomiting — leadership that doesn’t leave followers feeling compromised.

OJB would like an accurate take on the Pulido story, told as clearly as possible — both to political junkies who follow local politics and to regular voters who don’t.  We’re looking for an accomplished writer who would like to take up that cudgel over the next month or two — and even beyond, if the story survives.  If that’s you, you can reach me at mail2greg4-pulido at yahoo dot com.

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.)