Mimi Walters’s Attack Dogs Need Better Training: One Nasty Distortion and One Unintended Laugh




It's not "Stolen" Valor if all you do is spit on it.

Mimi Walters doesn’t try to STEAL Greg Raths’s valorous military service; she just spits on it.

(1) Background on the 45th Congressional District Race

This is a tough race for me to write about because if I lived there I would vote for my friend and — full disclosure here! — former client Ron Varasteh.  I just can’t help myself; I agree with him on Sanders-support, universal health care, foreign policy, and lots else.  And I recommend that every voter there who can emotionally cope with voting for a Sanders Democrat do the same.  But … I’m well aware that most voters in Congressional District 45 are really conservative.  So one of these years I’d love to see OC’s Democratic Party say “hey, this year we’ll just let ethically challenged Republican Mimi Walters slug it out with ethically admirable, but true-believing conservative Mission Viejo Republican Councilman Greg Raths.  And then, if he looks weak, we can try to knock him off two years later.”

(I know: that’s sort of sophisticated for the local crowd.  Sigh.)

But either Raths or Varasteh will likely be in the race against Walters this fall — there’s another Democrat whose name I can’t even recall right now — so let’s consider this a time when those sides can make common cause under a single common banner, one that reads “Mimi Walters should flat-out not be in Congress.”

In the past, we’ve covered Mimi Walters’s ethical problems with her prison contractor business, and her faking her residence to run in SD-37 (that still has to be the favorite OJB piece among any I’ve written here), and her hypocrisy on lawbreaking, and her hatred of transparency, and her having to be rescued by an alert and perhaps apprehensive Bob Huff from what would presumably be her lying in front of the Sacramento press corps, and her failure to support the Veterans Cemetery (within the 45th district!) when it most mattered and her recent switching her vote from a “look at me, I’m an enlightened moderate” position against LGBT discrimination to embracing that discrimination when her vote was needed, and — and, uh, where was I?

Oh yeah.  Now she’s trashing Greg Raths for doing his jobhis job as a highly decorated military officer.

(2) Trashing a Military Officer — I Guess Only Republicans Can Get Away With That!

Trashing a military officer for doing his or her job ethically and well is really scummy.  Let’s take a look at some of the campaign literature put out under her name.

Walters - Raths 'Emulate Clinton'

The President of the United States needs the best and most reliable military advice.  In the late 1990s, Col. Greg Raths was chosen (I think by the Joint Chiefs of Staffs themselves) to provide it.  He was not a supporter of President Bill Clinton, nor a Democrat at all, but his job was to work next to the President and help him see a dangerous world as clearly as possible.  And he was, of course, dispatched to represent the military well.

So, yeah, he was invited to the Christmas Party — and would have been expected to go!  Part of the job.

Yes, he “felt proud to stand by his side.”  Bill Clinton was his Commander-in-Chief, whose orders he was sworn to obey and whose foreign policy he was assigned to strengthen.

Yes, he was trusted, including earning that trust that he “wouldn’t share anything.”  Does Mimi Walters understand how national security works?  Does she understand what the military requires?  HE HAD BETTER HAVE BEEN TRUSTWORTHY!

And yes, the California Republican Party voted to “reject” Greg Raths candidacy because he was running against an incumbent and, being clubs of and for incumbents, parties don’t like that.  But would they prefer the Raths rather than Walters was the incumbent they were bound to support?  I think that MANY MANY of them would.  He’s more reliably (and honestly) conservative, and less self-serving than Walters — and is ethically untainted.

Does he say in his biography that he wants to be a “Clinton Congressman”?  (You’re supposed to think “Hillary.”)  I haven’t read more than excerpts of the book, but I’m pretty sure that that’s not in there.  So that seems like a lie.

So that leaves one charge left: that he sees Bill Clinton as a “role model.”  Let’s dwell on this pretty deeply.

(3) There are Role Models and There are Role Models, and Clinton is the Latter

What does Raths mean by “Clinton being a role model?  It so happens that I asked him a question much like that a little more than two years ago, when he was running in the primary against Mimi Walters and Democrat Drew Leavens.  This attack was making the rounds among Republicans then — although I don’t recall it making it into any literature (but maybe it did) — and so when I was at a Los Amigos meeting with Raths and Leavens I asked Raths about it.  See that answer in that little clarification box?  That’s pretty much what he said to me two years ago.

He was assigned to work with (not precisely “for”) Bill Clinton.   He was “forced” to do so in the sense that he sought to become a military officer, and that means accepting assignments — especially critically important assignments like this.  But he’s never changed that story: he did it because the brass wanted him to do it.  (I vaguely recall that, based on his reputation, he was specifically requested by the Administration, but I can’t attest to that.)

And what did he say that he found praiseworthy about Bill Clinton?  It says it right there in your stupid mailer, Mimi!

“The President’s style of leadership was a model for me to emulate.”

I had mixed feelings about Bill Clinton back in the 1990s — although I certainly did and do appreciate his saving my party from oblivion — and I’m much less of a fan now than I was then.  But one consistency thing I’ve seen and heard about him is exactly what Raths mentions there: he was an exceptional leader of those working around him.  He knew how to get the best out of people, even when they were in conflict.

Not a bad thing for a military officer — or a future politician — to admire, huh?

So that’s what this is about: Raths was able to recognize that someone with whom he differed politically had some excellent qualities worth examining and cultivating — in other words, “modeling.”

That’s what all of the praise was about!

I’m very different politically from Raths, and if he’s elected I will probably be protesting his votes continually (although I doubt that I’ll ever doubt his sincerity in casting them), but I can look across the aisle at here and see things, like integrity, that I certainly hope to emulate.  That’s a GOOD thing, Mimi!  You don’t criticize people for that!

If you came away with a different impression of what was meant by “role model,” it may be because this disgusting flyer includes a photo of Clinton with poor Monica Lewinsky.  And, as Mimi presumably knows, that’s not the kind of “role modeling” that Raths was talking about?

(I also have to add here, and I’ll do so cryptically, that Walters probably shouldn’t want to open that line of criticism.  She’s had her own “role models,” after all.)

(4) OK, Let’s Go Out on the Lighter Side of Things

Here’s another of Mimi’s mailers where she wants credit for being “not politically correct” — I suppose trawling for the Trump voters (who I expect would overwhelmingly prefer Raths, despite his being polite.)

Walters - 'Justice-Involved Persons'

The contents of that unreadable letter at the bottom left have been copied over and placed across the top of this mailer.

The idea is that — ha ha! — the Obama Administration wants to call criminals “justice-involved people” — can ya believe it?

Well, yes, actually.  “Justice-involved people” are people who have been processed into and perhaps through the judicial system — but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re criminals.  It may mean nothing more that they’re obvious targets for intimidation and can’t afford a good lawyer.  Criminals are a different category — including some people who have been involved with the justice system, and — depending on how one defines “criminal” — some who have evaded capture.  (If Mimi needs me to draw a Venn diagram for me, her campaign can let me know.)

You would think that Mimi would know this for a couple of reasons.  You may want to re-read that string of links up near the top to fully appreciate why.

First, Mimi Walters was on the verge of becoming a “justice involved individual” when the firm that she and her husband owned, which contracted with state prisons and made her a lot of money, was accused of wrongdoing.  It’s still not clear why she got away with some of those  practices.  But she can certainly wonder how her neighboring politician would feel about being called a “criminal” rather than a “justice-involved individual” for the defrauding of investors perpetrated by her husband — with her name included as a respondent prior to their conveniently timed divorce.

Second, as someone who very very likely faked her own residence and therefore voted in a district where she was not entitled to vote — just like Ann Coulter, folks, she would have ended up as a “justice-involved person” has Orange County’s flaccid District Attorney been willing to enforce the law the way that Los Angeles’s DA’s does.  If she had ended up like State Senator Rod Wright — but, let’s say, plea-bargained her way down to probation and  a fine rather than doing time for voter fraud — would she have been preferred to be called a “justice-involved individual” or a “criminal”?

I guess she does have a point in that case, though — I certainly would have tried to avoid being politically correct.  It’s not as if she got swept up into something innocently because she didn’t know better and wasn’t buddies with the DA.

OK, maybe she wouldn’t find her hypocrisy funny, even after reflection, but I’ll bet that a lot of us will!

About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-disabled and semi-retired, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally ran for office against jerks who otherwise would have gonr 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.) His daughter is a professional campaign treasurer. He doesn't usually know whom she and her firm represent. Whether they do so never influences his endorsements or coverage. (He does have his own strong opinions.) But when he does check campaign finance forms, he is often happily surprised to learn that good candidates he respects often DO hire her firm. (Maybe bad ones are scared off by his relationship with her, but they needn't be.)