Yesterday’s Mail: Highlights from OC’s Political Mail, Feb. 6




1. Most Ironical — Now Harley Rouda Hates Insiders

My position on CA-48 has been that I don’t think much of either Harley Rouda or Hans Keirstead, the two frontrunners.  I’d support either over Dana Rohrabacher (or another Republican such as Scott Baugh, if Dana actually does explode into ABC molecules (of anger, borscht, and cannabis) prior to the primary), but I’d prefer any of Omar Siddiqui, Laura Oatman, or Rachel Payne to either of them.  Then Keirstead stomped Rouda among CDP delegates and a few other eligible voters in the recent pre-endorsement conference.  Rouda — who has heretofore retained the expensive and loud insider PR firm of  Jacobson Zilber, whose signature move is EMAIL HEADERS IN ALL-CAPS, because everybody loves that — has now suddenly come out as an anti-establishment figure.  Who knew?  Here’s his email:

The 2018 elections are our opportunity to change course in America and California. To elect people with broad popular appeal who will get our country back on track. 

This is especially true in the 48th Congressional District, where Dana Rohrabacher has shown he is out-of-touch with Orange County families.

What we don’t need? Thirty-nine party insiders dictating our Democratic nominees. 

Here’s the story: later this month, Democratic party insiders will be gathering in backrooms in San Diego – miles outside our district – to cut deals with other insiders and trade endorsements in key races.

It is a rigged process, with widespread corruption. These endorsements are by party elites and for party elites. And they shut out the voice of grassroots activists who are key to taking our country back.

This upcoming election should be an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to letting the people decide the future of our state and country. All of the people.

Tell the 39 Super Delegates to the California Democratic Party to vote “No Endorsement” in the 48th Congressional District Primary.  [Killed a link to]


If one of the three people I said I liked had made this pitch, it would make some sense — but it would still be badly misinformed.  The CDP delegates who come from the DPOC — and note that I’m one of them — may to some extent be described as “party elites.”  The ones who were elected at Assembly District Caucuses are, by and large not — in fact, one of the big stories from a year ago was about how thoroughly Bernie Sanders delegates had swept most of the seats.  The “party elites” are electeds, some major funders and central committee and club leaders, and outside groups such as the “New Democrats” who are trying to push for moderate business-friendly Democratic nominees wherever possible.  And that group has been pushing both Harley and Hans.

In the interest of reaching some closure and avoiding a Top-Two two-Republican runoff, I dipped a foot into the water of supporting Hans Keirstead on Monday, largely because I thought he was being unfairly maligned by some of my friends who misinterpreted a fairly benign statement he had made about immigration as one marking him as a neo-Nazi.  This built my sympathy for him.  Then, on Tuesday, word came out that he and his Political Director, Anita Narayana, had been spotted meeting in public with bat-guano wacky hell-demon Lenore Albert-Sheridan, the one who ran for CDP Chair last year to help the campaign of Eric Bauman — who so far as I can tell has since his victory unceremoniously dumped her — and who now has been going on out-of-order harangues at DPOC meetings against me and Chair Fran Sdao.  On learning that, I pulled my foot out of the “Hans is OK with me” water so quickly that my ankle retracted into my knee.  (I wonder how Fran will react.)  So, Harley and Hans, here’s half a loaf for you both: you’re each right about opposing the other.

2. Fund Time with Farrah

I really dislike Irvine politics, which for years dominated the DPOC, even if you factor out the looming umbral presence of Chumley.  One of the figures who is wonderful — too wonderful, I thought at the beginning of the 2016 campaign season, ever to win there — is Farrah Khan, who is now one of the Vice-Chairs of DPOC in addition to running a business, an interfaith non-profit, and enough more to cross one’s eyes.  Then she came out as one of (maybe the?) early leaders in fundraising,  and it took a lot — including unwillingness of Melissa Fox to endorse her, I suppose for fear of her outpolling her for the final open seat, which is a mistake I hope won’t be repeated — to keep her from winning.  Well, initial fundraising numbers for the fall election are out once again and, as her email shows, Farrah’s position is if anything more impressive:

Seriously: whoever else you give to this year, consider sparing some money for the judicious, congenial, honest, and hardworking Farrah Khan.  Among other things she’s smart enough to figure out why Lynne Schott has exactly $6 in cash on hand — and what it might be for.

I was having trouble figuring out how to illustrate this one, as I didn’t want to single out any one candidate, and then I realized that Jacobson Zilber appears in this piece twice, so I did an image search on them, and this was the first thing that came up. Irresistible! THAT’S JACOBSON, BY THE WAY, HAPPY TO BE ON FOX NEWS CHANNEL!!!

3. CA-39’s Dueling Deci-Billionaires Both Announce TV Ads

Andy Thorburn employs Jacobson Zilber, discussed above, who announced:  ANDY THORBURN RELEASES NEW VIDEO AD “JAILED” IN CA-39 BID.  As a teacher, Thorburn was jailed as part of a protest for a good cause.  Yes, it speaks well to his character, but I’ve been hearing people ask “how many years ago was that now?”  I like Thorburn and think that he does have good character, but he may be overestimating how long he can dine out on that act.

I don’t know who handles Gil Cisneros’s account, but they went with:

Former Lieutenant Commander Gil Cisneros (CA-39) Releases New TV Advertisement 
The 60 Second Ad Highlights Cisneros’s Advocacy Work And Refusal To Take Corporate PAC Money

Fullerton, Calif. – Today, former Lieutenant Commander Gil Cisneros who is running for Congress in California’s 39th District, launched the first television ad of the cycle. The announcement of the ad, comes on the heels of Cisneros announcing his ninth Congressional endorsement, and the grand opening of his field office in January.


Cisneros doesn’t need to take corporate money because he won a huge $300 million-plus lottery — and, while he has undeniably done good things with his winnings, including helping Latino youth get into college, the main focus of his efforts have been in Pico Rivera, which raises the question “hey, if you were going to carpetbag anyway, why not do so in Pico Rivera, rather than in a district that is not especially Latino in composition and far less so in vote share?”

Cisneros could probably bury incumbent Republican Philip Chen in AD-55 — if he were willing to serve in the Assembly, become a leader of the party, and parlay that into a seat in Congress once he had become a more polished politician.  When you’re a deci-billionaire thrice over and the only Spanish-surnamed candidate in the race, getting endorsements from Latino Congressmembers is no shocker.  (I’m not trying to be a downer, but people are going to figure that out.)  Right now, the only question is whether he’s going to go negative on his Democratic rivals, as at least five current Republican candidates are hoping that he will.  I suppose that someone with his wealth will always be welcome in the district, and least in face-to-face interactions, but if he goes negative I expect him to get a lot of notes suggesting that he come no closer than Pico Rivera.

The entry of Brea Councilman Steve Vargas into the race — a local Latino whose name people know, is going to take away part of Gil’s advantage.  Then again, it’s Steve Vargas, who will have to hope that that people remember nothing about him other than his name.

Jay Chen celebrated a positive article by Martin Wisckol and Sam Jammal celebrated the endorsement of the Tri-Valley Democratic Club, which has never failed to pick the winning candidate in this race, given that there’s never been competition for the honor before this year.

 On the red side of the street, the non-Vargas news is that Shawn Nelson got the endorsement of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, whose sway this far inland is reflected in the impact that the coastal tides have on the water in our toilet bowls.  Shawn will probably be able to evade becoming a “person of interest” in some Russia probe despite this honor, although who can say?  Congratulations on Taliban Dana’s support, regardless, Comrade Shawn!


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.)