DPOC Censures Dan Chmielewski – now with Documents!




Look ma – only censured! Aren’t you proud of me?

Fun times, fun times.  The moment Dan Chmielewski got home from the last Democratic Party of OC meeting, the first thing he did was to crow to some antagonist on his ironically named “Liberal OC” blog: “Life is quite full and great. Thanks for asking.”  What was Dan so euphoric about?  He had just been “censured” by the Central Committee for multiple incidents of (allegedly drunken) bullying and intimidation – is that what you’d call a “full and great life?” Well, apparently Dan’s euphoria was a result of his relief at not being removed from the Committee altogether, as had been widely expected and hoped for.

Also, I’m told he believes the larger world would never hear about this censure and the embarrassing details.  But he thought wrong.  The trash bin outside the union hall where the DPOC meets is a treasure trove of documents, which the Orange Juice Blog feels compelled to share with the world.

(I promised my wife I wouldn’t waste much time on this story, since there’s so much more important going on, but weekends post-election-hangovers are made for schadenfreude, as well as insights into the character of the blowhard who purports to “challenge the county’s rightwing noise machine,” LOL.)

We’ve uploaded the documents here, but I’ll share the high (instructive) points here:  We learn from the DPOC complaint that the people he chooses to bully – at least the two who have complained about it – are a female employee working as communications director, and a 22-year-old Latino hired as Executive Director.  He likes to yell things like “I’m going to make your life miserable,” and “You don’t know what the fuck you’re doing.”  He leans in to the woman and strikes his hands together in front of her face, “causing the hairs on the back of [her] neck stand up.”  The Latino he refers to as “son” and “you’re just a 22-year-old” who doesn’t know anything.  He continuously interrupts each time they try to respond, while his volume “increases in volume, anger and intensity.”  Also:

  • Both victims, as well as witnesses, insist that Dan was intoxicated and smelled like alcohol. 
  • In both cases his big grievances were on behalf of Larry Agran’s pathetic Irvine cabal and their pet candidates and issues like Measure B. 
  • I find this funny:  In both cases if he’d-a shut his damn mouth for a minute and listened he would have found that his complaints were unfounded and were already being addressed.  There’s probably a lesson in there for many of us, but definitely him. 
  • Chair Fran Sdao adds to her complaint that, during meetings, he “repeatedly makes loud derisive comments … disrupts proceedings by carrying on loud side conversations …” and engages in other “abusive and harassing behavior not included herein for the sake of brevity’s sake.”

But most hilarious is Dan’s two-page apology / defense of himself

  • First of all he claims it’s “defamatory” when so many people claim he’s intoxicated and smells like alcohol, for TWO good reasons:  “It’s virtually impossible given the time I leave my office to the time I get to meetings, and my body mass index.”  GOT that, everyone who’s ever been to a bar?  There’s no such thing as a drunk aggressive BIG guy, especially one who has a “job.”
  • And he plays the Big Card – claiming that people WRONGLY feel intimidated by him because of his size when he’s actually “a teddy bear.”  (For those who may not know, Dan is not so much “big” like Shaq or The Rock, but more big like Michael Moore on stilts.)  Well, I’ve known plenty of big guys, and most of them have learned OVER THE DECADES to tone down their behavior to seem less threatening – Dan does the opposite, using his unnerving bulk to try to get his Agranista way.
  • And his excuse for always being SO DAMN LOUD is equally precious:  “I’m loud because I have a severe hereditary hearing loss.  My mother and my son have the same condition as well.  That’s one reason I sit up front so I can hear better.”  YOU HEAR THAT?  WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU HEARTLESS PEOPLE, HAVE YOU NO COMPASSION FOR THE HEARING-IMPAIRED???!!!

Well okay, I’ll get back to serious matters now.  This same guy who himself tried to conduct a post-primary DPOC purge back in June still gets to stay a while.  It’s a shame, the DPOC would be better off without him, but here’s hoping he does learn to behave a little more civilized, and at least try to be sober for important meetings.  It would be even nicer if he tried to make a better blog – cuz at this point, to quote the formerly astute John Mardahl’s bon mot, it’s better at CHANNELING than “CHALLENGING the County’s Right-Wing Noise Machine.”

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.