Cunningham’s wife Laura to be appointed to vacant Orange City Council seat.




Cunninghams: The klepto-scribe and the to-be-appointed councilwoman.

The vagaries of this year’s Orange City elections managed to get Republican Chip Monaco onto Council, and return Kimberlee Nichols, but then left a fifth seat vacant for appointment or special election.  Supporters of the third-place finisher, progressive Democrat Beatriz “Betty” Valenzia, have been lobbying to have her appointed at tonight’s meeting – after all, she got the votes of nearly 11,000 Orange citizens, and would balance off the council nicely.  But the council has also expressed a criterion of their own making: the appointed fifth councilperson has to be “someone we can work with.”

Well, now we know who it is that the Council feels comfortable working with: a trusted Orange Republican source tells us they’ve settled on Laura Cunningham, the wife of fabled blogger/consultant Matt (known ten years ago as “Jubal” when he ran the Red County Blog, and currently best known as Orange-dwelling purveyor of the kleptocratic, Chamber-funded Anaheim Blog.)

There’s a LOT all of us know about Matt, most of which I won’t get into right here, but not that much we know about his wife Laura.  A Mexican-American Republican who grew up in Orange’s El Modena neighborhood (with Paul Lucas’ big sisters), SHE is best known as the professional Latino outreach person for 2008’s Proposition 8, which made same-sex marriage illegal in California.

That’s right, the Orange Council is rejecting the gay Latina immigrant Valencia for the professional anti-gay activist Latina Cunningham.  Does it sound like Orange is on the right side of history here?

Pedroza created this fine image for me in 2010 when we officially declared Orange a “ruled by clowns city,” in parody of them unanimously declaring themselves a “Rule By Law (anti-immigrant) City.”

I’m told that intensive lobbying on the part of the Cunninghams has given way to indiscreet boasting, and who can blame them?  This would mark a return to power in Orange, for the Cunninghams, since husband Matt was removed from the Planning Commission in 2011 for getting paid for “consulting work” by clients who had business before the Orange Council. (Technically Matt “resigned” the seat rather than face certain removal as agendized by Councilman Dumitru.)

Over the years we have seen Mrs. Cunningham at Matt’s side helping him with his “consulting” projects – for example telling speakers where to sit at council meetings and handing out talking points while the two were “consulting” for the development of Orange Park Acres.  I’ve also heard Laura is paid (or has been?) public money for typing up the minutes of Orange Council meetings.  But we will learn a lot more when she has to fill out 700 forms for herself and her busy husband. 

And in 2020 we fully expect to see her replaced by Beatriz Valencia, the progressive gay immigrant Latina who will not be giving up.

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official political troubadour of Anaheim and most other OC towns. Regularly makes solo performances, sometimes with his savage-jazz band The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.