Early Weekend Open Thread: Dismal Life in Chumleyland

Vern mentioned that he had checked out “Liberal” OC awhile ago, so I decided yesterday (7/27) that I would do so too. I wanted to see whether Chumley would mention anything about ComicCon — which, as I recall, he wanted Anaheim to wrest away from San Diego, as part of his justification for supporting the bond, without the public vote as required by the city charter — for Convention Center expansion. (That bond remains a huge reason that Anaheim is sliding towards bankruptcy. Ha-ha, reckless bondholders!) I was wondering if the joy expressed by people at being back in San Diego — from which his plan was to lure the convention away — had given him a sad.

Chumley and Tennessee Tuxedo in the Neo-Lib OC office
Chumley and an unsuspecting Tennessee Tuxedo relax in the “Neo-Liberal OC” office,
where the walrus dreams of political treachery with what he thinks is a light deft touch.

Nope — nothing new since a story on Ashleigh Aitken getting the endorsements of Lou Correa and Tom Umberg. (I’ll grant Chumley this: for someone who goes all mooncalf over aspiring Cabal candidate Lorri Galloway — the recipient of many a donated mattress — the story was relatively straightforward.) So then I went to look at the comments. Wow. I’ll try to shame him by printing them verbatim (although he’s shameless), then I’ll give my usual sort of a long reply.


  1. Yam Yam Yam
    JULY 15, 2022 AT 12:32 PM

    Oh my what will Greg Diamond say?
    After all, Greg has on multiple occasions accussed [sic] Congressman Correa of murder!
    Seriously. He has.
    After watching the Anaheim city council meeting this week, I wonder why Asliegh [sic] associates with the clowns at OJB. Perhaps she can explain to her children Brian Kaye and Jeanie Robbins profanity.
  2. Dan Chmielewski
    JULY 15, 2022 AT 3:48 PM

    Greg is under the impression his endorsement is worth something. It’s not. He makes very little $. He gives no $ for political contributions but demands candidates pay attention to him. I don’t think Lou or Ashleigh care what Greg has to say
  3. The Drunk Pervert On Anna Drive
    JULY 18, 2022 AT 1:42 PM

    I see that that DISGUSTING racist, associated with Vern and Donna Nelson, William Dennis Fitzgerald died. GOOD.It led me too look back on the OJB coverage of this fool. In doing so, I realized Vern Nelson, Donna Nelson, Greg Diamond, David Zenger, Cynthia Ward, Paul Lucas etc…..HAVE NOT WORKED SINCE 2014 (Zenger sold a water color to Bushala for six bucks). I would have included Ryan Catnor [sic], but he ran off to Alabama or some other racist homophobe shithole. But in the contagious mental illness den that is the OJB, this nut still chimes in like he still lives in Anaheim…….wait he NEVER lived there??? Wow. This guy should coach his kids games and not obsess over Diamond’s underpants!

OK then! Some notes:

People should already realize that Liberal OC is as ugly as anything that Failed Dictator Trump puts out — although in style it’s more Newt Gingrich meets Karl Rove. Look at his comment section compared to most of ours. Democrats in particular should be embarrassed at DPOC’s history of support for this nonsense during the post-Prevatt years.

Let’s chronicle the ugliness:

  1. First, “Yam Yam Yam” seems to be a gratuitous reference to the name of Anaheim Democratic activist Fred Sigala’s wife. That would get it tossed out here, but for Chumley going after family members (except his!) seems to connote toughness. Fred’s a really good, thoughtful guy who appreciates conciliation; this is a totally unfair and despicable hit.
  2. Greg Diamond (viz., me/I) did criticize Aitken for accepting Correa’s endorsement in 2018, because I think it signaled to voters — wrongly — that she was simply his sort of Democrat. I think that that hurt her. But a lot has transpired between then and now. (Much of it involves Chumley’s friend and booster Melahat and his bosom ally Cunningham.) I’m glad that Ashleigh got those endorsements, despite that I’m negative on Correa and more or less neutral on Umberg. All unite against the Cabal!
  3. I can’t think of any occasion in which I’ve accused — or “accussed” — Lou Correa of killing another person — or even someone’s pet. I can’t rule out that I’ve accused him of metaphorical murder — like he has helped murder the hopes of people who want public health care, or that he has murdered the future of Anaheim, etc. — but, while Correa may have voted for things that poison the environment or contribute to people dying needlessly in war or in domestic police enforcement (and such a vote is not really “murder”), I can’t figure out what the hell this person is talking about. If anyone out there can think of what it is, please let me know.
  4. I don’t really associate with Aitken. I plan to endorse her at this point, but that imposes no obligation on her. Vern may be around her sometimes, but that’s because he really likes to go out and support whom and what he supports.
  5. I’m not a big fan of the profanity at Council meetings, but the City Attorney Mike Houston, who as I recall got a nice job near the Grapevine when he left, advised the Council that absolute free speech — which would rule out some acts of obscenity and credible imminent threats, but not mere (and especially occasional) profanity — was protected for those speaking at the podium. I know that then-Mayor Tom Tait was really uncomfortable with it — but he endured it because he was told that he had to. So suck it up, anonymous buttercup!
  6. Moving on to Chumley’s own comment: my endorsement is not “worth something” — in the sense that I seek or accept any compensation for my endorsements (and I don’t know whether rumors are true that Chumley gets financial compensation or business help for some of what he writes or publishes) – but I know that it’s “worth something” in that candidates seem to desire it and seem happy when they receive it. This seems be largely due to the fact that most Democratic endorsements by non-candidates just reiterate what the CDP and DPOC have to say, and so they shed no new light on matters. Where Vern and I agree with those bodies — given that we’re considering races without feeling at all bound to echo them — it does more to influence people than a writing from someone who is a lapdog (or lap-walrus) to those bodies. This is intentional — and it’s the bright side of being removed from party leadership. (The dark side is that so few people within the part have both the chops and inclination to call bullshit on the party — and I did. But I can do a lot of that from home.)
  7. In my opinion, Chumley has sort of a Trumpian sickness about him that is well-represented by what he says next. He says that my endorsement doesn’t matter to people — as if he’s in any position to know — because: “He makes very little $.” How much of a twit do you have to be to think that people decide how much to care about an endorsement based on the writer’s income? They care because (1) I deeply research races from an informed viewpoint that many of them find congenial (and many less so, but they still read it), (2) that I have more brains in my big toe than Chumley has in his whole Honey-Baked-Ham-sized noggin, (3) that nobody owns me, and I’m not trying to suck up to power, and (4) that I write with some wit, some self-doubt and self-deprecation — and with a serious devotion to principles regardless of any political consequences for myself. That’s why one of my endorsement stories alone probably gets more legitimate views than Liberal OC does in a year.
  8. Chumley makes three assertions. (1) That I “give[] no $ for political contributions” Not entirely true — but when I had the income (and wasn’t supporting a family) I certainly did. I think that I made about $160K in 2004 and gave $10K in early money to the Kerry/Edwards Presidential campaign and associated PACs, and then about $3000 to other candidates — coming close to tithing. (Once you give away $10K, people seek you out.) There was no more reason for a recipient to listen to me then than there is now. It simply doesn’t matter.
  9. He then says that I demand[ that] candidates pay attention to [me]. Uh, no — and it bothers me that Chumley does not get the difference between inviting someone to do something and demanding it. (I won’t draw any inferences about what his social life might have been like in high school — but this again is very Trumpian.) The notion of demanding that someone holding or seeking power read what I have to say is deeply weird to me — and if I did it would simply be because I thought what I wrote was important to something they might do. For example, I (like Vern) wrote a lot about Poseidon over the years; I thought that people should read it, but that was about ideas and arguments, not personal gratification, preening, or preening. Chumley ultimately took the other side — which was where they money was!
  10. “I don’t think Lou or Ashleigh care what Greg has to say.” I agree that Lou probably doesn’t much, because he’s propped up by enough special interest money, largely corporate, that he cannot be easily removed from office. But he’s certainly complained enough to Vern about being attacked by OJB (always righteously, of course) that I doubt that he just shrugs off his bad press. I know that his current spokesmodel Claudio Gallegos seems to care. And while Lou and Claudio enter elections for DPOC and for CDP delegate positions with anti-accountability slates all filled out to the last stooge, they care when I help undercut their plans — because lots of people read those stories as well. Good!
  11. I don’t really talk with Ashleigh. I presume that she appreciates much of the Anaheim-related reporting I’ve done over the years — and some of it not so much — and that she’s probably happy that I don’t seem to take my Anaheim story marching orders from Cabal-Thrall Matt Cunningham the way that Chumley seems to. (Vern and I are not alone in suspecting that — one way or another, from whatever source — he gets paid for slurping up to the Cabal. Or maybe it’s just Angels tickets?) I’d hate to see the world, or even only blogging, the way that he does.
  12. Finally for the person who anonymously shat all over the memory of the recently deceased William Denis Fitzgerald. Some of what Fitz said did disgust me — largely his visceral antagonism to male homosexuality and willingness to make it a basis for his attacks on Jordan Brandman (who deserved it on other grounds) — but frankly most of that was fairly typical of his generation, which was much more prone to joke and comment nastily about matters of race, ethnicity, gender, and especially sexual orientation. And the specifics of his criticisms — such as the willingness of other gay men to rush to Brandman’s defense for tribal reasons — sometimes had merit. He had some weird ideas — some of which seemed weird only because they were impolitic, such as his attacking Disney over its nightly fireworks depositing heavy metals over a mostly poor community around them (about which he was not so wrong, but taking away the fireworks was unthinkable to practical people, so the poor just had to live with it — until they stopped living.)
  13. His weirdest idea — and again, I’m not sure that I can say that he was entirely wrong! — was that the only way to break through the fortress of resigned apathy in Anaheim was to shock people, like a black-hat pro wrestler who has been sanctioned to use obscene and offensive language. There was a method to his madness — and sometimes it paid off. He was awfully smart and willing to be a kamikaze in a good cause — especially as it involved only metaphorical deadly explosions — although sometimes he inexplicably trained his sight on the wrong target, as when he’d say that there was no real difference between Tom Tait and Curt Pringle. But it’s possible that this was just his was of signaling that he wasn’t owned by any faction; attacking Tait, wrong as it was, may have given him more credibility among some.
  14. Fitz might have denied it, but in part he simply enjoyed playing the bad guy, the “disruptor,” the dangerous one; my sense is that he’d sometimes he’d come up with an excuse to do so even when it wasn’t necessary. But, by and large, even though his antics were not to my taste, he made a good case that Anaheim’s political system did need disruption.
  15. The main thing about Fitz was: when he was good, he was very very good. He had great insight into local politics. He could spot the subterfuge behind a proposed action of Council before anywhere else. (Yes, sometimes he spotted it when it wasn’t there, but given Anaheim it usually was.)
  16. So while he was at some ways and some times bigoted, by and large he was the opposite: to the extent class is correlated to race (hint: it is!), he was out to help the poor and the working class — and that’s not what racists do. For the cowardly anonymous writer to say that he’s glad that Fitz is dead is what I’d expect from someone whose oxen he often gored — and I’m sure that Fitz would have been happy to have provoked such a person into being so crass.
  17. The person pretending to be a caricature of Vern (who is neither sick nor a pervert, though he does live on Anna Drive) claims to have realized that “Vern Nelson, Donna Nelson, Greg Diamond, David Zenger, Cynthia Ward, Paul Lucas etc…..HAVE NOT WORKED SINCE 2014.” Nope. Wrong. Stupidly wrong. I can only speak for the first three names on the list — but I’ve worked quite a bit since then — as has Donna, as has Vern. (Vern busts his but with gigs and sales of merch like a true entrepreneur, in fact — and he believes in his product!) I presume that Zenger works as well. Cynthia has largely been a hard-working homemaker and activist, but her husband has brought in income and she has helped him do so, on top of the really hard work of standing up to the city. Anonymous Cowards doesn’t count that as work.. I think that Lucas is on Disability, with good justification. So think is just more Chez Chumley ugliness.
  18. As for Ryan Cantor: he followed his wife, who was pursuing her own career, as his work became more flexible. So far as I recall, Ryan is not a homophobe and obviously, is the sort of person willing to put his wife’s career interests before his own. Ryan lived in Fullerton, just north of Anaheim — I think he still owns a home there — and has cared about Anaheim’s politics partly for their own sake and partly because the two cities’ financial destinies are largely intertwined. He has never pretended to live in Anaheim; neither have I. You don’t have to live there to care about it. The “obsesses about [my] underpants” bit — about which: nope! — seems pretty rich coming from someone who is trashing Fitz for being coarse and celebrating his death; I don’t recall Fitz ever going that low (and weird.)

As I said, a vicious and specious anonymous attack like this simply would not remain on this blog even if it was able to sneak in in the first place. I will say publicly what I have often said privately: “I would sure hate to be Chmielewski.” (I recognize that he’d hate to be me too, but that’s because my earnings are low — and he has bad taste.) OC Democrats in particular should be wondering why the local party has any interaction with him at all. This is your guy, “moderates”!

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.)