Is Trevor O’Neil running for Anaheim Mayor? And Fear of an Honest Hari!

I’m of the mind – in fact I’ll put money down on it – that District 6 Councilman and “play mayor” Trevor O’Neil will be the Klepto-Republican candidate for Mayor this fall. The Cabal, wounded and harried as it may be, abhors a vacuum at the top of the ticket, and at this point the Play Mayor is the best they could do.

Realtor Paul Kott tells me that in mid-May, shortly after Sidhu resigned, both Trevor and Gloria Ma’ae called him and begged him to run for Mayor in November. (I guess Gloria and Paul share that SOAR connection.) “You’re the ONLY REPUBLICAN who could beat Ashleigh Aitken!” Paul was not interested and still is not interested in running for Mayor in November, but it was nice to learn they’re so worried about Ashleigh.

Of course that was mid-May. In mid-June Paul asked to be considered for the interim Mayor position (from now till December), and only Avelino supported him. Paul thinks Gloria and Trevor soured on him because he wouldn’t leverage an interim position for a November run. But I think it’s more that Trevor was enjoying being Play Mayor too much.

Back to May 17, the first meeting Trevor got to preside over, as Mayor Pro-Tem, after Sidhu’s Great Disgrace the day before. First move Trevor made was to rudely try to shut Dr. Moreno up. But then he was startled to see he didn’t have a single backup vote for that! Every other member voted to let Jose talk. Since then he’s checked himself and has started to run meetings in a fair and good-natured way, and seems more and more to be auditioning for the real job.

It was at that meeting, too, that we noticed how differently Trevor and Steve Faessel seemed to react to the FBI bombshells. Trevor slid seamlessly into the “shocked, shocked, all Sidhu’s fault, what a disappointment, now let’s continue with business as usual” mode, while the Catholic Faessel furrowed his brow and fretted how there was a “cloud over all of us,” and even backed some Moreno proposals. The two newer cabal members, Gloria Ma’ae and Jose Diaz, looking shell-shocked, took their cues from Steve at first, but have gradually begun to feel safe following the Fearless Trevor.

And it was only three days later – that Friday – that we caught Trevor having lunch with the new Chamber CEO, Matt Cunningham’s wife, at King’s Fish House. It would have been interesting to hear them planning how to move forward together with their “good work” without getting in as much trouble as their mentors Sidhu and Ament. And also, was this before or after Trevor called Paul Kott?

After the Sidhu resignation, the Council was constitutionally required to appoint an interim Mayor, but… they just didn’t. They couldn’t all agree on anyone, and it really seems like the majority is happy with the status quo, letting Trevor continue as “Mayor Pro Tem” even though he’s not technically even that. This allows him to continue his six-month audition, and then in the fall run as Mayor Pro Tem while all the glossy IE mailers sing out his praises for having “led Anaheim through its darkest hours.

Is this all the proof I have of Trevor running for Mayor? Aw, HELL no!

Just last night friends of ours got telephone-surveyed (and it wasn’t from Ashleigh, we know that) – “If the election were held today, would you support Ashleigh Aitken, Trevor O’Neil, Lorri Galloway, or Jose Diaz?” (Jose Diaz? Now that’s a weird idea! A mayor even harder to understand than Sidhu? Is he actually thinking of it? Or are they just trying out a Latino name? Or do they think voters will confuse him with Moreno?)

“Well, Vern, why don’t you just ASK TREVOR if he’s gonna run for Mayor?” Well, I DID, up at the July 4 parade in the Hills. And all he did was laugh. And then tell his girlfriend that I’m part of a “group that comes to Council meetings to COMPLAIN about EVERYTHING!” And then tell me that he heard Fitzgerald had passed away (which isn’t true, but Denis IS in poor health.)

His self-regard in the “no-deficit” zone, his AMBITION radiating like a hippie radiates patchouli, Trevor O’Neil will be announcing for Mayor between now and August 12, or I’ll eat this hat.

Fear of an Honest Hari!

My good friend, corporate attorney and pro-bono immigrant advocate Hari Shankar Lal, had jumped into the race for District 6 thinking he’d be running against Trevor, but now we’re both thinking it’ll probably be someone else – most likely Sergio Gonzalez who WAS running for that seat 4 years ago before being elbowed out of the way by Trevor “NOT ON MY WATCH!” O’Neil. (Or – crazy thought – could they pull out Kris Murray?)

I’m running out of time here – got a big Clean Up Anaheim Coalition event coming up – but I just wanted to share some of the evidence of the terror that Trevor and the Cabal share, their Terror of an Honest Hari!

1. Hari had mentioned on his OCWD application that he was a “member of both the 9th Circuit Court and the Supreme Court” which in lawyer-speak means he qualified to argue before BOTH those high courts and HAS done so. Someone with access to Hari’s application (Trevor?) had someone else confront Hari at a community meeting to call him a liar, because he had looked him up and he did NOT have that distinction! The guy had to apologize though – he’d looked up Hari with the last name of “Shankar” instead of LAL – LOL! Hari’s claim was in fact TRUE.

2. The lady at the State Bar, who’s been friendly with Hari for many years, finally had to call him after receiving TWENTY-THREE INQUIRIES from Anaheim about any discipline or illegalities or anything else in Hari’s long record that could be used against him – was he ever accused of cheating a client? “What the hell is going on, Hari?” He explained that he was running for Council against some very dirty opponents. No worries, he’s never even had a parking ticket.

3. And at the same time, and with just as little success, there were 17 inquires to the OC Bar.

4. For Hari to get into the Anaheim Hills 4th of July Parade was … like pulling teeth. I almost wanted to write “literally,” but not LITERALLY literally. Close though – he had to show up to the Chamber, after weeks of unanswered calls and e-mails, with a prepared writ of mandamus for injunctive relief, before they’d let him in the parade. And then he was scolded that it couldn’t be “political” (even though you see Trevor’s entry above) so he agreed it would only mention his law firm and convinced them the checkmarks by his surname LAL were only part of his logo!

More on Mr. Lal in the near future…

“How does your light shine, when you’re Hari Shankar Lal?”


UPDATE 7/16:

More Hari Harassment from Trevor Camp

Thursday night Hari invited me to a hearing of the Santiago GHAD (Geological Hazard Abatement District) up in the hills – he’s been a member of that board for over a decade. “Boring!” I thought, but he said, “Just come, you’ll get a good story out of it.”

A little background, but this’ll be worth it – a 1993 landslide apparently destroyed a bunch of homes in the Hills, a lotta litigation followed cuz these are rich people, and finally in 1999 this GHAD was created. They’ve been mitigating the danger of another such landslide by sucking out 55,000 gallons of water a day, if I’ve got that right. (Before you get excited, this water is too rich in minerals to be potable or much good for anything else.)

This costs a lotta money, and Thursday night’s meeting was about an “assessment” on the affected homeowners’ property taxes to pay for it (I think? Here’s the flyer:

About 60 homeowners showed up and of course they weren’t happy with the new assessment, or the fact that it varied widely for different homeowners, some as low as $200 a year, some as high as $16,000 a year. How come HE gets to pay so little? How come *I* have to pay so much? Hey I was HERE when that happened, most of you weren’t! Etc etc etc. I only stayed for an hour.

But there was ONE big aggressive loud guy in front of me who made a lot of noise. At one point Hari mentioned the “torrential rains” that led to that 1993 landslide, and this guy stood up and yelled, “You don’t know what you’re talking about, Hari! Your facts are all wrong! That landslide happened in the middle of a DROUGHT, in August!”

Hari didn’t argue, just smiled patiently and continued. I was confused, was my guy that ignorant? NO OF COURSE NOT. I googled and all the news stories confirmed, the 1993 landslide was caused by FIVE DAYS OF TORRENTIAL RAINS.

Who was this stupid ass in front of me? Turns out he was a realtor named DANNY WILLIAMSON, neighbor and best friend of Trevor O’Neil. So Trevor’s got him going around (or Danny’s doing it of his own accord?) yelling ignorant falsehoods at Hari to try to make Hari look bad.

I have a few more questions about this, I’m waiting to get answered. Like is this the same guy who falsely accused Hari of lying about arguing before the Supreme Court. And does Hari get paid to be on this important board? Probably not worth its own story. Or is it? What do you think?

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, or 714-235-VERN.