Second and third thoughts on Greg Raths.

Wasn’t sure if this was worth a story, but these are the kind of things that go through my head at night…

My brief fantasy that Mission Viejo Mayor / ambitious politician Greg Raths was a decent independent Republican (that increasingly rare creature) was indeed a brief fantasy. I guess me and Diamond used to like him back when he was the honest independent guy running against lying insider Republican Mimi Walters, and it helped that he was a Marine, and then last November when the OC GOP chose heartless financial crook Diane Harkey over him, I wrote “OC GOP Shows its Character Choosing Harkey over Raths for South-County Supervisor.”

But then three things happened:

  • I looked into the story and put out some feelers, and soon was called by Carolyn Livingston, who left me a message and talked to my wife Donna; we agreed that (unlike Amber Heard or Lorri Galloway) she seemed credible;
  • And right around the same time Raths started posting fanboy pics of himself with not only Donald Trump but ROGER STONE. Ewwwww, Greg – Roger Stone???

(Apparently Raths took down the pictures when he noticed people didn’t like em)

So long story short (except it never is) I stopped saying good things about Greg Raths. He still intended to run against OCGOP-endorsed Harkey, but then a few weeks later the Districting Commission wrapped up its work and he was no longer in that Supervisorial District! Which he was characteristically sure was done just to stymie HIM.

(BTW how stupid is it that BOTH Parties have been endorsing candidates a FULL YEAR before elections, not only before they know who-all wants to run, but in this case before they even know what the freaking DISTRICT LINES are? Same thing happened to the DPOC’s choice for South-County Supervisor, fire-hero Joe Kerr, and that was a good thing.)

So the ambitious Greg Raths decided to instead run for Congress in the newly created, heavily Republican, multi-county 40th District, where his two main opponents would be

  • YOUNG KIM, smooth, faux-moderate, hyper-funded incumbent Republican BUT living outside the district (which is legal, but doesn’t look great plus nobody there knows her)
  • and DR. ASIF MAHMOUD, Democratic fundraiser and pulmonologist.

Young Kim Running Scared! (or WAS she??)

All the hullaballoo back in May was “Why is Young Kim spending a WHOPPING $1.3 MILLION attacking her Republican opponent Greg Raths?” Talking heads opined such as: “I don’t think campaigns make these sort of moves unless there is a concern she isn’t going to make the top two.” Encouraged by this, and preferring to run against the immoderate Raths, Mahmood’s people started spending money attacking Greg as being too tough on abortion, in a move to get him more rightwing votes at Kim’s expense. But Kim was never in much danger from Raths, she spent all that money just because she had it.

All May the infinitely funded Kim and the grassroots conservative Raths lobbed attacks at each other, he accusing her of being insufficiently Trumpy, and she accusing him of being a secret liberal stalking horse for Biden and Pelosi. But, looking back on it, Greg’s low-budget attacks on her were truthful:

…while Young Kim’s expensive attacks on Raths were LAUGHABLE FANTASY. This one even made Bill Maher’s New Rules:

Long story short (which it never is), you’d think the well-known, local, true conservative would have the advantage over the unfamiliar, out-of-town, faux-moderate in a hardcore Republican district like that… pero no – as usual in politics, the LIAR with all the money won. Won the chance to take on Dr. Mahmood in November.

Poor Greg Raths, always getting beat on by mean Republican women like Walters, Harkey and Kim. But then in the middle of all that, there was also…

Greg Raths’ Anti-Semitic Tirade! (or WAS it??)

All the headlines screamed the same thing, same time last May! “Greg Raths let loose with an ANTI-SEMITIC TIRADE!!!” The Democratic Party quickly condemned Greg Raths’ “Anti-Semitic Tirade.” A little later, the OC Republican Party also condemned Greg Raths’ “Anti-Semitic Tirade.” The Liberal OC’s Dan Chmielewski snarked that it “took a while” for the Republicans to “fully condemn the anti-Semitic rant,” linking approvingly to the rightwing Washington Free Beacon‘s article “California Republican Goes Full Ilhan Omar in Anti-Semitic Rant.” Greg was even forced to abjectly apologize for whatever it was he said, or face a future branded as an anti-Semite!

“What-what-WHAT???” I exclaimed, sounding like Kyle’s Jewish mom on South Park, “Greg Raths let loose with an Anti-Semitic Tirade? But, what did he say?” It was a little hard to find, most articles just called it an anti-Semitic tirade or rant without quoting him. Well, it turns out that, at a candidate forum hosted by the OC Islamic Foundation, he noted – correctly – that US foreign policy toward Israel is driven by lobbyists and funding that the Palestinians don’t enjoy, and said that he would “rein in” the staggering $3.8 billion in aid we give to that tiny nation each year, which he’d feel free to do since he doesn’t take “a dime” from Israeli interests.

All true, brave, and admirable, things that only the bravest politicians on both sides of the aisle feel free to say, including Jewish Bernie Sanders. Except Raths phrased it in a bone-headed way because he’s a bonehead who surrounds himself with boneheads: instead of laying this at the feet of AIPAC, or the “Zionist lobby” or “Israeli money” he used the word “Jewish,” as in “Jewish money, Jewish community,” which the thought police were able to paint as anti-Semitic. (That probably would have happened anyway no matter how he expressed himself.)

So I was all ready to at least give Raths props for expressing uncomfortable truths and taking bold positions. Except – or, as Tevye would say, “On the third hand…”

NOBODY’S EVER HEARD GREG RATHS EXPRESS CONCERN FOR THE PALESTINIAN RIGHTS ANYWHERE ELSE BEFORE. Not anywhere else, not on his website. He certainly never criticized his idol Trump for licking Likud, and bobbin’ on Bibi, his entire term.

This was apparently just something he said because there were a bunch of Muslims sitting in front of him.

SO.. factor in insincere pandering … and IT’S A WASH for old Greg Raths. Sorry, Mayor.

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.