Drama in the OC Blogosphere

Art Pedroza at the Orange Juice Blog just wrote a posted titled Something’s rank at OC Blog/Red County.   Art talks about some back-and-forth that’s been going on between himself and the proprietor of OC Blog regarding the BNN blog rankings of California’s most influential blogs.

Much ado about nothing, if you ask me.  I’d agree with Cunningham the BNN rankings do not hold a lot of significance in my life, and the entire argument is silly.  I think that if we just continue to write good content, rankings and lists and the number of hits we get aren’t important.  There was one part of Art’s story that caught my attention:


Cunningham has also altered the link to our blog, over at Red County/OC Blog, so that it sends his readers to O.C. Supervisor Janet Nguyen’s campaign website instead of our blog.



This is funny because a few weeks ago the Orange County blogosphere was pretty united around the story of Orange County Supervisor Janet Nguyen evading the law, and we were all waiting for her to file the names of the three contributors that had illegally contributed to her campaign…all of us except Art over at The Orange Juice.

So bloggers and newspaper reporters were waiting for Janet to file, and Art complained that we were making a stink out of a non-story.

Cut to: two days later when Pedroza is appointed to a county commission by Janet.  Sounds a little suspect, but Pedroza sticks to “Janet evading the law wasn’t a big deal” story.

Then Cunningham on the OC Blog accused Pedroza of being a pawn for Janet Nguyen and changed the link to Art’s blog so it now directs people to Janet Nguyen’s website.  Pretty clever.

  49 comments for “Drama in the OC Blogosphere

  1. Aunt Millie
    June 26, 2007 at 2:38 pm

    I consider this a small-minded dirty trick, but pretty much what you expect from somebody who has a link to the Left Angeles Times. I’m sure that Cunningham regards this all as Republican humor, but I’m still unclear on that concept, just as I’m trying to figure out what the core values of Bush-Cheney Republicans are.

    This OC Weekly article from Jubal’s pseudonymous days really gives a good background on Cunningham, and his history of self-promotion.

    Take Jubal. His identity is a matter of speculation among OC Blog readers, but it’s well-known among the county’s political reporters that Jubal is Matt Cunningham, a longtime fixture in OC Republican politics. (The name Jubal is, significantly, drawn from Stranger in a Strange Land, the novel by sci-fi writer and right-wing kook Robert Heinlein.) And rather than use his secret identity to advance bold political positions that might require a Kevlar vest and an escape plan, Cunningham has used his anonymity for the political advantage of the party in power—and for a lot of self-congratulation.

    Cunningham runs Pacific Strategies, an OC political consulting firm, and BlogAtomic, a consulting business. He’s a longtime party activist and a rising star in Republican political blogging, having joined the roster of conservative bloggers at the FlashReport (www.flashreport.org), recently featured in the San Diego Union-Tribune as one of the state’s most influential political blogs.

    Cunningham isn’t as prominent as his alter ego, but then Jubal’s favorite blogger is Cunningham. So that’s nice. Writing on the FlashReport, Cunningham links to OC Blog posts he has written as Jubal, pretending that he’s only just discovered them, as any reader might. As Jubal, he links to Cunningham’s posts on the FlashReport, pretending that Cunningham is offering the reader analysis that’s even better than Jubal’s. At no point is the reader offered even a hint that what appears to be a dialogue between two writers is actually a self-promoting monologue

    Jubal’s like a lot of the bully-boy Republicans and he can be counted on to always try to have the last word, even if it’s as petty and vindictive as a spurious link.

  2. Jubal
    June 26, 2007 at 7:39 pm

    Aunt Millie:

    If you think Brennan’s OC Weakly article was authoritative and truthful, I have a bridge to sell you.

  3. Dan Chmielewski
    June 26, 2007 at 8:47 pm

    It’s OC Weekly and Los Angeles Times. You dish it out pretty well Mr. Matt.

    I’ve read the story in OC Weekly; just what about it is inaccurate?

  4. June 26, 2007 at 9:07 pm


    OK – Jubal says I am a Janet sycophant even though the Register’s Steven Greenhut voiced pretty much the same opinion that I did regarding the late campaign filing brouhaha. Does that make Greenhut a Janet butt-kisser too?

    Even Martin Wisckol, the guy who started the Nguyen blog lynching, was forced to admit afterwards that it was “anticlimactic.” That’s one way to spin it! It was and remains a non-story.

    Here’s something to consider re Jubal’s hypocrisy. I wrote a post yesterday about Van Tran’s support for Lou Correa’s SB 645. Tran is in fact a co-author of the bill, which is unfair to non-union contractors. This is a major expose of a Reep – in fact it reminds me of what happened when Ken Maddox, who preceded Tran, supported the OC PLA. John Campbell used that against Maddox and defeated him for a seat in the State Senate. But Jubal is IGNORING the story.

    Of course he is! He never reports anything negative about Tran and his allies. So why do you guys let him get away with this?

    The fact is, all of us in the local blogosphere have our favorites. But you and I both write about what is going on, even when it hurts our political allies. Janet has in fact called me several times to complain about posts I wrote about her.

    One more thing – Jubal has accused Blognetnews.com of being a non-credible site. The editor of that site refuted his accusations, point by point. Why hasn’t Jubal responded?

  5. Jubal
    June 27, 2007 at 6:22 am

    Well, Dan, let’s start with Brennan’s claim that I sell positive coverage in exchange for blogads — or did that one escape you?

    The Weekly had given OC Blog very positive coverage — until I wrote a couple of posts harshly criticizing two articles (one by Will Swaim) for their inaccuracies.

    That changed things for Swaim.

    Shortly after that, while Swaim was busy chumming me up for a week in a friendly e-mail exchange, his man Brennan was preparing the retaliatory hit piece in which he took the fact that I posted under my one name on FR and on a number of occasions linked to my OC Blog posts (when my identity was still semi-secret), claiming it was a huge ethical breach and cussing my of selling coverage for ads.

    Believe that if you like, Dan. The reality is it was just pay-back from Swaim.

  6. Jubal
    June 27, 2007 at 6:31 am


    I don’t recall ever calling you a Janet sycophant. I’ve pointed out that your coverage of Janet is deferential in the extreme, and I think it qualifies as sycophantish, but I’ve never called you that name.

    Steve Greenhut is willing to criticize Janet. You aren’t.

    I’m not ignoring the SB 645 story. But I don’t have time to write about everything, Art. It’s enough that Van Tran is a co-author for you to blog about it, but I’d rather research the issue more. And that takes time, of which I don’t have as much to spare as I used to.

    Your contention that I never criticize Van Tran is ridiculous. I juts don’t share your obsessive hatred of him. During the special election, I posted about Van’s petty attempt to get Mark Rosen excluded from a press event unveling the new Little Saigon Freeway sign. The Trung Nguyen Photoshop story first appeared on Red County/OC Blog.

    Finally, I didn’t accuse BNN of being a non-credible site. Read my comments again. What I said was I don’t think their rankings are credible. Very different things.

  7. Dan Chmielewski
    June 27, 2007 at 6:59 am

    I have no way of knowing if you sell blogads in exchange for positive coverage or not. I’d like to think not.

    But on positing under one name and linking to posts filed under another, ethics are in the eyes of the beholder. I see that as more inappropriate than unethical.

    I think you should just drop the whole Jubal thing and be done with it.

  8. Jubal
    June 27, 2007 at 7:25 am

    I have no way of knowing if you sell blogads in exchange for positive coverage or not. I’d like to think not..

    What kind of stupid thing is that to say?

    Gee, Dan — I have no way of knowing if you sell over-charge your clients or not. I’d like to think not. I have no way of knowing if you wear women’s underwear or not. I’d like to think not.

    I think you should just drop the whole Jubal thing and be done with it.

    I should drop it? I didn’t raise this topic to begin with.

  9. Aunt Millie
    June 27, 2007 at 7:29 am

    My personal favorite bit of Jubalicity was this post in the Club for Growth Blog. Matt Cunningham’s company, BlogAtomic ran this outlet for the radical right, yet he could shamelessly shill for OCBlog,

    OC Blog is the premier blog in my county of residence (Orange County). It recently had a couple of posts that re-acquainted me with racial rabble-rouser Nativo Lopez

    OCBlog re-acquainted him with things he had written himself under the Jubal pseudonym.

    To paraphrase that post, hucksters like Cunningham never fade away, and guys like him and Pringle and Baugh will always make a good living selling their services to campaigns, developers lobbying public agencies, and public agencies themselves. They can mask this in some jumped-up philosophy about the virtues of private enterprise, but it’s just more Republicans directly and indirectly feeding at the public trough.

    The myth of Easy Street Republican morality is being revealed as nothing more than naked greed and the need to win at any cost with any methods.

  10. Dan Chmielewski
    June 27, 2007 at 7:38 am

    A stupid thing to say? It’s really non-committal since I don’t know how you run your busiess. And its honest.

    My rate is $25-$50 an hour less than my competition BTW and I use senior people as opposed to kids. Clients get better work. Thanks for asking. I also don’t mark up third party servies. Clients like that.

    Women’s underwear; let’s just make that our little secret, OK? 😉

  11. Jubal
    June 27, 2007 at 7:43 am

    Dan, I don’t know how you run your business or what kind of undergarments you wear — so those statements are just as “honest” as your variation on “when did you stop beating your wife?”

  12. Jubal
    June 27, 2007 at 7:49 am

    My rate is $25-$50 an hour less than my competition BTW

    I don’t know whether or not you make it up by exaggerating the number of hours worked. I’d like to think not – and I’m being honest and non-committal here, mind you.

    Do you see my point?

  13. Dan Chmielewski
    June 27, 2007 at 8:57 am

    Well, I have invoices billed to clients where I didn’t fill up my budgeted hours for the month and I have only billed them for time worked. I also have plenty of months where I am well over budget, but only bill to budget. Clients like both of these things.

  14. Jubal
    June 27, 2007 at 9:34 am

    I also have plenty of months where I am well over budget, but only bill to budget.

    As far as they know. We only have your word.

    And I don’t know whether or not you are a bigamist. I’d like to think not.

    My point, Dan, is someone can make any manner of “when did you stop beating your wife” accusations about you or me or anyone. I think you are an honest person who wouldn’t rip-off a client — but I don’t know that. But if someone leveled such an accusation against you, I’d call it what it was — BS, rather than issue a weasely “I don’t know if it’s true. I’d like to think not.”

  15. June 27, 2007 at 9:48 am


    Perhaps you don’t have to time to write about Tran and SB 645 because you spend SO MUCH time writing about Supervisor Nguyen.

    Here’s a thought – now that I took the time to write about SB 645, go back and look at the links in my article. The Register has run perhaps three or four articles/editorials on the bill.

    Your readers deserve to know that Tran is carrying water for the unions.

  16. Jubal
    June 27, 2007 at 10:39 am

    And perhaps you find it impossible to do anything but fawn over Janet and make excuses for her mistakes because you’re so busy obsessively hating Van Tran.

    But OK, Art, I’ll put it on my long and growing To Do list.

  17. Dan Chmielewski
    June 27, 2007 at 12:48 pm

    So Matt, if Brennan libeled you, sue him. Knowingly publishing a falsehood is actual malice and libelous. Would you sue him?

  18. Jubal
    June 27, 2007 at 2:28 pm

    Like I have the time or money to sue. Besides, Brennan has the “knowingly” escape hatch to jump down since he didn’t contact me while writing the story. I didn’t know about it until the day that issue hit the stands.

    Judas priest, Dan. Take a stand. Do you believe Brennan or me? Take your pick.

  19. June 27, 2007 at 10:52 pm



  20. Jubal
    June 28, 2007 at 7:47 am

    Gee, what a surprise. Like to like.

  21. June 28, 2007 at 9:28 am



    I now that the posts (did at sometime) exist. But like the RNC email accounts for Karl Rove & Co. the record has probably been scrubbed.

    Many of us have experienced the wrath of Jubal on OCBlog when he doesn’t like a comment. I can see you scrubbing your own posts if it serves yiou.

  22. Jubal
    June 28, 2007 at 9:32 am


    Pay attention. I’m not talking about me linking to Jubal posts from FR posts.

    Dan and I were going back and forth about Brennan’s flase claim that I exchanged positive coverage in exchange for blogads.

    Even the first sentence of Brennan’s article was wrong.

  23. Jubal
    June 28, 2007 at 9:38 am

    Many of us have experienced the wrath of Jubal on OCBlog when he doesn’t like a comment.

    And how many times have I deleted any of your comments, Chris? Do I restrict your ability to comment in any way?

    Criminy. I stood up for your when you were being hammered by the CEO claiming you blogged on county time. I was initially suspicious the CEO was correct, but you made it clear you were not blogging on county time. I took you at your word and continually blogged for the CEO’s office to lay off and give you your computer back.

    Too bad you can’t find it in yourself to extend the same benefit of the doubt in my direction.

  24. Nesta
    June 28, 2007 at 9:55 am


    Are you surprised? You give these liberals way too much credit.

  25. Jubal
    June 28, 2007 at 9:58 am

    Unfortunately, Nesta, you appear to be correct.

  26. June 28, 2007 at 10:21 am

    You are correct, I did misread the comment thread. Indeed I have no reason to believe your commentary is based upon your blog ads. Rather, I thing your blog ads are derived because of the commentary (perspective) and readership of your blog. This is a rather long thread with multiple twists and turns along the way. Sorry for my mistake, I stand corrected.

    Matt, while you have not restricted my ability to comment on OC Blog, you have deleted at least two posts that I can recall off hand. The difficulty I have with that is that similar comments, expressed the same way but supporting positions you may agree with have remained.

    I do appreciate your support regarding the issues with the county’s attempt to silence my blogging. Also, for the record, the county
    was unable to substantiat any of their allegations. No surprise.

  27. Jubal
    June 28, 2007 at 10:25 am

    If I deleted a comment, it must have violated the comments section rules.

  28. June 28, 2007 at 10:50 am


    My point acknowledged that there was a reason why my comments were deleted. The issue I have is that you arbitrarily apply those (unpublished) rules.

    It is a nice trick though, delete a comment because you disagree with it claiming it violates a rule that does not verifiably exist.

    Hmmm, have I found something else about OCBlog that cannot be verified?

    I do have to admit though, you are far more accomidating of alternative comments than FLASH REPORT, I don’t even bother trying to post over there anymore as my comments seem to have a half-life of about 5 minutes.

  29. Jubal
    June 28, 2007 at 11:12 am

    It is a nice trick though, delete a comment because you disagree with it claiming it violates a rule that does not verifiably exist.

    There’s no trick. As I tell everyone else who subscribes to that urban legend: read the comments. I don’t delete them because I disagree with them.

    The rules are well known to commenters.

  30. June 28, 2007 at 11:24 am


    For the benefit of this “simple minded” liberal, how can rules be well know if they are not published or displayed?

  31. Jubal
    June 28, 2007 at 3:00 pm

    You knew them, and you’re not simple minded.

  32. June 28, 2007 at 3:20 pm


    I know that periodically I can be psychic, like when I claim to know what, you’re thinkingn 😉 but how can I or anyone else, know rules that aren’t posted?

    Sorry Matt, that logic doesn’t track for me and Miss Cleo has not shared with me all of her secrets.

  33. Jubal
    June 28, 2007 at 3:37 pm


    OC Blog has been ongoing for 3 years. I have delineated the rules numerous times in that time. Transgressors are warned, and those that don;t change their ways pay the price. The commenter community knows the deal. It works.

    Maybe it’s your liberal, bureaucratic mentality that has trouble with that approach. 😉

  34. June 28, 2007 at 5:47 pm

    So Matt, If someone is new to OCBlog or simply has never “transgressed” and doesn.t know the rules of your blog they just have to learn by trial and error.

    Enough of the “Chicken Dance” Matt, for the benefit of those, like me, who have no clue what your rules are; could you please take a few moments and write them down in your next comment?

  35. Jubal
    June 28, 2007 at 9:51 pm

    So Matt, If someone is new to OCBlog or simply has never “transgressed” and doesn.t know the rules of your blog they just have to learn by trial and error.

    Yep. Or they can exercise ordinary, everyday civility. I don’t think that’s asking much.

    could you please take a few moments and write them down in your next comment?

    1) No profanity or obscenity

    2) No personal attacks or personal gossip (“So-and-so is a fat jerk” or “so-and-so is a drunk” for example.).

    If a person can’t follow those simple rules and still express their opinions, they’ve got a problem.

  36. June 28, 2007 at 10:16 pm

    Thank you so much Matt. See how easy that was.:smile:

  37. FLowerszzz
    June 29, 2007 at 1:08 pm

    Pedroza – you told a bold faced lie on OC Blog today under this post:
    http://www.ocblog.net/ocblog/2007/06/janet-commissio.html#comment-74429984 – so you don’t get a vote.

  38. Jubal
    June 29, 2007 at 1:12 pm

    Jubal/Cunningham has deleted many posts I have put up that he simply disagreed with

    Art, that is an out-and-out lie.

    I have heard from dozens of bloggers over the last year who have likewise seen their posts vanish.

    Another lie. GWho were these “dozens”? And don’t hide behind a lame excuse like “I can’t reveal their identities.”

  39. June 29, 2007 at 7:35 pm


    Please don’t be disingenuous. You have deleted posts put up by a lot of people we both know – including Thomas Gordon and Paul Lucas. Some of those posts were made anonymously, I am sure, but were nevertheless deleted.

    Whatever. It is your blog – and folks in the OC have plenty of other blogs they can go to if they get fed up with you. Just look at how many more readers the Liberal OC has picked up of late…

  40. June 29, 2007 at 7:46 pm


    Here is what I asked Jubal/Cunningham a few days ago:

    I asked but did not receive an answer: is it legal for Supervisor Nguyen to appoint someone from the 5th District to this commission? Yes or no – simple question.

    And here is part of his answer:

    Ipso facto, the answer to your question is yes.

  41. Flowerszzz
    June 29, 2007 at 8:03 pm

    So what Art? She broke a much more important law – campaign finance laws.

    And what you said to me has nothing to do with the lie you posted today here:


  42. June 29, 2007 at 9:15 pm


    If you are referring to Grindle going after Trung, it is true. I heard it from a very good source. Yes, the deadline has not come up, apparently, but I don’t expect him to accurately file at that point. Then he will have to deal with Shirley. Good luck with that Trung! Maybe he can make a run for the border…

  43. Jubal
    June 29, 2007 at 9:30 pm


    It’s not “whatever.” You continue to lie. I do not delete comments “that I simply disagree with.” I have deleted comments that violate the comments section rules.

    Yes, the deadline has not come up, apparently,

    “Apparently”? Either it has or it hasn’t, Art. And it hasn’t. So how can Grindle “go after” Trung for not reporting in-kind contributions when the deadline for reporting hasn’t arrived?

    Shirley may very well “go after” Trung. But she can’t know if he hasn’t reported something when the reporting period isn’t over.

  44. June 29, 2007 at 10:28 pm


    Call me a liar if it makes you feel better – but was it you were doing when you were referring to Jubal in the third person, and vice versa? Oh yeah, lying.

  45. Flowerszzz
    June 29, 2007 at 11:14 pm

    Art – here you go again letting us all know your “morals”. I have realized your “parajito” is actually yourself.

    Let’s see now – we have one person that has broken campaign finance laws, and there is proof….but she is not guilty…cuz you like her.

    Then we have another person who has done nothing to break campaign finance laws as far as ANYONE can prove as the filings are not due until next month and that one is guilty….cuz you dont like him.

  46. June 30, 2007 at 9:53 am

    It doesn’t make me feel better, Art. Quite the opposite.

    During the time I linked to “Jubal” from the FlashReport, my Jubal identity was still secret (or at least most readers didn’t know who I was), and I was trying to maintain my anonymity. I didn’t say I was Jubal and I didn’t say I wasn’t.

    Art, we all know your views on using a pseudonym. I disagree with you. Writing under a pseudonym has a long tradition. But even when my identity was secret, I didn’t abuse the blog say things I knew to be untrue, such as your ridiculous claim that I have “deleted many posts [you] have put up.”

    You might try channeling the considerable energy you put into attacking Red County into building Orange Juice.

  47. Aunt Millie
    June 30, 2007 at 12:07 pm

    Shorter Jubal

    Sock-puppetry in the defense of self-promotion is no vice. Moderation in pursuit of Pedroza is no virtue.

  48. June 30, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    I’m getting criticized for using a pseudonym by someone who uses a pseudonym. 😛

  49. Aunt Millie
    June 30, 2007 at 5:19 pm

    It’s not the anonymity, it’s the sock-puppetry. Here’s a nice bit that was written when Los Angeles Times columnist and blogger Hiltzyk watched his professional career skid into ignominy.

    A Sock Puppet is disliked not because it is anonymous, that is rather common. It is disliked because it is deliberately deceptive. Posting as someone else to support one’s own arguments and pat one’s self on the back is not considered very honest and has the air of desperation and sad need for attention about it. A Sock Puppet is a sad, weak way of making a point, as if one’s argument is not sufficiently potent and convincing that you need to add a few add a few fake “hear hear’s” and “he’s right, you know” like the Monty Python Mr Hilter sketch.

    Posting as Ludwig Van Beethoven to make a joke about hearing modern music is one thing, posting as someone else for self aggrandizement or agreement is just pathetic.

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