Irvine City Council race: Gallinger Responds to Choi’s Smear

Dear Dan,

As many of you know, my main opponent in my race for Irvine City Council is Dr. Steven Choi.  We have done everything possible to run a positive campaign, focusing on our agenda for the City of Irvine.  Unfortunately, Dr. Choi has made negative comments that require a response.I and all other candidates for Irvine City Council recently participated in a forum with the Irvine Chamber of Commerce.  It was a great opportunity to focus on the things I would do to help small businesses and create local jobs.  But Dr. Choi instead chose to use that chance to instead spread fear about “Islamic terrorism.” more after the jump:

At the event Dr. Choi ended his closing statement with the claim that I represented “The Islamic terrorist group CAIR.”  In fact, I am very proud of the work I have done with CAIR (The Council on American Islamic Relations) and know that it has preserved the rights and liberties of all Americans. 

For those of you who are unaware, CAIR is the largest American Muslim civil right organization with 32 chapters in 20 states.  CAIR commonly interacts with almost all government agencies and departments, including the FBI and DHS.  I represented their Southern California office in two class action lawsuits relating to delayed background checks for naturalization applicants.  In working on these cases CAIR & myself were advancing not only the civil rights of people applying for citizens, but also protecting the security of all American by ensuring that these background checks are completed in a timely manner.

It is truly shameful that Dr. Choi has chosen to play the politics of fear and bigotry.  This even more shocking in Irvine, a thoroughly diverse & integrated city whose residents take pride in our multicultural composition.  Dr. Choi’s comments were recently covered by the Orange County Register, In Focus News, and the New University (UCI’s student newspaper).  For his remarks, Dr. Choi was named New University’s “Wind”bag of the week award.

But we can and we will overcome this message of hate by drowning it out with our positive message of focus on education and environment.  But to get this message out, we need your help.  Please forward this message to friends and family and let them know you stand with us and against the politics of fear.  Please also contribute to the campaign, either online or by check.

Together we can show the world what Irvine and our diverse communities really stand for!

Thanks always for your support & take care,


  17 comments for “Irvine City Council race: Gallinger Responds to Choi’s Smear

  1. October 6, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    What would we expect from a CAIR attorney except more of the tired old propaganda they try and use to further their game off smoke and mirrors. Despite the whining of Gallinger, now that he has been outed, the question remains; does his affiliation with CAIR impact his credibility as a potential member of local government and do the voters have a right to know this information before voting? The answer is, “Yes.”

    As I was reminded the other day by a close former ally of Larry Agran, if he had such information on an opponent, several hate mail pieces would have already been mailed out to every home, showing planes crashing into the World Trade Center, along with other graphic examples of terrorism. To the best of my knowledge, none of that has happened to Gallinger.

    Now let’s set the record straight. It wasn’t Steven Choi who called CAIR a terrorist organization, it was a number of prominent congressional members like; Senator Charles Schumer, Senator Richard Durbin, Senator Barbara Boxer and Representative Bill Shuster. The U.S. Senate Sub-committee on Terrorism has also labled CAIR a terrorist group. All of those people have an inside track on national intelligence and obviously know more than we mere mortals.

    Moving further into this saga, if Gallinger and CAIR would have ignored Choi’s remarks, this would have been a non-issue by now. However, six CAIR members launching a personal attack on Steven Choi at an Irvine City Council meeting, was like pouring gasoline on a fire. Their attempt at intimidation of a local elected official has revealed the true side of what the CAIR organization is all about. So rather than being last weeks news, it has now been picked up on the national Anti-CAIR web site, the blogs of a number of patriotic Americans and local media. Some believe the council fiasco was another of Larry Agrans staged events to divert attention from his own teams shortcomings and mismanagment of the Great Park.

    If this is true, then CAIR was just another in a long list of groups and people that have been used by Larry for his own end. Their ax to grind should be with Larry and not Steven Choi.

  2. troy
    October 7, 2008 at 4:41 am

    The Council on American-Islamic Relations Created For Hamas –
    An FBI Investigation Reveals CAIR’s Founder Omar Ahmad
    “A Leader Of The Palestinian Committee”

    The Council on American-Islamic Relations, (CAIR), claims to represent Islam in North America and to protect “Muslim” civil rights despite absolute proof that CAIR is supporting Islamic terrorists, and that CAIR was established in America by those who wish to harm our country using our constitution as protection. Many Americans, including some in political leadership, continue to insist that CAIR is a positive voice for Muslims in North America.

    Americans are a tolerant people; we understand what it means to be persecuted and marginalized by oppressive leaders and our forefathers gave us a legacy that has kept us free for over 200 years. We now face a new enemy, an enemy who uses religion to justify the most heinous of crimes; an enemy who will use any means necessary, including terror-murdering innocent women and children, to advance their warped vision of “paradise on Earth”.

    CAIR has consistently shown that it is not only on the wrong side in the war on terror, but also actively supports Islamic terrorist movements and terrorists. Anti-CAIR has reviewed evidence from the Holy Land Foundation trial and has produced the following report.


    Federal Bureau of Investigation recorded evidence places CAIR founders Omar Ahmad and Nihad Awad at a Philadelphia meeting of the radical Muslim Brotherhood’s “Palestine Committee”. According to the FBI, “all attendees of this meeting are Hamas members or sympathizers.”

    An Investigative Project on Terrorism report on the HLF trial reveals that FBI agent Lara Burns testified CAIR’s Omar Ahmad was “a leader of the Palestinian committee”.

    In FBI wiretaps of various telephone conversations and the “Philadelphia Meeting” surveillance, CAIR Chairman Emeritus and Founder Omar Ahmad appears to lead, organize, and call votes on the many issues that members discussed. The extent of Omar Ahmad’s involvement in this secret committees’ activity has shown to be vast and at a top level. There is a clear reason Omar Ahmad is listed as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the Holy Land Foundation trial.

    It should be noted that the FBI identifies Omar Ahmad also as “Omar Yehya”. Omar Ahmad acknowledged his alias in a 2003 deposition:

    “Some people call me Omar Yahya [sic] because it’s like one of my middle names”

    In September of 1993, “Omar Yehya” (Ahmad) discussed the participants, agenda, and organizing the program format of the “Philadelphia Meeting”. Omar Ahmad mentions that “four or five” IAP members would attend and indicates he will get “Nihad” to write a paper for the meeting.

    “I mean the Association [IAP] organization will write a paper
    and the Fund will write one and Al Aqsa will write one”

    In September 2008, FBI agent Lara Burns reviewed wiretap transcripts during the new trial of the Holy Land Foundation, specifically from the event called the “Philadelphia Meeting” in which among other things, the participants discussed the need to create a new political organization.

    “In my opinion, we must form a new organization for activism which will be neutral because we are placed in a corner, … It is known who we are, we are marked and I believe that there should be a new neutral organization which works on both sides.”

    Furthermore, Omar Ahmad discussed forming a lobbying group that would “bolster our position in America with the U.S. Administration and other media and political organizations.” (Note: Omar Ahmad and Nihad Awad formed CAIR the following summer.)

    “This can be achieved by infiltrating the American media outlets, universities and research centers …if Muslims engage in political activism in America and started to be concerned with Congress and public relations we will have an entry point to use them to pressure Congress and the decision-makers in America”

    Omar Ahmad (A.K.A. “Omar Yehya”) and Shukri Abu Baker discussed with others at the Philadelphia Meeting the need to hide their affiliation with Hamas by using the name “Samah” instead.

    Shukri Abu Baker explains:

    “Samah … Samah is classified a terrorist (organization). By constitution, by law, if I wanted to adopt it’s work, they kick me out, they kick me out of this country…”

    Shukri Baker later makes additional comments:

    “I cannot say to him that I am Hamas.”

    “You can go meet a congressman in your name, in Omar Yehya’s name of the Association…and tell him, ‘(Yassir Arafat) doesn’t represent us. Mr. Ahmad Yasin represents us'”

    (A committee member objects):

    “You cannot say that …”

    The FBI points out that “Ahmad Yasin” is none other than Sheikh Ahmed Yassin – the founder and spiritual leader of Hamas.. Yassin was assassinated in 2004 by Israeli Forces. Here is clear evidence that the men of the Palestine Committee including CAIR founders Omar Ahmad and Nihad Awad, considered themselves “represented” by the head of Hamas – Ahmad Yassin.

    At the Philadelphia Meeting, Omar Ahmad discussed the ease of “registering” organizations in America. He then mentioned not having enough people to do the type work they want to “hide”.

    “Registering an organization is easy. I can register 100 organizations in 100 cities in one day…”

    “I mean, we don’t really have available people whom we could dedicate for the work we want to hide…”

    A NEFA Foundation analysis of the meeting in Philadelphia reveals that the group discussed a “rumor” circulating that a new organization was being formed, causing some concern among members. Omar Ahmad tried to quell the talk of this new organization; however, Shukri Baker expressed a real need for a new group because current organizations may be viewed as too “Islamic.”

    Shukri Baker speaks of not “hoisting the Islamic Flag” to keep an organization’s true nature from being revealed. Baker speculates they’d be:

    “unable to work because all of us have become burned, all of our organizations are purely Islamic organizations…” “we should start right now … begin thinking about establishing alternative organizations …whose Islamic hue is not very conspicuous.”

    Omar Ahmad then had an interesting exchange with Shukri Abu Baker:

    Baker: “I swear by Allah that war is deception,”…“We are fighting our enemy with a kind heart … Deceive, camouflage, pretend that you’re leaving while you’re walking that way. Deceive your enemy …”

    Ahmad: “I agree with you. Like they say, politics is a completion of war”

    It should be noted that in a 2003 deposition, Omar Ahmad stated that he “can’t recall attending this meeting”. Nihad Awad, also in a 2003 deposition, said he couldn’t remember if he attended the Philadelphia Meeting either, even though he was an active and vocal participant at the event.

    The FBI revealed that HLF paid the airline tickets and hotel bills for Omar Ahmad’s attendance of the Philadelphia meeting. The Holy Land Foundation also provided CAIR with a “donation” check for $5000 in October of 1994.

    In February of 1994, “Omar Yehya” (Ahmad) discussed the Hamas Charity Al Aqsa Fund with other members including the transfer of Holy Land Foundation money to Sheikh Jamil Hamami’s [Islamic Culture and Science Society] and that HLF would represent and oversee it’s interests in America. Omar Ahmad (Yehya) calls a vote for the following decision:

    “Sheik Jamil’s program is to proceed as is, but under the name of the Holy Land Foundation Fund. And that the one which will oversee the program is the Holy Land Foundation and that the funds will be collected …we leave the agreement concerning the funds to be between him and the Holy Land Foundation”

    Omar Ahmad’s involvement in the business of HLF continued throughout the 1990’s. In May of 1999, FBI wiretaps disclosed “Omar Yehya” (Ahmad) discussing Holy Land Foundation records with Shukri Baker including how many thousands of dollars to pay a member:

    “We reviewed the Holy Land record for the past 3 years and the brothers sat down and your due compensation is 20,000 for the past 3 years”

    The FBI began investigating the actions of future CAIR officials during a time when they were clearly active working for the interests of Hamas here in America. It can only be concluded through FBI evidence that Omar Ahmad and Nihad Awad interests were based in supporting Hamas.

    CAIR officials and members try to deflect these glaring facts with ridiculous statements on CAIR’s “work” as the “largest American Muslim advocacy organization,” all the while denying that events like the Philadelphia Meeting – that obviously inspired the creation of CAIR to support Hamas – took place the way that FBI evidence, and not CAIR spin, reveals.

    Omar Ahmad expressed how easy it was to “register organizations” here in America, and proved it by creating many CAIR Chapters across the country (including Canada) – apparently for the nefarious purpose of supporting Hamas goals.

    The Truth exposed by FBI investigations that snared CAIR founder and Chairman Emeritus Omar Ahmad – a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood’s clandestine “Palestine Committee” – and partner Nihad Awad, flies in the face of CAIR’s denials.

    CAIR, in its own words, supports those working from within to damage our country.

    We have been warned …

  3. Dan Chmielewski
    October 7, 2008 at 8:34 am

    Pat and Troy —
    CAIR is not on the FBI watch list of terrorist organizations and the group has been praised by President Bush for its work.

    Choi did bring this up Pat and its just another example of your tickets’ attempt to divide the community to garner votes. Christina did this with gays and lesbians in the late 1980s/early 1990s, they tried again with the Tawainese in 2006, and now you’re seeking to divide the community via its Muslim population.

    I have coached several Muslim kids in soccer and basketball in Irvine. The community here is close knit and bristles at any accusations they are somehow affiliated with terrorsists. Yet neither of you would actually bother to sit down and talk with CAIR’s So Cal leaders.

    Pat — your TV spot where you claim Irvine is the safest city because of Shea and Choi is a joke, lacking in any sort of proof. How is that fundraising going? That’s the true measure of your ticket’s support in Irvine and youare woefully behind.

  4. October 7, 2008 at 9:36 am

    Pat, Todd was never “outed” for his work with CAIR–he’s been more than proud and forthcoming about his work for the organization. Hoo boy, are you deluded on this issue–and I’m more on your side in regards to Agran than Todd’s.

  5. Dan Chmielewski
    October 7, 2008 at 9:43 am

    Thanks Gustavo — and in reagrds to Larry, he is still a far more preferrable option than Shea, Choi and Rodgers

  6. October 7, 2008 at 10:44 am

    Greetings of peace,

    Please read my response to Choi’s anti-Muslim bigotry:

  7. October 7, 2008 at 10:56 am

    Dan, no one but Larry Agran seeks to divide anything in this city. The Larry Agran of today, is not the Larry Agran I supported and helped get elected in the late seventies and early eighties. Unfortunately, as it all too often happens, power has gone to his head. The Grand Jury pointed it out in their report on the Great Park, “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    I continue to be amazed that people like yourself continue to acclaim the honesty and integrity of a man, who has left many opponents with their throats cut, lying by the roadside over the years. As a person who has insider knowledge on the politics of Orange County, I know you are familiar with Agran front operations such as Hometown Voters Guide, Planning 2020 and Irvine News and Views. While legal on the surface, all attack opponents of the Agran Group and often are less than judicious with the truth. The current propaganda sheet, Irvine News and Views has articles riddled with misinformation and outright lies both toward achievements of the Agran Team and against his opponents, including yours truly. So when Todd Gallinger talks about Team Irvine running a sleazy campaign, he better take a hard look in the mirror.

    On the campaign front, I am moving along one day at a time. I would be less than honest if I didn’t say I have had second and third thoughts about whether I made the right decision to run. I was led to believe that we had some major financial support behind the efforts to change the government in Irvine, but that support has not been forthcoming. To date, the brunt of my financial resources have come from a loan from myself and our Consultant just asked me to make another contribution. Without an established contributor list, I am like guy by the side of the road with a tin cup and a sign, will work for $. Christina Shea and Steven Choi have been working hard at fund raising and while not matching the Agran Team, we are doing well. On the brighter side, a number of small contributions have started coming in from different grass roots groups, especially the Taiwanese community. I am overwhelmed with the warmness and contributions from hard working, everyday citizens who want a better government in Irvine. Not being an expert in politics, I can’t put much analysis to contributions to success rate, other than campaigning isn’t cheap. At the same time, I can relate to the tough financial times that people are going through today and understand why the average citizen may not be able to donate. To these folks, I merely say, if you want change and better government, give us your vote on November 4.

    Dan, on November 5, we will know what the citizens want both nationally and locally. Do they want change or more of the same. If not successful, at least I will have the satisfaction of knowing that I put my money where my mouth was, stepped to the plate and offered voters an option. When you get to the bottom line, isn’t that what democracy is all about?

  8. Dan Chmielewski
    October 7, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    Pat —
    Spare me the sermon pastor; I’m not buying what you’re selling, Do you remember the Irvine Chronicle from 2004 Pat? The one that took copyrightewd articles from area newspapers, left the bylines of the writers on the stories, but selectively edited them to make them very negative? That was your side — Choi’s name was on the piece and Shea cooperated with it, so please spare me the notion that your side doesn’t peddle in lies and distortions. In 2006, if you voted for Krom, bulldozers were going to tear down your home? Remember that one?

    I’m actually surprised you’d align yourself with Shea after she abused the power of her office to ridicule and mock our police department for arrestnig her daughter. She only apologized about her charges becoming public but not for what she said or did.

    Your side has no record to run on other than its votes NO on anything to do with moving the city forward.

    Do voters locally want change? Not me with my city government that’s responsible for making Irvine the safest city in the US for 4 years in a row (how did Shea and Choi do that Pat, you never explained it in your TV spot), 4th best place to live in the US per Money Magazine and one of the 10 greenest cities in the US. Oh Pat, you’re right. Life is too good. We should change.

    I know Christina whines about how the council majority ignores her and Choi; but she did the same thing to Agran when he was the lone progressive on the council. Short memories I guess.

    Your financial support mirrors your actual support in the community. The more Irvine grows and expands, the less people want to turn the clock back to 1988.

  9. Dan Chmielewski
    October 7, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    And Pat, I maxed out my financial contributions to Larry, Beth, Todd and Sukhee

  10. troy
    October 7, 2008 at 1:59 pm


    The FBI is investigating CAIR officials as we speak and have done so in the past. The FBI has revealed much about CAIR being Created for Hamas.

    Ask your pal Hussam Ayloush how he feels about his boss, Omar Ahmad being caught on FBI surveillance talking about forming CAIR and “finding enough people to do the work we want to HIDE”

    From FBI investigation of Hamas members Court Document:

    CAIR Chairman Omar Ahmad:

    “Registering an organization is easy. I can register 100 organizations in 100 cities in one day…”

    “I mean, we don’t really have available people whom we could dedicate for the work we want to hide…

    CAIR is a Hamas creation – Hussam Ayloush can feed you all the CAIR tripe in the world, it won’t change the fact that Hussam Ayloush works for a Hamas organization – and Hamas IS on the Terrorist List.

  11. Dan Chmielewski
    October 7, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    well Troy, I guess its a matter of time before the FBI raids the Anaheim office then? I have actually talked with members of CAIR in SoCal; I don’t get the terrorist vibe. Can you say you’ve actually talked with them?

  12. October 7, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    I’ve been personally acquainted with Todd for a number of years.
    He has a history of supporting the causes in which he believes financially, with his time, and with his legal expertise. I consider him smart and honorable man who would be an asset to the city council of Irvine.

  13. troy
    October 7, 2008 at 3:19 pm


    You bet I’ve talked to CAIR officers and members, and they will not answer the allegations of their creation by Hamas members/sympathizers and will not discuss their support for Hamas and other terror groups – especially when faced with the documentation that proves the allegations

    They react much like a vampire to garlic.

    Hussam Ayloush instantly holds up the “Things they say about CAIR” sign as he runs for the ladies room. He is a coward who uses the Muslim Faith to hide from the facts and the truth about the organization and masters he serves. The FBI has the goods on CAIR … their time will come.

    But CAIR-Anaheim sure has a nice Buffet, right Dan?

  14. Dan Chmielewski
    October 7, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    You know, sometimes you get a sense than no matter what you say, the person (you Troy) isn’t going to believe anything and their minds are already made up.

    I’d like to suggest you read a copy of “Ghost Wars”; a tome that examines the history of terorrism until 9/10/2001. Perhaps you’ll learn a few things that will surprise even you.

  15. troy
    October 7, 2008 at 4:05 pm


    I’m sorry I hurt your feelings, Dan.

    Truth can be painful, but always worth the effort.

    Hiding from the facts on CAIR = Hamas will only delay the inevitable pain of your enlightenment.

    Be brave Dan, take a leap into the sea of evidence.

  16. October 8, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    Dan, when it comes to America’s Safest City, in all my presentations I have always given credit where credit is due. The credit doesn’t go to the politicians who strut around and claim credit for something they had no part in creating. The true credit goes to the men and women of the Irvine Police Department on the streets 24/7 and to the citizens who joined the partnership over the last thirty years. By the way, I was part of the Team for 27 of those years. Just for the record, Irvine has been in and out of America’s Safest City for the past fifteen years and never lower than sixth or seventh. As for Shea and Choi, they had as much or more to do with providing the resources for the Police Department to get the job done, as did Agran, Krom and Kang. Additionally, it was Shea and Choi who pushed through a multi-year contract for the Cops when Agran wanted to punish them with only a one year contract for not backing his full slate in the last election. Nope, nothing vindictive about your hero Larry.

    Sorry, I was in Afghanistan in 2004 and never heard of the Irvine Chronicle. However, I am sure that it was nothing in comparison to the Hometown Voters Guide which laundered all of the campaign money for your folks. I am also familiar with the new propaganda rag, Irvine News and Views, trying to pass itself off as a legitimate newsletter rather than a slate mailer. These are examples of negative campaigning in the finest tradition of Larry Agran. Don’t underestimate the voters of Irvine, they are smarter than you give them credit for being.

    Lastly Dan, don’t presume to speak for the people in Irvine with your left wing liberal views. My track record of service to the community speaks for itself and while I have no voting record, my views on local government are clearly known. On November 5th we will see who has the most credibility with the people that count, the voters. My prediction is that with all the money your political machine has pumped into the campaign and the small amount Team Irvine has countered with, there will be some people like yourself standing around with egg on your face when the results are in. Hope this sermon hasn’t been to subtle for you?

  17. Dan Chmielewski
    October 8, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    Pat — I never presume to speak for anyone in Irvine other than myself. And there’s not a damn thing wrong with having left wing liberal views for wanting safe streets, a solid business environment, and great schools.

    Pat, educate yourself on the Irvine Chronicle. They stole copyrighted materials (intellectual property) and changed the meaning of stories to make them very negative. They then left the bylines on it. So the Irvine Chronicle used theft of intellectual property, violation of reprint policy, and fraud.

    HTVG and Irvine News and Views operate in the confines of the law, much like the 527s and help your slate gets from folks like the Lincoln Club. But tell you what, strip all that out and look at contributions made by Irvine residents to each ticket, and you don’t have the support you think you have. Choi has proven to be a bigoted embarassment to the city. And please, if you think Shea isn’t vindictive, why don’t you call on the union chief for the city’s staff workers and ask about that phone call she made after she didn’t get the endorsement. “You watch out” was the warning. Somebody get that poor fella a restraining order.

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