A Personal Response to a Personal Attack

Sean Mill and I are friends.  I know that sentence makes some of my co-bloggers here uneasy at best and angry at worst.  I’ve never had a problem with Sean and I don’t think he’s had one with me.  And even after we get through this post, I expect we’ll still be on speaking terms.  And if we’re not, c’est la vie.

But his post on the OJBlog from Tuesday night warrants a response.  The post is a “criticism” on Claudio W. Gallegos’ post about Ceci Iglesias’ campaign for Congress in CD-47 where it appears she’s being placed to draw votes from Rep. Loretta Sanchez.  Sean’s gripe, echoed by blog editor Art Pedroza, is the issue that Claudio published Ms. Iglesias’ home address and that the action of doing this violated the law and placed the candidate and her family at risk.  Both of these charges are, in a word, silly.

First off, there’s her professionally done web site and YouTube video announcing her candidacy that officially establishes Ms. Iglesias as a public figure.  As far as publishing the home address, a simple Google search will show her address here and her phone number here. By virtue of the fact that her non profit organization’s tax records are filed using her home address, that address and phone number are a matter of public record.  When she files her candidate’s statement, her address and phone number will be there for everyone to see.

I’m perplexed as to why Sean and Art believe that she and her family are somehow at risk of physical harm or that her property might be damaged by publishing this information.  Do they know of someone sending her text messages that gang bangers are on the way to her home (I’ve seen the text messages sent by Sean to someone else)?  Do they know if three men (one with a cane) are showing up at her house to claim she owes them money?   The charge that the candidate and her family are at risk of physical harm because of this posting is absurd; if she’s at risk, it’s because she resides in Santa Ana which has a higher crime rate than other cities in Orange County.

Did Sean and Art think that exposing Linda Ackerman’s rented digs in Fullerton during the AD72 special election somehow placed her in danger?  Because OJ and FFFF had no trouble in using the rented room argument to make the carpetbagger case stick. And readers had a pretty good idea of where Mrs. Ackerman was living. However, once the candidates were certified by the Secretary of State, their residence addresses became a matter of public record as demonstrated by this certification. Based upon Mill’s and Pedroza’s logic, the Secretary of State places all candidates for election at risk of personal harm.

Sean suggsted Claudio violated election law with this statement: “…registration information will be used only for election, governmental, scholarly or political research purposes.”

But Sean left out a key phrase: Pursuant to Elections Code Sections 2187(g), 2188 and 2194, voter registration information is available to persons or groups for election, scholarly, journalistic or political purposes, or governmental purposes, as determined by the Secretary of State.  Sean also raises questions about Claudio’s voting record from the address of his former home, but I dont’ recall there being an election in Santa Ana from which Claudio could have voted illegally in (did I miss something?).

Claudio’s post broke the news about the candidacy of Ms. Iglesias.  And even then, reporting that she requested a Republican ballot did nothing to disclose her voting record.  I suspect our competitors at OJ were more annoyed that they were scooped on a big story in their own backyard.  Sean demands to know where we got our information from.  Fascinating coming from some who writes for a blog that regularly and inaccurately posts rumors from “pajaritos” that have no basis in reality or openly rejects statements from people attempting to set the record straight under the concept of “I don’t believe it.” 

Both Sean and Art have called for the Secretary of State, the Registrar of Voters, and Santa Ana PD to investigate this perceived breach of election law.  I’d be surprised if it came to that.  Since this blog writes news stories as well as opinion pieces, we’re entitled to the same protections of news sources and information gathering purposes as newspapers. We’re under no obligation to disclose our sources.  The bigger question should be asked of the candidate; did she request a Republican ballot or not? Oh, and if the Santa Ana Police won’t investigate physical threats sent via text message do you really think they are going to investigate this?  No, they won’t.  Art forwarded me an email last night from the candidate seeking our email address.  It’s clear he is encouraging her to file charges against us.  It’s also clear she has no idea to the depths he will go to defame his political enemies, so we let her know citing documented evidence about his character and history.  And might I suggest, if she is this thin-skinned about the publication of her documented address, she doesn’t have the spine to serve in Congress.  As ahearing-impaired individual, I will commend Ceci for her work with the deaf and hearing impaired. 

What Sean’s post really intended to do was inflict embarrassment upon Claudio for filing bankruptcy.  The Wall Street Journal reported that more than a million people filed personal bankruptcy this year alone (through October); there is no shame in filing for bankruptcy during this economic crisis.  Filing personal bankruptcy does not make one morally bankrupt either.  One could argue that Tiger Woods and Kobe Bryant have displayed signs of moral bankruptcy when it comes to their wives and family, and they both have plenty of money in the bank.  Chris Prevatt, the publisher of this blog, also has a personal bankruptcy filing discharged in 1998. 

Why I’m surprised by Sean’s disclosure of Claudio’s private financial details is due in two parts.  Claudio is not an elected official or a government employee; he’s a private citizen who’s just had the same problem a million other Americans have had this year. Secondly, Sean’s reaction to the OJ blog publishing the divorce documents of Santa Ana Police Chief Paul Walters. Art published these documents to discredit Walters candidacy for sheriff in the wake of Mike Carona’s indictment.  Art’s rationale was Walters was in considerable financial difficulty so if he were to become sheriff, he would be more likely to abuse the post for financial gain.  In the post (in case Art deletes the link), Art wrote:

“Some of the “high points” that were highlighted by my anon source (ed note: does Sean know where Art got this information?), in the settlement he sent me, include:
  • Walters makes about $200,000 a year.
  • He has over $170,000 in credit card debt, (14 credit cards).
  • He lost his home to his wife and that home has a mortgage in excess of over $700,000 and the property is most likely worth less that the mortgage amount.
  • He lost 1/2 of his deferred comp to his wife.
  • AND he has to pay his wife $11,800 a month in spousal support! Ouch!
If all of this is true, it sure is conceivable that Walters will have to declare bankruptcy at some point in the near future. You can download Orange County divorce settlements at this link. Try finding the Walters settlement.Also, if indeed Walters is in such dire financial straits, I doubt he would make a good candidate for O.C. Sheriff. Think about it. He would be so easy to compromise. He is already associating with the same OC GOP goons who worked with Carona. How soon before Carona’s mafia buddies come calling, with offers to pay off his debt?

So I have to ask myself, if Sean found Art’s posting of Walters’ divorce papers so revolting then, why does he have no trouble publicly embarrassing a private citizen over a trivial charge of publishing an address that can be found in a nanosecond on Google? 

For the commenters on the OJ post, Claudio and his wife are not divorced.  I had had the pleasure of meeting both of his children (they have Claudio’s eyes) and they are sweet kids and hardly “anchor babies.”  I laughed at a comment Art himself made that Claudio spread lies about Art on this blog.  Hmmm. Claudio linked to my post about Art blackmailing us for domain names he bought and then linking these domain names to a gay porn site and NAMBLA’s site, which promotes sex between men and adolescent boys.  Art rerouted the domains after being exposed.  So I wonder Art, what part of of my post wasn’t true?  What was the lie Claudio told about you?  Did you not direct web surfers to gay porn and NAMBLA via domain names you own? 

The last reasonable conversation I had with Art Pedroza was a debate at Drinking Liberally about two years ago.  It was over his publishing of the bankruptcy filings of Trung Nguyen, which, at the time, were 10 years old.  My argument was, that filing was 10 years old and legally, it’s water under the bridge.  Art disagreed, stating Trung’s election would place him in a position to vote on millions of dollars in county funds and the bankruptcy filing somehow disqualified Trung Nguyen from being a viable candidate (Art and his blog were clearly in the camp of actively promoting Janet Nguyen for Supervisor..full throated Jannies one might say).

What I know now that I didn’t know then is Art filed for personal bankruptcy himself in the late 90s.  He was in the middle of a bankruptcy filing while he ran for the Santa Ana school board.  And his filing was nine or 10 years old when he ran for the Ward 2 city council race in 2008.  So using Art’s own thought process and justification for disqualifying Trung Nguyen, should Art himself have been disqualified from running for office himself?  Let’s edit Pedroza for a moment here:

“Also, if indeed Walters Pedroza is in such dire financial straits, I doubt he would make a good candidate for O.C. Sheriff  Santa Ana School Board/Santa Ana City Council. Think about it. He would be so easy to compromise.”

The last thing I’d like to address he is the frequent references of Claudio to the Quill, a Santa Ana bar, and the rumors that Claudio had run up a large bar tab there.  Several weeks ago, I contacted the Quill and talked with Merced, a bartender at the establishment for the past nine years.  He knows Claudio.  Merced assures me Claudio has never run up a tab at the Quill.  Claudio would come in, order a couple of drinks, and pay his tab at the bar in cash each time.  There was never a tab of several hundred dollars or a thousand dollars.  The Quill would never allow anyone to run up that large of a tab.  Merced says Claudio hasn’t been to the bar all that much.  So suggestions that Claudio spends too much time or money at the Quill or any other bar in town is also false and slanderous.

Friends are hard to come by.  I don’t toss them away easily.  And I consider Sean a friend.  But sometimes, a friend is going to tell you something you don’t want to hear.  And it’s with that spirit this post was written.

  12 comments for “A Personal Response to a Personal Attack

  1. Claudio Gallegos
    December 3, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Thanks Dan,

    It is sad how Art has really shoved the knife deep in my back. Here I thought he was one of my best friends, but then I don’t bow at the altar of Mr. Pedroza, start my own blog and he goes ape sh_t thinking I backstabbed him. I have the e-mail to prove he said that as the reason we are no longer friends.

    Sean’s axe to grind with me is even more mysterious. Althouh he has spouted that I had tried to keep him from getting on the Planning COmmission and spoke against him to Sal Tinajero. Either he is delusional or Sal lied. It was Sal Tinajero, when he told my I was potentially his second choice to put on Planning if he could not get a fourth vote for Sean, that there was a movement to stop Sean. I responded that he could be quite surly at times, but felt it was wrong to keep Sean from getting on Planning at that time. In fact in that same conversation, I told Sal I should not be the second choice since I honestly believe Planning Commissioners should be from the ward of the appointing COuncilmember. I live in Ward 3.

    But for some reason Sean has apparently had an axe to grind with me from that delusion. Maybe I ought to just ask Sal straight up what the truth is at the Truman Dinner.

  2. Dan Chmielewski
    December 3, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    I’m still waiting for Art to tell us how we libeled him. And why he thinks publishing the address of a candidate is more despicable than having promoted gay porn or an organization that advocates for sex between men and adolescent boys on web properties he owns.

  3. Mathew Cunningham
    December 3, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    Excellent post, Dan. No mystery why neither Art, nor any of his enablers and cheerleaders, have declined to refute it — they can’t.

    It really takes the cake that Sean Mill is lecturing anyone on intimidation. Hypocrisy is insufficient to describe that chuztpah.

    At the Norby election night party, Mill sauntered over to me, and after I asked him to go away, he heaved his bulk within a couple centimeters of me, leaned his mug close into mine, and started in with the adolescent “Are you going to make me? Are you going to make me?”

    Then, Sean kept challenging me to “take it outside” with him — a clear invitation to go outside and fight. Since I wasn’t duly intimidated, Sean threatened me again by saying “I’ll break your neck!” before waddling off to re-join Art Pedroza and the rest of the hens.

    Sean was clearly, in his overgrown adolescent way, trying to physically intimidate me, like a common thug.

    I posted this in a comment on Sean’s post about Claudio, but surprise! – the bastion of free speech that is Orange Joke deleted it.

    • Dan Chmielewski
      December 3, 2009 at 3:17 pm

      Speaking of deleted comments, I noted earlier that an “Art Pedastry” posted the “Art Pedroza promoted gay porn yada yada” comment on FFFF; Tony Bushala claims they don’t censor comments. But that comment was gone a few hours later. They can dish it out but they can’t can’t it. So much for Tony’s bravado huh?

  4. jose s.
    December 3, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    oy vey, ok i think this calls for prayer, please latino baby jesus bring back mike lawson to mend this blog and it’s wicked sinful ways so that he may lead this flock from eternal damnation and spare them from the lake of whiners so that they might find it in their hearts and repent their sins against our almighty blogosphere and all those who seek the truth in it’s word. please latino baby jesus look down on us from your lofty throne and help these lost souls who keep boring us to tears amen.

  5. junior
    December 4, 2009 at 8:45 am

    The REALLY great one says:
    December 2, 2009 at 10:38 pm
    No, sean is not a sociopath, just a pathetic excuse for a human being who exemplifies the bottom dwelling scum sucking netherworld of bloggers who use blogs to cast spurious and malicious attacks on people they do not like for the 1/2 inch of wood the thrill such an act gives them. Sean makes Paris Hilton seem like Gandhi by comparison.

  6. junior
    December 4, 2009 at 9:01 am

    You’re a mean one, Mr. Mill
    You really are a heel
    You’re as cuddly as a cactus
    You’re as charming as an eel
    Mr. Mill

    You’re a bad banana
    With a greasy black peel

    You’re a monster, Mr. Mill
    Your heart’s an empty hole
    Your brain is full of spiders
    You’ve got garlic in your soul
    Mr. Mill

    I wouldn’t touch you, with a
    thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole.

    You’re a vile one, Mr. Mill
    You have termites in your smile
    You have all the tender sweetness
    Of a seasick crocodile
    Mr. Mill

    Given the choice between the two of you
    I’d take the seasick crockodile.

    You’re a foul one, Mr. Mill
    You’re a nasty, wasty skunk
    Your heart is full of unwashed socks
    Your soul is full of gunk
    Mr. Mill

    The three words that best describe you
    are, and I quote: “Stink – Stank – Stunk.”

    You’re a rotter, Mr. Mill
    You’re the king of sinful sots
    Your heart’s a dead tomato splot
    With moldy purple spots
    Mr. Mill

    Your soul is an apalling dump heap overflowing
    with the most disgraceful assortment of deplorable
    rubbish imaginable,
    Mangled up in tangled up knots

    You nauseate me, Mr. Mill
    With a nauseaus super-naus
    You’re a crooked jerky jockey
    And you drive a crooked horse
    Mr. Mill

    You’re a three decker saurkraut and toadstool
    With arsenic sauce.

  7. December 4, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    Well Dan, if you and Sean are such good friends, then you should stop giving me grief for being on the OJ where I prefer the crazy rough-and-tumble and the opportunity to attack and humiliate rightwing nutjobs without leaving the comfort of my own blog.

    By the way I removed the comments that referenced Claudio’s family.

  8. December 4, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Vern – what makes you think I haven’t given Sean grief for being associated with a site that and a blog editor who promotes gay porn and sex between men and young boys on web properties they own?

    I’m sure we’ll be chatting about this development with Jose Solorio and Lou Correra at the Truman dinner tonight.

  9. December 4, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    OH NO!!! Don’t tell Jose and Lou! (trembles in boots)

  10. junior
    December 4, 2009 at 2:38 pm


    There is at least one rightwing nut job who comments on the LOC that you can attempt to attack and humiliate …

  11. December 4, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    True, I have to come over here to find you now.

Comments are closed.