Sean Mill and I are friends.Â I know that sentence makes some of my co-bloggers here uneasy at best and angry at worst.Â I’ve never had a problem with Sean and I don’t think he’s had one with me.Â And even after we get through this post, I expect we’ll still be on speaking terms.Â And if we’re not, c’est la vie.
But his post on the OJBlog from Tuesday nightÂ warrants a response.Â The post is a “criticism” on Claudio W.Â 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.Â 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.Â 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.Â 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 filedÂ using her home address, that address and phone number are a matter of public record.Â 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.Â 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)?Â Do they know if three men (one with a cane) are showing up at her house to claim she owes them money?Â Â 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?Â 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 residenceÂ 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.â€
But Sean left out a key phrase:Â 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.Â 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.Â And even then, reporting that she requested a Republican ballot did nothing to disclose her voting record.Â I suspect our competitors at OJ were more annoyed that they were scooped on a big story in their own backyard.Â Sean demands to know where we got our information from.Â 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.”Â
Both Sean and Art have called for the Secretary of State, the Registrar of Voters, and Santa Ana PDÂ to investigate this perceived breach of election law.Â I’d be surprised if it came to that.Â 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.Â 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?Â No, they won’t.Â Art forwarded me an email last night from the candidate seeking our email address.Â It’s clear he is encouraging her to file charges against us.Â 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.Â 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.Â As ahearing-impaired individual, I will commend Ceci for her work with the deaf and hearing impaired.Â
What Sean’s post really intended to do was inflict embarrassment upon Claudio for filing bankruptcy.Â 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.Â Filing personal bankruptcy does not make one morally bankrupt either.Â 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.Â Chris Prevatt, the publisher of this blog, also has a personal bankruptcy filingÂ discharged in 1998.Â
Why I’m surprised by Sean’s disclosure of Claudio’s private financial details is due in two parts.Â 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 theÂ 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.Â 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.Â In the post (in case Art deletes the link), Art wrote:
“Some of the â€œhigh pointsâ€ 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 Caronaâ€™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?Â
For the commenters on the OJ post, Claudio and his wife are not divorced.Â 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.”Â I laughed at a comment Art himself made that Claudio spread lies about Art on this blog.Â 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.Â Art rerouted the domains after being exposed.Â So I wonder Art, what part of of my post wasn’t true?Â What was the lie Claudio told about you?Â Did you not direct web surfers to gay porn and NAMBLA via domain names you own?Â
The last reasonable conversation I had with Art Pedroza was a debate at Drinking Liberally about two years ago.Â It was over his publishing of the bankruptcy filings of Trung Nguyen, which, at the time,Â were 10 years old.Â My argument was, that filing was 10 years old and legally, it’s water under the bridge.Â 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 NguyenÂ from being a viable candidate (Art and his blog were clearly in the camp ofÂ actively promoting JanetÂ 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.Â He was in the middle of a bankruptcy filing while he ran for the Santa Ana school board.Â And his filing was nine or 10 years old when he ran for the Ward 2 city council race in 2008.Â So using Art’s own thought process and justification for disqualifying Trung Nguyen, should Art himself have been disqualified from running for office himself?Â 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. SheriffÂ 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,Â and the rumors that Claudio had run up a large bar tab there.Â Several weeks ago, I contacted the Quill and talked with Merced, a bartender at the establishment for the past nine years.Â He knows Claudio.Â Â Merced assures me Claudio has never run up a tab at the Quill.Â Claudio would come in, order a couple of drinks, and pay his tab at the bar in cash each time.Â There was never a tab of several hundred dollars or a thousand dollars.Â The Quill would never allow anyone to run up that large of a tab.Â Merced says Claudio hasn’t been to the bar all that much.Â 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.Â I don’t toss them away easily.Â And I consider Sean a friend.Â But sometimes, a friend is going to tell you something you don’t want to hear.Â And it’s with that spirit this post was written.