What Blog War?

 

Art Pedroza has declared an end to the Orange County blogs wars and made himself a martyr to the cause.  While it’s all great theater, it’s a song many of us have heard before.  There isn’t a blogwar with the Orange Juice and Art, but there is the matter of a pending lawsuit. 

And here I find myself correcting the record and reminding readers of facts of the case and will note Art’s multiple misrepresentations of the truth to suit his own purpose.

 Seriously.  How many times must we believe that Supervisor Janet Nguyen conspired with Ryan Trabuco to sell me a domain name once used by Art’s run for Santa Ana City Council?  I’ve never met Supervisor Nguyen. I have never spoken with her.  She has nothing to do with the lawsuit.  My mother was in town last week for my son’s graduation and I had a post up Art had penned about the lawsuit.  She asked me if what he wrote was true. My response was “this is the site I read to find out stuff I allegedly did that I had neither the time nor inclination to do.”  It’s always nice to make your mom laugh.

 So, here’s our fact check of Art’s “mea culpa” post from last week that never includes the words, “I’m sorry” or “I apologize” or “it’s my fault.” Instead, Art paints us all with the same brush and claims we share the blame for this situation. The reality is we acted within the confines of the law and he has not.

 Let’s start with his images of torture victims, on their knees with a hood and headphones to cut off sensory perceptions.  Oh please. And I have some fairgrounds in Costa Mesa I’m happy to sell you cheap.

 Art wrote: “I am supposed to go tomorrow to the office of Todd Gallinger, the attorney the guys from the LiberalOC hired to sue me over what really amounts to a frivolous case.”

 The truth: Art blew off a meeting to determine why he refused to turn over a single document for discovery purposes.  We now have to pursue a court order for said documents which increases the legal costs of the case and Art could be cited for sanctions by the court which can include mandatory fines and, in rare cases, jail time.  And this case is NOT frivolous. I’m fortunate to live in a neighborhood with several lawyers, all of whom have read the file and believe it’s an excellent case well managed by our lawyer.  Nice job Todd & team.

 Art wrote about trying to find a lawyer and coming close, but the lawyer didn’t know the law.

 The truth: Art doesn’t know the law. His legal options are limited because he wants someone to represent him for free.  No defense lawyer is going to do that. And even if he got representation, that lawyer would likely recommend Art accept our settlement offer. And Art having a lawyer would speed up the case.

 Art wrote: “A few months ago, they were asking me to fork over $10,000. ”

 The truth: It was $15,000; next month, it’s $20,000.  And as the legal costs increase due to Art’s delays, the costs of the settlement increase.  He could have settled months ago for $5,000 and gotten “his” domain back. 

 Art wrote: “I have made overtures to the Liberal OC bloggers, to no avail.”

The truth:  Every settlement offer from Art includes no offer of reimbursement of legal fees and requires us to “give” him “his domain, give Sean Mill “his” domain (Sean’s not part of the suit, and I don’t own it), requires us to delete the posts related to Art’s financial troubles with the lawsuit for credit card fraud and his pending home foreclosure, and delete the posts and YouTube video related to his linking of contested domains to NAMBLA and gay porn.  All for three years of free advertising on the Orange Juice Blog. Would you take that deal?

 I have to wonder if Art is bi-polar.  About a month ago, we went from offering to buy me lunch in an attempt to settle the suit to telling me to screw myself because he wouldn’t settle in about three days.  Now, he’s claiming to take the high road for ending the blog wars and promises to “get off the hate train.”  Must be refreshing to view life from the high road when you have a documented track record on playing in the gutter for so long. And as for “getting off the hate train,” well, there goes the conductor.

 I especially like the line about how Art admits he saw red when he found out Ryan Trabuco sold me “his” URL.  The closest he’s come to an apology was admitting he was wrong in “returning fire.”  But one of the growing number of “former friends of Art” has already told us Art boasted about looking forward to profiting from the sale of those domains he acquired.  And with Art’s well-documented financial difficulties, it’s easy to prove a motive for cybersquatting.  And, as Claudio will point out later, why did Art go after Claudio Gallegos, Chris Prevatt and this blog when Ryan and I were the ones involved in the transaction?  I can understand him wanting to go after me or Ryan.  Does Art still own “MayorMiguelPulido.com” and all those domains related to Janet Nguyen? And what does it say about a person when your (former) friends (plural) are suing you?

 The multiple paragraphs about how it’s not OK to go to a candidate’s house even if they are carpetbagging, and how it’s not OK to disclose someone’s personal financial troubles, and how it’s not OK to call someone’s employer to try and get them fired because they blog, etc.  Art forgets to mention his blog and his bloggers (Tony Bushala’s visit to Harry Sidhu’s house counts since he cross-posts at OJ) have all done these things.  But Art and his team clearly don’t like eating their own dogfood.  Art wants to end the blogwar, but reserves the right to go after anyone who’s a consultant or an elected official, which is clearly his excuse to continue personal attacks on Matt Cunningham.  Heck, I reserve the right to go after Matt on issues, but Art’s attacks on Matt are far more personal.

 In comments, Art goes to great lengths to emphasize he is a blogger, not a journalist. But in his response to our discovery filings, he is claiming a journalist’s right not to disclose certain documents citing a shield law.  Journalism shield laws are designed to protect anonymous sources on stories; there is no story at issue here.  So on the blog, Art isn’t a journalist, but for legal filings, he is.  Which is it?

 Art also has launched an effort to have his friends contact us to get us to drop the suit and claimed a number of Democratic Party officials have joined the effort.  The truth is, we got three calls — two from OJ bloggers. The common thread – all three didn’t know all the details of the lawsuit and didn’t know we made a settlement offer to Art that he has refused, but asked us to drop the case anyway. 

But Art clearly subscribes to the “perception is reality” school.  I have not received a single inquiry from a Democratic elected official or Democratic Party official about the case.  President Barrack Obama could call me himself, and I’d ask him to mind his own business regarding this legal matter.  In fact, most of the calls and emails we have received are from people urging us not to go soft on Art.  Not to give him a clean slate by which to smear his political enemies with the bile Art lectured one of his commenters on in his Friday post. I’d caution any elected official or candidate about being perceived as being sympathetic to Art; we all know how well that worked out for Steven Choi, who’s assembly victory was guaranteed by Art.

The lawsuit was necessary, otherwise Art would never have given up those domain names. We are moving forward with the suit as planned.

Art Pedroza’s legal and financial troubles are of his own making.  The lawsuit will not put Art out of his home.  He was well on his way down that path when the lawsuit was filed.  Remember readers, we’ve only published a few of Art’s hate-filled taunting emails.  There are dozens more you haven’t seen.  For Art to say he acted out of character for him on this manner is, in my opinion, inaccurate.  I believe he acted completely in character. 

For those friends of Art who want to help him, open your checkbooks and help him raise the money for the settlement.  Art says he’s not mounting a defense.  He doesn’t really have one having admitted to most of the material facts in the case.  We have emails  from him conflict with some of his answers on discovery.  All he needs to do is sign papers from my lawyer admitting to the charges, pay the settlement fee and apologize. 

I suspect the last item is considerably more difficult for him than the second one.

  12 comments for “What Blog War?

  1. Advantage Title Flunky
    June 30, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    *NOTICE TO ALL MY STALKERS-I’M BLOGGING FROM WORK ON MY OWN COMPUTER SO MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS OR I’LL BREAK YOUR NECK*

    Mother and I were talking several nights ago and she agreed that Art Pedroza+NAMBLA+jail could end rather poorly for Art. So what if Art defrauded a couple of credit card companies. Who hasn’t? So what if Art gets foreclosed on. Been there-Done that. When this is all over I’ll still have Claudia Alvarez as my BFF.

  2. July 1, 2010 at 1:26 am

    Glad you guys are taking this all the way. Cloaking links and cybersquatting aren’t kosher. In an email to me Art called the links to NAMBLA a “prank.”. And I always thought a prank was when you toilet papered someones tree, or called the drug store and asked if they have Princ Albert in a can. Shows you what I know.

    • Dan Chmielewski
      July 1, 2010 at 8:26 am

      Dan – Please forward us the email; I’m sure my lawyer would like a copy.

  3. Mike Tardif
    July 1, 2010 at 7:44 am

    Posted on the OJ blog – “Mike Tardif’s daughter Says:
    I love reading the dirty words my daddy uses on local blog threads. I always Come to his defense when he summons me to do so! Our relationship is so “special”!”

    Art’s response after I demanded he delete this disgusting comment -
    “… you were asking for trouble.”

    Art Pedroza deserves all that is coming to him.

  4. July 1, 2010 at 8:27 am

    Well said, Dan. As you make clear, “the blog war” is just Pedroza code for the LOC lawsuit against him — and that’s what he wants ended, not the poisonous atmosphere in the OC blogosphere the he, Tony Bushala and others have created.

    That “End the Blog Wars” post he was so narcissistic, so loaded with self-martyrdom as to be laughable. Pedroza wants to keep on flinging feces at whoever he wants. He craves conflict. Pedroza is fond of quoting some creative writing professor he had” “Conflict sells.” That’s what he believes and lives by.

    And Pedroza’s claim today that he doesn’t allow personal attacks on me — that’s just an out-and-out lie. But typical, when you consider the source.

    • Dan Chmielewski
      July 1, 2010 at 10:24 am

      In Art’s post today, he thanks his friends for contacting us. That would be three total people, all of whom said they are not fully aware of all of the details of the case.

      Art doesn’t allow personal attacks on you Matt? Who’s approving all those Gerbil Jerbal comments?

  5. Mike Tardif
    July 1, 2010 at 9:05 am

    Concerning Art’s conjecture that Hillary Clinton might appoint Santa Ana mayor Miguel Pulido to Ambassador of Mexico – Art posted:

    “I’m all for that! Considering all the violence and crime in Mexico, … it is likely that at some point he will be kidnapped or whacked while serving in Mexico. Perfect! We will be rid of him in Santa Ana, and he will be taken care of by criminals in Mexico. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

    Isn’t it nice of Art to cheer for the murder of anyone, let alone an elected official?

  6. July 5, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    Thanks for the link Tony; that’s what I get for not looking at the blogs over the long weekend.

    For what it’s worth, I support the work of the commission Matt Cuningham does Public Affairs work for. It’s also hard to argue with Matt’s previous successes in public affairs, and while you might take issue with his billing and activity reports, ask those in the public affairs industry if those activities and billings are out of line. While his hourly rate is higher than mine, the mount of time spent on activity doesn’t strike me as unreasonable. This isn’t a right wing/left wing thing; his time and activity is consistant with industry standards and your sense of outrage over this frankly shows your lack of understanding into what goes into the job — I can raised lots of outrage about real estate development and property management, but I don’t know that industry. I also think one of the best ways to change the mind of a conservative is to put them to work on liberal causes.

    So tell me Tony; are you going to go after Shawn Nelson if he opts into the county retirement plan?

  7. July 6, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Dan, amazing how a single critical (and true) reference to Bushala causes that poor sensitive guy to have a hissy fit on his blog. He said he’s not responsible for poisoning the OC blogosphere and then pounds out a long rant proving exactly the opposite. It reminds me of Bushala’s amazingly false claim at the Fullerton blog forum that he doesn’t allow personal attacks on FFFF.

    A couple of points about Bushala in general and that post in particular. Bushala and the other fanatics at FFFF pretend to be crusaders for principle, but the reality is they are personality driven. If you support their chosen candidates, then it doesn’t matter how big a “Repuglican” someone is — they get a pass from the FFFF mullahs. But failure to support Bushala’s chosen candidates makes you a target for an FFFF jihad.

    Bushala’s latest post is a great example of substituting insult for intellect. All the guy does is call me names. How impressive.

    Then there’s his weird claim that “My run in with this clown began over a year ago…” “Run-in”? That implies he has actually spoken to me or directly confronted me. I met Bushala once, in passing, about eight years ago. Otherwise, I have never met or spoken to this guy.

    But at least he finally posts in public what he had previously told my colleague Chip Hanlon in private: blogging isn’t about advancing arguments or principle to Bushala. It’s about settling his weird personal vendettas and trying to inflict actual harm on people he just doesn’t like.

    How admirable. What a role model. Perhaps Bushala’s behavior and mindset explain why virtually no contributor to the FFFF blog is willing to associate his/her real name with Bushala, his blog, or even their own opinions.

    Or maybe his blogpen is just Bushala posting under different names.

    • July 6, 2010 at 11:15 am

      And I’m pompous because I’d rather debate issues. Tony is the Fullerton version of Art Pedroza. He decides who is approved and who isn’t. But who died and left him in charge of Fullerton’s psyche?

      Travis Kiger is certainly a real person. No one is sure if Joe Sipowicz is or not. Chris Thompson is a real person and, frankly, one of the few bloggers from Tony’s site that I met at the NUFF forum who shook hands with me and didn’t act like I had leprosy. I actually enjoyed our brief exchange.

      But Tony and Travis, it was more of a going through the motions on the handshake thing. On the rest of the anonymous crowd, who knows. Perhaps it’s another example of Art/Admin/Zorro

      • July 6, 2010 at 11:42 am

        Chris Thompson is the only one of that group who has actually reached out to me in an effort to find out something about me besides the caricature painted on FFFF, and for that I give him a lot of credit.

        Travis Kiger is the director of web services for Precept, an employee benefits company in Irvine. The rest of the FFFF bloggers — who knows? Grover Cleveland loves to attack me with half-truths and outright falsehoods, but won’t put his/her name to it. What a surprise. it’s a real courageous bunch over there.

        As for Shawn Nelson opting into the county retirement system: I’d be shocked if he did. But if he does, he’ll probably get nothing more than a mealy-mouthed expression of “disappointment” from some FFFF anon in order to barely maintain the fiction that they’re about principles, not personalities. It’s not like they had any criticism of Nelson for voting with the NIMBYs and no-growthers against the Coyote hills project. Hardly a peep in defense of property rights out of the self-appointed keeps of the conservative flame.

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