Santa Ana Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez apologized last night for her poor choice of words in linking Santa Ana developers Irv and Ryan Chase to Nazi leader Adolpf Hitler and inappropriately using the term “ethnic cleansing.”
The statements first appeared on Art Pedroza’s New Santa Ana blog and came in shortly before 11PM. Pedroza initially wrote that Alvarez made the statement in a press conference, which surprised Voice of OC reporter Adam Elmahrek who joined several of us from the LiberalOC at Memphis for “Drinking Liberally.” Pedroza’s post was later changed to attribute the apology to an LA Times story that was posted at 11:24 PM last night a good half hour after his initial post (more on that in a second). OC Register Santa Ana reporter Andrew Galvan was also unaware of of any “press conference.”
In the Times story, Alvarez’s apology was more of a media announcement than one directed at the Chase’s who were informed of the apology by the LA Times reporter. From the story: “What I said was inappropriate, and I let my emotions get the best of me,” Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez said by telephone. Alvarez said getting emotional did not justify her statements. She said the debate has affected her personally because her father owned a business downtown, and the incident is the culmination of escalating tensions surrounding the downtown area. “The conversation is not over,” she said. “I obviously need to learn how to keep my cool.”
It’s hard to portray this as a conversation when public comments are limited to three minutes a speaker and Alvarez’s rant was easily 15 minutes long at Wednesday night’s council meeting. It isn’t clear if Alvarez has personally outreached to the Chase’s to apologize by telephone or by letter. Again, they had no comment when informed of the apology by the newspaper.
What isn’t clear is if Alvarez carried a bias about downtown business due to her father’s previous business interest downtown, should she have recused herself from the vote taken Wednesday night?
Back to Pedroza’s post for a moment. There was no press conference as he initially reported and the post carried scant information about the apology itself. Two thirds of Pedroza’s post is a rambling non-sequiter of attacks against those who criticized Alavrez, many of which happen to be political opponents of Pedroza himself. So while Pedroza claims support for Downtown, Inc., the enemy of my enemy is my friend motif comes into play. Pedroza previously ran cover for Alavarez went she stated that 9/11 was a “horrible accident” citing her difficulty with the English language from her native Spanish tongue.
Perhaps Art can do us a favor when he writes about Council member David Benevides’ honoring a group of citizens for the 2010 July 4th celebration; a group which included the misguided Lupe Moreno who once signed a candidacy petition for Thomas Gordon that Art should remind his readers that in 2006, he ran Moreno’s state senate campign against Lou Corera.
And since Pedroza is going to play the “Alvarez apologies, look over there, oooh shiny” defense, let’s make it clear– the first place news of the apology broke was on a blog run by a financially and morally bankrupt individual who once used web sites he owned to promote pedastry and gay porn in an attempt to blackmail his political enemies. The apology broke on a website that ran positive news stories about Santa Ana city council candidates without ethically disclosing the blog owner was being paid by said city council candidates for “web services.” Alvarez clearly chose to break the news to Pedroza, knowing he’d carry water for her. And since Pedroza is more intent on smearing those who criticize Alvarez for her anti-Semetic remarks (and they were anti-Semetic) than taking her to task for it, then perhaps it’s useful to remind readers of the character of the person Alvarez chose to break the news.
We have a number of calls in to DPOC party leaders to gauge their reaction.