Later this afternoon (schedule permitting), I will be swinging by The Eli Home in Anaheim to drop off a check and a couple of unwrapped gifts for kids…in this case, delightful finger puppets for kids 3 to 99 years old. The check is from me for the good work the Eli Home does and the finger puppets will be donated in the name of “Greg Diamond and Friends.” I’m sure Diamond and his friends won’t mind since the toys, which are quite charming, are going to kids who really need a reason to smile and not just for the holiday season.
I attended the Jordan Brandman fundraiser Wednesday night at El Torito in Anaheim to help Jordan retire his debt from the 2012 election cycle. The event was very well attended including representatives from OCEA, who wrote checks. Frank Barbaro, the former chairman of the DPOC, called in sick but made a sizable donation. Yes, Curt Pringle was there (I asked him for my check since I’m allegedly on his payroll and we both had a good laugh about it) but he was there for only about 10 minutes. Gail Eastman was there too, but I didn’t see her and she was gone before Brandman began his speech. Both Lucille Kring and Kris Murray missed the event to work commitments. Tom Tait didn’t show up. Jose Solorio did as he gears up for his state senate campaign.
Brandman addressed the assembled crowd of mostly Democrats (about 100) to talk about the progress the city of Anaheim has made in the past year. If you get on Anaheim news exclusively from the blogsphere, you’d think that Anaheim’s situation was practically dystopian compared with the forward-thinking and optimistic picture Brandman painted. He talked about big picture job creating projects in the city coupled with simple things like streetlight replacement, pothole repairs and sidewalk replacement that is happening throughout the city.
There’s no question, Anaheim has its divides and ones I believe can be repaired with a new Mayor in the form of Democrat Lorri Galloway who has a strong track record of working across the aisle with Republican council members to get good things accomplished. Should she be elected, her biggest obstacle is likely a difficult relationship with Brandman. I’d like to think they can agree enough to bury the hatchet and move the city forward in a more unified fashion.
During the meet-and-greet section of the party, I had a lot of Democrats seek me out to talk about Party official and OJ blogger Greg Diamond and the embarrassing puppet show before an Anaheim city council meeting (sorry, I’m not naming names). The general message was: “if you want any city council majority to hear your message or even consider your point of view, belittlement via a puppet show isn’t the way to go.” Folks were embarrassed he is a party official. Additionally, the suggestion that the Party has to pick a social justice path versus a pro-business path was wrong when it can and should be both. With OCEA in attendance — and making a contribution to Brandman — perhaps that can serve as a signal to those in our party so opposed to Brandman that perhaps the mind they need to change is their own.
There were several suggestions that to serve the best interests of the Party, Diamond should step down from his leadership role.
Because it was a party, I brought one of the three sets of finger puppets I ordered online and suggested we donate one set to the Anaheim city attorney so when the CATER response is prepared, it can be communicated via a finger puppet show. A surprising number of folks have read Diamond’s eight page letter of demands and are still scratching their heads over CATER’s demands – that letter is considered unfocused and almost unreadable.
But in case you missed it, you can view the finger puppet show here. It’s on YouTube and it’s still an embarrassment.