Diamond’s in the Rough

Greg Diamond (Photo: Chris Prevatt)

Greg Diamond (Photo: Chris Prevatt)

The Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Orange County will consider removing Greg Diamond as North County Vice Chair at the committee’s meeting next Monday, the LiberalOC has learned.  If a quorum of voters is present and two-thirds vote to expel Diamond from the position, he’s out.

The effort to remove Diamond reached a breaking point late last month when the Building Trade Unions threatened to withhold support from DPOC and Democratic candidates if Diamond were not removed from his party leadership position.  The OC Labor Fed followed with a letter to the DPOC that was virtually identical to the one the Building Trades sent the DPOC on March 31.

Labor wants Diamond gone, but that might not be the reason for the effort to remove him.

Diamond’s conduct and associations with Republicans in Anaheim, including Mayor Tom Tait (Diamond has publicly stated he wants Lorri Galloway to run for council instead of mayor and wants Tait to run for mayor), former council candidate Brian Chuchua (who paid for an advertisement for Diamond’s DA campaign on the OrangeJuice blog), his association with conservative blogger Cynthia Ward, coupled with personal attacks on elected Democrats and DPOC leaders represent conduct unbecoming a partisan party vice chair.

I urged Diamond to resign last week to protect our Democratic candidates in tough races and to repair damage done with Labor unions.  His response was predictable; I’m dumb, my sources are chicken, and he’s not going anywhere: “…there’s no way that I’m leaving party office other than on a rail or a slab!

If the Building Trades want to bring that much of a spotlight onto the Convention Center bonds, Poseidon, the 405 toll roads, the GardenWalk Giveaway, San Onofre, the Stadium Giveaway, and all of the other boondoggles and disasters that I’ve opposed — then I guess that I will just have to let them do so.  I’m not seeking to become front-page news — but if it happens, I know just what to do with it.  And it’s not the sort of thing that the Building Trades should want.

…What’s at stake here is whether a faction of Labor, threatening who-knows-what consequences to other unions if they don’t fall into line, can demand the ouster of a party official for taking stances that, in most cases, most of the party also supported – and for, in his private capacity, fighting an underdog battle against huge amounts of corruption in Orange County’s largest city.

They really thought that hostage-taking would be the way to get me to resign?  How stupid are they?”

I don’t think the unions are the ones taking hostages.  It’s Diamond who is.  He’s lacks the humility to ever admit he’s wrong about anything and wants the party to change to reflect his views and will browbeat those who don’t see things as he does.  He’s actually holding the Party hostage and there are a significant number of Central Committee members who have had enough of Diamond.  Whether or not there’s enough to make two-thirds of a vote, and I believe there is, Diamond will get run out on a rail.

I’ve found Diamond’s description of business-friendly Democrats as ones who wink at corruption as a false narrative.  Without business-friendly public-private partnerships, Anaheim and Orange County lose out on projects that other cities and other states will get.  It’s called competition.  If Anaheim won’t, other cities will.  Without a strong business environment, in which public/private partnerships require labor, then the only labor unions that will be strong will be that of public employee unions (who are constantly under attack by conservatives).  Diamond has this notion that expenditures of tax dollars always need to go to a vote of the people.  Does he advocate for public employee pensions to be put up for a vote?  Need that pothole filled? Better call a special election.  Where do you draw the line at when the business of governing requires an election other than electing representatives to office to govern?  Is it representative democracy or direct democracy?

I couldn’t find recent data for California, but in Seminole County, Florida, here’s the impact of what adding 100 jobs, at $48,400 a year, does for the local economy:

The direct impact of new jobs and investments causes spending in the community to increase, which in turn creates additional rounds of job creation in the service and retail industries. Economists call this the ripple effect. Using IMPLAN, an economic analysis software program, a simulation of the effect of 100 highskilled jobs with an average wage of $48,400 to the state of Florida was produced. Listed below are the highlights:

  • 100 high-wage, high-skilled jobs will create an additional 254 jobs to support retail stores, housing, medical, and other service needs as the original 100 wage earners spend their income. That means a total of 354 jobs are ultimately created.
  • 100 jobs raise Florida’s Gross State Product by $43 million. The ripple effect is very powerful and has a dramatic impact on lots of people and industries.
  • 100 jobs add $21 million to Florida’s statewide sales.
  • 100 jobs mean an additional $5 million in taxes and fees being paid at the state and local level. Both the public and private sector benefit from creating high-paying jobs.

That’s Florida.  Imagine the wages here.

I’ve received a copy of the letter sent to the DPOC signed by Julio Perez.  It’s practically identical in language to the letter the Building Trades sent the DPOC on March 31.  The irony shouldn’t be lost on Diamond who used a letter sent by San Diego attorney Cory Briggs to inform the Anaheim City Council that CATER was using Briggs’ words to say the same things in filing suit against the city for the convention center expansion.  The nut: Julio Perez threw Greg Diamond under the bus.  And Julio’s words have great sway with OC’s Labor unions.

Perez was quoted in the Voice of OC article about CATER and said this: “My executive board voted to be in full support of good-quality jobs,” said Julio Perez, executive director of the Orange County Labor Federation. “I’m hoping that Greg or anybody else doesn’t jeopardize good-quality jobs from coming into Orange County.”

Regardless of how the Central Committee vote goes, Diamond will continue to represent CATER, which appears to be his only publicly-known client.  For a lawyer who admits to having volunteered nearly full time for OccupyOC for five months, you have to wonder how the bills got paid.  And you have to wonder if the lawsuits against Anaheim are more to collect legal fees from the taxpayers if a legal settlement is reached than for any sort of social justice.

We’ve been told by a source close to CATER that the group consists of 25 people; Ward, leads the group, and Chuchua, are the only known members.  City council candidate Donna Acevedo served a lawsuit on the city council earlier this year for CATER, but her membership status in CATER is unclear.  We’re also told the group is self-funded.

So if CATER is 25 people, and let’s assume every member is an Anaheim resident, we’ll note the city has 350,000 residents.  Which means CATER, at best, represents .0000714% of the population.  Hardly the voice of the people.  Governing by lawsuit is not effective for anyone.

So if Diamond is to go out on a rail or carried out on a slab Monday, the key word in the sentence is “out.”  His ship is sinking fast and if it doesn’t sink completely, it’s sustained heavy damage. It’s still not too late for Diamond to resign with some sense of honor or dignity.  If he’s removed, I doubt he could ever recover.

  31 comments for “Diamond’s in the Rough

  1. ocmartini man
    April 24, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    I’m no fan of Mr. Diamond BUT this is a dangerous precedent for the party to set for so many reasons.

  2. Chatka
    April 24, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    Dan,

    You seem to be intelligent, but your intelligence is outweighed by willful ignorance, the inability to dig deeper than scratching the surface, or both.

    You say; “Labor wants Diamond gone, but that might not be the reason for the effort to remove him.” and expect us to believe your conclusion without a shred of evidence.

    All you have is a letter from the building trades demanding Diamond’s removal or they will pull their support for the DPOC and Democratic candidates in Orange County. You have a duplicate of that letter from the Orange County Labor Federation, but nothing from the individual unions represented by the Federation. Since the Federation cannot force any of its member unions to follow the ultimatum, the OCLF letter represents nothing but hot air.

    The fact is, a letter sent under the direction of the majority of e-board members at a hastily called “special” meeting, specifically to demand the Federation send a letter, does not reverse the course set by the Federation delegates last month when its delegates endorsed 13 candidates for Congress, State Senate, and State Assembly, all of whom are Democrats.

    Just tonight, at the Labor Federation monthly delegates meeting, the call went out for volunteers for phone banking and precinct walking to support the Labor Federation’s endorsed candidates. At no point during the meeting was there any mention of a boycott of democratic candidates pending a decision on Diamond’s expulsion from his leadership position in the DPOC. And on Friday morning, labor groups are hosting a breakfast fundraiser for Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva. The hosts of this fundraiser are members of the Labor Federation.

    It seems Dan, that labor is not all that monolithic in resolve over the status of Greg Diamond at the DPOC. Other than a couple of letters, it appears that most of labor, couldn’t give a crap one way or the other.

    If all of Labor really cared about Diamond, they would be backing up the threats from the Building Trades by withholding support until they get an answer, rather than hosting fundraisers and planning phone banks and precinct walks in support of democratic candidates.

    Your speculation as to other reasons for the DPOC to consider his removal from office is just that, SPECULATION! You have no evidence to support your conclusion, and apparently have no idea what provision in the bylaws would justify his removal.

    But with all your “speculation” you fail to mention the most reasonable speculation as to why DPOC Chairman Henry Vandermeir is being so quick to jump to place a removal vote before the DPOC members. That reason is the fact that Diamond has been a pain in Vandermeir’s backside since he was elected chair, opposing virtually every move he has tried to make. This is a golden opportunity for Vandermeir to use fear of the loss of support from organized labor to take out a key opponent.

    What Vandermeir’s decision to place Diamond’s removal on the agenda for next Monday demonstrates is a failure of leadership. No self respecting leader would be bullied into seeking the removal of a member from their organization at the behest of any outside group, or individual. Vandermeir should be standing up and telling the Building Trades that their counsel on the leadership of the DPOC is neither sought, or welcome.

    A real leader would tell the Building Trades, “while we appreciate working with you on common objectives, we will not sacrifice our organizational independence to work with you. If our collective actions do not satisfy your desired results then feel free to seek friends elsewhere. Please don’t tell us what our members can and cannot support or believe as individuals. Our members chose their own leaders, not you.”

    As a matter of principal, the DPOC members need to reject the ultimatum from the Building Trades and call them on their bluff. If they really think Republicans, with their strong opposition to organized labor, as well as project labor agreements and living wage laws, will give their members a better shake, then they should go that way and see how well that works out for their members.

  3. Greg Diamond
    April 24, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    Sadly, Liberal OC readers are going to have to come to grips with the fact that the excitable Mr. Chmielewski is often confused about the facts, is other times sparing with the facts, and at other times seems willing to just flat out lie. (As a lie requires intent, I can’t accuse him of lying as his perceptions of the world may be so twisted to serve his needs that he may not understand that he’s not telling the truth.)

    In the article preceding this one, for example, Dan wrote:

    We called the DPOC and they said that no training of Vets was conducted for the meeting and there were no meetings with Veterans and any “high ranking Democratic Party leaders in Orange County.”

    This surprised me, because as of today I am still a “high ranking Democratic Party leader in Orange County” and I’ve been meeting with vets as a member of the Orange County Veterans Memorial Park Committee (for which I do not speak) pretty much weekly since late January. (I verified with Dan’s source that he told Dan the truth, but it got mangled.) It’s true that I haven’t “trained” the Vets to be “in your face,” as Weird Al Bartlett alleged, but as is not uncommon Dan wasn’t willing to leave the truth unembellished. I’m PROUD to have worked with this bipartisan/nonpartisan group. (As usual in my civic work, I volunteered my time and political and legal expertise.)

    So that leads us to this piece. I’ll limit myself to cleaning up the most egregious errors.

    (1) The first error was publishing it at all — although that’s not Dan’s error, but the error of whomever leaked it to him. While I’ve known about this since last Friday evening, I haven’t written a word about it outside of the Central Committee because for all I know — at this point, I still don’t even know the charges against me and how they supposedly violated the Bylaws — the debate and decision will take place in a closed session. At this point, no agenda or supporting resolution has even been released. So Dan has been favored with information that the officers, including the target of this purge, have not been provided. (On the positive side, now I guess I can write about it.)

    (2) Dan misrepresents — in fact, here I think I can say “lies about” — my public position on the Anaheim Mayor’s race. In fact, it’s also the position that I have conveyed to both Lorri Galloway and Tom Tait privately. My bottom line is that I don’t want them to split the “reform” vote and allow the dangerous and disingenuous drunkard Lucille Kring to become Mayor. I have told them that (1) I will not take the forbidden action of supporting Tait over Galloway so long as I am an officer of the DPOC and (2) I think that they both belong on the dais, working together as a team, and I very much hope that they will sort out who sits in the center and who sits to the side. That’s it. I’ve said that here to Dan previously and he simply claims that it isn’t true. I believe that witnesses heard me say it to Lorri, though, and I’ve never retracted it.

    (3) Brian Chuchua bought that ad without my knowledge, but he’s a good guy and I welcome his endorsement. (I’ve since decided to list it as an in-kind contribution.) Cynthia Ward and I disagree on many (mostly state and national) issues, but when it comes to demanding ethical actions at the local issue I think that she’s wonderful — and there’s no requirement (thank God) that I not recognize that fine quality in a Republican. (I note that she is also acting against a Council coalition composed of three Republicans — the worst of which, Kris Murray, is endorsed by the head of the OC Building Trades, Jim Adams — and one Democrat who has publicly proclaimed his loyalty and fealty to former Republican Assembly Speaker Curt Pringle. I’d like to draw that Democrat away from such disreputable company.

    (4) Dan does not appear to understand the concept of “hostage taking” — to a degree that would signal a wiser writer to shy away from the keyboard. If someone more sensible can explain how my refusing to go along with a demand for ransom is itself “hostage taking,” maybe I can debate the point. They want me gone — that’s the “ransom” — and to achieve that they state that they intend to hold back what would otherwise be their contributions both to the DPOC and to all Democratic candidates. Once one gives into this — as “business Democrats” suggest doing — where does it stop? I’m not the only one who opposed these bad construction proposals; in fact, I believe that I was in the majority on resolutions doing so. Does every other opponent of San Onofre, Poseidon, the 405 Lexus Lanes, the GardenWalk Giveaway, and so one have to go away too?

    (5) Of course I admit that I’m wrong about things — when I am. At one point I thought that Vern Nelson was wrong in thinking that Dan Chmielewski was actually more reprehensible than Art Pedroza. Everyone makes mistakes. I have apologized to Vern.

    (6) Dan writes: “Diamond has this notion that expenditures of tax dollars always need to go to a vote of the people.” No, I don’t — nor have I ever said so. For the benefit of anyone who has any doubt left that Dan is not only misinformed, but WILLFULLY so, I refer you to Government Code 6500 et seq., which deals with the powers available to entities created by Joint Powers Agreements (under the Joint Exercise of Powers Act), such as the Anaheim Public Financing Agency, in which more than one distinct entities share powers. These provide an exception (actually it’s more of a workaround) to California’s constitutional provision requiring entities such as City Councils to have voter approval for such bond indentures.

    The legal question regards what happens when an one of the entities which came together to create a JPA entity CEASES TO EXIST, as happened when my party — the Democrats, led by Governor Brown — eliminated the state’s Redevelopment Agencies, especially when the powers of the one entity are then taken over by the other one. The APFA is now the creature of an agreement between the City Council and the successor to the Anaheim Redevelopment Agency: which is also the City Council. Does the agency, which is now the creature of only ONE entity, still retain the powers provided by the loophole that that sole entity does NOT have — such as the ability to take on substantial new bond debt without a vote of the people? (This, among other things, allows for mischief and corruption. You’ll see.) CATER thinks that it obviously DOESN’T — and in this case the exploitation of that loophole for substantial new indebtedness itself facilitates corruption.

    Somehow, Dear Readers, that intricate legal issue got pulped and rejiggered within Dan’s mind into the notion that I think that “that expenditures of tax dollars always need to go to a vote of the people.” That’s awfully simple and straightforward — and it’s completely wrong. Do not trust what this man writes, because he doesn’t check to see, or care if, it is wrong. And this is a pretty freaking huge error on his part — not that that seems to bother him.

    (7) Yes, CATER is my only publicly-known client because it’s the only current client for which I have filed a lawsuit. Doltish Dan doesn’t seem to understand that in a plaintiff’s employment law practice — which is most of the rest of what I do — you don’t reveal who you represent while the case is active unless you file suit, because of client confidentiality. Don’t worry, he’ll forgive himself for not asking about this.

    (8) If I wanted to be rich, there are quicker and surer ways to do it than practicing government accountability law. I do it because it’s right and because if I don’t do it, most of the time no one else will. But Dan doesn’t seem to hang around many people who subordinate profit to principle. It’s too bad, because the Democratic Party has many such people.

    (9) CATER is as large as it needs to be to have taxpayer standing. Taxpayer standing is designed to allow non-profit groups to step into the shoes of “the people” when the government is corrupt. No one, of any or no party, associated with CATER apologizes for doing what we’re empowered to do — and the public has all of the information about CATER that is required.

    (10) As for his statement that “Governing by lawsuit is not effective for anyone” — meaning that all of civil rights law is just wasteful — this is why I don’t consider Dan much of a Democrat. A real Democrat would not spit in the face of leaders from Thurgood Marshall to Ruth Bader Ginsburg to Judge Vaughn Walker with such nonsense. Happily for me, I think that the DPOC Central Committee is made up of Democrats who understand and respect this. And, if not, such a setback, as one does expect to experience at times in civil rights and government accountability work, will be only temporary.

  4. Greg Diamond
    April 24, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    Thank you for your intelligent commentary, Chatka, but while I may have “been a pain in Vandermeir’s backside since he was elected chair” — the experience of pain is subjective and says more about him than about me — it is simply not the case that I have been “opposing virtually every move he has tried to make.” I’ve complimented his leadership in many areas and worked by his side in many others. I’ve been as supportive as I could be while still supporting the DPOC Bylaws; I’ll spare you the particulars. That my belief in the primacy of the Bylaws, and in the principle of some checks and balances (the value of which is rarely better demonstrated than what you see here) has at times put me at odds with the Chair is unfortunate, but that’s politics for you.

    Whether it is true that “this is a golden opportunity for Vandermeir to use fear of the loss of support from organized labor to take out a key opponent,” I leave to others. I’m not part of his “kitchen cabinet.” I also would not presume that it was organize labor that came up with the plan for this attack — at a time when I am busy running for DA on an anti-corruption and anti-cronyism platform. It could have been solicited by some in the DPOC leadership, or by my opponent in the DA’s race, or by consultants working for either — or both.

    I really don’t know. Dan might. He has some highly placed DPOC sources.

  5. junior
    April 25, 2014 at 9:37 am

    What a sad sad story – if I had the time and the desire I might have read it.

  6. April 25, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    “In the article preceding this one, for example, Dan wrote:

    We called the DPOC and they said that no training of Vets was conducted for the meeting and there were no meetings with Veterans and any “high ranking Democratic Party leaders in Orange County.”

    This surprised me, because as of today I am still a “high ranking Democratic Party leader in Orange County” and I’ve been meeting with vets as a member of the Orange County Veterans Memorial Park Committee (for which I do not speak) pretty much weekly since late January. (I verified with Dan’s source that he told Dan the truth, but it got mangled.) It’s true that I haven’t “trained” the Vets to be “in your face,” as Weird Al Bartlett alleged, but as is not uncommon Dan wasn’t willing to leave the truth unembellished. I’m PROUD to have worked with this bipartisan/nonpartisan group. (As usual in my civic work, I volunteered my time and political and legal expertise.)”

    Greg — what I clearly meant is there was no organized DPOC meetings with Vets; Nick contacted me about the correct, but I was super busy yesterday and ran out of time. The point is, the party had no official role in briefing Vets even if some party members, such as yourself did. I still don’t see the point in correcting what is a subtle difference.

    But thanks again for pointing out you want both Galloway AND Tait on the Anaheim dais next year.

  7. Greg Diamond
    April 25, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    It’s not a “subtle difference”; it’s a difference between a lie and a truth.

    Right — I want one of them to run for Council instead so that Anaheim does not elect the disastrous Lucille Kring. As Lucille Kring has been in a voting bloc on the Council with “Business Democrat” Jordan Brandman, you don’t care so much about that, much like you don’t give a damn about corruption — unless it’s Republican corruption. I think Democrats should police our own.

    People wonder why the proportion of NPPs keep rising. It’s due to the likes of such self-serving views. Anti-corruption Democrats like me could reverse that trend. And all our constituent groups, the Building Trades included, would be better for that — because Curt Pringle wouldn’t be taking his cut.

    • April 25, 2014 at 4:02 pm

      was your work with Vets part of an official DPOC training effort? Yes or no?

    • April 25, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      Lucille Kring will remain on the council regardless if she is elected Mayor or not. And I certainly care about corruption. And I agree with you; Democrats should police their own, which is why you face the loss of your party leadership position Monday. Sleep well.

  8. Allan Bartlett
    April 25, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    Thanks Greg for confirming one of Dan’s many lies on the Irvine vet story.

    • April 25, 2014 at 4:01 pm

      Allan — your lie was Vets were trained at Sanchez’s office. Pat implied a DPOC organized link. Even Greg’s comment of his work with Vets on the cemetery fails to rise to the liberal conspiracy you and Pat suggest.

      What other lies did I tell?

    • April 25, 2014 at 4:06 pm

      Reading comprehension problems Allan; sorry Rand Paul isn’t coming to the Flag Day dinner. I know any appearance by a politician with the last name “Paul” gets your nipples hard. Go chase some vipers in the canyons. That’s a better use of your time

  9. Allan Bartlett
    April 25, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    Vets have been meeting at Sanchez’s office on this issue. We have had multiple vets confirm this. So either the vets are lying or Loretta is. I’ll go with the vets.

    • April 25, 2014 at 4:55 pm

      all unnamed; no such meeting occured

  10. Allan Bartlett
    April 25, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    I believe the vets, not Loretta for clarification

  11. Greg Diamond
    April 25, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    Loretta has provided space for the Vets to meet, although OCVMP has also met elsewhere.

    There’s no “training” per se, Allan, let alone training to get “in your face.” That’s just made up from nothing.

    The Chair, Secretary, and I believe Treasurer of the group are Republicans. My sense is that most of the members are Republicans, with a healthy dose of Democrats (and, surely, some NPPs.) The notion that this is the least bit partisan on the part of OCVMP is completely wrong; this group has been admirable in how it has tried to appeal to and work with people of all ideological stripes.

    Your tweet was inappropriate, baseless, and, I’d like to think, beneath you.

  12. Allan Bartlett
    April 25, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    Ha! Another Dan C lie confirmed. I owe you lunch Greg.

  13. Greg Diamond
    April 25, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    Both of you were wrong, actually. You can take a homeless person to lunch in my stead.

  14. Dan Chmielewski
    April 26, 2014 at 8:11 am

    I spoke to a staffer at Sanchez’s office and read her Allan’s tweet. She said no such meeting took place. I stand by that. If Loretta offered her office for Veterans to meet, that’s good when you consider the subcommittees she serves on. And there’s no official DPOC training either. The question you ought to be asking Allan and Patrick is why vets didn’t go to Campbell’s office? Or Dana’s? Or Royce’s. Or Wagner’s. Or Baugh’s.

  15. Allan Bartlett
    April 26, 2014 at 8:30 am

    The question you should be asking yourself Dan is why do lie so much.

    • April 26, 2014 at 12:42 pm

      The question you should ask yourself is why you hate Veterans so much. You put forth a narrative in your tweet was is false and debunked. You’re a disgrace.

  16. Cynthia Ward
    April 26, 2014 at 10:01 am

    I did not read Allan’s tweets so I am unclear on precisely what is being argued about here, but I will provide some background, as I have also been involved to some extent with the OC Veterans’ group.

    Loretta Sanchez offered her office conference space for meetings of the group, as opposed to the group meeting in coffee shops, which was the fallback position. Which means this GOP Alternate has been seen coming and going from Sanchez’ office, along with a number of other solid conservative residents of Orange County. None of us has done anything there to make us turn in our annual memberships to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, (although I do need to renew my dues) Congresswoman Sanchez has graciously offered MEETING SPACE, appropriately so since this affects her constituents and her service on armed forces committees offers ties to veterans groups. Loretta Sanchez has not ben present for the meetings I have attended, indeed I don’t believe she has been in the office at all when we were present. She is gracious enough to provide the space, some bottled waters, and a photocopier as needed, and I appreciate that, in a non-partisan, we-are-all-Americans-grateful-to-our-Vets kind of way.

    This effort has been as non-partisan as the group can keep it, a great deal of effort has gone into ensuring that NO political alliances have been formed or promoted with EITHER party.

    What I will say is that when the Vets have needed help, it tends to be the Dems who have proactively stepped up to offer assistance. For reasons beyond my comprehension, Republican leaders reaching out and offering support have been few and far between, and for that I am frustrated. I have always believed that the GOP is the party of Mom, apple pie, and good old fashioned military strength, and for the GOP to fall shorter than could be done in our efforts to support the men and women who served our nation by failing to offer support as a party for a final resting place that does not tax the resources of survivors wishing to pay respects to those lost before us, well it goes against everything I ever believed my party to be.

    I stayed out of the fray in large part because my association with this project has been through the Orange County Cemetery District where I serve on the Board of Trustees, and I did not want to drag partisan politics into that service. On the other hand, I was specifically asked to help the Veterans in my capacity on the OCCD by Chair of the BoS Shawn Nelson, so claims that he is totally opposed to this project because it is somehow a liberal political ploy would not be true either. Because of my involvement wearing my OCCD hat, my pushing hard at the OC GOP to support this as a party would be inappropriate, and I can only hope that someone like Allan, who is clearly interested in the issues, might bring it forward with more GOP leaders to try soliciting more bi-partisan support than has been offered.

    This should NOT be political, or partisan, I don’t want to see it become a “Republican” thing anymore than I want to see it be a “Dem” project.

    This is a cause I believe we should all get behind, not because it is left or right but because it is the right thing to do, and by that I mean CORRECT, moral, decent, American thing to do, not right-wing.

    So everyone stop the bickering because the partisan division does nothing to honor the service of men and women who offered to lay down their lives for us. In most cases they thankfully came home to help build Orange County into the great place we all enjoy living today. When those men and women leave this earthly shell they deserve a place of rest their families can visit, and God forbid another Orange County young service person sacrifices themselves in service, their remains should be brought HOME to Orange County, not shipped to Riverside where it is an extreme hardship to visit and pay respects.

    How dare we divide in honoring that final wish for our Veterans? Who cares who gets the credit as long as the job gets done? Should this not be a cause that EVERY politician would gladly jump on board for?

    Move on, and let’s work TOGETHER to help get this DONE, please.

  17. Dan Chmielewski
    April 26, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Chaka, believe me, I tried digging deeper but outside the the fact Diamond may be removed I can only guess. I don’t believe it’s at the behest of unions though I do think the letters from labor are the straw that broke the camel’s back. If no one is telling the full story, then it’s hard to dig details.

  18. April 29, 2014 at 1:31 am

    Interesting. The vote was +1 to oust. After the vote I spoke to Lowenthal’s rep who voted to oust and said “As one of Lowenthal’s constituents why did you vote yes?” and the answer was “Because the Unions.”

    So, we know that one vote, the deciding vote, was cast by Lowenthal’s rep and the sole reason was to appease the unions.

    So, maybe we should just rename it to The Union Party of Orange County. That way people won’t think I have anything to do with a group that is seeking to make my community into a traffic nightmare with the poorly planned 405 expansion.

  19. Greg Diamond
    April 29, 2014 at 2:14 am

    We’re still going to stop the toll road plan, JM. In fact, I’ll have more time for that now. And, as I said on a higher-quality blog, I don’t blame Lowenthal. He’s a good guy and, like many others, he had a pass from me on this vote (if he even directed his alternate — Jordan Brandman’s campaign manager — to vote as she did.)

    • April 29, 2014 at 9:24 am

      Greg, you just don’t get it. You have no influence on this and little authority. Your own party threw you under the bus. I could only stay for an hour last night and I came away with the impression you want all the attention on yourself.

      I met about eight new friends last night who tell me they read me all the time. One said, “you write what I want to say about Greg but can’t.”

      You did considerable damage to our party by ignoring the tea leaves and refusing to resign. Do you really think people will want to work with you on anything when it’s painfully clear you crave attention over results?

  20. Greg Diamond
    April 29, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    One of my highlights of last night was getting photos of you, Dan.

    As for your eight new cowardly friends, you can add them to the ones who already comment about me anonymously. Sounds like the sort of people who allergy to grassroots activism ought to be making them miserable.

    And no discussion of due process concerns in your new article. How fitting. Why do journalism when you can do slanted and bilious PR?

  21. Dan Chmielewski
    April 29, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    Photos of me?! With a crappy iPhone? I have lots of pathetic shots of you Greg. Black is usually so slimming. Since you have some time on your hands, come join me at bootcamp. 4:45am is the wake up call

  22. April 30, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    Hope you liked my Angels jacket Greg

  23. Urizen
    April 30, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    I guess this is a Republican website? Portrayal of Dems is classic, I surmise this is part of the Birch Society master plan…deep OC, DC!

  24. April 30, 2014 at 11:40 pm

    No this is not part of some Birch Society master plan. We’re democrats, planning is in many cases an afterthought. The events, and their portrayal, are real and classic.

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