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.