The Democratic Party of Orange County (DPOC) last night ousted Greg Diamond, a candidate for District Attorney and a blogger at Orange Juice, from his North County Vice Chair’s leadership role on a vote of 35-15 (final vote tally). Diamond was removed on several grounds. Among them taking public – activist — stands inappropriate for a Party officer, failing to drive voter registration and GOTV efforts in North Orange County, and disruptive behavior that adversely affected others in the Party.
References to OC labor unions withholding support from the DPOC or its endorsed candidates was not part of the case against Diamond, but was likely a factor in the votes by many Central Committee members. Activists generally don’t make good party officers and, with the vote, the Party has returned Diamond to his activist role.
Diamond first attempted to use parliamentary procedure to have the item of his removal stricken from the agenda and when that failed, there was quiet lobbying of members to seek votes.
TheLiberalOC learned from several committee members Diamond had contacted them over the weekend to see if they’d attend Monday’s meeting and how they’d vote. Diamond met with Party leaders for four hours on Sunday to review the case against him. A third party offered to have Diamond resign his leadership post if Diamond could instead retain a seat on the executive committee. The bylaws do not allow that option, so the offer could not be accepted.
In writings on the OrangeJuice blog and other OC political forums, Diamond has often made references that he wants The Democratic Party to be a party that polices its own. And that’s exactly what Diamond got at Monday’s Party meeting. A text message from one committee member suggested with Diamond’s removal that “the Party lanced a boil last night.”
The entire affair was completely unnecessary and outright painful for many members of the Central Committee and the Party who have had enough of Diamond’s continuous and counterproductive shenanigans over the past several months. By resigning, Diamond would be in the same position he is today but with a more favorable view of Party members. But by forcing the Party to go through the painful task of removing him, Diamond has undone considerable goodwill with key party leaders. Even if Diamond somehow were to survive the ousting attempt, his reputation within the Party is now damaged to the point where very few Party members would actually want to work with him or welcome his presence even if they agree with him on key issues. And he is blissfully ignorant of this fact.
As votes were taken on removing or allowing the item associated with Diamond’s removal from the agenda, Diamond stood to scan the room noting who was on his side and who wasn’t. And as the meeting progressed, what struck me is how often Diamond raises his hand to speak, mostly to call attention to himself. The casual party member leaves with the impression that Diamond sees himself as the Party chair and not Henry Vandermeir. Every elected official and/or their alternate in Orange County who had a vote, voted for Diamond’s ouster with the exception of State Rep Sharon Quirk-Silva’s alternate who abstained.
The party did vote to endorse Diamond’s campaign for District Attorney, so Diamond, amazingly, is taking a victory lap. He left this comment on his own blog shortly after 2AM.
“I absolve Lowenthal, Quirk-Silva (whose rep abstained), and both Sanchez sisters. If it cost the Building Trades a lot of coin or chits to keep them in line — and that’s how politics usually works, after all — then I’m glad that my refusal to bow led to that transfer of wealth. They have given me more time to work on my lawsuits. While I wish I could continue as a DPOC Officer, more time to do justice is a damn good consolation prize!
Now they either pay through the nose to the DPOC — which was the point, after all — or they make our Chair out to be a liar. Who exactly “lost” here?”
“I’m very proud that my party stood me against the strong contrary preference of the Chair.
If (let’s say for the sake of argument) they gave in primarily over the threat of defunding by the unions, that disappoints me — but hell, that happens all the time in politics. Individuals like me have the luxury of being “profiles in courage,” to take on an extravagant label for what I’m doing here — officeholders and parties can’t do so as easily.
I’m much more heartened by their willingness to endorse than disheartened by their decision to remove me. And the only thing that really pisses me off, that I think was unjustifiable, is that they didn’t get to the resolution about Kring’s “saves us the cost of a trial” quote. But tarring and feathering is hard work, so they were tired.”
So Diamond now has what will likely be his only major endorsement. The other which he coveted, the OC Labor Fed, which won’t endorse him. There are still no issues or endorsements posted on Diamond’s campaign website.
The Diamond removal was a downer in what is otherwise a bright and growing movement in the Party. City by city Democratic Clubs are sprouting up all over OC, voter registration is up, good quality candidates are running for office, the Party is financially solvent. But Diamond has little to do with any of that.
Diamond’s already been pretty active commenting on his blog talking about all the things he’s going to do now that he’s not Party Vice Chair. He also seems oblivious to the fact he’s about as welcome in the Party as a bastard at a family reunion.