DPOC Boots Diamond from Party Leadership Position

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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.

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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.”

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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?”

And:

“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.

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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.

  18 comments for “DPOC Boots Diamond from Party Leadership Position

  1. Urizen
    April 30, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    This is a new level of pettiness. I have come to believe the rampant divisiveness of this site means that it is a deep, and I mean deep, Republican front.

  2. April 30, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    Sorry to disappoint you. This is not a Republican website. But occasionally some democrats get off on taring and feathering other democrats. It happens with republicans too.

    But I will not disagree with your analysis that there may be pettiness involved.

  3. Robert Curtis
    May 1, 2014 at 1:05 am

    I’m hoping this experience tempers him for his new position as our District Attorney. It will be interesting to have someone that stands up for his own principles regardless of the pressures that are set before him from his own party. Doing what is right is often not what is popular. TRUTH

  4. May 1, 2014 at 2:10 am

    Clearly you were not at the same event as I (although I do see myself dead center in one of your pictures). What I saw was a pettiness that amazed me that the party couldn’t get it’s act together to put forward from Committee that Greg should have the party’s support in his run for DA. I mean, this was a no brainer as was clearly seen from the vote on whether to endorse, but the party leadership couldn’t do it?

    Here is the question you should be asking of every member of the committee that refused to endorse Greg for DA, “You have an active Democrat who is fully qualified to be the DA running, did you vote to endorse him, and if not, why not?” I mean that is a major story in itself. The DPOC is supposed to recruit and endorse members of the party to run for every office, so why in the heck when a qualified candidate shows up did they not vote to endorse?

    I wonder why you left the big story on the cutting room floor and instead focused on the inside baseball side show put on by the Trade Unions.

    • May 1, 2014 at 9:07 am

      I was there (Greg took photos of me, much to his delight). I’ve had the chance to speak with a number of Central Committee members and rank and file Democrats since Monday night and it’s pretty clear to me that this wasn’t a spur of the moment effort. The text that “the Party Lanced a Boil” seems to be in broad agreement from the majority of the party members I spoke to about Greg. For all the bluster about Central Committee members being called and told how to vote, well Diamond made his own round of calls too. For all the discussion about Bylaws and Roberts Rules of Order, Diamond’s camp made an offer to have Diamond resign but replace Jeff Letourneau on the Executive Committee in defiance of the bylaws. As far as Chris’s comment about pettiness, I think everyone involved in this situation shares a degree of that including Diamond and his camp. That isn’t an excuse, but is an explanation. As far as the Union influence goes, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back; that was even reflected in the story from the Voice of OC. Where else are the Unions going to go? the Republicans? I don’t think so.

      Whether Greg knows it or not, I think the person he hurt the most was his future brother-in-law LaTourneau. Jeff spent a lot of political capital trying to salvage a sinking ship.

      Had Greg resigned and not put the Party through this, he could have rebuilt his reputation member by member by understanding why two-thirds voted to oust him. We can debate if these people showed up, he would have been saved. And I’d argue that there were votes of those who would have ousted him who didn’t attend either. Sure, the vote to oust him passed by one. But it was a two-thirds majority. So Diamond had support from 30 percent of the Party. .300 makes you a good hitter if you’re playing for the Angels, but if only 30 percent of the Party supports you, fighting to stay on in a leadership position on technicalities is just a position of weakness and ineffectiveness.

  5. May 1, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Dan, you are still following the side show, not the main event.

    I’ll resort to my programming mode..

    if (
    the party seeks to recruit qualified candidates for office
    &&
    the party has a qualified candidate for the DA’s office
    }
    then
    the party committee endorses the qualified candidate for the DA

    Now, that statement is in fact accurate to the reason that the party exists (in fact, during the side show one of the individuals complained that as a person in leadership Greg was NOT doing his job, which is the first portion of the if statement). So, when the first two “if” statements are both met, as they were with Greg, the then statement should have been executed. But it was not.

    As I said before, that is the big story here. You can’t say “well, the party only endorses if you can show the ability to fund your campaign” as there were endorsements of people that had no chance of raising the funds necessary to actually campaign against the deep pockets of the other side.

    What was the reason that the members of the committee were unable to endorse a qualified Democrat for office?

    When the Judge was up for consideration a number of people were able to point to a statement that the judge made six years earlier that were a just cause to deny him the endorsement. So, we should be able to get from the members of the committee a justification as to what Greg did that was a justification to deny him their endorsement.

    If there is no justification (other than they just don’t like Greg) then I think that the leadership has used their positions of power to effectively harm a qualified Democrat running for public office for personal reasons.

    If your goal is to bring transparency to the process, then why aren’t you chasing down this story on how the leadership failed to do the “right thing” because they were out to “punish” Greg punitively?

    Why the focus on the inside baseball removal from a leadership position in the private club called the DPOC that 99.9% of the public never see, but not one thing about how and why the committee failed to do it’s job, and that job being endorsing qualified Democrats for races for public office… something that the public actually does see.

    I think you are ducking the issue because we all know the answer was that the committee put their personal feelings ahead of the interests of the Party. And if there is anything that qualifies as a reason to be removed from leadership, it’s hurting the Party because you have a personal reason to do so.

    • May 2, 2014 at 12:12 am

      I’m confused. Are you under the impression that Greg was not endorsed for DA? It is my understanding that he was endorsed.

  6. Laura Datlow
    May 1, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    It appears we are getting closer to the REAL reason for Greg Diamonds dismissal.

    One has to wonder if La Tourneau was marry someone’s little sister, instead of Diamonds little brother, if this vote ever would have happened. We have read and heard the whispered rumors of Vandermeir’s snide comments about this relationship. Is he scared of a cabal, jealous or just a bigot?

    Regardless, this is ALL SO HIGH SCHOOL, we make Alan Bartlett and the Red County folks look like responsible people.

    Maybe it’s time to go GREEN?

  7. May 1, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    I haven’t heard or read a thing about any statements like that from Henry who is a remarkably private person for someone with his responsibilities. If you have any published documentation, please post it because I’ve never seen it.

    And yes, it’s very high school especially from the guy who got kicked out of the student council.

    If he had resigned, he’d have all the time for the battles he says he plans to fight but would be in a better place to work his way back into the party structure and be effective. As I said before, his interactions make him an unwelcome presence.

  8. May 2, 2014 at 12:31 am

    The leadership committee came back and said that they had not endorsed Greg. The the membership, who clearly are more in tune with the meaning of the party, went a bit unhappy and it came to the membership to determine to endorse Greg, which they did overwhelmingly since the bloody role of the party is to recruit Democrats to run for every office they are qualified for and then endorse and support them. Something the leadership in committee decided that they didn’t need to do for Mr. Diamond.

    And that, I believe, is a major story that Dan seems to want to overlook. The primary goal of the Party is to recruit and endorse (and help get elected) qualified Democratic candidates for public office. The “leadership” elected not to do so for a qualified Democrat for the DA’s office. The “leadership” should be questioned to find out what their reasons for not doing what is the primary purpose of the Party.

    So, I’m wondering why Dan is leaving THAT on the table to beat up on some inside baseball issues.

    • May 2, 2014 at 6:08 am

      Thanks for the clarification.

      For the record, we’re always looking for other points of view here at the LiberalOC. If you are interested in commenting as an author on this blog, please drop me an email at Chris@TheLiberalOC.com. Right now, it’s primarily Dan and I contributing, and even we (at least me) get a little bored being the only mouths yapping and fingers tapping on our keyboards.

  9. Dan Chmielewski
    May 2, 2014 at 8:46 am

    The DPOC has a person responsible for candidate recruitment, and they do a good job. There are some races, however, that are not easy to recruit for and the DA’s race is one of them. Tony Rack has lots of money and it would take an outstanding candidate with a combination of great personal wealth, a magnetic personality, and the ability to raise lots of money to beat him. Mr. Diamond, arguably, has one of the three elements there but not the magnetic personality to attract voters and support, but instead to repel them.

    I have no doubt that Greg will get votes from Democrats and those who don’t like Tony Rack. And then there will be voters like me who will do what they’ve done for this office for the past three election cycles — blank the race.

    The leadership of the party does recruit candidates for every office that is open, but they can’t force someone to run (for example, there are a lot of us who want Sukhee Kang to challenge Choi for Mayor in Irvine; good luck in getting Mr. Kang to run. And I’m told Labor really wants Kang to run, but they never did anything to help Kang in previous elections).

    I’ll say this; Greg and his friends have been very vocal and very public on the blogs whining about the decision Monday, If you could see my cell phone with the texts, phone calls I have taken and my email — none of which I’ll make public, there’s a very different story here. And the best way to describe it is Greg needs to understand there’s no “I” in “team.” A full 70 percent of the Party who was there to vote turned their back on Diamond. Instead of questions the actions of the majority of the party, perhaps some reflection of how Greg interacts with everyone is in order.

  10. May 2, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Greg left this comment on the story of his ouster on VOC:

    “Karl: I would not take money from Sharon’s campaign, period. The Building Trades have shown how serious they are here — and while I’m willing to accept grief for my own positions I would not ask another politician whom I admire to do so. It would not be fair and it would not be right.
    But you’re right — I guess that I could hit up Solorio.”

    Is it too late for the DPOC to rescind their endorsement for DA? Solorio is in a fight with a well funded Republican and control of the State Senate in mind, and the endorsed DPOC candidate for DA has that to say? Diamond ought to be ashamed of himself.

  11. Greg Diamond
    May 4, 2014 at 2:03 am

    To Chris’s comment, somewhere up above:

    Chris, the ad hoc “Endorsements Committee” that Henry put together recommended that I not be endorsed, giving two reasons, the first of which I don’t remember (but I remember thinking that it was wrong) and the second of which was “the Building Trades thing.”

    After a motion to endorse me despite the committee recommendation was made, Henry’s closest allies went along with him in opposing me. The motion passed something like 25-7. The criticism for opposing me is of the Endorsements Committee vote, not of the Central Committee vote overriding their recommendation.

    • May 4, 2014 at 10:35 am

      Do you want to let us know how many Central Committee members you threatened with a lawsuit for voting against you and on what grounds? That’s where the bullying charge comes from.

  12. Greg Diamond
    May 4, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    ???????

    Presuming that you’re not just making things up on your own now, whoever has been leaking you info has gone around the bend.

    If you have any basis for that smarmy accusation, you can publish it — who it is I supposedly personally “threatened with a lawsuit if they voted to remove me” — and then I’ll rebut it.

    It’s sad that Dan’s DPOC sources have come to this. Chris Prevatt, you may want to take a more active interest in what is going on with your blog.

    • May 5, 2014 at 9:21 am

      I’m simply waiting on a second source. Once I get it, I’ll post. I’ll point out that every story I wrote about your possible removal was accurate, especially how the unions’ gripes against you was the catalyst and not the reason for your removal. The way you assume how instructions on votes is simply laughable, without proof at all.

  13. Bill B.
    May 11, 2014 at 8:28 am

    One of the OC Dems’ superb 2013 populist accomplishments was turning back the 405 toll lanes. Would you kindly say how I can find out more about who and which groups swung that? That certainly seems like something that a majority of voters would easily have approved of, and that OC’s Dems deserve the credit. Right?

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