It’s not often you get to read the political equivalent of a suicide note, but I was astonished to read this comment from serial Democratic candidate and OJ blogger Greg Diamond in a post on the Orange Juice blog from last week. The comment was left on July 31, and my business trip really didn’t allow me the time to adequately address it until now.
A commenter who uses the name “David Vasquez” has gotten under Mr. Diamond’s skin; the first part of his comment appeared on this blog and the second part in a comment. There are Democrats in OC who want to work together to elect more Democrats. and there are others who seek to shame, bully and divide members to serve their own ego and selfish best interest. Mr. Diamond has appointed himself the chief arbiter of what the Party’s priorities should be, who is on the side of good government and who isn’t, and who is corrupt of not based on their previous associations. I wonder what he’d say if he knew one of his prized potential candidates he openly promotes took some college courses from former Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle.
In the note below, Mr. Diamond commits political suicide. I read this and wondered who in our party might actually want anything to do with him moving forward.
There are a significant number of OC Democrats who prefer this blog to Diamond’s bloviations. Several that I’ve spoken with have not seen the comment we post below. It’s time they did (some passages underlined by us for emphasis).
“The point of all this is to make other Democrats afraid to openly criticize party activities and especially party corruption, for fear that they will end up being treated like me. Is that what you wanted or expected when you became a politically active Democrat?
(2) The part I left out
Chairman Henry Vandimier is a liar and a cheat. I think that it’s useful for people to know this. Anyone in the party who wants details can ask.
Jose Solorio is a backstabbing and self-serving SOB who pretends to be liberal when it suits him but denies any position of solidarity with Latinos when he thinks that no one is looking, His primary interest is his own glory and success, even at the expense of the party (as he showed with his Committee votes when in the Assembly.) His selfishness and stupidity Hoovering up Party money in the 2014 campaign almost cost Tony Mendoza his Senate Seat in the very Democratic SD-32. I tried to warn people about that WAAAAAY in advance, as soon as the shocking primary results came in, but that was ignored because OC people care about Jose Solorio more than they do a liberal like Mendoza. Should this be some huge secret that cannot be said, like in Stalin’s USSR?
Lou Correa has cast some terrible votes, particularly on issues where he would have to go against his big donating hospitals, medical professionals, cops, and prison guards. These votes materially hurt — and I’d say even cost lives — in his largely poor State Senate district. A good Democrat isn’t supposed to care?
Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido, I am given to understand, has engaged in practices as Mayor that are either illegal or so unethical that they should call for censure. (That’s part of why the party endorsed against him in 2012 and why he barely avoided it happening again in 2014.) He is protected by his friendship with corrupt DA Tony Rackauckas.
Anaheim Councilman Jordan Brandman has not only tried to rip off the public with a $25,000 payment for a simple report for Tom Daly (one he should have done when he was on Daly’s staff, hobnobbing at public expense with other public officials) that he first didn’t turn in, then cribbed from Wikipedia, and then (I’ve been told, though I can’t vouch for it) had ghostwritten for him. I’ve covered his actions in Anaheim extensively elsewhere.
Anahiem mayoral candidate Lorri Galloway has done some good things, like her opposition to the GardenWalk Giveaway (joining with the “Take Back Anaheim” movement and her opposition to police violence back when Manual Diaz and Joey Acevedo were killed. After deciding to run for Mayor, though, she has backed away from both positions — and was in fact silent on pretty much all of the main issues facing Anaheim in last November’s election. (She apparently thinks that people don’t know why. Let her go on thinking that.) I argued against the DPOC endorsing her for Mayor because, as anyone who (like me) was paying attention, she clearly WAS NOT TRULY RUNNING COMPETITIVELY for the office. (editor’s note: Diamond is an expert in not truly running competitively, but we disagree with his assessment of Galloway’s campaign and so would Joe Shaw, Galloway’s campaign manager; the Galloway team ran a positive campaign). As the two candidates contending were one of the best Republicans around, incumbent Mayor Tom Tait, and a corrupt racist and de facto fascist, Lucille Kring, I thought that DPOC should not prevent the many Democrats who admire Tait — and he would have gotten the vast majority of Galloway’s votes — from electing Kring. I told the DPOC that Galloway wasn’t really running to win (as her expense reports later confirmed) and that she was going to finish third. (In that I was wrong: Tait so completely obliterated Kring in the pre-election surveys that her supporters gave up on her, She got only 19.4% to Galloway’s 20.4%, Tait getting 53.4%.) So technically she did finish second, solely because Kring was unexpectedly awful — in part because my home blog (but not this one) righteously and appropriately savaged her.
Santa Ana City Councilmember Vince Sarmiento: nope, Never savaged him. Someone leaked a story about him and I published it, seeking information from the public about the claims, because that was the only real way to get to the bottom of it. I have supported him before and will probably do so again. I am bothered by claims that he doesn’t live in his City, but I think I’m entitled to.
Former Garden Grove mayor Bruce Broadwater: corrupt SOB whom I opposed IN FAVOR OF THE ENDORSED DEMOCRAT, Bao Nguyen. Uh, that’s bad?
Orange Mayor Tita Smith: I can’t think of anything I’ve ever written “savaging” her. I may have criticized her relative conservatism, but she lives in Orange, for God’s sake, so I’d not likely hold it against her. (And I endorsed her.) I can only assume that someone trying to alienate her from me — we’ve never met — by lying. (Welcome to OC Dem politics!)
Former Chairman Frank Barbaro: well, first, what if I did? There’s a rule against that? I’m not going to go after Frank here now, though, because I’ve heard that he’s retreated from politics. People who want into who contributed to his “Victory Fund” while he was supposed to be in charge of fundraising for the DPOC can do so on their own time.
As for Eric Bauman, I don’t recall what I said about him regarding Janice Hahn, but if it was about her vicious, scurrilous, unfair and harmful attack on Debra Bowen for alleged anti-Semitism related to their race for Congress, it was justified to the extent that Bauman had anything to do with it. (If he did, I don’t remember.)
Any bad blood between me and Bauman would probably come first from my opposition to Prop 35 — the “CASE ACT” that blurred the line between sex between teenagers and consensual prostitution, on the one hand, and actual, horrible, forced human sexual trafficking — at the California Democratic Party meeting in 2012. Bauman puffed up like a peacock while proclaiming the party’s anti-prostitution stance — which, I expect, was largely for show.
The second cause of it would be from my strong opposition to Speaker John Perez’s rein of terror within the California Democratic Party, bullying his way to get whatever he wanted without any apparent thought of ethics or fairness. Bauman was Perez’s assistant, his employee in the Speaker’s Office, and his chief enforcer. He never took kindly to criticism of Perez. But that criticism was valid, whatever the consequences.
I know that he had come to hate me because — outside on the deck outside of the karaoke room at the same CDP convention in Los Angeles when Henry Vandermier tried to prevent Julio Perez from becoming Vice Chair of the Labor Caucus — he bellowed that sentiment to his friend, my brother-in-law. He was apparently a bit drunk at the time and hadn’t noticed that I had walked in and was lying on a deck chair in the same patio, angled away so that he couldn’t see me, waiting to drive my brother-in-law home. I was half-dozing off, but the content of that conversation was enough to make me instantly alert (and frozen stiff to ensure that I would not be seen.)
That wouldn’t be so much of a problem, but a few months later when the DPOC Chair — supposedly at the behest of the Building Trades, but I believe that the impetus went in the opposite direction — to remove me from the Vice-Chair position of the party. Henry Vandermier had had two mentors supporting him: Bauman, Chair of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, and Jess Durfee, Chair or Executive Director (can’t recall) of the San Diego County Democratic Party. Vandermier stepped away from the meeting that had been called to remove me — but he had installed Bauman as the substitute Chair and Durfee as the Parliamentarian!
This was bullshit — and I said so, noting the comments of his that I had overheard in Los Angeles. Bauman thundered that he had held meeting all over the Southland and NO ONE had ever questioned his integrity or impartiality. (Note: if you ever hear him say that again, it isn’t true even if it was at the time: I did.) This passionate show of umbrage would have sealed the deal against me, except for one thing: I knew that a whole lot of the votes that Henry had been counting on had not paid their dues and were therefore ineligible to vote. The deadline to pay dues — the beginning of the meeting — had already passed.
I forget whether I raised this issue at the right moment or my brother-in-law did the honors, but Vandermier simply opened up the floor and allowed members to pay their dues right then and be counted. That was underhanded, but it wasn’t illegal. However, about a half-dozen of the people didn’t have their money of checkbooks on them — and other people paid their dues so that they could vote. This is what you are specifically told not to do when it comes to political contributions — anyone who has raised money knew about it — and Henry led the way to doing it. I decided not to file an FPPC Complaint about it at the time because I still hoped for some semblance of harmony — and, moreover, my desire not to be blamed for the party’s likely losses in 2014, due largely to incompetent leadership. (They went ahead and blamed me anyway.)
The Chair and/or Parliamentarian ALSO upheld a ruling that it was OK for me not to have been given the charges against me until literally five minutes before I was supposed to defend myself. (If my prime accuser Florice Hoffman comes here and says otherwise, she will have a big surprise, because I still have the voicemails that she said constituted notice, as well as a videotape of the meeting.)
There were other ridiculous violations of fairness as well: while eleven or so accusers came up and presented a well-orchestrated litany of charges against me — NONE of which, as had been settled when Reggie Mundekis had been removed from office during the previous cycle, satisfied the requirements of the Bylaws. They didn’t care. The Chair and Parliamentarian didn’t stop it. Unlike the orchestrated “prosecution,” I had no control over who would rebut the charges against me or what they would say. I got to speak I think twice, maybe three times. Many of the speakers on my behalf were diffident and intimidated. (I mean, OC doesn’t get the Vice-Chair of the California Democratic Party to ride in and preside over a kangaroo court every day!)
It has been 15 months since I was removed and replaced by Vandermier protege Monika Broome, who never makes waves against him in public and prominently buys into what passes for his program. I haven’t written about Bauman’s role in my removal — or much about the event itself — until now. I suppose that I could elaborate if the need arose, but that’s enough for one night.
So, while I don’t remember when I “badmouthed” LA County Chairman Eric Bauman with a disparaging insult to (relating to Janice Hahn), I sure as hell remember why Bauman earned badmouthing from me — even though I’ve held myself back from discussing it for a long time. It made me feel good when Betty Yee beat Bauman’s boss John Perez in the race to make the runoff for Controller. Vandermier, by the way, supported Yee as well — and Bauman loudly laid into him at his betrayal of Perez after all he’d done for him. But by that point, I was gone.
Vandermier’s top lieutenant from OC Young Democrats was the same Johnny Barba that you see mentioned in Vern’s story on support for Poseidon. There are a lot of really good, reform-minded Democrats in OC — now largely coalescing around the Sanders campaign — who have remained remarkably loyal to Vandermier because he comes to their meetings and talks about how how progressive he really is on the inside, ever as he allows the DPOC to become as retrogressive on all but lifestyle issues as any local supposed Democratic Party I’ve seen. Maybe that’s what is meant by “progress.” Anyway, I’m not supposed to say any of this out loud, because dissent is not to be tolerated.
Take this a step further; any dissent against positions held by Diamond or political leaders admired by Diamond or clients of his step-daughter get a free pass. For example, Brea’s Brett Murdock is a member of what Diamond describes as the “Trickledown” wing of that party — otherwise known as business Democrats who are good at raising money and spending it on campaigns. Yet Mr. Murdock gets a relatively free pass from Mr. Diamond. Why? Did Murdock have something to do with the email list Mr. Diamond used to alert mostly Murdock supporters in Brea of his new and seldom-updated blog?
Lastly, we’ll note this blog is not an official party organ. Even if a majority of DPOC members prefer the content posted here to Mr. Diamond’s two blogs. For those who know Superman lore, there’s a Bizarro world out there where down is up, right is wrong, and in Mr. Diamond’s case, Democrats openly promote conservative Republicans….
Bizarro Diamond…..that gives me an idea. More later….