OJ Blog Lets Dunn Campaign Edit a Post


OJ Blogger Vern Nelson

OJ Blogger Vern Nelson

Orange Juice blogger Vern Nelson put up a fawning post about CD-46 Congressional candidate Joe Dunn on Tuesday; the post was up for about five hours and yanked, only to re-appear about 36 hours later.  Nelson removed the post at the request of the Dunn campaign in order to correct a few factual errors.

Correcting a few factual errors take a couple of minutes.  Not 36 hours.  Why so long?

Nelson says he asked the candidate to correct these mistakes.  The question of why was a post missing for a day and a half for a few factual errors is one thing; letting the campaign edit the post to protect the image of said candidate is quite another.

“They said there were a few inaccuracies and theyre (sic) gonna (sic) get back today with corrections,” Nelson wrote in a text.

I posed questions to Carina Franck-Patone, who heads up Dunn’s campaign, as I was texting Nelson.  I didn’t hear back from her, but Nelson let me know she was texting him about my queries.  I wrote to Nelson: “You are allowing the campaign to edit your post.  You’re a whore Vern.  Would you extend the same privilege to Correa, Brandman, Bao?  Whore.”

Nelson then posted the campaign edited story:  “There.  I dare you to find the corrections.  Those two are sticklers for historical precision though.”

I’m quite sure unflattering statements were removed.  I’m not sure Nelson understands the concept of “off the record” and he has no filter.

I asked Nelson once more, if Lou Correa, Jordan Brandman or Bao Nguyen would be extended the same courtesy of editing a post about them on the Orange Juice blog and Nelson offered this:  “If I made some factual errors in a piece about Lou or Jordan, I would welcome them or their people or anybody correcting them.  And if you were honest, you’d quote me on that.  But you won’t.”

Just did.

Franck-Patone finally did respond to a query: “I understand that there were historical and factual errors/statements.  Hopefully there will be a posting with accurate information.”

I wrote: “You let a drunk do an interview and expected accuracy.  Now you’re editing a post.”

She replied, “Yes, we expect accuracy in facts presented and statements.”

That’s great news.  Then I’ll ask the Dunn campaign — and her here publicly — again to release the data on the additional $120,000 in donations that they report came in after the 9/30/2015 filing deadline and issued a press release to cite a clear fundraising advantage.  A claim uncritically challenged by Nelson.  When Dunn and I met earlier this month, I asked him about it and he won’t release the details until after the end of December filing deadline.  I told him it was unethical for his campaign to release that sort of news and that’s why only friendly blogs are reporting this fundraising advantage (the Voice of OC’s press release page will allow this claim on their site as they carry news releases verbatim).

So here’s what we have so far.  Joe Dunn is a nice guy.  He’s smart.  He hasn’t held office in almost 10 years.  Most voters don’t remember anything about Enron or Dunn’s role in “bringing down” Enron (California Lawyer Magazine is the original source of the story).  For the record, the person who brought down Enron was Sherron Watkins, the former vice president of the company and the whistleblower who exposed the corporation in 2001.  Steven Greenhut even made fun of Dunn’s claims in a 2006 Register opinion piece.  Dunn certainly played a part, but there are journalists, law enforcement professionals, and prosecutors who all claim a piece of the “Bringing Down Enron” pie.  And Dunn’s campaign people will have blog posts about him pulled and “inaccuracies corrected” while issuing news claiming a fundraising advantage while refusing to provide proof.  Is it too much to ask for some transparency from the campaign…a little…proof?

And Dunn announced his first endorsement today.  To the surprise of no one, the Orange County Employees Association has backed Dunn for Congress.  Here’s the release:

Orange County’s Largest Public Service Workers Union Backs Joe Dunn for Congress

Santa Ana, Calif. – The Orange County Employee Association (OCEA) has endorsed Joe Dunn for California’s 46th Congressional District, announced the Joe Dunn for Congress campaign.

OCEA is the largest union representing Orange County’s public service workers and is one of the most active political organizations in the region. OCEA members are the public health workers, social workers, mental health care providers, court workers, support staff, and more who are key to keeping Orange County neighborhoods safe.

“As Congress increasingly fails to deliver for Orange County’s middle class, we need someone with experience who puts workers first and won’t back down,” said OCEA General Manager Jennifer Muir.  “Joe Dunn is that leader, and we need him in Congress fighting for us. Joe has continually been a champion for our communities and has the strongest record of breaking through partisan roadblocks to help working families succeed.”

Joe’s dogged pursuit of justice for our communities across a spectrum of fiscal, legal, educational, and health care reforms makes him the best candidate to break through Washington’s bureaucracy and fight to expand the middle class in Orange County.

Joe Dunn has more than thirty years of experience holding big corporations and government bureaucracies accountable to Orange County’s middle-class families. Joe empowered communities through the legal system to stop polluters and fought drug companies. He investigated Enron and other unethical energy companies manipulating prices.  He took on oil companies ripping off consumers at the gas pump. He also stood up to gun manufacturers.

Joe fought to secure millions of dollars from tobacco companies to be used for local health care services and community clinics. While heading the California Medical Association, Joe worked with physicians to help broaden access to affordable health care for Californians.

During the latest fundraising quarter, Joe took the lead among all candidates for the most contributions received and now has more than $250,000 cash on hand. He is also the only candidate with a voting record that has consistently ranked higher than all other CD 46 candidates with California’s most recognized environmental, women’s choice, equality, consumer protection, and labor groups.


We bolded that line because its not a verified fact; accuracy being important to the Dunn campaign and all.



  25 comments for “OJ Blog Lets Dunn Campaign Edit a Post

  1. Pinky
    November 19, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    Nice gut Vern

  2. November 19, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    This is almost too lame to respond to, and I won’t write more than one comment here. I dare Dan or any of his tiny gang of anonymous spitball throwers to find any of the changes that I made. I didn’t change anything that was critical (such as on his Mideast stances) or braggadocious things he may have thought (but didn’t specify) were off the record, but which I thought were great.

    No, all the changes were small details about things that happened 10 or 20 years ago. Maybe the biggest correction – Joe’s Veterans Homes Bond was in 2000, and my notes said that he said 2005. All stuff like that. Since the piece is on track to be read by thousands of readers, I wanted it to be 100% accurate, just as the campaign does.

    When this Bitter Mediocrity known as Dan brings up my drinking, it’s a telltale sign that he’s Got Nothing. Just as when he adds “sic” to punctuation omissions in somebody’s PHONE TEXT.

    Also try a little harder to spell people’s names correctly, Dan – it is Carina Franck-Pantone. She’s only been active in Democratic politics around here for like forever.

    Under Dan’s guidance the Liberal OC continues to hit new lows, and I don’t mean just their readership. Sometimes it’s gross and cruel, sometimes hilariously lame, sometimes just dumb and petty. This would fall in the third category. Have fun everybody!

    • November 19, 2015 at 4:54 pm

      1000s, yet only six ever comment…..

    • November 19, 2015 at 4:56 pm

      Thanks. I fixed her last name….but she may have been active in Dem politics but I never see her anywhere. If she’s behind Dunn’s campaign issuing news on their fundraising, it’s an ethical fail Vern

    • November 19, 2015 at 5:53 pm

      Vern, your edited post has been up 24 hours. One new comment. An endorsement from the Winships. Thousands of readers. Tens maybe. You don’t get it. You undermined your editorial integrity handing the post over to the campaign. You’re their bitch until June.

  3. David Vasquez
    November 19, 2015 at 10:32 pm

    Yeah, Frank-Pantone is another one of those weird souls. Kind of like Tait, Dunn, Letourneo , perched high in Million dollar homes, hosting Friday night parties that cost more than Greg Diamonds monthly grocery bill. They call these get-togethers “Kickbacks” or some clever name, but they are cocktail parties.
    Nothing wrong with that, except when you start claiming you are “with and of the people” and in touch with the “working class” REALLY?
    This thing is going to get competitive (and ugly) fast lost in it all may be two things: the voters and the Democrats in this congressional district. Heck, I guess if you can spend a thousand bucks to decorate your house for Halloween and then go advocate for the poor at the city council meeting, you must be influential.

  4. BD
    November 20, 2015 at 2:37 am

    Not everyone who reads comments Dan. Maybe Vern made a mistake with his article, maybe he didn’t. But he’s one of the good guys and we all know it. If you have an issue with his article, take it up with him. And if you notice a trend, then write something. But don’t publically bash someone who’s clearly on the right side of things. You’re in the wrong.

    • November 20, 2015 at 8:53 am

      In case you missed a point, the Dunn campaign reported $120,000 came in to their coffers allegedly after the 9/30 deadline to claim a huge fundraising advantage over the other candidates in the race. They won’t release this list. But they insisted mistakes in Vern’s post be fixed and he turned the post over to the campaign for editing. Do as I say, not as I do? In both cases, I question the ethics of the campaigns actions

      • BD
        November 20, 2015 at 11:57 am

        There were two points. One of them went too far. I still love the lib of course….

  5. Gustavo Arellano
    November 20, 2015 at 4:17 am

    Dan’s hatred of Orange Juice is turning him into Bloviator Lite…

    • November 20, 2015 at 8:56 am

      Dude, I love OJ. I hate two things: the Washington Redskins and Georgetown basketball. How’s the sale of your newspaper coming?

  6. Gentrifier
    November 20, 2015 at 7:06 am

    Is this the same Gustavo that wanders Downtown Santa Ana in his Chuck Taylor’s and a dirty Guayabera shirt going from hipster bar to hipster bar drinking bourbon?

    • Gustavo Arellano
      November 20, 2015 at 11:39 am

      Awesome—yet another coward anonymous troll, who’s probably the same loser pal of Dan! I’m on a gin kick as of recent, but gracias for caring and serving in Dan’s proxy wars!

      • Pinky
        November 20, 2015 at 12:28 pm

        Did you ever read the comments on your own site before you went to Facebook? What’s Spanish for “hypocrite”?

        • November 20, 2015 at 7:41 pm

          And duh, he went to Facebook comments so now he doesn’t have anonymous assholes like Pinky. There’s another big ZERO of a comment for ya.

          • David Vasquez
            November 20, 2015 at 8:43 pm

            I don’t know you. You don’t me. I am OK with that.
            Let’s not pretend that Facebook comments or Disqus or any of the other services used to quash dissention are useful, well intentioned or otherwise.
            As an example, the Voice Of OC, which long permitted anonymous comments (in the early days OVERWHELMINGLY from county employees on the clock before the retribution set in) after threat being complicit in a lawsuit ERASED years of comments. Stalwart commenters like BEEZLEBUB, reappear as LFOLDTIMER, Henry Gattis as BENDEYHO, and there are other examples.
            Of course, OPEN HONEST dialogue is best, but given the climate of the blogesphere it is unrealistic. Your editor, Greg Diamond has said he has researched my identity, profession and family and while stopping short of a threat, basically said “I KNOW WHO YOU ARE” (all the while claiming I am some kind of “Anonymous Crank” or “Political Ninja”). Greg Diamonds mental illness notwithstanding, I tire of any realistic comment being dismissed as “cowardly”, and it is disappointing to see people like Gustavo, who built his career and newspaper on flaming comments bitch now.
            Why must everything come a FLAME war? We get that Diamond is DESPERATE for attention, sick and we (most of the OC Democratic establishment) accept it and treat him like the CRAZY BEGGAR outside Starbucks you might consider harmless and so you throw him a quarter. BUT, That doesn’t mean the beggar (Greg) needs to be invited into every trip inside the store!

          • November 20, 2015 at 10:59 pm

            Let me know when you stop using anonymous comments Vern

            • November 21, 2015 at 6:48 am

              Exhibit one million of how stupid Dan is. Look again at how my comment specifically eviscerates Pinky’s meaningless comment to Gustavo. I”ve got no problem allowing some anonymous comments on my blog. My only point is the utter vacuity of Pinky calling Gustavo a “hypocrite” for having STOPPED allowing something that this blog happily allows. This makes Gustavo, in this case, the OPPOSITE of a hypocrite. But I’m sure that flies right over your head, so I’m done here.

              • November 21, 2015 at 7:36 am

                Vern, it’s pretty easy to set up a fake Facebook ID. Can we instead address the notion of how you’ll change a post for the Dunn campaign but won’t due so on Diamond’s post on why Brandman is missing tonight’s Truman dinner? You’ve already demonstrated your own lack of integrity. If anyone is the coward here, it’s Diamond himself who I understand isn’t going to the dinner. Are you? Tickets a little pricey for you? Because almost everyone going tonight really doesn’t want to interact with you or Greg

                • November 21, 2015 at 1:36 pm

                  You referring to the half-dozen Dem insiders who’ve contacted me to thank & compliment me for my Dunn story? Or the two different ones who offered me spots at their tables? No offense but I got better things to do this particular Saturday night.

                  Oh hey, lame brain, Greg has already posted a whole story on your Strep Throat Bombshell.

                  And no, I think I’ll stick to what I was commenting about – stupid Pinky calling Gustavo a hypocrite for what even he had to admit was cleaning up his site’s comments section.

                • November 22, 2015 at 8:21 pm

                  Only six? And there’s only 7 comments most from the usual suspects. How many who contacted you were from the Dunn campaign? I didn’t go but did sponsor a table.

                • November 23, 2015 at 8:04 pm

                  You really think you can guess the number of readers a post gets by the number of comments? And you’ve been doing this how long?

                  I once complained to Gus Ayer that “some of my best stories that get the most readers get very few comments,” and he said, “That’s because sometimes you’re so thorough that people don’t know what to add.”

                • November 24, 2015 at 8:28 am

                  No. And you can’t get how many readers we have either by that same logic.

  7. Justin Case
    November 20, 2015 at 8:18 am


    I find it difficult to believe that you have not corrected errors, or phrasing in an article about a candidate upon their request, if you like that candidate. But is you want to stand by a “Never doe it” position we’ll just have to take your word for it.

    Midway through this post I was starting to understand that your issue was with Vern, and not Joe Dunn’s campaign. That was until you rolled the significant endorsement of Orange County Employee’s Association for Dunn’s campaign.

    You wrote: to the surprise of no one, the Orange County Employees Association has backed Joe Dunn for congress. Here’s the release…

    First, an endorsement by OCEA for Dunn should not have been considered a foregone conclusion. If anything, readers of this blog would be surprised to hear the largest public employees union in the county endorsed Dunn. You dedicated three separate posts about labor support for Lou Correa.

    The first asked the question of whether Correa was Labor’s Candidate. The second touted tjhe endorsement of retired labor leader Ray Cordova. The third was to reprint the Correa campaign’s release about his endorsement by the painters and allied trades union.

    The fact that you chose to roll the Dunn campaign release inside a negative post about Vern Nelson and his editiorial ethics in letting the Dunn Campaign make suggested changes, demonstrates a clear bias on you part aginst Joe Dunn.

    If you want to stand on the soapbox of ethics and integrity, the least you could do is fairly represent the information from campaigns that you post.

    • Dan Chmielewski
      November 20, 2015 at 8:49 am

      We’ve made corrections to mistakes before. That’s not an issue Pulling an entire post to let a campaign edit it for accuracy AS THAT SAME campaign won’t release details about announced fundraising IS the issue. This post isn’t so much about Vern as it is about the Dunn campaign making claims that cannot be vetted while demanding accuracy on other things

Comments are closed.