Editor’s note: The following submission was sent to TheLiberalOC by a writer who chooses to remain anonymous. The document is largely cribbed from legal documents submitted by Lenore Albert-Sheridan and Greg Diamond over Albert-Sheridan’s filing to have Diamond removed from any state and county party leadership positions.
I’ve edited to correct the record a couple of times from mistakes made by Mr. Diamond in his responses and to provide information he conveniently left out that add value to Albert-Sheridan’s claims. I’ve also bolded some text (but some additional text came bolded) for emphasis because it strengthens Albert-Sheridan’s argument. I’m always amused about Diamond’s assumptions about my personal relationships with various individuals – something he gets wrong regularly.
This blog has described Mr. Diamond as a cancer on the local Democratic Party. He still is. His actions are divisive and vindictive. Many central committee members actually thought he and Jeff Letourneau — his own brother-in-law — were about to come to blows over the endorsement vote of Eric Bauman for CDP chair. The Party is supposed to be a big tent, but not when it comes to Mr. Diamond. And for that, he ought to be removed from party leadership positions that he holds.
Here’s the story:
On Friday August 25, 2017, the California Democratic Party will hold its Executive Board meeting here in Orange County, California.
One item of local interest on the agenda is the petition to terminate Greg Diamond’s membership as a Delegate to the State Central Committee.
The grounds to terminate membership are stated in the CDP Bylaws. There are four grounds stated in the Bylaws:
This Committee may remove any member if, during his/her term of membership,
- such member affiliates with or registers as other than Party Preference Democratic;
- publicly avows preference for another party;
- publicly advocates that the voters should not vote for the endorsed candidate of This Committee for any office; or
- who publicly gives support to or avows a preference for a candidate registered as other than Party Preference Democratic in the voter nominated top two open primary.
Several instances are outlined justifying Greg Diamond’s removal. This article will just focus on Greg Diamond’s filed response to the charges on July 5, 2017. In his response, he expressly waived any right to privacy in what he filed.
Greg Diamond admitted to some of the conduct, especially when it came to Brian Chuchua.
In paragraph 10 of the petition:
- On or about May 12, 2016, it was admitted on the Orange Juice Blog Greg Diamond was working on Republican Brian Chuchua’s campaign. At some point in time, Brian Chuchua refiled as a NPP. However, there was a Democrat on the ballot.
Greg Diamond’s blogpost containing his admission was attached and referenced on page 26. On July 5, 2017, Greg Diamond replied that he did run the campaign for Brian Chucha while de-emphasizing the fact that there was a Democrat running for the same Assembly District:
- Denied. The ordering of events implicit in this allegation is misleading. Brian Chuchua was a Republican through roughly the end of 2015, but was also an ally of Asmb. Sharon Quirk-Silva in both 2014 and 2016, Democratic Anaheim City Council candidates Dr. Jose Moreno (now elected) and Arturo Ferreras, now-elected Democratic community college trustee candidate Ed Lopez, as well as many non-candidate Democrats, leading up to the 2016 election. Chuchua informed Respondent that he had quit the Republican Party in or around December 2015. Knowing that Chuchua was interested in running for office, Respondent agreed to manage his campaign for AD-68 – one of the most Republican districts in the state – so long no endorsed Democrat was in the race, but that if a Democrat emerged and was endorsed Respondent would have to drop out of that role. In March 2016, Chuchua filed for office as an NPP against five or so Republicans. An unknown Democrat did file for the race on the last possible day – largely campaigning, to the scant extent he did at all, on standard Republican platform of opposition to gun control and such – but he did not seek the DPOC endorsement. (See below at ___ for more discussion of this race.)
(Editor’s note: this candidate was Sean Panahi, who filed to run after the party’s endorsement meeting. Panahi was the top vote getter in the June 2016 primary with 32,610 votes or 33%; Chuchua finished second to last with just 4,635 votes or 4.7%. It is fantasy on Diamond’s part to believe Chuchua – without a Democrat in the race – would have finished in the top two.)
Paragraph 14 of the petition alleged:
- On May 12, 2016 it was written on Greg Diamond’s blog that “Note Greg has a conflict in this race because he’s helping Brian Chuchua’s campaign.” It went on to explain that “Brian Chuchua is a long time Republican.” (on or about page 26)
Greg Diamond, a man who apparently is never at a loss for words, replied:
- Denied.6 Petitioners refer readers to “(on or about page 26)” of their statement to the proposition that Respondent had written that “Brian Chuchua is a long time Republican.” If this was written in 2016, he would have written that “Brian Chuchua had been a long time Republican,” because Chuchua quit that party in disgust at the end of 2015. A look at page 26 shows it to be the first page of a story Respondent wrote about Petitioners’ counsel Lenore Albert on the occasion of her announcing her run for Chair.7 Petitioners start by quoting Albert’s political patron Dan Chmielewski, who in his blog “The Liberal OC” described her thusly: She is also known for filing paperwork with the state party to have DPOC Central
Committee member Greg Diamond removed from the Democratic Party [sic] due to his longstanding support of conservative [sic] Republican Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait, for serving as campaign manager to independent Brain [sic] Chuchua in AD68 even though Sean Panhani [sic], was the only Democrat in the race, and for blog attacks on elected Democrats in Orange County [sic]. We’re told this case is still pending.
Note that Chmielewski, himself a DSCC member to whom Respondent usually refers to in print jocularly as “Chumley,” himself refers to Chuchua as an “independent” – in other words, NPP – rather than as a “longtime Republican.” He also conflates removal from the DSCC with removal from the Democratic Party in toto, mischaracterizes the political views of Anaheim’s Mayor, and mischaracterizes the bases of the present statement as including political alliance with the Mayor (against some truly vicious and corrupt Republicans) and for published criticisms of Democratic electeds for voting far too often with Republicans, taking money from Big Oil and Big Tobacco, and scuttling Democratic initiatives such as single-player health care – none of which are actually included in this complaint, the one he was describing.
Still on page 27, Respondent is quoted as responding “for the record” (emphasis added):
(1) I’ve supported Tom Tait’s (editor’s note: a conservative Republican Mayor) positions where they overlap the positions of the “good government” wing of the Democratic Party, which they often do. I argued against endorsing Lorri Galloway’s (editor’s note: the endorsed candidate for Mayor by the DPOC in 2014) hapless campaign for Mayor against him because of the danger of it leading to the election of execrable and corrupt bigot Lucille Kring. When I lost that vote — when Galloway, who had claimed to be called by God to run, made various “overpromises” about her viability in the race, I followed DPOC rules and did not endorse Tom. (Editor’s note: but would have endorsed Tait if he could have.)
(2) I did manage Brian Chuchua’s campaign for AD68 in the primary because — unlike Sean Panahi (the actual spelling) he could have won over either execrable Harry Sidhu or execrable Stephen Choi, largely because he would have had Tait’s enthusiastic support as well as that of any straight thinking Democrats. (He has [quit] the GOP in disgust.) Brian would have voted with good government Democrats between a third and half of the time, by my estimate, and before that last year that was by far the best we could ever have gotten out of AD68. If Chuchua had become the swing vote in the Assembly, as seemed quite plausible, it would have been great for good government types and for OC in particular. And Panahi entered the race at almost the last moment and had nothing going for him other than a largely Republican platform and a D after his name. Because Panahi took the Democratic votes that could have gone to Independent Chuchua — among whose sins is support for [Democratic now-Anaheim Councilman] Dr. Jose Moreno during his attendance at Los Amigos — we lost the chance to compete for as much as half a loaf in November.
(Editor’s note: pure fantasy; Tait would not have supported Chuchua in the primary against four Republicans and did not do so even though he could have; Diamond chose an NPP candidate over a viable Democrat and skated on thin ice over the term “endorsed” to manage a campaign when he should have supported Panahi.)
Chuchua would have the support of Anaheim’s popular Mayor Tom Tait – a Republican with whom he the same set of Democratic allies, including Dr. Jose Moreno, Kring’s 2016 opponent Arturo Ferreras, and now-Community College Board member Ed Lopez, plus Sharon Quirk-Silva, with whom he worked closely on the now-approved Southern California Veterans Cemetery – and as an NPP (appealing to NPP voters) with the support of his (largely Latino and veterans) Democratic allies and support from Tait Republicans, he had a good chance of finishing in the Top Two (editor’s note: Tait never supported Chuchua in the race; there was nothing stopping him from doing so). He could then prevail against a very flawed Republican opponent – either eventual winner Steven Choi or Harry Sidhu – with a combination of Democratic, NPP, and less-ideological Republican support. Chuchua is tolerant of LGBT rights, opposes corporate giveways, and has fighting corruption as his signature concern – as the potential vote giving some Democratic initiative a 2/3 Assembly majority, the price that Democrats would pay for his vote would generally have come in the coin of greater oversight, anti-cronyism provisions, and other good-government measures. Having had him as the 54th Assembly vote, had Democrats needed him in that position, would have been an extraordinary achievement for the interests of the party, given its coming from a deep-red seat.
Devising and working to implement a plan that would aid both Democratic and reformist agendas – a plan that ran aground because a young lawyer belatedly saw an opportunity to publicize his name – is in other words the offense for which Petitioners would like to see Respondent banished. The nominal Democrat did finish second in the race (Editor’s note: incorrect–Panahi finished first in the primary), taking what was otherwise likely Chuchua’s support, and lacking ties to any of the political forces in the district he lost badly in November. This campaign was a perfect example of why a literal interpretation of Section 9(b) is extremely self-defeating; had Respondent’s plan worked, and had Chuchua been (for concessions worth giving!) the 54th vote for a major proposal CDP would be taking credit for it. It simply does not, in any way, call for sanctions against Respondent.
Greg Diamond then went on to justify his actions of supporting candidates in voter nominated races that were not Democrats.
He has also characterized his blog as the “type of public writing that Respondent has done for over five years in Orange County, becoming widely read as the most comprehensive source of election recommendations in the county.”
So now the question is posed to the Democrats of Orange County, do you support Greg Diamond’s conduct of being a delegate to the California Democratic Party representing you while he is actually campaigning for the other guy in voter nominated races? What does it mean to work for the California Democratic Party if you can work against it at the same time? Should we avoid these types of conflicts of interest where people working as campaign managers or related to people acting as treasurers for campaigns work on campaigns for candidates that are not Democrats when they are elected to be a delegate for the DSCC?
People have been asking what does it mean to be a Democrat? Can you honestly say you can be a Democrat and represent registered Democrats if you are helping those outside the party win the voter nominated seats?
The author of the petition, Lenore Albert does not think so. Three Executive Board members, Ray Cordova, Benny Diaz and Melahat Rafaei also signed onto the petition along with Delegates Ed Garza and Phil Silverthorn.
In what should be the final nail in the coffin is Diamond’s piece in the Orange Juice Blog on May 18, 2017 where he called DPOC Central Committee Members and eBoard members “cheaters” because the Party voted to endorse Eric Bauman for State Party Chair. http://www.orangejuiceblog.com/2017/05/dpoc-insiders-cheat-to-gain-a-cdp-chair-endorsement-for-eric-bauman/
Diamond wrote: That headline was months in the making — and it exposed some of the worst “rigging of the system” that has outraged rank-and-file Democrats and our allies for, especially, the past two years. The election was a sham; the process was absurd; the result was illegitimate.
And “There is, in my opinion, some villainy at work in rigging OC votes in this election for Bauman, but it comes from other sources.”
And “But political corruption succeeds in part by convincing people to put the comfort of such personal relationships above the general interest, above one’s fiduciary responsibility (if one so feels it) to whom one represents. And I say, to hell with that. I will continue to sit in DPOC meetings, both the general Central Committee meetings and the Executive Committee, until I am expelled from them. The DPOC has been too wrong about too many things for too long to care too much about how its insiders feel. I’m elected to resist such pressures, not cave in to them.”
Editor’s note: Diamond has vilified a number of Democrats in Orange County for years. Among those he’s shamed include Henry Vandermeir, Melahat Raifiei (calling for her to resign from DNC the day she was elected), Larry Agran, Beth Krom, Sukhee Kang, Jose Solorio, Lou Correa, Lorri Galloway, Jordan Brandman (even suggested Brandman should be indicted), Melissa Fox, Karina Onofre, Sean Panahi among others.
All must meet some sort of purity test for Diamond. But there’s nary a word of criticism for Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait who frankly deserves some. When Kang was running for State Senate, he tried several times to meet with Diamond just to be heard out and Diamond refused.
Removing someone from a positon of party leadership is messy, especially as we seek unity in a post-Trump world. But to achieve unity, Party dividers like Greg Diamond ought to be shown the door. Democrats who agree should attend the August 25 meeting in Anaheim (I am unable to because of a prior commitment for my daughter). Be prepared to speak out.