San Diego Union Tribune: Applegate Poses Problem for Democrats in CD49

Applegate social media post about HRC

You have to admire the bloggers at the Orange Juice Blog for their ability to promote CD-49 Doug Applegate regardless of the performance in polls, pre-endorsement caucuses and the Convention. Clean enegry lawyer Mike Levin has been smoking Applegate in virtually every poll, straw poll and vote, yet Applegate – who got just 27% of the delegate vote Saturday as the leader in the race to be the next Congressional rep from CD-49 to the guy who got 53%. OJ cites Applegate’s legion of volunteers as the difference; but those volunteers were out in force in San Juan Capistrano and in San Diego and seemed to have little impact.

The San Diego Union Tribune thinks Democrats have an Applegate problem. From this column:

Doug Applegate came within a whisker of defeating Republican incumbent Darrell Issa in 2016, despite revelations that Applegate was accused of stalking, harassing and threatening his ex-wife, who obtained a restraining order against him in 2002 and another in 2004. 

The retired Marine colonel also was ordered by the court to relinquish two firearms.

Applegate’s campaign manager at the time said the allegations were dismissed, the restraining orders rescinded, and his handguns were returned.

Still, that’s a lot of baggage under any circumstances, and even more so in the #MeToo era and at a time when Democrats have sharply criticized the Trump administration for hiring two White House aides who have been accused of domestic violence by ex-wives.

After details about Applegate’s contentious divorce surfaced in the fall of 2016, his former wife, Priscilla Greco, put out a statement defending him 

The campaign issued a similar statement from Greco on Monday following the state Democratic convention in San Diego over the weekend.

“I’m disappointed that uninformed people are yet again making disrespectful and personal attacks against our family,” she said.

“We went through a difficult divorce as many people have, but to take things out of context and make Doug out to be an abuser is absurd. Doug and I are parents first, and we raised two amazing children together. I support his run for Congress and I will be voting for him in June and November 2018.”

Nevertheless, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats may be hard pressed to support Applegate and pour resources into his campaign. Like most everyone else, they were blindsided by Applegate’s background late in the 2016 campaign. They can’t say that now.

So Greg Diamond has accused me of spreading a “false rumor” that Applegate was preparing to fold his tent prior to the CDP Convention and instead run for San Diego County supervisor.  Well, the Voice of San Diego is the news source that extensively reported that story.  And from that story, this:  “On Feb. 9, county officials confirm, Democrat Doug Applegate changed his primary residency from San Clemente to Oceanside — creating the possibility of running for the San Diego County Board of Supervisors’ 5th District.

That was two days after SEIU opened an independent expenditure committee in San Diego County to support him, should he decide to run. The only problem was that state law required he establish primary residency in the county district at least 30 days before the nomination period closed. The filing deadline is March 9.”

The Voice of San Diego also reported Applegate doesn’t have the funds to compete with Mike Levin or Sara Jacobs.  Fundraising is an issue.  And when I followed up on the story, sources told me Applegate missed the filing deadline for BoS by two days.  My source said, “so now he’s all in for Congress again.”

So Applegate isn’t “holding the hill” as much as he’s “hanging by his fingernails.”

Another Diamond favorite, the “lie” or “Issa-invented slander” of Applegate who went through a tough divorce about 15 years ago.  And let’s get it out there — a lot of time has passed and Applegate’s ex-wife has issued statements of support for her ex-husband’s congressional campaign as has his daughter.  I have no reason to doubt they co-parented their children through a tough time and are now on friendly terms.  But to call it “slander” or “lies” pretty much means you’ve called Applegate’s ex-wife a liar.

The court documents on this should be read with the hindsight that this all happened in 2002-2004.  A link to the documents is provided from the Los Angeles Times which should make it reputable for anyone. So did the former Mrs. Applegate lie or slander?  Read her statement then, especially in the context of the #metoo movement.

From Politico in 2016:

Retired Marine Colonel Douglas Applegate — a Southern California Democratic House candidate who was endorsed Monday by Attorney General Kamala Harris — was accused of “stalking,” harassing and threatening his ex-wife, who was granted two temporary restraining orders, according to court records on file in Orange County, California.Court records also show that the candidate in 2000 was charged with driving under the influence and pled guilty to reckless driving, then was ordered to attend a alcohol abuse program. In 2004, Applegate was also ordered by the California Superior Court to surrender two firearms related to the domestic violence accusations made by his then-wife, the records showed.

Applegate, in an interview with POLITICO, said that the accusations surfaced during a contentious divorce, and that “taking things out of context” does not fairly reflect what was a very difficult personal situation. He said the charges in the court documents reflected issues, including child custody, that have long since been resolved with his ex-wife and mother of his two children, who is now remarried.

“Allegations aren’t proof,” Applegate said. “The court looked at them [and] rejected any findings of wrongdoing on my part.”

Sure, so why surrender those firearms Colonel?

A restraining order was issued, weapons surrendered, and stalking was claimed.  Applegate says no charges were ever filed.  Peace was made.  Time was passed.  Applegate has his ex-wife’s endorsement. Good for everyone.  But to say none of it is true is a joke.

In a post on OJ, there’s an interesting comment from cowardly commenter Ricardo Toro citing a business relationship between Levin and me which Toro “reported on.”  Ricardo says he got a link forwarded to him by a relative of mine. This is hysterical.  Except for my wife and kids, my entire family is Back East and has very little knowledge of my business dealings.  And I know my wife or kids didn’t send Ricardo a thing, so he can walk that lie back any time he wants.  Ricardo’s poke into my business wsas he found my client list from seven years ago.  Such a sleuth!

I worked with Levin on CleanTechOC — now called Sustain OC — a trade organization developed to turn Orange County into the nation’s leading location for green and clean energy solutions.  My services were provided pro-bono.  No money changed hands and I’m proud of the work we did to bring good paying jobs to Orange County.   I made some great contacts in this industry and had to stop because paying clients kept me busy.  And it’s Ricardo’s “relationship with the truth” OJ editors ought to concern themselves with, not mine.

But thanks to Ricardo, I was reminded that I was in the car with Mike on the way to an LA Times interview when he told me he was engaged.  If you want a real family values Democratic candidate for Congress, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone in the country that comes close to Mike Levin.

Back to Applegate; character matters.  His comments directed at Hillary Clinton post election show he lacks character and lacks class.





  21 comments for “San Diego Union Tribune: Applegate Poses Problem for Democrats in CD49

  1. junior
    March 2, 2018 at 11:57 am

    What is a “clean energy lawyer”?

  2. OCDEM
    March 2, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    So I sent this article to Greg on OJB this week, when I received the Henry Lipton EMAIL and the FB post where VV thanks him for his generosity.

    Of course, it never saw the light of day

  3. Dan Chmielewski
    March 2, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    this is funny; jut got a comment from Chumly using my email address. moron…..

  4. Keith B.
    March 2, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    Dan, I just want you to commend you for your fair, journalistic approach to the pieces you write. I may not always agree with you but, as a Democrat, I applaud your “facts” first” approach. I will sometimes check in on the OrangeJuice rehab room, and it’s rarely more than two societal leeches, Greg and Vern, stroking each other, calling everyone white supremacists.

    • Dan Chmielewski
      March 2, 2018 at 7:30 pm

      Thank you. I try

  5. Rintrah
    March 2, 2018 at 10:48 pm

    Dan, your Tammany style connections with Levin are unsettling. More generally , why would any serious Democrat oppose a (former Marine) candidate who was within a whisper of winning in a long term Republican (yet military) district? Please disclose any financial dealings you have had with Levin. I still suspect you are a deep republican plant… otherwise your divisive, petty, and personal attacks on Dems can’t be explained.

    • Dan Chmielewski
      March 3, 2018 at 6:57 am

      Unsettling? How? I first met Mike when he was the executive director of the DPOC. There are no financial dealings to disclose. Why am I opposed to Applegate? He’s not the best candidate in CD49. Levin is. Heck Sara Jacobs is a better candidate than Applegate. The military vote in CD49 is not as big as you might think. Lots of those enlisted are registered to vote back wherever home is. Tammany connections? Levin isn’t corrupt.

    • 4th District Resident
      March 3, 2018 at 11:08 am

      Tammany. Good one. Backed up septic tank added at no extra charge.

  6. Bizzarro World
    March 3, 2018 at 11:19 am

    His closest colleague describes him as a “lecherous drunk”, his detractors call him a “violent drunk” his wife describes him as “drunk all the time”, she shows up in public with a black eye, a leading political candidate accuses him of “unwanted sexual advances”, bordering on sexual assault, he has been convicted of DUI FIVE (5) times, now a Judge strips him of his second amendment rights as he awaits jail time in lieu of a small fine.

    Yeah Vern has a lot of credibility.

    • Greg Diamond
      March 4, 2018 at 3:11 pm

      Your verb tense — look it up of you have to — is off.

      Back in the day, Vern was a drunk. He’s admits that. He may or may not admit to have being lecherous, but that’s my sense.

      However, I do not recall any incident of Vern being lecherous since he married Donna, nor do I recall any incident of Vern being drunk since he emerged from rehab. I’m proud of him on both counts. So the word “describes” in the courageous “Bizarro World’s” post is a lie. Democrats (and people of all religions) generally believe in the possibility of reform.

      As a reporter, he’s also a better reporter than I am and far better than the public relations professional who runs this joint. I’m proud of Vern on that account as well.

      I’ll take a screenshot in case this isn’t posted.

      • Dan Chmielewski
        March 4, 2018 at 5:10 pm
        • Dan Chmielewski
          March 4, 2018 at 8:38 pm

          Glad you’re proud of someone who you haven’t seen drunk since rehab. Hope you had time to visit him in jail

        • Dan Chmielewski
          March 5, 2018 at 9:46 am

          to refresh your memory, Greg, you wrote this:

          Vern’s problem with women was that he was lecherous, bad at monogamy, and relatively forward in being willing to make advances, which some women found creepy. Others, definitively, did not.

          That form of arrogance is not uncommon among talented artists, and frankly he had some reasons to justify his arrogance. Some women who would be considered quite attractive did seem to like him a lot. Vern is better at something — playing the piano — than you, me, or our host will likely ever be at anything, and artistic virtuosity is sexy.) However, as best I can recall I’ve never seen, nor heard, any indication of his ever being violent with women.

      • Greg is a shill
        March 5, 2018 at 7:25 pm

        “Back in the day”….Greg acts like Vern has been sober for ten years! The reality is the ice in his Vodka Tonic hasn’t melted yet. In fact, Vern having admitted this was his first ever attempt at rehab (or maybe that was Donna’s take) is at SERIOUS risk of relapse. Vern’s unwillingness to make other lifestyle changes ( he is still unemployed, living in a high risk environment) demonstrates his lack of commitment.
        So spare us your silly defenses, Greg. You are NOTORIOUS for dismissing what’s obvious and right in front of you.
        Kobe Bryant…….really, what about Julio Perez, Mike Kinslow, Erik Taylor, Vern “Leacerous” Nelson and now Victor Valladares (the later remains a victimizer, despite your silly denials

        • Harley
          March 6, 2018 at 6:55 am

          There are photos of Victor’s ex, battered by him. What more does Greg need? That woman was so scared he was going to kill her (he told her he would cut her throat!) that she remained silent! What more do these scumbags in the party need to know?

  7. OCDEM
    March 4, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    Funny thing happened on the way to the primary………some guy named HenryPaulLipton, exposed Victor Valladares and WARNED DPOC, CADEM and others. But, his defenders, ran interference and now (as predicted) Emilio Huerta has been FORCED OUT of the CD21 RACE. This was clearly spelled out. Now “Crazy Greg” is scrambling to defend, what he caused.

    This, as understand it is only the start.

    Stupid FU#%ING Greg Diamond and Vern Nelson by minimizing RAPE, By DENYING RAPE are going to flip 2 other CD RACES, Acity council majority and perhaps a State Senate Race.

    WTF……..The HPL letter SPECIFICALLY WARNED Fran, Jeff and others……

    Oh but Victor is a good looking guy.

    So was Donald Trump, some would say.

  8. Lance Marcos OC
    March 6, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    So the DPOC FB page that GD has been banned from has a great meme:


    Duh, Kobe can’t be used to get the Latino vote!

    Greg, we are awaiting your TRUTHFUL post on this stuation

  9. Dan Chmielewski
    March 9, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    I se Greg is continuing to suggest details of Applegate’s divorce are lies.

    Applegate had a restraining order filed against him by his ex-wife.

    Applegate surrendered two firearms as a result of a contentious divorce.

    These are backed by court documents that are legal records. Saying this is a lie over and over again is laughable and undermines whatever credibility Diamond has.

    Applegate is a bad seed; he needs to go. Levin is a far better candidate

  10. Paul McCartney Is Dead (since 1966)
    March 13, 2018 at 5:07 am

    Why are OC Democrats running so many MEN (WHITE, RELATIVELY CONSERVATIVE MEN, I might add)? Are you watching Faux News all the time, perhaps? Haven’t heard the news yet that FOX “News” is cratering in the ratings, while MSNBC & Rachel Maddow are blowing stupid racist Sean Klannity’s fat traitorous ass out of the water? Why aren’t OC DEMS mostly running women for office this year? Did you not get the memo?

    The dastardly days of Bob Dornan have been over for a long time. Stop being scared of the White Guy vote already! Don’t f*ck up the impending “Blue Wave” by running boring, uninspired & uninspiring candidates!

    Remember, Democrats win with a large (or moderate) turnout – especially amongst women – this November. Make sure to choose Democrats in the primary who will inspire Democratic voters to actually vote in November.

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