Less than two weeks

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We have less than two weeks.

Less than two weeks until we know whether our fellow Californians are going to continue rolling with an ineffective, incurious, look-I-surf-so-I-must-be-cool congressman who has proposed four (or is it three?) bills over 30 years.

Less than two weeks until we decide—as a community—whether climate change is finally urgent enough that we no longer want a denier calling the shots on our oceans and beaches and air and water.

Less than two weeks until—at long last—we stop embarrassing ourselves with this clown of a man. With this buffoon. With this dolt, who shuffles from here to there spouting bullshit about bullshit. With this bozo who needed to bring talking points to a debate. With this piece of trash who only meets with constituents when it’s comfortable for him to do so. With this nincompoop who—if they’re being honest—even fellow Republicans consider a joke.

We have less than two weeks.

I’ve dedicated this blog to overthrowing Dana Rohrabacher. Not violently, but by making clear who he is and what he stands for and why he’s a legitimately awful congressman.

If you do anything over the next 12 days, make it this: Tell friends, tell family members, tell neighbors and co-workers that this isn’t about R or D or left or right.

This is about a representative who should not longer represent.

Let’s do it.


The height of audacity

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The above letter was written by Dana Rohrabacher two days ago.

Read it.

Then read it again.

And again.

Then do me a favor and read it to my wife and kids. Because by now my head has exploded.

Wanna understand the bat-shat crazy insanity of our congressman? Here’s the letter that proves it. Hell, Dana Rohrabacher is concerned about foreign meddling in the Brazilian presidential election—but can’t be bothered to worry about Vladimir Putin and Co. possibly (probably) messing with the 2016 United States presidential election.

And why? Two main reasons: 1. Donald Trump was declared the victor; 2. Rohrabacher worships all things Putin.

Seriously, though, it’s the height of audacity, ignorance, stupidity.

And it stars our congressman.

Our former congressman.


When did we start making exceptions like this?

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Dana: No class

I have a couple of friends who like Dana Rohrabacher.

They see him as a guy with traditional conservative values; as a guy who’s against taxes and regulations and wants to keep government out of the lives of private citizens.

I, on the other hand, see him as someone who accepts (and even embraces) white supremacists. This is with good reason.

Go back several months, to the rally in Huntington Beach where Dana appeared at an event where a handful of Neo-Nazis marched with their white power propaganda flags. No, Rohrabacher didn’t hold their hands, or stand side by side while screaming, “All praise Hitler!” But he was there, and he was unflinching, and he had no problem appearing on a platform that—unambiguously—promoted a white-first agenda. Hell, when later called on it by OC Weekly, Rohrabacher had nothing (literally nothing) to say. It was what it was.

And here’s the thing: There was a time in America when such behavior was (rightly) a career killer. A time when you realized your candidate was paling around with white supremacists and that—shared beliefs be damned—he could no longer be your candidate. That was a time when standards mattered; when ethics mattered; when a presidential candidate who mocked a POW and bragged about grabbing women by the pussy equaled unequivocal disqualification.


Even were Dana Rohrabacher a liberal Democrat, I could never vote for a man who approved of white supremacists; who said people could discriminate against gay couples in real estate transactions; who claimed—repeatedly, proudly—climate change is mere hoax; who has sided with Putin over our intelligence agencies.

It’s called standards.

The Laguna Niguel city council and why we need to step up

This is the city council for my hometown of Laguna Niguel.

The image should terrify you.

Now, to be clear, I have no beef with the five people photographed above. There’s little glory in serving on a city council; minimal fame and even fewer perks. It’s hard, it’s long, it’s meeting-stuffed and it’s exasperating. So, again, I cannot begrudge or bemoan fellow citizens who step up on behalf of the community. In fact, I applaud them and thank them.

However, I will re-state my point: The image should terrify you.

All five people who serve on the council are Republicans. And, I’m quite certain, they’re not liberal Republicans. These are men and women who arrive with certain belief systems installed by lifetimes of orthodoxy. They start every meeting with a Christian-led prayer, because Christ will guide the way. They talk water, but never in terms of the drought, and how screwed we are. They’re hyper-obsessed with local crime, even though we have little-to-no local crime. They are as progressive as sticks; as open to new thinking as tables. They will all vote for Dana Rohrabacher in the upcoming election, even though the councilman says people should not be forced to sell their home to a gay couple if it violates a belief system.

And here’s the thing: They deserve to be on the council. They ran, they did the door-to-door thing, they fought.

Now, we need to, too.

When the November elections come and go, we’ll wonder what went wrong and what went right. What we’ll overlook, regrettably, are opportunities to start filling smaller gigs with progressives. Because that, ultimately, is where it all begins. Things don’t trickle down in politics. They trickle up.

So, come 2019 … 2020 … 2021 … 2022—fill the gaps.

Find an office, and run.

This is about so much more than Harley-Dana

I’ve been thinking about something these past few days, and it’s an important message for 2018 and beyond.

OK, so we may well win the 48th in November. We also may well lose the 48th in November. Right now it’s a tossup—extremely hard to fully grasp; an interesting-yet-terrifying glance at two polar opposite candidates who want the same job.

Whatever happens, however, we need to start thinking bigger than singular elections. We have to.

Here’s what I’m talking about. I live in Laguna Niguel, and the city council is overrun by far-right adherents. That doesn’t mean they’re bad people. These are oftentimes the folks you see a school pickup, at the ice cream joint, at the auto repair. They’re our friends. Our neighbors.

What it does mean, however, is that they (almost certainly) support Donald Trump and Dana Rohrabacher. Which suggests they (almost certainly) don’t believe in climate change, are comfortable reducing public school funding in order to help charter schools, worry nary a lick about the drought.

Perfect example: Sandy Giamourides Rains

Sandy is currently running for Laguna Niguel city council—a gig she’ll almost certainly land. And, to be clear, I have NOTHING personal against the woman. I don’t know her, but on social media she seems to be a loving mother and chipper liver of life (I reached out to her the other day, and she responded). That said, her political views strike me as, well bat-shit crazy.

Sandy votes for Dana Rohrabacher.

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Sandy supports Donald Trump.

Sandy supports John Cox.

Sandy just posted a proud Facebook endorsement of a new book written by Rebecca Friedrichs, the California school teacher who lent her name to the first Supreme Court case meant to destroy public unions (Friedrichs went on to serve as a pundit for right-wing think takes).

Sandy thinks kneeling NFL players are absolutely horrible (Meanwhile, a five-deferment president should be celebrated).

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Sandy posts a good number of videos backing candidates who seek to “protect our way of life” (Translation: Immigrants=bad).

Sandy was openly antagonistic when Barack Obama visited the county.

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Sandy had nothing to say on social media when Donald Trump bragged about all the women he has sex with; when Donald Trump mocked John McCain for being captured; when Donald Trump lied about Obama being a Kenyan-born Muslim. She had nothing to say when Rohrabacher repeatedly praised Vladimir Putin; when Rohrabacher said the drought is fictitious; when Rohrabacher said people should be allowed to not sell their houses to gays.

And, for the third time, this is not to say Sandy is a bad person. What I’m saying is—all across Orange County—people with the shared views of Sandy Giamourides Rains are running for/holding important positions. They are armed with ideas from a bygone era, clinging to ignorant cultural ideals over progress. Well, we need to compete for these positions. It’s not just about governor and senator and congressman. There are school boards, water commissioner. These are the gigs that set the tone; that promote issues; that matter. We need to star thinking 5 … 10 … 15 years down the road. We need to do what the GOP does so well here—line up strong candidates far in advance, and prepare them for genuine runs.

It starts now.

Dana Rohrabacher is a worthless coward

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In case you missed it, earlier this evening Donald Trump spent some time in Mississippi, mocking Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who was allegedly sexually assaulted by Brett Kavanaugh.

Here you go …

And as I watched this, then watched it again, I kept wondering: Where is the voice of my representative?

Where is Dana Rohrabacher?

I’ve asked this before, throughout the embarrassment that is the Donald Trump presidency. I’ve asked it when he mocked John McCain for his time as a POW. I’ve asked it when he suggested a judge of Mexican heritage couldn’t fairly rule on him. I’ve asked it when he promised he could solve the California drought. I’ve asked it when he’s ridiculed overweight females; when he bragged about having sex with women; when he said Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the Kennedy assassination.

On and on and on, I’ve waited for our representative to speak out on Donald Trump’s awful moments. To stand up and say, “Yeah, we’re both Republicans. But this isn’t right.”


Courage means, on occasion, going against your own. Only Dana Rohrabacher never goes against his own. He’s a scared, timid, pathetic little man; a father to daughters who watches from the side as the leader of his party goes to town on an alleged rape victim.

It’s the worst.

The absolute worst.

PS: I just realized—not only is Rohrabacher too scared to stand up to Trump … he actually agrees with him.

On Devin Nunes’ Iowa ties

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If you read one thing today, make it this Esquire piece from Ryan Pizza, headlined NUNES’S FAMILY FARM IS HIDING A POLITICALLY EXPLOSIVE SECRET.

Then read it again.

And again.

No, Devin Nunes isn’t running in the 48th against our own Harley Rouda. But he is a California representative who has worked side by side with Dana Rohrabacher for many years; who shares Dana Rohrabacher’s beliefs; who is dogmatic in his insistence that undocumented immigrants are a plague upon America.

Who …

Who …

Who …

Lies out his ass.

I’ll say it again—read the story. It turns out Devin Nunes, proud product of a California dairy farm and outspoken owner of a family California dairy farm … eh … ah … um … moved his family’s California dairy farm to Iowa years ago.

Without telling any of his peeps in the Golden State.

Even better: His farm employs undocumented immigrants. Tons and tons and tons of undocumented immigrants. Undocumented immigrants needed to keep business rolling along. Undocumented immigrants needed to handle the cattle.

Ah, hypocrisy. It’s so … hypocritical.

Please support Dana—we’ll pay you

Josh: Cut him a break. It’s a living.

So a friend brought this to my attention earlier this evening. Joshua Recalde-Martinez is a California Republican Party field representative. This was posted on Facebook …

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In case you don’t get it, Joshua—an Arizona State student who spent a couple of years at Orange Coast College—is offering people money to support Dana Rohrabacher. And not just money, but $16 an hour. Pretty good money. All they need to do is walk around Orange County, knocking on doors and pretending they like a congressman they either:

• Actually like (unlikely)

• Actually dislike (more likely)

• Have never heard of (most likely)

I don’t blame Joshua. I mean that—I don’t. He’s young, he’s inexperienced, he’s surely doing what he’s told. Hell, sight unseen I’d vote for Joshua Recalde-Martinez over Dana Rohrabacher, based solely on his hyphenated last name and the fact that he almost certainly has some pretty terrific partying stories from his time as a Sun Devil (ASU is a killer school for those sorts of things).

That said, what does it say that the GOP is depending on paying people off to stump for a stump? To bark for a dog? To hype all hype?

You can answer that one without me.

He’s (gasp) a businessman!

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My all-time favorite political line of attack is taking place right now.

It’s not “You’re no Jack Kennedy” or “My opponent’s youth and inexperience.” It’s not “Willie Horton” or “Lyin’ Ted.”

Nope. My favorite political line of attack is Dana Rohrabacher’s repeated slams of Harley Rouda being a (gasp!) businessman.

Let’s think about this, please. First, the GOP is all about business. It’s always all about business. Hell, when they praise their Grand Leader, it routinely starts with Donald Trump’s (nonsense, fraud-packed) career as a businessman. So to rip Harley Rouda’s lifetime of business … eh, it’s odd.

Second, and even more important: What the hell has Dana Rohrabacher done? I mean that—what has he done. Before being elected to congress he was a speechwriter for Ronald Reagan. So, truly, I’d like to know, Dana: What do you bring to the table? What skills? What tricks? What knowledge outside of politics?

Furthermore, what the f—- have you accomplished in three decades of office holding? Where are the amazing bills? Where are the leadership bullet points? Where are the rousing speeches? Where are the MLK-esque moments of kindness? Of decency? Of empathy?

What have you done, while Harley Rouda has done business?

I’m waiting.

Dana Rohrabacher v. Harley Rouda: Ali-Holmes, 1980

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Rohrabacher (left) and Rouda (right). Ali v. Holmes II.

In case you missed this, Dana Rohrabacher and Harley Rouda appeared yesterday at the Meet the Candidates event in Fountain Valley.

Let me repeat that: Dana Rohrabacher and Harley Rouda appeared yesterday at the Meet the Candidates event in Fountain Valley.

I said that twice because I am truly shocked that Rohrabacher, our stumbling and bumbling congressman, actually appeared at an event where he would be challenged. To this point, it’s pretty much been him showing up only in friendly environs, where softballs are tossed his way and he can spew his weird, off-putting brand of pro-Russia xenophobia.

I digress.

Having just watched a video of the event, I am reminded very much of Oct. 2, 1980, when Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes fought in Las Vegas for the WBC heavyweight title.

At the time, Ali was 38 and … well, not looking good. The effects of Parkinson’s were starting to kick in. He lacked speed, fluidity. His quick fists were no longer quick. His ability to dodge a punch was gone. Holmes, meanwhile, was 31 and in his prime. He was powerful, fast, artful.

The result: One of the great—and saddest—ass-kickings in modern sport. Ali was thoroughly dominated, a white towel of surrender thrown into the ring.

In boxing terms, Dana Rohrabacher was Muhammad Ali, circa 1980, yesterday. He sorta shuffled back and forth. He needed a pad in front of him to remember words. His answers were meandering, indirect, flat. When he remembered what he wanted to say, the words felt angry and small. He doesn’t like immigrants. He doesn’t think people should live in gated communities. Russia isn’t so bad. Harley, meanwhile, came out firing. He was smooth and graceful and prepared.

It actually made me wonder why we, the Democratic Party in Orange County, have waited so long to have a legitimately powerful candidate in this race. I know that sounds like a slight to past entrants, and, well, I suppose it is. I don’t know if Harley wins or loses this race, but he’s got everything we need to win. Grace. Smarts. Quick on his feet. Moderate background that appeals to both sides.

I suppose, were I an arch-conservative Republican, desperately grasping to a nation that feels as if it’s slipping away, I’d vote Rohrabacher.

But, otherwise, he feels like a cigarette, smoked and stubbed out.

He feels like the past.

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