Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Just who’s "underhanded" and "manipulative"? —Courtesy distortions re Fuentes vs. ubiquitous factoidal residue

     IMMEDIATELY after a guy dies, people typically adopt a kind of correctness such that a spade isn’t called a spade, if the spade’s a knave.
     But it depends on the guy, the degree and amount of knavitude. In the case of particularly industrious knaves, you just can't maintain those courtesy distortions; the truth is just gonna show up again and again, 'cause it's woven ubiquitous into the fabric of reality.
     Recently, OC Reg political reporter Martin Wisckol reported about County GOP Chief Scott Baugh’s success in “ousting” certain troublesome members of the Central Committee from positions of leadership—members who weren’t part of his “team.” Chief among these renegades was Villa Park’s Deborah Pauly, a Neanderthal among Neanderthals (and a dolt among dolts).
     This yielded the spraying of much venom at Baugh about his alleged dictatorial and undemocratic ways.
     Some Pauly fans—i.e., hard-core Tea People—even asserted that such unseemly tactics were never employed in the days of the late Tom Fuentes! (His chairmanship: 1985-2004)
     Golly, that's ridiculous. At this point, Wisckol seems to feel the need to set people straight, and so he posted the following:

Did O.C. GOP chief Baugh do something wrong? (OC Reg)

     Writes Wisckol,
     Several critics have voiced outrage over Scott Baugh‘s success in ousting foes from the county Republican Party’s governing Central Committee, but the allegations are straying far enough from reality that a fact check is in order.
     Among other things, I’d like to address the mis-impression of some that county GOP Chairman Baugh is underhanded and manipulative while his predecessor, the late Tom Fuentes, was transparent and let events take their own course.
Fuentes and Baugh
     Wiskol goes on to explain the openness with which Baugh encouraged the “slate mailer” people to favor his friends on the Committee.
     Yeah, but
     “Isn’t that what most dictators seek to do?” wrote outgoing committee members Marilyn Davenport in response to my article last week….
     Wisckol states that Baugh did not hide or lie about what he was doing, even to Wisckol. Maybe he's a creep, but he's an open creep.
     Then the Wisk Man brings up the record of former Chair Tom Fuentes:
     Let’s compare Baugh to his predecessor, Fuentes, who served as chairman from 1985 to 2004. ... Tributes and my own coverage of his death and funeral didn’t get too deeply into the hard-knuckle politics he could engage in. It seems almost inevitable that a strong leader will engage in that as a matter of course, and I intend no disrespect to the deceased by saying so.
. . .
…[S]ome apparently think Fuentes’ control of the county party came without friction or backroom arm twisting.
     “I have never heard of a party chairman using his position of authority and trust, to orchestrate a Central Committee election, to ensure he has only those on the board that support his polices 100%,” wrote Irvine Councilwoman Christina Shea in response to my article last week. “Mr Fuentes never did this and I ran with him four terms.”
"Pure unadulterated evil!"
     Oh yeah? As a reporter, Wisckol covered both Fuentes and Baugh and he “heard far more complaints about Fuentes being exclusive and domineering than” about Baugh.
     Me too.
     Wisckol notes Fuentes’ long-time reputation for discouraging certain Republicans from running for office while supporting others (especially incumbents).
     On that score, he recently heard from long-time Republican volunteer Kenneth Fisher:
     In the wake of my article last week, I got a lengthy phone message from longtime conservative activist Kenneth Fisher, who said that after he declined to vow his unqualified backing for Fuentes that he found it impossible to gain even modest leadership posts in the county party.
     “He said, ‘Are you going to be a team player?’” Fisher recounted after being elected to the Central Committee. “I said, ‘I’ll be with you when you’re right and I won’t when you’re wrong.’”
     That, according to Fisher, resulted him being turned away at each effort to advance within the party.
     Wisckol also refers to Fuentes’ “often imperious attitude” which he himself encountered “on numerous occasions.” (Me too.)
     Wisckol goes on to describe just how unsavory Pauly and her crowd is.
     But then he says:
     When pressed about Baugh’s alleged corruption, Pauly commonly cites the committee’s decision five years ago to hold a second endorsement vote for then-Sheriff Mike Carona, a month after he’d fallen one vote shy of getting the nod. She said the controversial second vote was the result of insider Carona cronies pulling strings.
Shea
     And there the story ends. Huh?
     Pauly’s right about that accusation, isn’t she? Think so.

     P.S.: The allegations that Fuentes discouraged, even bullied, certain Republicans from running for office (during primaries)—and maybe favored serious right-wingers such as himself—are quite old. The accusation comes up in a fine article about Fuentes, by Times reporter Dexter Filkins, published in 1996. Check it out:

Guiding With an Iron Hand (LA Times; July 11, 1996)

     See also
• Bagman? (DtB)
• County Chairman [Fuentes] Out of Sync With Governor-Elect The Republican leader is distrusted by the Bush team, the state party and now the Schwarzenegger camp. Dare he run again? (LA Times; October 27, 2003)

5 comments:

  1. One by one the skeletons begin to fall from the closet. Keep on falling, keep on falling……

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  2. Ms. Shea is nice enough, but a complete and utter dimbulb.

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  3. Yaaaaaaawwwwwnnn! Crickets...

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  4. You know, 2:47, you aren't actually required to visit this blog. You can forego it entirely! I suggest that you do exactly that.

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  5. But Roy, we'll miss his exciting and constructive commentary.

    ReplyDelete

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