• Matt Coker’s Update in Naval Gazing/OC Weekly:
About 500 protesters from various groups demonstrated and chanted slogans against or in support of Councilwoman Deborah Pauly in front of Villa Park City Hall Tuesday evening.
"Do you feel sodomized?"
The large majority of protesters were Muslim supporters who organized in response to a speech by Pauly last month at a Yorba Linda rally. About 50 protesters showed up Tuesday night to support Pauly.
. . .
The protest is a response to a speech Pauly gave at a rally during an Islamic Circle of North America fund-raiser Feb. 13, which many have interpreted as anti-Muslim. Her remarks are prominent in a YouTube video created by the Council on American-Islam Relations.
Protesters said they're angry that Pauly hasn't apologized and demanded an official reprimand.
The Villa Park City Council held a special meeting on March 15 to address Pauly's comments and issued a declaration saying that public comments by a council member do not represent the city. An earlier draft of the declaration named Pauly, but her name was omitted from the final draft. At the time, Councilman Richard Ulmer also asked Pauly to apologize, and she refused.
Pauly has said that her comments were directed toward the speakers at the charity dinner, who she believed to be terrorists.
. . .
Pauly, who referred to the speakers as terrorists, said that she thought referring to [the speakers] by name would have endangered her life. But Pauly has also said that she regretted not being more specific in her remarks.
"It's just not sufficient," said Waqas Syed, the deputy undersecretary of Islamic Circle of North America. "Instead of distancing herself and apologizing for her comments, she has actually justified them in a perplexing and confusing way."
. . .
Pauly's comments have drawn criticism before, but she's avoided official reprimand each time.
In March 2010, she reacted to the passage of President Obama's health care legislation with a graphic Facebook status update, asking, "Do you feel sodomized?" She narrowly avoided council's censure for the comment by a vote of 2-3.
Later that year in June, then-Mayor Ulmer sought to remove Pauly from her committee responsibilities in response to a controversial comment Pauly made about immigration at a Yorba Linda City Council meeting….
Even her election to the council in 2007 was controversial. A group of citizens submitted a recall petition alleging that Pauly had behaved improperly at polling sites.
UPDATE, MARCH 22, 6:55 P.M.: We're out here at the march and our photographer Christopher Victorio estimates around 300 protesters have showed up, along with 30-plus deputies. See full photo after the jump.
UPDATE, MARCH 22, 5:29 P.M.: Tonight's Villa Park City Council meeting is not scheduled to open to the public until 7 p.m., but things are already heating up.