By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
1. Gloria Matta Tuchman
Mexican-American teacher who co-authored with troglodytic Ron Unz the "Save Our Children" initiative -the one that gives Latino kids in our state a year to learn English before being thrust into an English-only classroom setting. And she proudly stated to the ever-hard-hitting Orange County Woman that her own kids had to learn Spanish in high school classes because she never taught it to them at home. And she's involved with the truly frightening Eagle Forum-a group whose members believe that essay tests are designed by Big Brother to probe our political and religious beliefs via our children's brains! And she's shrill. And she wears a lot of mauve. And she wants to be in charge of all the state's schools. And she said current Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin wants to put Playboy in our elementary schools. And she simpers a lot. And she lies. And she rags on Eastin because Eastin is endorsed by gay and lesbian politicians, fostering, shall we say, a climate of hate. And she bleaches her hair orange. And we don't like her at all! MITIGATING FACTOR: When she really gets screaming, she might as well be speaking Greek.
2. Jan Mittermeier
County CEO. Following the county's 1994 bankruptcy, local political swells gathered to discuss how to stall OC's first real populist challenge to authority (see Gary Hunt, last year's No. 4 scariest person). They settled on a strategy to persuade the public that the real cause of the bankruptcy was excessive democracy, that what was needed was more secrecy-"businesslike efficiency," they called it. To that end, they hired Mittermeier, a longtime bureaucrat with a secretive style and a refusal to brook democratic oversight. That style has manifested itself most clearly in her running of the county's highly prized El Toro International Airport planning authority, a department that's so mismanaged and secretive that it must make old Russian communists nostalgic. Said Bill Mitchell, past local president of the nonpartisan group Common Cause, "Jan Mittermeier is a key part of the plantation politics that thrive here in Orange County." MITIGATING FACTOR: Plantation politics of the South produced the Civil War.
3. Patrick Tocher
Owner of Santa Ana-based California Coastal Towing. He didn't make the list because of what he does, as loathsome as that is. It's what he and his disciples want to do, perhaps in your neighborhood, that makes him very, very scary indeed. Tocher's company tows vehicles parked illegally on private property in Santa Ana. He does this without the blessing of city officials, he does this without the permission of the property owners, and he does it without notifying police so that the poor wretches whose cars end up on Tocher's hook often believe their rides have been stolen. To get your car out of Tocher's private impound requires $200, $60 more than the city of Santa Ana charges. Taking advantage of an oversight in 1994 federal legislation regulating UPS that bars cities from enforcing their own towing regulations, Tocher reportedly hauls anywhere from two to 20 vehicles per night, many times placing his predatory trucks in the shadows, waiting for the next poor bastard who misparks himself. A pest? Certainly. A prick? Your word, not ours. But scary? Well, consider this: the misery business has been such a boon to California Coastal that Tocher is pushing in court to do his dirty work in Anaheim, Tustin and Costa Mesa. His actions have garnered enough attention to embolden tow truckers around the country to try to do the same, potentially launching the biggest grassroots movement of pains in the ass since the Christian Coalition. MITIGATING FACTOR: Tocher is not being handled by Ralph Reed . . . yet.
4. Richard Nixon's corpse
Last year, Nixon's corpse came in at No. 23. But in the past 52 weeks, Nixon's corpse has made a strong-and terrifying-comeback. The proximate cause of this Dawn of the Living Dick? Bill Clinton. Check out the www.nixonfoundation.org Web site titled "Nixon's Sins Pale Compared With Clinton's Transgressions," in which Nixon symps argue Nixon was a dupe deceived by foul underlings. "[Nixon] did not authorize the Watergate break-in, and accordingly, in whatever accounts of what happened he shared with the American people, he had no firsthand knowledge of events and had to rely on information-frequently quite self-serving and misleading-provided to him by others," the site claims. This strange conviction is apparently shared by former Nixon speechwriter and perennial right-wing-loon poster boy Pat Buchanan, who on his American Cause Web site (www.the americancause.org), argues: "Richard Nixon's involvement in Watergate came of misplaced loyalty. He was trying to protect his people." MITIGATING FACTOR: Nixon's is among the majority of presidential corpses without bullet holes.
5. Dana Rohrabacher
Republican congressman from Huntington Beach. Rohrabacher, who once called global warming "liberal claptrap" and "junk science," sees killer asteroids as the greatest threat to the Earth and wants to deploy nuclear weapons on orbiting missile platforms to stop them. Earth to Dana: what you saw was a movie. Remember? Morgan Freeman played the president? Didn't the fact that a black man had become president of the United States clue you in that this was a work of fiction? MITIGATING FACTOR: Playing Asteroids keeps Rohrabacher away from the National Endowment for the Arts.