By Gustavo Arellano
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By Charles Lam
The Dornan Family Theater wasn't over. On the other side of the stage, Kate found, of all people to heckle, a Fong supporter. Soon, people were wrestling on the floor. Blood poured. A member of the Dornan clan was hauled off in handcuffs. No arrests were made. But just as tempers were calming, a disheveled 42-year-old Bob Dornan Jr. showed up, made a derogatory remark about Fong, asked bystanders "to show some class" and then challenged a few fellow Republicans to fistfights. Bob Jr. later described the encounter this way: "I told them, 'Man, you aren't nothing but low-class assholes, so shut up.'"
Next on Team Dornan's assault list was fellow Republican Dana Rohrabacher. "My dad gave you your seat," Bob Jr. told the six-term Huntington Beach congressman. "You and [Congressman Chris] Cox owe everything to my dad. Both of you are gone, buddy. We're going to see you in two years. My brother [Mark] is going to beat you, and even though I'm not educated, I'm going to beat Cox."
Rohrabacher tried to calm him down.
"No. No. You listen to me," Bob Jr. said. "I'm a real man. My dad's a real man. Don't fuck with me. My dad lost because you and Cox didn't support him."
"Come on, that's not true," said Rohrabacher.
"Don't patronize me. My dad doesn't play golf, and he doesn't go to the country-club parties, and that's why you and Cox put a knife in his back. By the way, why did Cox send O.J. [Simpson] letters when he was in prison, huh? My dad's not going to go away. Politics is a contact sport, and we're going to show you that, Dana."
Later, Rohrabacher demonstrated all-too-well that he understands politics. He told me the encounter was "bizarre." And he distanced himself from Dornan. "I am pro-life, but I don't believe in pushing into people's private lives like Bob. You know, people in my district don't like negative politics," he said. "How ironic that a few years back, Dornan was trying to move me out of my seat. The real reason for that was that he wanted to get [Dornan's until-recently closeted gay advisor and Southern California Edison lobbyist] Brian Bennett to take over the 46th. Now, wouldn't that have been weird? Bob Dornan giving his seat to a homosexual. Imagine that."
While I was busy with Rohrabacher, my OC Weekly colleague Nick Schou approached the elder Dornan. "Are you a homosexual?" the ex-congressman asked Schou before agreeing to talk. Schou asked if Rohrabacher-who handily won his reelection bid-was to blame for Dornan's stunning loss. "He gave me a punk $1,000 contribution at the end of my campaign. And that's it. No further comment," Dornan said.
A few minutes later, Schou approached Dornan again. "OC Weekly reporter-gotta go," he said. As Dornan fled with his security detail through an exit, Schou asked, "How does it feel to lose twice in a row to a Latina?"
Dornan looked back. Gone was the fiery entertainer who likes to call himself a "hero." He said pitifully, "I'm not answering any more questions for OC Weekly."
That's okay. We know the answers.