Dear Mr. Fuentes

Letters to the most powerful Republican in Orange County

By the time I finished Forbes’ book, I was so jazzed that I went to Borders to look for more Regnery titles. You sure work for a unique publishing company, Mr. Fuentes. Did you know that one of Regnery’s books, The Secret Life of Bill Clinton, says the Oklahoma City bombing was a botched FBI sting directed by the Justice Department under the supervision of Bill Clinton with the goal of turning America into a police state? In another, Unlimited Access, I found a section on lesbian love in the Clinton White House’s basement showers and a paragraph on Hillary ordering miniature crack pipes to hang on the White House Christmas tree.

Does Regnery consider any of its titles humor? You should tell them that would be a great cross-over market.

Anyway, I figure you sent me these swell books because you’ve been in an exceptionally fine mood after defeating the New Directions Republicans that night you put your arm around Scott Moxley. If I haven’t already told you, congratulations. What a sweet victory. USA Today said your critics raised $500,000 in an "attempted hostile takeover" of your Orange County Republican Central Committee. The two groups claim you’re an old-school conservative who alienates women. But when I looked at the membership of the New Majority Committee, they’re all guys! With an oversight like that, it’s no wonder they lost. My friend Tim told me that these guys are mostly Irvine Co. people who want Irvine Co. chairman Donald Bren-clone, neo-Republican candidates in charge of Orange County politics. Since you’re old-school and don’t always see eye to eye with Bren, they hate your guts.

I bet it still pisses you off that they wasted their money trying to beat you when they could have spent it reaming Al Gore.

Tim says they’ll try to unseat you again. I say bring them on.

Thanks again for the interesting books, and don’t forget to send me a replacement autographed photo of yourself.

Your friend and adviser,

Nathan Callahan


July 20, 2000

Dear Mr. Fuentes,

I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard you were going to interview for a position on the South Orange County Community College District board. But I was absolutely stunned when you accepted the job.

You’re the king of Orange County politics. You not only took a small-time college job, but you also replaced Steve Frogue, who had just resigned after seven and a half years of proving that lack of smarts is no deterrent to holding a school-board position in Orange County.

I asked myself, "What on Earth would you, Tom Fuentes (the man in charge of Orange County politics), want with an elected trustee’s position overseeing the disgruntled populace of Saddleback and Irvine Valley Colleges?"

Then I saw the simple brilliance of your strategy. Of course you maneuvered for the school-board seat. Here’s why (as if you didn’t know!): in November, George W. Bush is elected president. Then, since Orange County will play a major role in Bush’s victory and you will have directed the troops, Bush is sworn in and Tom Fuentes is given an appointment in the new administration —secretary of education?

There’s just one problem. If Bush wins the presidency in November but loses the local vote, chances are you’ll be out of the appointment loop.

Not to worry. Nathan has it covered.

Consider this: many people I’ve spoken with think you’re gay—and not just vicious, dim-bulb liberals, but Republicans, respected journalists, doctors and lawyers. I’ve often wondered why this whispering campaign persists in the complete absence of evidence. I know you’re not gay, Mr. Fuentes—not that there’s, you know, anything wrong with that.

In fact, it can be a real plus. Which brings me to my plan: in order to snag your appointment, you need to turn up the volume on the Fuentes Gay Voter Registration Drive.

How, you ask? You should leverage unsubstantiated speculation about your sexuality into something positive. If you act a wee bit gay, you could attract new votes and swing Orange County toward a Bush victory in November. Wear a pair of Dolce & Gabbana white jeans. If anyone asks whether you’re gay, follow Ricky Martin’s lead—or Michael Stipe’s —and say something like, "Questions about my private life should not be the subject of public speculation." That’ll MAKE it the subject of public speculation. Be seen on dinner dates with good-looking men. Campaign in Laguna Beach. Do whatever you can reasonably get away with. In November, you’ll be glad you did. Then, since Bush has said that he’ll consider minority appointees in his administration, a straight Mexican guy like you with a little bounce in his step would be a perfect appointment choice. Before you know it, you’ll have a nameplate on an office overlooking the White House lawn. I’m sure of it.

Good luck, Mr. Secretary!

Your friend and adviser,

Nathan Callahan

P.S. If you ever have time from your busy schedule, could you please send me that autographed photo?

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