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
Photo by Myles RobinsonSWAIM: And now I'd like to present two gentlemen who will be giving out our awards for conspicious achievement in politics. Ladies and gentlemen give it up for investigative attack dogs and noted ballroom dancers R. Scott Moxley and Anthony Pignataro!
R. SCOTT MOXLEY: It's our honor to present the award for Best Public Official.
ANTHONY PIGNATARO: Yeah, when it comes to politicians and public service, Orange County has a remarkable tradition.
MOXLEY: Internationally remarkable, Anthony. For example, James Utt, a congressman from Tustin, said in the 1960s that he was "truly frightened" that blacks—he called them "barefoot Africans"—were allowed to serve in the United Nations.
PIGNATARO: And who could forget Congressman Bill Dannemeyer, who once stood on the floor of Congress and graphically described sex acts between men?
MOXLEY: It was quite informative. Did you know that two guys and a tube of K-Y jelly can . . .
PIGNATARO: Um, let's move on. There was Richard Nixon, who proved that in America, even burglars can become president.
MOXLEY: Representative John Schmitz said Orange County would never surrender its traditional family values to "Jews, queers and commies."
PIGNATARO: Didn't Schmitz father two children out of wedlock?
MOXLEY: Yup. And his adult daughter was convicted of repeatedly molesting a 13-year-old boy.
MOXLEY: But as shocking as it may seem to the outside world, there are actually decent, honest public officials working in Orange County today.
PIGNATARO: You mean like Ted Moreno, Bill Morrow and John Lewis?
MOXLEY: Nope. The first nominee for Best Public Official is Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer.
PIGNATARO: Because he was the only person in government who had the balls to tell Mittermeier to go to hell?
MOXLEY: Uh, right. But he's a damn Republican.
PIGNATARO: Yeah, but Scott, they're all Republicans! Even the Democrats in Orange County are Republicans!
MOXLEY: Almost true, Anthony. Consider our next nominee, Laguna Beach City Councilwoman Toni Iseman.
PIGNATARO: Fair enough. After all, she's the only consistently sane voice on that right-wing council.
MOXLEY: That's right. She was the only council member who voted against millions of dollars in public subsidies for the private developer of Treasure Island.
PIGNATARO: That's good, but I doubt she can compete against our next nominee: someone Bob Dornan will surely appreciate, Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez.
MOXLEY: Oh, geez. What did she do?
PIGNATARO: How the hell would I know? You put her on the list.
MOXLEY: Oh, right.
[Long, painful pause. PIGNATARO glances at watch.]
MOXLEY: Didn't she help the working poor of her district with payroll-tax relief?
MOXLEY: Didn't she push for a commemorative postage stamp honoring the 100th anniversary of American submarine forces?
PIGNATARO: What if she did?
MOXLEY: She renamed a Santa Ana post office the "Hector G. Godinez Post Office."
PIGNATARO: So? Even Dornan got Congress to declare an official "Disneyland Day."
MOXLEY: But she has also proposed a congressional resolution that encouraged Americans to celebrate Latin music.
PIGNATARO [doing a flamenco]: Bidi bidi bom bom.
MOXLEY: I don't think you take her seriously.
PIGNATARO: You think?
MOXLEY: Okay, she had the courage to tell Al Gore and the other hypocritical Democrats to drop dead when they acted sanctimoniously about her plans for a fund-raiser at the Playboy Mansion.
PIGNATARO: Now you're talking.
MOXLEY: You like her for that, too?
PIGNATARO: Nah, I just like the Playboy Mansion.
MOXLEY: Riiiight. Our last nominee is ultraconservative Assemblyman Scott Baugh.
PIGNATARO [spits out water he was drinking]: What the . . . Scott "Slime" Baugh? Didn't he just vote to ban media access to prisoners—a move that puts him in lock step with Governor Gray Davis and deposed Yugoslavian president Slobodan Milosevic?
MOXLEY: Yeah, but Baugh voted for it merely to keep prison shower activities private.
PIGNATARO: Kinky. But what good has he done?
MOXLEY [sheepishly]: Well . . . he's leaving Sacramento on term limits.
PIGNATARO: That's good enough for me. And the winner is?
MOXLEY: I can't believe I'm saying this, but . . . it's Loretta Sanchez!
Announcer: Congresswoman Sanchez is on a Hot Lady Legislators of the Beltway photo shoot and could not be with us tonight.
PIGNATARO: Whoa, whoa, whoa! I.saw Sanchez as she walked into the hall at the beginning of the show.
Announcer: I just read what they hand me.
PIGNATARO: In fact, I can see Congresswoman Sanchez from here.
Announcer: Hey, Mencken, you want to cut me a break? I've got a cousin I'm trying to get over here from the Lesser Antilles. . . . Accepting for the Congresswoman is OC Weekly staff writer Nick Schou.
Nick Schou: Uh, thanks.
[Applause. Roses thrown onstage.]
PIGNATARO: God, I thought he'd never shut up. Anyway, our next award is for the county's Best Media Personality. This is one of our favorite awards, as there are so many deserving journalists . . .
PIGNATARO: . . . and so much intelligent reporting. . . .
[MOXLEY coughs louder.]
PIGNATARO: Do you need a glass of water?
MOXLEY: No, no. Fine.
PIGNATARO: Cough drop?
MOXLEY: Just go on.
PIGNATARO: Remember that Daily Pilot story about preschool kids dying "at the hands" of a Cadillac?
[MOXLEY bursts into laughter, collapses onto stage.]