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
Illustration by Mark DanceyIs there anything more American than hating your relatives? We hope not. But just because your relations hit you up for cash or a clean urine sample doesn't necessarily make them scary. Then again, all those scary people have to be related to someone: Bride of Frankenstein, Son of Sam, the Kennedys. All terrifying and all proof that many times scary progeny can surpass scary originals—or, in the case of Bill Simon Jr., just be a total wad. They can be evil scary, sad scary or so good they're scary. In that spirit, we present our 31 picks for Orange County's scariest sons, daughters, wives, mothers, evil twins, cousins and intellectual heirs . . . and one wad.
2. THE HOILES CLAN
Photo by Davis Barber
1. CURRENT IRVINE MAYOR LARRY AGRANEvil twin of Former Irvine Mayor Larry Agran, a beacon of progressive politics in the 1980s. Sometime in the early 1990s, that Agran was subdued by his evil twin. Current Irvine Mayor Agran loves sprawl. Since his return to the council in 1998, Evil Larry holds fund-raisers with the Irvine Co. and says his development policies mirror the company's. Most prominently, Evil Larry reneged on his high-profile promise to turn the abandoned El Toro airport into a Central Park twice as large as San Diego's Balboa Park. Look instead for Donald Bren Park, an industrial/ commercial/residential playground with a swing set and a band shell. Mitigating Factor: Have you seen Agran's enemies? These people you can't stop with stakes and garlic.
Feuding descendents of R.C. Hoiles, cantankerous former owner of The Orange County Register. When Hoiles died in 1970, his children began feuding for control of the paper, with the loudest bickering led by son Harry. After repeated attempts to take over Freedom Communications (the Reg's parent company), Harry antagonized his relatives so much they reached an agreement to sell Freedom stock only to one another. The newspaper-takeover gene must run directly from father to son because Harry's son Tim earlier this year attempted to dissolve Freedom after complaining his shares in the company weren't making enough money. It didn't work: a contingent of his nieces and nephews blocked the move, leaving Tim threatening to sue in order to make sure that he does what his father never did: fuck up the family business. Mitigating Factor: None. It's the Register.3. ANDREA SHELDON LAFFERTY
Daughter/trained parrot of the Reverend Lou Sheldon, executive director of the Anaheim-based Traditional Values Coalition. Like daddy, she just loves gays. Loves 'em! She has criticized George W.'s appointment of a miniscule number of gays to executive branch positions as "promotion of the homosexual agenda," and decried a bill allowing gays the chance to adopt children as an attempt by "homosexuals to mainstream their lifestyle . . . and they want to showcase Rosie [O'Donnell], who's become a household name. It's no longer just bisexual; it's transgender." Crazy? You betcha. Mitigating Factor:She's also nuts about science! Lafferty once told a conservative action group that doctors were using fetal tissue for such mad science as putting "human livers in monkeys to make monkey-humans."4. RICHARD J. "DICK" O'NEILL
Seventysomething grandson of the late Richard O'Neill Sr., butcher-turned-South Orange County/North San Diego County cattle baron. O'Neill, whose Rancho Mission Viejo land company plans to develop another 14,000 homes, has been described as gruff, generous, miserly, intelligent and insensitive. Probably because he didn't want to compete with all the other big fish in the Orange County Republican Party, he became the biggest fish in the Orange County Democratic Party. But he acts like a typical, born-into-wealth Republican, fighting slow-growth measures, promoting more road building in traffic-clogged SoCal and calling Ronald Reagan "a great man." Mitigating Factor: He took credit for getting out the Orange County vote for Bill Clinton in 1992.5. BILL SIMON
In his gubernatorial-campaign TV commercial, the Republican candidate declares, "Maybe because I've made money, I'm not corrupted by it." It's a strange point for Simon to assert. He didn't really make money by himself. He inherited his fortune from his daddy, William E. Simon—"energy czar" and then secretary of the treasury in the Nixon administration. Daddy was a hardcore right-winger (his friends described him as a "gorilla") who bemoaned representative democracy, threw legendary temper tantrums and slyly parlayed his "public service" into private business opportunities that brought him more than $350 million. Among daddy's lucrative personal clients: the same Saudi oil men who hit the jackpot when Simon directed U.S. energy policy. Cha-ching! Now comes Junior—who wants to be our Gov because he says he understands the everyday concerns of middle-class and poor Californians. He grew up with mansions, maids, stretch limos, chauffeurs and, of course, that massive trust fund. But money hasn't been able to buy him this election. Even Republicans are pegging his campaign as the most pathetic in history. Daddy would be irate. He once simply barked, "I don't suffer fools." Mitigating Factor: Daddy died of a stroke in 2000 before Junior could publicly embarrass him.
Tacky son of tacky Paul and Jan Crouch, who run tacky Trinity Broadcasting Network. Like Jethro Bodine, Matt has decided that he is a prawdoocer, spending ma and pa's money (honestly earned bilking rubes) on the likes of Omega Code, Championand Megiddo: Omega Code II. Though Matt sells his movies as a Christian response to the Hollywood Babylon, they're rife with Hollywood clichťs right down to Matt pimping them on TBN. In fact, Matthew is a major reason that TBN increasingly has the look and feel of the old Merv Griffin show, with garish-looking haircuts—Benny Hinn, Dyan Cannon and that freak, Liberace-looking guy—talking about their latest CD, tent tour or apocalyptic movie starring Michael York as the Antichrist in matching cranberry knickers and tam. Mitigating Factor: When he refused to delay Megiddo's release soon after the Sept. 11 attacks, Crouch said God positioned the movie "to be the answer for a question we didn't even know would be asked." To anyone who saw this steaming heap, that answer was clear: Satan rules!7. JOAN IRVINE SMITH