Go Back to Thinking Less of Me

An open letter from the editor

I'd like to thank the many friends—including my dad—who've praised my comments in last Saturday's Orange County Register.

Except I didn't make those comments, so you all can go back to thinking less of me.

In "Allies Turning Backs on Agran," an article by reporter Martin Wisckol, I criticized Irvine Mayor Larry Agran. Specifically, I said, Agran's "problem" is that "he's absolutely blind" to his myriad conflicts of interest. Then, in an apparent 180, I reportedly told Wisckol I'd still vote for Agran on Nov. 2.

It was my apparent electoral support for Agran—the controversies notwithstanding—that earned me an unearned place in the hearts of many.

Except that I didn't offer it.

I know where I made my mistake. When Wisckol asked me how I planned to vote, I didn't answer simply. I told him that many Irvine residents think to themselves, "Beating the airport and all of the other things [Agran has] done over the years, he's earned my vote." Wisckol attributed that sentiment to me.

And then the calls and e-mails came pouring in.

One Irvine resident told me that my comments "restored" her faith in the Weekly. Another said my willingness to vote for Agran despite his many failings showed "real maturity." I've always striven for simple maturity; real maturity is too much to hope for. My father—a reader of the LA Times and Register—said he was "proud" of me. We all want our dads to be proud of us.

I don't think he is now.

In fact, I told Wisckol I would not vote for Agran. I explained that the mayor's most egregious failure isn't his blindness to the City Hall activities of his longtime friend and campaign advisor Ed Dornan. No, what bothers me most are Agran's subsequent legal threats against his critics—like his threat to sue council candidate Greg Smith for libel. It's hard to take such pissy behavior from a guy who literally carries a copy of the Constitution and so ought to know the First Amendment better. It suggests he's simply too thin-skinned for public office.

Given Agran's behavior—which in addition to being ball-less is "fascist," I told Martin—Agran doesn't deserve to serve on the council. I told Martin that Agran ought to "stand down" (I believe those were my exact words), "get clear on what public service is about" and then try again next time. Or not.

So, will I vote for Agran on Nov. 2?

Let me answer with an obscure reference.

Just kidding: no. I won't vote for Agran and his slate. I'll vote for his Republican opponents.

Sorry, Dad.

 
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