NAMBLA Fantasy

Republican activist Jeff Nielsen says he didnt know the object of his affection was a 14-year-old boy

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Nielsen won't talk to the Weekly, but his friends say he has sworn he didn't know the Westminster boy was underage; apparently, then, lightning struck at least twice: police say he was also exchanging e-mails with a 16-year-old at Ocean View High School in Huntington Beach. He was let go from Manatt, Phelps & Phillips after his arrest and has reportedly found a less high-profile job at an Irvine law firm. He's using a private detective to dig up dirt on the alleged victim and his mother.

But he's also still building his impressive résumé—this time for a jury. He's reportedly abandoned his hard-line conservatism. Once a member of the ultraconservative Federalist Society, he's joined a gay-friendly, liberal church in Laguna Beach, where he's been making new friends who might serve as the usual character witnesses. He's blamed his case on homophobia.

"Jeff has tearfully told everyone he can that he's the victim," said one of his Laguna acquaintances.

And he's also finagled some favorable pretrial publicity in the paper that loves to service the local GOP. On Sept. 5, The Orange County Register published this item about Katrina hurricane relief efforts:

"Jeff Nielsen of Ladera Ranch got on www.craigslist.com to find out how he could help," wrote the Register's Richard Chang. "He connected with a Los Angeles-based effort called Puppies, Babies & Mommies Too and collected items including sanitary and school supplies, pet food, water, baby formula and canned food over the weekend."

Nielsen even provided the Register, which didn't mention the pending sex-crimes charges, with a heroic quote: "It doesn't make sense to not do something. It makes more sense to do something that you can actually put your arms around."

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Although neither Baugh nor Rohrabacher returned calls about Nielsen, it's only fitting to end this story by quoting a conservative. Winston Churchill once opined that any man who is under 30 and not a liberal has no heart; any man over 30 and not a conservative has no brains.

If Churchill was right, what do we make of Jeffrey Ray Nielsen, who—at the age of 35—suddenly found his sensitive side?

Perhaps another saying is helpful: a liberal is a conservative who's been arrested.



RSCOTTMOXLEY@OCWEEKLY.COM

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