OC's Scariest People

Our Congressional delegation tops this year’s list of 33 villains (31 for October, plus two more to get to the Dia de los Muertos, ese)

VOTED IN FAVOR OF WAR: No
VOTED TO FUND THE WAR: No
WHERE SHE STANDS NOW: Boxer's office did not respond to requests for comment.

 

THE CAMP FOLLOWERS


10) HUGH HEWITT

There are neocons, and then there is Hewitt, a Chapman University law professor and talk-show host/blogger with an abrasive voice that belies his apple-cheeked mug. It's hard to even describe how pro-Iraq War this man is—just go to his blog (hughhewitt.townhall.com) or listen to his radio show on KRLA-AM 870, and he'll probably be extolling the virtues of Petraeus, extolling staying the course, extolling anything that involves an American presence in the Middle East for decades until all the words merge into one command: "IRAQ WAR GOOD." By the way, Hewitt never served a day in the military. MITIGATING FACTOR: Unlike other conservative talk-show hosts, Hewitt is actually smart.

 

11) MICHAEL SCOTT KERR

Next month, hundreds of families who lost a loved one in the Iraq War will head to Orange County for a weekend of fun thanks to the nonprofit Snowball Express. Not there to greet them is the man who thought up the idea: founder Kerr. Last December, the Weekly reported that an Arizona arrest warrant for Kerr was still active since he owed almost $50,000 in child support. Further media reports found Kerr had lied about filing the proper nonprofit-status paperwork for the Snowball Express, lied about his résumé—hell, lied about almost everything except his desire to earn a fat salary from the organization. Thankfully, disgusted volunteers booted Kerr before he ever earned a dime from the scheme. MITIGATING FACTOR: Even a snowball has a chance in hell, no?

 

12) LORETTA SANCHEZ'S SIT-IN PROTESTERS

Over the summer, six people were arrested for refusing to leave the offices of Congresswoman Sanchez. Their reason for the sit-in? They wanted to secure a commitment from Sanchez that she would not vote for any more resolutions funding the Iraq War. Sanchez—one of the few Orange County political voices that has expressed opposition to the war—refused, and so the people sat. The subsequent scene sparked a debate in the Orange County progressive community, with increasing name-calling on the Liberal OC and Orange Juice! blogs. Our take? While her failure to put the brakes on this train wreck is certainly scary (see above), protesting Sanchez for the Iraq War while ignoring the county's many true chickenhawks is like being against shade in Phoenix. Dirty hippies. MITIGATING FACTOR: By attacking Loretta's left flank in this county, they at least had the element of surprise going for them.

 

13) GORDON DILLOW

Most people know this Orange County Register scribbler as the author of rambling essays defending cops who use lethal force, but his greatest accomplishment as a journalist was his trip to Iraq as an embedded reporter with the United States Marines. During the swift military invasion of Iraq, Dillow hung out with the grunts of Alpha Company of the 1st Battalion of the 5th Marine Regiment as they swept toward Baghdad. The highlight of his trip was a four-hour firefight. As the Weekly reported, Dillow never mentioned the battle in his mammoth story about Iraq for the Register, focusing instead on Dillow's crush on the men he was supposed to cover.

In a speech to fans after he returned from Iraq, Dillow acknowledged that his story wasn't exactly hard-hitting war correspondence. "They always tell you not to fall in love with your subject," he said. "But I did. I fell in love with these guys. They were really great." Three years later, with the war in Iraq an unpopular quagmire, Dillow got a hankering to return to the Middle East. After the paper refused to foot the bill, Dillow told readers he'd pay for it out of his own pocket, and he provided an insight into the mind of a reporter so well-embedded that the Pentagon ought to pay his bills. "My outlook for Iraq is this," Dillow said. "We can't lose the war in Iraq in Iraq, but we certainly can lose it in America. We have to steel ourselves to the fact that it's going to take years, but it can be done, if we have the will. If we're going to withdraw prematurely, just as we did in Vietnam, then we're going to waste the lives of the young Americans who fought and died there—just as we did in Vietnam." MITIGATING FACTOR: Dillow's right about Vietnam: If it weren't for the hippies, we'd still be killing commies there now, instead of wasting our time in Iraq.

 

THE SCARIEST OF THE REST 


14) PETER CALLAHAN

For more than a decade, Callahan has spun, juked and shilled for the Catholic Diocese of Orange as its lead lawyer in various sex-abuse scandals. The Tustin-based lawyer earned his silver coins at first, securing sealed settlements throughout the 1990s on a couple of cases regarding admitted pedophiles. But he's lost his touch in the new millennium, as the Orange diocese has paid out almost $115 million in settlements since 2001 and been forced to release thousands of pages of once-secret personnel files that prove diocesan leaders not only knew about the pederasts within county parishes, but also actively protected them.

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