By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
By Charles Lam
For several months in 2011, lefty Orange County protesters gathered in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, hoping to sway public opinion on the notion that a greedy corporate and political elite are working to trample ill-informed masses. The passionate, mostly youthful activists chanted, waved homemade posters and marched in numerous cities including Santa Ana and Irvine. They even held all-night vigils.
The impact of such activism depends on who is opining. Conservatives say Occupy OC was a meaningless exercise by anti-capitalist radicals. Liberals hope seeds were sown for a vibrant progressive community. Regardless of which view is right, there is no dispute the movement excreted a byproduct: Gregory A. Diamond.
It's not that Occupiers knowingly and willfully gave us Diamond. The mysterious, 50-plus-year-old, former low-level Manhattan corporate lawyer dreamed of abandoning American society in disgust for imagined Third World pleasures, but instead quietly parachuted into the bustling metropolis of Brea in 2006 (or 2007; he has given conflicting dates) after a divorce and a series of employment failures. He worked on the campaigns of two ultimately trounced Democratic candidates, and then was named Jerry Brown's 2010 gubernatorial campaign "co-coordinator" for Orange County, a position on par in importance with being named Mitt Romney's Castro co-coordinator in San Francisco.
Diamond, who had been looking for a cause to give his life meaning, joined the Occupy ranks in 2011. The anti-establishment protests energized him. Not everybody can afford to protest 24 hours per day, but the attorney (who has taken piecemeal work from a firm that is the Kinko's of the legal community) had no daily job responsibilities.
For months, Diamond protested, but he also held a secret goal: to become a player in local politics. He kept a precise log of the amount of time—allegedly 3,773 hours—he volunteered. Though it was forbidden for anyone in Occupy to grab leadership titles, he named himself "Primary Civic Liaison" and often nestled himself between reporters seeking quotes and other protesters.
Last spring, from his Brea rental, Diamond—whose solo law practice made him less than $1,999 in 2011—announced his campaign for a $100,000-per-year seat in the California state senate, representing the 29th District. He isn't running for himself, of course. He claimed, "I'm doing it because tying my political fate closely to Occupy and fighting like hell is the best way I can think of to advance the Occupy critique."
Bob Huff, the incumbent in the seat that includes portions of Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties, is the Senate Republican leader. In 2011, the League of California Cities voted the Diamond Bar resident its Legislator of the Year. Theoretically, toppling him would hand Occupy LA and OC a historic electoral victory. "This is a chance to significantly affect our state's policy debate by changing California," Diamond wrote in a fund-raising pitch. "Those of you who have ever argued with me know that I'm stubborn, progressive, tenacious, incisive, dedicated—and I know how to bring it and make it hurt."
But far from working to make himself a serious candidate, Diamond is giving birth to what could easily be one of California's worst, most inept campaigns for state senate in memory. Those superlatives have nothing to do with his liberal stances. He is clueless on how to successfully run for office and, worse (especially for Occupy interests he claims to represent), has oddly diverted his attention from his own campaign to dig into the marital relations of a candidate in another race.
On July 26, the Friends for Fullerton's Future blog published a brief item about Diamond filing a public-records act request with the local police department. He'd sought five-year-old internal records of an incident at Republican Assemblyman Chris Norby's home. Norby is facing a challenge from Democrat Sharon Quirk-Silva, Fullerton's mayor.
The revelation underscored Diamond's wandering attention to old, unsubstantiated rumors and forced him to admit he'd inserted himself in Quirk-Silva's contest without her knowledge. Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez has been called everything from whore to retard in blogs and not once gone postal. In contrast, Diamond freaked out that he was caught snooping and left a whopping 57—that is not a typo—comments on the blog entry.
His character-revealing remarks center on neurotic, disingenuous logic: He hadn't wanted to use any negative information on Norby, but now that the pro-Norby blog embarrassed him, he had to smear Norby to clear his own name.
"I'm writing the story now," Diamond commented, even while admitting he didn't "have the goods" on Norby. "If you didn't want this to see the light of day, [you] shouldn't have written your post. . . . Don't worry, [my blog post] won't just go to [Orange Juice Blog, where Diamond blathers regularly; his own campaign blog, on the other hand, hasn't been updated since February]. A lot more people than three will read it. . . . I think that spousal abuse and police cover-ups of charges of spousal abuse against public officials—if that's indeed what happened here—are very important. . . . I'm putting off the story until Monday, though. Readership is higher."
Aware of Diamond's penchant for empty bluster, the folks at Friends for Fullerton's Future told him to shut up and write his blog post. "Stay tuned, little dog man," he replied. "Just sit tight and wait for the story, which I'm slating for Monday."
Diamond's threatened exposé didn't appear on Monday, July 30, nor has it been seen in the more than two months since. In the process of interviewing him for this story, Diamond sought to divert me into probing Norby. When I didn't take the bait, he sent me this note: "Right now, I'd be satisfied with an ironclad pledge from Norby that if his wife leaves him and asserts that he committed domestic violence against her within a year of the election, he'd immediately resign the seat. Does that seem fair? If he did that, I'd happily drop the issue between now and the election."
The obsession with Norby prompted me to question Diamond about how much work he's putting into his own campaign. In May, he promised his supporters he'd raise more than $100,000, yet with the race in its final days, he hasn't managed to collect $25,000—or far less. He refuses to reveal the exact amount, saying, "I wonder why this information is of interest."
(Huff reported cash on hand of almost $400,000 as of June 30.)
Candidates also usually share schedule details to demonstrate their commitment to win. Not Diamond, whose "events" page at his campaign website has been empty for months. "How much I've campaigned per day and what events I've orchestrated that aren't already public record are closely guarded secrets," he said.
Realizing our interviews weren't going well, Diamond demanded we reverse roles. He sent a list of questions and threatened to write a blog post about me in the aftermath of this article. He was incredulous when I didn't recoil in fear. To underscore his power, he proclaimed, "I'm now among the most-read political bloggers in OC."
This column appeared in print as "The World's Most Worthless Diamond: Greg Diamond prefers digging into another man's marriage rather than focusing on his California senate race."
"Conservatives say Occupy OC was a meaningless exercise by anti-capitalist radicals. Liberals hope seeds were sown for a vibrant progressive community. Regardless of which view is right, there is no dispute the movement excreted a byproduct: Gregory A. Diamond."
ROFL! I just about gulped part of a diet coke down the wrong tube I was laughing so hard when I read this. Who writes like this? It's something the late Hunter S. Thompson could have penned. Hilarious.
As a progressive, and a very left of center activist, who has been involved in social justice movements, as well as local elections, since 1984, I want to be on record as saying that Greg Diamond does not have the psychology of an liberal activist. He may care about many of the same things I do on paper, but his actions, and reactions, are first and foremost filtered through the Democratic Party barometer of his brain. His outrage and support are fueled or mitigated by the impact (good or bad) that they will have on our party or our party's leaders, not based on what is just and unjust. Translation: A prolific party hack 1 (Diamond backing Paula Williams over Jane Rands in the recall is just one example)
I misspoke. It's no longer "our" party Greg. After being a member of the Democratic party for over 25 years I changed my status to independent last June 5th. You were a small part of the inspiration for it.
Why does he spend so much time blogging about "other races"? Because blogging about local politics is his hobby. Doesn't sound fun to me, but to each their own. Just because he doesn't have the weed and massage parlor handjob money you guys have doesn't necessarily make his perspectives on a boring (to most) subject less valid.
As someone who has continued to organize Occupy events throughout, including tomorrow's anniversary, I do consider Greg heroic and his efforts crucial to us being able to make such long-lasting actions here in the OC without police reprisal.
The fact that he hasn't raised a ton of money for his campaign is what I would expect from one of the few candidates in America who is running as someone who gives respect to Occupy values.I've seen Greg patiently listen and respond to everyone from Tea Partiers to anarchist kids advocating mass molotoving. In each case I saw people leave the better for the interaction.The guy has good policies and a lot of heart. The F' do you care if he "campaigns well" or not?"
A friend told me about the OJBlog take on the Anaheim desmadre, so I started reading it. The pleito between Moxley, the reporter and Diamond, the blogger was like a B telenovela, from Telemundo. I put my two centavos in when Diamond called you a cabron:
“…You seem to be a gordito simpatico, good with words, but do not mess around with my homeboy Gustavo. He is one of my local heroes…has written hard hitting pieces on the KKK and John Birchers of Anaheim, and on the whitiest man alive, Curt Pringle. So Greg, cool it …” Response from one of his readers, who was not snoring: Gustavo has not written hard hitting pieces on the KKK – he has published a list of people who may have been members of the Klan and made non-sensical comments about them – that’s it – nothing hard hitting about it.
“…you missed the subtle point. KKK is also used for the ghosts or legacy of these racists. They were present in the killing at Anna Drive : Krazy Kops. I leave the last K for you to decipher…”
Gustavo, you have been a role model for my children. You are trucho y bien letrado vato. Stop always calling PENDEJO to everybody who question you or your reporters!.
"your new owners won't mind so long as those "escort" ads in the back of the paper keep making them money."
But Greg, isn't that where you found your wife?
Welcome to the fold of us independents who have left the hypocrisy of BOTH the elephant and the donkey behind us.
I came from the right while you came from the left. Now we purpose to support the best of everything while leaving the worst of everything behind. Support is given based on merit not political affiliation.
History, of course matters, but so does the phrase "It's not so much where we have come from but rather where we are going."
@facebookonly82 @gregdiamond You can try to defend Gregory A. Diamond's inept, non-existent campaign all you want. But, alas, it is surely news when a person puts his name on the state senate ballot--could that have been his sole objective?--and then completely ignores the race. That kind of shamefully lazy conduct has caused you to express your frustration at the wrong person.
@OCPunk OCpieceofshitracist punk... missing your buddy Wade Michael Page? : P
@OCPunk I've never flagged a post here for abuse before, so this is a first for me.
Go to hell.
@jasongarshfield You see Greg? Even your retarded high school pals have more real fight in them than you've ever had on any day in your alleged state senate campaign. Now, Jason Garshfield, go fuck yourself. You dumb ass. It's not my candle Greg wants held up against him.
@rscottmoxley @facebookonly82 @gregdiamond I really can't speak for him and don't know shit about local political campaigning, but without even trying I've heard him speak at a May Day rally, Anaheim police brutality protest, co-rally with conservative groups, etc.Or is your contention that someone else would've won in his overwhelmingly Republican district if they had taken a more traditional bullshit baby kissing approach?All sarcasm aside I would be interested in hearing how you think a progressive outsider candidate could win in Orange County, honestly, because as I said I don't know much about it.
That would be WAY more interesting than making fun of someone because they like to blog.
@GregDiamond @OCPunk Ignore it Greg, if you're a public figure there are always going to be worthless douchebags who'll attack you and those you love. Just ignore it, don't give it any validation. Imagine what President Obama has to go through all the time, with Glenn Beck mocking his daughters on air and everything.
@rscottmoxley Jason's a good guy. Calling him "retarded" is wrong in every way -- and it just reflects on your character.
Now what did you mean by "It's not my candle Greg wants held up against him."? That's a really strange thing to say, Scott, whatever it means.
The <$1999 was from having my started a law practice late in the year -- and then having set much of it aside due to Occupy. That does not include my income from my work at Jones Day.
The quote about Jones Day was:
"MOXLEY: Not everybody can afford to protest 24 hours per day, but the attorney (who has taken piecemeal work from a firm that is the Kinko’s of the legal community) had no daily job responsibilities.
"DIAMOND: didn’t protest “24 hours per day” or anything like it. I didn’t sleep in the encampments (except for some of the first week, and never overnight.) The odd Kinko’s reference refers to– here’s an actual secret that Moxley somehow missed — Jones Day, where I worked as a contact attorney on several cases, during which time I did have daily job responsibilities for most of (as I recall) a year or more. After that ended in mid-2011 or so, I started to try to build my own private law practice — from which Occupy certainly distracted me, but again I’m not complaining."A contract attorney is usually a temporary employee. You didn't understand that, I guess, so if you were to back off of your statement now it would be excusable. My bet is that you won't.
@rscottmoxley What's the full exact quote, Scott? Put aside your error of fact -- what's the quote where I say "fight like hell"? Why won't you look it up and acknowledge what I said?
You know, I haven't tried to go out of my way to destroy your reputation as a journalist. I wish that you wouldn't do so either.
@facebookonly82 " I...don't know shit about local political campaigning"That statement alone explains a lot with your attraction to a loser who claims to have worked for a well known law firm like Jones Day only to find out that he was only a temp employee. How much of his brief tenure at Jones Day accounted for the his yearly income of $1,999.00? Is there any more lies he told you? Take some advice from baxter65 and run like hell from Diamond while you still have an iota of self respect.
@facebookonly82 @gregdiamond @rscottmoxley. I can see you are trying hard to score points with Diamond. Good for you. Now, you can continue to pretend you've missed the fact that he promised to campaign like hell and instead didn't campaign at all. That's lazy.
@jasongarshfield @GregDiamond @rscottmoxley Hi again Student Jason (Or, should it be: High again, Jason?). Sigmund Freud has been dead for about 39 years. You may discover such fact during your freshman year in college. If you don't, just ask uncle Greg. He's spent plenty of time under the psychopathological microscope.
@jasongarshfield @rscottmoxley Yeah, Jason, in my opinion it's over the line, even though I can't recall you ever saying anything bigoted. I know you didn't mean to stand by the bigotry, but it gives him a sword. You should see the e-mail he sent me and Vern. Yowch.
As for "Back to 69ing" -- Scott, I swear I'm miles away, at home with my wife. Jason tends to be irrepressible. They'll like him at Berkeley!
@GregDiamond @rscottmoxley I posted the link. I'm sorry, but it is just so much fun to mess with Scott's head sometimes... I figured I'd really screw with him this time. Maybe it went a bit over the line though, I don't know. Trust me, Scott and readers, Greg Diamond's nothing like me. He's a far better man. When insulted crudely, he'll respond with a reasonable argument rather than try to be ten times cruder than his opponent. If Obama's stuck with Reverend Wright, Greg Diamond's got me... but don't judge Greg by his loopy friends, judge him by his enemies, and right now that includes an obscene minor-league reporter with a penchant for peeing on the truth. Greg, sorry if I wasted your time. Back to 69ing...
Would you please confirm that that YouTube link was actually posted by Jason? I just watched 20-30 seconds of it, enough to confirm that I didn't like it and its posting doesn't represent my views or taste. I presume that, if Jason did publish it, it was not to celebrate bigoted statement within it, but I don't know what the point would have been.
That said, you're an adult and Jason just out of high school. I expect you to be more mature than you were in the comment to which he (or someone using his name) responded. That one was just personally offensive, rather than offensive about race, religion and sexuality, but it sets a tone for your paper that I wish you wouldn't set.
Calling me a "disgusting bigot" because of your obscene interaction with Jason (or someone posing as him) is simply weird and wrong.
@jasongarshfield @rscottmoxley @gregdiamond Yes, high school boy Jason, I got your angry message about you craving another male to suck your little pathetic dick. Nice and very mature. Given how much you are on bended knee for Uncle Greg Diamond, I'll suggest that you can save your oh so valuable time by 69ing with him.
@rscottmoxley Apology accepted.
@jasongarshfield Yes, Jason: Please continue to hold that stance if it makes your college freshman brain feel better.
@rscottmoxley Now, don't waste any more of my time. I've got to register a bunch of fellow college students to vote and study for midterms.
@rscottmoxley Considering that you just devoted a lot of time to attacking my friend, I'm having a real ball pushing your buttons and watching you go nuts in this comment thread.
@jasongarshfield Yes! Yes! This is obviously an important accomplishment for you--sitting on this planet as it rotates around the sun and, alas, achieving "college age." Oh, what a breathtaking future you have: someday you'll be 20, and then 25 and 30!!! These feats will make you somebody, I am sure!
@jasongarshfield Yes--given your F bombing and uninformed ramblings, I firmly believe that you troll. Look, if that's what you're good at, please embrace it. Otherwise, u will spend your life unsatisfied and miserable with your limitations.
@jasongarshfield Yes, Jason, you are really impressively smart and full of meaningful world experiences as you emerge from high school. This fact was demonstrated by your previous weak, F bomb comments. Look, I don't mind if you need to take a few days to clear your mind before you try to opine. Or, if you need a mature adult to aid you in crafting coherent thoughts. But barking ignorant lines like your uncle Greg only proves to make you look like a chump.
@rscottmoxley No, we're not related, and he's not a high school student, and I didn't "recruit" him to comment here. He's a good guy whom I know through Occupy Irvine.
Honestly, I can't believe that you're doing this to yourself, Scott.
@jasongarshfield @facebookonly82 @rscottmoxley And you--yet to be educated lil boy with so much unearned cockiness--are in high school. Greg, u stoop so low to recruit HS students to defend your pathetic, lazy lack of a state senate campaign? Are u 2 related???
@facebookonly82 @jasongarshfield @gregdiamond @rscottmoxley Boo-hoo! I apologize Jason. Didn't know you needed a lame sock puppet to intervene for you. Do you need a Band-Aid?
@jasongarshfield @rscottmoxley @gregdiamond Yes, I believe you Jason. I read that Berkeley recently lowered its enrollment standards.
@jasongarshfield @rscottmoxley Here's what the shouting was all about, Jason. By request (of Scott Moxley): http://www.orangejuiceblog.com/2012/10/norby-and-his-protectors-why-i-filed-a-public-records-request-about-his-actions/