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
Wouldn't it be oddly coincidental if Gilliard, like Strader, was a close Probolsky pal? Let's search Google to see what pops up. . . . The website for Probolsky's consulting firm contains a testimonial from Gilliard: "We work with Probolsky Research on some of our toughest campaigns, and we win."
Also, CHA used Direct Marketing Inc. (DMI) of Orange to print the pro-Agran, anti-Choi messages. Erik Brown, a self-styled Christian conservative and longtime party activist with ties to the Orange County Young Republicans, owns DMI. He is the man who infamously submitted a 2010 expense to the Republican National Committee for a $2,000 bill from a gay-run, sadomasochistic-themed West Hollywood nightclub. Funny how Brown, like Strader and Gilliard, also happens to be a Probolsky buddy.
Of course, Republicans plotting with Agran would be meaningless if someone didn't step forward to pay the costs of the sabotage mailers. Two out-of-town businesses contributed $55,000 in recent weeks, according to disclosure reports. Both companies are gambling operations—Casino 580 LLC in Los Angeles and San Bruno's Artichoke Joe's Casino, which was raided last year as part of a bust of a loan-sharking ring.
In the wake of my prior published revelations about her ties to Strader and Probolsky—a paid advocate for gaming expansion efforts in the state—Daigle has appeared publicly incredulous that anyone would dare question her campaign. She wants us to suspend reality and, whatever we do, not ponder this question:
Why would Dennis J. Sammut—the owner of Artichoke Joe's seven hours away and a contributor to liberal politicians such as Diane Feinstein, John Burton, Don Perata, Jackie Speier, Bill Lockyer and Antonio Villaraigosa—spend so much money for an unknown rookie OC Republican candidate with no chance of winning?
Maybe the party labels are meaningless because in Irvine, money—lots of money—is up for grabs for anyone who joins Team Agran.
This column appeared in print as "The Great Irvine Election Robbery of 2012: Larry Agran is hoping a flood of tainted money and bizarre alliances keep him in power."