Illustration by Lloyd DangleBitter, defeated ex-Congressman Robert K. Dornan may be the person most responsible for OC Weekly's quick success. Early on, our circulation numbers told us that any time Dornan's face or name appeared on our cover, customers picked up more papers. So, thanks, Bob.
Ever since getting his butt handed to him a second time by Loretta Sanchez (he lost two campaigns against her, in 1996 and 1998), Dornan has made good on his threat to go into talk radio. He had always claimed there were myriad radio suitors eager to pay him millions of dollars. Well, now he's on something called the Talk Radio Network with such heavyweights as Ritchie Flielger, Jovan Philyew, and the woman who gave us Linda Tripp, Lucienne Goldberg (or, as she is known in most Pacific Island nations, Kluy'ianna, Despoiler of Hope). As for those millions of bucks, well, Dornan ain't exactly giving Rush, Laura, Howard or Dr. Dean Edell, for that matter, a run for their money.
"It's a very crowded field and he's doing a very respectable job," said Michael Harrison, editor of Talkers magazine. "The word on his show is very positive. His biggest advantage is that he's Bob Dornan. He's got a great personality; he's an intelligent speaker. He's not afraid to give his opinion, but when he does, he's not irrational—not a wacko. If he has a point to make, he doesn't do it for the sake of sensationalism."
He was serious. Of course, it's easy to come off as rational when most of your counterparts are ranting about aliens and government "brain-contrabulation" from rusted-out trailers in the South Dakota badlands.
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The Dornans remain in politics, sort of. Son Mark ran in the primary for Congressman Ron Packard's open South County seat and lost. Badly. The nut doesn't fall far from the nut.