Sexual harassment: It's not just a Harvey Weinstein jam anymore. Danielle Serbin, the Orange County Young Democrats chairwoman, proved that Oct. 17 with a statement that alleged young women had been sexually harassed by "men in power at the Democratic Party of Orange County [DPOC] and/or the Orange County Labor Federation [OCLF]." Her evidence was messages posted by former interns and employees who "bravely" went public as part of social media's #MeToo campaign, which actress Alyssa Milano launched in the wake of the Weinstein scandal. Behind the Orange Curtain, a wildfire engulfed the DPOC and OCLF, especially after Serbin confirmed for the Weekly that the men in power were Erik Taylor, the OC party's former executive director, and Julio Perez, the labor fed's current executive director. While the OCLF went silent and Perez went missing—neither the OCLF nor national AFL-CIO did anything more than acknowledge it received the Weekly's requests for comments—the DPOC and its chairwoman, Fran Sdao, announced they were taking the allegations seriously, launching an internal investigation and instituting reforms up to and including reporting crimes to local law enforcement. With Taylor having left the DPOC post to become campaign manager for Phil Janowicz, a Democrat seeking the 39th Congressional District seat held by Representative Ed Royce (R-Brea), the challenger said he, too, was taking the allegations seriously, although others with the campaign confided to the Weekly they were having trouble substantiating the stories about Taylor. Other Democrats seeking the Royce seat forcefully countered that the campaign manager should have immediately been fired. On Friday, at about the same time the Weekly received screen grabs of creepy, sexually loaded texts and images that Taylor was said to have sent to a female intern, Janowicz announced he had accepted the senior campaign official's resignation.
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TALE OF TWO SPEECHES
On Oct. 20, ex-White House chief strategist, Breitbart News executive chairman and life-size Evil Dead-villain cut-out Steve Bannon addressed about 500 Republicans attending the California GOP Fall Convention at the Anaheim Marriott. The next day and about a block away, Gold Star father, 2016 national Democratic Party convention speaker and Trump truther Khizr Khan addressed about 350 stewards attending the National Union of Healthcare Workers at the Sheraton Park Hotel. Here is one of the things Khan said during his speech: "When so much of this nation is worried about the direction of this nation, we will set it right, we will fix it, we will change the course." Let's contrast that with something Bannon said during his appearance: "It's always darkest before the dawn. The permanent political class who control this country and the progressive Democrats who sit on the other side of that are not just going to give this country back. You're going to have to take it back!" Royce and his fellow Orange County GOP members of Congress–representaives Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa), Darrell Issa (R-Vista) and Mimi Walters (R-Irvine)–were not in attendance for a 40-minute Bannon address that produced three standing ovations, reports his own Breitbart News. "It was an action speech," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. "It was a call to war." Hopefully, not one that creates more Gold Star fathers.
Judge Roy Moore, the controversial Republican nominee for Attorney General Jeff Sessions' open U.S. Senate seat in Alabama, reportedly accepted a $1,000 donation years ago from Willis Carto, the now-dead co-founder of the Newport Beach-based Institute for Historical Review (IHR), which has foisted white power, anti-Semitic conspiracies, and the denial or downplaying of the Holocaust since 1978. Carto did not make the 2005 donation to Moore's nonprofit Foundation for Moral Law on behalf of the IHR, which, during its nearly 40-year history, has also been headquartered in Costa Mesa and Torrance, but the Foundation to Defend the First Amendment (FDFA). As reported on the Huffington Post, the FDFA was but one of several nonprofits Carto used to spread money to like-minded groups, but Moore should feel special because his Foundation for Moral Law was among only a few that did explicitly deny the Holocaust. The former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, who is being backed by Bannon, may not publicly display Holocaust denier bona fides, but he has: blamed the 9/11 attacks on gays and abortion; called for the criminalization of homosexuality; opposed Muslims being allowed to serve in Congress; alleged that former President Barack Obama is not an American citizen; refused to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling legalizing same-sex marriage; lamented divisions between "reds and yellows" (as in Native Americans and Asian-Americans); and claimed, without being able to produce evidence, that some parts of the U.S. operate under Sharia Law. Someone go to Arlington National Cemetery, where World War II Purple Heart recipient Carto has been buried since 2015, and wipe the smile off the corpse.
DEPARTMENT OF YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS SHIT UP
An Anaheim man was convicted Oct. 18 of robbing marijuana dealers at gunpoint of 60 pounds and 90 pounds of marijuana in two separate incidents earlier this year at the Resort At Pelican Hill in Newport Coast. Thomas Lamarr Prince, a 40-year-old with a prior conviction for a Los Angeles robbery in 2015, could get up to 25 years in state prison if he is convicted of the charges filed against him by the Orange County district attorney's office (OCDA). In both cases, Prince met the men with the pot in the Newport Coast Shopping Center parking lot before having them follow him to get the money from his resort suite, where they were instead met by men with guns who robbed them, according to the Newport Beach Police Department. Prince, who fled with the drugs in the February and March incidents, had $10,000 in cash in a safe inside and a Porsche, Maserati and Range Rover outside his Anaheim home when he was arrested, police allege. Here is the really interesting thing about this case: The Newport Beach Police Department routinely sends the Weekly press releases about far less serious crimes than this one. We never received a word about the Prince case. Likewise, the OCDA often alerts the Weekly to the arraignments of bad dudes such as Prince, something that did not happen this time, although to be fair, there are so many bad dudes such as Prince in a county of 3 million that the agency can't possibly tell us about all of them. It's also important to note that it was the OCDA that announced Prince's conviction. But you don't have to be a viewer of The Alex Jones Show to get your conspiratorial mind wondering what powerful land owner/manager would want to minimize media coverage of large-scale drug deals going on at his tony resort that is patrolled not by public, but by private police. As my old boss used to say, "Hmm . . ."