Congressman Dana Rohrabacher--Orange County's senior, career politician--announced today that his longtime campaign treasurer allegedly stole more than $173,000 from his election coffers.
But Rohrabacher, a notorious cheapskate and slob known as the Loretta Sanchez of the California Republican Party, failed to mention who is likely most upset by the situation: the congressman's wife, Rhonda, who has in the past deposited about 50 percent of campaign contributions into the family's bank accounts by--cough, cough--acting as his campaign manager.
Nick Gerda at the Voice of OC broke the story and quoted Rohrabacher as claiming he's "disappointed and dismayed by this betrayal of trust" by Jack Wu, a surfing Newport Beach/Los Angeles tax accountant, past city council candidate and conservative political activist whose Twitter account description declares, "Kick ass for da Lord!"
Gerda also reported that Rohrabacher election law attorney Charles H. Bell of Sacramento issued a statement claiming Wu--who has been a guest columnist for the Voice of OC, Daily Pilot and Orange County Register--admitted guilt, resigned, promised to repay the money and faces potential criminal action.
I first met Wu more than a decade ago and, despite political differences, had considered him a decent, witty and highly intelligent person. Today's news is disheartening. Republican activists around the county are also shocked. Wu was exceptionally close to legendary Orange County Republican Party boss Tom Fuentes, playing a role in his 2012 funeral.
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Rohrabacher, a bombastic war hawk nowadays though he skipped all Vietnam War military service when eligible to fight in combat, first ran and won in 1988 by arguing for the importance of term limits.