The nicest thing anyone ever wrote about your favorite infernal rag's news team was former Weekly writer Steve Lowery--oh, Lowery, how we miss you! Anyhoo, the occasion was the 2004 resignation of Huntington Beach Mayor Pam Houchen, after Nick Schou exposed her on a real-estate scheme that would land the mother of triplets in prison. It's long because it was Lowery, and so...
[Hauchen] is the second Huntington Beach city official to come under legal scrutiny and then resign after an investigation by the Weekly; the first, Mayor Dave Garofalo, quit after it was discovered nobody liked him. On a personal note, I had nothing to do with any of this, but if you're a local politician, I sincerely suggest you not mess with our news dudes--Arellano, Moxley and Schou. Bob Dornan did, and now he's doing kids' birthday parties and first communions. Larry Agran is getting a little something-something right now. And, dude, if you're a politician from Huntington Beach, I would sincerely consider sending these boys a muffin basket, you know, and hope the Angel of Death passes you over. If they do come calling, you answer your question, cop to anything and thank them for their time. It's like I told this guy Jeff, who was getting his head rammed into a car bumper by my best friend Dom out by the convent. "Stay down," I told him. "Take your beating and stay down." It wasn't like he didn't have it coming. He clearly blew the palming call in the finals of the St. Raymond's intramural basketball league; Dom had to do something. We should have easily romped over the team of Dave Domenici, who everyone knew always took an extra step to the hoop, but Jeff conveniently missed that while calling palming when what he had seen was in fact an optical illusion stemming from my superior hand and foot speed, which I told Jeff before, after and during his beating. The point is Jeff was clearly responsible for slamming his head into the back of a car--which, in those days, were made of steel--his biggest mistake being trying to get up. And so it is for you, corrupt H.B. politico. When the Weekly boys come calling, answer their questions, please them any way you can, resistance is futile. Who knows? You may get lucky and catch us in a Best of OC cycle, when they'll be distracted. Otherwise, there's a bumper with your name on it.
Moral of the story? Although we're small (and due to newspaper reality, even smaller than in 2004), heaven help the politician who crosses our radar--they're goners. Don't believe me? Just ask failed state assembly candidate Troy Edgar, dirty cop Steve Chavez Lodge, and Irvine master Agran.
Moxley caught Edgar messing around with his campaign financials, which got Edgar in trouble with some of his former GOP supporters. When Edgar tried to dismiss Moxley's findings as irrelevant and his detractors as washed up, Moxley doubled down--and Travis Allen is now the 72nd Assembly District's candidate. You don't think Mox made a difference? Allen thanked him personally--and this, despite us not liking Allen much, if at all.
Mox will soon regale us with his tale of how he helped to prevent Agran from becoming Irvine's mayor again by exposing his shadow candidate. So we'll end our piece with me and Lodge. The GOP machine in Anaheim wanted Lodge so badly that they paired him up with Democrat Jordan Brandman and plastered their ugly mugs across the city. Lodge had Disney, Curt Pringle, and the benefit of being a somewhat famed cop running for city council in a city that is undergoing a cholo wave.
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So what stopped Lodge from winning? What pushed him to an embarrassing fourth place? The Weekly. We not only revealed that Lodge had multiple civil rights lawsuits filed against him during his time as a SanTana cop, but that he had someone wrongfully imprisoned for a year on murder charges that eventually were dropped for lack of evidence.
We are not a perfect paper. SanTana Mayor Don Papi Pulido crushed his worthy opponent, David Benavides. Allan Mansoor is still in office. We should cover Costa Mesa and South County more. But despite our limited resources--the Orange County Register is planning to hire double the people we have in our entire staff!--it's always nice to know that this fishwrap continues to do what we've always done: comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable.
And, yes, politicians: when our news team comes a'callin', give us a muffin basket.