Just got word that Tom Fuentes--a titan of local politics for forging the Orange County Republican Party into the freaks that they are today, and a gnat of a man for his role in the Catholic Diocese of Orange sex-abuse scandals--passed away last night after a long battle with cancer. He was 63.
The best that can be said about Fuentes is that he was colorful--if, by colorful, you mean you enjoyed a man who helped put poll guards outside Latino-heavy precincts during a 1988 election that cost Fuentes, Curt Pringle and others $400,000 in a civil judgement, or someone who once opined, "I can tell you the registration of the people in the house by observing the neatness of the lawn, what cars are in the driveway...and whether there is a leaky oil can in the driveway."
The worst that can be said about him is the truth: that he helped to protect pedophile priests.
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Fuentes served as communications director for the Orange diocese from 1977 to 1989, a time that just happened to coincide with multiple pedophile priests roaming the county's pews and raping children left and right. Did he alert the authorities or press when his superiors whisked away Eleuterio Ramos to Tijuana and Franklin Buckman to an Indian reservation after raping one boy too many? Nope. Did Fuentes alert the authorities or press when he was assigned pedo-priest Jerome Henson to work under him? Nope. Did Fuentes ever criticize the bishops who employed him, the hierarchy that helped to support him, for actively thwarting law enforcement? HA!
I'm sure Moxley and Coker will have more to say on Monday about Fuentes' passing given they covered him for a longer period of time than yours truly. But in the midst of any hosannas thrown Fuentes' way by others, remember: he helped to protect pedophile priests, and never owed up to it. The most he could ever say on the subject was to his ultimate apologist, Orange County Register columnist Frank Mickadeit: "I believe what was going on on the secular campuses in the 1970s led to the liberal influences in the seminaries of that era, and that set the tone for crisis in the Church in the 1990s. ... If I allow myself, I can become physically ill thinking about it.''
Nice: blame the liberals, even though it was his conservative-as-fuck bosses who covered up the rapes of innocents, and most of the rapes in the Orange diocese happened during his time. Hey, Tom: hope you get a spot in Hell next to your former boss, Bishop Norman McFarland, as the two of you pedo-priest protecting pendejos deserve each other. Heckuva job, Brownie!