In this issue, Machine Age columnist Wyn Hilty mentions a Dec. 17 report by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) on the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC). The civil rights group's report documents the CCC's ties to white supremacists. Well, guess who pops up in the report? None other than Michael Collins Piper, whose inclusion as a John F. Kennedy assassination expert in South Orange County Community College District trustee Steven J. Frogue's proposed seminar for fall 1997 led to public outcry, international ridicule for the district, the seminar's cancellation, the unsuccessful attempt to recall Frogue, and much of the divisiveness still lingering in the district. Piper even flew from Washington, D.C., to one of the board of trustees' meetings, which quickly devolved into a bizarre game of cat and hatemonger. Piper, who is a contributor to The Spotlight, which the Anti-Defamation League brands the most anti-Semitic publication in America, penned the book Final Judgment, in which Piper alleges the Israeli government played a part in Kennedy's killing. Responding to local critics who had called Piper anti-Semitic and a Holocaust denier, he told the Weekly and others that he had nothing against Jews but that he had not paid enough attention to the most horrific event of the 20th century to actually deny that it occurred. But according to the SPLC, Piper was speaking at a meeting of the CCC's National Capitol Region in Arlington, Virginia, earlier this month when he got “progressively angrier” as he talked about “the Jews he says control Hollywood.” He ended his address, the story claims, by saying, “how sick he is of hearing about the Holocaust, and how he just doesn't care how many Jews died.”
GONE WITH THE KIMLast week, we wondered where the hell Jay Kim was. The 41st District congressman, who is in the final days of his term, had closed his congressional offices in Yorba Linda, Ontario and Washington, D.C. In an interview in the Dec. 16 Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Kim said he closed his offices at the request of the federal General Services Administration and had calls forwarded to a temporary office. But constituents still reported they couldn't get messages to Kim, who in March pleaded guilty to accepting more than $230,000 in illegal campaign donations. Before Dec. 19's historic votes, the Republican told reporters he was leaning against impeaching President Bill Clinton, but he ultimately voted for the first article of impeachment (perjury).
YOU'VE BEEN DISCONNECTEDKim's constituents weren't alone in complaining about being unable to leave messages with a Republican congressman. A woman phoned the Weekly last week to allege that Congressman Dana Rohrabacher's (R-Huntington Beach) office had disconnected its phones to prevent anti-impeachment calls from flooding in. A Rohrabacher staffer later denied that had happened. Indeed, it's unlikely the impeachment vote would cause him to cut off contact with the outside world-unless he was acting like every other Republican in Congress.
LET ME NOT COUNT THE WAYS It would have been easier for Rohrabacher to follow the lead of neighboring Congressman Chris Cox (R-Newport Beach), who told a reporter on Dec. 17 that he'd received 5,200 messages regarding the impeachment but hadn't bothered tabulating the results. No need letting the opinions of the people you represent get in the way of a good political blood bath, eh, Chrissie? Cox-who has unsuccessfully tried to get himself anointed vice president (in 1996), U.S. Senator (twice, in '94 and '98) and speaker of the House (November, when Lil' Newtie Gingrich split the scene)-again threw his hat into the ring upon Speaker-designate Bob Livingston's adulterous exit on Dec. 18. Cox characteristically withdrew when it became apparent colleague Dennis Hastert (R-Illinois) had secured more votes for the post. Seems that Cox, who moved into one of the GOP's safest districts weeks before his first congressional election in '88, is against any job he has to fight for.
DUE SOUTH Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove), in a statement released on Dec. 18 regarding the turn-of-the-century morality play engulfing this great land of ours, said, “I am sad today because I know that 20 years from now, we will look back and say that we weakened the Constitution, and we failed the American people by allowing this travesty to happen.” Speaking of travesties, her bitter foe Bob Dornan is blabbing all over South County about running for Congressman Ron Packard's (R-Oceanside) seat in 2000.
OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.