Political transvestism and puma killing are in the news today, and both were implicit in posts on The Blotter yesterday. Coincidence or clairvoyance?
Yesterday's first Blotter post dealt with the investigation by State Senator Joe Dunn (D-Garden Grove) into the California National Guard's spying on political activists and ended with a reference to the man who combined illegal political spying with a flair cross-dressing, J. Edgar Hoover. And today in the LA Times, there's a story on Democrats being registered on the voter rolls as Republicans (political transvestism), a scandal centered in the 34th Senate District. And the 34th is currently represented in Senate by… Joe Dunn. Spooky, huh?
It seems that hired agents of the Republican party's registration drive have been registering people as Republicans, regardless of the individuals' wishes. Republican hirelings are paid a bounty for each voter signed up as a Republican, so it is alleged that certain entrepreneurial-minded individuals were following the example of the Nixon administration's Vietnam strategy, and inflating their body counts through political transvestism and other types of fraud. A total of one hundred instances of suspect Republican voter registration have been forwarded to the district attorney's office for possible criminal prosecution.
The district attorney's office has also received the results of state investigation of the killing of a mountain lion (aka cougar or, scientifically speaking, puma concolor) in Rancho Santa Margarita, according to the Times. And yesterday's second post was on the Foothill-South toll road extension. The connection between the two will be clear to Weekly readers who remember Scott Giffin's June 2004 story on the extension's predicted environmental impact.
The toll road, Giffin writes,
would be an environmental Berlin Wall, a barrier to dispersal and immigration, both vital to maintaining a healthy, genetically diverse cougar population. Equally destructive would be development enabled by the toll road—not only Rancho Mission Viejo, but also other projects that would sprout up along the new transportation artery, gobbling up critical open space.
In the end, it may be questionable whether the toll road and resulting development would reduce or add to traffic woes, but their efficacy at killing cougars can hardly be disputed.
Killing one mountain lion is potentially a crime. Wiping out an entire population of mountain lions is apparently progress. I look forward to a statement from MAUL (Mountain Animals United in Love) on this.
The clairvoyant powers of The Blotter should now be obvious to all. Sure, anywhere else the connections between these stories would be seen as tenuous coincidences at best, but this is Orange County, where officials have been known to rely on psychics for advice on how to invest the county's money. The standards here are different. And we here at The Blotter promise to use our powers only for good, and never bankrupt the county.