Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Pulling Back The Shroud

Claudio Gallegos over at the Orange Juice! blog has decided to reach down from Santa Ana and rip the scab off a festering wound that has been growing in Costa Mesa. That wound is the influence one local activist has had over the direction this town has been going for the past few years.

Today, Gallegos published the first of what he says will be a three-part series called "Confessions of a Westside Improver", which will be based on interviews with a former "improver" in our city. You can read the first installment here. I don't know the identity of this person, but I suspect that, as this series unfolds, those close to the "improver movement" will find clues sufficient to make educated guesses.

Those who have read my words here for the past 20 months or so, as well as some of the things I've written that were published in the Daily Pilot and other local newspapers for the past several years, will find that many of Gallegos' words have a familiar ring. The intimate details in his little saga will provide further validation of what I've written in the past. I began writing about this man's influence over events and people in Costa Mesa shortly after I became aware of him and began following his activities. I've quantified his accomplishments, if you can call them that, on the path to expunge the Latinos from our midst and lead our city down a dark path many times in many ways.

I've urged readers to familiarize themselves with this man's writings on any of several far right-wing web sites, to more fully understand the underlying philosophy that drives his actions in this city. These writings, plus those on his web log, when combined with his almost non-stop preaching at the podium of any city meeting he attends, give you a real feel for his plans for this city.

It deeply saddens me when I realize that he's found a fertile field among those frustrated, angry folks on the Westside in which to sew his insidious seeds of intolerance. It irritates me when I realize he's been able to use his considerable oratorical and writing skills to sweep this small group of disenchanted residents into his fold and help chart their course. It angers me when I realize just how successful he has been at reaching into the heart of this city and tearing it loose. It befuddles me when I think of those fine, caring, long-time Costa Mesans being so mesmerized by this man that they allow him to convince them that the Latinos among us are the sole reason for all the ills that he perceives in our city - and that their eventual expulsion will solve all those problems.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see what this self-professed Mensa member has done to our community, nor will it take rocket scientists to take this city back. What it will take is for the good people of this city to understand what's being done to their hometown and for them to speak out, to repudiate him and his disciples, three of whom make up the current majority on the City Council. It will take considerable fortitude for them to swim against the tide of intolerance that was so evident during the last election campaign, when the mayor and his running mate used the incendiary illegal immigrant issue to ride to victory. It's not too late to take back our city.


Anonymous dvs said...


Thanks for the heads up on this article. Can you tell us something about Claudio?

I any event, it is heartening to me that there is a move away from Millard. I hope new recruits don’t fill the shoes of those who have learned. Even the fact that the County GOP is now a stronger mentor to our new troika is encouraging in one sense. This new influence might at least cause a shift to politically populist agenda items. In my mind, that leaves us less open to bizarre proposals in the future.

2/28/2007 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...


I met Claudio last summer. He's a bright, young guy - every body seems young these days - who is a political activist. He was recently appointed to the City of Santa Ana's Environmental and Transportation Advisory Committee.

He and Art Pedroza theoretically represent opposite sides on the Orange Juice! blog spectrum, with Claudio representing the liberal side and Pedroza the conservative. Pedroza was apparently so ticked off at the OC Republican Party leadership following the November elections that he resigned from the Central Committee within the past few weeks.

The Orange Juice! blog, as you will see if you read through some of their archives, is very SantaAnaCentric. Although some who have posting privileges have tried to broaden their focus a little, it doesn't seem to have met with much success. Ron and Anna Winship of Newport Beach have become posters on that blog and their presentations seem to have been met with a collective yawn by most regular readers. The Santa Ana stuff can be very entertaining, though. If you think some of our Daily Pilot comments have been nasty, you should read some of the comment threads on The Juice!

I, too, am curious about how this particular series will evolve. I think your observation about the shift in agenda emphasis may be accurate... time will tell.

2/28/2007 10:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Darth Mensa said...

What Shroud? This guy is transparent. He shows up in blogs, websites, newspapers (even in Spanish), comments and cable TV. The only thing that seems to be shrouded is your reference to your "theoretical character."

2/28/2007 01:55:00 PM  
Blogger Claudio said...

Thanks Geoff for the introduction. DVS, I encourage you to read it. Parts 2 and 3 are coming in the following weeks. Part 2 focuses on Mansoor and Bever and Part 3 focuses on Wendy Leece. I thought Mansoor would be the one to get his own post, but the information told about Wendy Leece turned out to be very intriguing. Confessions continues next Tuesday with more startling revelations.

2/28/2007 04:09:00 PM  
Blogger Ron & Anna Winship said...

*Collective YAWN? OK Geoffy Boy...
thought we were pals? OK Geoffy
Boy...thought we got along pretty
darn good. Boy oh boy were we
mistaken....collective YAWN? How
collective might that be? YOU
collect your thoughts....and then
say: Ron & Anna .....YAWN...You
Are Wagging Notables!? Perhaps?
Ok...now we get it...it was
actually a positive comment...you
just wanted to beat up on the OC-
Juice...and we just happened to
be in the way of that!? Hmmm?
Maybe? No matter...we still like
you...anyway! Can't get our
dander up...can ya? Bubbling
What? More like Champagne..maybe?
See you around the block bad boy!

8/22/2007 08:25:00 PM  

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