A Week in the Life of Gustavo

"Seems to think that if he fails to write, la migra will find him."--OC Weekly More merriment available at ronmaydon@yahoo.com

segunda-feira, maio 26, 2003

Here are some comments about me I found on a Yahoo! Groups entity for Santa Ana residents. They date back from the Recall Nativo Lopez campaign. No comments on my part, I just like it when people talk about me. OK...some comments.

The author of that article, Gustavo Arellano, is a friend of mine but like
many Democrat pundits he cannot break away from his liberal leanings. As
such, even though he slams Nativo for his racism and his ineptitude as a
Trustee, Arellano still finds it necessary to support him, simply because
the candidate most likely to replace him, Rob Richardson, is a Republican.
I must disagree with Arellano's contention that Richardson and the other
candidates are somehow incapable of standing up for the rights of
immigrants. The record shows that Nativo has failed these immigrants by
promoting the failed bilingual concept that has damned so many children to a
life bereft of academic excellence. Nativo's greed also has had a negative
effect on immigrant children as they are still crammed into trailers because
Nativo was too busy sifting through the wallets of architects and
contractors to bother getting state matching funds and building schools.

Richardson is no Latino, but he is very multicultural in his outlook. He is
a decent man and one who has a public record of caring for his constituents,
whether that be on the city council or on the school board, or on various
city commissions and non-profit organizations. What civic service did
Nativo perform before getting elected? His organization, Hermandad, charges
immigrants for services - they get nothing for free. Richardson has donated
thousands of hours to the Boys and Girls Club, and other organizations, and
he has performed gracefully and professionally in various elected positions.
Richardson will heal the wounds that Nativo has inflicted on our populace,
our children and our schools.

It disappoints me to no end that Arellano cannot see clearly, through the
hazy left-wing fog at the O.C. Weekly. He writes that perhaps God will help
Nativo to change his ways, which might be possible, but Richardson does not
need an act of God to do the right thing. Frankly, if Nativo were to spend
several years in a monastery he just might change for the better, but the
vow of poverty would turn him off! For all of his rhetoric about the poor,
Nativo does quite well for himself, as befits a powerful union boss steeped
in corruption and graft.

Richardson is a right-wing nut, as his recent support of the abstincence program for Santa Ana Unified showed. As for my haze...haze is only temporary. And that's all I'm going to say about that.

The following is only choice comments about me...


I don't know what fog Gustavo is in, but it is not "left-wing."

AND

I don't know Gustavo, but my reaction to seeing his caving in on the recall
was immediately "he thinks he went too far, is scared of retaliation from
the Lopez crowd and is covering his rear and his job." My next thought was
"does he have political aspirations with the Democratic party?"

No, I didn't cave in. And no, I have no aspirations towards the Democratic Party. That would be NGF.

The following batch of responses are regarding my "Dia de Nuestro Señor Nativo" article...


No problem I hope you enjoyed it . I talked to the author of the article and
he said being there was surreal. He was afriad Nativo would kick him out
because he has critized him in past articles. But I bet Nativo is really
kicking himself now !!!

One of the great assignments of my short career. Following are comments on my article examining why Nativo lost...

Did anyone read the OCWeekly article "Larry The Loser" by Gustavo
Arellano...five reasons Nativo Lopez lost?

Under item #3 Mr. Arellano asks obvious questions that no other paper
(Register & Times) asked: What had kept Superintendent Mijares silent for so
long? Why had Mijares suddenly found his backbone? Wasn't the letter (the
Mijares editorial) itself evidence of Mijares' failure to serve the public
interest?

These are questions I have asked myself, but no one seems to want to discuss
the obvious answers.

Speaks for itself. Next is my Tim Whitacre article...

Has anyone seen this article? This seems a little over the top for those who
also worked on the recall. It was not about latinos, it was about poor
leadership. At least that is what I thought. Also all that money made it a
lot easier.

Of course it was over the top. I start off by paraphrasing the introduction to the Communist Manifesto. How much more over-the-top do you want?!

No, it looks like poor leadership on both sides. Mr. Whitacre unfortunately
puts those in a bad light who supported the recall. For me, it was not about
the "reconquista" but about poor decisions and lack of accountability by the
board. From Whitacre's statements, it appears he doesn't think that way.

If people were going to try to recall Mr. Palacio, then they wouldn't have my
vote as long as Mr. Whitacre continues to paint this issue as brown and white.
--
For the record, the current Palacio recall effort is being headed up by
Beatriz Salas and Abie Garcia. Whitacre is not involved in any way, indeed
he and Salas are no longer seeing eye to eye.

I do think it is somewhat unfair for Arellano to quote what Tim said at a
partisan Republican meeting. Tim was not speaking to the public in general,
and I have to believe that if he had been addressing the general public he
would have been more careful in his choice of words.

The OC Weekly just can't get over the fact that we accomplished a regime
change in Santa Ana by toppling Nativo. Those same reporters must be having
fits now that Saddam has been ousted in Iraq. Maybe he and Nativo can
establish a club for deposed despots. I'm sure France would be willing to
accommodate them. Nativo might even teach Saddam how to slick his hair
back, and Saddam could teach Nativo how to use doubles in public.

The idiocy speaks for itself

People in leadership positions need to learn that they are always under
scrutiny whenever they discuss political issues in any venue. With only 12
people there, Tim must have been aware of the presence of a reporter. Mayber
he was playing with them (the newspaper). Tim is a member of this list, what
does he have to say?

Mr. Whitacre personally thanked me at the meeting. And he posed for photos. Everything he said was said because he felt it.

Does anyone know anyone who was at the meeting? I find it hard to believe that
this was all fully accurate or fully in context. At least I would hope not.

While I have had some good experiences with reporters, I have also had
situations of being badly misquoted, which of course ended up changing the
meaning of what was said. And frankly, based on what I have seen before, I
have an opinion on which type of reporter Gustavo Arrellano is.

It was all true, baby. And you know my type of reporting: muckraker extraordinaire.

I know Tim Whitacre pretty well, and while he has a great passion for what
he believes in and gets very fired up when he speaks, I would imagine, like
Mrs. Reed said, that Tim was mis-quoted in this, taken out of context. Tim
& I don't always see eye to eye on issues, but this doesn't really seem like
him. I wonder if maybe Mr. Arellano misunderstood our dear friend..... I
also wonder if Tim knew his speech would be discussed in the magazine....
not that that is a huge factor, we should still be careful what we say in a
public forum but still, this article seems like an unnecessarily huge
slam... why is there a need to write the way he does? It doesn't make me
dislike Tim, it just makes me think that Mr. Arellano is a Big Jerk.
He has also mischaracterized the recall, absolutely. As anyone involved in
it can attest. Let not your hearts be troubled, this guy hasn't a clue. He
just wants to shock everyone, hoping that some will believe him or at least
(ta da) talk about it..... with that, I'll shut up.

Sorry, honey. Your friend was the Big Jerk with his words--I merely reported them.

I recall those of us who supported the recall using one of Mr. Arellano's
stories to our benefit when Nativo held a Posada and was compared by Sal
tinajero to a savior.

While Arellano may have exaggerated, we have used him for our own benefit and it still does not excuse the fact that many latinos who supported the recall
are upset by these comments. I voted Nativo out because of poor leadership and mismanagement of funds, not because he was latino. It was the same thing with Ted Moreno. Crime does not pay no matter who you are or what race you are.

Well said, whoever you are.

After reading all these posts, I have to put in my two cents. I was actually not shocked or offended by the words Mr. Whitacre used in his speech. After Republicans have used the Southern Strategy and Immigrant Bashing to win elections(ie. Nixon in 1972, Curt Pringle sending guards to intimidate Latino voters in 1988, Pete Wilson with Prop 187 in 1994, Dubya's visit to Bob Jones University in 2000, Trent Lott's comments in 2002, etc.) I am not suprised when Republicans use this kind of language in their speeches. Actually I am glad when they do because it gives all us minorities a reminder of just who their
base voters are and what they are willing to do to keep them.

I am not offended at all, I am loving it.(and if Mr. Arellano did make up quotes or change them a bit, shame on him) I do get bothered with all this "reconquista" talk. That is only the sentiment of a few radical college Latinos. It is not some mass conspiracy that Tim Whitacre seems to suggest, and if thats what the Republican party seems to think an act like such, they will continue not to get our vote. Mr. Pedroza mentioned his comments were said at a "partisan" event. Well if those comments are representative of that partisan organization, I defintely want no part in it.

My problem is with the comparison of Nativo to Saddam Hussein. I truly hope that comment was taken out of context, because it it wasn't, Mr. Whitacre really has a problem. How can you compare a man who gases and tortures children to a man who just committed a few ethics violations? Saddam is truly an evil man, while Nativo was just a corrupt poltician, and we all know the US has had their share of those. But Saddam Hussein is truly an evil man, and I think even Nativo would be sickened by the acts Hussein has committed.

Yep, that Hussein comparison was legit.

Two other points to be made. On re-reading the article, it is
interesting to watch how the text shifts into and out of quotes in a manner
designed to attribute statements and positions to Mr. Whitacre that he may
not have said. Further, it is unreasonable to assume that because Mr.
Whitacre is a republican, that he represents the entire republican party. If
he said those things in the way described, then he is a fringe radical in the
party, which are endemic to both parties, but not a representative of the
republican party in general. On the other hand, I have met Mr. Whitacre on
several occasions and he does not seem to be the type that would make such
comments in this way. Based on my experience with our local press,
especially what I have seen from this particular publication, it would not
surprise me if these quotes were taken wildly out of context, or made up
altogether. I have learned many times over that you cannot believe most of
what is reported in the media, especially in newspapers. The use of quotes
does not make the quoted statement accurate or true. Reporters and/or
editors seem to have few scruples and "ethics" seems to be just a word to use
in cross word puzzles. Perhaps I am a bit jaded as the result of dealing
with the press on various issues both professionally and personally where I
have been misquoted and have had quotes made up out of whole cloth and
attributed to me. In one case, a reporter purported to quote me when I had
never spoken with that reporter and had never spoken in the same room with
the reporter.

My friend, I'm no Jayson Blair. Everything I wrote was in its context and true. But now, I have to go hang out with the RP.