Talley Firing Reveals Left’s Obsession With Race

Cristina Talley

Cristina Talley

Vern Nelson posted this 90-proof left-wing exhortation regarding the termination of Anaheim City Attorney Cristina Talley over at the perfervid Orange Juice Blog. [Anaheim Blog is not fearful of linking to blogs with diverging opinions, unlike Vern and some of his cohorts like Ricardo Toro, who refuse to link to this blog. very confident in their arguments, they must be!]

Reading Vern’s screed is a vivid illustration of how ardently the left views the world through a racial lens. Race and ethnicity are everything (at least, most of the time).

Ever since her firing a few days ago, left-wing agitators have suddenly made an issue of Talley’s ethnicity.  Suddenly, media outlets are prominently mentioning that Talley is a Latina — although what correlation that has to her lawyerly abilities is never stated. The local Left plays the race card in order to shut down, rather than enhance, discussion and debate.

Obviously, the council is split on the question of Talley’s competence. I don’t have a strong opinion on the degree of Talley’s legal acumen as a city attorney, but am certain it stems her mind, talent, education, character and experience — and not from her ethnicity or the color of her skin. It is reprehensible that so many of those who are exploiting this incident for their own purposes are trying to make it about race.

The voluble Vern Nelson declares that she is an outstanding city attorney, stating flatly that she “has been doing stellar legal work for the city since 1996.” Vern doesn’t explain the basis of that claim; perhaps his frequent interactions with the justice system endow him with a unique perspective unavailable to most of us. I suspect Vern says it because it serves his political purposes.

The outrage over her exit is interesting in that it comes from the same pressure groups who have been tirelessly flogging how the noticing of the GardenWalk agreement last year was a Brown Act Violation — and as the Voice of OC points out,  “The city attorney, however, is ultimately responsible for assuring that council votes don’t violate the Brown Act.” The three council members who voted “yes” are vilified — wrongly — for violating the Brown Act, while the person ultimately responsible for that violation is lionized? That makes a lot of sense (and let me note, I don’t agree with the court decision in this matter).

As Talley’s opinion that the city is in violation of the California Voting Rights Act: from what I have read and according to the experts I have heard at the Anaheim Citizens Advisory Committee meetings, that judgment can’t be made until there is an in-depth statistical analysis to determine whether or not there is polarized voting occurring in Anaheim’s council elections – and to my knowledge, that hasn’t been done. Given the absence of that data, I am unclear on how Talley arrived at her conclusion.

But back my main point: Talley’s ethnicity is of no relevance to the issue of her being shown the door, and it is shameful the way it is being waved around like a bloody shirt.


  1. Nelson’s famous for his four DUIs, so he’s certainly familiar with the local justice system. But I doubt Ms. Talley deals with common drunks, so you’re right that he wouldn’t know anything about her experience.

  2. More personal attacks. Classic Anaheim Blog commentator tactic.

  3. All good points Matt and it is especially heinous given the FACT that the city of Anaheim has a number of highly placed, highly competent Hispanic leaders. Police has Raul Quesada, the PIO office has Ruth Ruiz, Council Member Murray has TWO Hispanic Aides and the Asst City Manager is Greg Garcia for crying out loud. And there are many, many more. This is an Absolutely ridiculous claim.

    And, regardless where you stand on redistricting, everyone had a chance to vote in November and they elected the Jordan Brandman and Lucille Kring to carry their mantle. Its not a race issue, its a vision issue.

  4. Fine, fine, Matt. I will start commenting here, and occasionally linking to your posts. You have to remember though, that your blog started off anonymous (though we quickly figured out it was you) and it engaged in some attacks on people’s personal lives, some of which were inaccurate. So it just felt like a dirty place to link to.

    But I’m starting to enjoy you being my nemesis again, and it IS fitting that the main blogospheric voice of the Anaheim plutocracy is someone who requires payment and will not reveal the source of that payment. (Us bloggers and activists on the other side, you realize, we do it as a labor of love, because we believe in it and enjoy it. But I guess you gotta pay your bills somehow.)

    Okay… this’ll take a few comments… they’ll be popping in over your “transom” as the day passes…

    • Get off your high horse, Vern! As if anyone is offering to hire you to blog! That’s like me saying I play basketball “for love of the game” and not because someone is paying me to; which isn’t much of a boast for a short-ish middle-age man like me!

      • Someone offer to hire me to blog, Eugene? Nah, probably not. Because they’d know that I’d very likely be raking them over the coals if they did something crooked the next day.

        • “Someone offer to hire me to blog, Eugene? Nah, probably not.”

          That was my point, ding-dong. Boasting you don”t blog for hire when no one is offering to hire isn’t much to boast about.

          I liked this blog better before the drunk showed up.

  5. Matthew Cunningham

    “You have to remember though, that your blog started off anonymous…”

    You sure love to give youself credit, Vern. But your allegation is absolutely untrue. Anaheim Blog did not begin as an anonymous endeavor, and I never made any attempt to conceal that I was running it.

    I wasn’t trying to get you to comment here (although you are welcome to do so), but rather point out your childish policy of refusing to link to Anaheim Blog. I think your peurile colleague Ricardo Toro follows your lead on that one.

    Furthermore, I decide what I write about and when I write about it. And it is amusing to no end to read you and others talk as if you and your blogging are somehow more virtuous, accurate or reliable because you do it solely “as a labor of love.”

    • Yeah, yeah. The longest-acting blogger in the OC just couldn’t figure his way around WordPress good enough to find anywhere to put his name on his new blog for – what, months? – until, coincidentally, right around the time that everyone was accusing him of being behind this blog.

      • Matthew Cunningham

        Yeah, yeah yourself, Sherlock.

        First of all, it wasn’t “months.” it was maybe a few days, at most. I created an About page that said I was running Anaheim Blog. Not that hard to find, Vern.

        I had never set up a WordPress blog before. OC Blog was TypePad. RedCounty (which I didn’t do any back-end work on) was MovableType and then Drupal.

        For whatever reason, with this WordPress theme, it doesn’t display the author byline until there is more than one contributor. So my name didn’t appear on my posts until I added Anaheimocrat as a contributor.

        Sorry to pour the unversal solvent of truth on one of your little conspiracy theories, Vern.

          • Matthew Cunningham

            Let’s get a few things straight, Vern.

            Your “Jerbal” crap doesn’t fly here. If you and the other yahoos want to be juveniles, do it over at Orange Joke.

            Two, you are already resorting to attacking me, rather than trying to engage in an actual discussion. I know that’s traditionally how you come at me, Vern, but it is weak and you ought to be able to rise above the same, tired ad hominem furrows you like to plow.

            Now, if you can behave like a grown man, you are welcome to comment here.

            • OK, let’s try it again without the dread J word, and see if this gets deleted.

              The reason your credibility is compromised is NOT so much that you’re getting paid for what you write, as that you REFUSE to say publicly WHO’S paying you. Most people can see how “hinky” that seems, to use one of your old favorite words.

              And for you to always gloss that part over – that refusing to tell who pays you is a factor in your lack of credibility – shows a certain disingenuousness, which I find, sadly, to be your hallmark.

              I hope that was polite enough. I promise my next comment will address more of the substance of your article.

              • Matthew Cunningham

                Vern, you begin with a false premise, that my credibility is compromised. That is simply your opinion, no more. In my experience — and I have considerably more in this regard than you — a blog’s credibility stems from the reliability of the information provided, and by sound, reasonable and believable analysis by writers who know what they are talking about.

                That is major reason why OC Blog got so big so so fast, and acquired reach and influence Orange Juice has never come to close to achieving under you or Pedroza. It is the lack of those qualities that has deprives OJB of credibility — as well as your penchant for presenting your speculation as reality (which I find, sadly, to be your hallmark, or at least one of them).

                You and Cynthia Ward and creepy Jason Young and puerile Ricardo Toro can obsesses over who I am or am not doing work. I could really care less. I’ll lay the substance of Anaheim Blog posts up against anything else out there.

  6. “90-proof left-wing exhortation?” You hurt me, Matt. I was going for 120-proof in that particular exhortation.

    But more importantly, WHAT IS LEFT-WING in it? I find nothing. And this is what I love about modern-day Anaheim – to paraphrase Galatians 3:28, there is no Left or Right, there is no Republican or Democrat. All the major issues and battles are between DEMOCRACY and PLUTOCRACY, and I’m very proud to be with the former, along with all good people from Mayor Tait and Cynthia Ward to Lorri Galloway and Los Amigos.

    There’s nothing left or right about backing or opposing massive corporate welfare, or, ahem, “public-private partnerships.”

    There’s nothing left or right about increasing democracy, making sure everybody is represented. Some things are just the right thing to do.

    You keep on pretending to be representing for the “right” against this notorious perfervid “leftist,” and see if the Republican Party will start taking you seriously again. Good luck on that.

    My next comment will address your main argument, the one about race.

    • Matthew Cunningham

      I wrote that because you are a left-winger, Vern. And you approach this issue from the classic left-wing approach of creating a racial angle where none exists.

      As for “democracy v. plutocracy” — well, I guess that is an opinion. A wrong and a stupid one. But an opinion.

  7. “perfervid” -Thanks for the new word for my vocab Matt.

    And here is one reason that Vern gave me for making race an issue in this instance: “I’m angry and being incendiary”

    • Yeah, junior, I’ll get to that. That is ONE thing.

    • Matthew Cunningham

      Playing the race card has no merit here. It is incendiary. Denizens of the Left inject race in order to shut down discussion. Vern is probably trying to lash a completely immaterial externality — Talley’s ethnicity — to the discussion in order to create the false impression it has something to do with the ALCU lawsuit and council districting.

  8. Oh. Let me take care of this first:

    “The voluble Vern Nelson declares that she is an outstanding city attorney, stating flatly that she ‘has been doing stellar legal work for the city since 1996.’ Vern doesn’t explain the basis of that claim, etc…” after which you descend into your usual personal attacks.

    Okay, the word “stellar” was probably a bit of ebullience on my part, but I’ve been told by more than one source that her work was highly thought of, which makes sense as she climbed her way up to be City Attorney of California’s 10th largest city for four years until running afoul of the Kris Murray faction. Before that she was Pasadena’s City Attorney.

    One thing that was probably not in my story when you read it, because I didn’t receive it till last night, was Cristina’s bio. In it we see that, before being Pasadena’s City Attorney, she “worked in private practice for about 13 years, achieving partner at AV Rated (the highest possible rating) Adams, Duque & Hazeltine. She practiced almost exclusively municipal law, with an emphasis in complex litigation. She has numerous reported appellate decisions and tried both civil and criminal cases.”

    I appreciate that you haven’t called her competence into question, as the council majority is seeming to. Here I have attempted to show why I described Ms Talley’s career, with perhaps just a little flamboyance, as “stellar.” You can see the rest of her bio, which is now appended to my original story.

    Now I think I’ve commented here enough. The rest will go into an OJB piece tomorrow – my response to you about whether Cristina’s race is relevant to this story, as well as my rebuttal of your side’s canard that she didn’t warn the Council away from their Brown Act violation last January.

    • Matthew Cunningham

      “…after which you descend into your usual personal attacks.

      Pardon me, Vern, if I shed no tears on account of your sensitivity to a very oblique reference to very real facts. Compared to the spiteful, nasty, misleading and regular attacks on my characer that you indulge on your blog, you’re hardly in a position to complain. Just a few days ago, your blogger Ricardo Toro published a post about Cardinal Mahoney and the clerical sex abuse scandal and dragged me into the matter by including my name as a story tag, in a deliberate effort to falsely link me with something with which I have nothing to do, and tar my reputation. And you are perfectly fine with that.

      Physician, heal thyself — and stop complaining about being mildly on the recieving end of the kind of treatment you and your pack dish out.

      “Okay, the word “stellar” was probably a bit of ebullience on my part…”

      Then why use the word in the first place, Vern? Try saying what you mean, instead of meaning what you say. It will spare you from having to walk back episodes of ebullience.

      Finally, the question isn’t whether she has been an accomplished attorney throughout her career. It is whether she has been a good Anaheim City Attorney — good enough to win the continued confidence of her bosses, the City Council. One doesn’t necessarily equal the other. Without rendering judgment, sometimes people rise beyond their level of competence.

  9. I’ve worked for Anaheim for more than 20 years and I was horrified that Tom Wood was fired without notice last year but it’s salt in the wounds of many around City Hall that Tom Tait who orchestrated that firing and has worked to contract out employees and limit pay and benefits is now attacking department heads on the blogs and calling into question their professional ethics. This never happened – ever in Anaheim – before he was elected Mayor.

  10. Mr Cunningham,

    I had not visited your blog for a while, until this evening when Vern told me about the kind words you have for me. I don’t have a problem dealing with people with different and oppossing viewpoints, and learning from them when their arguments are reasonable. This is the virtue of democracy. I have a problem though when apparent professional promoters of certain viewpoints do not disclose their ties to the ones compensating them. I have asked you many times, deny or disclose whether you get compensated by Disney related entities, Pringle and Associates. Once you do this, then I will take you seriously.

    When I posted the article on Mahony, out of respect for the victims of sexual abuse I did not mention anything about your controversial role in alleged incidents involving you. will ask the OJB editor, Vern, explain who and why your name was tagged to this article:

    • Matthew Cunningham

      Ricardo, in the political arena, I take people seriously — or not — based on the soundness and logic of the arguments they make. Your moral posturing is just that.

      The same goes for your “out of respect” line – Gee thanks…for nothing. Some mysterious person at Orange Joke Blog inserts my name into a story that has nothing to do with me for no discernible purpose other than an effort to damage my reputation — and you disclaim responsibility while simultaneously including a link to the injurious post in your comment (I have since removed the link).

      You could remove those tags very easily, and yet you haven’t. The credibility problem is staring back at you in the mirror.

      • Your reputation has been questioned by several bloggers, of different ideological colors (Bushala, Pedroza, Arellano, Nelson), especially on the alleged role you may have played regarding victims of abuse. Your reputation is currently being questioned by operating this blog as a PR for Disney/Pringle related projects.

        There is a soundness and logic to your arguments, which resembles the McCarthy period of politics, restricting dissent or political criticism by smearing civic minded residents challenging the interests you defend.

        When I submit my articles to the OJB editor, I don’t have access to post or remove them. I have relayed your request to remove the tag on the Cardinal Mahoney’s article to the OJB editor.

        • Matthew Cunningham

          Tony Bushala? Art Pedroza? Gustavo Arellano? Vern Nelson? Seriously? You are citing those guys as authorities on reputation?

          Then again, that makes a sort of sense if you are also resorting to that old warhorse of a rhetorical device – shouting “McCarthyism!” as a substitute for thinking.

  11. Here, as promised: http://www.orangejuiceblog.com/2013/02/talley-gate-race-and-the-gardenwalk-brown-act-violation1/

    Caution, this one may be 150 proof.

    I do plead guilty to adding the categories/tags to Ricardo’s Mahony story, including “Jubal” and “Matt Cunningham.” Old Ricardo wouldn’t know how. My idea was to get your attention, to see if you wanted to maybe come on and defend the Cardinal or not, since I know you have taken interest in that sort of thing in the past. I’ll remove your name now if you are asking me to.

    • Matthew Cunningham

      Wow. That is low and childish, Vern. Even for you. You admit to deliberately attaching my name to a story about clerical sexual abuse — a story you knew I had nothing to do with.
      And what a ridiculous pretext. I have not “taken an interest in that sort of thing in the past”, not in the way you are implying. And I have never defended Cardinal Mahoney in my life. On the contrary, in my opinion, the day he was no longer running the Archdiocese couldn’t come soon enough. He has been a disaster for the Church and its members on several levels. Mahoney had the power to keep wolves away from his flock and he chose not to. He ought to be defrocked.

      Uh, yeah, I’d like to remove my name from that article. And you owe me a public apology for knowingly acting to damage my reputation. For starters.

      For all your bluster and verbosity and claims to insight into OC politics, you really know little, if anything, about anyone.

      • You know what, you should write all that about Mahony, maybe on Ricardo’s post, and explain why you think so. It might surprise some people.

        I’ll go look for it and take off those tags, as a professional courtesy.

        • Matthew Cunningham

          The only people who would be surprised are people who don’t know me or have a uninformed preconceived notions about me or have an ax to grind.

          “Professional courtesy”? That’s a weaselly response. You should remove those tags not out of “professional courtesy” but because it is the right and decent thing to do — as would be publicly apologizing for doing it in the first place.

    • Matthew Cunningham

      Just read your post, Vern. As with other Vern Nelson productions, there’s not much there after stripping away the verbosity, digressions and rhetorical pyrotechnics.

      I’l probably respond at length later, but let me point out at least one error: city attorneys are not advocates or policy makers. It is not their job to tell the council what policies to set, but to advise them on what the law does and does not allow them to do. If, as you say, Talley acted as a policy advocate, then you are strengthening the argument for her ouster because that would be over-stepping the boundaries of her job.

      • I’m not sure where I suggested she was a policy advocate. If you’re going to build a polemic arabesque around some ambiguous wording I’ve got somewhere, knock yourself out. All I know is:

        1. She did warn the council off their GardenWalk Brown Act violation, then offered them a way out of it, and was both times rebuffed and ignored;

        2. She’s consistently advised that the city’s in violation of the CVRA and needs to settle that suit; and

        3. She’s been an advocate for transparency inside City Hall, and when (probably) your friends and sources try to conceal documents from MY friends, she tells ’em they can’t.

        And so she is toast.

        • Matthew Cunningham

          “[Talley]…gets fired MAINLY for advocating for a policy that will help Latinos achieve better representation and participation in the city…”

          I added the emphasis but they are your words, Vern, and nothing ambiguous about them. You not only say Talley was advocating on policy, but you say it is the main reason she was fired. And now you don’t know where you said that?

          Are you going to brush it off as more “ebullience”?

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