You may think that being a bottom-feeding blogger is easy. Sure, women throw themselves at me all the time. People hound me for autographs, too. But there's a dark side. When I take controversial positions, I really piss people off, sometimes without even trying.
It's a gift.
Over the past five years, I've been called just about everything, from pedophile to cross-dresser to drunken disbarred attorney. I've been impersonated. I've been accused of posting comments under assumed names or anonymously. I've received anonymous letters that depict me in homosexual poses. There's been the occasional death threat, and recently, one of my readers began emailing me pictures of Hermann Göring's corpse.
Wishful thinking, I suppose.
All of this goes with the territory. Besides, some of these attacks are true. I really am a drunken disbarred lawyer. I really did get caught, stark naked, in the men's room by Court Administrator Jim Onembo after going in there to change out of sweaty bike clothing on a hot day. I really did prance through the courthouse in a dress on a dare from a gay friend, who looked really good in drag. I even asked him out, but he shot me down.
But even I was unprepared for last week's assault. In a news conference with Channel 69, Gracedale lawyer Larry Otter claimed I might be going to jail. In emails, he told me I was "collateral damage" and should drop my signature challenge to the Gracedale referendum. Apparently, my contacts with a County lawyer were just like Bonusgate.
In the initial rush to judgment, even Council President John Cusick piled on, telling a Morning Call reporter that "perhaps" Ron Angle and I had misrepresented ourselves as "private citizens."
According to Controller Steve Barron, "It's clear the [Stoffa] administration was working with the people who brought the private petition challenge." Apparently, it was a crime for me to have talked and shared cases with the attorneys who represent the County. Barron's beef is that taxpayers were funding my litigation, which was news to me. He put two and two together and came up with five. He announced his faux audit to a 3' tall reporter who "cornered" him, but never bothered disclosing it to the Stoffa administration.
On Wednesday, Barron was walking the halls, telling employees who would listen to him that "John [Stoffa] is in big trouble." A Channel 69 reporter was claiming that the County had just given me all 507 Gracedale petition copies without payment because the elections office had no record of a receipt. Never mind that I never asked for copies, and just subpoenaed those records.
That was enough for me. On Wednesday afternoon, at a Council Finance meeting attended by Barron, I blasted both him and John Cusick for their irresponsible accusations. "I am really sick and tired of the politics and pandering to unions going on by people who consider their own reelection more important than the best interests of the County." I asked Council President Cusick to hold Barron accountable for his pandering to unions, just as Cusick held Barron responsible last year when our "nonpolitical" controller was caught pandering to unions at T-Mobile.
When it was Barron's turn to talk, he had no audit reports concerning Gracedale, and Cusick had to ask him about what bothered him. Apparently, the mere fact that Eckert spoke to me and Angle, and that they were preparing for their own lawsuit, raised "red flags." But when Ron Angle confronted Barron about his irresponsible statements, all the Controller could do was run from the podium. When asked specifically about telephone calls, all Barron could do was throw his hands in the air.
I videotaped this confrontation, and you can judge it for yourself. In my assessment, it was the Bulldog at his best.
Ironically, neither The Morning Call nor Channel 69 was there.