Huddled on election night inside a Skosh Monahan’s barroom guarded by security, stationed to keep out the likes of me and fellow journalist Gustavo Arellano because we’d previously busted his drunken celebrations with a plastic-surgery-loving crowd, Dana Rohrabacher tried to act nonchalant that his 38-year, taxpayer-funded Washington, D.C., trip looked finished.
Orange County’s senior career politician, who hasn’t had a private-sector job since the 1970s, must have been internally panicked that his fake persona no longer worked.
It’s undeniable that Rohrabacher has been a walking—sometimes stumbling, but more often incoherent—contradiction.
He chickened out of Vietnam War combat duty when eligible to serve but sent 2018 election mailers proclaiming his loyalty to Little Saigon’s war-refugee community.
He hailed himself as “the surfin’ congressman” but he can’t surf; like a young child, he uses a boogie board and, even then, only when approaching Pacific Ocean waves are less than a gentle 3 feet tall.
He screamed repeatedly on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives that he despises despots but cries over his affection for murderous dictator Vladimir Putin.
He insisted he’s for the little guy but chronically parties with the nation’s wealthiest 1 percent, people he’s enthusiastically supported in votes.
He championed the righteousness of the then-Osama bin Laden-protecting Taliban nuts in Afghanistan before the 9/11 terrorist attacks but blamed President Bill Clinton for screwing up related foreign affairs.
He hit the right-wing rubber-chicken circuit parading as a junior, goody-two-shoes Pat Robertson replica but has inhaled marijuana as if it were air and brought to the nation’s capital a male staffer with a remorseless interest in sex with middle school boys.
He argued in 1988 that Orange County voters should send him to a then-Democratic Party-run Congress because he would tirelessly work to enact term limits but stayed in office for three decades.
He chronically lambasted lazy people who wanted everything handed to them for nothing but diverted more than $70,000 annually in his federal campaign contributions to his wife, Rhonda.
Today, Harley Rouda—the self-styled “moderate” Democrat who defeated Rohrabacher by 21,000 votes—appeared on national television’s MTP Daily with Chuck Todd to announce the era of “quirkiness and outlandishness” is over.
R. Scott Moxley’s award-winning investigative journalism has touched nerves for two decades. An angry congressman threatened to break Moxley’s knee caps. A dirty sheriff promised his critical reporting was irrelevant and then landed in prison. The U.S. House of Representatives debated his work. Federal prosecutors credited his stories for the arrest of a doctor who sold fake medicine to dying patients. Moxley has won Journalist of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Press Club; been named Distinguished Journalist of the Year by the LA Society of Professional Journalists; and hailed by two New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing Southern California law enforcement corruption.