Lost amidst the storm of recent news stories and blog posts over Matt “Jerbal” Cunningham‘s ignominious departure from the OC Parks Commission and his loss of a couple of low-six figure consulting contracts with the OCTA, was the blockbuster dropped by the OC Weekly’s R. Scott Moxley last week on Congressman Dana Rohrbacher’s Costa Mesa rental home: [Moxley Confidential] Congressman turned $1 million Costa Mesa home rental into pigsty. This story rivals the bad press that ruined former Long Beach Congresswoman Laura Richardson whose own adventures in real estate began with a trashed and unpaid-for Sacramento home which helped (along with re-districting) to end her sorry political career.
Thursday last, Moxley wrote:
When he moved out in August 2012, Rohrabacher left behind a shockingly horrific pigsty, a dump worse than a college fraternity house of unhygienic slobs unfamiliar with the most basic tools of cleaning. Darlene Whitsell, [home owner] Polyniak’s longtime girlfriend, entered the home shortly after the congressman’s departure and wept at the scene…Massive black stains and muck covered the carpet throughout the home. Sticky grime encased damaged, rusted appliances. Denied water, once-thriving outside plants and grass dried up and died. Blinds were cracked. Black dirt ruined the appearance of once-sparkling tile floors. Walls inexplicably contained odd holes, nail polish, wax and some smelly substance that may have been feces. Every toilet seat in the house was broken. The ceilings showed smoke damage.
The story was complete with a 16-frame slide show. — pictures taken, presumably by the landlord of the “mess” left by the Rohrabacher family (the Congressman and his wife have grade-school age triplets, and probably household help) after they moved into a home they’d purchased elsewhere in Costa Mesa. Moxley followed up with another piece on Saturday: What’s The Ideal Christmas Gift This Year For Congressman Dana Rohrabacher?
Both parties are now suing each other — Rohrabacher for an unreturned $7k security deposit and Polyniak for about $25k in damages to his property. After Moxley’s revelations, we wonder if he’ll be included as well. Scott Moxley’s developed an excellent reputation for investigative reporting — it’s not just our opinion that he’s the best in the County, light years ahead of most of the lightweights at the Register, and even Norberto Santana and his crew at the union-funded Voice of OC. To our knowledge, Moxley’s never missed — he helped ex-Sheriff Mike Carona to a Federal Pen and roasted Larry Agran into charcoal, along with plenty of other local miscreants. He’s shared his great reputation to boost the otherwise slimy OC Weekly out of the gutter of alternative media, and
prostitution massage parlor and tattoo shop marketing.
Our reason for questioning Scott in here is due to the Rohrabacher’s quick response and vociferous claims, beginning with this Tweet on Saturday. The link leads to the You Tube below that was produced by the Rohrabachers. It portrays the house in fairly good shape on the family’s departure 16 months ago ( good, especially considering three nine year-olds lived there). The carpets are dirty, but look to had been there much longer than the tenants. None of the claims from the Moxley story are evident in over seven minutes of room-to-room, floor-to-ceiling video.
To fuel the controversy, KFI’s John and Ken Show picked up on the OC Weekly piece today. John Kobylt, no fan of most politicians including Rohrabacher, read the juicy parts of the story, but apparently knew nothing about the video that was posted on Saturday. Normally, this program devotes at most a 30-minute segment to any story (fully half of which is stuffed with badly produced commercials), but a few minutes in, the Congressman was able to get through by phone and went live on-air for nearly an hour. He mentioned the video, how to find it and also pointed to his Facebook page for a number of stills that would disprove Moxley’s claims and contradict the photos from the first OC Weekly piece. It was a terrible interview as both Kobylt and Rohrabacher fought for the microphone, but by the end Kobylt’s adrenalin was drained and he conceded their was no evident explanation for the competing photographs (Rohrabacher said Polyniak’s were “doctored”) which could either cost a 13-term Congressman his next election, or R. Scott Moxley his reputation.
Rohrabacher’s been a target of Moxley’s for years. He’s offered plenty of rumors about drunkenness, drug use and even his sexual persuasions. Unlike Democrats Richardson mentioned above, and the Queen of Sleeze, Maxine Waters, Rohrbacher has never to our knowledge been the subject of an ethics investigation or anything more serious than his unseemly relationship with Jack Abramoff. John and Ken’s producer tried during the show to contact Moxley and the home’s owner, but had not succeeded by 5pm.
We hope Moxley will followup on-air and in print with his explanation of the drastic differences between his photo evidence, and what the Rohrabachers have produced.