Daily: Profile of “Paid Activists” Opposing Mimi Walters

Friends, starting second to left: Rania, Shaám, Eman, Sumaya, and Esma.

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On February 24, 2017, roughly 300 protestors gathered outside the office of Congresswoman Mimi Walters in the afternoon. The protest had been organized on Facebook by the Coast Federation of Educators, AFT Local 1911, a teacher’s union, among other groups.

But the members of the teacher’s union were not the only attendees to crowd the plaza in front of the Congresswoman’s office. Many of her constituents came out to demand that she engage them and listen to their concerns. More information about the concerns of the protestors can be found on their online petition.

The protest seemed to be building on the momentum that had started two days earlier at a town hall meeting at University Hills community center.  As reported by the OC Register, as many as 120 constituents of the 45th congressional district, Rep. Walters’ district, filled the center and demanded that their representative take a stand against the new presidential administration.

In response to the event, Walters’ spokesperson, Abigail Sigler, told the OC Register that “Congresswoman Walters is in Orange County this week meeting with the people she represents. She firmly believes that meeting and listening to her constituents is the best (way to) represent them and advocate for them in Washington … [but] [s]he will not allow a small, vocal group of paid activists distract her from this fundamental responsibility. As she always has, she welcomes anyone with comments or concerns to contact her office.”

The “paid activists” claim by the Walters’ office has upset many of her constituents who are genuinely interested in communicating with her. Orange County Young Democrats interviewed a handful of the activists, to find out whether they were, in fact, paid, and to determine their hourly rates, whether their voices were representative of Walters’ district, and their reasons for protesting.

 

Hourly protestor rate: $0.00

Occupation: Retired

Constituent of the 45th Congressional District? Yes

Why are you protesting? “Mimi Walters took the same oath I did [when I joined the Navy] to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic… as did my grandfather in WWII, my uncle in WWI, and my brother in Afghanistan. Our Constitution is under attack and now is the time to defend it…”

 What did you sacrifice to be here today? “I’m a cyclist. When I heard about the demonstration, I stopped mid-bike ride and took a Lyft to get here in time.”

 

Name: Emily P. and Anna P.

Hourly protestor rate: $0.00

Occupations: Anna is a graduate student. Emily is a professor.

Constituents of the 45th Congressional District? Yes

Why are you protesting? Emily: “I wish that [Mimi Walters] was concerned enough to make a public statement about all that has come out of the new administration. I’d take anything really, like ties to Russia; cuts to the Affordable Care Act; damage to environmental protections and education. I’ve been calling her since November. I call most days. She’s never said anything publicly about these issues. She doesn’t stand up to the President. I wish that she would.”

Anna: “I have also been calling since November. Immediately upon the appointments of Steve Bannon and other cabinet members, I asked [Rep. Walters] to give a statement against these people. I was told [by her office] that she has no impact or vote on these appointments so there’s no reason for her to take a public position. As it turns out, she has no problem making public statements congratulating other appointees under the same circumstances. I feel like I’m being lied to by her office and I’m tired of it.”

What did you sacrifice to be here today? Emily: “I gave up researching and prepping my lecture for next Monday.” Anna: “I gave up working on my dissertation. I will have to make up for it over the weekend.”

 

Name: Tsenai H. and Ezra E.

Hourly protestor rate: $0.00

Occupation: Ezra is a software engineer.

Constituents of the 45th Congressional District? Yes

Why are you protesting? Ezra: “…I’m a refugee. I’m raising two kids in Irvine and I want them to live in a country that is tolerant and accepting of immigrants. This last election and the recent travel ban woke me up.

Mimi is part of the fascist movement taking the United States… she’s a rubberstamp for the Trump administration. In our district, we can’t have that. It’s a highly educated and progressive district. She does not represent us.”

What did you sacrifice to be here today? Time at work.

 

Name: Kristen G.

Hourly protestor rate: $0.00

Occupation: Self-employed, runs consulting firm

Constituent of the 45th Congressional District? Yes

Why are you protesting? “I’m worried about the direction this country is taking. People with undemocratic ideas are calling the shots… and I want Mimi to make a statement on the administration’s lack of transparency and ties to Russia.

I’ve been contacting Mimi for years [throughout her various elected positions]. I’ve written to her numerous times about common sense gun regulation and received a boiler plate letter in response…. Now, I want to know her position on Trump’s travel ban. I call her office twice a week. I’m always polite and say that I’m calling as a concerned voter, but, I know that my concerns aren’t being seen by my representative. I haven’t gotten a personal letter or email…. I even signed up on her website to connect with her and still haven’t had much access to her.”

What did you sacrifice to be here today? Time with family or time spent working.

 

Name: Marisa C.

Hourly protestor rate: $0.00

Occupation: Special Education Teacher

Constituent of the 45th Congressional District? Yes

Why are you protesting? “Like many people here, I’ve been forced to get involved and call for change peacefully and respectfully…. Mimi’s denial of our request for a town hall and her disappearance from the public eye is not a move I would expect from a leader. I understand compromise is involved in politics, but I think courage is a value too… Mimi needs to be willing to meet us in the middle and listen.”

What did you sacrifice to be here today? “Time at work! I’ll have to work tomorrow to catch up.”

 

Name: Onice S.

Hourly protestor rate: $0.00

Occupation: N/A

Constituent of the 45th Congressional District? Yes

Why are you protesting? “I’m here because of this cutie pie that’s on my hip. I want to be able to look her in the face when she’s older and say, “hey some man that became president said he could grab anyone’s p***y, but your mom stood up against it….

I just moved to district forty-five and I’m trying to understand where [Rep. Walters] stands on issues and haven’t been able to get information. Her staff is unwilling to say anything about her whereabouts or where she stands on certain issues. She doesn’t seem willing to speak on her own behalf either. As a constituent, I want to know who she is and what she is about. How can I do that if she refuses to take a position or engage in conversation with me?”

What did you sacrifice to be here today? “I have a three-hour commute to work every day so it means a lot to take time out of my day, and away from my kids, to be here.”

 

Friends, starting second to left: Rania, Shaám, Eman, Sumaya, and Esma.

Name: Shaám C.

Hourly protestor rate: $0.00

Occupation: Student

Constituent of the 45th Congressional District? Yes

Why are you protesting? “This is about our future. If we don’t stand up for our rights then no one will and we’ll just fall under [a government] we don’t agree with…. I can’t vote yet, but I know that voting is important. Until then, I can protest.”

What did you sacrifice to be here today? “I was supposed to hang out with my friends, but my friend told me about this and we changed our plans altogether to come here.

Negah Mouzoon Daily is a board member for Orange County Young Democrats (OCYD).

About OCYD: Orange County residents between the ages of 14-35 who are committed to Democratic values.   OCYD meets every second Wednesday of each month. Visit them at Facebook.com/TheRealOCYD or follow them on Twitter @OCYD

Opinions expressed in editorials belong to the authors and not Voice of OC.

Voice of OC is interested in hearing different perspectives and voices. If you want to weigh in on this issue or others please contact Voice of OC Involvement Editor Theresa Sears at TSears@voiceofoc.org

  • Tresa

    As a constituent, I attended the protest and no one paid me. I’m disappointed Representative Walters did not schedule a town hall to hear the opinions and concerns of the residents in her district. I would like to hear more from her about why she supports HR 610 rather than defending the excellent public schools we have in Irvine.

  • avi

    Every time I read a new story about Congresswoman Mimi Walters, the crowd size is larger. I think her days are numbered.

  • LFOldTimer

    I noted that the one activist in the blog photo wore the American flag as a headdress.

    And still they can’t understand why they elicit resistance and disrespect.

    If I was a Trump protester I would wave the American flag, not wear it. I would carry a big sign stating: “I love America and want to contribute – not be a burden”.

    If we saw more of those behaviors demonstrated more of us would be open to your cause. But why would we even listen to you when you disrespect the basic principles of our country that you wish to be a part of?

    Call me confused.

  • verifiedsane

    “The protest had been organized on Facebook by the Coast Federation of
    Educators,
    AFT Local 1911, a teacher’s union, among other groups.” (Comments on
    their Facebook page are quite the interesting read). This is the same
    union that was acting and speaking out in lock step with OCC Olga Perez
    C*x, who called President Trump and those who voted for him “T*rrorist”
    during a class time political rant before students. The same union that
    was attacking/punishing an innocent student for daring to use their first
    amendment right to free speech.. http://voiceofoc.org/2017/0
    I wonder if they would be forthcoming with how much money the union
    spends in Democratic political contributions and funding/organizing
    protest such as this one.

  • Greg Diamond

    Congratulations to OCYD for doing a great job there and to the author for writing a smart and entertaining story.

    (I was going to joke that “Of course, George Soros is PAYING me to say that,” but some of these waxy hairballs out there are dumb enough to take me seriously – or, more likely, dishonest enough to pretend to.)

    • verifiedsane

      Greg, you shouldn’t worry to much, or get your liberal panties all up in a bunch….no one of sound mind would ever make the horrendous & foolish mistake of taking you or your alt-left commentary “seriously” 🙂

      • Greg Diamond

        Please, you chickenscat anonymous commenter, tell us more about these “liberal panties” that you imagine I wear.

        Then I can talk about the satin embroided hood and robe that I inagine you wear to your rallies.

        Surely the extremely polite Lite Fascist Old Timer will have a thing or two to say about your awkward deployment of attempted emasculation as a way of winning an argument.

        He’s a lot brighter than you are, you know – enough so to know that I can be defamed here, in that I’m using my real name, but that you – as an anonymous persona whose real identity I do not (and cannot) know – can’t.

        Thanks for being just as dumb as I thought you’d be. See you next name.

        • LFOldTimer

          Oh come on, Greg. Cut it out. Claiming that one has his or her “liberal panties in a bunch” is figurative language. It would be highly unlikely for the phrase to be interpreted as a statement of fact about another individual by any reasonable person. In my unprofessional opinion as a non-legal beagle a judge would probably laugh it out of court and award attorney fees to the defendant.

          Besides, in this day and age it’s becoming more common for men to wear female panties. The societal stigma has certainly been discounted. For God sakes, biological males with XY chromosomes who wear full female attire are now legally allowed to use women public restrooms in many states. Some corporations have open restroom policies. If I had that particular predilection I’d probably brag on it and show no shame. But that’s just me.

          Norberto encourages diverse opinions at his website. Free speech is the foundation of any healthy and functioning democracy. Boards that encourage only one train of thought or ideology are boring and IMO un-American. Those who choose to voice their opinions should never be intimidated into silence. Just say no to intimidation.

          Verifiedsane is an articulate commenter who adds great value to the comment board. Just because his opinion may clash with those on the other side of the political aisle it should not deter him from participating in the public process. America was built on a foundation of diverse and conflicting ideas.

          • OCservant_Leader

            This has got to be one of your funniest comments ever OT!

          • verifiedsane

            Greg appears to be having some sort of s*xual identity crisis. Fortunately, Mr./Mrs/Zr Diamond can receive lots of support, mollycoddling , and some vital fashion advice from the LGBT Center of OC moving forward with their chosen alt-left life style; whatever that might be… 🙂

          • verifiedsane

            LFOldTimer, that was a very entertaining and informative comment, yet, on the other hand; were you outing yourself….either way..LMAO

          • LFOldTimer

            My door doesn’t swing in that direction, verified. But if it did I wouldn’t be ashamed of it. I’d probably flaunt it. Some would argue that in 2017 it would be perceived as a plus, not a negative. We live in interesting times.

            That being said, even if someone came on-line and falsely claimed that I wore panties (with or without the figurative language) – I’d just laugh it off. But that’s just me.

          • verifiedsane

            The Alt-left generally live and speak out from an alternative hypocritical world, where whatever they say (even the most offensive and irrational diatribe) is deemed “correct speech”, and anyone that might challenge that self entitled bubble world is considered a “satin embroided hood and robe” wearing racist, or worse. It’s actually pretty entertaining to watch and experience how thin skinned and the evidenced lack of humor/self reflection they show with regularity.

        • verifiedsane

          Greg, considering your squalid & poorly conceived attempt at persiflage. And that this banter coming from someone lacking intellectual depth or subtlety. I will consider your social Marxist riposte, an esteemed compliment…Have a nice day comrade… 🙂

          • LFOldTimer

            He called me a “bigot” and a “fascist” without any corresponding evidence to support his claim.

            It almost made me cry. 🙂

            I guess he’s ignorant of the fact that illegal immigration is a dispute among nations, not races.

            I’ve made it clear multiple times on this board that I support the same treatment for ALL illegal aliens – whether they are pasty whites from Sweden, charcoal blacks from Nigeria or mocha browns from Honduras. ALL illegal invaders using our resources and taking up space that could be occupied by LAWFUL and RESPECTFUL immigrants should be provided a one-way ticket home and told to come in the front door next time as opposed to the back door. This is the way all civilized nations operate their immigration systems and the USA should be no different.

            Why is that simple concept so hard for some to understand?

          • verifiedsane

            Come on now OT, I believe you were referred to as a “extremely polite Lite Fascist”. Which I would only assume is Greg’s version of a personal progressive exultation of your in-depth insight, rational viewpoints, and generalized shared honest merriment. This is especially decorous coming from a former failed liberal candidate for District Attorney of Orange County.

            Of course on a superfluous side-note, R. Scott Moxley of OC Weekly did a very flattering piece on Zr. Diamond back in 2012 readers may find enlightening: http://www.ocweekly.com/news/greg-diamond-in-the-rough-6424257

          • questionauthority2

            LMAO LOL LOL

          • questionauthority2

            I’ll match that and up you one O’ Diamond in the ruff https://www.fullertonsfuture.org/2012/scary-halloween-picture/

          • LFOldTimer

            The Rodney Dangerfield of OC.

          • LFOldTimer

            A legend in his own mind.

  • LFOldTimer

    I never really liked Mimi Walters. Even as a State Senator.

    But after reading this article I may have to reconsider my opinion and give her a second chance.

    It all comes down to whom do I dislike more…..silly ranting activists who blame Walters for Trump’s prerogatives as President of the United States which I happen to support….or Walters herself.

    Well, Mimi is at the top of that turd pile.

    Rule of law and the safety of our nation have been compromised for such a long time under Clinton, Bush and Obama that it’s become normal within certain political factions of our society to actively promote dismantling both.

    Now we have a President who wants to restore rule of law (simply enforce the black letter law on the books) and to temporarily secure our nation until we can formulate an effective plan to keep some bad foreigners with evil intent off our soil – and all the sudden he becomes the “evil one”. lol.

    What a bizarre society we’ve evolved into. It seems mental illness has reached epidemic proportions in America.

    What the heck ever happened to reason and common sense?

  • OCservant_Leader

    Can the Mimi Waters campaign provide proof of PAID protesters?

    I’m waiting.

    If not, it’s more fake news.

    She doesn’t give a da*n about her “constiuants”. And yes, that includes citizens who did NOT vote for you.

    Mimi and her Husband are just trough feeders, both addicted to our tax dollars on direct deposit that fund their lavish lifestyle (their mansion AND studio apartment when she needs to commit campaign fraud). The end does justify the means.

    • verifiedsane

      http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-23/soros-linked-former-clinton-staffer-behind-organized-townhall-protests One needs to look no further than the open borders socialist & globalist billionaire George Soros & Pals. George and his many front organizations have funding ties to countless leftist and democrat organizations. These protest are anything but organic; they are well funded and professionally organized events across America targeting conservative representatives. This is not any different than the paid instigators sent to Trump campaign rally’s (CNN – Clinton News Network) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lA6bRSzutsM

      • OCservant_Leader

        I’m still waiting. Nice try tho.

        • verifiedsane

          As they say: You can lead a democrat to water, but you can’t force them to think 🙂

          • OCservant_Leader

            Still waiting…

          • verifiedsane

            Name calling?…just speaking the truth… 🙂

          • OCservant_Leader

            You do not know my political affiliation -now…shut it. 🙂

          • verifiedsane

            LMAO….excuse me for the inconceivable transgression of using reasonable interpretation skills and some logical deduction to formulate an opinion of political affiliation…if i was in error, offended you, or have made a grievous misnomer by affiliating you, or your commentary to Democratic party leanings; I apologize from the nethermost cockles of my heart. 🙂

          • OCservant_Leader

            Apology accepted…:)

          • OCservant_Leader

            And keep the name calling offline. 🙂

        • Greg Diamond

          You’re too kind. It wasn’t THAT nice of a try!

  • verifiedsane

    It would have been nice if VOC would have listed the paid protesters, who footed the bill, and how much money was involved…but then that would have taken some journalistic integrity and a little investigative reporting…Hint: your bias is showing…this isn’t opinion, it’s pure Democratic party propaganda

    • Preston L. Bannister

      Welcome Troll. Running out material on RedState? Need to talk to Discus about flagging trolls.

      • verifiedsane

        Jeez, another imbecilic comment from one of those so called “tolerant” Dumocrats; this with diddly squat to add to the conversation beside trite attacks, daffy threats, and unimaginative hyperbole…rainbow flag away weasel boy… 🙂

      • LFOldTimer

        Why are you folks so determined to undermine and shut down democracy by silencing opposing viewpoints?

        How is that any different from what H*tler perpetrated in N*zi Germany?

        I thought the Democrat party supporters were advocates of diverse thought, unobstructed political expression and understanding through shared communication.

        Now all I see is strong arm bu*lying, open intimidation and vitriolic name-calling.

        Hillary lost. Get over it.

        Give democracy a chance.