The Conclusion of the Red County Saga 6 Week Delay + Team Whitman’s Job Offer

 Chip Hanlon, Matt Cunningham, Meg Whitman, Red County Blog System  Comments Off on The Conclusion of the Red County Saga 6 Week Delay + Team Whitman’s Job Offer
Feb 192010


Chip Hanlon could have simply ejected me from the Red County blog with no fanfare -i.e. “hey Aaron, your arrangement isn’t going to work for us”… rather, they saw an opportunity to drive traffic and profit -so they took it. That’s the real issue – then they grandstanded about ethics.

Haven’t Republican leaders learned enough about leveling the ethics finger? Just do your business and be done with it, but apparently, that would have inhibited some perceived gain those at Red County saw as a possibility.

As I blogged previously, posts were deleted, comments were deleted, lawsuits were threatened in addition to constant complaints about money.

Whitman’s Job Offer

As I had told a few people, back on December 24th, 2008 – the third of three meetings between Mitch Zak and I had occurred. The third meeting was the decision point, we had negotiated terms and I was to get back to Mitch about what I’d be doing for my compensation (the one-pager referenced below).

The entire email thread is available – but in an email dated 12/24/2008 at 8:50AM, Zak wrote:

Good morning Aaron,

Great seeing you this morning.  I enjoyed breakfast and good conversation.  As promised, I’ve attached Meg’s commonwealth club speech as well as an op-ed she penned on Prop 5.  Please send me the one-pager asap and I’ll begin working on it.  I look forward to reading the next installment from Captain Kool-Aid.

Merry Christmas to you and your family.


I consider Mitch Zak to be a friend – he did nothing wrong in trying to hire me on to the Whitman Campaign. Mitch replied on 12/26 after I had let him know I was not going to rescind my endorsement of Steve Poizner:

Thanks for the follow-up Aaron,

While I’m disappointed that we won’t be able to work together, I certainly understand.  We can revisit our conversation when the general election comes around.

In the meantime, lets stay in touch.


I have been forced to set Zak on fire because of the actions of Chip Hanlon and Matt Cunningham. This is one of the despicable things in politics… but in the case of Meg County vs. the Whitman Campaign, there is no honor amongst thieves.

Now – when I went to Steve Frank about what transpired in the conversation on 12/24/2008 to let him know that there was an offer on the table… that is what ultimately led to my arrangement with Steve Frank. Note that I worked for Steve Frank, not Steve Poizner.

Obviously, Steve Frank thought I had a job offer from Whitman.

Lies of Omission by Red County

Chip Hanlon was told both facts on 10/29/2009. Many who follow the Meg County blog have seen parts of the emails. Hanlon found out about my arrangement, because I told him – on 10/29/2009. However, I was not ejected from Red County until 12/09/2009 – why?

It is not as simple as Red County adhering to an ethical code – they took money from Whitman and said nothing about it. Hanlon wrote the following to me on 10/30/2009:

Understood. Clarifying from yesterday’s call: if you had to disclose the payments from Steve Frank– or whatever the related entity is– so it’s clear you have a Poizner interest, how big a problem would that be for you? I mean, would you reeeaaaalllyy prefer not to, is it no big deal, or somewhere in between? Again, I just have to think through what RC can live with, and I can’t ask Matt for guidance on this specifically.  Thanks.

It is absolutely 100% true that I answered with the following: “The problem is that I would lose the deal and would be devastated financially. I told you about it so you’d understand the backside pressure I have. ” – I had just closed escrow on a new house. Today is a different story.

Mind you, there was no further communication until 12/09/2009 when Chip called me telling me it was over. There were no intermediate options given – such as, “look dude, you’re going to have to go public”. Chip characterized my follow-up questions as begging in the post he had already written before we hung up the phone – as it was up before I got in to my office.


Chip Hanlon chose to do it is public and messy as he could – picking and choosing facts as it suited him in order to get even with Steve Poizner for not buying advertising on the Red County Blog.

They then went out and said I failed to disclose and that was the reason why they did what they did.  I did disclose – some six weeks prior and asked if I could keep the disclosure out of the public. I got my answer.

Hanlon’s company – greenfaucet got $20K from Whitman 12/03 – I was axed 12/09. When coupled with the direct and extremely personal nature of Hanlon’s angry string of blog posts that followed – draw your own conclusions as to what happened.

There it is – that simple. A blog with an extreme financial interest in the Whitman Campaign attempted to publicly destroy a blogger working as a consultant for a consultant with an interest in the Poizner camp.

Campaign combat 101.

P.S. as of 2/18/2010 – Three months after my ouster – the Red County System has finally removed all of my posts.

P.P.S. Lest anyone forget about who we are dealing with in Meg Whitman, watch the embedded video.

Feb 122010

We know the “Conservatives” at Meg County were purchased.

We know that this Conservative refused to betray Steve Poizner (and that story will be told soon) – unlike Jim Nielsen, Brian Nestande and John Campbell who all switched their endorsements to join the establishment.

I am a delegate to the State CRP – this means in the weeks leading up to a convention, I get stuff in my mail. One such piece of cat pan liner was this letter entitled Conservatives for Whitman.

Notably, this letter omits Assemblymember Roger Niello who voted along with Abel Maldonado for the largest tax increase in state history. (Or was it because of Niello taking $7800 from the SEIU?)

But, it does include Senator Dave Cox and Congressmen Wally Herger / Dan Lungren… in the North State where I am from, they are regarded as nominally conservative. In fact, Herger is soft on the abortion issue and Lungren is a celebrated gun-grabber… all three endorsed Liberal Millionaire Doug Ose over Congressman Tom McClintock in the 2008 election. (in my backyard)

There is more to this – Assemblyman Jim Nielsen is indeed regarded as a liberal in the North State, yet his name appears on this letter of Conservatives. When he switched his endorsement, that was a boost to Poizner. Nielsen voted for illegal alien healthcare and against then governor George Deukmejian’s proposed Tax Rebates in the mid-late 1980’s. (Nielsen was a State Senator back then)

Also listed is Darrell Issa – the former employer of Meg Whitman’s Rally Gerbil. While the Rally Gerbil lambastes Steve Poizner for nailing insurance company investments in Iran – Issa is wanting to haul Toyota’s CEO in to a Congressional Hearing? Hmmm… Whitman is getting some mileage out of that $20K ya think?

I know in every cycle how to identify who the moderate is – look for Ed Royce, Kevin McCarthy and John Campbell on their endorsement list. It’s sad but true – we will be a generation in the California Republican Party dealing with the establishment Conservatives who vote good themselves but are remiss to support other real Conservatives for office.

This gets me to my friend – Steve Poizner. He was not a conservative when he ran for Assembly in 2004… and the Rally Gerbil is quick to remind us of that. But the Rally Gerbil and others have permanent memory loss about how Poizner has matured in office. Under the fraudulent veneer of pseudo-journalism that is Meg County – they choose to ignore:

Whitman is a Huge Fan of Van Jones
Whitman is a Huge Fan of H1-N visas (the most abused form)
Whitman said we shouldn’t raise taxes “right now”
Whitman opposes cutting illegal alien healthcare (that her endorser Jim Nielsen helped establish in the 1980’s).
Whitman publicly endorsed with a signed letter – Barbara Boxer in 2004
Whitman’s closest advisor, Henry Gomez has maxed out to every Dem Presidential Candidate in Memory
Whitman herself gave $300,000 to the environmental defense fund – whose Delta Smelt lawsuit shut water off to millions of acres of farms this year.

… and “Conservatives” support her!?

Her campaign team? Arnold’s.

I rest my case.

Feb 042010

Updated 2/19/2010 from original posting 2/4/2010

As we learned from the Orange Juice Blog – Chip Hanlon is a paid vassal of Meg Whitman for Governor. He never disclosed this – and still hasn’t even after being exposed as a fraud.

Chip Hanlon and Matt “Jerbal” Cunningham have exempted themselves from their own standard of disclosure.  Hey, they own the place – they can be hypocrites… comes with ownership. The problem is when you are a public leader – your standard has to be higher than that of everyone else.

Many times – I spoke with Hanlon on the phone and every time, he complained about the fact that Steve Poizner’s campaign did not purchase an ad on the Red County system. We now know that this was a red herring as Hanlon’s firm was a recipient of Whitman’s lavish campaign cash.

When Chip Hanlon chose to very publicly and aggressively expel this blogger from the Red County system – he made threats including threatening to Sue either myself or Steve Poizner for lost advertising revenues…

And given the fact that Hanlon openly blustered about Poizner’s sleazy campaign tactics and how he was using me in lieu of purchasing an ad…

The issue all along was the money.

It is a not-too-closely guarded secret that the Red County system is a money loser. The Whitman ad on the home page of the site is worth a reputed $2500 a month – which seems to have been a low estimate when you look at $20K that received from Whitman, one could easily draw the conclusion that Whitman bought Chip Hanlon.

Look closer – the payment to greenfaucet was dated 12/03/2009 – I was expelled 12/09/2009. Calbuzz actually got it backward in their post from a few weeks ago.

Fake Blog Post?

Some in Southern California will remember the post I put up that was deleted within a couple hours about the Orange County Lincoln Club endorsing Steve Poizner for Governor. Chip Hanlon asked me to put it up and ultimately, Matt Cunningham deleted it after people in Orange County complained about it.

It was a ploy for traffic.

Deleted Posts

Several contributors to the Red County System have had posts deleted – including myself.

During the Doug Ose vs. Tom McClintock primary – I had posts far less incendiary than those I wrote against Meg Whitman deleted.

I remember a posting about a news story regarding a fundraiser that Linda Ackerman was employing – Matt Cunningham deleted my post and emailed me regarding “Dez” – one of the subjects of the media firestorm. (The stories referred to her as Desiree – so apparently Cunningham knew her)

People have emailed me screen shots of comments that either Hanlon or Cunningham deleted.

None of this paints a bright ethical picture for the Blog that expelled Sgt. York and grandstanded on the platform of ethics.

It’s interesting that the same circles that produced Mike Duvall also are home to Cunningham and Hanlon… things that make you go hmmm…

Smashmouth politics.

Feb 022010

Courtesy of the Orange Juice Blog – we learn that Chip Hanlon’s firm – was paid $20,000 by the Whitman Campaign for “information Technology and Email.”

Chip Hanlon – whose Red County System also sports a gigantic Whitman for Governor Banner ejected this blogger from Red County to “protect the integrity of the Red County Blog system.”

That’s correct- while Chip Hanlon and Matt Cunningham were bellowing about Poizner’s sleazy campaign tactics (they characterized as paying me) – they themselves were on the take. While getting paid – Hanlon mused openly about suing Steve Poizner for lost advertising revenue.

Speaking of unprincipled – looking at Chip Hanlon’s donor records shows he takes a michavellian approach to his campaign donations as well.

$1000 to Adam Schiff (who unseated House Impeachment manager Jim Rogan in 1998)
$250 to Joe Lieberman

Stay tuned as this blogger – formerly known as Sgt. York on Red County is going to tell the rest of the story about what happened.

Jan 192010
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the blogs
Not an activist was stirring, not even a wonk.
The blogs were all posted by the writers with care,
In hopes that St Margaret soon would read theirs.
The writers were all nestled snug in their chairs,
While visions of dollar signs danced in their heads.
And Chip in his ‘kerchief, and Matt in his cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the internet there arose such a clatter,
Chip sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the computer he flew like a flash,
Tore open the browser to see what had past.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to his wondering eyes should appear,
But a bomb throwers blog posts from throughout the year.

With a cadence, so lively and quick,
They knew in a moment it must be Sgt. York.
More rapid than eagles his lines of prose they came,
And he piled on with sentences that put politicians to shame!

“Now Cunnigham! now, Costigan! now, Schied and Bounds!
On, Pompeii! On, Stutzmann! , on Patterson and Hanlon!
To the top of Meg County, to the top of the all posts!
Now dash away York! Dash away! Dash away all!”

And then, in a twinkling, I heard in the office
The prancing and pawing of each little minion.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Into the office came St Margaret with a bound.

She was dressed all in fur, from her head to her foot,
And her clothes were all tarnished with blog posts, ashes and soot.
A bundle of cash she had flung on her back,
To hand out to all who would help her keep her campaign on track.


 She was miffed and unnerved,
And I knew when I saw her, how her mood got so sour!
A wink of her eye and a twist of her head,
Soon let me know Sgt York’s blog would be dead.

She spoke not a word, but went straight to her work,
And purchased Meg County, Chip, Matt, then turned with a jerk.
And laying her money on the table with care,
made sure Sgt York was no longer there!

She sprang back to her campaign, and to her team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard her exclaim, as she drove out of sight,
“Vote for me now or disappear in the night!”