TOM MARCHESE: "How about odd animus?'

Nearly three weeks after his lopsided loss in a bid for re-election to the Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust board of directors, Tom Marchese has responded to a request for comment that I left on his home telephone on March 30. Marchese, who four days ago lopsidedly lost a bid to represent the Third District on the Long Beach City Council, posted a comment on this blog on April 16 at 9:17 p.m. Here it is:

 “Hey Dave, I just had a chance to finally read this and it contains false and libelous allegations which I can prove are not true. Don May drafted a letter with patently offensive falsehoods in it, outright lies. Why you failed to confirm or deny these allegations in a rush to judgment hurts. You published lies which harmed me. Why ? Purported scrutiny? How about odd animus? How about failure to verify the veracity of specious claims?

“Apparently friends of Gary [DeLong, Third District councilmember] on or around the Trust fed Don a series of lies which he believed, and wrote. Had you actually been at the LCWLT election you might have been able to actually do a much netter story. Person after person screamed at the LCWLT board and their attorney for publishing lies and rigging the election. [Press-Telegram reporter] Joe Segura witnessed it and that’s why it came out in his story.
Why did you call me at 11 PM for an ”interview” after I wrote you weeks before to recognize how buried I was while campaigning and to simply write me some questions and schedule a time to review the responses?

“I truly wish that you had not assumed that Don spoke correctly before you broke this terrible story mere hours later? But in deconstructing your errors I have a better question ? What was your source for this story and what grudge might they carry? Any bias? We also wonder how did you get this letter so quickly after the election? Hmm, did you get played too? The campaign had me working 7 days a week, from early in the morning until late in the evening for 6 months. I got 3 days off due to illness. I was running a 2 week backlog on emails and call backs.

“I ran to simply try to do good things for our community which I love and to fix some really messed up things. Why some advocates ended up helping Gary never made sense to us, but the net effect is that his divide and conquer tricks on the trust and with others, and with the candidates helped him knock me down and boost his vote count.

“Sad to see who did not see through this old ruse. I was not fooled. This is why Stephanie Loftin called the stunts Machiavellian

“You betrayed our friendship and trust, you published false facts that harmed my effort to try to bring honestly, transparency and wide based community service to city hall, and you damaged my good name and character.

“I can prove unequivocally that Don May spoke false facts. I can also disprove the BS that Gary’s gang put in the Press Telegram. But the election is over and I wonder when you will come to the realization that you did a lot to help re elect Gary ??

“You need to either do your homework before you write or get a copy editor. You harmed me for no good reason and at a minimum I deserve an apology. The LCWLT attorney has confirmed what I told Bill Pearl. I never threatened to sue the trust, not even remotely. I was entitled to see the list as a director? No cause needed? Maybe you and Don should read the bylaws which state this.  ‘Any officer or director can view the member list at any time without stating a reason…’

“They simply were secreting it to run a kangaroo court or something. I never used political reasons in connection with this list which by the way I have still never seen? How can you use a list or electioneer from a list if you have never seen the list?

“There is also no duty to resign from a 501 C merely because you are a candidate. People do it all of the time. As I told Bill Pearl who understands ethics and the law too, you merely avoid any conflicts of interest. None can be proved.

“Also I never did anything close to electioneering, however members of the board did by placing this harmful and false letter in the hands of every voter, and reading it to the audience, IE slander. By the way, I was never shown this letter despite their legal duty to review such statements with the entire board before publishing them. I would have cautioned them not to break the law, act unethically, wrongfully, in violation of the bylaws and several civil codes.

“You harmed me Dave, at a minimum I deserve an apology. The election has passed, we wonder how many percentage points you cost us? During my campaign people kept asking me; ” What happened to Dave?” ” Why is he trying to pin lies on you?” ” Why isn’t he picking on Gary, or Terry [Jensen, defeated Third District candidate]?” . I had no answer, do you? All that I could speculate was maybe he is trying to make amens with the DeLong gang and City Hall ? What he is doing is wonderful for Dean and Gary but I think that he may be getting played. You were..”

DAVE WIELENGA RESPONDS: As Mr. Marchese says, I phoned him on March 30, the night of the election to ask for his response to a letter from Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust founder Don May that was critical of Marchese and endorsed his opponent for the LCWLT’s Board of Directors. Mr. Marchese never returned that phone call, nor did he offer me his response to May’s letter at several other events where we were both present. I got a copy of Mr. May’s letter from Mr. May, himself. I contacted him by telephone on March 30, interviewed him about the letter, and requested that he e-mail me a copy. He did. If Mr. Marchese believes that a single blog post by me–reporting the simple fact that Mr. May wrote a letter that criticized Mr. Marchese—was sufficient to cost him an election that he lost by more than 40 percentage points, I believe he grossly overestimates my influence.

  1. Uncle Mike
    April 17, 2010 at 10:08 am

    Both Tom and Dave make good points.

    Tom’s points included; 1. Where was Dave? 2. Dave’s article assisted the Press Telegram, Grunion Gazette and LB Post in getting DeLong re-elected.

    Dave’s good point; Where was Tom and why didn’t he take the opportunity to respond to Dave’s call? Was he ducking an embarrassing issue much like DeLong does all of the time? Everyone else in the city knew about Daves call. It rings hollow for Tom to claim he didn’t know because he was too busy electioneering. If that was the case, maybe Tom should have gotten a better campaign manager to keep him apprised.

  2. No Apology Needed
    April 17, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    More Marcraziness. Thank God this lunatic didn’t get elected to ANYTHING. Dave, you don’t anyone an apology. Keep up the good work.

  3. Henry
    April 18, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Well, Dave, I am surprised that after you received the subject letter and called Don May for more information, you didn’t see fit to find out what was really
    happening at the LCWLT meeting for the election of new Board members.
    Obviously you knew about it. Oh, and by the way, the reason you didn’t receive a call back from Tom that evening-he was at the Gaslamp with friends.
    Your rush to get your article to Press -March 30-late is disgusting. Don May’s
    letter was only received on March 30 from Hawaii, the same day as the election!
    But guess you “scooped” all the responsible journalists as comments started appearing on your blog at 6:35am on March 31.

  4. April 18, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Hi Henry. Thanks for informing me that Tom Marchese was at the Gaslamp with friends when I phoned him for comment on the evening of March 30. That’s not what he told me when I phoned him yesterday morning (April 17). His story was that he was already at home in bed. Somebody’s not telling the truth. Meanwhile, I want to point out that in my “rush” to put my story on line I didn’t publish anything that didn’t happen. You guys have had a lot longer to get your story straight and it still doesn’t jibe.

  5. Takes one to know one
    April 19, 2010 at 7:43 pm


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