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Wu: Meet your new conservative columnist

March 10, 2012|By Jack Wu

After almost 20 months writing about Newport Beach politics for the Newport Beach Independent, here I am "gracing" (a term I use liberally) the pages of the infamous Daily Pilot.

If you're not familiar with my work, I'm sure you are reading this wondering who I am and why am I here.

Fair questions.

I grew up in Huntington Beach and went to college at UC Irvine and graduate school at the University of Hawaii. My accounting office is in Costa Mesa, and I live in Newport Beach.

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I'm a divorced father of 5-year-old triplets, and I've questionably decided to go "back to Shawshank," i.e. get engaged again.

I'm a conservative and a Republican (two distinct things). I am an activist for the Republican Party of Orange County and a voting member for the California Republican Party. I've volunteered as Rep. Dana Rohrabacher's campaign treasurer for almost 10 years and used to be the treasurer for former Orange County Treasurer Chriss Street, who is also a conservative.

I am not easily intimidated, or easily pushed around; however, there are four women in Newport Beach of whom I am absolutely terrified: "Saint" Marian Bergeson, the former county supervisor and assemblywoman; Evelyn Hart, a former Newport Beach mayor and civic leader; Judy Franco, a Newport-Mesa school board member; and Barbara Venezia, an Orange County Register columnist.

Whatever those four — the idea of crossing them gives me shivers — tell me to do, not only will I do it, but I will make you do it too.

What have I written about? Let's start with the biggie that went international.

Last summer, I wrote about the $200,000-a-year in salaries and benefits received by some Newport Beach lifeguards. I sent the story to my buddy Brian Calle at the Orange County Register, who blew it up. Bill Handel even read my column aloud and discussed it on his KFI radio show. That scared the bejeezus out of me.

I followed that nugget up with a piece about I Heart Puppies in Corona del Mar. With all the animal rights people protesting the pet store when it opened, I felt compelled to visit.

Well, my fiancée bought a puppy there, and I wrote about it.

And let me tell you, you don't feel that you've properly arrived as a writer until the 1981 Penthouse Pet of the Year runner-up — and her 160 friends — call you a horrible person and the devil online, although, she should talk having appeared in cinematic masterpieces like "Piranha II: The Spawning."

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