Letter: Why Bully Your Constituents?

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I grew up in Chicago politics and thought I’d seen everything until I read Councilman Peter Blake’s online rant against Michele and Emil Monda. Who would berate a voting constituent with an amalgam of misplaced theories insulting the success of a local taxpayer? So much for the hopes we had for positive changes. I don’t think anyone who one who acts like this can be trusted to know what quality decision-making is.

Dorothy Praeger, Laguna Beach

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  1. Dorothy, your question begs another question. Why would a voting constituent bully an elected official? Is it because she didn’t get her way? Is it because she expects me and others to cower to her ironfisted approach towards getting her way? This “high school educated art-agent” was getting bullied by an activist “with a Wharton Masters” and I fought back! Sorry, but I actually run a highly respected business that brings value to this community. This right-wing extremist only runs her mouth. Dorothy, I’ll defend myself against anyone who chooses to write a fact-free, bullshit ridden column like the one she wrote. You’re kidding yourself if you think getting attacked by a political operative like Michelle Monda doesn’t deserve a response back. Go back to Chicago where the friendlier politicians cower to dirty trick activists. I’m sure they “can be trusted to know what quality decision making is.

    Peter Blake

  2. It’s getting predictable the responses to this and others from Mr. Blake. He cannot stand to be criticized and he excuses his response behavior by saying he’s “bullied”. We get it Mr. Blake- you are important, successful, and cultured, and fighting back, fighting for the silent, fighting, fighting, fighting. You tell us all the time.

    If you think this is “bullying”, and the answer is to bully back and couch it as “fighting back”, I suggest visiting a high school counselor that actually deals with bullying and see what they have to say about it. Because it really seems like a schoolyard you’ve created in our city government. The only reason you aren’t embarrassed is thanks to your huge ego.

  3. Mr. Blake,
    You have insulted so many people in this town. I really think you need to find a different approach. Calling people liars & “hippies” really shows your maturity & breeding. “Go back to Chicago”? Really? I don’t know where (or how) you were raised but it is glaringly obvious that it wasn’t in Laguna. You are in your position to serve the people, not insult them. Please act accordingly.
    Thank you.

  4. “Go back where you came from.” OK sure, Trump. Did the “bullying” hurt your ego? “I’m a fantastic businessman. Run a highly respected business. I’ll fight anyone who dares to criticize me.” Just another Friday morning in Trump – I mean Blake-land.” And don’t forget to call out Village Laguna as left wing extremists and hippies who destroyed our town.

  5. I’m asking questions Peter. All you do is insult, threaten and demean the person whose views are not in lock step with yours. That is a bully Peter, not a person exercising their 1st amendment rights to question elected officials.

  6. Councilman Peter Blake has willingly chosen to mirror Pres. Donald Trump’s abhorrent behavior and rhetoric that the vast majority in our country have found despicable.
    But Mr. Blake underestimates the people and the “soul” of Laguna Beach. And like Trump, the residents here are quickly growing tired of him and his tactics, and will see him off as a one term councilman.
    In the interim, it is truly disheartening and disappointing that like the GOP in Congress, the other LB councilmembers remain silent to Blake’s destructive behavior.
    And that silence will be remembered by voters when reelection time comes around for them too.

  7. Regarding Peter Blake and his embarrassing behavior, does the city of Laguna allow for recall elections?

  8. So say all of the residents and activists that aren’t getting their way. Aren’t all of you a little late to the party? Now you realize what I’m all about? Hmm… What a revelation! A year of campaigning, 10 debates, thousands of posts on social media, a black and white advertising campaign that spelled it all out and then some. Did I promise to compromise? Make concessions? Was I sweet and then I turned sour?

    Feeling dumb right about now?

    Sorry, I will always defend myself against demeaning comments and false allegations. I heard the same BS back then that I’m hearing today. Get over yourselves! I’m not going anywhere, nor do I have ANY intention of changing how I fight for my constituents. I’m laser focused on the issues I ran and won on. The residents have NO problem with the way I govern. They know what I’m up against. The activists that are losing their power are the ones who are angry and lashing out. Political bullies who are nothing but liars. Look at the comments you write and ask yourselves if you’re hypocrites or not? At least I own it.

    And now you’re trying to blame other members of Council? Seriously? Do you think they can influence my behavior? Please! They hold about as much power over me as your comments on this local paper do.

    Peter Blake

  9. Wow…
    Apparently the huge narcissistic ego with the meat puppet known as Peter Blake attached still hasn’t taken a civics class…His disgusting, pointlessly rude, embarrassing behavior aside, he still isn’t capable of wrapping his warped mind around the fact that we are ALL his constituents…That he is supposed to represent us ALL…You know…just like in America…!! And shame on those on the council who stand by silently while this disgrace insults our citizens…Our town is going through a huge transition and grotesque philistines like Blake are not a plus…

  10. Why don’t all of you quit wasting my time and start collecting some signatures for a recall? Marshall? Borell? Bruce? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Hot air! Keep writing your clever BS all day. I’ll keep playing with you.

  11. Recall, recall, recall!

    Mr Blake knows nothing and exhibits that very well.

    The people need to have the say in this town, not Mr. Blake.

  12. Peter,
    You’re not winning this, you’re just not.

    You will be voted out unless you start behaving like the good citizen you say you are. Please, I’ve begged you over and over to just stop. Before, during and after the election. I recall who you really are, start acting like it. For yourself and the good people of Laguna.

    Just stop.

  13. What could account for Blake’s arrogance and his raging anger from which it stems? Blake has managed to alienate every major constituency in Laguna Beach except two….Liberate Laguna and the City Council. Their silence on Blake is deafening. Of course the City Council is quiet for perhaps no other reason then their political cowardice. But what about Liberate Laguna? Perhaps a movement to recall Blake will put some backbone into the Council and at the same time expose Liberate Laguna as Blake’s only constitute. That by itself could account for Blake’s arrogance and maniacal behavior. If a recall is successful Laguna will Liberate itself from Peter Blake.

  14. I warned all of you this man would be like this!!!!
    I say the Mayor should step down. Bullying is a scary thing especially when you are afraid of Public Speaking!!! I have not been to any town meetings because of the way this man treated me during his campaign on Social Media. I am afraid to go to the Council Chambers and therefore the Mayor, should step down because he and all of the Council Members are responsibly for the safety of the citizens of Laguna Beach. I’ve own several pieces of property throughout the years living here as well as my parents and grandparents, great grandparents, siblings, and cousins, so we’ve paid our share of taxes and help this community became the place the Council Members all wanted to move here for. Ignore this bully and go to the other Council Members and The City Attorney. I’ve talked to an attorney once about how Liberate Laguna’s Facebook Page tried bulling me by posting my home address by someone who lives in Chicago. This is not a joke, step up people!!

    Liza Interlandi Stewart

  15. From a ND post

    Mr. Blake should be held accountable for his accomplishments (or lack thereof) as stipulated per his campaign, end of story. Oh yeah, that goes for EVERY OTHER potential candidate that tosses a hat into the political arena. I want my politicians to say what they mean, do what they say then stay outta my way. Jekyll and/or Hyde, Goober or Gomer or Mary Poppins personality, it really should be of no consequence.

    One pretty much by default has to be somewhat of an egocentric to want to be in polytix in the first place, right? Most mask their true personalities because it wouldn’t jive with the whole kissing babies motif. Seems to me Mr. Blake does not do this. So he can be boisterous, overly zealous & prematurely shoots from the hip, so what! At least he’s not telling people what they want to hear and I for one respect that whether I agree with him or not.

    We should take advantage that he willingly engages in social media which is hopefully setting a precedent for others to follow. Attacking him does nothing but negate that and gets nothing accomplished. Criticize his policies or platform, but not the person. If he chooses to attack, bully, defend, whatever that’s his problem, not yours. Simply be the better person by not engaging at that level which in turn, make hims look worse am I right? Regardless, one must have thick skin if one chooses to engage in political discussion.

    Those that have a problem with Mr. Blake should be working on strategies for a replacement because last I heard he was elected by the majority so like it or not, unless that changes he’s currently one of our council folk. So deal with it, cease the aberrant sniveling and make the change.

    Remember guys, chronologically speaking we’re only here for a cosmic nano-second and pretty much all want the same thing. To have fun with our friends & family and live a happy, fulfilling life. We should all strive to use our collective intelligence on social media as a positive tool for change and not let it divide and separate. And remember, there are geek infested boiler rooms surrounded by servers funded by corporate or political entities with agendas that many times include the total disruption of social media topics so reader beware.

    If social media is used in proper positive format amazing things can get done… The petty back & forth bickering is so 90’s Usenet and just reeks of redundancy. Time to step it up a notch.

  16. What These Letters Graphically Demonstrate Is We Finally Need The Most Educated Successful Business People To Come Forward To Lead Laguna’s Council, City Jobs, and Law Enforcement. It’s our fault for letting the city to become hijacked one way or another, because we can’t work with the astute intelligent negotiators and strategic planners who are residents. The theory is that the most intellgent residents are busy earning and can’t be bothered, but it’s time to draft them. Bill Gross? Who else?

  17. Charles, I heard the same shit over and over again during the campaign and I still won with the most votes. More votes than the 20-year incumbent and Village Laguna lapdog Toni Iseman and decades-long Village Laguna activist Anne Christoph. What does that tell you about the pulse of Laguna currently?

    The rope isn’t going to be around my neck and I wont be fading away or timing out. I can assure you of that.


  18. Poor Peter, the embodiment of the Peter Principle. The man boasted of never setting foot in City Council, and then lambasts those who have stepped into the ring from either side of the aisle for many years as “activists,” as if that is somehow a bad word. Peter attacks the left and right, branding them as extremists, yet has no awareness that most of the people he is alienating actually voted for him (like me). I never write letters but am so so sickened to watch this troubled human being attack everyone, even his fellow council people. Peter, I know you believe you carry the mandate of the silent majority, but other than the few who stop you in the aisle to congratulate you and have no sense of what constitutes civil society, you have actually lost untold supporters who may have agreed with your policies (I am one), but would rather see them sacrificed then carried by a belligerent, hurtful, wounded man who wakes up in the morning personally attacking people who disagree with his policies. How far we have fallen as a society to permit this kind of boorish behavior. And before you respond to me, just answer one thing: how do you justify vilifying someone over their looks, something that has been mentioned in this thread over and over but you somehow avoid discussing! Are you not man enough to justify your words?

  19. When I person like me, who is not old nor a hippie, nor an activist, who is not involved in local politics and doesn’t know the players, who didn’t know what Village Laguna even was until a couple months ago- when someone like ME is noticing what a jerk Peter Blake is both in person and online, that is saying something. I just love my town and the people in it. But please continue to live up to your reputation sir. And I voted for both you and Toni- boy the former sure was a mistake.

  20. I know what you mean, Michael. This is what Peter fails to understand over and over again. He’s offensive to people who voted for him. Many of us (and I know many many) would rather see the issues we supported fail than see him succeed with his ugly, offensive, divisive rhetoric. It’s just not worth enabling this man (and modeling this kind of behavior) to continue in public life.

  21. Sandy, you would “rather see the issues you supported fail than see him succeed” Is this the behavior that should be “modeled?” You’re sounding more ignorant with each post.

  22. Bullying is a scary thing especially when you are afraid of Public Speaking!!! I have not been to any town meetings because of the way this man treated me during his campaign on Social Media. I am afraid to go to the Council Chambers and therefore the Mayor, should step down because he and all of the Council Members are responsibly for the safety of the citizens of Laguna Beach. I’ve own several pieces of property throughout the years living here as well as my parents and grandparents, great grandparents, siblings, and cousins, so we’ve paid our share of taxes and help this community became the place the Council Members all wanted to move here for. Ignore this bully and go to the other Council Members and The City Attorney. I’ve talked to an attorney once about how Liberate Laguna’s Facebook Page tried bulling me by posting my home address by someone who lives in Chicago. This is not a joke, step up people!!

  23. Oh Liza, you’re such an incredible lier! You started the bullying in August of 2018. I remember getting your first nasty and ill-informed email. It would lead to many more disparaging emails and posts on social media. Let’s face it, you’re living in 1970! The residents of this community are trying to live in 2019 and worried about fools like you and Village Laguna dictating their future. The good news is, as a result of the last election, it will never happen! We’ve finally gotten past you and the likes of you. Keep writing your nonsense about being “scared” of coming to Council meetings. BTW when was the last time you came to a Council meeting and spoke? What was the issue that you felt needed to be addressed? What are you doing to move Laguna forward in a positive manner rather than berating a public official? Writing dumb letters can only bring you accolades from dumb listeners like Sandy Westerman. Right? Thank you, I rest my case

  24. Say it with me, Peter: “I’m sorry I made disparaging comments about your looks, Ms. Christoph. I realize there is no place for this kind of shaming by anyone, let alone a public official. I promise to work on my anger issues. I honestly don’t know what comes over me, but every Friday morning I go onto the Indy online and just start raging at anyone who disagrees with me or doesn’t give me enough credit. I admit I learn a lot from watching our President. But that’s no excuse. I promise not to demonize anyone who disagrees with me by labeling them a left (or right) wing extremist, a hippie, or worst of all, an activist. I guess I feel guilty over the fact that until a year ago, I never set foot in Council chambers, so I have a grudge against Lagunans who have spent so much of their lives “actively” pursuing a voice in the stewardship of their city. So now I want to silence them with insults and highlight all the good I am doing for our town. I’m going to make it classy and sophisticated, like me. Everyone who came to Laguna before me is just a hippie. You hear me? A hippie! Oops, there I go again. Sorry, sorry.”

  25. Councilman Blake – We are only interested in ONE thing: How YOU spend OUR tax money. Wise Up and stick to business and put your mouth where OUR money is.

  26. WOW! I’m so very proud of the residents who are speaking up right now to address Peter Blake’s intimidation tactics and verbal abuse issues. I’ll add to this; he clearly hs mental-instability issues. I don’t know all of you, but just want to say THANK YOU! Especially, to those who “in good faith supported Blake” in the last election to hold the top position in our city government, but who have now reconsidered.

    It is clear he will turn against his former supporters and will not hesitate to demean them and try to bully them too. If more of his former supporters speak up and let him know he is out of line, we just might have a chance at getting back to some civility in our town. Speaking up says were not afraid of you Peter. This IS our Laguna Beach and we will not let you ruin it for your self-interests, greed and inflated ego. We don’t accept the forceful and destructive dictatorship approach that you project and exercise. Please listen to your constituents.

  27. With all this back-and-forth frothing at the mouth, would someone please, preferably Mr. Blake, explain to us all how, all of a sudden right around being elected, Mr. Blake found $2 million dollars to buy his gallery space, after renting for years. Could someone please find out how this was so coincidental?

  28. Ozzie, feeling is a conspiratorial mood these days? Hate to break the bad news to you but I have a 25-year-old gallery, perfect credit and had enough for a down payment. I went to a bank and borrowed the rest. Sorry to disappoint you. I could try spinning the story to liven things up for you? Maybe I found a suitcase with millions that one of my rich developers dropped on Ocean Ave? Feeling stupid yet?

  29. Oh boy. I just saw the video online of the City Council meeting this week and someone spoke in the public forum who played a tape of Coucilman Blake screaming at her voicemail, calling her a bitch and threating his power with the district attorney to get to the bottom of a COCAINE accusation about him? what is going on with this guy? COKE?

  30. Peter Blake, Ozzie Nelson brings up a point that has been discussed a lot. While we applaud your frugality and good fortune you could put all these speculations to bed by releasing all and loan documents to show if there were any co-signers in your loan application to the bank and if there were their names. The same goes for the SBA submittals. I assume you are not under audit.

  31. So now Mr. Blake is resorting to leaving threatening messages on his constituent’s voicemails? I voted for you sir, and I had no idea that this was how you would conduct yourself as a public official. I voted for you because I thought of you as a successful businessman and outsider. You may be those things, but you’ve also revealed, at least to me, that you are incapable of humility and maturity when it comes to the job of councilman. Now the city is actually having to revise it’s rules of decorum and civility? Embarrassing. I hope you take some time for yourself to really evaluated your conduct.

  32. Henry Hill and Michael, For the record Lorene Laguna posted on Nextdoor that I told her I was a cocaine dealer 30 years ago when I worked the door at Romeo Cuccina. In the 30 years, I’ve lived in Laguna, I have NEVER bought, sold, consumed or even been in a room with someone doing cocaine. I welcome anyone who knows otherwise to come forward. Maybe these accusations wouldn’t warrant a warning call in your world, but in mine, it did. I stand behind the message I left her and will be seeing her in court soon enough. More power to you for being ok with an accusation like this. I wish I had thick skin like you guys do. I’m always happy to engage in discourse over issues but not in terested in personal attacks. I was never elected to be anyone’s punching bag!

  33. Chris Catsimanes, I will drop off all of my loan documents to the City Clerk next week. I’m happy to include anything else you might like to see. Let’s face it. You really don’t care, you just want to keep slinging mud until something sticks. Well, you can keep doing it. I’ll see you on Tuesday night and let’s see where your latest threats of recall take you. My supporters know what you, MJ Abraham, Michelle Monda and Village Laguna are up to. You simply are tired of losing vote after vote and are desperate to silence me. It will never work. I was elected to fight and will continue to do so until the voters decide they’d rather not. So far, none of my supporters are wavering.

  34. “I have a 97% approval rating from my just to the right of center, non liberal, not conservative, non extremist, non hippie, non activist, silent base. I could stand in the middle of Coast Highway and hurl insults at passing motorists – and the wretched homeless gathering outside my ultra sophisticated minimalist gallery – and they’d still vote for me!”

  35. “I worked in a restaurant all through the 80’s and 90’s, and whenever we finished the night, everyone said to me, ‘Peter, you should leave the room. We’re about to snort some coke. Because just in case you ever run for public office, we want to make sure you can deny ever being around it.’ And later, whenever I was around the art crowd and someone wanted to do blow, I’d say wait a minute. I have to leave the room. And then I’d go to church and prey for forgiveness for all those terrible people.”

  36. Aaron, did you not get the red-pepper flakes with your avocado toast this morning?

    Better get to your safe space and chill for a while.

    You’re making a fool out of yourself!

  37. “No other Councilman has done as much as me in their first year. Homelessness in front of my chic, minimalist gallery is at an all time low. There have been no mudslides or fires, except for the ones I light weekly. I spend most of my time attacking all those “virtue signalers” who dare question me. And Fox News loves me because I love our flag! So much winning!

    Everybody is saying what a great job I am doing fighting for the right of center silent majority who are so tired of those left wing extremists that want to prevent us from looking like La Jolla, Del Mar, or Beverly Hills. Their days are numbered and I’m going to call them out until they crawl back into their patchouli infested holes.

    I did, however, vote for those weirdos, I mean farmers, at Bluebird Canyon Farms, who grow organic food. I’ve never eaten organic (ask anyone) or done blow, and when I think someone is a fool, I quickly assert they must be eating avocado toast to shame them. I mean, how dare someone suggest I apologize for face shaming one of my constituents. It must be the chia seeds!

    My right of center silent majority base voted for me to FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT, and that food is for pussies. I eat liberals, conservatives, extremists, hippies, activists and the rest of those Frosted Flakes before I even have breakfast.”


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