Tito Ortiz, one-time UFC champ and all-the-time Mr. Potato Head lookalike, brought his political career to a sudden end this week after an eventful six-month term on the Huntington Beach City Council. Ortiz spent most of that term getting owned and roasted by colleagues and constituents alike—primarily because he’s a kooky weirdo who appears to have never worn a mask—and he announced at Tuesday’s meeting that he’s had it with the bullying and negative coverage. Some of that supposedly negative coverage is a Los Angeles Times story revealing that the very employed Ortiz filed for unemployment in February. In classic Ortiz fashion, his address to his fellow councilors was not the easiest thing to follow, though he chalked his decision up to a recent story about his kids (more on this in a bit). “I thought I was up for this job,” he said. “But as of recent [sic], the attacks against me have [indecipherable] my family. I now feel for the safety is in danger.”
Ortiz is obliquely referring to an incident from two weeks ago, when his two children were pulled out of in-person learning for their refusal to wear masks. Both of their parents are fervent anti-maskers (when they remember to read to the end of the infographic) and Ortiz himself has some pretty out-there, incoherent takes on the COVID-19 crisis. Ortiz’s partner reportedly failed in her attempt to persuade the school district to accept a document exempting her kids from the mask mandate on “religious freedom” grounds. “When my children’s safety becomes a matter,” Ortiz said, “I’m a father.” So true. A single audience member can be heard clapping at the end of Ortiz’s exegesis.
Ortiz’s brief, stupid political career was perfectly emblematic of a furious, confused, deeply deranged time in American public life. His presence on the Huntington Beach City Council was a font of hilarious moments, and it’s worth running through a brief highlight reel here. As usual, tireless Ortiz biographer @FullContactMTWF deserves a shout-out for watching these meetings every week and extracting the best nuggets for our viewing pleasure.
Here we see Ortiz, in his first month on the job, seconding a motion then accidentally voting the wrong way and causing the motion to fail.
Throughout Ortiz’s six months in charge, he had to sit there as residents called in to make public comments roasting him for his fringe positions, hostility to performing the duties of city council member, and his April whoopsie ahead of a planned KKK rally in Huntington Beach.
(This isn’t council related, but it is still very good.)
And finally, I leave you with the following clip of some local pranksters asking Ortiz to come down to the skatepark and fuck with some unruly eighth graders.