Hey, readers: Want to impress friends with your trivia skills while getting loaded to the gills at the same time? Play the Six Degrees of Mike Aguirre Drinking Game!
All you need is a bottle of booze and a little institutional memory, and you're ready to go. The rules are simple: Just trace any hot current event back to our intrepid city attorney in six moves or less, and you win a shot. We guarantee you'll be over the legal limit faster than you can say “SDG&E Countrywide foreclosure sanctuary.” Here's a sample game, just to get you started:
Hot Current Event: The Wall Street financial meltdown.
Move No. 1: Two days after the Dow's 504-point crash, Aguirre called for a full accounting of investment losses by the San Diego City Employee's Retirement System.
We have a winner!
OK, that was too easy. Let's try a harder one for our more advanced players:
Hot Current Event: Republican presidential candidate John McCain calls for the firing of the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Move No. 1: The chairman of the SEC is former U.S. Rep. Christopher Cox.
Move No. 2: Prior to being elected to Congress, Cox was an attorney for the high-powered law firm Latham & Watkins.
Move No. 3: In the 1980s, Latham & Watkins represented Matthew Cooper, then-CEO of the investment firm First Pension Corp.
Move No. 4: Latham & Watkins attorney Cox wrote a February 1985 letter to the California Corporations Department, assuring the regulatory agency that an investment plan by Cooper was “low risk” and required little oversight. Turns out it wasn't so low-risk after all: Cooper's scheme ended up defrauding mom-and-pop investors of $130 million. Cox's letter left out the part about Cooper being under investigation by the SEC at the time and that the CEO's real-estate license had been suspended.
Move No. 5: Several hundred First Pension investors filed a class-action lawsuit in 1996 against Latham & Watkins, Cox, Cooper and others for securities fraud and attorney malpractice. Cox was eventually dropped from the suit, with the plaintiff's attorney citing the unique challenges of suing a (by then) sitting congressman. Latham & Watkins settled the case in a deal that remains secret to this day. Cooper and two other First Pension executives went to jail.
Move No. 6: The attorney who represented the plaintiffs was—wait for it—then-private San Diego attorney Mike Aguirre.
We have a winner!
Players can also win a “Price of Eggs” bonus shot by explaining what any of this seemingly useless information has to do with the price of eggs in San Diego today. Here's an example using the Cox-Aguirre connection:
Price of Eggs Bonus: Latham & Watkins, which Aguirre described in 1996 as a hotbed of attorney malfeasance, today represents the city of San Diego on a host of legal issues. In one pension-fund-related case, the firm charged the city $465 an hour for a total of $720,000.
Please drink responsibly.