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  • Writer's pictureGabriel San Roman

How OC Weekly's Founding Editor Turned Conservative Libertarian Firebrand

Two years ago, a former colleague phoned Will Swaim with bad news: By Thanksgiving, OC Weekly, the alternative newspaper he founded in 1995 and headed until 2007, would halt the presses for good.

By chance, he drove by Coppertree Business Park in Costa Mesa, site of the Weekly’s first official office, and mourned.

“The tragedy of being human is that everything ends,” said the 61-year-old. “I just didn’t see it coming.”

Swaim now looks back at those days as nostalgia. He’s currently president of the California Policy Center, a Tustin-based conservative nonprofit that rails against public-sector unions and promotes charter schools. It’s a post that has left many who knew him from his OC Weekly days feeling similarly blindsided, if not downright confounded or betrayed.

Read more on my latest TimesOC feature:

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