Friends, the time has come to hand out this year’s Fringie© Awards. I know what you’re saying. You’re saying, but JFD, in this short period after the FFFF resurrection how can we have Fringies©?
The answer, my ever slow human Friends, is that first, you had quite a bit of nutsy goings on since the second week of November including Joe Felz’ Wild Ride, Danny Hughes’ obstruction of justice, the election recap, and some fun with your downtown vodka, vomit an vehicular mayhem culture – a culture whose tentacles reach deep into City Hall and has repercussions as far away as Glenwood Avenue. Second, you deserve the annual abuse of the Fringies©, because after all, the culture of arrogant secrecy, of complaisance, of mismanagement can be laid at the doorstep of the electorate. And that’s you, lowly humans.
And so the Awards Committee sat in deliberation. And by deliberation I mean ingestion of substantial amounts of peyote, cough syrup and Mountain Dew – the elixir of Award Committees everywhere. They toiled away far into the evening hours to entertain and enlighten you. Here is what they belched up.
Rookie of the Year. Although the Committee discussed the merit of awarding this Fringie© to a non-human, it was trenchantly observed that many non-humans have indeed won Fringies© in the past. And by non-human in 2016 I mean the late, lamented Sappy McTree, cut down at the beginning of a promising life by none other than our former City Manager, Joe Felz in the wee hours of November 9th, 2016. Both are now departed. Felz has been spotted around town trying to peddle whatever influence he thinks he has left, while poor Sappy has been run through the chipper at the City’s corporate yard and is now ground cover at Byerrum Park. RIP, Sappy.
Worst Politician of the Year. The very name of the category begs the question as to whether such a thing as a good politician exists. However we leave that questions for greater minds to ponder as we award the Fringie© to the most deluded, self-important, boob anybody has ever seen in these parts – Irvine’s own Sukhee Kang. True, Fullerton’s Larry Bennett offered up one of the lamest candidacies imaginable, but we didn’t have to imagine anything more: for here before our very eyes was the very real spectacle of Sukhee Kang, self-anointed carpetbagger with the dismal record in Irvine, who moved to Fullerton just to run for office, and who bought a McMansion on a golf course to show how much he had in common with his would-be constituents. The Committee was again, unanimous.
Best Most Outrageous Cover Up. Even though there were only two nominees in the category, the Committee spent hours debating the merits of each. There was much disturbance, confusion and argumentation, and the Committee finally came to blows. In the end there was a split decision, the majority believing that even though the cover-up of Joe Felz’s Chaotic Wild Ride certainly constitutes an abuse of power and privilege, the NOCCCD cover up of Dino Skokos’ felonious and unprovoked assault on a student not only represented the usual arrogance of bureaucratic stonewalling, it was actually performed in the full light of the existing video that had been viewed by thousands and thousand of people.
Best/Worst Image. One of our Committee members actually felt that Joe Felz has endured enough ridicule for his careening caper and subsequent departure. This individual was severely beaten about the head and shoulders and sent out into the night. Nevertheless the image of Gigglin’ Joe hoisting a glass of cheap chardonnay never had a chance. Instead, the image of my former mistress, Jan Flory rendered into a completely believable gorgon, positively captivated the Committee. And by captivated I mean like watching a train wreck. And so the Fringie© goes to Medusa Flory.
And finally, The Ghost of Fullerton Past. All of the nominees were eminently qualified to take the brass ring. And by brass ring I mean recognition of past horrors inflicted upon the residents of Fullerton, and new contributions, too. In the end the Committee chose the inevitable: The Three Bald Tires, collectively recalled four years ago, who believe, somehow, that they are still wielders of influence. They are not. The worst aspect was them bringing along their spouses to share in one final electoral humiliation – pimping Lost Cause Larry Bennett’s political career.
And there you have it Friends the 2016 Fringies©. Now please excuse me while I tend to my nether parts.
The thing about human elections in a democracy is that you get the winners you deserve. You also get the candidates you deserve since once you winnow out the crackpots and the perennial also-rans you are left with a class of political grifters who see an opportunity based on past victories for their ilk.
Since our revivification came the day after the 2016 election, the nominating committee used our post-election coverage to determine the potential winners in this special category of loserdom. The committee therefore did not address some of Fullerton’s more colorful electoral flame-outs, with their confusing, crackpot, or just embarrassing displays.
Larry T. Bennett. Ol’ Larry had everything going for him if this had been 1984. Well it isn’t 1984, and all those endorsements from brain-dead repuglicans and brain-dead boohoos didn’t help. Not even a leg up by the FPOA and hard pimping by our lobbyist-mayor could get this inert sack of lethargy over the obstacle course wall.
Ling Ling Chang. This empty suit was the hand-chosen candidate of the old Redevelopment mob to be our State Senator. It was believed that her Asian-ness would counteract the Asian-ness of Sukhee Kang. Well, things didn’t work out quite the way the playahs anticipated. A lot of voters saw through her phoniness, including a history of lying about herself to get elected.
Young Kim. Ms. Kim managed to mismanage her way out of the job as our Assemblywoman despite what turned out to be a pretty decent Republican turnout. True, she was hammered by a relentless barrage of attack mail from the state Democrats, but her own effort was feeble, disjointed and smacked of desperation a mile off.
Sukhee Kang. Ah! The Irvine carpetbagger completely misjudged the electorate in the 29th State Senate District and he misjudged his own lack of appeal and ability, including the ability to run and hide from Larry Agran and his own disastrous record in the City of Irvine. Sukhee was so weak he couldn’t salvage his own campaign with a massive infusion of Sukhee Kash. He couldn’t get past the primary. The whole Sukhee Scampaign was a horrendous and embarrassing train wreck.
And now Friends, a brand new Fringie© category in 2016. This category recognizes the contributions made to our humble pages by a newcomer – somebody upon whom we have never yet had recourse to shine a spotlight. And so I give you the nominees for the Rookie of the Year Fringie©.
Nicole Bernard. This exorbitantly remunerated assistant to now departed Wild Rider Joe Felz came to prominence – really as an aside – for a footling junket to Las Vegas where she displayed an inordinate love of Starbucks corporate fare. Later she was the subject of an inside City Hall poison pen letter we received that contained all sorts of allegations and innuendo. We weren’t necessarily buying it, but we sure were left wondering what this individual actually accomplishes to pull in her titanic salary.
Gregory Palmer, Esq. This fine gentleman, who is employed by our City Attorney, Jones & Meyer, emerged in November directing an honest citizen making a legitimate public records request to go fuck himself. Then we learned from his biography that he is especially proud of his work dealing with “adult businesses,” which strikes me as pretty kinky. But I’m just a dog and leave it to you humans to contemplate Mr. Palmer’s preoccupations.
Sappy McTree. Poor Sappy McTree led a short, undistinguished life on a Glenwood Avenue parkway. While some plant life is born to be great, others have greatness thrust upon them. Consider the sextillion possibilities in the early morning of November 9th, 2016, and the odds of the unfortunate Sappy jumping out in front of our former City Manager’s careening vehicle diminish into vapor. And yet there he is, undone by a heartless universe that laughs at our feeble calculation of likelihoods.
Yet before Sappy was sent to the chipper, he graced our pages, even in his state of extreme distress.
Ling Ling Chang. This superficial creature, candidate for the State Senate and remarkable only for previous prevarications about her life story, was foisted upon us by a repuglican machine which cynically miscalculated that only an Asian candidate could beat another Asian candidate. They both lost to the same non-Asian, but not before wasting almost seven million bucks.
Josh Newman. Speaking of the non-Asian, Fullerton’s Josh Newman emerged out of nowhere as the anti-Establishment candidate for the State Senate seat. He had a bear suit, a blimp and a presence that drove Establishment Democants into an angry passion. He smashed their carpetbagging sad sack Sukhee Kang in the primary, and overcame a tsunami of idiotic shit flooded out by the repuglicans, and sent Ling Ling Chang to the showers.
And now I present to you humans the nominations in the supremely important category of The Ghost of Fullerton Past. Why is this important? As an expert on the subject of ghosts myself, I can tell you that Fullerton never seems to be rid of hauntings by former inhabitant of the worst ilk. My former mistress was nominated in 2009 and finally took the home the prize in 2012, before she managed to re-materialize in something approximating corporal human form. Usually the nominees are culled from the large stock of horrific departed repuglicans such as Linda LeQuire who revisit you near every election time to promote this or that non-entity propped up on the campaign dais by Ed Royce.
This year was no different: the nexus was largely the misbegotten campaign of Larry T. Bennett, and how the grisly Ghosts of Fullerton Past manifested themselves to support the insupportable. The first five entries distinguished themselves by clambering up onto the rickety Bennettmobile.
Dick Ackerman. Scam artist and influence peddler who tried to sell the OC fairgrounds to a bunch of pals by illegally lobbying the Legislature. Yes he got a pass from our useless DA, just in time to run his laughable wife as a carpetbagger for the Assembly in 2009, and later lead the anti-recall campaign in 2012. “Scary” doesn’t begin to describe this lowlife.
Linda LeQuire. This hideous apparition rises every election cycle even tough almost nobody knows who it is anymore – which makes the haunting sort of tragic. Even worse, she brought along the comical side-ghost of her Earthly husband, Roy, this year. The noxious vapor, LeQuire, has the dubious distinction of winning this coveted Fringie© in 2009, but that in no way diminishes the contemporary horror.
Buck Catlin. Buck Catlin is also a former nominee in this category. His claim to fame was getting recalled in 1994 by voting to impose a completely unnecessary utility tax upon the populous.
The Three Bald Tires. Yes, you know them also as the Three Tree Stumps, the Three Dead Batteries, etc. Mssrs. Jones, Bankhead and McKinley were recalled in 2012 for their deplorable behavior in the aftermath of the Kelly Thomas killing, and their die-hard love of the illegal water tax. They re-emerged on the political scene this fall, thinking their estimable reputation would help Bennett. More than likely it hurt, and hurt badly; but no sympathy for Ol’ Schlep Larry – he obviously solicited their endorsements. Pathetically, each of these burned out bulbs brought along his spouse to the party to join in yet another electoral humiliation.
Matthew J. Cunningham. Third tier squealer for the County’s repuglican grifters, this creature is more greasy than scary, and has left a shiny green slime-trail across our pages over the years. Since we saw him last he has been toiling away for Curt Pringles’ influence peddling machine in Anaheim; working against a homeless shelter; and in 2013 he even set up a votive candle to the Virgin Mary next to a mangled teddy bear – on the anniversary of a Latino’s death – shot by Anaheim cops. In November he emerged from his hole on cue to blame Bruce Whitaker for Bennett’s embarrassment.
And finally, a non Bennett-related entry.
Lou Ponsi. This specter popped up as a writer for the utterly lame and publicly funded Behind the Badge, touting the good works of our cops, specifically in bribing kids with a Thanksgiving dinner to be good little barrio tykes. Nobody involved seemed to pick up on the rather demeaning condescension involved in this display, but FFFF did. Ponsi spent many years regurgitating the lamest and most insipid sort of pabulum for the local Register rag, swallowing everything he was dished out like a hungry little bird, and never asking a single probing question about the behavior of the Fullerton Police Department and its employees. Not one. Ever. None. Nada.
There they are, human Friends. A scarier rogues gallery shall ye never find. Them’s your potential winners. And by winners I mean we all lose.
Here, Friends is the first 2016 Fringie© category – Best/Worst Image. Ever popular, this category features pictures that are outstanding – in one way or another. They make you laugh; they make you cry; they make you run screaming into the night – an occurrence that can only be avoided by generous dopings of mescaline and stiff G&Ts. And that’s the recipe that fuels our hard working Nominations Committee as they toil well into the wee hours, laboring on our behalf. Here are the fruits of that labor.
Hardhat Man. everybody is familiar with the politician who makes himself ridiculous by wearing an inappropriate hat. The result is always cringe-worthy. Here is your esteemed city council person Doug “Bud” Chaffee making like a construction worker. The little lapel flag is precious. We are in the presence of a patriot.
Medusa Flory. Sweet effervescent, glow-in-the-dark Jebus! This horrifying rendition of my former mistress makes me want to barf up my kibble. Such things should not be inflicted upon the living…or the dead. Grrrrr.
Sappy McTree. Poor Sappy McTree. Never hurt a fly. And I never even got a chance to pee on him. Ah! Only the good die young.
Happy Joe. This image was used so often by FFFF that I almost got tired of it, but never did. Joe is gone now, but his happiness lingers on – especially in downtown Fullerton.
GoPed Dude. GoPed Dude emerges as a dark horse candidate in the category. And by dark horse candidate, I mean a symbol of what awaits you Fullerton citizens when the out-of-town development interests get through with you. GoPed Dude sure looks maniacally persistent, and even multi-tasks as he makes his way past impenetrable traffic on Lemon Street. But does he deserve a coveted Fringie©?
And there you have ’em Friends.
Dear Friends. You probably believe you don’t deserve to have the Fringies© inflicted upon you. You are wrong. In a democracy you humans get the sort of government you deserve – every time. Now, whether you believe you have a democracy in Fullerton is a discussion for another day.
Anyway, quit yer bitching. You never heard me complaining when my mistress was in a mood and the broom was out.
In the next few days I will present to you a hoary, old FFFF Holiday Season tradition – the Fringie Awards©, starting with the all important nominations. Obviously the brief period of our re-animation means that the award categories this year will be somewhat abbreviated. But don’t blame me. I’ve been biding my time in Doggie Heaven for almost four human years waiting for you to call upon my services.
Yes, Favored Friends! It’s time once again to play…The Mayor Game!
Every December our illustrious city council elevates one of their own to assume the august tile “Mayor.” The Mayor of Fullerton gets to preside at meetings and that’s about it. Almost a kind of booby prize if you think about it. And yet our elected representatives lust after the title, particularly if there is an election the following November.
For years the selection was fraught with political tension as the repuglican old guard, orchestrated by the odious Dick Ackerman contrived to keep Dems (and Chris Norby) from ascension to this lofty estate. In recent years though, the process has become less political. The Council even adopted a process for non-partisan rotation in which it would be the turn of the that person serving longest without wearing the bejeweled tiara. This process is not enshrined in any law or code. It’s just sort of a Gentleman’s Agreement between people who really don’t trust each other – and for good reason.
The humble office of Mayor Pro Tem serves as the approach to the green and thence the flag.
Will the bonhomie last?
The current Mayor Pro Tem is my broomstick-wielding former mistress, Jan Flory, who will mercifully be out of office in a week or so. This means that it is Councilman Bruce Whitaker’s turn to shimmy up the greasy pole. Whitaker became mayor in the Fall of 2012, but it wasn’t without nervousness since it was well known that Flory and Bud Chaffee opposed him. But Jennifer Fitzgerald was given a directive and fell into line. But that was then.
Another wrinkle this time is that both Whitaker and Fitzgerald are rumored to be seeking the job of 4th District County Supervisor in 2018, and running with title of mayor next year would be just dandy, at least according to conventional wisdom.
So will the new council stick to its own policy or will they dump it? Will the new guy, Jesus Silva go along, or will he cut a deal with Fitzgerald and Chaffee to the exclude Whitaker? In the past it was not uncommon for councilmembers to gin up any stupid sort of excuse to keep the incumbent in place for another year.
In the end what it takes is three votes, and everything else is eyewash.
And now I must to attend to my nether parts.
Yes, my human Friends on Earth, 2012 is not yet over and this provides me with a final opportunity to bring to you what you desire: the Friends For Fullerton’s Future Annual Fringie© Awards.
It’s been a long, tough year of ups and downs and believe me, as a regular recipient of broomstick whackings from my former mistress, I know tough.
This year’s version will be, of necessity abbreviated since I have spent the past month undergoing a series of painful distemper treatments. And so I leap straight into the awards.
In the category of Most Egregious Whitewashes there really was no competition. Register writer Lou Ponsi and the wanker who publishes FullertonStories were simply outgunned by the ridiculous “Gennaco” Report, a notorious mutual stroke-job between the City and the obscenely expensive stooge it hired to help make the Kelly Thomas murder go away. The various secretions of this pabulum outdid one another in saying nothing and studiously avoid naming names and demanding accountability. Too bad. But we know who did what and we know what it is: A Culture of Corruption.
In the category of Worst Political Campaign, the selection committee had no choice but to give the Fringie© to none other than Former Assemblyman Chris Norby, who took a sure thing and managed to unmanage his way into unemployment. Was it his political expert, John Lewis who let him down? Was it the tsunami of last minute hate pieces mailed out by the unions and crony-capitalists? Was it his own lethargy? Whatever. Norby has a massive pension and doesn’t need our sympathy.
FFFF added a new category this year, Biggest F-U From The FPD. There have been many instances of the usual arrogant claptrap, the one instance that caught the selection committee’s eye was the promotion of the egregious Andrew Goodrich, the department spokeshole who has been peddling self-serving half truths and outright fabrications for years as FPD P(Mis)IO. If any single gesture signaled that there was no internal self-reflection or repentence in the aftermath of the Thomas killing and the falsehoods peddled by Goodrich, this was it; and, also a sure sign that the continued reign of error will go on. Even Dan Hughes admitted it was a communications failure; and the failure was promoted. Got it?
In the past, the Fringie© for Best Video was awarded for videos that were intentionally funny. But in 2012 the committee was forced to admit that the most entertaining video was created as a serious campaign effort by none other than Doug Chaffee. The portentous music followed by the dyed hair, cracking voice and the milquetoast pronouncements were worth their weight in gold, revelation-wise. You can watch it again, here.
Best Political Campaign 2012. This Fringie© was a tough one. Perhaps because nobody hit her in a year of rancorous politics, Jennifer Cowan-Fitzgerald did very well, indeed. Well, you have to give credit where credit is due; and sometimes doing nothing, saying nothing, and standing for nothing is the best way to get elected. It used to be like that in Fullerton, and maybe is again.
A co-winner is in order, of course, to recognize the campaign conducted by Tony Bushala, a local hero, to root out the disease in the body politic known as the Three Dead Tree Stumps. And so we recognize the Great Fullerton Recall of 2012 that laid a 2-1 whumpin’ on the Ancient Regime.
The Lowest Political Political Prostitute Fringie© was an easy call for the panel. Despite the nauseating spectacle of Jan Flory and Rick Alvarez clinging to the FPOA in a diseased, chancrous lip-lock, we just had to acknowledge the whorish spectacle of former conservative State Sentator Dick Ackerman (R-Irvine) making pro-union robocalls to try to keep Fullerton in permanent thrall to its overpriced, unaccountable gang of cops.
The Best Image0f 2012 Fringie© was another category with keen competition particularly given the political resurrection of my former mistress. However, in the end, the selection committee chose a picture that sublimely captures the essence of the unemployable, ego-driven loser who finds reward in the world of political blogging instead of gainful employment. And so we chose Big, Fat, Naked Dude In Front of the Monitor, an image that is only missing the giant, super-family-size sack of Doritos®.
And speaking of super-size, as a consolation prize we also award a Fringie© to this jaw-dropping image of Corpulent Fullerton Corporal at the Anaheim cop-induced riots, an image that succinctly captures the essence of the Culture of Corruption: overarmed, overweight, and under accountable.
In 2012 the Scariest Ghost of Fullerton Past Fringie© could only go to one creature – my former mistress, Jan Flory. As other relics of the last Ice Age disappeared from the political biosphere, the septuagenarian Flory returned, proving that there was plenty of bitter bile left in the bottom of the bag. Watching Mrs. Flory vote for Bruce Whitaker to be your new mayor was pure delight. Now watch out for the broomstick, Bruce!
Speaking of Flory, here is the winner of the Best Campaign Sign of 2012, a terse yet eloquent reminded of who Flory will work for now that she has managed to slither back into office.
Finally, the Best Hope For Fullerton’s Future Fringie© goes to Mayor Bruce Whitaker, who has spent most of his adult life fighting for honesty, transparency, and integrity in Fullerton government. Now more than ever you will need Mr. Whitaker to keep an eye on the doings of the cops and bureaucrats as they try ever so hard to re-write the history of Fullerton in 2011 and 2012, as they try to deny you a refund for the illegal water tax they stole, and as they apply pressure to their friends on the Council to make up for all the hardships they’ve had to endure.
This year we pass out no Special Fringies© of either approbation or opprobrium. We would give them to the same people we did last year.