Newman Recall Effort Reaches 85,000 Signatures

The effort to recall California State Senator Josh Newman, our local representative here in CA’s 29th District, has reached massive numbers in what is likely record time. The recall effort was initiated after Newman threw his fiscally responsible campaign rhetoric into the circular file and opted to vote with his caucus to raise taxes on the working poor. He knew full well that the voters would never approve such a scheme were it put to a vote but little did he know that voters would retaliate by seeking to remove him from office.

With nearly 85,000 signatures, well above the 63,000 required, having been submitted for the recall it look as if Josh Newman will be facing another vote much sooner than he anticipated.

The Tax Bear Cometh

We’re still waiting on word for how SB96, the budget trailer bill that cynically tries to change the recall laws mid-stream, will play into this whole scenario but expects lawsuits to be filed and candidates to come out of the wood-work to claim credit for something they likely had zero to do with thus far into the process. As things move forward we’ll keep you updated because this is sure to stay interesting.

Gretchen Cox and Fullerton First

Quadrangle of Casual Corruption and Fullerton First brain trust. Gretch’ is the one in the middle. The rest you already know.

Apparently Gretchen Cox, reactionary pal of J. Flory and J. Fitzgerald has become weary of “malcontents” wasting everybody’s time at City Council meetings. She seems to think all this attention to city employee malfeasance, misfeasance and dumbassfeasance reflects poorly on our great town, using the usual “blame the messenger” routine always deployed by people who have something to hide: like shoddy construction, unnecessary and mind-blowingly expensive boondoggles, drunken city managers, a corrupt police department and a budget that’s a few years away from going supernova.

Quick, get clear of the impending collapse…

Her strategy is to drown out the cries off honest men and women with hosannas of praise for everything Fullerton. But she needs a choir. So she started a facebook group laughingly called “Fullerton First” where she limits the membership to folk of her own stripe. And what a membership list it is. Here you will find a lot of familiar faces, including sad sack stooge Larry Bennett, incompetent planner Paul Dudley, serial liar-cop Andrew Goodrich, and dim-bulb government apologist Jan Flory, who is w-a-a-a-y past her stated expiration date. That alone should tell you all you need to know about Fullerton First.

The closer you look, the worse it gets…

But that’s not the interesting part. Not surprisingly, lobbyist city council creature Jennifer Fitzgerald is an enthusiastic member of this tribe; but, very tellingly, so is the ethically flexible Matthew Cunningham, whose job is proprietor of “Anaheim Blog” where he runs interference for uber-lobbyist Curt Pringle’s interests, praises Pringle’s political tools, and denigrates Pringle’s political opponents.

You can’t hurt me. I’ve got no moral compass…

And of course Ms. Fitzgerald also “works” for Pringle. She is his “Vice President of Minor Scams and Local Government Taxpayer Ripoffs” where she enjoys mixing business with pleasure.

An unbreakable chemical bond

It’s pretty obvious that Pringle has set his slimy sights on Fullerton now that his Anaheim well is running dry. We are the pigeons he wants to pluck. Just think “College Town” and other possible gold mines where influence peddling moves things along.

And when Curt Pringle says “Fullerton First” what he really will mean is “Fullerton Next.”

THIS POST WAS HIJACKED BY SOMEONE CALLING HIMSELF BARRY LEVINSON. COMMENTS ARE CLOSED.

Mr. Peabody.

Carpetbaggers of a Feather Flock Together

I just got wind that preteenage girl-silly Anaheim carpetbaggtress, scammer, and dubious charity operator, Lorri Galloway, has endorsed carpetbagging union executive and Coto de Caza resident, Joe Kerr for County Supervisor for our 4th District. That’s pretty funny – first that anybody would value this endorsement of this ethically challenged nincompoop, and  second because Galloway set a record in 2010 for fake addresses – three of them – in her own comical run for the same job. A lot of comedy came out of that scampaign, but not a dime’s worth of substance.

I wonder how many of these people are going to sue me…

Here’s a snippet from some sort of press release:

Brea, CA – Former Anaheim City Councilmember Lorri Galloway announced her endorsement of Joe Kerr’s campaign for Orange County Supervisor today. Galloway joins a growing list of local leaders rallying around Kerr, which already includes Congressman Lou Correa and State Assemblymember Tom Daly.

“Joe Kerr is an effective problem solver who will bring new energy and new ideas to county government,” said Galloway. “Joe’s experiences, as both a fire captain and an advocate for first responders, will serve him well on the board. I am excited to announce my endorsement of his campaign.”

Lorri Galloway served on the Anaheim City Council between 2004 and 2012. She is the founder and Executive Director of The Eli Home, which provides shelter for abused children and their mothers.

I always love those fake, canned endorsements, written by campaign consultants for endorsers who are too lazy or illiterate to scribble their own. Lorri would have us believe that Coto Joe, a public employee union president is going to bring “new ideas” to county government. Really? Like what? Fire Heroes retiring at 40 with 100% of their pay?

Crime Wave Continues

Rumors of increased criminal activity are wafting out of city hall again. A few employees of the Public Works department are in hot water for some sort of embezzlement/kick-back scheme down at the city yard. Criminal charges are in the offing.

Something stinks.

It’s not clear to us who was involved or what was stolen. City leaders are keeping quiet right now, but hopefully they will inform the public soon.

If you have any information to contribute, please drop us a line. Discretion is our thing.

What’s a Million Dollars Between Friends?


Our lobbyist Councilperson Jennifer Fitzgerald has asked her supporters on Facebook to show up at tonight’s Council Meeting to support the purchase of land on Pearl Drive to be used as a park.

Our friend David already went over some of the ridiculousness of this purchase in a previous post but it bears getting a little more attention.

The first point to be made is that this item is on the Consent Calendar tonight. Consent Calendar items are items during a meeting that get no separate discussion and are voted on together unless specifically pulled for comment by a member of the public or council. A typical Consent Calendar item would be the minutes to a previous meeting or perhaps a legislative ordinance change forced upon us by Sacramento.

A typical definition of a consent calendar would be as follows:

Under parliamentary rules governing City Council meetings, Consent Calendar items are reserved for items that are deemed to be non-controversial. They allow a City Council to save the bulk of it’s meeting time for issues in which there is a need for a serious public debate.

Often though the items end up being things that the city doesn’t want to discuss or scrutinize in detail. Tonight’s meeting has 12 consent calendar items with this purchase being the 10th.

The Consent Calendar is hardly the proper place to drop a $1.2Million+ project and it’s more amusing given that councilwoman Fitzgerald is asking for support on an item that is scheduled to take no public comments. It’s somewhat infuriating that the city of Fullerton is so free with money that it doesn’t feel the need to openly discuss an expenditure that is over 18x the median household income of our residents. Worse still when basic details of the deal are lacking from public view.

The parcel in question is slated for purchase with a whopping price tag of $755,500 based on a use assumption that is faulty at best (see David’s post). Then we have $148,000 for an unexplained “administrative settlement”. Then $300,000 for “improvement costs” that will of course be more than $300K owing to the additional paragraph stating that “An updated estimate will be established upon completion of the community meetings.”

What attachments or reference points do we have so we as a city can analyze this project? None. There is no explanation because a properly scanned, searchable PDF is too much work to manage at City Hall despite numerous requests over the years. I’m sure somebody will sound off that there have been “community meetings” that were announced on Nextdoor or some such nonsense so as to suggest the lack of need for the city to do it’s due diligence on transparency. This will likely come from the same people who complain about Public Records Requests from the public in a city known for a culture of corruption and abject secrecy.

Despite being an ongoing project, per the item’s own sparse agenda attachments, since 2002-2003 and we don’t have a breakdown of costs? A thorough estimate? A reason for the administrative settlement? A list of code enforcement violations?

Even the details we do get don’t tell the whole story.

“The amenities required being demolished”? How about we mention that the city paid over $19,000 for part of that very demolition? It seems that just about every pertinent detail has been washed from this item which maybe explains why it was on the consent calendar in the first place. You do have to the give the city credit for their optimism in hoping they could sneak this through the consent calendar knowing full well that we malcontents are always willing to call them on their shenanigans.

I reckon the only thing more infuriating than a bureaucrat putting forth this kind of lazy and shoddy work is a legislative body so uninterested in demanding real data and accountability that those bureaucrats know they can get away with this nonsense.

The old adage “Trust but verify” is absolutely foreign to the Fullerton City Council.

Felz’ Plea Deal Looking Sweeter

Today Joe Felz’ attorney Bob Hickey entered North Court and had a closed door meeting with the DA and the judge. When they emerged, the pre-trial hearing had been rescheduled once again to August 14. The delays clearly represent the formation of some sort of plea deal for Felz. The whole darn thing got me thinkin’…

File photo

Plea deals occur because both the DA and the accused want to avoid the cost of a trial. Normally the DA would have the upper hand, as he has the ability to offer reduced charges and penalties. The defendant comes to the table with nothing except the ability to waste the DA’s time, at a great personal cost. Lawyers are expensive.

In Felz’ case, there was an extra card to play. Felz knew that a trial burdened the DA and the City of Fullerton with the added threat of public exposure. Police Chief Danny Hughes and Sergeant Jeff Corbett had committed obstruction of justice that night when drunk driving Felz was driven home instead of being arrested. The city and its police department needed to keep this quiet and keep themselves free from any courtroom scrutiny. Felz, on the other hand, didn’t have much to lose.

In case you forgot.

When DA Investigator Abraham Santos’ blew the whistle in May, the odds tilted heavily in Felz’ favor. For the DA, a Felz DUI trial suddenly meant the opportunity for Hickey to dig into the Hughes/DA collusion. The threat of reputational damage to both the institutions and the individual players is suddenly enormous leverage against the DA. Hell, Hickey might even be able to get Santos to testify against the DA and Hughes on the stand. Savage!

So today things aren’t looking to good for the prosecution, who’s already mired in scandal and has little to gain from pushing the Felz case anyway (what’s another DUI conviction? North Court is full of ’em.) While each delay keeps Felz unemployable for a bit longer, it also brings the promise of a dropped case or a neutered plea deal. Keep your eyes out for either one.

An Empty Shell of a Man

Last week California was showered with editorials criticizing state Democrats for their underhanded retroactive gimping of the recall process to protect state senator Josh Newman.

It’s lonely at the top. Also at the bottom.

Here are a few of them:

The Democrats’ cynical move to protect one of their own – Los Angeles Times

Democrats push a phony election ‘fix’ – San Francisco Chronicle

Reject legislation to stymie recall elections – Los Angeles Daily News

Democrats Embrace Banana-Republic Tactics – American Spectator

Democrats playing dirty to save Newman from recall – OC Register

In at least one interview Newman himself has supported the effort to delay his own recall, although he avoided directly voting for it. Newman’s abutment of this electoral abuse of power illustrates his rapid degeneration from virginal statesman to shrugging beneficiary of political treachery. If any of the public’s trust in Newman remained after his vote for the regressive gas tax, it’s all but gone now.

On the bright side, recall organizers have vowed to mount constitutional challenges that will attempt to restore California voters’ right to recall government officials.

Fullerton’s Most Expensive Park?

Just when you thought the Parks and Recreation Department might get their act together comes another gem on next week’s agenda.  This time, it’s a $903,500 land purchase for a new park at 3001 Pearl Drive.

The vacant lot used to be home to a swimming pool and clubhouse for the adjacent apartment complexes, which the 33 property owners failed to maintain.  Those same property owners now want the City to build a park contingent on the City forking over cash to buy the land.

So what is the land worth?  $740,000 according to the appraiser, who notes that an “extraordinary assumption” to build  high-density housing was used.  Translation:  The $740,000 estimate could be totally worthless and the appraiser admits it.  Nothing more is divulged about the appraised value because Hugo Curiel only included two pages from the appraisal report.   Page One and Page Two

And it gets worse.  Hugo wants an additional 20 percent of the appraised value ($148,000) for an administrative settlement to be paid out to the property owners.  Once again, Hugo fails to provide any sort of written justification for this:

The parcel is 0.398 acres in size.  At that price, it is equivalent to $2.27 million per acre which is more than double the price Chevron is asking for Coyote Hills land.  This would be the most expensive land ever purchased for a Fullerton park.

I have a question. Why should we pay the property owners a premium price when it was their own negligence that created this situation?  In fact, why pay them anything at all, provided the City agrees to build a park?

Makes you wonder if the property owners are more interested in a cash payout for themselves, or a park for the neighborhood’s benefit.

The New Guy

The highly-desired position of Fullerton City Manager has been awarded to one “Kenneth Domer,” currently assistant city manager down in Huntington Beach. Domer has also served in management roles in Placentia and Villa Park.

Flounder

Mr. Domer’s total compensation will be on par with that of the former disgraced city manager, Joe Felz.

Managing the peaceful and serene hamlet of Fullerton is not for the weak-minded, as previous occupants of this lofty position ended up seeking answers in the bottom of a bottle. If former Council member Pat “I hired them all” McKinley labeled Joe Felz the “Albert Pujols of City Managers,” how can this new Flounder hope to succeed? Hopefully this flat fish of a City Manager will take full advantage of the soothing presence of Nicole “can do” Bernard.