I first became dimly aware of Fullerton politics back in 1993 when I saw a performance of then councilwoman Julie Sa. Sa was incapable of communicating in English, understood nothing, and was completely at the mercy of the City Manager, Jim Armstrong. The worst part of her reign of error was the evident truth that she was just using the office to promote herself.
In 2000 she was busted for not living in Fullerton and she gave up on running for third time. Fullerton had set the bar so low that any idiot with money could get over it. But at least Sa was gone.
So why am I bringing up Sa now? Because those folks who remember Sa have a useful frame of reference to assess the potential of one Harry Sidhu, who wants to be our Supervisor.
Like Sa, Sidhu doesn’t live in the jurisdiction he wants to represent. Sidhu cannot communicate his thoughts to his would-be constituents in English. Although I presume he can read English better than he can speak it, his grasp of simple grammar doesn’t portend a great understanding of the language. His well-documented manglings of simple statements has been nothing less than embarrassing – not for him, he doesn’t seem to possess the faculty of shame – but for those of us who have been subjected to it. His public admission that he didn’t know the impact of defined benefits was pitiful; his statement that he wasn’t taking union money was the closest thing to a million dollar lie that you will ever witness.
Sidhu’s self-interested supporters just love to accuse his critics of racism; nuh uh. Like Sa, Sidhu is an immigrant who made some money in the fast food business – more power to ’em (although Sa went bankrupt). But this economic success in no way qualifies Sidhu to run for elective office, and it certainly doesn’t make him immune from honest assessment of his abilities – or lack of same.
In 1992 the unknown Julie Sa ran for Fullerton council by sending out a bunch of slick, well designed mailings that masked the fact that she was utterly unqualified for any public office; and her subsequent performance proved this assessment true. In 2010 Harry Sidhu is running a vicious and hollow campaign lubricated with a million dollars of union money to in an office that he is patently unfit to hold.
Let’s not make that mistake again.