Pacific Strategies Jackpot – The $1680 Day

It's only bad if you get caught...

UPDATE: as one of our commenters pointed out, you can click on the billing fragment, below to get the picture of what happened for the month of July 2009. Enjoy, but try not to retch.

August 17th, 2009 was a great day to be Matthew Cunningham. See, the Red County Blog editor and pretended conservative pulled down $1680 wordsmith pimping for the liberal welfare state via his lucrative deal with the OC Children and Families Commission.

Why this Commission, that was created to help little children, is dumping hundreds of thousands of dollars each year into opinion swaying of dubious value is exasperating. The fact that this money is going into the coffers of well-connected repuglicans also gives off quite an aroma – influence peddling-wise.

How and why these contracts are awarded is certainly a topic that should be addressed by the Commission and their Executive Director Michael Ruane, as well as by the Board of Supervisors, who appoint Commission members.

One thing is crystal clear. This Commission is more interested in PR and lobbying for their revenue than they are actually accomplishing anything.

Here is the billing statement for that day that put a happy face on all the Cunninghams in Suite C. Who knew that revising vanilla versions of op-eds could be so rewarding?

Maybe Cunningham really does believe in the good works of the Commission, although I’ve got to wonder what other tax and spend schemes he will be promoting next.

37 Replies to “Pacific Strategies Jackpot – The $1680 Day”

  1. For anybody with half a brain, this guy and his “blog” (it’s really more like the Value-Pak your receive in the mail…without the valuable coupons) just have zero credibility. I would say that trying to convince the broader Republican population of Orange County of that fact falls into two categories. You either get it within 5 seconds of being told about this stuff, or you are somebody that struggles to feed yourself.

  2. SEVEN DAYS and counting……..Let’s see if Matt shows up at the commissions next meeting or what Billy Campbell has to say, if he does’nt change the time and location at the last minute!

  3. Why would an ancillary public agency spend $200,000 a year on some stupid blog/Facebook posts? That money is supposed to help kids. Instead it’s lining some consultant’s pockets. What a waste.

  4. Hmmm… I vaguely recall there being laws against changing meeting dates, times, and locations without due notice.



    If even half of what you’re saying about Matt Cunningham and this Rob Reiner Prop 10 Commission is true, then his days in any sort of leadership capacity at Red County should be numbered.

    Cunningham has a fair amount of explaining to do regarding his connections to; and activities with this commission. Tony, you and others are asking fair questions of him that beg to be answered. The sooner he offers full transparency into the matter; the sooner concerns are either confirmed or dispelled.

    I understand the need to earn income and as long as someone does it honestly and ethically, I’m okay with what they do. However, when one sits in a “position of judgment” over others and flings subjective accusations and conjecture on a regular basis like Cunningham does, his integrity and transparency needs to be above reproach.

    He’s the editor for an ostensibly Republican Blog, Red County. Well then, however he chooses to earn his money better be able to pass a basic litmus test of the GOP Platform and its Principals or else he needs to be forced to choose between the two (in my humble opinion).

    At this point I am neutral as I believe in giving someone the opportunity to explain themselves. However, I too am calling on Matt Cunningham to do just that; for his sake as well from my perspective as an Elected Official of the Republican Party of Orange County.

    What’s the truth here?

    1. I agree wholeheartedly with Tim. This is disgusting. I don’t care how Matt tries to spin this. He has a right to make a living and work for whoever he wants to, but doing this and then acting like he is the only voice of conservative reason at Red County just doesn’t cut it. It’s obvious for everyone to see. Just to let everyone know, my login at Red County was disabled by Chip without telling me on Sunday night because I haven’t taken a more pro active role in defending Matt on this issue and on Tony saying that he wants to put Matt out of business. While I don’t agree that anyone should be put out of business, I don’t have control over what Tony or anyone else here at FFFF may post about this issue. The fact of the matter is, I’m not going to defend the indefensible by Matt….period. If Red County doesn’t want me anymore because I won’t carry that water, fine by me.

      1. Allan,
        Although I am not surprised considering the way Hanlon has protected Matt, I am disappointed. There were only two bloggers who actually produced good information that seemed founded on fact with conservative conjecture, known to me as Allan and Allen.

        Let me know where you post.

      2. Allan,

        I wish I could say I was surprised, but I am not. You and Wilson were the only credible bloggers over there. I guess they want to distance themselves from credibility.

        I do however agree with Tony in regards to putting Jerbal out of business. He has earned all the shit Tony and FFFF are giving him and then some.

      3. “While I don’t agree that anyone should be put out of business,”

        Yes, Allan, but Mr. Cunningham isn’t in “business.” he makes nothing but noise; he produces nothing but hot air. He’s just an obnoxious hypocrite who spouts small government platitudes while sucking hard at the big government nipple.

        If what he does is “business” he should be put out of it, and the sooner, the better. I’d love to see the guy get a job writing bad ad copy at $35,000 a year – which is the only job he could get.

  6. Tim,
    Off topic, but since you mentioned transparency needing to be above reproach… Did you actually apologize on RC??? If so, why? What sort of coercion, if any, was used by Holder & Lewis? Threats of legal action?

    1. Christian,

      Fair question. Answer: Yes, I made a public apology to Matt Holder on RC and Voice of OC.

      Why? It was the right thing to do because I was wrong in what I initially posted.

      No, there was no coercion whatsoever, no threat of legal action or any other retaliation; simply a good phone conversation between me and Matt Holder. After he explained to me his actions that night, I was convinced he was sincere in what he told me and I offered to set the record straight.

      What a concept, huh? People actually behaving civilly with one another even when they don’t always agree on every topic.

      1. I appreciate the civility behind your comment but I guess I missed something in your and Holder’s initial exchange. No need to rehash it at this point… Thank you.

      2. Tim, you seem like a pretty good guy. I’m sorry you apologized. Matt Holder’s partner John Lewis is working for that assclown Sidhu, whether he’s taking any money up front, or not. The payoff comes later if Sidhu wins (he won’t).

        The relationship gives a tool like Cunningham the ability to deny the true relationship, as usual sanctimoniously telling half the truth.

        The bare fact of Holder supporting Sidhu tells me all I need to know about Matt Holder. There’s nothing there but perceived self-interest. And that’s the bullshit we need to weed out of the OC GOP. Thanks for standing up to this slimy machine.

        Semper fi, man!

        1. Semper Fi, Joe!

          You may be right in all you say and time will tell if there’s future payout Lewis Consulting.

          However, in all fairness to Matt Holder (no, I’m not getting paid to say this – LOL), he did NOT stand up in support of Sidhu at the meeting; he stood up in opposition to any endorsement of any candidates in the Primary by the OCGOP.

          Since being on opposite sides of one of the nastiest battles in O.C. politics – Hunt v. Carona – Matt saw the damage that was done to the OCGOP by the Carona Debacle and has actually come around in support of cleaning up the bylaws and encouraging strict adherence to the same by Leadership. In fact, he was the first one on Team Carona to break ranks and thank me for fighting hard but ethical with them. He has since been supportive of procedural motions in accordance with our bylaws that have been made from the floor. That being said, the CRUSHING VOTES to endorse Nelson and not endorse Hunter respectively, WERE in accordance with Article XIII C of our bylaws.

          I’m not saying what you’re saying is not true; I’m simply separating the facts and stating what I have observed in my knock-down-drag-out fights with “Lawyers Inc.” who run our Party.

          We all make mistakes and Matt Holder admitted his to me as the Carona empire came tumbling down. I respect him for manning up, seeing the light and having a change of heart for the better.

          Regardless, Matt knows I’m a “trust but verify” kind of guy and I will look at all relevant and verifiable information that may be presented on the topic of compensation in the 4th Supe race.

          1. Tim, I was told that when the vote was finally cast Holder went with Sidhu. And after the most dreadful performance conceivable. And knowing that the guy lied on voter registration forms.

            And after all that Cunningham has the gall to say the Central Committee shouldn’t take sides between two “conservatives Republicans.” If it bothers him that there is zero ethical basis behind Sidhu’s candidacy, he sure isn’t saying so..

            And that stinks of Lewis to high heaven. But come to think of it, so does posing as some sort of conservative Republican paragon to sell ad space and punditry when in reality your only real source of income is writing glowing facebook and blog post entries about Meathead Reiner’s tax-based philanthropy.

        2. Joe,

          I honestly don’t know how Matt Holder voted on the endorsement of Nelson. He sat a couple of rows behind me and I didn’t bother to look around for the “No” votes since virtually everyone stood up in favor and it was not necessary to count for the two-thirds.

          Again, I’m not defending Holder or Lewis Consulting and it sounds like you know more about their business than I do.

          Keep shining the light!

  7. Here’s the problem.
    Whether it’s 1680. or the larger amounts he and other “marketers” have made, that’s money not going into DIRECT SERVICES.

    While some money is always needed for oversight and organizational uses, I would be interested to see the data to see how much goes for services and how much for marketing.

  8. I understand 8 hours at $200 per hour. But .4 hours? That equates to 24 minutes. Very specific time accounting. Seems to be reaching an amount of money needed by Cunningham or to cover unidentified expenses that are intended to be kept unidentified?

  9. It makes me wonder what the threshold is for reporting the payment to various agencies for approval. If the payment were $1,700, would that trigger some sort of reporting or accounting? I know when I invoice my clients I have to give them detailed reports that spell out exactly what was done, by whom, and when. The sort billing statement above wouldn’t fly. At least, if I were my clients, I wouldn’t let it fly…

  10. Chip told me on the phone yesterday that he was going to craft a new policy that would not allow Jerbal to attack Tony at Red County.

    And now I find out he has tossed Bartlett overboard instead.

    Wow. Who would choose Jerbal over Bartlett?

  11. Al Bartlett wrote:

    “my login at Red County was disabled by Chip without telling me on Sunday night because I haven’t taken a more pro active role in defending Matt on this issue”

    Alan, what defense? This is why evrybody is questioning Chip? The North OC Conservatives (Teaparty maniacs) think that Matt is a bigger threat than Pelosi.

    Perception being reality, Chip Hanlon and Matt are double team hookers, alternating the Motel Six room. In truth thats what they are doing.

    I am UNAWARE of anyplace Matt has addressed this or any other serious charges.

  12. Those invoices were prepared using a MS WORD program out of the dudes house.

    If this is not FRAUD, I don’t know what is.

    This is an abosolute SCAM.

    The longer they ignore this the worse it gets.

  13. $200 bucks an hour with his grammatical skills and training stinks of behind the scenes political payback. The only thing missing from this political drama is the hookers.

    1. Flip, that was the first thing that struck me. That kind of dough usually represents a professional with an advanced degree, not just some political hackling who makes money off people more illiterate than he.

      And then there’s the work product: ghost writing op-eds for the dimwits Bill Campbell, et al. and the critical “social” media presence. What a hoot.

  14. Advance degrees aren’t worth the paper their printed on. I know way more people without degrees who are making a ton of money than those of my friends with any sort of degrees. Especially in business, one only needs an idea, desire, common sense, and good work ethic to succeed.

    Matt Cunningham is a dirt bag to be sure, but that doesn’t take away from what he did to earn the money from Meathead. If you think about it, the whole academia thing is nothing more than a money-making scam itself. I for one don’t need more pieces of paper to tell me I’m smart and capable. I learn what I learn when I need to know it and I’m not going to pay some overpriced university to make me take stupid classes I don’t need or want.

    1. Well said. The fact that educational institutes are just about the only place where a PhD is required for full-time employment, and ironically the only place you can get one, makes higher education to some degree (no pun intended) a pyramid scheme. Truly, it is a self serving system of artificially created needs that don’t exist outside of educational institutions. That said, I think a BS degree is better than no degree.

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