Pacific Strategies – Monitoring John & Ken for Fun and Profit


Those guys don't scare me. I'm in this for the kids..

In our series documenting the PR/lobbyist hungry OC Children and Families Commission we have shown how they have employed local political operative and Red County blog bloviator Matthew Cunningham to propagandize their myriad big-government good works.

We have seen how the preachy Mr. Conservative Republican was paid $200 an hour to do such things as update facebook pages, ghost write articles for liberal Democrats, and perhaps, funniest of all (in a sick sort of way) – coordinate toothbrush distribution to the Diocese. While he was at it, he amassed some mammoth paydays for his “Pacific Strategies” wordsmithing operation.


The toughest part of the job is thinking up new ways to spend all that gummint dough.

Of course you can’t really propagandize effectively unless you know what the opposition is saying. So enjoy this.

In January, 2009 Governor Schwarzenegger called for First 5 California to be eliminated in his 2009-10 budget. Regional commissions would have taken a 60% cut in funding.

KFI radio broadcasters John and Ken went on the offensive, and Cunningham was right there listening in at $200 an hour to formulate his defense of the Welfare State. Here’s the invoice entry:

Full invoice – January 2009

As I said yesterday, it’s way past time to put this Commission under the control of the Board of Supervisors so that at least contracts and policy can be authorized by elected officials in a much more public forum. And maybe instead of fixating on PR the kiducrats can concentrate more resources on actually helping poor children instead of well-off, hypocritical Republicans.

25 Replies to “Pacific Strategies – Monitoring John & Ken for Fun and Profit”

  1. I’ll agree to listen to John & Ken today and provide a summary to anyone who wants it. My fee is $20 per hour obo. Let me know.

  2. Whether this agency should be spending money on PR is a debatable question.

    But everything on all of the invoices is a legitimate PR activity.

    Yes, it is true that any 10 year old can post to face book. But that doesn’t mean a 10 year old knows what to post.

    Yes, any idiot can listen to John and Ken and give a summary. But if I want to know what happens on the show, I’m going to listen myself or hire someone that I trust knows what to listen for to listen for me. If someone is listening for me, I’m going to expect recommendations on what, if anything, needs to be responded to and how and those recommendations cannot be based on a summary.

    PR is billed a lot like legal work. Like it or not, Matt is at the top of his profession. That means a billable rate of about $200/hour. A lawyer with comparable legal experence would probably be billing upwards of $800/hour.

    Yes it’s possible to have an intern do this stuff, but you get what you pay for and if you want experience, it can be expensive.

    That said, I generally agree that Healthy Families should not be worrying about Facebook or John and Ken. This money should not have been spent. But while I disagree with the decision to do this, at least they’re doing it right.

    1. “Matt is at the top of his profession.”

      Unmitigated bullshit. He couldn’t get a job without John Lewis and he knows it. That accounts for the perpetual attacks on Lewis enemies and refusal to post the obvious truth- such as Sidhu is an incomparable assclown with no scruples, who falsified public documents and cooked up a phony story after the fact.

      Handing out toothbrushes is a legitimate PR activity? At $200 per hour?

    2. Top of his profession? Cunningham had his hands deep into the unmitigated debacle that was SunCal’s attempt to build condos near Disneyland — shilling for it harder than he’d ever shilled for anything before — and look how well *that* turned out.

      He may be at the top of *some* profession (ditchdigging?), but I’d never pay for his PR services, unless all I wanted a series of shirty and defensive blog posts.

    3. Top of his “profession?” What profession would that be? Ass kissing people in power?

      Joe Sipowicz writes ten times better than Cunningham and he’s just an ex-Marine who works in a gun store.

  3. PR Flak,
    It isn’t bad enough that WE are spending money on PR for a tax fund but that WE pay Matt to be that “PR” person.

    “If someone is listening for me, I’m going to expect recommendations on what, if anything, needs to be responded to and how and those recommendations cannot be based on a summary.” I believe J&K do podcasts of their show, so if a summary isn’t good enough, play the audio.

    “Like it or not, Matt is at the top of his profession.” Only Matt Cunningham would say that. Everyone else just sees you, I mean Matt, as a shill and not a very good one at that.

  4. The top of his profession??? WTF?
    Let’s see:

    Four Year Degree from GWU (LA Diploma Mill)
    44 Years Old (Quick Rise To The Top!!)
    Works from his garage (Suite C)
    Outed sex-abuse victims
    His company includes him, his wife and the maid.

    These point to an EXTREMELY unprofessional public relations operative. I looked hard to find a single sucess that Matt has had on his own. THERE ARE NONE.

    The maniacs on KFI will eat him alive.

  5. Matt is not a public relations professional. He is a propaganda professional. What formal training does he have? None. What PR firm has he ever worked for? None.

  6. I can do it for 15 per hour I need it so that I can help my son get some assistance in his learning disabilities, (like a new school) because the Fullerton Joint Union High School District is more concerned with the union benefits and rights of teachers.

  7. the cunninghams of our world are replicates who may be found lounging in city council meetings, county or municipal government agencies and warm, fuzzy non-profits that only profit those who administer them.
    It is irrelevant whether cunningham is RINO or a Democrat, he is the soul mate to all those who sorta kinda maybe went to a real college, but uh maybe it was an experimental school, who would never be paid the money they get from the private sector for their expertise, knowledge and work ethic, and use the facade titles of commissions or collaboratives to assume a semblance of legitimate government purpose to justify taxes supporting their lifestyle.
    PR Flak, what are your academic credentials, employment resume, your accomplishments and current role in society that qualifies you to make an honest apprisal of cunningham and those who criticize him?

  8. are you kidding? who do you think was knowledgeable about this scam? Campbell is very close to Cunningham

  9. And they both do what Lewis tells them to. I believe these contracts were a reward for years of loyal toadying by Cunningham.

  10. Bill Campbell is ultimately responsible for this. As Chairman he should be defending the taxpayers. Instead he is giving his friends HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS of tax money.

    Maybe it’s high time we look into big Bill, his choices and decisions. And when it all comes crashing down, he’ll have Matt to thank.

    1. Campbell is a brain dead puppet of Lewis. He should have stuck to peddling fast food. He was one of the dolts who approved the great pension spike of 2004. Another great “conservative,” i.e. repuglican.

  11. Fact is – no one wants to take the charge against First 5 because it’s might be political suicide to “attack” childrens’ program.

    Fact is – we have a right to know what’s going on in any commission that runs without oversight – the list of articles posted in your last blog post on this was very alarming to me – so I read them in detail and all I can say is that more needs to be done to turn those Commissions into county departments

    I also wanted to cast my vote for a statewide “First 5 Watch” blog. I’m too technically dumb to do it myself, but hey, someone around here might give enough of a crap to do it – and I for one would participate.

    Why? Because it matters to me that they have over $2 billion in reserves and clearly sat on it until there was a crisis and now a public outcry.

    Let’s take it to them gentlemen!

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