Recently Jennifer Fitzgerald circulated to her closest supporters- via her Curt Pringle & Associates email account – her opening salvo in the 2020 election, an email entitled “2019 – A Year of Resolution and Re-commitment”.
There’s a lot to digest here, and the amount of mendacity, outright falsehoods and terrible policy proposals would take multiple posts to unpack.
But one particular boast stands out above the others:
No, not the one about the budget (although it is absolutely galling how she can still claim she balanced the budget two years after the City admitted we have a serious structural deficit and four years after members of the public started noticing). Instead, look at her claim that “Looking back over my six years of service on the Fullerton City Council, I’m proud of newly constructed affordable housing communities with… Jamboree Housing.”
So what’s the problem? Well, as Curt Pringle & Associates admit on their facebook page, Jamboree Housing is one of their clients. Which means that Councilmember Fitzgerald just bragged about breaking the law.
Two important caveats. First, I know from attending most council meetings over the last four years that Fitzgerald has avoided voting on any agenda item involving Jamboree Housing’s low income housing development since obtaining residence at CP&A. However, Government Code Section 87100 doesn’t just prohibit an elected official from making or participating in making a decision in which he or she has a financial interest – any attempt by an elected official “to use his official position to influence a governmental decision” is also illegal.
Second, and probably more important, this is could be yet another example of Fitzgerald misleading her voters about her accomplishments (and possibly CP&A clients, given that this email was sent via firstname.lastname@example.org) and taking credit for something she had no role in, or claiming she accomplished something she did not.
So which is it? Did she break the law and influence a decision that she had a clear financial interest in or does she just have a chronic aversion to telling the truth and chose to brag about her influence and effectiveness to Fullerton voters as well as potentially CP&A’s clients?
A quick poll of FFFF staff seems to indicate that “both” is not entirely out of the question as a possible answer, but maliciousness is in the eye of the beholder.