The thing about human elections in a democracy is that you get the winners you deserve. You also get the candidates you deserve since once you winnow out the crackpots and the perennial also-rans you are left with a class of political grifters who see an opportunity based on past victories for their ilk.
Since our revivification came the day after the 2016 election, the nominating committee used our post-election coverage to determine the potential winners in this special category of loserdom. The committee therefore did not address some of Fullerton’s more colorful electoral flame-outs, with their confusing, crackpot, or just embarrassing displays.
Larry T. Bennett. Ol’ Larry had everything going for him if this had been 1984. Well it isn’t 1984, and all those endorsements from brain-dead repuglicans and brain-dead boohoos didn’t help. Not even a leg up by the FPOA and hard pimping by our lobbyist-mayor could get this inert sack of lethargy over the obstacle course wall.
Ling Ling Chang. This empty suit was the hand-chosen candidate of the old Redevelopment mob to be our State Senator. It was believed that her Asian-ness would counteract the Asian-ness of Sukhee Kang. Well, things didn’t work out quite the way the playahs anticipated. A lot of voters saw through her phoniness, including a history of lying about herself to get elected.
Young Kim. Ms. Kim managed to mismanage her way out of the job as our Assemblywoman despite what turned out to be a pretty decent Republican turnout. True, she was hammered by a relentless barrage of attack mail from the state Democrats, but her own effort was feeble, disjointed and smacked of desperation a mile off.
Sukhee Kang. Ah! The Irvine carpetbagger completely misjudged the electorate in the 29th State Senate District and he misjudged his own lack of appeal and ability, including the ability to run and hide from Larry Agran and his own disastrous record in the City of Irvine. Sukhee was so weak he couldn’t salvage his own campaign with a massive infusion of Sukhee Kash. He couldn’t get past the primary. The whole Sukhee Scampaign was a horrendous and embarrassing train wreck.
Nicole Bernard. This exorbitantly remunerated assistant to now departed Wild Rider Joe Felz came to prominence – really as an aside – for a footling junket to Las Vegas where she displayed an inordinate love of Starbucks corporate fare. Later she was the subject of an inside City Hall poison pen letter we received that contained all sorts of allegations and innuendo. We weren’t necessarily buying it, but we sure were left wondering what this individual actually accomplishes to pull in her titanic salary.
Gregory Palmer, Esq. This fine gentleman, who is employed by our City Attorney, Jones & Meyer, emerged in November directing an honest citizen making a legitimate public records request to go fuck himself. Then we learned from his biography that he is especially proud of his work dealing with “adult businesses,” which strikes me as pretty kinky. But I’m just a dog and leave it to you humans to contemplate Mr. Palmer’s preoccupations.
Sappy McTree. Poor Sappy McTree led a short, undistinguished life on a Glenwood Avenue parkway. While some plant life is born to be great, others have greatness thrust upon them. Consider the sextillion possibilities in the early morning of November 9th, 2016, and the odds of the unfortunate Sappy jumping out in front of our former City Manager’s careening vehicle diminish into vapor. And yet there he is, undone by a heartless universe that laughs at our feeble calculation of likelihoods.
Yet before Sappy was sent to the chipper, he graced our pages, even in his state of extreme distress.
Ling Ling Chang. This superficial creature, candidate for the State Senate and remarkable only for previous prevarications about her life story, was foisted upon us by a repuglican machine which cynically miscalculated that only an Asian candidate could beat another Asian candidate. They both lost to the same non-Asian, but not before wasting almost seven million bucks.
And now I present to you humans the nominations in the supremely important category of The Ghost of Fullerton Past. Why is this important? As an expert on the subject of ghosts myself, I can tell you that Fullerton never seems to be rid of hauntings by former inhabitant of the worst ilk. My former mistress was nominated in 2009 and finally took the home the prize in 2012, before she managed to re-materialize in something approximating corporal human form. Usually the nominees are culled from the large stock of horrific departed repuglicans such as Linda LeQuire who revisit you near every election time to promote this or that non-entity propped up on the campaign dais by Ed Royce.
This year was no different: the nexus was largely the misbegotten campaign of Larry T. Bennett, and how the grisly Ghosts of Fullerton Past manifested themselves to support the insupportable. The first five entries distinguished themselves by clambering up onto the rickety Bennettmobile.
Buck Catlin. Buck Catlin is also a former nominee in this category. His claim to fame was getting recalled in 1994 by voting to impose a completely unnecessary utility tax upon the populous.
The Three Bald Tires. Yes, you know them also as the Three Tree Stumps, the Three Dead Batteries, etc. Mssrs. Jones, Bankhead and McKinley were recalled in 2012 for their deplorable behavior in the aftermath of the Kelly Thomas killing, and their die-hard love of the illegal water tax. They re-emerged on the political scene this fall, thinking their estimable reputation would help Bennett. More than likely it hurt, and hurt badly; but no sympathy for Ol’ Schlep Larry – he obviously solicited their endorsements. Pathetically, each of these burned out bulbs brought along his spouse to the party to join in yet another electoral humiliation.
Hardhat Man. everybody is familiar with the politician who makes himself ridiculous by wearing an inappropriate hat. The result is always cringe-worthy. Here is your esteemed city council person Doug “Bud” Chaffee making like a construction worker. The little lapel flag is precious. We are in the presence of a patriot.
Medusa Flory. Sweet effervescent, glow-in-the-dark Jebus! This horrifying rendition of my former mistress makes me want to barf up my kibble. Such things should not be inflicted upon the living…or the dead. Grrrrr.
Sappy McTree. Poor Sappy McTree. Never hurt a fly. And I never even got a chance to pee on him. Ah! Only the good die young.
Happy Joe. This image was used so often by FFFF that I almost got tired of it, but never did. Joe is gone now, but his happiness lingers on – especially in downtown Fullerton.
Yes, Favored Friends! It’s time once again to play…The Mayor Game!
Every December our illustrious city council elevates one of their own to assume the august tile “Mayor.” The Mayor of Fullerton gets to preside at meetings and that’s about it. Almost a kind of booby prize if you think about it. And yet our elected representatives lust after the title, particularly if there is an election the following November.
For years the selection was fraught with political tension as the repuglican old guard, orchestrated by the odious Dick Ackerman contrived to keep Dems (and Chris Norby) from ascension to this lofty estate. In recent years though, the process has become less political. The Council even adopted a process for non-partisan rotation in which it would be the turn of the that person serving longest without wearing the bejeweled tiara. This process is not enshrined in any law or code. It’s just sort of a Gentleman’s Agreement between people who really don’t trust each other – and for good reason.
The humble office of Mayor Pro Tem serves as the approach to the green and thence the flag.
Will the bonhomie last?
The current Mayor Pro Tem is my broomstick-wielding former mistress, Jan Flory, who will mercifully be out of office in a week or so. This means that it is Councilman Bruce Whitaker’s turn to shimmy up the greasy pole. Whitaker became mayor in the Fall of 2012, but it wasn’t without nervousness since it was well known that Flory and Bud Chaffee opposed him. But Jennifer Fitzgerald was given a directive and fell into line. But that was then.
Another wrinkle this time is that both Whitaker and Fitzgerald are rumored to be seeking the job of 4th District County Supervisor in 2018, and running with title of mayor next year would be just dandy, at least according to conventional wisdom.
So will the new council stick to its own policy or will they dump it? Will the new guy, Jesus Silva go along, or will he cut a deal with Fitzgerald and Chaffee to the exclude Whitaker? In the past it was not uncommon for councilmembers to gin up any stupid sort of excuse to keep the incumbent in place for another year.
In the end what it takes is three votes, and everything else is eyewash.
It’s been a long, tough year of ups and downs and believe me, as a regular recipient of broomstick whackings from my former mistress, I know tough.
This year’s version will be, of necessity abbreviated since I have spent the past month undergoing a series of painful distemper treatments. And so I leap straight into the awards.
In the category of Most Egregious Whitewashes there really was no competition. Register writer Lou Ponsi and the wanker who publishes FullertonStories were simply outgunned by the ridiculous “Gennaco” Report, a notorious mutual stroke-job between the City and the obscenely expensive stooge it hired to help make the Kelly Thomas murder go away. The various secretions of this pabulum outdid one another in saying nothing and studiously avoid naming names and demanding accountability. Too bad. But we know who did what and we know what it is: A Culture of Corruption.
FFFF added a new category this year, Biggest F-U From The FPD. There have been many instances of the usual arrogant claptrap, the one instance that caught the selection committee’s eye was the promotion of the egregious Andrew Goodrich, the department spokeshole who has been peddling self-serving half truths and outright fabrications for years as FPD P(Mis)IO. If any single gesture signaled that there was no internal self-reflection or repentence in the aftermath of the Thomas killing and the falsehoods peddled by Goodrich, this was it; and, also a sure sign that the continued reign of error will go on. Even Dan Hughes admitted it was a communications failure; and the failure was promoted. Got it?
A co-winner is in order, of course, to recognize the campaign conducted by Tony Bushala, a local hero, to root out the disease in the body politic known as the Three Dead Tree Stumps. And so we recognize the Great Fullerton Recall of 2012 that laid a 2-1 whumpin’ on the Ancient Regime.
He keeps popping up like a bad penny. It’s Iron Mike Sellers at the Rose Bowl.
That’s right, Fullerton’s former top cop who let Pat McPension’s Neanderthal goons run amok, and who, when the chips were down took 1) a vacation, 2) a tummy ache medical leave, and 3) a disability retirement and massive pension with thanks and well-wishes of the Albert Pujols of City mangers, Joe Felz.