And by low we mean a really, really, rock-bottom sort of low.
A helpful Friend shared this link to a Barbara Giasone News Tribune, er, “article” from 12/21/09 about some former florist delivery boy and long-mustache contest award winner who showed up at the Fullerton Library impersonating Gene Simmons of the 1970 rock band KISS. This seems to be his current means of employment. Good thing Barbara was on the scene to relay the crucial breaking news to her readers. What if we had missed this? Ha! Just think of all that time other reporters have wasted going to journalism school!
But seriously (!) now, Friends, we’re a city of 140,000 people and this is the sort of thing the Register/News Tribune newshawks think Fullertonians want to see:
But what do we know? This is the same “journalist” who was recently recognized by some sort of “Women in Leadership” event for her achievements. And Pam Keller has publicly praised her as “our wonderful Barbara Giasone.” Perhaps this is exactly the kind of thing Fullertonians want to see! If so, it is the kind of thing we deserve.
I just came across this youtube clip from last summer. It is about our congresswoman Loretta Sanchez and her performance at some sort of “prayer vigil” organized last August, ostensibly to supplicate the Good Lord for the provision of universal health care.
As you can see, Loretta’s not real interested in praying, or even in keeping her big bazoo shut, but rather in the worst kind of political self-promotion. But Ms. Motormouth and her relationship with the Almighty is not the main topic here.
Instead I direct your attention to the promoters of this alleged “prayer vigil,” the Orange County Congregational Community Organization, known as OCCCO. Sound vaguely familiar? Last summer some of its members popped up out of the blue at a city council meeting to speak in favor of the proposed Redevelopment expansion. FFFF subsequently discovered that Pam Keller’s “Fullerton Collaborative” had bestowed $26,000 on the OCCCO for “community organizing.” Fullerton Harpoon wrote about this stuff here. The blog has already noted that Collaborative director (and Fullerton City Councilwoman) Pam Keller is a paid employee of the Fullerton School District.
You can see by the video that despite the presence of a somebody who looks likes he’s got a mitre on his head (A bishop?) these folks are really all about politics, too.
Apparently some folks in Fullerton such as Sharon Kennedy see nothing wrong with this happy intertwine of religion and the politics of cash, the laundering of government funds that ultimately find their way into overt political causes, and finally with the obvious attempt by Pam Keller to use the tangled network to help promote fraudulent and misguided “economic development” policy by the City. Actually these people seem to like the web.
I don’t like it, and neither should you. There is an insidious process going on here and it ain’t good.
A few items in 2009 have caused me to reflect on the way things go in Fullerton, the way things have always gone, in fact. My poodle friends have a saying: la plus ca change, la plus c’est la meme chose. Man, that’s Fullerton all over!
In Fullerton, no screw-up, no cluster f, no civic disaster ever goes away if the city staff doesn’t want it to. They’ll dig in their heels and start the ol’ push-back as soon as it looks like something they really want is about to get torpedoed.
Consider the absolutely horrible decision to relocate the McDonald’s outlet at a jaw-dropping cost of six million bucks. Not even the most compliant council could swallow that one, and ours pulled the plug on it (so we thought, foolish us!) last summer. But within a a few weeks, the Redevelopment staff cooked up a “new” plan for the brainless “Fox Block” scheme. And guess what? It too, involved relocating McDonald’s – just not all the way to the corner. Geez, wasn’t anybody paying attention? That episode was so bad that it really crossed the line of insubordination. But did anybody on the council say a word? ‘Course not. This is Fullerton!
Of course the real problem is is the sort of people that we keep electing to the City Council. The mentally lame, the incompetent, the inert; people who by political and personal inclination identify with the bureaucracy instead of the citizens and taxpayers of Fullerton; people who dodge responsibility. Of the current crop, only Shawn Nelson really seems to take offense at being lied to and led around by the nose like a prize bull. And speaking of bull, Sharon Quirk seems to have finally realized that her advisors have their own agendas that more likely than not are incongruous with the interests of the rest of us. Well, that’s some progress, anyway.
What will 2010 bring? More of the same, no doubt. This is Fullerton. If there’s any hope for us the brain-dead gerontocracy must go. And by gerontocracy I mean the ossified geriatric thinking displayed by councilmembers of all ages, and the interests they represent. Of course Bankhead must go. Jones, too. And Keller. But if they’re replaced with stooges like Marty Burbank or Pat McKinley what the hell’s the difference?
Well let’s throw out a few issues to track to see how bad, or good, things will be in 2010 as far as accountability goes:
Will the council finally once and for all end the Fox Block scam?
Will Keller, Quirk, and Nelson stick to their promise to put the issue of term limits on the June ballot?
Will the council quit wasting time and energy on the idiotic Transportation Center master plan?
Will the council give up on the bogus Redevelopment expansion?
Will the council ditch the moronic “at-large” members of commissions altogether?
Will the council demand accountability on the UP park scandal before they sink another dime into more Redevelopment of it? Will they tell the city manager to quit making unilateral policy decisions?
Will the council have the courage (very little required really) to forget the useless UP ROW “trail”?
Will the council quit subsidizing and encouraging illegal behavior by downtown bars and dance halls?
Well, really, the list is endless and the Friends could no doubt supply their own favorites. Bon chance!
How come our electeds don’t seem to be able to grasp simple concepts; why have they no resistance to the bureaucratic sales pitch; why must they obscure their own ignorance in a cloud of asinine nonsense or outright lies?
Last Tuesday night the Fullerton City Council/Redevelopment Agency approved the idiotic Richman housing project, a staff-concocted, no-bid, pet project that proposes to subsidize ownership of condos. The vote was 3-1, Sharon Quirk-Silva, dissenting. Shawn Nelson took a powder.
Why is this project idiotic? First we believe that the ownership of a house is something that should be available equally, and not doled out by the government to its own selected recipients.
Second, the units in this project will have to be perpetually restricted to people whose income levels qualify. Perfect: perpetual housing bureaucracy! The necessary deed restrictions are a pretty significant encumbrance and will just add to the financial shakiness of the whole enchilada. But without these restrictions the original buyers would be in line for a massive windfall courtesy of all of us, when they sell.
A third point, as was admirably developed by Sharon Quirk-Silva, the proposed occupancy restrictions would very likely disqualify people who need housing the most. Which leads to the fourth point. These units will not count against Fullerton’s most neglected RHNA category – low and very low income. Which leads to:
Five. Dick Jones claimed that approving the Richman project is required to satisfy some legal mandate – it is THE LAW. That’s just a tin-plated, bald-faced lie. The SCAG RHNA allocations are goals, not a legal mandate. Cities are required by the State HCD to provide evidence of programs used to achieve those goals – not specific projects. And, in any case hypocritically, this project does not address the most urgent RHNA category of all which means that for folks who profess to really like this sort of thing, an opportunity has been lost.
Finally, FFFF has tried to promote better, more sustainable design in government-subsidized projects. And this project just promises more of the same old architectural crap we’ve been getting all along.
And now that we contemplate this fiasco, we feel the need for a last minute adendum to the Fringie Worst Vote category.
Today the Friends were amused by the photograph below that came across our wire. Now many things can be drawn from the visual, however, since a picture says a thousand words we thought we would just post it for all to see. Let the picture do the talking for itself sort of thing.
Our staff Opthamologist has suggested a little trick while observing the photo. Stare straight at the photo for thirty seconds while repeating the words from Pam Keller “I am a fiscal conservative” over and over and see if your eyes go crossed.
I was talking to a co-worker the other day about the 72nd AD Special Election Sample ballot that came out last week. He expressed a feeling of disgust about the statements of the two traditional party candidates. I asked him to write up a post on the subject and he obliged. Here it is. The images were added by yours truly.
The Republican and Democrat candidates for the 72nd Assembly District Election ought to be ashamed of their ballot statements. But shame, as we learned from the example of Mike Duvall, is an emotion with a real low threshold for most politicians.
Let’s first examine Chris Norby’s ballot statement. He mentions how his opposition to higher taxes has earned him the endorsement of Tom McClintock and Ed Royce. Ed Royce? What kind of nonsense is this? A few weeks ago Ed Royce was supporting the lying, fraudulent, carpetbagging campaign of Linda Ackerman. And now Norby is bragging about the value of the endorsement from this empty little suit?
Norby touts his “vote” to place immigration agents in County jails to weed out illegal aliens. Why INS agents are needed to “identify” aliens is unclear and what, exactly they are doing in the jails remains a mystery. Well “whoop-de-do” as Archie Bunker once said. This is not an accomplishment, just pandering to the rabid anti-immigrant crowd, and Norby should know better.
Norby also takes credit for “spearheading” “improvements” to the 5 and 22 freeways as Chairman of the OCTA, even though both projects were in the works long before Norby showed up; and of course, the 22 was months and months behind schedule until the OCTA bureaucrats and the contractor worked out a massive, mutual face-saving change order that cost the taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.
So much for Norby.
Now, let’s take a look at the ballot statement of Norby’s opponent, Democrat John MacMurray.
As a public school teacher should we expect more from MacMurray than a clumsy metaphor? Of course not! For MacMurray the awkward concept is the “three-legged table” supported equally by the three balanced legs of private sector, non-profit sector, and public sector. Everybody who has ever seen a three legged table please raise his hand. Apparently, John is worried about using the word “stool,” which is what his statement starts to smell like in the very first sentence.
I have great reservations about Mr. MacMurray’s invention of a “non-profit sector,” especially after the FFFF discoveries about how Fullerton’s Pam Keller has so effectively blurred the line between non-profit and public sector – so as to make the distinction in the mind of a liberal, non-existent.
MacMurray’s assertion that “we keep cutting support for our education system and cutting access to it” is obviously designed to generate outrage in the noblest liberal breast, but it’s a lie. Proposition 98 provides that a guaranteed percentage of the State budget goes to “education.” At least it goes to education spending. Any overall budget reductions are the fault of MacMurray’s spend-crazy Democrats in the Legislature who just can’t say nyet to the demands of public employee unions.
Cliches, lies, nonsense. Can’t we finally get an honest and intelligent ballot statement from the two candidates who are able to pay for one? Guess not. Not yet, anyway.
We knew the first post-mayoral vote edition of the Yellowing Fullerton Observer was going to have a Page One sob story recounting how Pam Keller was robbed of her birthright. The only question was who was going to write the tale of woe. That duty fell upon Liberosaur Vince Buck, who’s been an uncompromising shill for the idiotic council lefties for years and years.
Mr. Buck is not given to hysteria, so the tenor of the article is pretty calm. Still, the assertions therein were, as usual, appalling pea-brained: the woman was rejected by the boys; and it was her turn; Bankhead and Nelson voted they way they did for political reasons (Oh no, the horror!).
Of course Buck didn’t bother to correct the previous erroneous assertions of his editoress that other localities have a “rotation” – implying some mechanism for school yard-type “sharing” of the mayor-ship. He also didn’t share the choice irony that The Observer has endorsed the chowderheads Bankhead and Jones time and time and time again.
What was really funny was Buck’s claim that Nelson voted for Bankhead to get the latter’s endorsement for his upcoming Supervisorial campaign, while in the next breath he (accurately) reminds us of how little the Bankhead endorsement did for the Ackerwoman. Of course, we already knew that, and Nelson must, too! Bankhead’s endorsement is as worthless as Zimbabwean currency.
It just doesn’t seem to have occurred to poor, cliche-riddled Vince that maybe Nelson just really dislikes Pam Keller. And by dislike we mean a don’t-walk-ahead-of-him-down-a-dark-alley sort of dislike.
Since we at FFFF like sharing so much, I thought we would share this email with our Friends. I wonder if it ever occurred to Hilda Sugarwoman that her old pal Linda Ackerwoman moved to Irvine a long, long time ago. It’s been 10 years.Maybe, just maybe, Hilda lost track of time? You know… being so busy with all her laptops for all the kids programs and critical school stuff like that.
Did you notice how she used the school’s official email address to send out a political message? Sorry Hilda, but that sort of thing is a no-no – although FSD officials mixing work and politics has a long and noble history. It’s all about the children, right? Anyway, enjoy:
From: Hilda Sugarman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Linda for Assembly
Date: Tuesday, October 20, 2009, 9:35 PM
Today I received an Absentee Ballot regarding our open Assembly seat. That prompted me to share with you my reasons for supporting Linda Ackerman.
I have known Linda Ackerman for over 25 years. We started as PTA Board members together. She has evolved into an experienced, knowledgeable leader through the years. When her husband, Senator Dick Ackerman went to Sacramento as an Assemblyman, Linda moved with him. She has been at Dick’s side in support of our community. Linda knows Sacramento, elected representatives and how to accomplish what needs to be done within the system. Her knowledge and experiences will enable her to make the right decisions. She is equipped to step right into the job. She is the best qualified candidate for the job.
A new month, the same old weeping by the Fullerton Observer about how the good ol’ boys are keeping poor Pam Keller from her entitlement to be mayor when the next term starts. It’s not fair! Not fair!
(Ed. – Never a word about Keller’s dismal votes on massive projects or her unique working relationship with FSD/Fullerton Collaborative, but that’s another story.)
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: the person who is entitled to be mayor is the council person who can get two other people on the council to vote for him. Pretty simple. Nothing else really matters.
The author of this indignant drivel lays out a conspiracy tale of events behind the scenes to keep a Democrat out of the presiding chair; and as usual the plot centers around Shawn Nelson, without whom the Observer would have a lot less to natter on about. Ironically the tangled web includes Observer favorite Don Bankhead and by necessity another Observer endorsement recipient – Dick Jones! Observer chickens coming home to roost? God, let’s hope so!
Politics might be going on. The horror! Of course despite the Observer trying to emphasize the ceremonial (i.e. non-political) aspects of the mayorship, the fact is it is a very coveted title when re-election time rolls around – as it does for Pam Keller, next year. Aha! Politics!
So is a scheme being worked out to elect somebody else mayor for 2010? Possibly. Quite likely, although since none of the supposed principles would be likely to talk to Sharon Kennedy about it, it seems much more likely to be a pure guess on her part. Our congressman Ed Royce loves to meddle in these affairs; to him it seems easier than simply turning on the light and opening the closet door to discover that there really is no monster in there. Just some mops and brooms.
And speaking of politics, maybe The Observer should quit endorsing Ed Royce puppets like the chowderhead Jones and focus on somebody who could actually be counted on to support Keller for mayor. Oh no! More politics.