One of our Friends has notified FFFF that Fullerton councilman and State Senate Recall candidate Bruce Whitaker has a website dedicated to his Senate run which is supposed to happen in 2018 – if the Democrats in the legislature quit stalling and stop making up new rules as they see fit.
Governor Jerry Brown paid a visit to downtown Fullerton on Wednesday, where it looks like he took a tour of the still-unfinished Fullerton Fox Theater with a rabble of current and former local officials in tow. Surely he was impressed.
OK, maybe not.
But why would Jerry Brown fly down to Fullerton to look inside some flopped redevelopment project?
One could guess that battleground Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva invited Brown to pitch some sort of state subsidy to rescue the project; a thinly veiled attempt to buy voters in one district with the rest of the state’s resources. You can tell an opportunity is at hand by the way the local bush league politicos are salivating all over Brown’s loafers. Hopefully someone had a towel handy.
But all of that is just fine. Why shouldn’t residents of Escondido, Bakersfield and Elk Grove pay for decades of Fullerton’s redevelopment screw ups? Mr. Brown, if there’s money to burn on a movie theater, maybe you can fix our decrepit roads and crumbling bridges, too?
File this one under “Jeezus We’re getting Desperate.” Trotting out a stock photo of an old lady and comparing ripping off “Grandma” with the recall of Josh “Gas Tax” Newman? Man that’s lame.
Opponents of the recall, i.e. the building trades who work on public boondoggle projects like high speed rail, seem to think this sort of nonsense sells. Well, the consultants will burn though a lot of that union cash, but there’s really no way to defend the indefensible: Newman voted for a highly regressive gas tax that will hammer the poor and people on a fixed income while his pals in the trades make bank building stuff like Jerry Brown’s $60 billion bullet train – whether it’s needed or not.
The Democrats in the Legislature have climbed all the way up onto their high horses claiming that recall petition signers were lied to and that recalling Newman won’t get rid of the gas tax, an objection that is really just based on a desperate semantic ploy. The fact is that getting rid of Newman is simply the first step in yanking the chain of the politicians in Sacramento who would rather tax us then curtail their own addiction to wasting the gas tax money we have already been sending them every time we fill up. The end game is a repeal of the tax, and of course, prevention of any more gas or car taxes.
The Democrats have pulled out all of the ethical stops in attempting to derail the recall. They tried to pass midnight legislation changing the recall rules after the recall signatures had been submitted. Then they put pressure on the California Fair Political Practices Commission to re-interpret their standing rules so that Dem politicians can help bail out Newman financially, proving that when it comes to maintaining their super-majority, no trick or hustle is too low to put into action.
Let us talk about priorities. Why has Sharon Quirk-Silva not re-introduced a bill for the Veteran’s Cemetery in Irvine?
Sharon Quirk-Silva introduced a bill into the Assembly for the Veteran’s Cemetery in Irvine (AB409) which never even got a vote in committee.
The (D) Super-Majority outright ignored it. Her bill was later rolled into SB96. SB96 was a budget “trailer bill” which is basically an empty bill that is passed by the Senate with one line to be “Gutted” and a new bill full of legislation to be “Amended” into it by the Assembly before coming back for a vote before both houses. It’s a procedural trick which violates the spirit of the law and the very premise of good and open government.
To complicate matters because the Cemetery was rolled into SB96 with 95 other provisions, one of which is also an appropriations item, it is unconstitutional not once but twice and once specifically owing to the provision for the Veteran’s Cemetery itself. (more…)
— As I figured the Friends would enjoy this I have cross-posted this piece from my personal site. —
Enough signatures have officially been gathered to recall CA State Senator Josh Newman. Much to the chagrin of the CA (D)s about 1/10th of the 930K residents of Senate District 29 have added their signatures to the effort to remove him from office.
When you can’t win, just keep changing the rules until you do. That’s the mantra of the California Democrat party and bag men in the State legislature.
Let’s take the case of the recall against State Senator Josh Newman, who within his first few months in office caved in to the party bosses and voted to raise $50,000,000,000 innewtaxes, the majority of which will be paid by the people who can least afford it – the working poor, old people on fixed incomes, students, etc.
The consequent recall effort proved so popular that 85,000 signatureswere submitted in barely two months, and that caused a veritable panic among the Democrat elitists who run Taxifornia. What’s a limousine liberal to do?
Cheat, that’s what.
Exhibit A for the prosecution: Democrats’ use of the budget process to change the state’s recall process that was already well-underway in the case of Newman, making the recall process longer and more onerous – a violation of due process and civil rights if ever there was one.
Exhibit B for the prosecution: Democrats use of political operatives on the California Fair Political Practices Commission to relax the rules regarding campaign contributions to the target of the recall, paving the way for wealthy left-wing donors to prop up Newman.
We are used to the nonsensical rhetoric about the “appropriate” way in which recalls should be used (only when it suits the agenda of those who make such ridiculous arguments), but the use of government power to muzzle the electorate has to be seen as a much more sinister trend. If ever the politicians in Sacramento get away with using their legislative power to get rid of political opponents you can bet it won’t be the last time they do it.
Most government projects have three things in common: they are bad ideas promoted by bureaucrats, they are obscenely expensive, and there is no accountability attached to them.
In Fullerton we have lots of examples over the years that touch all three bases. But if ever one needed a veritable poster child for government fiascoes, the ill-conceived “Downtown Core and Corridors” Specific Plan would be it.
Back in 2010, the City of Fullerton put in an application for a “project” to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Strategic Growth Council” an assemblage of bureaucrats and political appointees selected by the governor to promote sustainability and responsibility in urban (and suburban planning). On the face of it, the idea was to promote development that would be eco-friendly – somehow, someway. Lo and Behold! Fullerton received a $1,000,000 grant to create the Downtown Core and Corridors Specific Plan, a massive overlay zone. In 2013 a committee was appointed to make this look like a community driven enterprise, but as so often happens the committee was led along by the consultants and staff who were being paid, and paid well, out of the grant money. Some members of this committee only went to one meeting, the last one, in May 2014, a meeting consumed by passing out certificates of participation to committee members for all their hard work.
In the meantime, the intent of the creators of the specific plan became crystal clear: opportunity for massive new housing projects along Fullerton’s busiest streets, development that would not even have to undergo the scrutiny facing normal projects so long as the permissive guidelines of the specific plan were met. Naturally, lots of people objected to the continued over-development of Fullerton, and the utter disconnect with what the Strategic Growth Council was ostensibly promoting. Perhaps the most obnoxious thing about the specific plan proposal was the way it was being used, unapproved by any policy maker, to promote other massive apartment projects already in the entitlement process.
And then a funny thing happened. The Downtown Core and Corridors Specific Plan vanished into thin air. Although recommended by the Planning Commission in August of 2014, the plan and its Environmental Impact Report never went to the city council for approval. 2015 passed; and so did 2016 without the plan being approved. Even modifications rumored to have been proposed by the now-departed Planning Director Karen Haluza never materialized for council review or approval.
Some cynical people believe the plan was postponed in 2014 because of the council election, an election that returned development uber alles councilmembers Greg Sebourn and Bud Chaffee. And they believe that the subsequent attempt to erase the plan from the municipal memory was perpetrated by none other than the hapless city manager, Joe Felz and lobbyist councilperson Jennifer Fitzgerald, (so the story goes) two individuals who had every incentive to shake down potential developers one by one, rather than granting a broad entitlement for new and gargantuan development. Felz had a massive budget deficit to fill, and Fitzgerald had massive lobbying opportunities from potential Pringle and Associate clients.
What is undeniable is that three long years have passed and no action has been taken to either approve or deny the specific plan. The grant money approved by the State has been a complete waste – a travesty so embarrassing to everybody concerned that no one seems to want to demand an explanation for this fiasco. Neither the city bureaucrats or council, nor the State has any incentive to advertise this disaster, and you can bet there never will be an accounting.