Alternative Slogans For Norby’s Campaign


Okay, we really couldn’t resist it. Yesterday we posted here about Chris Norby’s County Clerk campaign website. The slogan that appears on the site is so funny that it invites humor: Preserving Your Vital Records. Wha?

That was the really best campaign consultant John Lewis could come up with? Preserving your vital records? If that doesn’t mobilize the troops, then we don’t know what will!

But, seriously we feel compelled to offer Norby helpful alternatives, such as:

Red Tape is Fun!

The Job Ain’t Over ’til The Paperwork’s Done!

Bureaucracy Drives the County Forward!

Your Non-vital Records Will be in The Dumpster By Morning!

Okay, Friends. Now it’s your turn to share your ideas. Let’s give Mr. Norby a hand here since John Lewis seems to be so useless!

Norby Website Up; Fundraising Success Seems To Be Main Thrust

Does the outfit come with the job?
Does the outfit come with the job?

Chris Norby’s campaign for County Clerk has a website: . When you go there you see a lot about how much money he’s raised and lots of pictures of Chris, but virtually nothing about ideas or plans on how to run the department – just lots of platitudes about accountability, etc. One “idea” actually talks about getting other counties to follow the “OC model.” Isn’t that the job of their county clerks?

He also addresses Tom Daly’s campaign for supervisor as a foregone conclusion, and we’re not too sure about that click here .

The image on the website of Chris superimposed on the Old Courthouse may not be a hot idea since it might tend to keep some old jokes about Norby sleeping there going.

"Preserving Your Vital Records?!!" Wow, throw 'em some more red meat, Chris!

Anyway, check it out for yourselves. We have sometimes supported Chris in the past, but this campaign is becoming a bit problematic. The website does not allay any of the suspicions raised by commenters on our last post that Chris is just running for this because he needs a government job click here. It is apparent that Norby is running this campaign as an “insider,” and that doesn’t bode well, either.

History Repeats Self: Fullerton Observer Soliciting For City Hall Again

A City Job Opening?
Does this job come with benefits?

A few months ago we went after Sharon Kennedy and her Observer’s shameless pandering to City Hall when she passed along a letter from OC Supervisor Chris Norby opposing Redevelopment expansion to her pals in the government. Some Redevelopment flunky put together the “official” response, Don Bankhead affixed his X to it, and the two were printed side by side.

Well she’s at it again. Check out page 8 of the July edition. Same technique, same result.

Now, we have nothing against the City getting out its propaganda, even if it is full of baloney. But this habit on the part of Kennedy of sharing an editorial writer’s submission so that it can be immediately rebutted without counter response is so unfair that, well, we feel justified in accusing Sharon Kennedy of being just a wee bit biased in the stuff she prints.

Why not print the submission and let the City respond if it feels inclined to do so? Why not let the debate go back and forth – fairly, and see who can develop the more compelling argument? Oh, yeah. That’s right:

Anybody home?
Anybody home?

Norby for Fullerton City Council in 2010!

I know where a lot of the bodies are buried...
I know where a lot of the bodies are buried...

We’ve kicked around some names of potential candidates for the 2010 city council election, but here’s a new one: Chris Norby.

Norby is termed out as a county supervisor next year and so he would be available. He wants to run for County Clerk for some reason, but we have the sneaking suspicion that that post won’t be vacated by the incumbent, Tom Daly, after all.

There are all kinds of reasons for desiring a Norby return to the city council. He’s good on Redevelopment, is hip to staff’s encroachment on popular sovereignty, and maybe best, it would absolutely drive the yellowing Observer crowd bananas; not mention what it would do to the Jones, Bankhead, Ackerman RINO herd.

So whatdyasay Mr. Norby? Are you in?

Lorri “Cute Shoe” Galloway Running for Supervisor


Hat tip to one of our readers who just informed us that Matt “Jerbal” Cunningham over at the Red Clownty blog just reported that Anaheim Councilperson Lorri Galloway has announced that she is going to run for Supervisor Chris Norby’s termed out 4th District seat.  This is terrible news for Tom Daly and Harry Sudhu as Galloway’s presence in the race will split the Anaheim vote, but great news for Fullerton’s Shawn Nelson. When asked what she would bring different to the Board of Supes, she said, “I also intend to bring something different, like way cute shoes!”

Donahieu Pact: Late Revenge for the Recall

I've been waiting for this moment for 15 years
I've been waiting 15 years for this moment

Word has it that Don Bankhead has endorsed Hieu Nguyen for Clerk-Recorder, joining Dick Ackerman’s anti-Norby jihad. This is a slap in the face for the lone councilman who supported Don’s quixotic bid for Sheriff back in 1990. Ackerman supported Brad Gates, who easily turned back the Bankhead challenge.

bankDon was first elected in 1988 with the promise that he–like Norby–would back Molly McClanahan for Mayor (an Ackerman/Catlin/LeQuire triad had blocked her for years). That broke the annual mayoral controversy and restored the rotation that continues today. So Norby and Bankhead began as buddies. Norby even endorsed him as late as 2002, much to the ire of some longtime loyalists.

For Don, though, it’s still all about his being recalled by Fullerton voters. Norby opposed the utility tax passed by Bankhead, Catlin and McClanahan which led to their recall in 1994. He’s been sore ever since. Norby did not actually support the recall, but his later hiring of organizer Bruce Whitaker is a constant reminder of the utility tax/recall fiasco, foisted on Fullerton by then-City Manager Jim Armstrong.

Yo G, what does 1+1=

Other Hieu backers with grudges against Norby include: La Habra Councilman      Tim “Taxman” Shaw (mad at Norby for pulling his endorsement when he supported the 1/2 cent LH sales tax hike), State SenMimi Walters (mad at Norby for supporting Harry Sidhu against her), Ackerman (mad at Norby for beating his hand-picked council candidates) and Cynthia Coad (mad at Norby for beating her for Supervisor in 2002). It ain’t no secret, the Republican party is the party of grudge holders.

The fact that County Counsel is actively opposing the proposed redevelopment expansion further fuels Bankhead’s bile. Perhaps, Bankhead thinks the County should just lay down and let the RDA steal the County’s money for that all-important Commonwealth blight fight.  But, it appears the recall is what really keeps galling Mayor Donahieu.

Dick Ackerman’s Fatal Endorsement Record


If county bureaucrat Hieu Nguyen thinks Dick Ackerman can help his Clerk-Recorder campaign, he’d better think again. There is one word for Ackerman-backed city and county candidates: LOSERS.

Is it just bad luck? Or does Dick choose weak candidates he can control after they’re elected? The problem for him is that they don’t get elected!

Look at the record of Dick’s choices, dating back over a quarter-century:

  • 1982: Ackerman backs insurance agent Jim Williams for Fullerton City Council. Williams loses to Molly McClanahan.
  • 1984: Dick endorses realtor Merrill Braucht for the open council seat. Braucht loses to Chris Norby.
  • 1988: Dick supports Dan Baker for an open council seat. Baker loses to Don Bankhead.
  • 1992: Ackerman goes 0-for-2 in ’92. His hand-picked candidates Jim Blake and Jack Beddell place 5th and 6th.
  • 1994: Ackerman vocally opposes the recall of Buck Catlin, Bankhead and McClanahan. That trio had rubber-stamped an unpopular new utility tax foisted by City Manager Jim Armstrong. The recall easily passes, all three leave office and the tax is repealed.
  • 1996: Dick endorses fellow legislator Mickey Conroy for Third District Supervisor. Conroy loses his cool—and the election–when he flips his opponent the bird during a debate. Brea School Board Member Todd Spitzer wins handily.
  • 2002: Like 1992, Dick goes 0-2 in 2002. He actively supports Supervisor Cynthia Coad’s re-election and is featured prominently in her mailers. Coad loses to Norby. Later that year he backs accountant Chuck Munson for Fullerton City Council. Munson is buried by Shawn Nelson.

To be fair, there is one current Council Member who was elected and thrice re-elected with Dick Ackerman’s support: Dick Jones.

Ed Royce Endorses Shawn Nelson


US Congressman Ed Royce has endorsed Fullerton City Councilman Shawn Nelson in his bid to replace outgoing Chris Norby as the OC 4th District Supervisor. Here’s the letter, purloined from Nelson’s campaign website:

Wow. Now that's impressive stationery...
Wow. Now that's impressive stationery...
This is good news for Shawn, but hardly surprising. The bigger question is whether other Republican politicos will start coalescing behind Nelson without expecting to be paid for the honor.

And speaking of politicos when is Chris Norby, the would-be County Clerk, going to get up off his duff and endorse a conservative Republican?

C'mon big fella. Up 'n at 'em
C'mon big fella. Up 'n at 'em

Finally, when we reflect upon some of the intellectual and philosophical ciphers Ed Royce has stuck Fullerton with in the past 15 years on both the City Council and the various school boards, we have to ponder the value of his endorsement. Still, as far as the rank and file are concerned it is better to have it than not.

Ackerman Hates Norby; Just Like the Good Old Days

A wide-awake Chris Norby contemplates his future as a paper shuffler
A wide-awake Chris Norby contemplates his future as a paper shuffler
Dick Ackerman
An apparently pleasant Dick Ackerman. Out of power, but not out of venom.

Tip o’ the bowler to Art Pedroza at the Orange Juice blog for this entertaining bit . It seems that former Fullerton  City Councilman, State Assemblyman, State Senator, architect of the hideously gerrymandered 33rd State Senate District, and proprietor of the record for the shortest Congressional campaign on record, Dick Ackerman, has named himself honorary chairman of the “Hugh” Nguyen for County Clerk/Recorder campaign. Nguyen’s opponent at this point is our own beloved Chris Norby – termed out County Supervisor about whom some cynical people are saying that he’s just looking for a soft place to land.


Now, why would a former bigshot like Ackerman deign to bestow his name to the candidacy of an unknown government file clerk with political ambition over a sitting supervisor? Well, Friends, it all goes back to the 1980s when both served on the Fullerton City Council, and when Ackerman discovered a deep and abiding hatred of Norby. No one is really sure from which deep well of bile this animosity sprang – but it is a profound source, that’s for sure.

a river of bile runs through it...
a river of bile runs through it...

Ackerman doesn’t give a damn who the County Clerk is, and we wonder if he’s ever even met this Nguyen fellow. But the fact that Norby wants something is enough motivation for Dick to try to keep him from getting it.

Why does Fullerton seem to produce so many Dicks?

The Fox Theater Fiasco: Pick A Card…Any Card…

Gee, what a choice!
Gee, what a great choice!

No, not that one!

That’s the way Redevelopment likes to choose its favored developers. A kabuki-like pantomime is undertaken by issuing an RFP (Request for Proposals). In the end the process presents the decision makers with a choice that is essentially no choice. To illustrate the point, Loyal Friends, we go back in time almost ten years to examine how the “Save The Fox” movement got off to a rousing start.

let's hope we don't end up going around in circles...
Let's hope we don't end up going around in circles...

In 1999 after catching the wave of the Save The Fox movement, the City issued an RFP for private developers to take over the job of restoring the Fox and developing the adjoining area. The City had committed to build a parking structure and hand over other developer goodies. Proposals were received in August. In October the Agency was presented with the lucky winner, Staff’s choice – “Berkman/Chaffee” a local restaurant owner and a politically-connected lawyer turned low-income housing credits entrepreneur. Paul Berkman was there to provide credibility to run a “dinner theater” and Doug (Bud) Chaffee’s job was to look like a land developer. The only problem, as it soon transpired, was that Berkman refused to promise a dinner theater, only movies. And Chaffee had never “developed” anything but heavily subsidized housing.

Good Lord that's awful...
That isn't very good, is it?

To complicate matters a second proposer named Dana Morris of Morris productions, who believed himself to be in the running, actually showed up at the meeting  desiring that the elected officials, not staff, decide who might get the gig. His idea was to create an performing and fine arts academy on the site that would, in turn, generate all sorts of ancillary business opportunities downtown and not compete with existing businesses.

To the acute embarrassment of staff, Morris managed to organize a slew of supporters, including a backer who promised to help finance the venture. They asked for more time to prove their bona fides.

On cue, some of Fullerton’s usual lefty suspects got up to promote Berkman/Chaffee although their proposal was dubious, at best, and despite the fact that neither partner had any experience doing what they claimed they were going to do. There were strong undertones of religious bigotry pulling their adherents along, for it had become known that that Morris was affiliated with BIOLA, and in some peoples’ minds that was anathema.

Nuh-uh. Not in our city!
Nuh-uh. Not in our city!

To add hypocrisy to the mix, people who had never shown a dime’s worth of concern when the City acquired property in downtown Fullerton were suddenly horrified by the thought of a non-profit foundation paying no property tax!

The council finally voted 4-1 (Flory dissenting, naturally) to continue the item so that Morris could clarify certain financial points in his proposal. In the intervening time, as Morris later told us, he was treated with such overt contempt and continuing hostility by Redevelopment Director Gary Chaplupsky that he finally abandoned his proposal as simply not worth the aggravation. We have only his word for what happened, but given the Redevelopment Agency staff’s propensity for prevarication over the years,  we are inclined to accept it. And so a plausible concept for the Fox was lost because the staff did its level-best to thwart a reasonable proposal and award the deal to their favored team – the team that could be counted on to play ball.

Gee, Paul, I don't remember this being so hard...
Gee, Paul, I don't remember this being so hard...

And now Patient Friends, we finally return to our title. At the hearing in October, 1999 it slipped out that of the eight original proposals only two were even deemed worthy of consideration; and the City Council was never informed that one of the other six actually came from the janitor at the Hub Cafe! Of the two “finalists” it was clear that Morris never stood a chance, thus effectively limiting the Agency’s choices to none. This “planning and activity” as our faithful reader “Jack B. Nimble” characterizes it was nothing but a sham, a fact that later became evident when the Berkman/Chaffee partnership permitted its agreement with the City to lapse, and was never heard from again. And so a feeble concept had gained traction even though (excluding Morris) there was not one credible respondent to the proposal. But in government circles, that’s all it takes to gain momentum!

Here's your card, sucker...
Here's your card, sucker...