When things get tough, real leaders make difficult choices. And then there are those like Ahmad Zahra.
When Covid 19 rolled around in the spring of 2020 Fullerton was already looking at financial disaster. Years of unbalanced budgets were backfilled by reserve funds by the partnership Fitzgerald, Flory, Silva and Zahra. With the Covid lockdown things looked bleak.
What to do?
“I know” said Ahmad Zahra, “lets have a sales tax.”
And so the ill-fated Measure S was placed on the ballot by the same herd: Fitzgerald, Flory, Silva and Zahra. The proponents didn’t seem to care that sales taxes are inherently regressive, and Zahra seemed uninterested in the fact that his D5 constituents would be disproportionately hurt. Ironically, at the time, Zahra was hauling in $4,000 a month for a few hours time as an appointed member of the Orange County Water District Board.
Later, in 2021, when federal relief money rolled in to Fullerton, Zahra tried to direct funds away from infrastructure and into salaries and pension obligations.
Well, those chickens have come to roost. This mail piece landed in D5 mailboxes today:
Here’s something for Latino voters to contemplate: their current representative in District 5, Ahmad Zahra. Dope near schools. What a piss-poor idea. Well in Zahra’s orbit, marijuana money talks. Loudly. Zahra is always bleating some “progressive” platitude or other to manage his little social media coterie, but the fact is he is in deep with the weed lobby despite the Latina opposition that spurred a recall attempt.
Here’s the front of a mailer we just received:
And of course there’s a backside.
No, Zahra isn’t working for D5. In fact he isn’t working for anybody. He’s unemployed. But he is looking for work – with the Long Beach Cannabis Cartel that’s just dying to make inroads into Fullerton.
The Fullerton Collaborative hosted a candidate forum, which featured some good questions and some not so good. It featured 5 out of 6 City Council candidates running in Districts 3 and 5 this year. Shana Charles received a hall pass and did not stay for the forum.
Ahmad Zahra was his usual full of himself self. The notorious man who never wasted a selfie opportunity was untruthful, effortlessly deceived the audience, remaining true to his duplicitous self.
Here’s a list of the many, oh, so many lies.
LIE #1: “The district I’ve called home for the last 21 years.”
TRUTH: Zahra’s voter registration record doesn’t agree.
LIE #2: “As a medical doctor.”
TRUTH: Zahra is not a licensed medical doctor or a medical professional of any kind.
LIE #3: “The budget needs to be reflective of the needs of our community.”
TRUTH: Zahra wasted a million dollars of the people’s money frivolously suing a local blog and its authors, and were it not for the new Council, that bill would still be accumulating. A million dollars would have paid for a fire engine and more than a handful of Parks and Recs, Police, or Firefighter, or Maintenance employees.
LIE #4: “We have a shortage of staff and we need to invest in those areas.”
TRUTH: Zahra had an opportunity to pass a budget with a 1% cut and $1 million dollars to the City Manager to fill staffing concerns. He voted no, not once, but on three different City Council meetings.
LIE #5: “I would love to see more drug programs and engaging our school district on drug prevention programs.”
TRUTH: Zahra advocated for publicly and voted for on four separate occasions to have weed sold in Fullerton with only a 100 foot buffer zones to schools or homes or churches or parks.
LIE #6: “Supportive housing is crucial, but we need to make sure we are also outreaching and creating transparency.”
TRUTH: 1600 Commonwealth is an affordable housing development and so little transparency and outreach was done that the neighbors protested en masse and killed the deal with Pathways of Hope because of lack of outreach and transparency.
LIE #7: “We need to make sure our parks are maintained and cleaned.”
TRUTH: Zahra voted to give away Union Pacific Park in the heart of his district to a for-profit event planner for weddings.
LIE #8: “I have been one of the most engaged Council members. Everybody knows I’m out there.”
TRUTH: Woodcrest neighborhood mothers and residents have come to one Council meeting after another in the past 2 years complaining about Zahra’s lack of accessibility and lack of engagement with them. But then again, they are not kissing his ass and stroking his giant ego. He works with the Center for Healthy Neighborhoods. Why? Because their director donates to his campaign and their employee Egleth Nuncci is his permanent tag-a-long. No other non-profit or community group gets any engagement from Zahra.
LIE #9: “We also need to expand our ability to do corporate partnerships.”
TRUTH: Zahra strong armed Republic Services, the City’s trash hauler to give his pet project city in a foreign country a trash truck and then promptly took a selfie and credit for saving democracy. That’s not a corporate partner. That is a quid pro quo.
LIE #10: “I have worked with this Council, despite sometimes the hard times and differences we’ve had.”
TRUTH: Zahra only works for and with Zahra. He has no contact with his Council colleagues. So how are you working with this Council, Ahmad?
LIE #11: “Be faithful with my votes.”
TRUTH: Zahra made an impassioned speech about how important voting was in his country of Syria and that the at large Council seat vacated by Jesus Quirk-Silva should be determined in a special election to betray the people and his faith in democracy the very next meeting and appoint the elderly disaster Jan Flory, who in turn voted to appoint him to the Orange County Water District and its healthy stipend, one he took without objection and then donated to his campaign.
LIE #12: “We see so many Councilmembers come and then they make backroom deals.”
TRUTH: See TRUTH #11.
The truth is Ahmad Zahra is nothing more than a serial liar. Things come apart so easily when they are held together by lies. It’s always the ones with dirty hands doing all the finger pointing isn’t it?
Here is a fun video in which District 5 Councilman Ahmad Zahra stumbles and stutters his way into denying that he was arrested for battery and vandalism. It happened right outside his fundraising party when protesters showed up.
With some coaching from a masked friend he concludes that there was no “case,” and no arrest because he was not handcuffed and was not taken to a jail cell.
It was not an arrest says Zahra because some “citizen” (in air quotation marks) did something.
Uh huh. Get a kick out of how Zahra tries to incriminate Tony Bushala of something dishonest; the woman rightly points out that it is Zahra who was elected to represent Fullerton and who needs to come clean.
The confrontation then disolves into Zahra’s Spanish speaking camp followers adding a little ethic flavor like they constantly do at council meetings.
Well the thing is simple. The District Attorney, Todd Spitzer chargedthis miscreant with crimes, so the fact that he may or may not have spent some time in the FPD lock up is hilariously irrelevant.
Come clean Ahmad. If there was no case you can prove it by sharing the correspondence from the DA saying so. But one thing will always be undeniable: you were arrested and charged. No getting away from that albatross around your neck.
So I’m driving down Commonwealth yesterday afternoon and notice a protest in front of D’Vine, another one of downtown Fullerton’s scofflaw noise nuisances.
And then I noticed this:
Hmm. Nice sign, black and white. That’s appropriate.
Turns out that Ahmad Zahra was holding a fundraiser for himself at D’Vine, with special guest, career politician Lou Correa. Apparently, Fullerton Taxpayers For Reform financed by Tony Bushala have decided to remind Mr. Zahra that he was arrested and charged by the DA with battery and vandalism, perpetrated against one “Monica F.”
Zahra publicly claimed he was “exonerated” although a conflicting narrative emerged from a source in the DA’s office – that he pled guilty to get his slate wiped clean. He hasn’t bothered sharing any evidence of his alleged exoneration and probably hoped the whole issue would disappear. If he though that he must now know he was wrong.
It might be interesting to find out what Lou Correa thinks about his boy now, especially considering there’s still twelve weeks before election day. Zahra’s devoted followers will cry out his victimhood, yet again, but there’s only so far he can ride that donkey.
Word from a well-placed source suggests that back in 2020 after being arrested and charged with battery and vandalism perpetrated against a woman named Monica F., Fullerton City Councilman Ahmad Zahra, through his Irvine attorney, hired a P.I. to investigate his “alleged” victim.
Now why would anybody do that?
I leave it to readers to draw their own inferences from this.
The issue of whether Zahra was “exonerated” as he exclaimed publicly, and that he and mom were the real victims; or whether he pled guilty to get his dirty slate wiped clean remains in doubt. He has never provided any evidence from the District Attorney Todd Spitzer that charges against him were dropped.
Whatever the case, the broader story is not going to go away, and in fact is likely going to become a focus of opponents in this fall’s City Council election.
In the past 10 years or so, Fullerton has had four different planning directors: Al Zelinka, Karen Haluza, Ted White, and most recently an individual named Matt Foulkes. Pop quiz: what else do these folks have in common?
Time’s up. Answer: none of them enforced the city’s noise ordinances, and each seemed to be dedicated to ignoring zoning and land use regulations in downtown Fullerton. We’ll get to the “why” of it in a later post. For now I want to point out the trajectory of this mess. As scofflaws like Jeremy Popoff’s odious Slidebar and the Florentine Mob’s various enterprises refused to comply with our laws, the Planning Directors noted above began an ongoing project to lower and lower the legal bar until even the lowest nematode could wriggle over it.
Now if we contemplate this downward spiral of our “experts” in the Planning Department and Code Enforcement we notice that it hit a virtual rock bottom in January 2019 when Matt Foulkes pretended that he didn’t know what a property owner was and approved the submission of an official document forged by Joe Florentine pretending that he, Florentine, was an “owner.”
Of course all of this malfeasance was amply documented here on the FFFF blog. And guess what? Nobody in City Hall cared; or to be more precise, nobody cares, still. See, in Fullerton incompetency and blatant corruption are so common on the part of our City Attorney, Dick Jones and the cadre of drunk, venal and just plain dumb City Managers and staff that our threshold for outrage is as low is almost worn away.
But not quite. Stay tuned for noise. And by noise I mean the noise generated by city staff to ignore, dilute, obfuscate and dodge the Noise Ordinances.
When FFFF first introduced Andrew Cho to the Friends we noted that his list of “endorsers” was a veritable rogues’ gallery of political crooks, swindlers and liars. And now the collection is complete:
It is right and proper that the Cho, the hapless stooge of outgoing Mayor-for-Hire Jennifer Fitzgerald should have the backing of “Democrat” Doug “Bud” Chaffee, the senile and incompetent clown who let Fullerton go to Hell even as he bought himself a job at the County. It’s also perfectly predictable. Lobbyist Curt Pringle, who employs Fitzgerald is a big fundraiser for Chaffee, obviously expecting favors in return. This is one of them.
And let’s never forget Chaffee’s better half Paulette Marshall, whose well-documented political hijinks and actual crimes, must have been well-known to hubby.
But the recommendation that bankruptcy lawyer Cho’s record in “financial recovery” is somehow an asset should cause even the dimmest wit to ponder Fullerton’s future with Cho on the council dais.
Anaheim bankruptcy lawyer and District 1 council candidate, Andrew Cho has sent out a mail piece with the usual dreary pictures of his incredibly happy home life, his conservative Republicanism, and the empty promises of accountability, public safety and miraculous economic superpowers.
Too bad we then see his endorsers – a gaggle of liars, grifters, thieves, and idiots you wouldn’t trust to walk your Pomeranian. He shares his bold pledge to support Prop 13, as if that had any bearing in Fullerton. More on the subject of taxes in a bit.
The bottom portion of the flyer is dedicated to attacking his one and only opponent, Fred Jung, as a radical leftist.
But notice what’s missing? That’s right. No mention at all of his position on Measure S, the 17% sales tax that is the brain child of his sleazy string-puller, Mayor-for-Hire Jennifer Fitzgerald; a tax increase that is approved by liberal Democrat councilcreatures, Flory, Quirk-Silva and Zahra.
Well, that’s not very good, is it District 1 Republicans. Poor “Andrew” is in a big bind. The Republican registration is a dwindling minority in D1, and if Cho is trying to shore up the die-hards at this point in a non-partisan election he’s in deep republicrap.