THE LIE MACHINE

It’s all about the do-re-mi..

Narcissists lie. Their entire performative existence is all about self-aggrandizement and shoring up lack of real accomplishment by spinning constant yarns about their achievements and abilities. And so I present a clinical case: District 5 Councilman Ahmad Zahra.

The Fullerton Observer/Heathy Community Mafia Forum took place last week and Zahra found another occasion to keep spinning the same myriad lies that he has told so often he may actually have come to believe some of them.

Here are a few to chew on:

Lie #1: Zahra repeated his origin story that he’s lived in the District 5 for the last 21 years.

TRUTH: Zahra’s voter registration clearly shows he has only lived in the District for the last 16. The supposition being if you tell the lie often enough, even you begin to believe your own BS.

TRUTH: Zahra had the crutch of masking his Hispanic street cred in 2018 because he has his Hispanic partner who he opportunistically paraded in front of Hispanic District 5 residents. Without the benefit of his plus one to hide behind, he is now resorted to fabricating a deep understanding of complex issues. Parking issues? Ahmad created parking issues when he mysteriously voted to extend RV parking so nonoperational trailers and motorhomes highjacked streets in District 5. 

Lie #2: “I share many experiences of our residents from parking issues, to rent, to housing affordability.”

TRUTH: Zahra is just a typical limousine liberal without the limousine. Your political life is tied to patronizing, top-down government. You are an bald-faced opportunist trying to scam people with your “caring” not you accomplishments of which there aren’t any.

Lie #3: “We have a shelter with good services right here in Fullerton.”

TRUTH: Zahra sold residents on the Navigation Center, which was funded and built for Fullerton homeless. That shelter has only 3 beds dedicated to homeless right now and none of them are from Fullerton. Zahra has done nothing to help Fullerton homeless or the homeless situation in Fullerton. There is a huge encampment of homeless under the 91 freeway at Euclid that has been there for weeks on in and Zahra did nothing to get it cleaned up because he cares so much about homeless.

Lie #4: “We created a safe parking program for residents who are sleeping in their cars.”

TRUTH: The program cost over $150,000 and only a handful of cars participated in the safe parking program because of the security restrictions around it. It was by all accounts an unmitigated disaster and a giant waste of taxpayer money. But a year and a half after it was mercifully ended by the remaining members of the Council, Zahra appears at this forum taking false credit for its imaginary success.

Lie #5: “Making sure our housing element has affordable housing.”

TRUTH: Does Zahra mean the housing element that is so late in development and approval that the City of Fullerton under your watch Ahmad is getting sued over it? Zahra is taking credit for aiding in Fullerton again wasting taxpayer dollars on defending or being a plaintiff in another dumb lawsuit.

Lie #6: “I’ve been working on traffic safety since the beginning.”

TRUTH: The beginning of what? The beginning of your tumultuous and ineffective Council career? The beginning of time? Since the birth of Christ? Considering more people have died crossing Orangethorpe and Lemon during his four year term, perhaps he means beginning after this forum.

Lie #7: “I installed a crossing guard.”

TRUTH: Hold on Skippy! The Fullerton School District pays for and authorizes school crossing guards. It has nothing to do with the City of Fullerton and even less to do with Zahra. But he’ll take false credit for it. The morons who believe Zahra’s lies will believe anything nonsense he says. But others, smarter, will show their contempt for his paltry efforts at the polls.   

Lie #8: “We need to take pride in our parks and reclaim our parks.”

TRUTH: Is that right? Pride in Union Pacific Park in the heart of your district, Ahmad? The park that has remained closed for his entire Council tenure? The park that you tried to give away to a private event planner with no parking solutions, until the majority of Council stopped your terrible giveaway of public parkland.

Lie #9: “We need to increase staffing levels.”

TRUTH: Zahra sat idly by and supported the incompetent City Manager Ken Domer, who cut the Parks and Recreation staff to levels unseen in Fullerton’s history. Zahra supported the now former City Manager as he gutted the parks system and here you are taking credit for caring.

Lie #10: “On my two years on the water district, I was the person who advocated the most to create treatment plans.” 

TRUTH: No, Zahra received $4000 a month pay for play appointment via Jennifer Fitzgerald and Jan Flory to get appointed to the district; and his also submitted completely plagiarized water articles to the Fullerton Observer and falsely put his name in the byline, which FFFF exposed. During Zahra’s brief time on the Orange County Water District, he did not advocate for a treatment plant. But he did try (and failed miserably) to grab a leadership position on the water district Board of Directors – alienating the entire Board. 

Lie #11: Regarding parking issues in Fullerton, “I have been working with Community Development to not negatively impact neighborhoods.”

TRUTH: Zahra and his quitter Planning Commissioner appointee, Elizabeth Hansburg, have underparked every single development that they have approved. To add insult to injury, Zahra gave away street parking to homeless from other states to park their broken down RVs on neighborhood streets. Real champion of the people Ahmad.

Lie #12: Ahmad asserts himself as the reinvented fighter for weed enforcement. That somehow he is a pro-regulation candidate.

TRUTH: Zahra voted for a retail cannibas ordinance that a miniscule measurable buffer zone from homes and schools and has done nothing to get rid of illegal dispensaries, all or most of which are in his district (wonder why?). He keeps telling his gullible supporters that he fights the good fight when in reality he is in the pocket of the weed lobby.

Lie #13: “Driving food to people in my own car.”

TRUTH: Zahra had some community service to work off as part of his criminal plea deal. Zahra makes his court requirement a part of his hollow altruism brand. 

There are so many more lies. Ahmad lies so effortlessly, he is one thing for sure: a sociopath.

And one final observation that does not require a TRUTH rebuttal. Look at Zahra’s facial expressions each and every time the Spanish language translator interrupts him to translate his words to constituents in his community since he does not speak Spanish. Distain. Utter distain. What a hypocrite! He doesn’t care of his community. He cares about himself. 

COVID ZAHRA

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:

Oops!

And the back side:

You have something he wants…

LEADERS NOT LIARS

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.

SERIAL LIAR

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?

Why Do You Think They Call It Dope?

Here’s some Tuesday photo fun.

Apparently, Ahmad Zahra held some sort of meet and greet (I’ll talk to anyone, but I won’t tell them the truth) Sunday morn, behind a donut store.

There to greet him were some protesters who seem to be angry that he voted several times to allow marijuana dispensaries within 100 feet of homes and schools – at the behest of emissaries from the Long Beach weed store cartel.

Now, that’s not very good, is it.

Liar

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 charged this 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.

Ahmad Threw A Party. Uninvited Guests Show Up

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.”

The hors d’oeuvres were divine…

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.

The explanation was simple. Arrested and charged…

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.

MEET DIRTY DOUG

FFFF has squirted some cyber-ink on the missus, so I thought we ought to start spending a bit of time with Pilferin’ Paulette’s hubby, the egregious Doug “Bud” Chaffee.”

If the snout fits, wear it…

This piece was recently sent out by Chaffee’s OC Board of Supervisor challenger, Sunny Park of Buena Park.

The swine were offended by the comparison…

The reference here is to an early foray of the Chaffee Crime Family into “affordable” housing, the subsidized sort that always costs so much more than the regular kind. Of course this was thirty years ago and Chaffee has a much longer list of grifts large and small, including selling out the advocates of preserving the West Coyote Hills, creating phony districts in Fullerton, supporting overbuilt prison, I mean apartment blocks with inadequate parking, and of course spending all his time failing to reform the Fullerton Police Department.

On the Board of Supervisors Chaffee has distinguished himself by hiding COVID information from the public, overseeing the public humiliation and politicization of the Health Care Agency, and being a lackey for the misfeasance of his fellow board member, Andrew Do. And the funniest thing of all is that he, as Chairman of the Commission to End Homelessness, had to confess to reporters that he didn’t know what the Commission does.

Putting politician’s faces on animals has always struck me as desperate and sort of silly, persuasion-wise. But Sunny is running against an incumbent (and recumbent) Democrat and needs to syphon enough votes to 1) at least come in second; and, 2) keep Bud from reaching the magic 50%+1 number thereby forcing a runoff in November. Will this help?

She’s Back! Tanned, Rested and Ready, Pilferin’ Paulette Marshall Returns

Sort of like toenail fungus, Paulette Marshall (Chaffee) is an unwelcome parasite that won’t go away. She has recently announced yet another run for public office – this time another try for the Orange County Board of Education.

Paulette Stolen Sign
Crime doesn’t always pay in Fullerton…

Friends may remember Paulette from such hits as faking an address to run for Fullerton’s 5th District back in 2018. Too bad she was caught stealing campaigns on video. That ethical lapse caused her to quit the race (not in shame, for she has none). The DA wasn’t impressed and charged her. She was forced to plead guilty, pay a fine and do community service; her record was expunged, but the two videos that document her criminal activity are alive and well on the internet.

And that’s where I put the sign in the back of the car…

In 2020 Ms. Marshall (Chaffee) returned to electoral politics – a first run at the OC BoE. Her campaign was marked by a phony “news” website and phony interviews which were so lame it was almost more pathetic than angrifying.

Trying to run on her County Supervisor husband’s coat tails yet again, she poured a ton of cash into her campaign, yet finished a distant third place – way behind Vicki Calhoun – who spent virtually nothing.

Why Paulette thinks her chances are any better than they were two years ago is unknown. Her past is hanging around her neck like the proverbial albatross and it seems unlikely that her by just using her husband’s name will work.

In 2021 she got a crony to sue Tim Shaw, the guy who beat her in 2020, to quit the Board. His reappointment to a 2-year term must have come as a shock to Paulette who unsuccessfully interviewed for the job, and is suing Shaw yet again.

I suppose FFFF will just have to dust off and crank up the old campaign machine and get ready to go to work.

WE WANT OUR SIDEWALK BACK!

In Fullerton City Hall, nothing is forgotten quite so quickly as the past, particularly if that past includes malfeasance, misfeasance, incompetence or prevarication.

That’s why FFFF has made it our mission to remind folks about such egregious rip-offs as the Saga of the Florentine Sidewalk, in which a sleazy restaurant put a room addition on a public sidewalk and got away with it.

Here’s the now relevant part: The disgraced Florentine & Co. quit Fullerton last year, and the building’s owner, Mario Marovic is in the process of remodeling the exterior and interior of the building even though he doesn’t yet have the proposed CUP – so he must be pretty confident he’s going to get it. The matter comes to the Planning Commission tonight.

The staff report, as usual, is full of irrelevant crap, and completely ignores the the theft of the sidewalk, a land grab that was eventually made legal by a revised lease – with Florentine. The report also shares Marovic’s plan for the corner space at Harbor and Commonwealth, keeping the permanent structure built by Florentine!

The theft continues…

Now that’s not very good, is it.

I doubt if anybody on the Planning Commission remembers the sordid history of this building, and you can be sure that no one on staff remembers or cares to remind them. But now is the time to get this sidewalk back!

The Second Try

Nothing says 1962 like Fullerton City Hall

Back in 2020 our Lords and Masters at City Hall cooked up a plan to impose a sales tax increase upon people buying stuff in Fullerton. It was staff-driven natch, and lazy liberals Zahra, Quirk-Silva, Flory and Fitzgerald were on board. It was called Measure S. See, they figured the path of least resistance was deploying a new tax rather than finally exercising fiscal restraint.

Measure S Covid Lie
The Big Lie

Measure S soon found itself in the crosshairs of Fullerton anti-tax advocates and some well-placed signs describing the true nature of the beast doomed it to failure come election time.

Well guess what? They’re at it again. This time the idea is something called a Pension Obligation Bond, a mechanism for paying off part of Fullerton’s massive unfunded pension actuarial liability at CalPERS, the State’s giant pension administrator.

An introductory briefing was on the Council’s agenda last Tuesday to start the cheerleading process – a process that will entail the employment of an “expert” who will certainly benefit from a positive result; and of course “bond counsel” the legal camp-followers who push bonds on lazy elected officials after a hot meal and a few glasses of wine.

As everybody knows, the interest on the bonds are ultimately backed up by the collateral of new property taxes. This revenue would go to pay down the pension debt and free up money owed to CalPERS for staff salaries and benefits that will ultimately, and ironically, increase pension debt.

Here’s the second kicker: because a pension obligation bond is not deemed new debt, per se, but a sort of pea-under-the-walnut shell maneuver, no vote of the people is required – as it is in the case of general obligation bonds. It just gets “validated” by a judge and goes through on the nod unless challenged. Ouch. Of course the Council, if it wanted to could put the issue on a ballot anyhow, if they chose to move ahead with this scheme.

Of course the strategy for this type of thing is to reprimand opponents by citing the fact that the daily cost is little more than a Big Mac, or some other trifle and in return we get…what do we get again? Our loyal and devoted “public safety” club will almost certainly gobble up the lion’s share of this taxpayer largesse, just like they already do, and we’ll be even worse off than we already are, and no desperately needed cultural changes will have been made.

I looked over the agenda material on line and found nary a clue as to how this was even agendized. Another smoke screen protecting somebody.