File this one under predictable public employee union self-service. The Orange County Employee Association has endorsed the carpetbagging candidacy of Joe Kerr to represent our 4th Supervisorial District.
The OCEA is a big union that represents the vast majority of County employees. As such, it is always involving itself in County politics, placing it’s own interests in the path of accountable, affordable government. And what better mission for a labor union than to elect one of its own – a former union boss, in fact.
It’s not surprising that the union would place its own self-interest ahead of the public. They obviously see nothing wrong with a guy who lives in a rich, South County enclave trying to represent the working class neighborhoods of north Orange County; or if they do, it takes a distant back seat to electing somebody that will pay attention to their needs. And their needs are ever greater pay and benefits, regardless of the quality of service they provide.
This “early endorsement” serves only one purpose: to clear the field of potential Democrat opponents for the carpetbagging Kerr.
In 2010 the field for this seat was cluttered with several Democrat small fry and none of them made the November run off. And that’s something the unionistas prefer to avoid this time around.
We have recently been introduced to Mr. Joe Kerr, former fireman union honcho who claims to be running for 4th District Supervisor. That’s a problem.
Joe and China Kerr have lived at 29 Palma Valley since 1999. The address is in Coto de Caza, a very wealthy enclave in South County – being a “public safety” union boss must pay real well. Unfortunately, Coto de Caza is in the 5th Supervisorial District. Mr. Kerr chooses not to run against the incumbent 5th District Supervisor, Lisa Bartlett. Instead he wants to run for the 4th District seat, obviously because there is no incumbent.
Over the past eight years many people living in comparatively rich places have tried to carpetbag their way into the hearts and minds of North Orange County. All failed dismally when a concerted effort was undertaken to share their shameless carpetbag hustle with the public, no matter how they tried to fluff up their resumés. Here is a list at the bottom of which Mr. Joe Kerr, of Coto deCaza, will soon find himself:
2009 Linda Ackerwoman – State Assembly (Irvine)
2010 Harry Sidhu, 4th District Supervisor (Anaheim Hills)
2010 Lorraine Galloway, 4th District Supervisor (Anaheim Hills)
2016 Sukhee Kang, State Senate (Irvine)
While it’s true that each of these losers carried quite a bit of baggage, the fatal flaw right out of the gate was their carpetbaggage. Because who, really, wants to vote for someone whose first communication with would be constituents is a fraud, a lie, a perjury, or a deliberate omission of fact?
Kerr’s press release announcing his candidacy omits any reference to where he has lived for the better part of 20 years, instead mentioning that he grew up in La Habra and Cypress(!) the slenderest filament of a link to the 4th District and a completely irrelevant one at that. I can’t find a record of Joseph V. Kerr anywhere near the 4th district.
I have no idea how much money Kerr’s “public safety” union pals will be willing to unleash on his behalf – probably a boatload. But member what all that union money got “Hide-and-Seek” Sidhu? Two humiliating losses in just one year.
So come on in, Joe.
The FFFF Welcoming Committee is firing up the barbecue.
Another would-be County Supervisor has declared his 2018 candidacy for the 4th District. His name is Joe Kerr. He is a Democrat. He is also the former boss of the union that represented the Orange County Fire Authority. As such it was his sole responsibility to shove his hand as hard and as deep into the pockets of the taxpayers as possible to provide his members with spectacular pay and pensions, and to perpetuate a scam in which his members enriched themselves on a gamed overtime system.
Voters will not hear about that from Mr. Kerr, of course, even as he brings in “public safety” union bucks to grease his campaign, We will hear that Joe is Fire Hero and Deserves.
Will the voters go for this? I don’t know. Right now Fullerton is facing a massive fiscal drain due to the exploding pension costs of the cops and the “fire fighters.” Having one of the chief perpetrators of this meltdown trying to run for public office seems ill-timed.
Former State Senator Bob Huff (R-Ed Roski) was best known as a shameless hustler for California’s failed crony capitalism experiment called Redevelopment. Other than the usual, dreary-fake Repuglican social issues it’s hard to recall a single Huff politcal pursuit. Now, it appears, one of Huff’s political acolytes thinks himself fit to be our next 4th District County Supervisor. His name is Tim Shaw.
Shaw’s big political claim to fame is being on the La Habra city council which, frankly, isn’t much to write home about; that and being the Republican State Senate candidate who got unceremoniously booted off the stage to make way for Ling-Ling Chang as part of the massively failed GOP “Asian Woman” strategy.
Shaw’s announcement contains several unintentionally funny lines. Here’s my favorite:
“I firmly believe the 2016 election results sent a strong message. People are tired of politics as usual, and we need to tear up the playbook and start from scratch.”
Wow. Four clichés in two sentences. Well done, little fella.
Starting from scratch means electing a clueless, no longer Young Republican drone who shows no evidence of ever having had an original thought? Yeah, sure, whatever you say, chief. Good luck with that.
Former State Assemblywoman Young Kim has already announced she is going for this seat and has tied up the endorsements of the Ed Royce crowd, so that’s our choice so far, and it isn’t much of a choice. Ms. Kim is an empty suit led around by her husband, Charles Kim, who is best remembered in Fullerton for bringing us Julie Sa in 1992.
We don’t deal with County stuff much but when we get wind of something noxious down County way, we share it with the friends, especially if it involves Supervisor Shawn Nelson who comes from Fullerton.
The latest story wafting on the wind claims that Nelson has made a deal with DA Tony Rackaukas to support the appointment of Rack’s mouthpiece Susan Kang Schroder to replace him so she can run for DA next year as the incumbent. What Nelson gets is Rackauckas and Schroeder leaning on their stable of Deputy DAs notto run for the next judgeship, clearing the field for Nelson. And if anybody knows how to lean on people, it’s the completely vile Kang Schoeder. This deal is critically important for Nelson, who, as a defense lawyer, made a lot of money defending sex offenders and the like, stuff that would look reallybad on a campaign hit piece from an active prosecutor.
If this tale is true (and it sure has the ring of truth) it reflects rather badly on Nelson. Susan Kang Schroeder has been connected at the hip to Tony Rackaukas’s incompetent and corrupt misrule for years, and the only case she ever tried, she lost. Real legal talent there, right? But of course expecting ethical behavior from a politician looking for self-promotion is like drilling a dry well.
The other day our old Friend, The Desert Rat, wrote a post about a Bruce Whitaker vs. Jennifer Fitzgerald county supervisor contest in 2018. Our commenter Fullerton Rag pointed out the presence of Young Kim, recently failed State Assembly incumbent. Sure enough, looks like this Ed Royce (R- Chickenhawk Coop) acolyte is running. And she is wasting no time – the primary election is still 16 months away.
This means that our lobbyist-councilcreature Jennifer Fitzgerald, another of Ed Royce’s political progeny is most likely out, voluntarily or otherwise. We’ll have to wait on that.
Meantime we have the spectacle of another unqualified Republican pursuing the “Asian female” formula at the County level. Kim knows as little about county government as she did about running the State of California, although in politics ignorance about governance is no longer held as any sort of impediment.
Out here on Screech Owl Road we stay informed, distantly, of the doings in humble Fullerton, a place of constant interest and amusement value. When the dust storms and tortoise races grow tedious we often turn our attention to your town.
And one genre that never bores, are the stories of political ambition and the small-time politicians with big dreams – for themselves, mostly.
Is it really too early for you Fullertonions to start thinking about who represents you as County Supervisor in 2018? The campaign process normally starts at the end summer before the election and that is about six months away. On the other hand two Fullerton characters may play a part in that campaign so why not indulge in some early speculation?
The current incumbent is former Fullerton Councilman Shawn Nelson, who is ending a second completely lackluster term, in which County watchers could hardly distinguish a difference from his sleepy predecessor, Chris Norby, except that the casual corruption at the County and the downright wackiness have gotten even worse. He’s termed-out in 2018.
The talk is that both Bruce Whitaker and Jennifer Fitzgerald both have their eye on the job even though they’ve just been re-elected to their current positions in Fullerton. Oh well, political ambition trumps loyalty to the electorate every time, right?
A candidacy that splits the Fullerton electorate could leave the door open for a an Anaheim candidate with a decent reputation to join the fray. Who that might be remains to be seen.
Speaking of reputations, as to their records, Whitaker and Fitzgerald are quite similar, except that Whitaker has promoted accountability from the Fullerton Police Department, and stood on the right side of the Kelly Thomas murder, where of course Fitzgerald and her ilk were no-shows. The cop union supported Fitzgerald, and she has done her best to cover-up and protect the Culture of Corruption – while actually having the nerve to credit former Chief Danny “Galahad” Hughes for “reforming” something or other. Whitaker has also been on the right side of the ongoing red-ink budgets that Fitzgerald brazenly lied about to the voters. And he tried to establish an audit committee to keep the bureaucrats on the up and up.
Unfortunately for Whitaker, there are many points of convergence, voting and performance-wise, with Fitzgerald. There is the massive and rampant overdevelopment of Fullerton; the creation of the phony language of the Coyote Hills plebescite and then the fighting of the successful referendum; there is the the absolutely horrible dereliction of duty by supporting voting districts Map8A, cooked up by the bar owners in the riot zone known as downtown Fullerton to dilute the voters in that vomit and urine-soaked district. They both voted to waste $100,000 on a completely unnecessary “interim” City Manager. They both sat by doing nothing as hundreds of millions of gallonsof prime MWD water leaked out of Laguna Lake.
The 4th District election will really gear up in the summer, but there’s no doubt that Fitzgerald, if she is running, is already lining up her bankrollers: Anaheim’s deep pockets with ties to her “employer” the slimy, pink lobbyist Curt Pringle. Whitaker can’t compete with that money machine. But as Anaheim’s recent elections proved, money isn’t everything. Still, if Whitaker is going to run, he had better start showing voters why there’s a real reason to support him.
This valuable piece of manpower pulls in a generous stipend and benefits as a boardmember of the County Water District, and gets $40,000 per year (via a personal contract) as Nelson’s “technical advisor” at the AQMD. Before that he was also getting paid by being a member of the Orange City Council, Redevelopment Agency and all the other regional commissions he could get himself appointed to. Of course all these agencies had meetings that would have directly conflicted with his $120,000 full-time job at the County.
So what is Bilodeau’s real value to anybody? Here’s County political watchdog Shirley Grindle, offering an opinion, as quoted in Voice of OC:
She also said she’s gotten indications that the mind behind Nelson’s fundraising machinations has been his chief of staff, Denis Bilodeau, who was an Orange councilman and serves on the Orange County Water District board.
“I’m about ready to tell Shawn Nelson, about the best thing he could do for his career is get rid of Denis Bilodeau,” Grindle said.
Once in a while news from the County is so pregnant with consequences for us in Fullerton that we here at FFFF feel obliged to share it with the Friends.
In case you weren’t following the weird story: on Good Friday, 2015 3rd District Supervisor Todd “Super Victim” Spitzer got scared of a Christian proselytizer in a Foothill Ranch Wahoos, went out to his car and returned with handcuffs and a loaded pistol. He “hooked up” this poor sap and waited for the deputies to arrive. Of course nothing came of it. Mr. Bible was released from bondage and everybody went his own way.
Pretty weird, in a “dress up like a cop and play” sort of way. I mean, who drives around with handcuffs in his trunk, right?
Unfortunately for Spitzer, news of the bizarre incident was finally leaked to The OC Register who reported on it in August 2015, much to the merriment of the pistol-packin’ supervisor’s numerous detractors. But the story gets better – or worse – depending on your point of view.
Apparently Spitzer couldn’t leave the depiction of himself as a nutcase, alone. Sort of like obsessively picking at a scab. So he enlisted the help of Jean Pasco, the County’s press release writer to write some sort of clarifying/absolving press release. Although this document never saw the light of publication, the Voice of OC got wind of it and did a PRA request for all related docs. Hilariously, the County refused, claiming that unfinished documents don’t constitute “records.” The Voice sued the County for release of the relevant material. The County fought back.
It got worse. Under Spitzer’s guidance County Counsel demanded to depose Voice publisher Norberto Santana, ridiculously suggesting that conversations between him and Spitzer were relevant to the matter. Voice objected to the blatant harassment attempt.
Meantime, the completely unnecessary lawsuit drags on, the costs of which, when the County inevitably fails, will be borne by you and me. And where is our own Supervisor Shawn Nelson during all this? Nowhere to be seen or heard as far as I can tell. Evidently, he, too, believes that we peons are only to know things when he and his pals at the County feel like sharing, and that it is right and proper that we pay the costs of them keeping public information from the public.