Todd Spitzer’s Mental Melt Down

Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Todd Spitzer gets emotional while reflecting on an incident more than 5 months ago at Wahoo’s Fish Tacos in Lake Forest. He handcuffed Jeobay Castellano and called police when the man would not stop trying to proselytize even when Spitzer told him he was a Christian.
///ADDITIONAL INFO: – Photo by MINDY SCHAUER, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

Sometimes you get to see someone become unglued right before your very eyes. It’s never a pretty sight.

Today, in response to what must have appeared to the OC 3rd District Supervisor as bad publicity, Todd Spitzer unleashed a press release attacking his former employee, Christine Richters,  who is suing the County for wrongful termination by Spitzer.

FFFF posted about the subject, here.

The press release was sent with a personal message directly to FFFF, which means that Spitzer, or somebody on his 3rd District staff is spending public resources monitoring and communicating with a 4th District blog.

This is weird. Bizarre.

Issuing a press release attacking the plaintiff the very day after the official County spokesperson declined comment because of pending litigation, shows that the wheels have fallen off Spitzer’s clown car.

And now, take a moment to review the actual press release:

Are you smelling the same stink I am? If the job of executive assistant to Spitzer was so demanding, and if it required “basic computer skills” that Ms. Richters lacked, then why was she ever hired by Spitzer in the first place, and why was she kept around for over three years?  And if the job were so rigorous in its professional demands, then why did it pay 16 bucks an hour?

I love the accusation that Richters is “smearing” the County, as if the megalomaniacal Spitzer is equivalent to the County. The “County” is fighting only because Spitzer and his four fellow Supervisors get to make a decision based on their own instincts for self-protection – from their own, hand-picked employees.

I also love the part about Spitzer’s “best efforts” trying to get Richters a job in the bureaucracy somewhere. Who ever heard of an OC Supervisor being unable to get a former worker embedded in some footling job or other? That’s an obvious lie.

The crown jewel of this turd-bedecked tiara is the defensive, almost weepy assertion about Spitzer working late nights and week-ends for 25 years on behalf of the taxpayer. Spitzer has been working tirelessly, all right: working at self-promotion to gratify an insatiable lust for self-aggrandizement. Over those 25 years Spitzer has left a disastrous trail of self-interested decisions that have cost the taxpayers of Orange County and California billions of dollars.

The disasters are starting to mount for Spitzer, our would-be District Attorney, and at each turn of the screw we see somebody who is increasingly becoming psychologically unhinged.

Fitzgerald Caught in Another Lie

Everyone is familiar with the politician’s reputation for telling untruths, which are generally more or less creative. Rare is the outright, black and white lie. Once in a while you find it in the politician who is supremely confident of their unaccountability – or clouded in a miasma of narcissistic delusion. Or both. It hardly matters which.

And so we have Jennifer Fitzgerald, who as mayor blatantly lied about the City having a balanced budget, and blatantly lied about the City fiscal prudence that created a balanced budget.

Ever since City Manager Joe Felz’s infamous Wild Ride on November 9th, 2016 folks have been wondering about the role of Fitzgerald in the unfolding scandal in which the FPD collected no evidence and gave a liquor-smelling Felz a ride home.

A few days ago our Friend, Travis Kiger made a Public Records Act request covering:

1. Call logs/detailed billing records for all mobile/landline phones used by Councilmember Jennifer Fitzgerald on November 9, 2016.
2. Call logs/detailed billing records for all mobile/landline phones used by Police Chief Danny Hughes on November 9, 2016.

This request covers all devices used by these public officials, regardless of ownership.

Here’s what Kiger got back:

Not very good

But hey, wait a minute! What about that memo put out by Police Chief Dan Hughes relating his communication about the incident to Fitzgerald. Remember that? Here he clearly states his communication with Madame Mayor over the Felz affair. The memo is dated November 9th!

And then there was the sad declaration from SparkyFitz herself that she got a call at 3:00 am on the morning of the 9th. Remember that? And are we seriously to believe that Fitzgerald had no city-related phone calls the day her dear friend drove over a tree on Glenwood Avenue? That’s nonsense.

Here we have the spectacle of a public official pretending that there are no records documenting these communications – a position belied by the written and oral statements of the communicants themselves.

“Integrity” is our watchword. Well, that and “hypocrisy”

And then there is the rather odd response regarding Hughes. The fact that he is no longer employed by the City is irrelevant information. The answer about “his” phone is equally evasive. Did Hughes use his own phone or a city-issued phone? We aren’t told. And more to the point, does a public record cease to exist because the recorder is no longer a government employee?

Former Crappy State Senator Employee Running for County Supervisor

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.

Here’s the announcement.

I can’t think of anything. Provide your own caption…

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.

The Village People just called…
Image added as embarrassing 1980s afterthought…

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.

The Deal

That’s quite a tool.

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.

Tested and unready…

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 not to 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 really bad 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 Speech From the Empty Chair

So much to skim, so little time…

Lobbyist-councilmember Jennifer Fitzgerald took a powder from the budget meeting on Tuesday. Perhaps the potential embarrassment was too much to contemplate.

But she did send in this letter in lieu of her presence. Since she wants it to become “part of the record” we know that it is really meant to be a political PR document. For a little help FFFF has highlighted some fun parts.

Okay.We now know that Fitzgerald is blaming “Sacramento” for Fullerton’s gloomy, no, desperate fiscal projections. We can’t expect her to make reference to her own irresponsible deals with the unions or remind us of her campaign lie that Fullerton’s budget was balanced. We can’t expect her to admit that everyone has known CalPERS projections have been BS for years. No disappointment there.

Scrolling down her wish-list we see the properties she wants to sell off to her developer pals, a one-time fix that won’t fix anything. More insidious is the “public/private partnership” expansion, or P3 in the parlance of the lobbyist’s guild, in which the public generally pays for the same thing twice. Electronic billboards? Like the fuzzy, illegible ones along the 57 put up by Placentia when things got dire next door? Wow, that really is desperate! The ad revenue from signs would be peanuts (but oh no, let’s not discuss Behind the Badge. That loose change is lost in the couch forever).

You have to give Fitzgerald credit, being what she is. After putting Fullerton in a dire financial hole she is still looking for ways to direct profit to people who have or who might contribute to her political future; or to other politicians in cities where Pringle and Associates have clients.

Do you feel better knowing that “this community always rises to the occasion?”

The Torpedo

There is an old saying: “it’s the least I can do.”

And once in a while you get to see the least someone can really do without doing anything at all.

At the last “budget workshop” (cue: a sales tax is coming music), David Curlee brought up the idiocy of the worthless and mismanaged “Behind the Badge” contract – a 50 Grand per year repository of feel-good stories about our police department’s tender employees who, apparently, would rather be well-thought of for anything besides honest police work.

At this prompting, our mayor, Bruce Whitaker raised the issue – where, right on cue, it was peremptorily shot down by our $100 per hour Interim City Manager, Alan Roeder, as chump change that fell into the sofa cushions and isn’t worth digging around for. He warns Whitaker about “obsessing” over such loose change.

And there the matter seems to have died.

Of course if Whitaker had done his job in the first place and agendized the issue as a stand alone item at a regular meeting, this dismissive bullshit could not have occurred. The Behind the Badge embarrassment could not have been written off as an irrelevant, small-picture nothing instead of what it is – a blatant rip-off of the taxpayers that has run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars in the past four years.

And consider this question: how many other loose change contracts, approved by no one other that Wild Ride Joe Felz, are still out there accomplishing nothing? And did any of our council stalwarts bother to make Roeder explain exactly what the monetary level of significance is before he will deign to consider it? We know it’s not $50,000 a year. Is it $100,000? $500,000? A million? Of course not.

Total leadership failure. The litmus test is done. Now we know why Roeder was hired in the first place:

He’s the Tax Man.

Old Hornet Rejects New Tax

Here’s a fellow named Skip Davis who gives our “honorable” City Council an earful about the proposal to create a new property tax in downtown Fullerton to pay for the mess created by City politicians in the first place: the Culture of Booze.

It was fun to watch ol’ Skip unload on the notion of a Bizness Improvement District with its attendant tax, a tax generally aimed at people completely innocent of the mayhem that our City Council caused and their cops can’t control. But Skip makes a salient point: why is his retirement income so easy for the government to lay its hands on when the Heroes in the back of the room have completely sacrosanct (and massive) pensions.

The Front Row Seat

Good God. Talk about a winning team! The Almighty and lobbyist-councilperson Jennifer Fitzgerald, that is.

See, Yaweh, the Lord of Hosts, has placed his followers in front row seats in Fullerton to see what He’s up to. I always enjoy this phony-humble “I am God’s instrument”  bullshit from grifters, bunkum peddlers and hokum spinners.

Sometimes they are preachers and sometimes they are politicians. But one thing that never changes: God’s plan involves their pecuniary self-interest and advancement.

Lookin’ good, girl!

Amusing, yes. But I also find it rather offensive that Fitzgerald keeps invoking Jehovah to explain what’s going on in Fullerton. There’s a Divine Plan, donchajustknow, and it obviously involves Ms. Fitzgerald. Therefore, logically, it involves lying to the electorate about the real state of our municipal finances and betraying the trust of her constituents in favor of out-of-town developers and downtown hooch purveyors and “public safety” unions.

I don’t know about you but I am appalled at the sight of our City Hall being used by this influence saleswoman as a backdrop as she expatiates upon the Lord’s Plan for the rest of the flock, a flock that she seems to regard mostly as an object simply to be fleeced.

No, SparkyFitz, you are not the City. And you may be surprised what the Divinity has in store.

It Was the Fullerton Hunger Games

And the Odds Were Not in District Three’s Favor

Do not be fooled; Fullerton had it’s first Quarter Quell on Tuesday and Councilman Greg Sebourn was put up as Tribute and didn’t make it out of the games alive. Somewhere a canon is being fired in his honor.

The vote was all about self-interest and gerrymandering and anybody who says otherwise is either lying to you or is too dishonest with themselves to know the truth. I’ll explain quickly.

The city never really gamed this out or explored any options legal or otherwise. I had asked, several times, if the city could require sitting At-Large Council members to resign their At-Large seat to run in for a District Seat and the response I got was “We don’t know if that’s legal”. Gee, if only we had a lawyer in the room during Council to answer these things or research them.

I also inquired if it could be made random in order to take the horse-trading and politics out of the equation and again crickets. All of this means that the city never gamed these basic scenarios out.

To make matters worse we had no study-session or talks about how this would play out post-election. The election happened, with a gerrymandered council approved map, and voila they voted on who got to stay and who got to go.

The real meat about this crap is that it was all race based if you read the complaints and lawsuits that got us here. There hadn’t been an Asian on council since X-Date or a Hispanic since X-Date and thus we got sued and the council settled. So the Council voted to put up District 5 under the guise of giving the Hispanic vote a voice. District 3 means that the likely scenario is that the Hispanic vote will have 2 voices on Council while the Asian vote will have none until 2020 when somebody can run for Fitzgerald’s seat only to have the District Map change in 2022 after the 2020 census. It played out this way because apparently;

  1. Jesus Silva is not Hispanic?
  2. Silva living 2 blocks from District 5 is too far for him to understand that district’s “unique voice”?
  3. The Asian vote doesn’t matter as much as protecting Fitzgerald?
  4. Oh and Sebourn gets the bum’s rush owing to reasons Whitaker has yet to articulate publicly.

I’ll admit that I don’t like the way Sebourn votes on a lot of issues. Further I think Fitzgerald is the worst kind of tax-and-spend bankruptcy-inducing fiscally irresponsible politician the GOP can muster and that’s saying a lot. However — at least with the GOP you get the theory of a sliver of a chance of maybe some fiscal sanity. With the next few years of belt-tightening, thanks to the greed of public safety and the insanity of CalPERS, we’re going to require more budget allies and not fewer. Throwing 1/2 of our current 3-2 fiscally responsible minority out with the bath-water in the hopes that 2018 will maybe, possibly, hopefully and somehow see some balance seems foolhardy to me.

I still contend that the map should have been chosen randomly but I prefer governmental honesty to political expedience and crony gamesmanship.

Now going forward should a Republican decide to run in 2020 against Silva I can only offer one bit of advice:

The Liar

The new, official City Bird

We are used to politicians lying to us, especially when they are running for office. Sometimes the lies are more or less fuzzy, but once in a while the lies are staggeringly blatant. So blatant, in fact, that we must assume the politician believes the electorate are idiots.

Bored and angry. Accountability? It was never on the agenda.

And so it was last year with then-lobbyist-mayor and humble vessel of God, Jennifer Fitzgerald, whose campaign rhetoric deliberately misled the public into believing everything was just fine with Fullerton’s financial state of affairs. Here are a couple of pearls from her little chest of jewels:

BALANCED BUDGET

While other cities in Orange County are trying to raise sales taxes to prevent insolvency, in Fullerton, our budget is balanced!  Our five-year financial forecast shows a balanced budget to 2020.  We’ve done this by making the most of our assets and minimizing our liabilities.  

REDUCED UNFUNDED PENSION LIABILITY

With conservative fiscal management and successful revenue strategies, Fullerton has been able to reduce its unfunded liabilities. This is a long-term strategy, with a short-term goal to achieve what is a generally accepted adequate level of funding of 80% of liabilities.

It didn’t take long for that hot-air balloon of happy talk to sail away. Barely three months after Fitzgerald’s re-election she had to listen as the Director of Administrative Services, Julia James, at last week’s budget workshop, tell the exact opposite story. Due to continuing unbalanced budgets and exploding pension costs, the City is following in the footsteps of Stanton and Westminster with a built-in, structural budget deficit. Naturally the cops and the “fire fighters” bloated salaries and pensions are the principle cause of the impending disaster.

James mentioned taxes as a solution. Any takers?

How long will it be before our temporary City Manager, who has absolutely nothing to lose, begins crisis public meetings meant to gin up support for a Fullerton sales tax increase? And how long will it be before the people who voted for her realize that “SparkyFitz” Fitzgerald would have said, and did say anything to get re-elected?