Are “Conscience” Dems Abandoning Doug Chaffee?

Could be. Since July 2011 Recall candidate Doug Chaffee has been the invisible man. No presence at protests, no support of the Recall, no denunciation of the recall, no comment on the Culture of Corruption in the FPD, no defense of the McKinley police regime, either.

Matt Rowe

Some Democrats who supported Chaffee in 2010 are jumping ship – to independent candidate Matt Rowe. They are claiming that Chaffee is just a mealy-mouthed guy who wants to get elected without saying a damn thing substantive.

Here is a letter from Stephan and Noelle Baxter, and William Zdan sent to our friends at The Fullertonian. It’s a hard-hitting piece, born of the frustration of a politician who is so petrified of saying anything that he says nothing, and evidently stands for nothing.

The choice of Rowe over Doug Chaffee is the proverbial no-brainer. When you check out Chaffee’s supporters you’ll you’ll see the Old Guard Left like Molly McClanahan and Jan Flory who sat on their hands and kept their mouth shut in the wake of the Kelly Thomas murder. Many of his supporters actually oppose the recall and that speaks volumes about what they expect from their boy. He’s even being supported behind the scenes by repuglicans like Dick Ackerman and his sleazy ilk who apparently see in Chaffee their Main Chance.

 

No More MIA “Leadership.” No Doug Chaffee.

A fence sitting, cardboard candidate? On June 5th you get to decide.

Perusing the latest yellowing Fullerton Observer I noticed how various candidates responded to the  question “How Would You have Handled The Kelly Thomas Situation?”

First the Three Bald Tires, poster boys for utter leadership failure, were given the chance to reflect on their actions, or lack of same. They offered up the same old “we were told by our lawyer not to say anything” tripe. On his way out the saloon doors Doc Hee Haw managed to serve up this beaut: “I regret that some have acted to circumvent the constitutional laws of justice,” as if to reassure himself that the whole gol’dern commotion was the fault of some “lynch-type mob” and had nothing to do with his own incompetence and fat mouth.

The candidates were all pretty uniform in their responses with the glaring exception of Doug Chaffee, who spooned out this idiotic pabulum:

“I am a strong advocate of community oriented policing. In a community oriented policing system, police officers partner with neighborhoods to build trust and positive community relationships. The system generates mutual respect between residents and police. Being pro-active, the focus is on preventing crime, as opposed to merely reacting to it, and results in a safer City.”

What?

Not a single word about Kelly Thomas or his family, the brutal way in which he was killed, the conspiracy of silence in the aftermath, the disinformation peddled by Goodrich, the cops who were returned to duty, the disappearing police chief, the sick police chief, the pensioned-off police chief, or the charges of murder and manslaughter brought against the two cops by the DA. No explanation from Doug that Kelly was not committing a crime, and that the only criminals on the scene were members of the Fullerton Police Department.

Some have asked where Chaffee has been for these past nine months. I know. He’s been hiding from his own pale shadow.

It is apparent to me that this man is an empty suit, a coward and a damned fool. On the council he would be hardly better than McKinley himself. The last thing Fullerton needs is another superannuated do-nothing, say-nothing, stand-for-nothing yellow observer in office.

Another Fowl Observer Plop

 

Where's China?

I really don’t know why I bother communicating with the feather-headed Sharon Kennedy and her wretchedly incompetent Fullerton Observer.

When she wrote an unsigned “article” last month alleging that I rent space from the City worth more than $12,000 a month for  a mere $1300, I felt obliged to respond. So I sent in a letter to The Observer to add important facts that she casually omitted and also to question how in the world she came up with her crazy valuation. To my knowledge Ms. Kennedy has no experience of any kind in the commercial real estate business and knows nothing about the subleasing potential of the Santa Fe Depot or even its vacancy rates or square foot lease potential.

The deal looked pretty damn sweet for the City 20 years ago when I offered to make a large up front payment and finance the historic restoration myself – especially since the other responders wanted to be paid; and this ignoramus somehow thinks the City gave something away. I mentioned in my letter that if she had any complaint to take it up with the Good Folks at Redevelopment.

As usual, Ms. Kennedy appended her inevitable dingbat editorial comment to my correspondence that completely ignored my points and instead launched into a diatribe about all the good that Redevelopment does for poor people. She neglected to inform her readers that this so-called “affordable” housing costs twice as much as the regular kind, that it pays for high roller lobbyists, hustlers and bagmen, that it is principally just a mechanism to employ house-ocrats, and that, of course, it ends up displacing the poor for the less poor. She also mentioned to explain that Redevelopment giveaways are financed by robbing other local agencies that rely on property tax revenue.

For some reason Kennedy believes if you say something enough times it will become true: just like she claimed (again) that I am suing the Redevelopment Agency for $1,000,000. That of course is just bald-face lie made somewhat amusing by the weirdness of her fabrication; I am suing to stop Redevelopment expansion into areas of the City that are not “blighted,” the minimal legal requirement for Redevelopment spelled out in the State Health & Safety Code.

At the end of her little tantrum, in an hysterical twist, Kennedy chided me for not fighting the corporate abuse of Redevelopment – even though my friends and I on FFFF have been attacking Redevelopment and its history of abuse in Fullerton, for years when she was silent. This includes the City’s illegal planning review for the Hillcrest Park/Lion’s Field reconstruction on which she was utterly silent – until they had the temerity to install synthetic grass – a move that apparently injured her delicate aesthetic sensibilities.

Where O Where has Sharon Kennedy been these many decades as Fullerton Redevelopment lumbered along, including a ridiculous proposal to spend $6,000,000 to move a McDonald’s 200 feet? You guessed it. Happily cheerleading for Redevelopment with all of its corporate boondoggles, every sad step of the way.

 

Open Letter to My Fellow Fullerton Liberals, by Steve Baxter


We all know why the right leaning Bushala blog, Friends for Fullerton’s Future and KFI radio hosts Jon & Ken are capitalizing on the murder of Kelly Thomas, and that is because, at least in part, they hate the police unions. Regardless of their motives, they are correct on this issue, and they, unlike you, are bringing attention to it. With the exception of current councilperson Sharon Quirk-Silva, who was the first to ask for resignations, and a well respected CSUF Professor, who have seen at the protest, so many of you established liberals, have an almost disinterest in the killing of a homeless man. The question is: Why? You are the royal opposition in this Republican demographic, we count on you, and yet on this one you decided to stay home.

Work demands have prevented me from hanging out with you lately, so please forgive me if I am wrong, but I’m not detecting any outrage at the actions of the police from most of you. I usually turn to you for leadership on a dozen other issues, but I don’t see that leadership here. I’m sure you are upset, but what seems to upset you the most is the fear that things will get disorderly, or that Fullerton’s image is soiled; not that one of the most vulnerable members of our community was killed by having his face beaten into hamburger by six of our police officers. I understand that you did your demo stuff in the sixties and that you still hate Nixon, but that check’s been cashed. I also understand that outrage on its own does not effect change, but sometimes an incident is so vile and so brutal, that to my mind one can’t help but get emotional about it. I’ve been to all but one of the protests in front of the police station and all of the council meetings since the killing.  I’ve looked for you and wanted to say hello. Where were you?

Long before we came creeping up your north Fullerton hills and joined you in the nicely paved part of town, my wife and I rented an apartment atop one of the downtown shops on Wilshire Boulevard. As someone who still spends a lot of time downtown, and someone who does not take a wide berth of the homeless, I was acquainted with Kelly Thomas. After the homicide, the story that was spun about Kelly by city officials was downright ridiculous to everyone that knew him. What the police did not count on in this case was that his father was a former sheriff, or that Kelly was not just another eyesore. Kelly was actually liked by many in the downtown community. I tell you this only because you do your mingling at backyard fundraisers on Skyline Drive and in this part of town people like Kelly Thomas could not walk two blocks before someone’s maid was told to call the cops.

There are some left-leaning Fullerton residents like Jesse LaTour and Jane Rand, who are present in the Justice for Kelly movement, but you consider these folks to be too fringe to support anyway don’t you? The votes from the last election show that many of you opted for Bankhead. In light of this I would now argue that most of you are not really liberals, progressives or leftists anyway; you are just pro-bedroom community.  After everything the police and city officials have done here, you are more comfortable advocating for bike paths, making sure your neighbors have period appropriate door knobs, and attempting to prevent development. I like bike paths, and I don’t want 760 homes built in Coyote Hills either, but that spying on your neighbor’s stuff in search of historical inaccuracies is a bourgeois wank. These things need to take a back seat while our city is still in the shadow of a murder and an ongoing, official stonewall. I’m an environmentalist, but if I was in Birmingham Alabama in 1963 after four little girls were blown to bits because of the color of their skin, my efforts to clean up the local swimming hole would have taken a back seat to my demands for justice. I suggest you do the same.

As a reminder this is why the actions of at least six of our police officers, and any number of city officials, is worthy of your usual scorn and attention:

  1. Our police department allowed the officers that committed this homicide to watch the video of the killing and script their report as if they were scoring a movie.
  2. It took a month and a lot of public outrage (what you call a mob) before five of the six cops were put on administrative leave.
  3. They were only put on administrative leave.
  4. After the homicide, the police proceeded to rape Kelly’s memory by pinning convenient and false charges around his crushed neck.
  5. Dick Jones is being Dick Jones.
  6. I pray this never happens, but you must know that if six homeless men were charged with beating one police officer in the same spot where Kelly Thomas cried out for his father, the tape of the “incident” would have been released to the public shortly thereafter, and the round up of all untidy pedestrians in Fullerton would have been on.

Kelly Thomas was most likely murdered for being confused. His confusion was perceived as disrespect and non compliance, and six giant dimwitted egos with clubs and badges lost control. Why does this not upset you? Why does this no longer resonate with you? Which of the following best describes the reason for your inaction?

a)       The Fox news crowd was correct about you. Too many of you liberals are, in fact, elitist. If you are asked to compost your refuse, or to donate to the library, you are on board. If, however, you are asked to stand in the sun and risk offending powerful and armed individuals that police our community, it’s best that we remain calm and wait for the authorities to get to the bottom of it.

b)       You are white and mostly affluent. The police have always called you sir and madam, and you would prefer that we sacrifice a few dingy homeless to the nightstick than have Fullerton perceived as a safe haven for the homeless.

c)       You are cowards. It’s one thing to try to regulate the actions of some jerky developers with hideous Miami Mansion dreams bouncing around in their greedy heads, but it’s another to stand in front of armed police officers and demand that they do the right thing.

d)       You falsely believe that something as horrible as this could never happen to your son or daughter

e)       And finally – no issue, apparently even police corruption and the murder of an unarmed skinny homeless man, would dare allow you, my fellow privileged Fullerton liberals, to ever be on the same side of an issue as an opportunist like Tony Bushala.

My hope is that after checking off one or more of the above, that you do a little reflecting and then come join the rest of us, of all political stripes, in front of the Police Station and in council chambers for Kelly Thomas.  You may find that demanding justice for those who normally do not have a voice is just like riding a bike.

Respectfully,

Steve Baxter
Fullerton, CA

In the past I have had very little love for FFFF,  as I feel that this blog is equal parts, reward/vendetta, as it is political advocacy.  This time, however, we are on the same side, and I greatly appreciate the continue attention that FFFF is bringing to Kelly’s Thomas’s brutal beating and murder. I am happy to stand side by side with anyone who wants those responsible for Kelly’s murder as well as the subsequent obstruction by city officials, to be held accountable. For me at least this rises above politics. In this instance I would like to say KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.

Rusty’s Flatulence

The other day FFFF noted the eerie silence of the offspring of former Fullerton activist Ralph Kennedy when it came to the bludgeoning murder of the homeless man, Kelly Thomas at the hands of the Fullerton Police Department. We cynically noted that Rusty Kennedy’s OC Human Relations Commission relies upon the goodwill of police departments to lobby County government to continue funding this useless organization. Sharon Kennedy, who continues to publish the moribund and yellowing Fullerton Observer seems to have lost her moral compass, too.

The Kennedy siblings are not important themselves except that they are representative of Old Liberalism in Fullerton, and its total disregard for the killing of a completely helpless human being by the cops.

Here is Rusty expending three minutes of verbal gas saying absolutely nothing and trying as hard as he can to avoid speaking the truth: that the Fullerton Police deliberately killed a harmless, mentally ill man. Enjoy the end where Mr. Kennedy offers the services of his impotent operation, as if the cops who committed this crime against Kelly Thomas simply needed some sensitivity training courtesy of the Human Relations Commission.

Rusty, like his Collaboratin’ pals, obviously have been bought and paid for. But I promise one thing. When Kennedy comes hat in hand to the Board of Supervisors next spring I will be there to help pull the financial plug on this worthless hypocrite.

The Dead Kennedys

We may not always have agreed with the liberal activism of Fullerton’s Ralph Kennedy, but there’s no doubt that the engineer-turned-civil-rights-activist was the real deal – a committed believer in social justice who was willing to take unpopular stands on behalf of the causes for which he advocated.

In its obituary of him in 1998, the Los Angeles Times wrote: “He was one of those rare people who saw things as they should be. He wasn’t willing to sit in his comfort while others in the world were suffering. He always felt like he needed to dig in and do something to bring about justice, to take action, to risk his own comfort in order to make things better.”

But Kennedy’s two children – Sharon Kennedy, who is publisher of the Fullerton Observer, which Ralph and his wife, Natalie, founded in the 1970s; and Rusty Kennedy, head of the Orange County Human Relations Commission, which claims to advocate for concepts similar to those advocated by the elder Kennedys – are frauds. Their actions (or inaction, really) following the brutal slaying of Kelly Thomas by Fullerton police thugs shows how they have become lapdogs for the political establishment, which is the very opposite of the behavior displayed by their Dad. Unfortunately, modern liberals usually defend government power and abuse — they don’t stand up for the poor and downtrodden any more.

The Observer has run various news stories about the Thomas killing at the hands of cops, but the stories read like articles hatched in the Fullerton PD’s press department. There is no sense of outrage and an unconscionable reliance on official explanations and official sources. (It’s as if Ralph Kennedy, known as a crusader against housing discrimination, took at face value the official government explanations of why black folks were treated as second-class citizens in the old days. “Don’t worry, folks, Gov. George Wallace and his able team of government officials will get to the bottom of it!”) The Observer, promoting the lame efforts of Rusty and his commission, runs a story that declares: “The Orange County Human Relations Commission is responding to community requests for help in the tragic beating death of Kelly Thomas. On behalf of the Commission, Rusty Kennedy endorsed the idea of an outside, independent investigation of police practices and procedures in the case and more broadly across the department. He gave City Manager Joe Felz an evaluation of Michael Gennaco for the LA County Office of Independent Review. The Commission has worked with Gennaco in hate crime cases and most recently in setting up an OIR in Orange County, which is now staffed by Stephen Connelly, one of Gennaco’s proteges.”

The Observer and Kennedy should be denouncing this brutal attack as a hate crime and staging sit-ins and other demonstrations. Instead, they are joining the official whitewash and telling us to trust these not-so-outside investigations. Connelly has not produced a single serious investigation since he became the head of the supposedly independent commission that operates basically at the behest of the Sheriff. You might as well ask Dick Jones to produce an outside investigation.

Fortunately, this blog is filling in the role that lapdog players such as the Fullerton Observer play. Fortunately, Orange County residents are starting to learn that the Human Relations Commission is a way for limousine liberals to live large on other people’s money while pretending to stand up for the principles that true liberals such as Ralph Kennedy actually stood up for.

Fullerton Observer Hacked

The last remaining Observers awoke this morning only to discover that the website of Fullerton’s favorite liberal rag had been digitally violated by rogue Internet vandals.

Several years’ worth of error-ridden editorials and retyped city press releases have been replaced with a single web page containing an indecipherable message and some horrible trance music.

The number of readers who will be affected by this outage is unknown, but private documents released by the Observer in a court last summer revealed that the Observer’s online readership is insignificant in comparison to that of its digital neighbors.

It is also unknown how much of the Fullerton Observer’s priceless archives were lost in the attack. Let’s hope SK keeps a backup.

And Now for Nothing Really Different: Yellowing Observer Bemoans Loss of Fox Block Boondoggle

Dive! Dive!

The folks who write stuff for the Fullerton Observer are either really dumb, or really….

Aw, Hell I can stop right there.

Here’s a bit from page 5 of the recent edition of the bird cage liner noting the reconstruction of the McDonald’s outlet on Chapman and noting that the Council’s failure to blow six million bucks to move it a couple hundred feet has caused the Fox Block project to go belly up and implies that somehow this put the renovation of the Fox Theater in jeopardy.

Wrong! The council finally acted responsibly last summer when they pulled the plug on an emergent disaster of their own creation. And wrong about the “renovation” bullshit, too. Notice how the Observer casually insinuates the idea of “renovation” into the “Fox Block.” Apart from the theater there is nothing to renovate, of course. But the two things were never tied together – except to manipulate the under intelligent.

The whole monstrosity was tied to the Fox Theater restoration to tap into the emotional support for that and gin up support for another downtown monstrosity of corporate welfare. Of course the crew of the S.S. Observer is devoted to the idea that keeping Redevelopment bureaucrats and parasites employed is job one, and common sense be damned.

What? I can't hear you.

Added to the unintentional high-larity is the writer’s assertion that the developer “spent hours” designing a new Mickey D’s that matched the FHS architecture. Well, he may very well have spent a few hours. The product looked like it.

Instead of bewailing the loss of a sure-fire failure, the Observer should be asking what sort of accountability is going to be demanded of the idiots who cooked up the Fox Block mess in the first place – bureaucrats and electeds, alike.

Observer Smacked Down

Nobody told us about the depth charges.

Previously we noted the Fullerton Observer’s legal maneuvering in an attempt to add itself to the city payroll. Last week we found out that Sharon Kennedy’s court filing had been met with objections by both the Orange County Register and the City of Fullerton.

The City’s objection is based on the same points we brought up a few weeks ago – namely, the Observer is not printed within the city, it is not printed weekly and it doesn’t have a bona fide list of paying subscribers as required by law. That’s three strikes for the Observer.

City of Fullerton’s Objection

The city calls into question Sharon Kennedy’s own filing, where we learn that the Observer boasts a whopping 598 paid subscribers and a monthly online distribution that rivals FFFF’s daily hits.

Next we have an objection filed by OC Register attorneys, which finds fault with the notice that Kennedy filed for her own hearing. The Register sums up the problem by saying “It is ironic that the Petitioner [Fullerton Observer] is seeking to publish important legal notices, yet cannot even publish its own Notice correctly.”

OC Register’s Objection

Kennedy pushed out her hearing to the end of July. I suspect she will drop it all together rather than suffer further embarrassment.

Bottom line: Kennedy’s dying cause here is to get the Fullerton Observer onto the city payroll. We’ve already demonstrated the paper’s inability to criticize city staff, engage in any kind of investigative journalism within city hall or participate objective reporting all while claiming that it is a legitimate newspaper. It’s hard to imagine any of these conditions improving should Kennedy’s paper wind up on the taxpayer’s dole.

Observer Seeks Credibility; and City Funding

A Friend sent in an interesting newspaper clipping this week. It looks like Sharon Kennedy is trying to obligate the city of Fullerton to pay her Observer rag for posting public notices.

Back in March the city council decided to stop paying local newspapers to print public notices in order to prevent layoffs. An obscure set of state laws deem that Fullerton has no local “newspaper of record” and thus is not required to waste money on ad space in the back of newspapers for notices that could just be posted on the Internet.

But now it appears that Kennedy is anxious to latch on to the city teat and get her hands on the $40,000 per year that the city is currently saving. She will appear before a judge next month in hopes that her wretched rag will be bestowed with some judicial legitimacy.

Unfortunately Kennedy has failed to read the very simple laws that define a newspaper of general circulation.

For one, the  paper has to be printed at least weekly. The Observer is printed bi-weekly and monthly during the summer.

Second, it has to be physically printed inside the city. The Observer is printed elsewhere.

Third, it must have “substantial distribution to paid subscribers.” The Observer is free.

And finally, the paper must have “maintained a minimum coverage of local or telegraphic news and intelligence of a general character of not less than 25 percent of its total.” We’ve said it before: most of the stuff printed in the Observer is opinion disguised as news.

If Kennedy succeeds in her wacky court case, it will force the city to pay her for publishing public notices. Perhaps the city will dispatch someone to the hearing to make sure she doesn’t get away with it.