The Bald Ambition of Ahmad Zahra

It must be real hard when you have to spend all your time brandishing you brand, especially when you’ve been in office three years and accomplished nothing. What to do? Run for higher office!

Zahra OC Register Battery
The smile betrayed an ulterior motive…

And so Fullerton’s own Ahmad Zahra is said to be setting his sights on our old friend, lackluster 4th District County Supervisor Doug Chaffee, whose accomplishments down on the County Farm are as threadbare as Zahra’s on our City Council.

Word has trickled up to our Political Snooping Unit that Zahra has been actively seeking support and endorsements for such a quixotic effort. How this will work out will remain to be seen, but it is rumored that the Democratic Party of OC isn’t real happy with Chaffee, who gives every appearance of being the abject and senile OC Board of Supervisor Chair, Andrew Do.

I can see all sorts of amusement value in this sort of thing and maybe it will come to pass. It seems like an effort designed to promote his name for the Fall 2020 Fullerton council election. Chaffee has money and can always get lot’s more from County lobbyists and other assorted bagmen. And he, like the other Supervisors abuse the law about using public money for political outreach.

Zahra, on the other hand, has no money, no job in which to earn any, and except for his few hundred social media dupes, no following. Not much hope there, but hope proverbially springs eternal.

Chaffee has accomplished as little at the County as he did on the Fullerton City Council, which is to say, nothing. But at least his record with law enforcement is more or less unimpeachable – if you don’t count helping his wife stash stolen campaign signs. Zahra has a bigger problem.

Arrested and charged with battery and vandalism in September, 2020, Zahra says the case was dropped. But a leak out of the DAs office presents the story of a guilty plea, community service and a record wiped clean and/or sealed. That last part can be disputed, but the first part is undeniable even thought the Fullerton cops and City Attorney Dick Jones have suppressed evidence of the arrest and booking – just like they did with the case of former drunk driving City Manager, Joe Felz.

Well, on the positive side one or more Democrat challengers to Chaffee’s shaky throne might induce a decent conservative (if such a creature hasn’t disappeared with the unicorns and the hippogriffs) into the mix and keep Chaffee from getting 50% of the primary vote, causing a General Election runoff.

The Quirk-Silvas Wish You Happy Holidays

Here’s a delightful season’s greeting from Fullerton power couple Sharon Quirk and Jesus Quirk-Silva.

We’re a team!

As far as these things go, it’s completely benign. Or banal. Especially compared with those tasteless cards mailed by the woman who financed the Quirk-Silva’s house, Loretta Sanchez.

Great minds think alike…

But there’s a bit of a problem here, and one I sure hope the “greeters” address.

The mailer was paid for by Ms. Quirk’s campaign committee, which is okay so far as that goes. But her husband, Jesus Quirk-Silva is the co-beneficiary of this epistle, since he too, is an elected official.

Now there’s nothing illegal about benefitting politically from your wife’s political ascendancy, unless, of course, there is fungible benefit therefrom.

And so, I hope that Mr. Quirk-Silva will be reporting this donation from his wife’s campaign coffers; and of course that the missus will be reporting the contribution.

Hansburg Says Sayonara

Kids just love to walk…

Last Wednesday, Elizabeth Hansburg quit the Fullerton Planning Commission.

FFFF has already introduced Ms. Hansburg to the Friends, noting her involvement in the drive to cover Fullerton in penitentiary-like apartment blocks. Her “non-profit” is used to provide Astroturf support for developers of huge housing projects and of course donations from said developers are always welcome.

Ms. Hansburg was also part of the shadowing clan that developed a new housing plan that almost nobody knew anything about until it was conceptually presented the the City Council. The idea was (and is) to achieve the preposterous new housing unit needs count – 13,000 -proffered by SCAG, the Southern California Association of Government – an unelected agency run by and for bureaucrats and their Big Ideas.

Well, anyhow, Hansburg has had enough. Here’s her petulant good-bye speech at the end of the meeting in which she attacks the City Council, bemoans the loss of her beloved fellow 5th Columnists in City Hall, and of course praises the contemptible camera hog and credit thief, Ahmad Zahra.

Consistently awful…

Self-righteous, indignant, know-it-all. Hansburg went out of her way to promote God-awful projects that were intrusive, obnoxious, and promised a tsunami of negative impacts on our neighborhoods including more parking disasters.

Good riddance. This is exactly the sort of person that causes regular folks to be wary of self-proclaimed “experts” and the bureaucracies they love so dearly. Now she can peddle her services to developers free from legitimate charges of conflict of interest.

The Deal

When he’s not lecturing us on ethics, Fullerton City Councilman Ahmad Zahra climbs down from his high horse to participate in all sorts of activities that don’t seem very ethical at all.

Zahra-Busted
It’s the though that counts…

We have seen how he became embroiled in a battery and vandalism case in which he had the record permanently sealed. He claims exoneration but word has escaped the DAs office that Zahra pleaded guilty, did community service had had his record expunged.

We have also seen how Zahra claimed authorship of Water District-related articles actually ghost-written by a district bureaucrat; and how he tried to leverage this pseudo-expertise to keep his well-compensated seat on that board.

Grab it and consume it as fast as you can…

Then there’s the about-face Zahra played on the suckers of Fullerton when he announced that the open seat on the Council should be decided by a vote, and then promptly voted to appoint Jan Flory to the vacancy at the behest of Jennifer Fitzgerald.

The closer you look, the worse it gets.

And that last bit is what this story is about. The deal that Zahra cut with Fitzgerald to appoint Flory and get himself appointed to the lucrative Orange County Water District Board, a board that pays stipends for all sorts of meetings and sub-committee meetings.

Check this out:

Just before Zahra was replaced on the Water Board in 2021 by Bruce Whitaker, the District paid $10,000 to “CL7” for something called a “OC Water Special Water Insert.” I don’t know what that means, but I do know that CL7 is the name of Jennifer Fitzgerald’s side biz – when she wasn’t using the City to make bank for lobbyist Curt Pringle. So what’s going on here? A little gravy slopping out of the boat, or a legitimate job for a real public service? Knowing Fitzgerald’s complete lack of ethical compass and her influence peddling, I would bet on the former. Easy enough to find out: a PRA on the work order and a sample of the work product, and maybe any correspondence regarding this contract ought to do it.

And did Zahra have a role in this little handout? Was this a little payback for getting appointed in the first place? These sorts of little deals happen in OC political/government circles all the time. It’s all just easy government cheese. Maybe Zahra will be forthcoming about what this was all about. Maybe, but don’t count on it.

Fish Farm Failure

“Tam. Smell that smell…

Some folks might think that continuing conversation about Jesus Quirk-Silva’s and Ahmad Zahra’s aquaponic farm/event center scheme would be like smacking a dead mackerel.

The train of thought was weak but it sure was short…

Well, here at FFFF we believe it’s never a bad idea to remind the public of hare-brained proposals made by bureaucrats and supported by bobble-headed politicians.

So to recap: last spring the Fullerton City Council deliberated on a scheme to create an aquaponic farm on the site of the abandoned Union Pacific Park site. The problem was that the exclusive negotiating deal was with a guy who had no financial wherewithal and proposed an event center on the site – just like he had done in Anaheim and Aliso Viejo. Staff even dredged up a last minute “partner” to sell the deal. The idea was rejected, but not for lack of trying.

And we have just received word from down south in Aliso Viejo about the negative impacts of an identical operation there, Renewable Farms, run by the same people.

Let’s hear from a MV resident to a concerned Fullerton resident:

My name is Dena LeCave and I am a resident of Aliso Viejo.  While looking into information and press on Renewable Farms I came across a story from the Fullerton Observer regarding the aforementioned.  I wish to congratulate you on terminating your contract with Renewable Farms.  As a long time resident of the city of Aliso Viejo, 20+ years, I am astonished and horrified by what our city council has allowed to happen to my community, neighborhood and particularly our quality of life since Renewable Farms started hosting wedding receptions on the vacant land behind our home.  We live less than 50 yards from the event center for Renewable Farms and they host weddings every single Saturday night and have been doing so since May.  The noise, lights, music and constant yelling goes on for 7+ hours.  
The city has done little to alleviate the problem and has instead hamstringed us by making these events private by the City, meaning we have almost no recourse in getting them to quiet down. 
I do not wish to take up your time, I’m sure you’re quite busy, but if you would like to further discuss our situation you may email me back or call me.
Thank you, and have a good day.

Sincerely,

Dena LeCave

Ms. Le Cave’s words have the ring of truth, all right, and they certainly would have applied to the proposal in Fullerton – problems that show the complete lack of concern, disdain even, that our staff shows for this neighborhood. And then of course there was the attitude shown by Quirk-Silva and Zahra about the residents who would have suffered the negative impacts of this proposal, without so much as a by-your-leave. Their current concern over public input on the park site is extremely recent and undisputedly hypocritical.

The purveyors of bad ideas were holding their own. For a while, anyway.

And of course the deal would have illegally converted a public park into a private, fenced and gated place to hold events, and incidentally an aquaponic facility, effectively giving away parkland – something our City Attorney Dick Jones just got caught approving in Westminster. Of course there was no parking, no business plan and nothing but a site plan to recommend it to the Council, so naturally Quirk-Silva and Zahra latched on to it like a couple of lamprey eels.

The Dope Lobbyist

The train of thought was weak but it sure was short…

We here at FFFF have never thought of Jesus Quirk Silva as a very bright fellow, but he seems to have learned at least one thing on the Fullerton City Council. And that lesson came courtesy of former councilwoman-for-hire, Jennifer Fitzgerald.

Gone, but not forgotten…

That lesson is simple: it’s more fun to try to peddle influence based on your elected position than it is to hold down a day job.

And so Mr. Quirk Silva has embarked on a new potential career path – away from teaching multiplication to slack-jawed pre-pubescents, and into the exiting realm of lobbying local governments.

Adan Ortega
Who knew a liquid could have so many angles…

Quirk Silva’s “employer” is Adan Ortega, of Ortega Associates, who you may remember as the desperate Fullerton MWD director who was replaced by Fred Jung, and who then tried to get appointed as a representative from the city of San Fernando.

I fully expect Quirk-Silva to attempt to follow in the footsteps of Fitzgerald, although he can barely utter a coherent sentence.

Now why does any of this matter, really? Because government ought to be about governing, not about being a bagman between special interests, other lobbyists, developers, and your colleagues on local boards and councils.

As a Fullerton Councilman, Quirk Silva doesn’t have that much juice, but he could be pulled and persuaded very easily. More importantly, his wife, Sharon Quirk Silva, is a state Assemblywoman, and as such actually does command respect for how she might be able to move something along in Sacramento.

And now back to Ortega. FFFF sources have indicated that he was attempting to break into the legalized marijuana biz here in Fullerton as a lobbyist, but got caught up in the interminable incompetence of the last city council, and the reluctance of the new council to go down the happy MJ trail. The same sources suggest that a cartel of cannabis interests from Long Beach is still very interested in reviving the issue in Fullerton.

You said it, man. Nobody fucks with the Jesus

The Jesus has been a long-time, big-time cheerleader for legalized dispensaries in Fullerton, so there are several loose strings as yet not quite tied together.

When they are, FFFF will be sure to let you know.

New County Districts Approved

In case you weren’t paying attention (and care), our beloved County Board of Supervisors approved a new district map this week.

All sorts of fun and games took place to get this little self-serving project done, and all sorts of political angles were contemplated, no doubt. Central county actually got a new district number altogether, while other districts morphed to suit the tastes of our political lords and masters. Here’s the map:

The 4th District – represented by the seemingly senile and genuinely corrupt rodent, Doug Chaffee, lost a chunk of Anaheim between Harbor and the 57 Freeway and gained the southern half of Buena Park and the garden spot known as Stanton. Here’s their City Motto:

Community Pride and Forward Vision identifies Stanton as a place where innovation and pride in the community are an important aspect of life. Residents enjoy major retail opportunities, active civic volunteers and business-friendly City organizations.

I wonder if there are going to be any legal challenges to this map. It has flaws. The idea of putting Mission Viejo in the same district as Yorba Linda seems absurd. Costa Mesa is now in District 5, but it’s a damn long haul from South Coast Plaza to the real south coast at San Clemente. Irvine is divided between districts and so are Garden Grove and Orange; Anaheim is split into 3 separate district pieces. Buena Park and Fountain Valley are reunited.

But any real legal challenge would have to come from injured “communities of interest,” which means aggrieved minority groups, mainly. District 2 looks suspiciously like a “packed” Latino enclave, but this would probably be to the liking of residents there who will finally get a non-Vietnamese-American Supervisor.

The head and the hat were a perfect fit…

In our 4th District we can be sure his minions were weighing the likelihood of potential challengers to Chaffee. There are none in either Stanton or Buena Park. Losing southeast Anaheim was no political loss.

So it remains to be seen if anybody in north Orange County is willing to take on an incumbent Democrat – no matter how vulnerable (and useless) he is.

Police Union Getting Desperate

It seems so. Fullerton’s boys in blue sent out a text the other day that looked like this:

The outright lies pile up so fast you’d need wings to stay above the bullshit. Nobody is defunding the police and nobody has suggested doing so – even with the FPDs atrocious record of incompetence, misfeasance, abuse, criminality and oh yeah, sucking up half our budget. In Fullerton the Culture of Corruption gets what it wants. Always had.

The “enough is enough” line is funny, as is the “HELP SAFE FULLERTON NOW.” Maybe the cops can get their money back from whatever idiot wrote that bit of GED illiteracy. Comedy aside, the piece is just a compilation of outright lies.

  1. Fullerton is not overwhelmed by violent crime, especially when you subtract the crime perpetrated by union members themselves.
  2. Whitaker and Dunlap have never attempted to defund the police and has never suggested such a thing. That’s far left stuff that you’d expect to hear from SIlva or more likely Zahra – wanting to appease crazy supporters.
  3. No one is suggesting “additional cuts” to public safety, which is impossible anyhow, because there haven’t been any cuts in the first place.

So what is the purpose of this nonsense? The cop union leadership has never been very bright, relying on bullying rather than strategy, although to them bullying is a strategy. What is the point attacking Whitaker and Dunlap, who aren’t up for re-election for 3 years?

They could be floating these trial balloons to see if they could instigate a recall. But Dunlap could easily beat that and Whitaker could beat it too without some sort of provocation. Or is this some sort of shot across the bow for Fred Jung, the man in the middle of recent budget wrangles? But, Jung isn’t up for re-election next year either, so that doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Maybe the cop union just wants to throw its weight around to remind people that they are still around and collecting members’ dues.