Don’t feel so bad. The consultants, lobbyists, con men, and other assorted rip-off artists are pushing the multi-billion high speed rail in other places, too. Here’s an article from the Fresno Bee that tells all about how the local gentry are trying to grab their share of the HSR gravy that they think will be a big deal for the raisin capital of the state.
The common denominator, of course, is Anaheim’s termed-out Mayor-For-Hire, the irrepressible Curt Pringle who figures to make big bucks as a “consultant” for this boondoggle when his days as a conflicted politician are over. The Fresno crowd wined and dined hizzoner and he was clearly impressed with the show of unanimity – much more than he’s getting down south these days. He even promised them a 2012 start for the project.
Come December Pringle will be out of office, and will no longer be able to pull the strings at OCTA either, although it sure looks like he’s getting his ducks in a row, puppet-wise there and at Anaheim’s City Hall.
In a comprehensive indictment of the High Speed Rail Authority’s procedures and protocols, and its abilities to manage and oversee spending public bond revenue, the California State Auditor has taken a considerable step in derailing the proposed boondoggle. Read the highlights for yourself.
Although this doesn’t tell us anything we didn’t suspect, it does confirm the worst suspicions about poor planning and lax or non-existent oversight, and raises the worst spectre of all: a worthless, duplicative, hyper-expensive and disruptive system – a mere leg – say from Anaheim to downtown Los Angeles.
Tonight Pringle’s PR consultants are coming to town, not to ask our opinion about anything, rest assured. Rather they are coming to soft sell what’s already been decided. But there’s no reason why we can’t go and share our opinions, and maybe even ask Mayor Bankhead (who’s bound to be there) how come he stood up a couple years ago and told people that the City of Fullerton supports this disaster in the making.
They’re going to be at the Senior Center from 5-8 with a propaganda presentation at 6pm.
Okay. We know there’s a lot of money in lobbying. That’s why lobbyists contribute so much to political campaigns – to influence legislation and win government contracts for their clients.
But who knew there was so much taxpayer gravy to be slurped up in and around opaque local government districts? The other day we looked at Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle’s massive windfall lobbying for the little-known OC Children and Families Commission, here. But Pringle has not only scored big bucks lobbying for the Heathy Kids Bureaucracy, he’s also made some serious green lobbying for the dead!
Yep. That’s right. In 2008 Pringle was awarded a $6000 per month annual contract to find new burial grounds for something called “The OC Cemetery District” and to do some sort of educational outreach to the community. He was also supposed to be some sort of “consultant” on developing the existing Lake Forest bone yard. You read right. $6000 per month is $72,000 per year. With a $25,000 bonus if he actually managed to accomplish something.
According to the General Manager of the Cemetery District, Tim Deutsch, the contract was extended to cover the balance of fiscal year 2009-2010, so presumably Pringle failed to deliver in year one, and was naturally rewarded with a contract extension.
So we have several problems as far as I can see: one is a pretty vague contract with completely disparate elements, awarded without any sort of competition; and then there’s the amount – what seems to be an exorbitant sum of money with no guarantees of actually accomplishing anything; and finally, there seems to be a lack of any sort of quality control or financial oversight in the management of this District.
It’s pretty obvious that the District has more money than it knows what to do with. But the real question is: why didn’t they simply engage a commercial realtor to find them more land – at zero cost? And while we’re contemplating embarrassing questions, what qualifies Pringle’s PR shop as a cemetery planner or a cemetery entitlements developer? Isn’t that what the District pays it’s general manager to do?
And finally, why on Earth does the Cemetery District need anybody to do community outreach? Isn’t that why the phone book has the Yellow Pages?
This time it’s a story by the LA Times featuring former OCTA boss Art Leahy and others questioning the dedicated tracks, the impacts, and of course some of the basic operating assumptions of the California HSR.
Meantime we’re not holding our collective breath for the release of Curt Pringle’s “business plan” that seems to be at least 5 years late.
By now all the Friends know that our former Mayor-for-Hire, Jennifer Fitzgerald, has crammed all the loot she could stuff into her bags and is hightailing it for a state that has no extradition treaty. But her name still resonates, of course – a symbol of government treasury looting.
Well, here’s something interesting- a FitzySpark story that has several layers, each one suggestive of fraud.
For the past several years Fitzgerald reveled in the title of “Vice President” of Curt Pringle and Associates, an elevated title that suggests she was a valuable employee. But was she?
Here’s a snap from a report showing that Fitzgerald received a little government stimulus cheese to help out “payroll” for her little influence peddling operation “CL& Communications.”
Hmm. So she’s working for Pringle for years and yet collecting PPO money? And of course her little one man show has been around a lot longer than 2 years or less. In fact, here is some helpful corporate info on Fitzy’s biz:
Please notice that CL7 Communications has been around since 2009. Has the government been defrauded? I don’t know. You could try asking Dick Jones. Notice also that this business continued to exist through the years when Fitzgerald was supposed to be an officer of Curt Pringle Associates.
Now for more fun, kindly observe:
Well at least Pringle’s been around longer than two years so there’s a rare bit of honesty from the greasiest lobbyist in Orange County. He got $175,000, also for “payroll” and one wonders if that included 1099 payments to Jennifer Fitzgerald, who gives every indication of not being a Pringle employee at all, but rather a contractor. And if that’s true, Pringle and Fitzgerald have violated California employment labor law and the Federal tax Code. See, the IRS wants employers to pay for stuff like Social Security and Medicare through withholding; and the State wants to make sure employees are not being exploited, and that Worker’s Comp insurance is in place by the business.
Now I don’t know that SparkyFitz wasn’t a real employee of Pringle; and I don’t know if Pringle was faking it to dodge paying taxes. But something smells here, and it isn’t overripe government cheese.
Hmm. Former Fullerton Councilcreature for Hire, Jennifer Fitzgerald, may be getting out of Dodge. Word out and about is that Jennifer Fitzgerald wants to move. Out of Fullerton? I don’t know.
I’m sure not complaining about it, I’m hardly even wondering why.
During Jen’s 8-year career driving Fullerton to the precipice of insolvency and immanent infrastructure collapse, she made it pretty clear that she was in it for whatever she could get out of it for herself, her campaign supporters and her boss, lobbyist Curt Pringle. Her last, desperate flail at influence peddling occurred in last fall’s election when her puppet candidate, Andrew Cho, dredged from the obscure depths of anonymity, was defeated by Fred Jung,
Now there are only two candidates willing to be “influenced” Fitzgerald: Jesus Quirk Silva and Ahmad Zahra. And the latter may soon have his legal troubles advertised for his constituents to peruse.
So maybe Fitzy figures it’s time to abandon the smoking wreckage she masterminded courtesy of two utterly incompetent but willing co-conspirators – Joe Felz and Ken Domer.
When FFFF first introduced Andrew Cho to the Friends we noted that his list of “endorsers” was a veritable rogues’ gallery of political crooks, swindlers and liars. And now the collection is complete:
It is right and proper that the Cho, the hapless stooge of outgoing Mayor-for-Hire Jennifer Fitzgerald should have the backing of “Democrat” Doug “Bud” Chaffee, the senile and incompetent clown who let Fullerton go to Hell even as he bought himself a job at the County. It’s also perfectly predictable. Lobbyist Curt Pringle, who employs Fitzgerald is a big fundraiser for Chaffee, obviously expecting favors in return. This is one of them.
And let’s never forget Chaffee’s better half Paulette Marshall, whose well-documented political hijinks and actual crimes, must have been well-known to hubby.
But the recommendation that bankruptcy lawyer Cho’s record in “financial recovery” is somehow an asset should cause even the dimmest wit to ponder Fullerton’s future with Cho on the council dais.
Some recent commenters on our humble blog have wondered aloud who outgoing Mayor-for-Hire, Jennifer Fitzgerald was going to pick to be her choice for successor. Now we know.
Today a Friend forwarded some sort of statement (an English version) from a fellow by the name of Andrew Cho. Who is this person? Nobody I’ve asked today has ever heard of the guy; but, one thing is certain: he was chosen to be a reliable vote for all the things the Curt Pringle lobbyist Fitzgerald holds near and dear. I’d rather not slam the guy right out of the chute, but, hell, just look at who this mysterious person reports as his endorsers.
First, of course is the utterly unspeakable Fitzgerald.
If that weren’t bad enough, number two (and I really mean number two), the completely corrupt Dick Ackerman whose record running a fake non-profit to pay his wife, creating a fake address so she could run for the legislature in our district, and illegally participating as a lobbyist to promote the 2008 OC Fair swindle, have been well-documented on these pages.
Next we discover Ling Ling Chang, our current State Senator who originally ran for office pretending to own a business and attending Harvard. Both were lies, but that mendacity didn’t seem to put a dent in her armor of shamelessness.
Then there’s the support of Young Kim, the bubbleheaded perpetual candidate and her slimy husband Charles, who foisted the incomprehhensible nitwit Julie Sa on Fullerton way back in 1992.
Of course poor Cho must not have a clue that these endorsements will do a lot more harm than good, and if he doesn’t yet, he soon will.
We’re all used to politicians who can lie on demand. Then there’s our own councilcreature/lobbyist Jennifer Fitzgerald who has turned lying into a virtual cottage industry. Here’s a repost from 2017 telling a story that I promise is going to haunt our ethically devoid Mayor come election time, this fall.
She probably hopes that Fullerton citizen have either forgotten or are unaware of this issue. If either is the case, some of us will work to rectify that.
In March of this year our lobbyist-council person Jennifer Fitzgerald began to receive the typical council pay check, plus 100 bucks a month to not enroll in the City’s health insurance plan.
“So what?” you may be saying to yourself. Well, here’s the problem. In her self-promotion for political office in 2012 Fitzgerald got way up on her high horse about refusing compensation for “public service.” She even made a promise!
And that’s not all. Enjoy this lecture on the high moral ground Fitzgerald stakes out for herself in 2013. She made a big deal about her refusing compensation when she first joined the council. Could the moralizing get any thicker?
Between 2013 and now a lot has changed for Ms. Fitzgerald, most notably a vice presidency at Curt Pringle and Associates, the notorious lobby shop where no public asset is too valuable for cheap disposal. It may very well be that Fitzgerald now has a completely different attitude toward “public service” than she did five years ago.
Riddle: what’s worse, an endorsement by a greasy political bagwoman, or the endorsing of a perjurer, a confessed thief, and a desperate office-seeker?
I don’t know, and I don’t need to.
Here is our lobbyist mayor, the ethically challenged Jennifer Fitzgerald endorsing the equally unspeakable Paulette Marshall to her fellow female Republican cohorts.
Whoa! What’s this? Endorsing a non-Republican?
There are two things we may discern from this cozy relationship. The first is that Fitzgerald thinks she can get her scuzzy self re-elected without local party help, and second, more importantly, Curt Pringle, for whom Fitzgerald plies her wares, is betting the farm on the Chaffee Crime Family.