Let’s Talk About The Great High Speed Train Robbery

They always approach with a warm smile...

Down in Anaheim Cynthia Ward (aka Colony Rabble) has been trying to raise the profile of the California High Speed Rail (CHSR) project that will inevitably cut a swath out of neighborhoods as it makes its way to Curt Pringle’s Platinum Triangle Ghost Town.

In Fullerton (except for us) I’ve heard nary a word.

It’s pretty evident that this massive boondoggle was promoted to bamboozle the State’s electorate into floating another 10 billion dollars of indebtedness and to divert it into the pockets of huge engineering and public works contractors. Conservatives used to call this income redistribution. Now some of them call it jobs, jobs, jobs.

My good friend popular Mayor Curt Pringle has taught me this much...

It is telling that Repuglicans Curt Pringle and Harry Sidhu both back this massive waste, plus the unconscionable OCTA uber-subsidy for their ARTIC choo-choo stop, as does Anaheim’s own Precious Princess Lorri Galloway, a union puppet who can be expected to do anything necessary to promote expanded union membership.

But I digress, yet again. Damn. Sorry.

How come there has been almost no discussion about this monster project and its potential right-of-way through Fullerton? Buena Park has recently learned to its dismay that the HSR will either take out part of their station or dozens of newly built houses built as part of a TOD scheme. Does our City Council know something they’re not telling us?

No. We don't anticipate any big environemental issues.

So what is happening in Fullerton? There is only one available route from BP to Anaheim, of course, and it will have to follow the BNSF/old UP rights-of-way. What will this mean to property owners and businesses in the way? What sort of traffic disruptions will this cause over the major north-south streets over the years? Aren’t we entitled to know?

At the January NUFF forum Shawn Nelson came out against the HSR; but what of the other councilmembers? Isn’t it time for a public hearing on this topic if, indeed anybody in City Hall is serious about transparency?

Shawn? Sharon? Pam? Dick? Don? Is there something you’d like to share with us? Why not agendize this issue. Now. Let’s have at it out in the open.

And maybe this should be a campaign issue for the fall. And maybe we need somebody on the OCTA like Nelson who is not going to just go along with Pringle.

P.S. For some fun watch this CNN video that is really little more than an infomercial for HSR: what a sweet deal for the tiny percentage of California’s 40 million people who just have to get between LA and SF in a hurry (they won’t, of course).

Try not to giggle at Pringle’s performance, if you can.

Diane Harkey Tries To Drive Spike Through Heart of High Speed Rail Boondoggle

You go, girl...

I’ve never heard much good about Diane Harkey, the State Assemblywoman from, um, down there somewhere.

But that changed dramatically when a Friend of mine and a devout High Speed Rail opponent sent me a link to a  San Mateo County Times story that talks about Harkey’s attempt to kill the bond sale to raise $9.5 billion dollars and start putting it into the greasy palms of Curt Pringle and Harry Sidhu’s backroom buddies.

It seems Ms. Harkey thinks it’s a poor idea for the State to take on more debt given its current catatonic fiscal condition. And maybe she’s come to the realization that “jobs, jobs, jobs” at the cost of billions more indebtedness is not a conservative recipe for success. So she’s introducing legislation to stop the the floating o’ the bond (ambiguous St. Pat’s Day reference).

And I say good for her!

And I also say it’s time for Fullerton politicians and residents to figure out what the alignment impacts will have on Fullerton and how much that’ll cost us.

Transportation Boondoggles Belie Sidhu’s Self-applied Stick-on Labels

It's all about #1, baby!

“Tough-minded advocate for streamlined efficient government.”

That’s how 4th District Supervisor candidate Harry Sidhu describes himself in that dopey Fullerton News Tribune ad he bought last week. We also read that Sidhu claims to have “fought to eliminate excessive and wasteful government spending.”

No examples, of course, to support the statements; evidently we are expected to accept Harry’s word for it.

But let’s make a quick visit to Sidhu’s campaign webiste. Under the “Transportation” issue heading we discover stuff all dressed up to look like an accomplishment that in reality gives the lie to Harry’s claim to be anything but an irresponsible public spendthrift.

Turns out Sidhu is a big cheerleader for the California High Speed Rail scam, a boondoggle on which hundreds of millions have already been squandered in “studies,” and with a gargantuan $50 billion price tag that ridership will never pay for. And of course he beats the drum for the jaw-droppingly expensive ARTIC plan in Anaheim, presumably hoping that if you build the southern terminus of the HSR a choo choo will have to show up sooner or later. A trip to the ARTIC website “benefits” page makes things crystal clear: $180,000,000 (yes, Friends you read that right) for a make-work government jobs program – mostly paid for with Measure M funds that everybody in the County has to pay through sales tax. Hardly the behavior of a fiscal conservative, is it?

Our Friends in Anaheim tell us that Sidhu is all gung-ho for this titanic fiasco to grease his relationship with outgoing Mayor Curt Pringle, who is neck deep in the HSR rip-off and who is looking for a soft place to land.

Pringle on his knees again...

Pringle, not coincidentally, is supporting Sidhu’s carpetbagging run for Supervisor (he supported Ackerwoman, too) and has been raising money for him. Symbiosis. And we get stuck holding the empty sack. Typical.

Sidhu is “tough-minded” about one thing: perpetually running for political office. On matters involving our tax dollars he’s about as tough as a mildewed marshmallow.

The John Lewis Virus Rampant. Have You been Vaccinated?

They really don't like it when you shine the light on 'em.

During the fall we had a lot of fun attacking the “Repuglicans,” local members of the Republican establishment who have made it their goal to milk a political system over which their party has control, and milk it for all it’s worth. The County of Orange is a Repuglican plantation, and we are all just pickin’ cotton for them.

Naturally we provided helpful definititons and illustrations of the breed, including such luminaries as Dick Ackerman, Scott Baugh, Tom Fuentes, and of course, Anaheims’s own, Kurt Pringle. If there’s a nickel on the table these fellas will go for it, and go for it hard.

That's mine!

The arrogance and hypocrisy of “small gummint” ‘pugs – of all shapes and sizes – making a living off of big government (and the bigger the size o’ government the better the living) is something rarely discussed at GOP Central Committee meetings, out of which the ‘pugs operate their rackets.

The Ethics Committee meets...

One name we haven’t spent a lot of time on (although we did last spring) is former State Senator John Lewis. Mr. Lewis is a campaign consultant. He is also a lobbyist at the County Hall of Administration. Gee, that’s very convenient. Get ’em elected, then lobby ’em for your clients. What an operation!

Lewis is currently in the process of losing one of his bonus boys on the County Board of Supervisors. 4th District Supervisor Chris Norby is moving on after seven fruitful years; and a couple years after that his other boy Bill Campbell will be gone too.

We've always been there for each other...

So Lewis needs a new boy, a tool, a yes vote on the Board and a friend behind the 3rd Floor scenes,  ASAP. And Democrat Tom Daly is his new object of affection in what can be described as a  symbiotic love affair. Just goes to show how shallow and useless are the “conservative” principles spouted by ‘pugs like Lewis and his altar boy Matthew J. Cunningham, who has wasted so much of our time with his many dodges and pirouettes around the basic fact.

(Interestingly Cunningham was making his usual  avoid-the-subject-change-the-topic comments here on some issue or other, until one commenter suggested that perhaps his own wife had been offered a job in a future Daly administration. We’re looking into that one!)

For the Repuglicans  there is no principle that can’t be bent way out of shape in the pursuit of business or political success – just look at Ackerman’s budget deals, or Ed Royce’s continued support of worthless RINO candidates on the Fullerton City Council. And now Lewis supports Daly “out of loyalty,” we are supposed to believe. Heya, John howzabout some loyalty to the the principles your party is supposed to stand for? Oh. Yeah. That’s right. Sorry.

This may pinch a little...

Well, we can’t fix the world. We can’t even fix Orange County. But we can, and will spend a lot of time talking about John Lewis and Tom Daly in the next five months, or until Daly pulls the  plug on his own campaign.

A Blast From The Past?

We got a hold of an invite to a Harry Sidhu for 4th District Supervisor campaign event. It’s hosted by Curt Pringle and it will cost its well-heeled attendees $500 bucks a pop. Here’s the text:

Dear Supporter:  I have had the great pleasure to work with Harry Sidhu on the Anaheim City Council over the past five years.    As you may know, Harry is planning a run for the 4thDistrict Supervisorial seat.   I am supporting Harry for that election.   Even though these are difficult times, I would very much appreciate if you could support Harry at his upcoming fundraiser at the Anaheim White House, on December 16 at 11:30 AM.    Your participation would mean a lot.  The event charge is $500 per person.   Please consider attending and let me know at your earliest convenience.



 Mayor Curt Pringle


Luncheon Host Committee

George Adams – Adrian Foley – Dr.Howard & Linda Knohl  Pat Mahoney – Jerry Zomorodian – Sandy Day – Ajit Mithwalia John Thomas –Ajesh Patel – Bill Taormina –  Larry Lake Todd Ament –Virg Narbutas – Bill O’Connell –  Hamilton Brewart Derral McGinnis –  Ken Ryan –  CB Nanda  

Cordially invite you to a special fundraising event honoring COUNCILMAN HARRY SIDHU

Republican Candidate ~ Orange County Supervisor, 4th District        

We have already addressed Pringle’s arachnid qualities, so we’ll let that go for now. Of keen interest to Fullertonians will be the name of one of Harry’s benefactors: “Ajit Mithwalia.” Could that really be Ajit Mithaiwala? The Ajit Mithaiwala?

Fort Mithawalla
Fort Mithaiwala

Last spring we detailed the long, sad, and disastrous story of the Fullerton “City Lights” SRO project (two installments of which are here, and here);  a project in which LA developer Ajit Mithaiwala figured prominently, both as the Plan B developer dredged up by Redevelopment director to save the fiasco; as the man who threatened to sue the City for make believe breach of contract; and who then took several years to finish his project.

What Mithaiwala has been doing for the past 10 years is anybody’s guess, but the fact that he might be popping up now is pretty interesting. The fact that he originally received a million bucks from the County for his project and might now be dabbling in County politics is interesting, to say the least.

Of course we could be wrong. Maybe this is just some guy named “Mithwalia.”

What Makes Curt Pringle Tick?

I suck 'em dry and then fall off...
I suck 'em dry and then fall off...

We hear that Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle is raising money for Harry Sidhu’s putative bid for the 4th Supervisorial seat next year. Pringle deals with Sidhu on the Anaheim City Council, and Harry’s an okay guy, and at least he, like Pringle, is a Republican. But goddam it Pringle, Sidhu does not live in our district. He lives in the “Elegant Yorba Estate” that, unfortunately for him, is located in the 3rd District!

Who cares about them? What's in it for me?
A is for Anything I can get my greasy mitts on...

Let’s not forget that Pringle also endorsed the candidate with the phony residency in the 72nd AD election – Linda Ackerman, whose entire campaign was one fraudulence heaped on top of another. So what gives? Does basic honesty count for anything among our electeds?

Guys like Pringle and John Lewis are obviously into politics for what they can get out of it personally. Like Lewis, Pringle is a lobbyist, making his living off of all the contacts made during his days in the Legislature, and by making calls to people that he has helped. And that makes him just as big a government parasite as any government union worker.

The Ackerwoman for Assembly Hall of Shame

On another thread Fullerton School Board member and seemingly clueless Ackerwoman supporter, Minard Duncan, popped up like a milk weed to question our apparent dislike of his fellow Ackerwoman cheerleader Mimi Walters.

This jump started an earlier idea to publish the names of all the lackeys, stooges and repuglicans who signed onto Ackerman Inc.’s Big Lie Tour of 2009.

This is a list of the elected officials that decided their best interests lay in the endorsement of Linda Ackerman for the 72nd Assembly District. Enjoy the asinine quotations at the bottom of the page and be sure to pick out your favorites on the list for special attention. We have helpfully highlighted in red the names of politicians in whose elections Fullerton voters will get to participate.

I supported Linda, a great American...
Members of Congress
  • Congressman Ed Royce
  • Congressman Dana Rohrabacher
  • Former Congressman Bill Dannemeyer

Statewide Elected Officials

  • BOE Member Bill Leonard
  • Former State Secretary of Education and Mayor of Los Angeles Richard Riordan

State Senators

  • Senate Republican Leader Dennis Hollingsworth
  • Former Senate Republican Leader Jim Brulte
  • Former Senate Republican Leader Dick Ackerman
  • Former Senator Marian Bergeson
  • Senator Mark Wyland
  • Senator Mimi Walters
  • Senator Bob Huff
  • Senator Bob Dutton
  • Senator George Runner
  • Senator Sam Aanestad 
  • Senator John Benoit 
  • Senator Abel Maldonado
  • Senator Dave Cox

State Assemblymembers

  • Former Assembly Republican Leader Mike Villines
  • Assemblyman Jim Silva
  • Assemblyman Joel Anderson
  • Assemblyman Ted Gaines
  • Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher
  • Assemblywoman Diane Harkey
  • Former Assemblywoman Lynn Daucher
  • Former Assemblywoman Sharon Runner
  • Former Assemblyman Tom Bordonaro
  • Former Assemblyman Openmike Duval
  • Former Assemblywoman Marilyn Brewer

Orange County

  • Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens
  • Orange County Supervisor Pat Bates
  • Orange County Supervisor Bill Campbell
  • Orange County Supervisor Janet Ngyuen
  • Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas
  • Former Orange County Supervisor Cynthia Coad


  • Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle


  • Fullerton Mayor Don Bankhead
  • Fullerton Councilmember Dick Jones
  • Former Mayor of Fullerton Buck Catlin
  • Former Mayor Leland Wilson
  • Former Mayor Peter Godfry
  • Former Mayor of Fullerton Jerry Christie
  • Former Mayor of Fullerton Linda LeQuire
  • Former Fullerton Police Chief Pat McKinley


  • Former Placentia Mayor Scott Brady
  • Placentia Councilmember Jeremy Yamaguchi


  • City of Orange Mayor Carolyn Cavecche
  • City of Orange Councilmember Mark Murphy
  • City of Orange Councilmember Jon Dumitru

Yorba Linda

  • Yorba Linda Mayor Mark Schwing
  • Yorba Linda Councilmember Jim Winder

Villa Park

  • Villa Park Mayor Pro Tem Bill Mac Aloney


  • Brea Mayor John Beauman
  • Brea Councilmember Roy Moore

La Habra

  • La Habra Councilmember James Gomez
  • La Habra Councilmember Steve Simonian
  • Former La Habra Mayor Juan Garcia
  • Former La Habra City Councilmember John Holmberg

Elected Leaders

  • Tustin Mayor Doug Davert
  • Tustin Mayor Pro Tem Jerry Amante
  • Laguna Hills Mayor Joel Lautenschleger
  • City of Covina Mayor Walt Allen
  • Newport Beach City Councilmember Steven Rosansky
  • Capistrano Unified School District Trustee, Anna Bryson
  • Fullerton School District Trustees Maynard Duncan, Ellan Ballard, Hilda Sugarman, Lynn Thornly.

“Having called North Orange County her home for over 30 years, Linda is by far the most experienced and effective candidate for Assembly. She is a respected leader who will restore dignity to the office while fighting for Orange County values.”- Former Assemblywoman Lynn Daucher

“Linda has been a steadfast conservative leader in Orange County for many years. She will be ready to lead on the important budget issues facing the region and the state on day one.”- Assemblywoman Diane Harkey

“I am proud to stand by Linda in her campaign to promote conservative leadership and higher standards to the California State Assembly.”

– State Senator Mimi Walters.

“Linda Ackerman is an experienced leader who has proven her dedication to the community time and time again, I am proud to support her campaign for State Assembly because I know she will be ready to lead on the issues our state faces on day one after being elected.”- Senator Bob Huff

“Linda Ackerman has always done what is right for the sake of the community, not political gain. She is a proven leader who will help solve California’s budget crisis and bring Orange County values to the State Assembly.”- City of Orange Mayor Carolyn Cavecche

“Linda Ackerman is an experienced businesswoman and community leader who I trust to help balance the budget and rein in out of control spending in Sacramento. North Orange County needs Linda in the Assembly fighting for real budget reform.” – Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle

“We need an experienced leader who will fight for North Orange County. That’s why I’m supporting Linda Ackerman for State Assembly,” Fullerton Mayor Don Bankhead

“When it comes to the safety of our children, Linda Ackerman will never back down.”- Former Fullerton Police Chief Pat McKinley

“I wholeheartedly endorse Linda in her campaign for Assembly. As a businesswoman and community philanthropist she has been an active leader in North Orange County and is by far the best person to represent us in the Assembly” -Yorba Linda Mayor Mark Schwing

Paid For by Ackerman for Assembly 2009, FPPC ID #1321372

Geez, We Left Out the Biggest One!

The other day this blog ran a post on the meaning of Repuglicanism, and shared some honest-to-goodness examples. But we left out one of the biggest: Anaheim’s own Mayor, Curt Pringle. Pringle has been using his political contacts and trading on his position for years as a Sacramento lobbyist and string puller.

What comes after A?
What comes after A?

In case there was any doubt of Pringle’s status as a ‘Pug, the Ackerman campaign today crowed about getting Pringle’s endorsement for her carpetbagging run for the open 72nd Assembly seat. Well that figures. As a ‘Pug, Pringle is basically in it for what he can get out of it, and the constituents be damned. So what if the candidate lives in Irvine? Pringle can afford to be fast and loose with his endorsement, for what it’s worth. The 72nd includes only a small part of Anaheim. And he’s termed out of office next year.

Why do all the lobbyists flock to Mrs. Ackerman?

Milking The Cash Cow; John Lewis et. al. and The Politics of Profit

Oh, jeez, here he comes again...
Oh, jeez, here he comes again...

Why is it so many supposedly conservative, small-government OC Republicans seem to make it their business to make as much money as they can off of the very entities that they are constantly railing against? For many of these miscreants the County government is nothing but a plantation to be worked, and worked over, as often as possible.

Take the case of former State Senator John Lewis, supposed arch-conservative Republican, who as a campaign consultant gets his boys elected and then as a lobbyist raises money for them – right before he puts the squeeze on them for a vote or two. His “firm” brags about being able to navigate the complex maze of government. Hmm. Seems like it’s to his advantage to keep government as big, complicated, and non-user friendly as possible. The list of other Republicans -like Anaheim mayor Curt Pringle, County GOP party Chairman Scott Baugh and his predecessor Tom Fuentes, who lobby this or that – is pretty long. We’ve even heard from one reliable source that the latter’s endorsement can be had – for 2500 bucks.

But back to Lewis. His most recent Lewis scam seems to be the utterly bizarre candidacy of one Laura Cunningham for the County Clerk job – as reported by Lewis himself on the Orange Juice blog here. We say bizarre because this idea is so weird that it barely deserves consideration. Except that what the hell, somebody’s got to win this election! Ms. Cunningham is the spouse of Matt Cunningham, a Lewis protege and collaborator; according to her on-line resume she also used to work for Lewis himself as a lobbyist at the County Hall of Admin – so the promotion of this “candidacy” makes sense. But this woman seemingly has no experience or record managing anything. Like her husband, she seems to have spent an adulthood spinning yarns for this or that Republican politician, or trying to help some clients “navigate” some public issue or other (i.e lobbying and PR); running a public agency? Nuh, uh.

Can't these people get real jobs?

Lewis may be afraid that his boy Tom Daly is getting cold feet about running to replace Chris Norby as Supervisor and wants him to nail his colors to the mast by endorsing a potential successor. Ultimately Lewis has nothing to lose by promoting an unqualified unknown. Who knows? Maybe the whole thing is just a ploy. On the other hand maybe Lewis figures this could be the start of a brilliant new political career – and ultimately a lobbying target in the future!

P.S. The funny thing about all of this is that everybody seems to be forgetting about Chris Norby who until a few days ago was also running for the Clerk job. If he gets beat by Ackerman in the 72nd Assy primary in November will he re-train his sights on preserving our vital records at the County Clerk’s office? And what would Lewis do at that point?