Fart Boy Demonstrating Symptoms Of Methane Intoxication

Methane levels reaching dangerous levels...
Warning: methane levels reaching dangerous levels...

UPDATE: 10/15/09 8:00 am.


Orange County’s own original Fart Boy, Matthew Cunningham may be a poster child for the dangers of methane inhalation. Of course we speak figuratively. As an all around sycophant he has to do a lot of sniffing and smiling, and it can’t be easy. He has finally come across a situation where he can’t compliment everyone in the room for their aroma at the same time.

One of our readers alerted us that today he put up a post about the nasty little sexual harassment hit piece on Chris Norby that his other friends, the Ackermans, let fly through the mail. His bland description of this toxic waste is clearly meant to both disassociate himself from it, and yet avoid criticizing it. He can’t quite seem to screw up the courage to share the facts of the case. So there’s no critique, explaining the fact that the claimant was fired by the County for misfeasance and that no charges were leveled against Norby until after she was fired; no recognition that the the jury foreman claimed after the trial that Norby hadn’t really done anything wrong; and no observation that the nuisance suit was reversed on appeal.

Cunningham has often referred to his “friendship” with Chris Norby. Well here we can see the value of that friendship. It’s obviously not worth incurring the anger of Dick Ackerman, even over a piece of slime that’s low – even for him. Yes, we knew it was coming. But that doesn’t excuse it. Cunningham was probably hoping the excrement would be tossed not by the Ackermans themselves, but rather by a surrogate. Well, too bad. It wasn’t. It has Ackerman’s name on the back. His other “friends.”

And what is really revealing in all of this is that other than this one slime the Ackerman campaign has nothing. Zero. But you’ll never hear that from Fart Boy. What a friend.

FFFF Surveillance Team Strikes Again

To some folks it's just an ordinary van...
To some folks it's just an ordinary van...

Yes, Friends, our Mobile Surveillance squad is ever vigilant. This time they tapped into another Dick Ackerman phone conversation, this time with none other than Matthew Cunningham, all-purpose GOP fawner and current dilemma possessor: with John Lewis working for Chris Norby and Dick Ackerman working for Dick’s wife, poor Matthew has to tread a fine line. In his efforts to offend nobody he may very well up offending both sides as a brutal showdown looms.

The following is a possible transcript of the phone conversation. You may believe it or not, depending on how gullible you are.


Cunningham: Hello, Pacific Strategies…

Ackerman: (snorting sound) Cunningham, Dick Ackerman here.

C: Well, hello Senator. How was Linda’s fundraising party in Sacramento the other…

A: Forget about that. (snorting sounds) I’ve got a problem and you need to help me. That SOB Norby’s got Bushala and that blog of his attacking my wife.

C: Yes, I know. That Bushala is so fringe. He’s really a lunatic.

A: (growling sound) Shut up and listen. You need to write a blog attacking those FFFF sonsofbitches, you got that?

C: Well, sure. It’ll be my pleasure! I owe that Bushala good. He called me Fart Boy-

A: Heh. heh-heh. Fart Boy. That’s pretty good (multiple snorting and grunting sounds) Good, get on it now. They’re trying to make Linda look bad, like a carpetbager.

C: Don’t worry about that Senator. We’re going to bury that issue. Nobody cares where you live.

A: (a faint snarling sound) We live in Fullerton you little rat, and don’t forget it!

C: Yes, yes, of course. You’re sharing a house with that doctor.

A: (a distinct snarling sound) Who told you that?

C: (barely audible) I dunno, Sir. Guess I picked it up somewhere.

A: You heard it from Lewis. I’ll get him later. Now it’s its that bastard Norby’s turn (more snarls). By the way why haven’t you written anything bad about him?

C: Well, Senator, you see he and Linda are both my good friends and…

A: (multiple low growl sounds) Cut the crap Cunningham. Norby doesn’t have any friends. You’d better fly right, boy, or you’re gonna be real sorry. And what’s this horseshit about your wife running for that Clerk job? I’ve already endorsed someone, goddam it! Nugent. Nuggie (snorting sounds). Something like that.

C: Um…you see…that is…

A: More bullshit from Lewis! Okay. Side up, kid. Decide whose team you’re on. And prove it by writing one of those blog things you do. Hit ’em hard.

C: Yes, Sir! By the way if your car needs washing or if you’ve got cleanning to pick up I’ll be happy to take…

(sound of Ackerman hanging up)

At this point we lost contact with the participants in the conversation.

Postcard from The Edge

Things smell better in the middle
Things always smell better near the middle

One of OCs most prominent political lackeys, John Lewis gofer Matt Cunningham, tried to insult us yesterday by referring to us as the “Fringe For Fullerton’s Future.” Of course he has good reason to dislike us since we were the ones to stick the Fart Boy tag on him – in reference to his general toadying to establishment power structures – wherever they may be found. And we’re happy he is following our blog.

To an individual like Cunningham we appear fringe. And you know what? He’s right!

We avoid the dead political center where everybody peddles his or her ass as hard as they can for some putrid little favor or advancement. We avoid the amorphous mass that always seems to create moist pockets of rank air where the consultant/lobbyist types can burrow in and find a home; where carpetbaggers that you happen to like, or fear, can get a wink and a free pass; where being conservative only means what is typed on a party membership card; where drones like the above mentioned Cunningham are held in anything except contempt for the shills they are; where right and left are just different labels for alternating groups of organized crime rings who treat government like their own private plantation and who are perfectly happy to rob their constituents with the stroke of a pen.

It wasn’t us fringers that brought forth Mike Duvall. Or who protected Mike Carona all those years.

It's nice and well-upholstered here in the center!

We are fringe! And we feel pretty damn good about it. It means we are free from the servility and stoogery that keeps a loud-mouthed imbecile like Dick Jones in office year after year; free from the petty self-interest that supports brain-dead ideas foisted on the populace by an incompetent Redevelopment bureaucracy; free from the fear that governs the other 50% of lackeydom.

Well, hell, there's no profit on the edge!
Well, hell, there's no profit on the edge!

It’s sort of like swimming in the deep end of the pool. While the Cunninghams of the world dogpaddle around the shallow end in their waterwings and pretend to be fighting big naval battles at sea, we’re actually taking on a real power structure even though it may only be from out here on the fringe. We do it because that’s where the real fun is. And maybe even the best future.

I'm a big boy now!
I'm a big boy now!

Yes we are the Fringe For Fullerton’s Future. Bring it on, ring-kissers and lackeys!


Shhh! it's a secret!
Shhh! it's a secret!

Earlier today we shared an amusing youtube clip fashioned by none other than Jon Fleishman, OCs most notorious GOP boot lick (if you don’t count Jerbal Cunningham). In it he visits the Ackerman Family McMansion within a “secret gated community” in Irvine. Irvine?! A few hours later that clip was removed from public access. Gee, we sure wonder why!

Mrs. Ackerman wants to be OUR elected representative in Sacramento. And she lives in Irvine? Well, clearly the Ackerman clan is going to have to dummy up a fake residence somewhere in the 72nd Assembly District so that the missus can qualify to run for office.

Heh-heh. I'll be back in Irvine by Thanksgiving.
Heh-heh. I'll be back in Irvine by Thanksgiving.

But really, what kind of a decent candidacy can possibly be based on spite and mendacity? That question sort of answers itself.

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?

The Fart Boy Hard At Work

A new air freshener, Boss! Sweet.
A new air freshener, Boss? Sweet!

Yesterday, Orange County’s original Fart Boy, Matthew Cunningham, the irrepressible toady and Energizer Bunny of  boot licks, was hard at work for his de facto boss – the political impresario and lobbyist, John Lewis.

A few days before Lewis had sent out out a Chris Norby for County Clerk  politcal contribution solicitation to County workers at their work e-mail addresses. That  looked bad because it was (and is) bad, maybe illegal; and County employees are banned from using their computers for this sort of thing – both on the sending and receiving end. Well, yesterday Lewis sycophant Cunningham tried to downplay the episode on his own lame and tiresome “Red County” blog go here at the risk of extreme tedium.

The fact that Cunningham’s blog is alternatively referred to as “Red Klownty” and “Brown County” ought to be a giveaway as to the fringe crazies and paid hacks that blog there. Cunningham’s unfortunate nickname – Jerbal – is another telling clue about his personality.

Cunningham’s pathetic rhetoric once again revealed his only apparent talent: diverting attention from the real issue. But it’s only a talent if someone is dumb enough to fall for it. The issue was not, as Cunningham implied,  how many government workers actually felt threatened or coerced by the e-mail, but the impropriety of sending it out in the first place, and the incompetence that let it happen.

Cunningham claims that Norby is not vindictive – part of his sleight-of-hand shtick, since nobody ever said he was. The issue is why the campaign is so screwed up it doesn’t know what it’s doing, and how Norby, who wants to be the County’s chief paper-pusher, let it happen.

John Lewis has created a cute little machine that generates him political consulting income as well as considerable wealth as a County lobbyist – after he gets his boys elected. How much Cunningham gets paid for his transparent efforts at damage control for Lewis is hard to say. He may just be doing it for a warm smile and a wink from his mentor.

The Fart Boy

Anything You Say, Boss...
That was a good one, Boss...

A Friend of ours tells the story of a special kind of person, necessary to almost any organization. He’s the guy who always sits next to the boss. And when his boss lets fly with some flatulence, he is there to tell him what a great fart it was. That’s the Fart Boy.

We have discovered the Fart Boy of our Orange County life and times – Matthew Cunningham, aka “Jerbal” a low-grade lackey who hides all of his motives and prejudices behind high-sounding rhetoric, but who is, in reality, the biggest suck-up we have come across. Every time he has come to our blog it has been to shill and pimp and obscure some indefensible behavior on the part of one of his bosses.

Whether it’s his mentor John Lewis, Mike Carona, Tod Brown, Jim Silva, etc., etc., no one in authority, no matter how self-interested, crooked, or stupid, is too contemptible to receive praise from the Fart Boy. That’s why he’s here. And so we salute you, Fart Boy. You’re the best at what you do.

A Variation on the Old Shell Game

Keep your eye on the shell...
Keep your eye on the shell...

Our Friend Joe Sipowicz has added a great insight to a recent post on Dick Jones and Redevelopment about the way staff placates city councilpersons who ask questions. We’ll just let Joe say it in his own words:

“Staff also has another trick that may have been part of this little play, especially if it wasn’t rehearsed after all. That is answering the question that nobody has asked. In this tactic the question that was asked is dodged through answering some other question. The answer given is true, but non-responsive. It’s amazing how many people fall for this.

“BTW, this is also a tactic that our old friend Matthew Cunningham keeps using although it doesn’t appear to fool anyone in the blogosphere. It’s amazing how much more capable of critical thought bloggers are than city councilpersons!”

Joe, we know just what you mean. Former Planning staffer Joel Rosen is a master of this technique. You appear to be responsive and ever-so forthcoming, but in reality you give away nothing, and most of the time the councilperson is to too afraid of looking stupid to persist in getting a real answer. It’s like asking someone what time it is and having them tell you they live in a green house with red shutters in the 300 block of East Wilshire Avenue. It may be true, but it’s completely irrelevant!

What Is the Lorri Galloway “Candidacy” All About?

We have received a request to publish a post written by Friend and frequent commenter Joe Sipowicz and we reproduce it below, verbatim:

First, I want to say that I am not a political writer and have never gotten too involved in city or County politics. But I have done a lot of local political blog reading in order to write this post, and boy have I learned a lot!

I was reading your post a couple weeks ago about the Galloway candidacy for 4th District Supervisor and something just didn’t seem kosher about the whole thing. When I found out that a guy named Matt Cunningham was involved publicizing this news, I immediately got suspicious. Why? Well, first off, he had recently visited the FFFF blog in the role of defender of the indefensible – the gerrymandered 33rd State Senate District. His tactics were those we had been alerted to in our high school debate class: misdirection by stating obviously true, but irrelevant facts, meantime dodging the real, incontestable issue.

I also got suspicious because of what was obviously a slavish defense of Republican Dick Ackerman, apparently just for its own sake. A visit to his own blog and a little time in its archives revealed a Republican establishment toady. A related link on the Orange Juice blog revealed another relationship – that with John Lewis a supposedly conservative Republican political consultant and lobbyist who is backing Tom Daly, a Democrat, for the 4th Supervisorial District. Cunningham’s participation in that dialogue was interesting in that it studiously and lamely avoided explaining why he had failed to post on the subject of the Lewis endorsement of Daly himself, and kept inserting backhanded reasons why Republicans would be supporting Daly. I recognized his technique immediately.

But to return to Galloway and this “announcement” on Cunningham’s blog. I started asking myself why a Democrat like Galloway would even get involved with a supposedly right-wing Republican spokeshole like Cunningham. Why her embarrassing comment about the cute shoes? Why Cunningham’s pretense about wondering whether Daly was still in the race, when a call to his pal John Lewis would give him all his answers in about 12 seconds? Why the subtle comment that if Galloway were in it Republicans would coalesce behind Fullerton’s Shawn Nelson, implying that they wouldn’t if Daly were against him.

A later update on this post included a non-response from Daly and a weird comment by Chris Jones, Daly’s campaign  “consultant,” and yet another Lewis protege. Jones attacked Galloway’s “announcement” and obliged with a comment about her residency issue – but not about her left-wing politics vis-a-vis the supposedly centrist Daly – a fairly obvious approach you would think. This was also interesting since the same carpetbagging issue applies to Anaheim Hill’s Harry Sudhu, another candidate who lives outside the 4th District, and the authenticity of whose campaign Cunningham has been downplaying on his blog. Is Jones just signaling this as an issue to use it against Sidhu?

A final practical fact of interest is that John Lewis is also termed-out Supervisor Chris Norby’s campaign man, and stands to profit from Norby’s attempt to be the next County Clerk – a job currently held by – Tom Daly. No Daly campaign for Supervisor, no Norby campaign for Clerk.

Anyway, the whole thing seems too scripted, a little too well rehearsed.

I think some of the answers to this lay in the fact that Galloway, Lewis and Cuningham were all working together for the SunCal project in Anaheim a few years ago, and we know that Lewis is now willing to back Democrats for office. Was a deal made between Lewis and Galloway to throw up this trial balloon? What kind of a deal doesn’t really matter. But what for? Could the motivation be to try to push Harry Sidhu out of the race and then, after Galloway quietly disappears, preserve the Anaheim vote for Tom Daly in what would basically be a two-man race with Nelson? If the Anaheim vote is split three or even two ways, a candidate from Fullerton gets a plurality in the primary election, but ony one of the Anaheim candidates moves forward into a November runoff. And it may not be Tom Daly!

Somebody on this blog recently opined that the purpose of Galloway was to scare Daly out of the race. It seems more likely to me that her purpose in this race is to frighten Sidhu out and free up his old guard Anaheim support for Daly.

If this is true then we may simply be seeing wheels within wheels – which is what politics is all about, of course. And maybe this Cunningham guy is just being used as a witless tool by Lewis, Daly, and Company. His role hardly matters except as giving away clues.

Being a skeptic and new to all this stuff, maybe I am missing something here, but I’ll just end by saying this: a wise person will take nothing in politics at face value – especially when uttered by a politician.

Joe Sipowicz


Lorri “Cute Shoe” Galloway Running for Supervisor


Hat tip to one of our readers who just informed us that Matt “Jerbal” Cunningham over at the Red Clownty blog just reported that Anaheim Councilperson Lorri Galloway has announced that she is going to run for Supervisor Chris Norby’s termed out 4th District seat.  This is terrible news for Tom Daly and Harry Sudhu as Galloway’s presence in the race will split the Anaheim vote, but great news for Fullerton’s Shawn Nelson. When asked what she would bring different to the Board of Supes, she said, “I also intend to bring something different, like way cute shoes!”