UPDATE: I came across this earlier post today as I was thinking about all the political mail paid for by the “public employee unions” telling you what a great guy Harry Sidhu is and what a bad guy Shawn Nelson is. This video is worth a replay. Sidhu has an almost limitless capacity for clownish behavior — a perfect fit for the union circus.
Here’s another classic “what did he say?” mumble moment brought to you by Harry Sidhu at the GOP Central Committee meeting last week. We think he believes in public employee unions, but not in his ability to say no to them if they give him dough (directly) – so Honest Harry says he hasn’t and won’t take it. Even though he has been taking it ever since he first got elected in 2004!
In any case he says he won’t ‘take their money now. But just a few days before he had gone hat in hand to the Sheriff Deputy’s union to get their endorsement – and a big monetary expenditure via their IE, and he knows he got it. This is perfectly consistent with the profile of a politician without an ethical fiber in his being.
And that makes him a first class hypocritical hair ball and a worthy candidate for the John Lewis crowd to support.
Sometimes its hard to tell whether certain people are stupid or lazy. Or maybe a little of both. Take, for instance, County Supervisor Bill Campbell who is currently the Chairman of the OC Children and Families Commission.
As a commissioner he has approved big PR contracts to his political pal Matthew J. Cunningham whom he also appointed to the County Parks Commission. And I mean really big contracts. And apparently free of either competition or real scrutiny.
Part of Cunningham’s job is to ghost write pro-commission “op-ed” pieces for politicians across the political spectrum who either can’t be bothered, or who are too illiterate to do it themselves. The topic of these scribblings is always the same: protect the tax revenue!
Here’s an invoice where Mr. Conservative Republican Wordsmith is wordsmithing hard for – Bill Campbell!
And looky here, we’ve uncovered the fruits of Mr. Cunningham’s labors in the OC Register.
There are some fun quotes about rigorous audits and Grand Jury approbation that come a-tumblin’ out of the old mannequin’s mouth, but these are my faves:
“I can say unequivocally that if state government emulated the prudent, sensible and farsighted operations and budgeting practices of the Children and Families Commission, there would be no state budget crisis.”
Uh, yeah, like handing out a $200K per year PR contract that enables your pal to put semi-intelligent words in your mouth for $200 an hour.
“…while our commission contracts out as many functions as possible so more dollars go toward funding services rather than bureaucracy.”
See comment above. Contracting out unnecessary PR crap for $200 an hour services like facebook updates, going to lunch with Steve Greenhut, and passing out toothbrushes. Newsflash Bill – that robs funding. Contracting out for unnecessary services is incompetent. Directing that largess to a political crony is despicable.
“Taxpayers should cast a critical eye on the idea of abolishing such county Children and Families commissions, which are locally accountable and manage their budgets responsibly…”
Uh huh. Yeah. Sure, Bill. You pass out hundreds of thousands annually for lobbying and PR most of which seems to be mysteriously directed outside Orange County. Well, Campbell also seems to be one of the masterminds behind the unintentionally hilarious Harry Sidhu for Supervisor campaign. And that, in a nutshell, really tells you all you need to know about that sawdust head.
And finally a free wordsmithing tip to the Wordsmith: when you’re going to put words in the mouth of numbskull try to avoid words like “panoply” and “unequivocally.”
It looks like we can add another skill to Clerk-Recorder Tom Daly’s public money squandering resume. As previously reported here, not only does Daly excel at wasting public money and doling out jobs to his contributor’s relatives, it appears that he also hands out no-bid contracts to campaign contributors as well. It turns out that the contracts are more of what we’re used to: highly questionable and unaudited relationships, and of course, ultimate failure.
Get a load of this one.
Between 2002 and 2007, Christopher Townsend, who is the president of Townsend Public Affairs, contributed a total of $2600 to Tom Daly’s campaigns. During this period, Townsend was awarded two $60,000 no-bid contracts for “consulting services.” Townsend was awarded these contracts without bidding because of their supposed know-how in obtaining grants from the California Cultural Historical Endowment. What for, you ask?
In late 2005/2006 the grant application was for $150,000 to go to “planning” the archives expansion in the old Courthouse building in Santa Ana. Apparently the contract and the grant application were approved solely on the authority of Daly himself – that’s right, no Board of Supervisor’s oversight.
The big problem was that the grant application was for a building over which the “Manager of the Year” Daly had no authority. Apparently it is controlled by the Harbors Parks and Beaches Department that lets the Clerk-Recorder use it for some of his functions. And seemingly they had no clue what Daly was up to.
Even though Daly got the grant he wanted, the County had to turn the money back in April, 2006 because of the inability of Daly to communicate what he was doing with the other County bureaucrats. The official excuse was “unanticipated space and stakeholder concerns.” Translated from Bureaucratese into English: Big Daly F-up.
Well, there’s $60,000 down the toilet.
Undaunted by failure, late in 2006 the indefatigable Daly was before the Board of Supervisors asking for another $60,000 no-bid contract with Townsend. The motive was the same, but by now Daly’s covetous eye likely rested on the wretched building at 433 West Civic Center, a $2.1 million liability that he would talk the Board into acquiring in 2007. We shared that mess with you, here. The second grant application ended up with a big goose egg, however the purchase of the money pit on Civic Center Drive proceeded headlong, full speed ahead.
Another $60,000 chunked into the water hazard.
Oh, dear me. Another Tom Daly fiasco; another example of incompetence and cronyism his pals in the media won’t touch; yet another mauve feather in the dismal repuglican headdress of Daly’s admirer, John Lewis (& Co.) who keeps insisting that the egregious Daly is some sort of “fiscal conservative.”
And good grief, we’ve only just scratched the surface. Be sure to stay tuned.
UPDATE: as one of our commenters pointed out, you can click on the billing fragment, below to get the picture of what happened for the month of July 2009. Enjoy, but try not to retch.
August 17th, 2009 was a great day to be Matthew Cunningham. See, the Red County Blog editor and pretended conservative pulled down $1680 wordsmith pimping for the liberal welfare state via his lucrative deal with the OC Children and Families Commission.
Why this Commission, that was created to help little children, is dumping hundreds of thousands of dollars each year into opinion swaying of dubious value is exasperating. The fact that this money is going into the coffers of well-connected repuglicans also gives off quite an aroma – influence peddling-wise.
How and why these contracts are awarded is certainly a topic that should be addressed by the Commission and their Executive Director Michael Ruane, as well as by the Board of Supervisors, who appoint Commission members.
One thing is crystal clear. This Commission is more interested in PR and lobbying for their revenue than they are actually accomplishing anything.
Here is the billing statement for that day that put a happy face on all the Cunninghams in Suite C. Who knew that revising vanilla versions of op-eds could be so rewarding?
Maybe Cunningham really does believe in the good works of the Commission, although I’ve got to wonder what other tax and spend schemes he will be promoting next.
Okay. So honesty is not Sidhu’s strong suit (whatever that may be still escapes me). So when a Friend from Anaheim sent along a recent Sidhu mailer, I really wasn’t too surprised by one incredible statement. According to Hide ‘N Seek, he claims:
“I have never voted to increase fees or expand the reach of government”
Now Sidhu has been on the Anaheim City Council for almost six years. Is he really going to ask us to believe that in this time he has opposed all of the myriad fees that are chronically and habitually passed by city councils? Things like utility rates, park fees on developers, parks and rec charges, permit fees on builders. even the fees to make copies of documents, etc., etc., etc.? And how about on other boards on which he serves as by virtue of being a city councilman? He states positively that he has never voted for a single one – for almost six years.
Anybody wanna bet?
You know what Harry? I think that’s another lie we can chalk up to you – as fraudulent as your so-called registration at the dismal Calabria Apartments.
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.