Sucking Hard at the Teat of the Welfare State

Move over Pringle...

The other day I described how Republican Mayor Curt Pringle made some big bucks as a lobbyist for the so-called Children and Families Commission, a by-product of the 1998 liberal feel-good Proposition 10 that placed a new tax on tobacco and redistributed the dough to the Government Kiddie Bureaucracy. I promised to shake the branches of this tree to see what other strange fruits might tumble out. Well, Lo and Behold.

Matthew "it takes a village to raise a child" Cunningham

It turns out that Matthew J. Cunningham who masquerades as a local “conservative” blogger may be the biggest big government gravy slurpers at the Children and Families Commission trough.

As he pontificates about the joys of small government on his blog, Cunningham is making a killing as a PR flack for the ultra-liberal Commission and it’s professional do-gooders. And why not? His buddies Bill Campbell and Hugh Hewitt are/were on the Commission when he started his lucrative shill-meistering and wordsmithery for a government bureaucracy, and it’s hard to conceive that his uberboss, John Lewis wasn’t somehow responsible for directing this huge windfall to its rather unlikely recipient.

Here are the fun facts of the Cunningham contracts with the Commission:

Contract 230   July 6, 2005  $ 25,000

Contract 227   May 2 2007   $100,000

Contract 227A May 7, 2008 $195,000

Contract 264   June 3, 2009  $185,000

Hey you poor hungry kids out there: that’s almost half a million bucks in just three years to a guy who couldn’t even proof read his own website! And let’s not forget the hundreds of thousands of dollars dished out to Pringle and the White House Writers Group.

And if you look at the Exibit B scope of work attachments you’ll come away hard pressed to see how the scope of work amounts to more than a handful of hours a week, flack-wise. No wonder Intrepid Boy Journalist has so much spare time for his blogging and political punditry.

The biggest challenge for Cunningham appears to be to get conservatives to buy the spin on all this hogwash. And naturally a lot of his “scope”  is the usual nebulous “assist the staff” bullshit. Of course we can only wonder at the selection and bidding process at work here.

It’s perfectly clear to me that this opaque and over-funded commission needs complete outside scrutiny with fiscal and performance audits. Maybe Cunningham’s pals at the Grand Jury might want to delve into the doings of this public agency.

And the next time Matthew Cunningham preaches at you that you must believe in the joys of small government and lower taxes, or when he suggests whole village child rearing is Obama socialism, just give him a wink and a nod and try not to stare too hard at the giant scarlet H on his forehead.

The Pringle Money Machine Finds Unlikely Opportunities For Growth

Your friendly and well-paid guide to the next life.

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.

The lobbyists are dying to get in...

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.

Pringle got $6000 a month and all I got was this lousy mug...

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?

Another Day Another Dump on Pringle’s Main Chance Choo Choo

You are growing very sleepy...

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.

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.

The Sad Reality of Matthew Cunningham, Where Felonies Are Whitewashed

Perjury is such a fuzzy concept...

I knew it wouldn’t be long before Matthew J. Cunningham started glossing over the fact that his boy Harry Sidhu committed perjury twice when he falsified voter registration documents. After all, his boss John Lewis is now one of the piglets sucking the mama sow dry.

The one on the left...

It didn’t take very long.

He’s up to his old tricks again: diversion, obfuscation, and trying to change the subject. First he says Tony Bushala is Shawn Nelson’s neighbor. Irrelevant to anything, and of course not even true. But let’s not let facts get in the way of defending the indefensible. His point, perfectly predictable coming from this self-appointed paragon of morality, is that the whole thing is only political, as if Sidhu’s signature on an official document means, you know, nothing.

The registration was so brief that it doesn't count. Sidhu gets a re-do.

Apparently, the concept of perjury is a really flexible concept for Cunningham who seems willing to concede that his boy never lived at the beautiful Calabria Apartments. It was only a “brief registration,” you see. Brief registration? Damn, it was only 30 days! But what’s that got to do with anything? The registration was never aligned with any residency. It was a fraud. An outright lie. But are we to accept that the concept of the truth only kicks in when it’s convenient for Sidhu?

Well, good luck selling that bullshit to anybody smarter than Brett Barbre.

My word is my bond. Trust me.

A second post addresses the breathtaking revelation that Bushala’s investigation into the Sidhu scam was conducted by Sheriff candidate Bill Hunt. Wow, now there’s a great discovery, Columbus. Bushala put the guy’s letterhead in his post!  Another example of Cunningham dodge ball, having zero to do with the fact that his boy Sidhu falsified public documents. Of course Cunningham proceeds to insinuate that something fishy is going on because one of our bloggers  at FFFF has been posting positive stuff for Hunt’s Sheriff campaign.

Um, Chip, I think I have something I need to tell you...

Say what? Influence peddling, and profiting from same, is Cunningham’s line of work, not ours. Nothing to disclose here. I’m not even voting for Hunt.

Pathetic. Sorrowful. Deceitful. Hypocritical. Did I say shameful. No. That would imply a sense of shame.

It looks as if Mr. Cunningham has really decided to plumb the depths of irrelevance and hypocrisy. Let’s wait and count the hours until Cunningham spits out one of his patented “the guy’s not to be trusted” posts against someone who is running against a John Lewis candidate.

Well its a free country. And pretty soon for him, it’s going to be a really lonely one.

Love For Sale.Tender Young Love For Sale

Just remember. You are what you eat.

A few weeks ago I did a pretty tongue-in-cheek post about some guy named Thomas Anthony Gordon, a goon from Santa Ana who popped up out of nowhere with a gratuitous anti-Shawn Nelson post on the Mauve County blog. He criticized Nelson for being soft on criminals because he is a defense lawyer. I pointed out the bad luck since there was a guy in OC with the exact same name and body type as Gordon who had been busted a couple of times for driving on a suspended license – and opined about how that guy was probably in need of a defense lawyer himself.

At the time I believed Gordon was just prostituting himself for Lewis/Cunningham and hence, Tom Daly. I may have been wrong. That was before I understood the deep, moist crevices into which Harry Sidhu’s pocket change had fallen. Of course the common denominator, John Lewis, is still in the picture, although Daly quit the supervisors race to play catch with his kid.

Well check this out. Harry Sidhu, the perpetual office seeker has decided to run for the GOP Central Committee for the 69th Assembly district (which must surely be a record – carpetbagging two districts at the same time, what a hustler). Now for the fun part. Take a look at who was out circulating petitions on the very last day so Hide and Seek Sidhu could “qualify” for the ballot. None other than our old friend Thomas Anthony Gordon. Click on the pdf and take a look.

Gordo! And now we really have to wonder. Is Gordon actually on Sidhu’s payroll? If not, why not? Everybody else is!

Of course, if he is let’s hope he informed his bosses over at the Mauve County where they say they will fire you if you don’t disclose that fact that you are blogging for dollars!

Why It Sucks To Be Matthew J. Cunningham

John Lewis is my moral compass.

I can only wonder what’s it’s like to have virtually no moral bearing – to be at the whim of whichever authority figure is pushing you at a given moment. Like a leaf blown in the wind.

Today a supporter of Hugh Nguyen’s campaign to unseat the deplorably incompetent Democrat County Clerk Tom Daly passed along the news that Matthew J. Cunningham of Mauve County fame had a devoted an entire post to the untrustworthiness of Nguyen. His running buddies? The lefties at the LiberalOC blog!

First it seems that he, like his candidate Tom Daly, takes exception to Nguyen’s ballot designation.

He also makes a big harrumph about Nguyen changing the story he told some of Cunningham’s Blue County boyfriends a couple of months ago about the unsolicited ad Art Pedroza is running for him on the OJ blog.  You’re joking, right?

But here’s the kicker. Hugh Nguyen is mostly shifty and not to be trusted because when he was soliciting endorsements last summer for the Clerk-recorder job he didn’t inform those folks of the presence of his wife Laura Cunningham in the race, thereby precluding them from endorsing her!

Of course the idea that Nguyen was under any moral or legal obligation to advertise the hapless and long-defunct Mrs. Jerbal campaign is so preposterously comical that no more need be said about it.

Cunningham likes his style...

Meanwhile from the vantage of his lofty moral authority Cunningham seems unable to discern the manifest failures of his boy Tom Daly. You know, like the $48,000 Daly passed along to a campaign consultant for “studying” a sports hall of fame; like the $100,000+ he has wasted (and is still wasting) on monthly retainers for a do-nothing Sacramento “consultant;” oh yeah, and let’s not forget the $2,100,000 chunked into the toilet on the acquisition of the uninhabitable building at 433 Civic Center West. What was the issue again? Oh, yeah – trustworthiness!

On top of all that, Daly is a Democrat and Cunningham is supposed to be a conservative Republican! No bueno!

No, sir. I do not need a wordsmith.

Come to think of it, Cunningham has never said a word about the two fraudulent voting registrations of one Harry C. Sidhu, the 4th District carpetbagger who lied about living at the Calabria Apartments on two separate public documents. Which sounds a lot like voter fraud and perjury if you ask me.

And speaking of shifty, how about Sidhu’s campaign signs that advertise the carpetbagger simply as “Mayor Pro Tem” despite the fact that they are posted in cities where Sidhu is not on the city council? Hows that for shifty?

The beautiful Calabria Apartments. No furniture was ever moved in. Did Sidhu sleep on the floor?

But oh yeah, his boss John Lewis is working for Sidhu now, too; so that means that the regular rules don’t apply, see?

Jesus H., it must suck to be Cunningham.

Word From The Empress: “We Are Not Amused”

Do not you think it a matter worthy of lamentation, that, when there is such a vast multitude of worlds, we have not yet conquered one?

Apparently my ongoing exploration into the encroachment of County 1st District Supervisor Janet Nguyen into the management of the 4th District office has created some angst on the Hall of Admin 5th Floor. Apparently Her Highness is displeased with the revelation that she has hired 3 new people to occupy that office even though there is no supervisor there. She has been snooping around to find out where the “leak” is.

Leak? Why is Empress Nguyen concerned about news of her doings leaking out? Is she trying to hide something?

After all, the Imperial story has been that these additional people are needed to help inform all us poor, ignorant denizens of the 4th District learn all about the wonderful County programs available to make our lives ever so much better. Ferchrissakes you’d think she’d issue a press release, right? But no! Maybe she’s worried about being perceived as a manipulative, scheming empire builder.

She has reason to be worried about that.

The Sad, Shrinking World of Tom Daly

Our Friend Allan Bartlett passed along our post about Tom Daly’s $10,000,000 real estate disaster for the edification of the good government advocates who read the “Red County” blog. Or maybe he did it to annoy the Republican supporters of crazy spendthrift Democrat Tom Daly.

And as I predicted in my original post, a couple of Tom Daly sycophants popped up to defend the indefensible. And here’s what Cynthia Ward, AKA Colony Rabble had to say:

Tom Daly bought a piece of real estate that staff reveiwed (sic) and approved and the Supes voted for? Oh no! Whatever will we do? String up the varmint! The Fullerton boys are real sleuths. I told you in the Barbre post that Tom was expanding the Archives and looking at other space. His real estate may not have been the best deal? Well welcome to the world the rest of us live in!

Tom Daly is a fiscal conservative. Tom Daly is a fiscal conservative.

Apparently the idea of wasting $2,100,000 for a completely worthless piece of property is of no concern to Ms. Ward. Not the best deal? Jesus H., this miscreant flushed 2.1 million tax dollars down the toilet! The world the rest of us live in? Is that supposed to be a joke? Does Cynthia Ward routinely blow millions on worthless real estate? Do her friends? Do her neighbors?

Well now we know what kind of a conservative Ward is. And if we ever needed confirmation that her job at the Mauve County was to do anything other than promote the egregious Daly (and now, it seems, to try to talk away his mammoth incompetency), now we have it.

Another Typical Repuglican – Everything is For Sale!

Disturbing image of Van Tran courtesy of the OC Weekly

Our friend Scott Moxley was written a piece at the OC Weekly about how local State Assemblyman and would-be Congressman for the 47th District, Van Tran, actually flew his Chief of Staff down from Sacramento to vote in the recent California Republican Assembly nominating convention – casting a vote for his boss, of course.

Seems there’s some heartburn in some circles because the fellow, Paul Hegyi, somehow got himself affiliated with the Stanton Chapter of the CRA, where he doesn’t live, and also because Stanton isn’t even in the 47th Congressional District.

But part of Fullerton is, so we share this tale with you.

P.S. here’s a fun quote from Tran’s website: Let’s bring character and integrity back to Congress…

It’s a dubious proposition that Congress has ever had any character or integrity, but it’s a bit much to hear that from a guy who is ripping off the taxpayers by claiming a phony per diem in the State legislature, and whose wife was busted as part of an insurance fraud conspiracy ring.

Business as usual for the ‘pugs.