Election Meddling – Silva’s $400,000 Arrogance


Make taxpayers shell out $400,000 or meddle in an ongoing election.

Pick one.

That’s the quandary in front of our city council tonight in the form of agenda item 4:

Consideration of an ordinance to repeal Fullerton Municipal Code Section 2.02.020 and follow procedure for filling City Council vacancies as set forth in Government Code Section 36512.

Without getting too much into the weeds the problem the city is trying to address is specific to the costs and ramifications of Jesus Silva winning the race for the District 3 council seat.

The voters in District 3 have 3 choices on their ballots; Greg Sebourn, Jesus Silva & Nickolas Wildstar. If either Sebourn or Wildstar wins this municipal code change does nothing in the foreseeable future.


If Jesus Silva wins then he vacates his current At-Large seat and we, by law, must hold a special election. That special election could cost us between $391,532 – $428,150 per the OC Registrar of Voters.

Silva likely didn’t even know he was risking socking the taxpayers with that hefty bill until somebody else pointed it out to him. Or perhaps he just didn’t care. That his wife was on council when the to be repealed ordinance was passed points more towards didn’t care than didn’t know.

We went through 2017 knowing this was an issue and the City Manager couldn’t be bothered to deal with it. Then most of 2018 came and went. Nothing. Instead of worrying about a near half a million dollar liability Ken Domer had the council worrying about which volunteers to fire from the various boards and committees around town. As a former member, I’m glad the Economic Development Committee is gone but if you’re going to muck with the municipal code perhaps worry about the parts costing us, or potentially costing us, real money before worrying about a committee that rarely met because it rarely had quorum.

Now this issue is on the City Agenda for the coming City Council meeting tonight. During an election.

Yes, the election is on 06 November but absentee ballots are already in the mail and thus the city is asking council to change the rules of elections DURING AN ELECTION. People will have already voted in District 3 BEFORE the council decides what to do tonight.

Silva 2018 Meddling
Quote Silva from 3 days ago: “Absentee ballots are starting to arrive.”

This is ridiculous.

I don’t want the city to have to spend $400,000 to fill a vacated seat if Silva wins in District 3. However – and this is a big however – Jesus Silva decided to run knowing that his run could cost us that much money and he did it anyways. That he did it anyways speaks to his character.

That is a political consideration and changing the rules during the election screams of a partisan fix to a problem Silva could have avoided by not throwing his at-large seat away in the quest for 2022 incumbency. Voters make decisions on issues that cost and matter less than $400k and deserve to judge this issue without council interference after the fact.

But how did we get here? (more…)

Paying for Todd Spitzer’s Lunatic Behavior

Everyday the people who run the County of Orange blow through so much dough that the amount of waste is incomprehensible to the layman. It’s incomprehensible to the County Board of Supervisors too, because of course, it’s not their money.

Funny plastic handcuffs graphic borrowed from Voice of OC

But then there are the examples, though relatively small, that truly give us cause to doubt the reason and the integrity of our County government. Thus the Todd Spitzer Wahoo’s Fish Taco incident that brought about a lawsuit that the County lost,  putting us taxpayers on the hook for the legal fees of the other side. Fees of $121,396 to be precise. Here’s the payout as reported by Voice of OC, who just happens to be the other party in the lawsuit.

Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Todd Spitzer gets emotional while reflecting on an incident more than 5 months ago at Wahoo’s Fish Tacos in Lake Forest. He handcuffed Jeobay Castellano and called police when the man would not stop trying to proselytize even when Spitzer told him he was a Christian.

Here’s the backstory: In April, 2015, 3rd District Supervisor (and now DA candidate) Todd Spitzer, took a loaded gun into the aforementioned restaurant and slapped handcuffs on a harmless proselytizer who was annoying him. A few moths later, word leaked out about this bizarre behavior and Spitzer, trying to put a positive spin on his weird behavior engaged the services of the County’s PR person, Jean Pasco  to help craft a press release that would make Spitzer look good and (ironically) cast the offending evangelist as mentally unstable. The memos and the PR draft never saw the light of day.

Nelson wears his game face, but the game was already over…

The Voice of OC got wind of the e-mails between Spitzer and Pasco and made a public records act request to get them. Request denied. Then The Voice sued to get the documents and the Supervisors, including our own Shawn Nelson, endorsed the ludicrous idea that these documents could somehow be legitimately withheld from public scrutiny. Voice won in court, got their documents and ran their story. And then this week the taxpayers of Orange County got stuck with Voice’s legal tab – over $120,000. Again the Supervisors, including Nelson, voted to make us pay for their idiotic decision to protect one of their own club from…us.

The politicians are always telling us about their dedication to public service. But if anybody ever needed a perfect example of how they will use our money to protect themselves and their employees, he need look no farther than the Todd Spitzer Wahoo’s Fish Taco Tale.

The Deal

That’s quite a tool.

We don’t deal with County stuff much but when we get wind of something noxious down County way, we share it with the friends, especially if it involves Supervisor Shawn Nelson who comes from Fullerton.

Tested and unready…

The latest story wafting on the wind claims that Nelson has made a deal with DA Tony Rackaukas to support the appointment of Rack’s mouthpiece Susan Kang Schroder to replace him so she can run for DA next year as the incumbent. What Nelson gets is Rackauckas and Schroeder leaning on their stable of Deputy DAs not to run for the next judgeship, clearing the field for Nelson. And if anybody knows how to lean on people, it’s the completely vile Kang Schoeder. This deal is critically important for Nelson, who, as a defense lawyer, made a lot of money defending sex offenders and the like, stuff that would look really bad on a campaign hit piece from an active prosecutor.

If this tale is true (and it sure has the ring of truth) it reflects rather badly on Nelson. Susan Kang Schroeder has been connected at the hip to Tony Rackaukas’s incompetent and corrupt misrule for years, and the only case she ever tried, she lost. Real legal talent there, right? But of course expecting ethical behavior from a politician looking for self-promotion is like drilling a dry well.

A Glimpse Into Fullerton’s Future

It wasn't safe. but it sure was uncomfortable...
It wasn’t comfortable. but it sure was dangerous…

Okay, Friends here’s a pop quiz. What do Jan Flory, Bud Chaffee, Jennifer Fitzgerald, Bruce Whitaker and Greg Sebourn have in common? Think for a second…

Got it? Of course, it was an easy question.

They are collectively responsible for the overdevelopment of Fullerton. Look around: Commonwealth, Orangefair, Santa Fe, each now, or soon to be home for massive, overbearing penitentiary-like apartment blocks.

The Thing That Ate Fullerton...
Cliff Dwelling Is The Life For Me, or: Thing That Ate Fullerton…(image swiped from Orange Juice Blog)

The ridiculous and deathless “Amerige Court” monster is back, too being pimped by a guy named Cameron Irons.

Follow my easy method, and one of us will get rich!
Follow my easy method, and one of us will get rich!

You remember him, right? County Supervisor Shawn Nelson’s crony who stood to make a $100,000 commission as Nelson tried to ram through the County’s big homeless shelter next to Fullerton’s Commonwealth Elementary School.

Nelson wears his game face.
Nelson wears his game face. Too bad we’re not on the same team.

And there’s very little need to hold our breath until the “College Park” upzone Godzilla rears its ugly head, once again.

Whatever the motivation of our “representatives” to jam ever more high-density residential projects into Fullerton, the result is the same: more burden on the City’s utilities and infrastructure, and above all, more traffic cramming our streets, costs that are carried by all of us as the developer makes his bundle and skips off to his next monster.

Is it really too much of an exaggeration to say that soon the major intersections at Harbor, Orangethorpe and Lemon will become virtually gridlocked at certain times of the day? Soon we may all have to find alternative ways to get around Fullerton.

It’s pretty clear that none of these lofty people have the best interests of ordinary Fullerton residents in mind. In fact, we seem to be nothing more than an annoyance to their big plans, that is if you can call helter-skelter development a plan.

A Promise Was Made. Will It Be Kept?


More than a year (and a half) ago a majority of the Fullerton City Council agreed to put the idea of a three term limit to a plebiscite. Councilmembers Sharon Quirk, Pam Keller and Shawn Nelson were for it; Dick Jones and Don Bankhead were against it.

Dick and I aren't going anywhere...

At the time we ran this post, which we updated in last October. Well, Friends, with the impending June primary election the time has come to remind Quirk, Keller, and Nelson of their promise. It’s not that we don’t trust them, but folks just get so gosh darn busy and their calendars fill up.

But seriously: now that a year has passed and the cold reality of actually having to do something approaches, will there be political remorse?

We’ll soon find out.

Bullhorn Berardino Backfire

Nick is that a union made garment? Too bad it doesn't hide your Rolex.

There is an old axiom that says all politics are local. Nick “Bullhorn” Berardino, chief union goon of the Orange County Employees Association seems to have forgotten that adage. Maybe he never heard it.

A week or so ago week his union sent out a mailer accusing Fullerton’s Shawn Nelson of voting to spend money on a “red-tagged” building. Too bad the building was Fullerton’s historic Fox Theater, a structure whose restoration thousands of Fullertonians support and to which hundreds, including Nelson, have made personal donations. The mailer provoked this letter that appeared in the mid-May Fullerton Observer:

Oops. Looks like Berardino has really soiled himself this time.

Retraction? Apology? Not very likely, guys. See, Nick Berardino and his crew operate in a whole different environment that you might imagine. In Comrade Nick’s world you grab and grab and keep grabbing all you can get while giving as little as possible in return.

And that’s why Orange County’s finances are so messed up, why County departments are run so poorly, and why the OCEA is absolutely terrified of a Shawn Nelson victory.

Steve Greenhut Touts Fullerton’s Shawn Nelson

Steve says...

Former OC Register editorialist and current part-time op-ed writer Steve Greenhut penned this piece about the 4th District County Supervisor race that is supposedly being printed in the paper’s Sunday edition.

Greenhut praises Shawn Nelson’s willingness to stand up the incessant demands of the public employee unions – especially the powerful unions at the County that have already started to attack his candidacy. He also correctly points out that Sidhu and Galloway would both be supportive of the horrendous anti-taxpayer labor decisions made by past county supervisors.

In passing, Greenhut notes that both Galloway and Sidhu are recent arrivals in the 4th District from Anaheim Hills, which is in the 3rd. Steve is too kind to use the term “carpetbagger” to describe the behavior of these too miscreants, but I’m not. They both established fake and unlawful  “residences” in their quest to favor us with their own weird ego-driven candidacies.

But back to Nelson. This endorsement is important. The Register still has tens of thousands of subscribers in the 4th District and absentee ballots will start arriving – and being returned – this week.

Cunningham Talks and Talks and Talks. Anybody Listening?

Over at the RedCounty blog, Matthew J. Cunningham’s posts are becoming increasingly dronish and petulant – just like always seems to happen when an election nears.

His latest post about the OCGOP Central Committee endorsement of Shawn Nelson is a case in point. Apparently he wasn’t at this big event (could it be because he’s not yet ready to explain his huge windfall from The Meathead’s Children and Families commission?). So he’s getting his talking points from somebody who was – probably lonely Sidhu supporter and John Lewis partner Matt Holder.

You would think that when your bosses candidate gets wiped out 47-8 you would just keep your mouth shut and say nothing. But not our motormouth buddy – who goes on and on and on about how the thing is unfair and Nelson just won because he did better at the forum, how the questions weren’t good, how it was all due to political whipping and how Sidhu, not Nelson has been fully vetted through the last election cycle (? Nelson’s been through three!).

Not a single word from Cunningham about carpetbagging, perjury and perpetual candidacy! Did it not occur to Cunningham that maybe, just maybe the OCGOP Central Committee members were turned off by Sidhu’s voter registration fraud, and his two bogus addresses on top of his inarticulate, scripted performances.

Well, too bad for Cunningham and Lewis and Sidhu, but that genie is out of the bottle and ain’t going back in. So just accept it and quit yer bitchin’.

Anyhow, congrats from inside the electrified fence of the Desert Rat compound out on beautiful Screech Owl Road to Nelson for an important victory.

Nelson Shines at Otherwise Dismal Event. WAND Candidate Forum Comes, Goes

UPDATE: Anaheim’s Cynthia Ward has an excellent summation of the forum on Red County, here. 

And what a depressing event it was. The WAND (West Anaheim Neighborhood Development Council) forum was almost as bad as the NUFF event in January. Give them credit for giving it a go, but they didn’t have a lot to work with.

This time Tom Daly was gone, but Harry Sidhu and Lorri Galloway actually showed up. Better for them if they hadn’t.

Apart from the consistently coherent and concise answers to audience questions by Fullerton Councilman Shawn Nelson, the remainder of the five candidates could only demonstrate their almost complete ignorance about what a County Supervisor does. Their answers were alternatively muddled, idiotic, or evasive. It was pretty painful to watch. But watch I did. And I filmed the event to harvest future fruits.

A summation: Art Brown is a typical government statist-type guy; Rosie Espinosa is truly virtually clueless, still knows nothing about the County government and isn’t afraid to show it; Richard Faher is actually starting to become annoying – running against the Federal government – except when it comes  to marijuana laws when he becomes a big government pussycat.

Of the seeming top tier candidates, I have to say that nothing has changed my previous observations. Harry Sidhu is just an empty suit; his answers, when intelligible at all, were evasive. He did admit to living in the district for only two and a half months – since February 1st – thus confirming his previous perjury. Galloway’s responses were generally equally feather-headed, and most seemed to hinge upon “collaboration” – that lefty cure-all for everything that ails us. She also made a big deal about pandering to the Anaheim residents about getting their “fair share”, bragged about the money she’s spent on them, and the need to elect somebody from Anaheim (presumably her). And significantly, neither Sidhu nor Galloway who are both making “jobs, jobs, jobs,” their platform, could name a single specific job that they, as a Supervisor would create.

On the High Speed Rail boondoggle Galloway came out as a big booster since there is no amount of your money she isn’t willing to flush down the toilet; Sidhu waffled hard, pretending for the evening that he wasn’t already bought and paid for by Curt Pringle’s money machine. Nelson, as he has in the past, came out strongly against the ill-conceived fiasco in the making. Ditto on Pringle’s massive ARTIC plan that requires $140,000,000 Measure M money. Incredibly, Galloway tried to claim that ARTIC was not tied to the HSR; and Sidhu got excited and blurted out that the cities of north Orange County voted for the extension of Measure M, despite the fact that the claim by Nelson was that what they had voted on did not include  all that dough for an Anaheim transportation center. Comically, Galloway claimed it would become the transportation hub of Southern California. Anybody wanna bet?

Except for Nelson, who demanded departmental audits and outsourcing, all the others completely botched the budget question – turning it into a Rock Candy Mountain wish for jobs, jobs jobs. Of course Galloway’s solution is to spend our way out of the budget hole with public works projects. Somehow.

On the really topical issue of County island annexation they all pretty much fumbled it, seeing it as an autonomy issue, and failing to recognize the inherent dysfunctionality of the County as a service provider, although to his credit Nelson was the only one to provide examples to fix some of that dysfunction. On the issue of equalization of funding none of the other five really knew what they were talking about, and showed it, although once again Nelson recognized the issue as a purely political problem. Sidhu’s feeble response was to work hard with others. Somehow. Galloway pandered to Anaheim, as usual.

On the question of code enforcement none of them could say much of anything that was informed. If any of them are aware of current County code enforcement policy or procedure, none of them shared that knowledge with the audience.

Questions on marijuana, eminent domain, bike trails in Carbon Canyon and the homeless invited meandering, uninformed responses, and got them.

Maybe the best question had to do with length of residence in the district with Nelson clocking in at 39 years and Art Brown at 36. Galloway claims she has lived in the district a whopping 7 months, although if she did, she spent the first four months living illegally in a Lincoln Avenue office use zone.  As noted above, Sidhu confirmed his perjury on voter registration documents.

The final wrap up statement provided a fitting end to the evening. Faher was out cutting the grass in left field – but not in his front yard, apparently. Espinosa was exploring County “crevices.” Brown was fixing non-partisan potholes. Galloway expressed her profound faith in the Almighty and the depth of her “compassion” and her “caring,” oblivious to the irony of having to publicly advertise one’s own empathetic excellence; of course this is just code for taxing us to satisfy her political agenda. Sidhu, sticking as closely as possible to his prepared script demonstrated his willingness to go down with the same, lame sinking “jobs, jobs, jobs” ship. And he almost seemed to get angry that somebody wouldn’t be impressed that he has represented 40% of the district for six years – even though he has almost nothing to show for it.

Which leaves us with Shawn Nelson. Of all the candidates he was the only one who could muster intelligent and informed and decisive answers. And in the end his closing statement reflected the same message, delivered unequivocally: accountable and conservative leadership for the 4th District.

Shawn Nelson Declines To Be Interviewed By the Deputy Sheriffs Union

Finally, somebody putting the taxpayers first?

We’ve heard that 4th Supervisorial candidate Shawn Nelson was a no show at the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs’ interviews this morning.

According to an informed source, Nelson had previously decided not to seek the sheriff union endorsement, and he didn’t want to waste their time interviewing him.

The AOCDS is a relatively powerful public employee union that has often demonstrated its willingness and ability to involve itself in local and County elections. How this may play out for Nelson is uncertain, although their endorsement was probably unlikely in any case given Nelson’s history as a pension watchdog in Fullerton.

If you don't interview me I can't let you kiss my ring. That's just common sense.

Certainly adhering to the new no-union endorsement policy of OCGOP boss Scott Baugh should help Nelson among those Republicans who believed that Baugh meant what he said, and that what he said meant something.

Well, we’ll see.