OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

Posts Tagged ‘Tony Bushala’

Orange Countys Most Read Political Blog Calling It Quits

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on February 28, 2013

In what comes as quite a shock I learned yesterday that the Friends For Fullerton’s Future Blog is calling it quits after 5 years of blogging. Although I didn’t always agree with the methods they used to get their point across nobody can deny the lasting footprint that they leave behind in Fullerton.


In a final post yesterday it was announced by Tony Bushala that they would be wrapping things up for now, but leaving the blog up as a testament to what they have accomplished over the years. This announcement comes less than a year after Red County announced that they would be closing their doors. The number of right leaning blogs in Orange County has shrunk quite a bit since 2006 which is surprising considering the demographics in Orange County.

Fullerton’s Future will forever be best known for the way that they covered the horrific death of Kelly Thomas and the investigative reporting they did into the culture of the Fullerton PD. Whether you agree with the position that they took on it or not, they wrote some thought-provoking stuff on their site.

Tony Bushala sites some impressive stats in his farewell post on the numbers that his blog was able to put up.

FFFF Blog Facts:

Comments: 129,369
Blog posts: 2,213
Words in posts: 1,127,793
Words in comments: 6,785,287
Visitors: 2,006,335
Page views: 4,072,711
YouTube video views: 2,290,228

I hope that one day our blog can reach the numbers that Fullerton’s Future has put up since their creation back in November 2008. Best wishes go out to all of those from Fullerton’s Future on all of their future endeavours. I have a sneaking suspicion though that they will be back at some point in the future.

Posted in Fullerton | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Dick Ackerman Working With Unions In Fullerton

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on September 7, 2012

UPDATED 6:35 PM- Friend For Fullertons Future actually did have the robocall in YouTube format. You can read their article on this issue here.

Although I don’t always agree with Tony Bushalas methods, he has backed Bruce Whitaker and Travis Kiger who have proven to be solid votes on the Fullerton City Council. I was disappointed by the vote that Greg Sebourn made on not looking into putting the police contract out to bid and will withhold judgement on him until after a couple of years in office.

I am way behind on this story as the vote on the police contract took place August 7th but with all this talk of unions and who is working with them lately it is disappointing to see that former Senate Republican leader Dick Ackerman chose to work with the Fullerton Police Officers Association and do a robocall on their behalf encouraging residents to come out in support of Fullerton PD.

Friends For Fullertons Future appears to cover this story at length, but I did not see the actual robocall get posted on the website.

On an interesting side not when I was a student at Cal State Fullerton a few years back we had to do a ride-a-long with a local police agency. I not only ended up doing mine with Fullerton PD but actually ended up doing my ride-a-long with Albert Rincon.

The robocall sent out by Ackerman and the Fullerton Police Officers Association was encouraging voters to stand up against Tony Bushala. Apparently it worked because Councilmembers Chaffee, Quirk-Silva, and Sebourn voted together against Whitaker and Kiger on the issue.

A reader earlier today sent me the robocall and I figured why not post the robocall even though it is a bit dated.

Click here to listen to the robocall or read the transcript below:

Hello, this is Dick Ackerman former Fullerton Mayor and Councilmember and State Senate Minority Leader with a very important message.

The Fullerton City Council is being told to outsource our own police department and bring in an outside agency. We need you to attend the City Council meeting this Tuesday the 7th or e-mail or call the City Council to speak out against this terrible idea.

In 1937 George Amerige wrote there is a secret to building a town. It takes a stiff backbone, a spirit of progressiveness, a determination to win out, and a disposition that can stand against all sorts of criticism.

George would know because 50 years earlier he and his brother Edward set the foundations for Fullerton. From the days that oil and oranges dominated the Fullerton landscape until today we’ve been blessed by a pioneering spirit that has moved Fullerton forward together.

Sadly, today one man and his cohorts have threatened to turn back the clock in Fullerton. Millionaire developer Tony Bushala is attempting to bully the City Council and potentially bringing in a new police force.

First he bankrolled the recall election and know he wants a new police force for who knows why. Just last year the Fullerton police, the city employees, and firefighters agreed to a cost savings, pension reform, and cuts of over $1,000,000. That’s over $1,000,000 of savings for Fullerton taxpayers.

Don’t let one person turn back the clock. It’s time to stand up and speak out against Tony Bushala and move our city forward. Fullerton is not for sale and we would like to keep our police department our own.

Local control is the key. Call or e-mail our City Council or attend the August 7th meeting. If you would, please visit our website www.keepfullertonpd.com to sign up and also click the link to like us on Facebook.

Let’s keep our police local and reject Tony Bushalas terrible idea to outsource our police department. And let’s remember what George Amerige revealed many years ago the secret to a successful city is in the strength of its people.

Now is the time to show that strength and stand up for Fullerton. Thank you for listening and thank you for your help.


Posted in Fullerton | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Will the Fullerton Recall Succeed?

Posted by OC Insider on April 5, 2012

In OC Republican circles, the group consensus seems to be that the success of the Fullerton recall is a foregone conclusion. But is it?

Tony Bushala, the Fullerton developer and owner of the Friends for Fullerton’s Future blog, has spent at least $173,000 ($20K of it from his brother George) to qualify the recall against Fullerton councilmembers Don Bankhead, Dick Jones and Pat McKinley. Due to the timing of when Bushala turned in the signatures, the recall and replacement special elections will be consolidated with the June 5 primary.

Bushala has formed a new committee, Fullerton Residents for Reform, which will be the funding vehicle through which he pays for mail supporting his chosen candidates.

It’s easy to understand why people think the recall is a foregone conclusion: Bushala is a multi-millionaire who is completely focused on the recall, is willing to spend huge sums on it, and the recall targets are old and tired. Plus, there seems to be grass roots support for the recall.

On the other hand, there may be some wishful thinking by recall supporters. Generally speaking, it’s unlikely voters will recall local elected officials like councilmembers, especially ones they’ve been returning to office for years, unless they a) believe there is something seriously wrong with their city and b) voting for a recall will solve the problem(s).

Fullerton is a great and desirable place to live, and I’d be surprised is a majority of voters there think the city is in bad shape, let alone the train wreck recall supporters make it out to be. Plus, leading indicators of a genuine grass-roots campaign are missing. Many of those who show up for recall events or to harangue the council are from outside Fullerton, and outside Orange County. Grass roots would show up in the form of Fullerton residents making donations, small or large, to the recall campaign, yet a review of the campaign finance disclosures show only two Fullerton donors whose last name isn’t Bushala.

Look at it another way. Their genuine outrage at the tragic and senseless killing of Kelly Thomas aside, Bushala and his group took advantage of that situation to basically get a do-over of the 2010 council elections. The primary issues cited by recall supporters are the Kelly Thomas killing and a decades-old 10% water surcharge that turns out to be illegal.

The District Attorney is prosecuting two Fullerton policemen for murdering Thomas and the city’s movement to end the 10% water surcharge let a lot of the air out of those issues. As far as most voters who pay attention to city government see it, those issues are more or less being resolved, weakening the case that the solution is recalling Bankhead, McKinley and Jones.

Recalls are hard to win. In 2001, three Orange Unified School District trustees (one of whom was under house arrest) were recalled, but only after years of controversy and district actions generated wide-spread parent dissatisfaction. Parents organized and teamed with the teachers union to qualify a recall. Even so, the three trustees were recalled by very narrow margins, even though they didn’t work very hard to save their seats.

There are some similarities between the Fullerton recall and the 2010 recall of Mission Viejo Councilman Lance MacLean. In Mission Viejo in 2009, a vocal group of council critics initiated a recall against MacLean in 2009, in hopes of replacing him with one of themselves. Their signature gathering met with slow going and ultimately one of the recall leaders spent thousands of dollars to hire professional circulators to get it on the ballot. The recall election was held in February 2010. MacLean, who only campaigned actively to against his recall in the last few weeks, was recalled by a paper-thin margin of 19 votes out of 14,721 cast. And even that was rendered moot when recall leader Dale Tyler was defeated in the replacement election by Dave Leckness.

The Fullerton recall campaign leaders may have made a major strategic error by submitting their signatures almost a month before the February 16 deadline. If they had waited until that date, the recall/replacement elections would have been a stand-alone special election, probably in July, in which the low-turnout would tilt the odds in favor of the recall. Instead, the recall has been consolidated with the June primary, in which voter turn-out is expected to be in the mid-40 percent. Turn-out in a stand-alone special election would be half that.

The OUSD and Mission Viejo recalls were stand-alone special elections, in which voter turn-out was 21% and 23.9%, respectively. In both cases, the recalls only narrowly succeeded against politically inept incumbents who only sluggishly contested their recalls.

Which is another similarity with the Fullerton recall, one that argues in favor of its success. Dick Jones, Don Bankhead or Pat McKinley don’t appear to be working very hard to save their seats. Jones’ council term ends this December, so he may not care one way or another. Fullerton voters recalled Bankhead in October 1994, and then voted him back on the council a few weeks later, so he’s probably adopting a que sera, sera attitude toward the whole business.

Even if all three councilmembers are recalled, there’s no guarantee they will be replaced by recall supporters. Their best shot is in the Dick Jones seat, where Friends for Fullerton Future blogger and close Bushala ally Travis Kiger is running. Kiger has some big advantages: he can use his planning commissioner title, and he is the only replacement candidate in that seat who paid for a candidate statement in the sample ballot. If Jones is recalled, Kiger is almost certain to replace him.

A number of candidates who ran and lost for Fullerton Council in 2010 are running in the other two replacement elections. Running in the Bankhead seat is Greg Sebourn, a Bushala ally who finished a fairly distant fourth in the 2010 council election. Also running is a Rick Alvarez, who is more or less the establishment candidate. We’ll see if Alvarez can run a strong campaign, and whether Sebourn will run a better campaign than in 2010.

In the McKinley seat, the replacement candidates include Doug Chaffee, Barry Levinson and Matthew Rowe. Chaffee is a Democrat and establishment-type who fell only 90 votes short of being elected to the council in 2010. Levinson is more of Tea Party-type who finished 5th in 2010 with 10.6% of the vote. Rowe is a young-ish, conservative Iraq War veteran.

Even if voters support all three recalls, recall supporters may win only one of the seats. With the exception of Chaffee and Levinson, none of the replacement candidates have shown much ability to raise or loan themselves meaningful campaign warchests. At the end of the day, the election prospects of Kiger, Sebourn and either Levinson or Rowe will largely depend on how money Tony Bushala spends on their behalf through his Fullerton Residents for Reform independent expenditure committee.

All in all, it’s premature to conclude the recalls of Bankhead, Jones and McKinley are sure things. Odds of a successful recall are probably, at this moment, about 50-50.

Posted in Fullerton | Tagged: , , , , | 15 Comments »

Fullerton Officials Have Got to Go

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on January 31, 2012

Some big news recently has been with the potential recall of three Republican council members in Fullerton. This story has been covered very well by the bloggers at www.fullertonsfuture.org. People have asked me what my take is on the recall since the recall is targeting Republicans.

Usually my thought is that Republican money could be better spent targeting Democrats in the upcoming election. In this particular case though I am advocating that we do need to recall all three of these council members because they are hurting the Republican brand. The lone Democrat on the council Sharon Quirk-Silva is more conservative than the three targeted by the recall. Nobody on that council compares to Bruce Whitaker though who is a solid Republican on all issues.

I may not agree with Tony Bushala on every issue, but no matter what his motives are behind the recall these council members have simply got to go.

Posted in Fullerton | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

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