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A headline attracted my like proverbial moth to flame to a rival website, where FFFFwad “Fullerton Harpoon” has this to say to Fullerton Planning Commissioner Larry Bennett’s recent televised criticism of Tony Bushala’s “buying the election.”
Observe that Bennett is not only a bad loser he is still a liar, which seems to come so naturally. He is still dodging the easiest question of all: if Tony Bushala wanted to control the City Council to further his own mythical development schemes, how much easier would it have been to simply donate to the Three Dead Batteries’ campaigns? The answer of course is a lot. A lot cheaper too.
Some disputation ensued. I got the biggest kick out of this one from “JustUs” at FFFF:
So if you want to own Fullerton – more power to you, Tony. I hope you figure out a way to own the entire County so we can turn this corrupted mess around. Don’t apologize, Tony. Call yourself “The King of Fullerton” and demand that the city officials bow down when you pass in their presence. You merely did what all the rest of them have been doing for decades!!! Buying power!!! Good for you!!!
Three cheers for Tony Bushala!! HIP HIP HURRAY! HIP HIP HURRAY!!! HIP HIP HURRAY!!!
This is more or less rebutted, I think, here:
Good googlie mooglie
Why can’t a person use his money to give back to his community instead of buying yachts or diamond encrusted sunglasses?
Why does there have to be a game being played or deceitful ulterior motives behind anything good someone does with his/her money?
Bill Gates gives alot of money so does Cal Ripken-maybe they are hoping to rule the world someday with Tony B.
Jealous big mouths.
Chriminy, I can’t wait until time passes and all you ninnys and whiners see that Tony B. has not purchased a crown, is not having a king robe made for him, is not calling Buckingham Palace needing employees (If he needs any help there are plenty of court jesters waiting right here), is not able to smash windows at his whim and doesn’t have a special batman hotline phone to the council in his hidden cave.
I will be standing in line to name all of you and to make a big deal out of all of the foolish quotes pertaining to this that are being made on this blog.
FWIW, I don’t think that Tony has had primarily financial interests in “buying the election.” I think that he is an ideologue. Across the country, bashing employee unions, threatening the improper use of municipal bankruptcy law, starving government of revenue, and generally squirting ink into the waters of public policy so that it’s not clear that the massive wrongdoers (those “capitalism for profits, socialism for losses” types of the traditional Republican Party — and yes, too many Democrats too) are the ones who are sacking the economy and sucking the marrow out of the middle class. Tony’s part of that.
The objective that I think that Tony cared about most was the one that raised the least heat among voters who were stirred by the Kelly Thomas killing and the water tax: busting employee unions. This has to do with the twin problems of public employee pension reform: (1) some people in the upper echelons of city and county government and in some public safety unions have been self-serving and (2) lots of people lower down in the hierarchy of unionized city workers negotiated deferred compensation — pensions — as part of their employment package, sufficient for a comfortable but generally not lavish retirement. They are owed a lot of money, and having obtained their services with the promises of later compensation, libertarian activists now want to say “tough luck, suckers!” and renege on the deal for which public employees have bargained. After all, private companies are doing this willy-nilly; why shouldn’t taxpayers?
This answers Fullerton Harpoon’s question: why wouldn’t Tony Bushala have just donated to the campaigns of the outgoing Council majority if he just wanted to “buy the government”? Because they are not grand ideologues and would not go along with the shuttering of city services and cheating on pensions. If you say that this is because of their ties to the public safety unions, rather than out of feeling of beneficence towards public employees — well, I’m not sure that I’d argue with you at all. Even if they were “for sale,” as one FFFF commenter alleged, that doesn’t mean that they were willing to do just anything the customer wanted.
So I sort of agree with the commenter who refutes the argument that no one is seriously making: indeed, Tony Bushala does not seek a crown and scepter. He doesn’t want to rule; he just wants the city ruled his way. That’s a policy ambition, not a personal one.
It’s the notion that Tony Bushala should now try to take over the county that most amuses me. One good guideline in Orange County politics is that the coast is more libertarian (ideologically libertarian Huntington Beach and economically libertarian Newport Beach — both part of the 74th district that is the only new state or federal legislative district of any kind covering any part of Orange County to have voted against Prop 8 — and the “inland” north of the 405 or 22 (depending on how harsh one is being) is more traditional.
In some ways, the most interesting thing about Tony’s success is that it happened in the wrong part of the county — which may be why the Kelly Thomas theme, and not the anti-pension theme, dominated the recall campaign. People want to see Tony take over Orange County? Then Tony’s next trip is going to have to be to the beach. Just note: that’s going to take a lot more money than taking over Fullerton did — and the opposition will be a lot wealthier.
Meanwhile, if Tony really cares that much about police brutality against the mentally ill, another commenter posts on the horror story of Khoa An Le, a man of that description recently beaten to death in El Monte (which is presumably of similar value, denominated as one human life, as Kelly Thomas.) It goes beyond the imperial ambitions set out for Tony in Orange County — but El Monte is closer to Fullerton than Mission Viejo!
I’m sure that Tony will be right on the case! (Does El Monte have a water tax?)