Buck Johns, “Titan of Industry” – LOL!!!



Last week, Newport millionaire and Orange Juice friend Stan Tkaczyk received quite an odd e-mail.  Mr. Tkaczyk (pron. “Tkaczyk”) is perhaps best known in this county as:

  • Republican Fair Board appointee of Democratic Governor Jerry Brown (marking an end to the tradition of these appointments signifying political favors) ;
  • the former, and celebrated, president of Huntington Beach’s Rainbow Disposal who stunned the business community by brushing off the blandishments of profiteers and selling the company to its own employees (so now when your Rainbow worker comes to pick up your trash you’re looking at a Company Owner – how Communist!);  and
  • husband of the irrepressible Register columnist Barbara Venezia.

But anyway, like I was trying to tell you, Stan received a quite curious correspondence last week which he saw fit to share with us:  an e-mail from Costa Mesa Planning Commissioner and Righeimer acolyte Jim Fitzpatrick, who is now apparently working for Buck Johns, who in turn is the inseparable crony of Fairgrounds Swindle mastermind and all-around prolific miscreant Dave Ellis

Referring to Buck as a “Titan of Industry,”  the correspondence attempts to solicit investments in a project of Buck’s – namely to become a “limited partner in Inland Energy’s EB-5 Equity Investment Program.”

“But I just had to laugh…
I saw the photograph.”

Buck Johns – Jim Fitzpatrick – Dave Ellis

I’m sorry, that “Titan of Industry” was just too much for those of us who have been following Buck for a while – Buck, the president of Newport-based Inland Energy, which has done all its damage, er, work, in the Inland Empire – mostly poor unfortunate Victorville – because that’s where Buck and Dave can get away with whatever they want, having helped to elect so many of the politicians including the DA.  “Titan?”

Titan, perhaps, of the First Failed EB-5 Project in the EB-5’s 13-year history – the first project of its sort that had to be terminated by the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) due to all the misrepresentations given to the 19 hopeful Chinese investors who had to have their $9.5 million returned by the broke city.

Titan, perhaps, of Failed Plants – a failed $1.2 billion “Victorville II” power plant; a failed $25 million wastewater treatment facility;  a $120 million “Dr. Pepper / Snapple” bottling facility that didn’t happen;  a solar plant that got nixed by a wising-up Victorville council once they discovered Buck was secretly involved, and more (in the literature Fitzy sent, it was necessary to go back ten years to 2003 to find a Buck Johns success.)

Titan, perhaps, of Nearly Bankrtupting Victorville, the desert town that was already suffering a severely depressed economy before being convinced to go hog wild with “Uncle Buck’s” grandiose schemes (while rewarding him with tens of millions.)

Wait – wasn’t all this failure at least as much the fault of corrupt and incompetent Victorville politicians?  Well, yes and no, and mostly NO – these politicians were put into power and given their instructions by Buck and Dave.

Snarks one wag, “Yep, that Buck Johns really puts the TIT back in TITAN.”


All of this unpleasantness about what Buck and Dave (and their pal Brett Granlund) did in the Inland Empire ‘way back … well, a couple years ago … would be less to the point if it weren’t for the fact that what they’re trying to get investments in now is essentially the same old thing which Buck has been doing so disastrously for at least a decade – trying to finance huge new power plants with investments from wealthy Chinamen hoping for US residency.  (Here’s the PDF that came attached to the e-mail;  if you have bundles of idle cash and find this convincing, then Go For It!  Tell ’em Vern sent you.)

So…but why is this idea being shopped to good old Stan Tkaczyk?  Some see the evil genius mind of Dave Ellis at work – it’s got to have SOMETHING to do with the old bad blood between Dave and Stan as well as Stan’s current efforts to get to the bottom of Dave’s failed Fairgrounds Swindle;  after all, we now know that Dave has been waging clandestine war against his other Fair Board nemesis Nick Berardino (for which he is just BEGINNING to get apocalyptic blowback.)  This has GOT to be another patented Ellis dirty trick on Stan, if only we could figure it out!  Hmmm….

Babs and Brooke – what’ll THEY come up with together?

But I don’t really see how it could be;  there was never any danger of Stan doing anything with this invite but laughing and passing it on to his blogger friends and his wife.  I really think Fitzpatrick just sent this e-mail off to every Republican Newport millionaire he could think of.  And why not, with any luck Jim’ll get a few commissions out of it.

Meanwhile, Stan’s famous “irrepressible” wife has befriended Brooke Edwards, the journalist who broke many of these Inland Empire / Buck Johns / Victorville / EB5 stories and has now joined Babs at the Register.  I bet you they’ll come up with some interesting new take on this subject!  ALSO meanwhile, I better stop screwing off and get back to issues that actually affect you and me in the big OC.

Vern, signing off…

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official political troubadour of Anaheim and most other OC towns. Regularly makes solo performances, sometimes with his savage-jazz band The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.