Corruption Report Preview: Jordan Brandman Reaches Out!

As we sleep, we dream of the long-awaited (and redacted) Anaheim Corruption Report, which assistant city attorney Pelletier said at the last meeting (if we heard her right) should be released “at the end of the month” – which is next week!

And then when we wake up, we – or I should say *I* – notice that, at 7:30 in the morning, there are already hundreds of new hits on a story of mine from two years ago, “Jordan Brandman’s Vicious Texts!”

Turns out, the former Councilman REACHED OUT on his own – NOT to me of course! – to Adam Elmahrek who now writes for the Times and used to be the star writer for the Voice of OC, where he was always stonewalled by Jordan along with all his cabal/kleptocrat allies. Jordan told Adam his reaching out was part of some Jewish “ritual of atonement” and so he proceeded to “rip his own tits off” in front of Adam, to use his and his mom’s expression.

Is it a coincidence that Jordan does this a week before the report’s release – during the 4th week of Advent so to speak? Well, here in the “cheap seats” we often just have to make educated guesses.

These two articles (which you can read HERE and HERE without paywall hassle) really fill in a lot of the sad story of this disturbed young man, which we’ll try to make chronological sense of down below, but first THERE ARE A FEW BURNING QUESTIONS the two articles leave us asking:

The BIA’s Man on Council

In the first story we learn that while Jordan was on Council from 2018 to 2020, he was making $27k for Council, $30k as an OC Water District member (where he mainly shilled for Poseidon), and a whopping $118K consulting for the Building Industry Association. Maybe this much is legal (though I don’t like having a representative who makes the vast majority of his money from a special interest who will always have business in front of Council, do you?)

But… do you ever remember him RECUSING himself on ANYTHING? I sure don’t.

This is a good place for me to correct something I got wrong in my “Vicious Texts” story – I had tried watching the meeting the night before he wrote such angry words about his colleague Denise Barnes, and I guessed wrong what had set him off. Turns out it was a building project in the Hills – on Serrano, FAR from Jordan’s district – lobbied for by Jeff Flint. John Saunders (mostly famed for rent-gouging at Senior Mobile Home Parks) wanted to tear down a popular shopping center and build “affordable housing.”

Sidhu and Trevor O’Neil, representing the Hills, got “hall passes” to vote against it so as not to piss off their neighbors. But the cabal figured they’d at least have Jose Moreno and Denise voting yes, as “OF COURSE they’ll support ‘affordable housing,’ they’re Democrats DUH.” But those two Democrats looked at the project and beheld that it was shitty. Denise was actually the deciding vote dooming that project. And in the morning the BIA Councilman wanted to “rip off her tits.”

APD Cover-up of Brandman’s Terrorist Threat

What we learn in the second story is that, a month or two before his troubling texts, Jordan “had flown into a rage about city employees, telling another aide while yelling and sobbing that ‘he wanted to walk into City Hall and ‘blow people’s heads off’ because they were not complying with his directives.’” This, rightly, was very concerning to City Manager Vanderpool, who immediately contacted APD Chief Jorge Cisneros, who apparently took his time but eventually did some sort of welfare check on Jordan at home. The upshot was, Jordan was forced to take a couple weeks off Council – which nobody noticed at the time, but Sidhu did mention the following year when his texts came to light – and seek psychiatric “help.”

But nobody in the public ever heard about this terrorist threat, this police visit, this psychiatric help, as the APD covered it up. Chief Cisneros finally explained to the Times this week that “When we get very influential individuals, we put those under wraps.” Really. Very influential individuals. Like Council members?

Not so much “Council members,” I would submit. Can you imagine if it were Jose Moreno or Tom Tait or Denise Barnes who had lost their temper and talked about “wanting to shoot the place up,” what woulda happened to them? We would have seen them on TV being perp-walked out of their homes that day. It is VALUED members of the cabal “family” that get such things covered up.

In the long two months between our release of the “Vicious Texts” and Jordan’s forced August resignation, I was in touch with some trusted people inside the County Democratic Party (DPOC) – which had stubbornly supported Jordan throughout a slew of bad political actions despite all the complaints of us local Democrats. For several months we’d been trying to recall the guy – the biggest reason being his support for the crooked Stadium Giveaway. “Are you guys gonna still back him, even after these texts?” I asked plaintively. I was assured that they were doing everything they could behind the scenes to get him to resign. “Really, Vern,” my source confided, “these texts are just the tip of the iceberg – I can’t talk about it right now but he’s done a lot of bad things you don’t know about yet.” Now we have a little more of an idea what she was talking about.

The DPOC eventually put out a little resolution, not even mentioning his name, but just saying, duh, that the DPOC doesn’t like misogynistic talk and writing. For all the support the Party had given the politician throughout his career, there was nothing they could do to make him resign even assuming they wanted to. It took an INTERVENTION of all his handlers, from Priest and Flint to the ubiquitous Melahat, it had to be framed as something that’d be good for his “career” and “health,” and he had to be assured that he could keep his BIA job.

It seems like Party leadership is still mad at me for helping force Jordan out in 2021, and forcing us to endure 16 months of Republican Gloria Ma’ae. (They thought they would just somehow replace him with some better Democrat in ’22.) Well, we did the right thing, and Gloria wasn’t any worse than Jordan, and now we have Carlos Leon. So I, at least, can hold my head high.

Too much even for Danny Fierro

Danny Fierro, whom I STILL haven’t gotten around to writing a big feature about, has done some wild and messed-up things (ask Sharon Quirk-Silva, ask Jose Moreno) to get his clients elected. He was Jordan’s campaign manager – you might remember Jordan BRIEFLY getting Danny’s dad in as City Attorney which lasted a few weeks. Danny now runs “Presidio Communications” which works for Disney and is running the campaign against Measure A; in his bio he boasts:

Danny is most proud of … being the chief strategist for the first openly gay elected official in Orange County. In another instance, he ran the campaign that propelled the nation’s first openly gay Muslim elected official to public office in the City of Fullerton.”

Note that Danny pointedly did not mention the names of Brandman or Ahmad Zahra there. It wouldn’t-a been accurate anyway – my openly gay friend Joe Shaw was elected HB Councilman back when Jordan was still a school board member and telling everyone he was straight. But I digress. The thing is, we learned today that Fierro refused to work for Jordan any more because of his violent threats AND what Danny described as Jordan’s “racist and misogynistic comments,” including blaming an employee’s COVID-19 diagnosis on her “family’s ethnic heritage.”

This LAST bit really pushes a button with me. My source for Jordan’s vicious texts was Kathy Chance, who was prepared to go to her grave with them until she heard Jordan throwing an exaggerated hissy fit, calling commissioner Larry Larsen all kinds of “RACIST” for his use of the word “China-Virus” which Chance found very hypocritical. Sounds like Jordan’s jihad against Larry was even more hypocritical than Chance thought at the time! Projection even, Projection to the Trumpth Degree.


Jordan sure cries a lot for a grown-ass man. Two months after his resignation, a friend of mine driving rideshare overheard him literally WAILING to someone over the phone about how “Todd and Jeff let me down.” (Now we’re thinking Todd was Todd Priest, rather than Ament.) And then nearly two years after that, Adam describes his “sobbing interview” in which he bemoaned the betrayal of his good, good, close, lobbyist friends.

These lobbyists, especially Nocella and Priest, sure took advantage of this damaged guy and his bottomless need for love and affirmation, showering him with affection like close family members or lovers until they had to cut bait. It’s kind of sad, and almost enough to make you feel sorry for Jordan. But then you remember a few things:

  • How ruthless and cruel he was with Mayor Tait for four years, even calling a special “emergency” morning meeting in 2013 just in order to silence Tait’s criticisms of the $1 a year Angel Stadium deal.
  • How in late ’15 / early ’16 he did his best to postpone district elections for another two years just so he wouldn’t have to face Dr. Moreno (Jordan did this singlehandedly – knowing he had the backing of Kring and Murray who didn’t pretend to want districts at all!)
  • How in his final years under Mayor Sidhu, he didn’t even bother justifying his bad and thoughtless votes except to say “I’m going to support the Mayor because he was elected at large and I wasn’t” – both depriving his own district 2 of a thinking representative and reminding us all how he always defied Tait (who won by 60%, while Sidhu only won by 34%.)

So all things considered, fuck that crybaby.


There’s really a whole lot in these two stories which you need to read if you haven’t – STORY 1 and copy sans paywall, STORY 2 and copy sans paywall. And Adam’s introductory epistle which has stuff that’s in neither story. But I’m just going to make a couple more observations before I sign off…

Throughout the interview, schizophrenically, Jordan denies having done anything wrong, blames all his wrongdoing on others or his physical or mental health, claims that most of what he did was good for Anaheim. And at one point he seems to throw up his hands when he admits,

“It’s a Gilded Age-type of arrangement, where the robber barons come and the senators just say yes.”

Well, I’m not sure I coulda put that better myself! But does Jordan see anything wrong with that? And if so, when did that begin to seem wrong to him? He sure seemed happy and proud in that arrangement until he was forced out.

One vote he claims to regret is the one to fire City Manager Chris Zapata, for offering an opinion the cabal didn’t like (that $6.5 million of federal Covid money should not be steered to the tourist agency Visit Anaheim at the height of the pandemic, that if anything it should be a lot less, and have a lotta strings attached.) Jordan claims that he liked and wanted to keep Zapata, but the Cabal masters ordered him to show his loyalty by making it a 5-2 vote against Zapata. Maybe that’s true.

He believes it reflects well on him that the FBI caught Flint and Ament musing, in late 2020, “Can we trust Brandman?” I would cherish that quote too if I were Jordan. At that point they were unsure if they could trust Jordan OR Avelino. But it’s easy to see how their trust had been shaken by his recent erratic behavior (and possibly his reluctance to fire Zapata.) 19 times out of 20, Jordan was a pliant order-taker to the cabal, a “senator” happily taking his orders from the “robber barons.”

And now we shall pause, contemplate, and maybe the next time we speak the report will be out.

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, or 714-235-VERN.