Define Transparency

Our pals at the Friends for Fullerton’s Future blog (FFFF) are regular stand up guys when it comes to calling for transparency in government.  They are very good about filing public records requests and reporting their findings and applying appropriate snarky comments to each post. 

So imagine our surprise to learn that FFFF blogger Travis Kiger was appointed to the Fullerton Planning Commission by newly elected councilman Bruce Whitaker.  Kiger was joined two others out of a pool of 27 applicants to make the team.  Click on this link and go to Travis’ application for the Planning Commission (page 137-138) and you’ll find the thinnest application for employment or an appointment that I’ve ever seen.

Kiger’s home address was redacted by the city for the online application but you can score it through a records request at city hall.  I’m not sure why you can access the data one way but not another — sliding scales of trasnparency I presume (but hey, I don’t care where he lives, really). 

Voters will be happy to note Travis hasn’t been arrested (since his 18th birthday) and he lists only an affiliation with the FFFF blog as an organization he belongs to.  No other civic or community organizations.  No church or house of worship.  No clubs.  No volunteer experience. 

There is a handwritten notation at the top of the page for 11/17 req. ref. which we believe is a note to check references. But again, none are provided.  No Chris Norby. No Shawn Nelson. No Tony Bushala.  No Chris Thompson.  No Ed Royce.  Nobody. Blank lines under references. The city did ask Kiger for references in December, they initially told us that Kiger communicated back that he would not provide references for the application (Kiger wasn’t the only applicant to decline to provide references and the city was getting back to me with his exact reason why).

On the second page of Kiger’s application where a question of his qualifications for Planning Commission is requested, Kiger is the soul of brevity; six words: “I am honest, analytical and independent.”  All notable attributes in a person, but we can certainly apply these attributes to most First Graders, can’t we?  At least Sean Mill had prior experience with planning when he was re-appointed in Santa Ana.

As a candidate for office, Whitaker had this statement posted on FFFF last Fall:

“Taxpayers/residents/small business owners and those (and there are many) who support rational public policy, objective decisions and open, ethical government:  There is still time to put your shoulder to the wheel of my campaign!

If you believe and lament that the outcome of this election is already decided . . . I submit that now more than ever, you should consider helping me to attain a seat on the Fullerton City Council.

Even if we do not agree on every issue, you should consider voting for me for the following reasons:

I believe that a councilmember should ensure openness; invite public input; demand fair and thorough deliberations and hearings; avoid conflicts; continuously conduct independent research and exercise due diligence that would keep him/her fully informed and prepared regarding items coming before the City Council.

Your councilmember should be available, be a good listener and treat the public with respect. A good City Council represents the people in the process, not the agendas of special interests which would work to the detriment of the people.

You can be assured that I will “speak up” when confronted with unethical, harmful or wasteful acts in our city government while representing you as a member of the Fullerton City Council.”

So I’d like to call Mr. Whitaker on the carpet here.  What makes Travis Kiger your pick for the Fullerton Planning Commission? What qualifications did he present that others did not? Do you think Travis Kiger is qualified to be an effective city commissioner?  Is Kiger on the Planning Commission to represent the best interests of the city or the best interests of the Busala Brothers development company? What sort of due diligence did you do on Kiger’s nearly blank application?  Did you not question his reason not to offer any references?

Kiger, who’s term expires 12/31/2012, gets a meeting stipend believede to be about $150 a month for attending both meetings (again, we have no problem with anyone being modestly compensated for public service).  Kiger gets no other benefits other than the meeting stipend which he can decline. But because he was appointed last night, there is no word on whether Kiger will take the money or not. 

There’s transparency and then there’s invisbility.

Welcome to your appointed political life Mr. Kiger.  Expect your decisions to be scruntized and questioned especially when those decisions benefit a few members of the city of Fullerton over the majority of the residents of the city.


  1. “I am honest, analytical and independent.”

    If Travis does say so himself! At least he left off “modest.”

    • My qualifications? Orange resident, taxpayer, property owner. I think I bring a common sense, pro-property rights perspective.

      Plus, I already had commission service experience from the OC Parks Commission.

      That said — where did I question Kiger’s qualifications? Or Bruce Whitaker’s right to appoint him? Bruce probably wanted to put a philosophically like-minded person into his old spot on the Planning Commission.

      I poked a little fun at Kiger’s statement of his qualifications on his threadbare application. Apparently, “Hello Pot!” lacks a sense of humor.

  2. What are Mr. Cunningham’s qualifications to serve on the Orange County Parks Commission?

    You wanna talk about quid pro quo, Matt is a prime example.

    • I’m a supporter and user of county parks, not to mention a taxpayer and 3rd District resident.

      What’s the beef?

      And believe me — there was no quid pro quo. I did not seek appointment to the OC Parks Commission.

      But don’t let that interfere with your obviously active fantasy life.

    • I’m a supporter and user of county parks who cares very much about our county parks system, not to mention a taxpayer and 3rd District resident.

      What’s the beef?

      And believe me — there was no quid pro quo. I did not seek appointment to the OC Parks Commission.

      But don’t let that interfere with your obviously active fantasy life.

  3. I don’t know Travis so I can’t answer that question.

    I figured that since you were malligning one appointed official and questioning his qualifications that you would do the same for Cunningham.

    Are you working on that story next?

    • Matt has held several commission positions that I am aware of. He has a degree in government from GW. And he’s been a political consultant for 20+ years.

      Travis is an IT guy. No references. Little detail to explain why he’d be a good planning commissioner.

      But Matt can speak for himself. And so can Travis.

  4. Beginning this post with a photo labeled “Idiot with saw” sort of the sets the tone, and sets my teeth on edge. As far as Travis’ qualifications, I would submit they are the same as Matt Cunningham’s. “Fullerton resident, taxpayer, property owner. I think I bring a common sense, pro-property rights perspective.” While you may not agree with Travis’ posts at 4F, (I don’t always)
    there is no question that he has shown himself capable of digging into the background of the issues and coming to some pretty reasonable conclusions regarding property use and property rights. I would be thrilled to have Mr. Kiger on my local Planning Commission, he is far more qualified to serve than the buddy-system that hand picks the morons on Anaheim’s Commissions as payback for political favors rather than any qualification for office. barking up the wrong tree Dan, you are letting personal feelings get in the way of objective reporting.

    • Cynthia —
      The Idiot with a Saw label is the name of the file Travis assigned to the photo himself; I had nothing to do with that. But since they are so good about lifting my Facebook photos for their posts, I’m sure Travis won’t mind me lifting his from his website. But I never called Travis an idiot.

      I am merely calling into question Travis’ paperthin application and how it seems to conflict with the due diligence promise made by Mr. Whitaker during the campaign. No references? Please. Let’s not be a hypocrite here Cynthia. If Lorri Galloway had applied for this job without offering a single reference, you’d be all over her for it.

      I have no beef with Travis. Transparency means you can see through both sides of the screen. He’s not showing much on his end.

      • If the photo was already labeled then I offer an apology for calling you out on it. But I stand by my opinion that Travis Kiger makes an excellent Planning Commissioner. And Dan, if you really want to drag Lorri into this, she ran on a thinner platform for Council! The woman is utterly unqualified for her Council seat, and yet she was seated by a will of the people. I have to deal with that, and you have to deal with the fact that Kiger was legally seated to PC following a set of standards vetted by a City Attorney. Frankly if Travis Kiger serving as a Planning Commish is the biggest issue in Fullerton right now, I need to move there.

        • Lorri gots thousands of votes; Travis was selected directly by Whitaker. Six words to describe why he’d be a good planning commissioner.

          Oh, there are much bigger fish to fry in Fullerton. But I’m merely pointing out that Kiger is one of those voices loudly calling for transparency yet offering very little in return on his own application for public service.

          Not a single reference, personal or professional? Was he afraid to list Tony Bushala directly on it?

  5. This is mighty convenient for Tony Bushala. His close pal and fellow FFFF blogger gets a spot on the Fullerton Planning Commission.

    Coincidentally, Bushala is trying to get Fullerton to change the land use rules from some of his properties. Now he’s got his buddy to lead the charge for him on the Planning Commission.

    What’s that word those guys like to use? “Repuglicans”?

    • Actually Vern, only your webmaster is an idiot? I’d cast a wider net with your cohorts over there. Especially the one who is writing about the culture of hate in OC while refusing to admit his role in fanning those flames. And his continuation of fanning those flames while hiding behind a Christian rebirth.

  6. HeyVern. Do us a favor. We’d like Memphis to keep their liquor license so leave your wine inside the bar you old alcoholic you. Nice wine glass on the piano in that video a$$hole

    • Just so everyone is clear about how you guys operate, Vern’s disease (alcoholism) is fair game and can be riduled and joked about. Chris’s disease (HIV) is out of bounds and off-limits. Sound about right guys?

      • well considering the crap we get blamed for on OJ, this is tame. I don’t see you driving Vern to AA meetings SAR; and while you’re at it, drop Art off at the mental health clinic and Sean off at anger mgmt classes to save yourself a couple of trips

        • You’re right, Chris, it was from the Gipsy Den. They handed it to me out there. And I can have a glass of wine whenever I feel like it. Punk. (Al-anon, not you Chris)

  7. Vern is in AA? Doesn’t that program say something about “rigorous honesty” being key? Maybe Vern ought to try some of that.

  8. Oh, and the pantywaists at FFFF finally got around to responding to this post. Sybil Bushala put on his “Joe Sipowicz” mask and spewed a typical ad hominem against Dan for daring to bring it up.

    Even Chris Thompson turned into a puffed up bullfrog because someone criticized that twerp. Too bad Chris can’t find it in himself to explain why he’s got his snout firmly shoved into the public trough.

    • This moron

      1. Thinks Bushala is Sipcowicz, when they have different styles and I know them both;

      2. Has concluded apropos of nothing that I’m in AA;

      3. Can’t think of an example of my lack of rigorous honesty;

      4. Calls others “Sybil” (implying identity dissociation) when he’s used at least eight names I know of including two on this thread.

      Keep on sucking, bro!

        • Vern —
          Tpny and Joe have very similar writing styles; both used the same language about “thanking the little people” when each made it to our scary blogger lists in 2009, 2010. Given that you have outed both you and Art for being “Zorro” doesn’t give you lots of credibility. So much for your honesty.

          And for the legion of commenters over on FFFF, these “corrections.”

          1. I am not on the payroll of the City of Irvine or the Great Park, so if one derives no financial benefit, how can one “prositute” themselves to a politician; see Art Pedroza for that definition as he has taken money from at least one Santa Ana city council member.
          2. I have no problem with Miguel Pulido. Though I know others here do.
          3. My firm employs people other than myself. I have a staff of 5 right now. And my firm did win a national Technology PR campaign award last year, so I think we do pretty good work.
          4. @LukeSkywalker — loved your comment Steve. But I note you never made any changes to the factual errors I noted in one of your posts. Because that would require you to admit you actually made a mistake.

          • Given that you have outed both you and Art for being “Zorro” doesn’t give you lots of credibility. So much for your honesty.

            I know you’re dying to insult me, Dan, but I just can’t follow that. I was upfront from the start that when I write about immigration I use the pen-name Zorro that Art began. So much for my honesty… HOW???

            Don’t bother answering, this is getting boring… Hey that commenter of yours is a real dick. Tell him I said so.

            • I’ll give you this Vern — at least you post under your own name. But I don’t understand why you feel you need to also post under “Zorro.”

              I don’t have a lot of sympathy for you frfom our commenter given the crap I get on your site. And its usually misinformed. For example, my kids don’t go to Beckman, I’m not Jewish, and I do a lot more community vonluteerism other than coach youth sports…but yoru Drop Kick Murphys fan and Guy Fawkers character really don’t know all that much about me.

  9. You’re right, alcoholism is a disease that is hereditary while you probably contracted HIV due to a wreckless lifestyle.

          • Vern —
            I won’t comment on OJ or NewSantaAna sionce Art is known to edit comments; totally unethical, but for him, par for the course. Sorry. There are posts I would love to comment on at your blog. Have no interest engaging unless it is a neutral site

            • lots of things i would love to comment on at the oj as well but wont after i was banned from commenting on there. this is around that time when that freakshow SMS was convinced i was paul lucas. and by the way cheminowski i think it’s pretty lame that you banned him from this blog.but lets be honest here, both blogs have engaged in altering and deleting comments.

              • Jose —
                We actually delete very few comments; usually those that clearly violate our terms of service, are outright libelous, or contain racial and/or homophobic references. We have even contacted law enforcement on specific threats to certain public officials from time to time (happens rarely). Paul was banned for repeated violating our TOS and his insistence that we’re “full throated jannies” whatever that means. But we do not edit comments here. The policy is comments go up or they get deleted. We are also not adverse to publishing comments critical of us. We’re not the Ministry of Truth like other blogs in town.

                @Vern. I would never comment on your blog. My comments were edited and when I complained about that to your unethical former publisher, he told me where to stick it. Sorry Vern. I don’t trsut comments to OK and I don’t trust you.

  10. Vern I am sure that it breaks your heart that Dan won’t comment (using his name) on your blog. Having Dan’s trust is something you must live for. Don’t your worry, he and his “sock puppets” are commenting everywhere.

  11. vern, my block was lifted a while back pedroza told me this in a comment on our friend the bolsaviks site he told me i could comment any time there. i also choose not to comment on the OJ even though there is some good posts there at times i just think it’s pathetic what has happened to that blog it’s become nothing more than a propaganda machine for pulido and his minions. i mean look what he did to that post just before the election that pretty much says it all. doesnt matter if he put it back up later the thing is he took it down when he thought it might anger or take votes away from the tiny dark lord. pedroza is nothing more than a cheap whore.and chemlinowski, as far as paul lucas calling you guys “full throated jannies” i would have to agree. there is a lovefest on this blog when it comes to her.i still dont think thats a reason to ban somebody. but thats the thing with you guys who run these blogs you get on these little power trips and i think it’s too bad.

    • You obviously haven’t read the blog since I took over. What you’re describing is the New Santa Ana blog. Our folks who write about Santa Ana now are mostly Francisco and Gabriel who are generally critical of the Pulido crowd. And it was ME who restored Francisco’s post.

      Drop by some time.

      • vern, i read the blog plenty but lets be honest here, you are not in charge of the oj pedroza is. if you were in charge franciscos post would never have been taken down. and claudio,so who’s telling the truth then between you and cheminowski? will one of you be banned for lying? or name calling like prevatt? get real guys. and cheminowski, you’re more like pedroza than you think.

        • Actually, I said Paul was banned for repeatedly violating our TOS and Claudio merely spelled it out. I’m more like Pedroza than I think? Really? Do I libel anyone? My mortgage is paid on time, I have no credit card fraud lawsuits against me, I don’t hide behind aliases like “admin” or “Zorro” or “El Democrata.” And I don’t take money from politicians I cover. How exactly?

        • Jose S.

          I know Art Pedroza, Art Pedroza WAS a friend of mine. And Dan Chmielewski is NO Art Pedroza.

          Seriously, I have gotten to know Dan over the last few years and he is nothing like Art. Art claims to do things for people under the guise of kindness, but expecting unswerving loyalty to HIM in return. He is the ultimate narcisist. Dan on the other hand goes out of his way to help friends in need and doesn’t run and cry to half of Irvine if he doesn’t get his way. Unlike Art Pedroza, a true scumbag to the end.

        • Jose, the change from Pedroza to me was incremental over several months, but the fact is he has no more administrative access since around two months ago, when all Sean’s pieces were removed. I’m in charge there now.

    • Paul and Art have a lot in common; I think they are both “off” and angry, underemployed guys who get a sense of power by making a claim and sticking with it no matter how wrong it is. Both of them wrote checks to Janet; no one on this blog did. (and yes, Paul asked for his money back). I wrote a check to Paul for his last campaign and should have asked for it back, but I’m sure he needs the money more than I do. Art is currently spending a lot of words trying to portray people like Thomas Gordon, Francisco, and some of us here as “unhinged.” He is trying to create an impressive that the SA city council is in some sort of mortal danger. None of that is true. But then again, only Art was talking about the Hemlock Society during Thanksgiving. And then he found Jesus. So I’d have to ask who is unhinged or “off?”

      Sean Mill had a comment that “Junior” libeled the city council with a comment that developers get projects and then given money to the city council. But Sean then had to drop that David Benavides had to return a contribution from a developer without mentioning that Sal Tinajero and Michelle Martinez did too; I’m not sure how you can libel someone by reporting a verified fact.

      I’m sure Sean’s employer will be happy to know Sean’s no longer blogging from work.

    • Actually Jose, it was not Paul’s name calling that ultimately got him banned, it was the dishonest action he got caught doing. He was pretending to be Phil Bacerra, trying to give an impression it was that person who was commenting. Paul got caught when he commented under his own name but from the same IP address as the fake Phil Bacerra.

      When confronted with the evidence, he actually tried to deny it even though he was lying through his teeth. He got banned for lying and dishonesty. Pure and simple.

  12. vern i still find that hard to believe but maybe i will comment on there again and see how fast my comment gets removed. and vern the oj wont pay a dime in settlement money you guys really dont deserve a penny for that stupid lawsuit and claudio, i’m sure cheminowski is a decent guy i’m not saying he isnt i’m sure he’s a better man than art that pretty much goes without saying but they are alike in the sense that they control their blogs and control who comments on there and delete comments they dont agree with and threaten to ban people. i know, i know, they claim they never do but i know both are liars.

  13. Jose — the only people we ban are those who continually violate our TOS; we automatically delete their comments. I’m sure Paul has managed to float a few comments here anonymously from a new IP address, but your charge we ban people we don’t agree with is false. As for deleting comments we don’t agree with, well we don’t — we aren’t the OJ or New Santa Ana and comments are posted here regularly that are critical of this blog and the people who write for it.

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. Travis Kiger Gets Under Skin of Loathesome Liberals

Comments are closed.