Shawn Nelson: Does He or Doesn’t He on Endorsements

4th District Supervisor Shawn Nelson

Shortly after the signatures for the Fullerton Recall of Dick Jones, Don Bankhead and Pat McKinley was approved, we contacted Supervisor Shawn Nelson’s office (on Valentine’s Day to be exact).  We received a nice email from Nelson’s director of communications, Audra Adams, who promised to get back to us right away.  Then nothing for weeks.  I left a voice message the last full week of February and no response.  So we tried again today and got through.

But first some context.

We’re curious about Nelson’s position on the Recall.  After all, he served with the “Three Bald Tires” on the Fullerton City Council prior to his election to county’s board of supervisors.  And, he was the next door neighbor of Friends for Fullerton’s Future (FFFF) blogger Tony Bushala for years, as well as a frequent Bushala BBQ guest.

This special election places Nelson between a rock and a hard place.  Does he support the colleagues from his Fullerton City Council days or risk the ire of a millionaire developer who wants them replaced and is a longttime Nelson supporter?

Adams picked up the phone and we asked about speaking to the Supervisor on the recall.  “Supervisor Nelson has no comment on the recall,” she said.  She offered that he won’t speak about the recall. I then asked if she could confirm that Nelson had indeed endorsed Fullerton Planning Commisioner Travis Kiger, which the only indication of this endorsement is this story on the FFFF blog.  Nelson is quoted in the story as saying: “Fullerton is in need of strong, conservative leadership. I live in Fullerton and I trust Travis to deliver on the promises of transparency and accountability.”

Kiger pulled papers for Fullerton City Council with about 15 months on the Fullerton Planing Commission.  We’ve noted before, his application was among the thinnest we’ve seen. And since Kiger acts as a Planning Commissioner to Council Member Bruce Whitaker, if he’s elected to the city council, Bushala needs one more vote to unofficially be the power behind the throne.

She couldn’t confirm the endorsement or the statement.

Given Nelson’s positon on the recall, the hesistancy of his spokeswoman to simply confirm the endorsement of Kiger, and her insistance Nelson would not make a statement on the Fullerton Recall seems to be a huge contradiction especially given Nelson’s quote in support of Kiger on the FFFF blog.  Adams gave me her cell number to talk about this further rather than discuss politics on the county’s dime and phone line, which we appreciate.

I called her back about ten seconds after hanging up, as I said I would.

Three times.

I got voice mail every time. And no return call to both of the lines I used.

So like his dye job from gray to black, does Shawn Nelson say something on the record about the Fullerton Recall or doesn’t he?  Does he endorse Travis Kiger or doesn’t he (it’s not like the FFFF blog would make up a story out of whole cloth, would they?).  Does Shawn Nelson throw his old colleagues under the bus or doesn’t he?  Or, does the supervisor say “how high” when his old neighbor says “jump”?

As far as the recall goes, we’re all for anything where Republican elected are replaced by solid Democrats.


  1. I’m sure Supervisor Nelson is losing sleep Dan because you are pestering him on who he has or has not endorsed.

    And as for Dems winning a majority on the Fullerton Council….dream on.

    • Allan —
      Republican voters in Fullerton are going to split the vote to recall or against recall candidates. There is a solid base of Democratic voters and moderates in Fullerton that provide an option for those who want to punish the gang of three and not reward Tony Bushala with the keys to the city.

      As far as losing sleep, you mean that way the rest of the GOP field loses sleep over Ron Paul in the race?

  2. Allan, it’s a legitimate question. If Nelson is willing to make a statement online he should be willing to respond to said endorsement. What does he have to lose? Also, considering Bushala’s involvement so far (financing the recall himself for starters) it’s only fair to ask.

  3. “Fullerton is in need of strong, conservative leadership. I live in Fullerton and I trust Travis to deliver on the promises of transparency and accountability.”

    Just guessing here – that sounds like something Nelson may have said at a fundraiser about Kiger.

    • Well, Audra gave me a number to call and I said I’ll call you on that number right now. Voice mail three times in a row. Yet another example of a PR professional who will never make in the private sector.

  4. Allan, why shouldn’t Nelson answer a straightforward, reasonable question? Do you think it’s OK for an elected official to give the run-around about a something he has said? What about fighting for what you believe in or taking a stand? Nelson portrays himself as a straightshooter who isn’t afraid to say what he thinks. Here’s his chance. Why don’t you call on him to answer the question?

  5. I wish other blogs would be as activist as the FFFF, instead of rehashing news!

    These guys ROCK! For the KT thing alone, they deserve a seat, maybe two. Now count the tax revolt and the fight against CRAZY public pensions, crooked union hacks, give them one more.

    I guess status quo is OK in Irvine??????

    • Jeff,

      We are not a Tea-Bagger blog. If that is what you want, feel free to continue to frequent FFFF. We have complimented FFFF for their coverage of the Kelly Thomas story.

      That one accomplishment however does not excuse using Kelly’s name to promote a political agenda driven by on mans business interests. This recall is not about justice for Kelly, it is about power for Tony Bushala. This is evidenced by his funding of the recall, as well as statments from Kelly’s father.

  6. Jeff — the bloggers at FFFF don’t care about Kelly Thomas; his killing is a pretext to replace council members who won’t do Tony Bushala’s bidding. Ron Thomas even thinks so.

    They demand transparency from their local city govenment while hiding behind a bunch of cartoon names — with few exceptions.

    As far as Irvine goes, the progressive council majority has provided a boatload of city services, has $20 million in reserves, made great investments and is the economic envy of just avout every city in OC.

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