Oh that wily Dick Ackerman. On the one hand the former Republican State Legislator wants to be the next Chairman of the Republican Party of Orange County. But Dick just can’t help himself. He loves Fullerton’s liberals! As such we should not be surprised that on Oct. 3, 2014, Dick was the keynote speaker at a campaign reception at Renick Cadillac for liberal Fullerton Mayor Doug Chaffee, the only current Fullerton City Council candidate that was endorsed by the Democratic Party of Orange County this year.
This is not the first time Dick has stepped in it. Here is a recap of his career lowlights, including his sidekick wife, Linda, courtesy of the Friends for Fullerton’s Future blog:
- An indication of Mr. Ackerman’s future career path was clearly established with the creation of a fake charity by his wife that was simply a mechanism to get state legislators (one of whom was Mr. Ackerman) alone on Maui with lobbyists for big corporate interests who actually paid for the whole junket. Ackerman is hilariously quoted as saying how beneficial these get togethers were, as if being lobbied in Sacramento (instead of Hawaii by the same cast of characters) was somehow just so much more darned inefficient. FFFF posted all about the utterly phony Pacific Policy Research Foundation, here.
- That was just the start of Mr. Ackerman exploiting Mrs. Ackerman for family gain. And it wasn’t enough that The Dickster got the missus on the Metropolitan Water Board where she naturally supported huge water rate increases (true, that bar was already set really, really low).
- Well, okay. Lot’s of unqualified dimwits run for the Legislature. The real problem was that the Ackermans didn’t even live in the district. The Ackermans live in a top-secret gated community in Irvine! The State Constitution says you have to live in a district a year, but what the Hell, the State Constitution is for losers!
- Termed out in 2008, Ackerman almost immediately latched on to an opportunity presented by his ethical soul mate, Dave Ellis: the Great OC Fair Swindle of 2009, an attempt to convert select members of the Board of Directors into a non-profit entity that would buy the Orange County Fairgrounds from a cash-strapped State, and run it for their own fun and profit. Ackerman’s role was buried in an obscure land-use contract with a company called LSA, presumably so nobody would know what the hell was going on. Part of the deal involved slipping the necessary whereases into the state budget in the summer of 2009, and part of Ackerman’s job was to make sure legislators got the job done. But wait a minute, Dick! State legislators have to wait a full year before they can lobby their former colleagues! That’s the law.
- When the details of Ackerman’s behavior became public in the fall of 2009, he twisted and turned the very meaning of the English language in order to squirm off the hook on which he had impaled himself. And it would have been in vain, too, except that our sleepy DA had clearly given instructions to his staff to whitewash Ackerman’s role. Not looking for evidence is a great way of not finding any.
- It worked for a while, in 2010. Then in early 2011 Norberto Santana of the Voice of OC broke the story: he had copies of Ackerman’s billing invoices, and Ackerman’s scope of work – documents the DA thought unnecessary to collect, and they clearly revealed the truth about Ackerman – lobbying legislators was part of the contract, and The Dickster had made calls to several members of the Legislature, including locals Solorio and Correa. No bueno!
- Dick headed up the anti-recall effort for Fullerton’s Three Blind Mice: Jones, Bankhead, and McKinley. For those of you who don’t recall the name Ackerman, run through our FFFF archives to discover what sort of moral fiber that this individual is composed of. We busted The Dickster cooking up a fake address in 2009 for his incompetent wife to run in our Assembly district although they actually live in Irvine (note: the Mrs was endorsed by Jones, Bankhead, and McKinley). We caught the old lady operating a fake charity for lobbyists so she and Dick could get free trips to Maui. We also cheered when the Voice of OC finally uncovered the smoking gun that tied Ackerman to illegal lobbying on behalf of the crooked OC Fair Board as we had been reporting all along.
- Last year our do-nothing DA whitewashed Ackerman’s role in the ’09 OC Fair sale matter, saying he didn’t lobby the Legislature in violation of State law. How did the DA reach this conclusion? It wasn’t through investigative work, that’s for damn sure. Naturally, Amen Corner repuglicans like Matthew J. Cunningham crowed when the whitewash came out, but they’ll be eating crow soon enough. See, Santana got hold of Ackerman’s Nossaman Law Firm’s original billing records. And even though those records were laundered through some “environmental” consulting firm called LSA, the details prove what we here at FFFF have known since the fall of 2009: Ackerman was acting as a lobbyist and that in 2010 the DA was covering it up. The Nossaman billing records show phone calls to members of the State Legislature at $500 an hour. And that was illegal.
Why would the OC GOP ever consider making the train wreck that is Dick Ackerman their next Chairman?