The Jason Young Public Record Act Request Blitz

Hhmm. What wild goose chase shall I send city staff on today?

Hhmm. What wild goose chase shall I send city staff on today?

Since the beginning of August of this year, local gadfly Jason Young has been plastering the Anaheim City Clerk’s office with public record act requests. As of December 13, 2012, Young had submitted 22 requests between August 1 and November 30.

Of course, it is the public’s right to request public documents, and I’m not suggesting Mr. Young is doing anything wrong. But his public record requests do provide something of a window into his mind.

Jason Young’s blizzard of requests are generally wide-ranging fishing expeditions involving the half-dozen hobgoblins who populate his cramped, distorted political universe. Many are just redundant. He even submitted one about me. You really get a feel for Mr. Young’s uber-conspiratorial view of Anaheim politics and government.

Here is one of my favorites, submitted by Mr. Young on September 19, 2012 (I removed a couple of names of people who aren’t public figures):

“I’d like copies of any correspondence between Jordan Brandman and Curt Pringle, Larry Lake, Bill O’Connell, Anna Piercy, _______, Lucy Dunn, Reed Royalty, _____ and anyone associated with the unions that support the GardenWalk Hotel development.”

“..anyone associated with the unions…”? Would you like some fries with that indiscriminate dragnet, Mr. Young? Does he think incoming correspondence is checked against a matrix of known union associates and tagged “union supporter”?

Judging from the neurotic content of Mr. Young’s blog, about the only thing he has accomplished with this blizzard of PRA request is to waste the city’s time and money chasing ghosts for him. Perhaps Mr. Young can submit a PRA request for total staff time (and the equivalent cost) consumed by his PRA requests — that would actually be something worth finding out.

18 comments

  1. Young sounds like he has nothing more important to do in life than file multiple frivolous requests. Maybe Young should take Cynrhia Ward on a date and have Mr. Fitzgerald engage them! James Robert Reade

  2. While Save Anaheim reports on the scam of public-private partnerships, Matt Cunningham writes an article on how many PRAs I’ve submitted. Great work Matt. Maybe next time you can write something with content worth reading.

    • Matthew Cunningham

      What SaveAnaheim publishes is your conspiratorial conjecture about GardenWalk and a variety other Anaheim issues, along with frequent and unsubstantiated attacks on the character of those you oppose politically.

      • Isn’t the ruling by Orange County Superior Court Judge Steven Perk that the City Council’s 3-2 vote in January approving the tax subsidy was a violation of California’s open-meeting law, known as the Brown Act? Is this ruling part of the conspiratorial conjecture? Was Mayor Tait opposition to the tax subsidy, which he considered it a bad deal for Anaheim, also conspiratorial?

        Who is the main character that Jason has consistently exposed?: Curt Pringle & Associates, “a full-service public relations, public affairs and government relations firm, providing a wide range of services to both private and public sector clients.”

        Mr Pringle’s history of benefiting his clients and/or his firm, at the expenses of public subsidies has been documented well before the GardenWalk project.” Two prominent California High-Speed Rail Authority leaders who are already under scrutiny for holding potentially “incompatible” public offices have received tens of thousands of dollars in consulting fees from firms with financial interests in the $43-billion project.
        Rail board chairman and Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle, a public affairs consultant, has been an advisor to a major construction supplier that owns property along proposed bullet train routes, records and interviews show.” http://articles.latimes.com/2010/oct/31/local/la-me-high-speed-ethics-20101031

        Jason has documented the lack of transparency involving Mr Pringle’s firm and some city council members. He has clearly exposed their connections in his blog, and as far as I know, they have not rebutted him:

        “Curt Pringle has a business and friendship relationship with Disney President George Kalogridis. Disney’s main consultant is Curt Pringle and Associates.
        He advises George Kalogridis on all Anaheim governmental matters, especially transportation issues, such as ARC (Anaheim Resort Connection) and ARTIC (Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodel Center), both projects worth in the billions of dollars. Pringle is the consultant for ARC and for contractors for ARTIC.
        He is the consultant for Bill O’Connell, a private hotel developer, who, with the votes of Murray, Eastman and Sidhu, just received $158 million of taxpayer TOT for his hotel development.
        Curt Pringle created SOAR (Save Our Anaheim Resorts) originally in 2007, to fight against one residential development in the fringes of the resort area because HE was not their consultant. SOAR advocates for anything that involves Curt Pringle and Associates.”

        Many residents appreciate Jason’s efforts to promote transparency and fair deals for the city. Your take on his efforts shows your bias towards the interests exposed by Jason.

        • Matthew Cunningham

          Ricardo, the problem with rebutting lies and hokum like your comment is that is takes longer than the original batch of lies and hokum.

          “Isn’t the ruling by Orange County Superior Court Judge Steven Perk that the City Council’s 3-2 vote in January approving the tax subsidy was a violation of California’s open-meeting law, known as the Brown Act?”

          Yes. I don’t believe I or anyone else stated otherwise. As I have said several times, it was a technical violation, and another judge could have reasonably come to the opposite conclusion. And all it really means is it has to come back to the council for a re-vote — the ruling had nothing to do with the project itself, remember?

          “Is this ruling part of the conspiratorial conjecture?”

          No — but then again, I never said it was.

          “Was Mayor Tait opposition to the tax subsidy, which he considered it a bad deal for Anaheim, also conspiratorial?”

          No — and once again, I never said it was. I’m assuming, Ricardo, you have a point you’re getting at?

          “Mr Pringle’s history of benefiting his clients and/or his firm, at the expenses of public subsidies has been documented well before the GardenWalk project.”

          Ricardo, that is untrue. It sounds to me like you are just parroting back what you’ve read Commissar Jason’s blog and/or from other Curt Pringle haters. The CHSR example, for example, is bogus. His firm’s work for the company that was mentioned in that article had nothing to do with CHSR.

          The same goes for the rest of the twisting and turning of facts in your comment. Curt is friends with George Kalogridis. So what? Is that against the law? Is friendship unethical?

          I really had to laugh at this whopper you tossed out, Ricardo:

          “Curt Pringle created SOAR (Save Our Anaheim Resorts) originally in 2007, to fight against one residential development in the fringes of the resort area because HE was not their consultant. SOAR advocates for anything that involves Curt Pringle and Associates.”

          Curt didn’t create SOAR – that organization was the work of a number of hands. And the reason you give for Curt “creating” SOAR is so far removed from the truth that you couldn’t measure the distance in light-years.

          It would be nice if you or Cynthia or Jason or the like would, just for once, acquaint yourselves with the facts and stop confusing your feelings with facts.

          • Mr Cunningham
            You stated that SaveAnaheim publishes is ” conspiratorial conjecture about GardenWalk and a variety other Anaheim issues”. My point is that it is not a conspiratorial, and the judge’s ruling and Mayor Tait stance on the GardenWalk giveaway shows that this is a real concern, not a conspiration. Regarding the CHSR, I did not find any subsequent clarification in any publication, especially in the LA Times, to confirm your explanation. It is not against the law to have friends, but if you are a public official, former or current, there is gray area between friendship and mixing business interests, especially if they are perceived as improper. Regarding SOAR, and the entire section on the connection between Mr Pringle and his associates, this has been documented in Jason’s blog. I would like to know your version of the facts.

            • Matthew Cunningham

              “Regarding SOAR, and the entire section on the connection between Mr Pringle and his associates, this has been documented in Jason’s blog.”

              You’re kidding, right? You’re not seriously trying to say that because Jason Young says something on his blog, then it is therefore “documented”?

              “It is not against the law to have friends, but if you are a public official, former or current, there is gray area between friendship and mixing business interests, especially if they are perceived as improper.”

              There isn’t a gray area. The law is very clear about what constitutes a conflict of interest, but the various yappers who like to chomp on Curt’s ankles don’t bother themselves with that, preferring instead to conjure “percieved” conficts in order to muddy someone they don’t like.

              The CHSR stuff, if I recall correctly, was about work Curt Prngle & Associates did for a huge company called Vulcan Materials. The thing is, the work his firm did for Vulcan had absolutely no connection to CHSR. In other words, no conflict, real or perceived.

              It’s very easy to throw mud at other people’s reputations, especially when one doesn’t let facts — or the lack thereof — get in the way of wishful speculation.

              • “It’s very easy to throw mud at other people’s reputations, especially when one doesn’t let facts — or the lack thereof — get in the way of wishful speculation.” Please remember this when you write about my son.

  3. Just as revealing would be who ISN’T included in Jason Young’s public record requests. Bet you he never asks for any correspondence between Galloway, Jose Moreno, Larry Larsen, Eric Altman, Mishal Montgomery, Joanna Sosa, Cynthia Ward, Amin David, John Leos, Nick Berardino or anyone from that crowd.

    • Matt you can say whatever you like about me and my blog. Nothing you say or do is going to stop me from letting the people of Anaheim know what’s really going on. I also stand firm in my convictions unlike yours which are for sale to the highest bidder. Who’s paying you again to write this blog? Did Kris Murray call ya and and ask you to write this worthless post?

      • Matthew Cunningham

        Blah, blah, blah. As if you had any clue as to “what’s really going on” beyond your paranoid fantasies, which you seem unable to express without resorting to personal attacks on anyone who disagrees with you.

        Keep coming back!

  4. Avenger, the last i checked Cynthia Ward is not conspiring with Eric Altman and Larry Larsen to give hundreds of millions in public funding to our friends, so what would be the point in asking for correspondence between us? The fact is, when government leaders behave like they are not accountable to the people they represent, when they believe they can act with impunity in giving away public money for special interests and ignore public comments that are critical of those actions, then our only recourse is a public records request in an effort to get the information that our leaders will not voluntarily share.

    And I must say this is quite the squirrel, instead of answering very public requests to disclose whether Matt Cunningham is being paid for his work on this blog (among other projects) he instead attacks another blogger. First of all, if Jason did not have your friends scared to death there would be no reason to attack him. So clearly some of those public records requests have hit home. Secondly, just answer the question, Matt. Are you paid or receiving non-monetary compensation for your efforts here? Do not answer with counter-attack on my character, that is nothing but a cowardly diversion, simply answer the question. We are still waiting.

  5. Matthew Cunningham

    So, according to you, Cynthia, unless I talk about what you want to talk about, my posts are “squirrel” tactics (is that your new favorite word?). Blogo-narcissism doesn’t only afflict Art Pedroza.

    I don’t think I have ever seen you take exception to the many examples of character assassination on Jason’s blog, but I write about his PRA requests and I am attacking him.

    And frankly, Cynthia, after reading your comment, you aren’t too far behind Jason in the fantasyland category.

  6. I live in fantasyland because i think our elected leaders are arrogant elitists who ignore the cries of the governed while they support their well-connected friends? Then i do not live there alone, there are enough others out there that the City is getting sued over their shenanigans. have you already forgotten that the City just lost in court over violating the State’s open meeting laws? And because the leaders use their personal email accounts to discuss government business (a habit that just cost the head of the EPA her career) the only way to get information is to throw the net as wide as possible hoping they cc’ed someone whose email is officially under the authority of a PRA. If City Hall wants the requests to stop being so broad, they need to start conducting the people’s business in a more transparent manner. period. Speaking of transparency, Matt still has not answered whether he is receiving compensation for his work here.

  7. Matthew Cunningham

    “Ignore the cries of the governed…”!? Good grief, Cynthia, if you turn up the melodrama dial any higher it will break.

    Your rhetoric is over-heated and detached from reality, just like Commandante Jason’s. The Brown Act violation was technical one. If you looked at the matter honestly, you would admit that a different judge could have reasonably come to a different conclusion. Read the agenda item again. It’s pretty clear a vote could take place. There’s even a place to put the motion that could be made. Claiming that no one could have known a vote would take place is to claim everyone is obtuse.

    And who said anything about “City Halll wanting the requests to stop being so broad”? Cynthia, I’ve noticed you have a pattern tossing out arguments and positions that n one has pout forth, and then taking issue with them. You claim a lack of transparency because you imagine there is some smoking gun of some kind out there, but it hasn’t turned up, and so the only explanation (in your mind) is that these shadowy figures are conducting business beyond your gaze.

  8. Matthew Cunningham

    “And because the leaders use their personal email accounts to discuss government business (a habit that just cost the head of the EPA her career)…”

    I looked into that after reading your comment, Cynthia — your representation of the Lisa Jackson story — surprise! – wrong. The account in question wasn’t a personal e-mail accout, but an secondary EPA e-mail account for use for internal purposes.

    Things like this make me wonder how many other claims you make are similarly disconnected from the facts.

  9. Thank you for this blog. It was very informative. I did not know how easy it is to request public records. I will be requesting my own so I could see for myself what goes on beyond the city council meeting chamber. Is it also public record what I request and how many requests I make? I’m wondering how you know about the number of Mr. Young’s requests. I am new to all of this and I appreciate the information I learn here even though I do not agree with a majority of your posts.

    • Matthew Cunningham

      Mrs. Acevedo: if you go to the City Clerk section of the city website, you will find a link to where you can file public records act requests. The more defined the request, the more quickly and easily the city can comply with it. It is free to view the results of your request at the City Clerk’s office, but if you want copies, you have to pay for them.

      To answer your other question: yes, public record act requests are themselves public records and subject to a public record recquest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*