Fullerton Mayor Jennifer Fitzgerald with Andy Dick and event organizer Brian Bartholomew, after Thursday night’s performance where the comedian made reference to autistic people as “retards.” Photo from the Hornet, credited to Joshua Miranda

“I really appreciate that he came to Fullerton and shared his comedy with our city.” 

–Mayor Jennifer Fitzgerald, referring to actor Andy Dick, who had that night used the word “retard” to refer to autistic people during the annual Comedy Show for Autism.

According to an October 20 article in Fullerton College’s newspaper The Hornet, comedian Andy Dick used the word “retard” in reference to autistic people during a charity event Thursday night meant to raise awareness of the condition itself. Event organizers Fullerton Cares quickly released a statement distancing themselves “from (Dick’s) statement onstage and emphasize that we do not condone or endorse this type of language,” referring to the actor’s “slur.” The statement went on to “apologize deeply to anyone who was affected by this language.” (see illustration below)

According to the Hornet Andy Dick ‘“began speaking on his brother who has just passed away, but that his brother had been dying for “twenty years” and had been asking Dick for money, to which Dick said “That’s why I’m in Fullerton for retards.”” Half of the attendees reportedly left the main room of the Fullerton Ballroom as the comedian was booed from the audience.

Andy Dick himself later apologized, writing in a statement “I shouldn’t use that word.”

Incredibly, Fullerton Mayor Jennifer Fitzgerald, who attended the benefit show, was wiling to defend the unpredictable actor’s comments, saying “I really appreciate that he came to Fullerton and shared his comedy with our city. I think this isn’t the last your (sic) going to see of him, that is not the word that will define him,” and “I know Andy Dick in his heart, and his personal connection with autism and I think that it’s more than one word. I think he regrets the use of that but that in fairness we need to look at the whole body of who he is and who his family is.” (Andy Dick referred to himself in the article as being “slightly autistic,” saying “I honestly feel that I’m on the spectrum,” but it is unclear in the article whether or not Mr. Dick has ever been formally diagnosed with the disorder.)

Fullerton resident Kris Hanna had more sense than Mayor Jennifer Fitzgerald, telling the Hornet that she thought it was “crossing the line to say what he said about autistic people.” Another attendee, Fred Allen, said of Andy Dick’s comments ‘“Off cuff, should be better suited for where he’s at, especially the retard shit man, America’s a beautiful place and you shouldn’t take advantage of what America’s good for.”’

Mayor Jennifer Fitzgerald should reconsider supporting unsupportable behavior, and keep in mind that when she speaks to the media, even a local college newspaper, she will be viewed on some level as representing the City of Fullerton, even if many would prefer that she wasn’t in the position to do so.


Fulleton Cares had enough sense to criticize Andy Dick. Mayor Jennifer Fitzgerald? Not so much.



In this Form 460, for example, we see that super-developers The Irvine Company, have contributed $ 1,000.00 to the campaign of Jennifer Fitzgerald…

Voters would do well to understand who is contributing to the campaigns of the twelve people running for Fullerton City Council in 2016, but most people don’t realize how easy it is to find this information.

Candidates are required by state law to periodically file a Form 460 listing cumulative contributions of $100.00 or more from a single source. These contributions are required  with increasing frequency as election day approaches. Candidates are also required to file a Form 497 within 24 hours of receiving an aggregate contribution of $ 1,000 or more from a single source within 90 days of the election. These forms are filed with the City Clerk’s office in Fullerton, and can be found in that section of the city’s website.

Candidates who have chosen to spend less than $ 2,000 file a Form 470 and are not required to open committees for their campaigns.

Political campaign filings are made both by candidates and committees, like Political Action Committees (PACs). Anyone wishing to find out who is contributing to campaigns or committees, or how they spend this money, can follow a few simple links on the City of Fullerton’s own website:

Go to the City of Fullerton’s home page:


Scroll down to the bottom and click on “City Clerk’s Office,”


In the sidebar on the left, click on “Elections,” then


then click on “Campaign Disclosure Form,”


From there, choose the candidate or committee (PAC) of your choice, then choose “460 Campaign Statements,” which are listed in chronological order. The files are PDFs from scanned hard copies filed with the City Clerk.

If a candidate files late, or files incomplete or misleading information, he or she can be fined by California’s Fair Political Practices Commission, as Jennifer Fitzgerald was last year, for failing “to disclose details related to her position at the lobbying firm Curt Pringle & Associates.



Click on “Active Campaign Committees…”


…and then find the committee in the list.


There’s so much land to use…and Jennifer Fitzgerald will help you to use it!

Do you know what Fullerton Mayor Jennifer Fitzgerald is doing today? Advising developers about how to get their projects built. Tuesday, October 18, The Building Industry Association of Orange County (who have given Jennifer Fitzgerald’s reelection campaign $ 3,000.00) will offer a workshop about the “Politics of Land Use.” For $ 55, $ 35 for BIA members, prospective developers can listen to a panel of notorious government influencers consisting of:

“Curt Pringle, Curt Pringle and Associates; Former Mayor of Anaheim” and Former CA State Assembly Speaker, now head of one of Orange County’s most influential “public relations” firms, that boasts of, among other things, providing “government affairs” and “land use” services

“Jennifer Fitzgerald, Vice President, Curt Pringle and Associates; Mayor Fullerton” (note that Jennifer Fitzgerald claims to be an independent contractor, but everyone else, including Curt Pringle & Associates’ website calls her a VP in the company). What does she do there? We don’t know, because she won’t release a list of clients so the public would be able to tell for themselves whether or not she has any conflicts of interest between her paid work and her position on the Fullerton City Council.

“David Ellis, Principal, Delta Partners,” a political consultant who once used his position on the Board of the Orange County Fairgrounds to try to sell the property out from under the taxpayers. For more information about him, read Vern Nelson’s excoriating masterpiece on the Orange Juice Blog.

Perhaps it’s supposed to be a self-deferencial joke, but titling the workshop “Sense of Entitlement” isn’t very funny to those of us not amused by the explosive proliferation of high density housing/tiny amount of retail developments going up all over town.

Here is the official description of it:

“The first workshop, Sense of Entitlement, is intended to provide the audience with practical advice regarding interacting with decision makers and stakeholders through the development approval process. Panelists will discuss strategy to address the numerous and conflicting demands of government officials and community stakeholders whose interests always go beyond meeting the technical and legal requirements to develop land.”

In other words, how to “interact with decision makers,” like Jennifer Fitzgerald herself, and “stakeholders,” like you, who might take exception to having their communities turned into mini-Manhattans before their eyes.

Here are some other details meant to entice developers into attending…

“Questions to be Addressed Include:

  • How should stakeholders or government officials be approached when discussing a proposed project?
  • What are elected and appointed officials watching for at a public hearing?
  • As a real estate professional, how active should we be in local government?”

So, if you are a developer and want to know how to “approach” and “engage” the elected officials entrusted by voters to approve projects, learn from one of them herself, Jennifer Fitzgerald. If you are a stakeholder, you’ll just have to wait until Jennifer Fitzgerald and the BIA get around to holding a workshop for you.


Thanks for Sean Paden for first writing about this event on Facebook (where you can “Like” The Fullerton Rag’s page!).

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