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Jun-10-2011 04:07printcomments

Todd Spitzer: Irvine's Great Park Fiasco M.I.A. Politico

Former OC Supervisor, Assistant DA, State Assemblyman, And Macho Man Victims’ Rights Advocate Is Asleep At The Political Watchdog Wheel.

Todd Spitzer

(IRVINE, Calif.) - An Open Letter To Todd Spitzer

Hello, Todd? Is there anybody in there? Just nod once if you can hear me, ok? The dream that was, it just doesn’t even remotely resemble this messy interlude. The old reverie’s kaput,and taxpayers are NOT comfortably numb, we’re really angry and frustrated and confused and wondering who’ll rescue us: Who’ll wake us up from this terror and pain as in the thriller “INCEPTION”?

Yet more fiscal trauma is coming, that distant ship on the horizon is now bearing down on us like a MAC truck. This isn’t lucid dreaming, Todd, we’re unable to stop, to alter this runaway train because Agran has 100% control of the gas and brakes. Like Joe McCarthy when chastised before Congress and the American people, Agran, at long last, has no sense of conscience or shame gene. But you, Todd, you can save us, that is if you’ve still got the stones.

We, the people you claim to champion at election time, we need a major major legal intervention of hitherto unheard of proportions in Irvine. This will make one of the OC’s biggest bangs, the Sheriff Mike Corona case, look abysmally pitiful in comparison.

OK, if this unending nightmare, this disastrous conversion of MCAS El Toro into a developer’s wet dream were a sitcom from back in the golden age of television, you’d swear that it was a successor to “Car 54, Where Are You?” maybe reload and rename it: “Todd Spitzer, Where Are You?”

Take that catchy theme song from the earlier incarnation, with all apologies to the original songwriters, just tweak it a skosh, and whattayagot?

“There’s a public trough that’s looted
Irvine City Council broken out in fights
There’s cooties buried ‘neath those runway strips
There’s no-bid cronies getting all the contracts bites
There’s malfeasance and graft galore
Agran and Ellzey, they just take more and more
Todd Spitzer, Where Are You?”

The Great Park
has de-evolved into The Great Joke:

As you predicted a long time ago, changing economic conditions have dictated the way this thing would wind up, the endgame, and it’s not “pretty” pretty, it’s pretty freeking ugly---You said that the voters wrote the first of the 2-volume set of books by supporting it. The 2nd volume now before us is a grotesque manipulation, a Greek tragedy, a complex plot featuring subversion of Shakespearian proportions. We’re asking you to help write the denouement of this farce, the unraveling of the Arrogant Agran machine in its concluding chapters.

So Todd, here’s an invitation to the Great Pork Prom as hosted by the independent media and USMC veterans. With all due respect, we who are truly investigative journalists have exhausted all possible remedies, and we’ve performed our due diligence. Adam Elmahrek (Voice of OC), R. Scott Moxley (OC Weekly), Tim King, Bob O’Dowd and I (, plus additional stellar staff work by our major dailies (LA Times and OC Register) should be getting Pulitzer’s for our combined, albeit truncated and separate attempts to trigger the appropriate investigations at every judicial level. Column after column, article after article, year after year after year the litany of sins gets longer, increasingly more bold, more insulting. It has walked and quacked like a corrupted wasteful duck for a decade.

Literally anyone who is a taxpaying US citizen has been reamed by this clown Agran’s posse, his homeys having us at their mercy, bent over and taken for what Southerners euphemistically call a “hayride.” We’re handing you a wedge issue for your future political ambitions that shouldn’t be left fallow. Either lead the sheeple, follow our humungous clue crumbs or get out of the way, retire, you’re totally bogus.

This has all of the signature markings of a scandal that could topple, could decimate and neutralize for years the entire Democratic Party in the OC. The hundreds of millions of $$$ apparently lifted via corruption and graft will make the City of Bell officials look like pikers, small time con men and grifters. A few years back, while serving in the State Assembly you criticized the city for not building recreation facilities that could be used by the public, while wasting money on “a ridiculous, oversized balloon and free rides.”

If this were armed conflict, our core group of writers would receive national acclaim, Navy Crosses on our chests for valor---at minimum. Our public pillory hasn’t resonated, maybe it’s the apathy, maybe it’s the economy, who knows, it’s no longer about trust, but you should strike while the iron is hot, not when the trail gets obfuscated and cold. Metaphorical bodies are probably being buried as I write these words.

Then again, now that Forest Lawn settled behind closed doors with the 3 Stooges, aka LENNAR, Agran and Ellzey (Larry, Curly & Moe), there’ll be no dedicated cemetery plots for veterans or civilians: Just innumerable dead, reneged, putrefied promises strewn about like downed bowling pins while that crappy balloon you laughed at Todd hovers as an aerial tombstone over what should have been.

Why the FBI, DOJ, OC District Attorney, OC Grand Jury, State Attorney General’s Office or some other agency hasn’t moved forward aggressively before ALL of the money is gone, the felon’s ill-gotten bucks in off-shore banks, them ensconced in a non-extraditing tropical isle remains a side bar mystery perhaps you can progress. Hell, it won’t take a Sherlock Holmes to solve the riddle of the missing or misappropriated money, not right now anyway.

We’ve even proven that CEO Mike Ellzey fluffed and padded his USMC record in his application, he has questionable incestuous relations with Great Perk residential and commercial developer LENNAR---Their portion of the pork barrel pie (parcels) keeps expanding while the public’s dedicated portion shrivels down to a pittance.

But it is more in your historical domain, rounding up and catching the guys in the black hats, that’s you standing for these prominent photo-ops with our enforcement folks, so maybe it’s your quest regarding the “Why Nots?

Orange County DA Tony (T-Rack) Rackauckas

Then again, what could possibly please you personally more than to usurp, to wreck embarrassing havoc and revenge on former boss Orange County District Attorney Tony (T-Rack) Rackauckas who fired you recently and thus humiliate him in return by his sloth? Like they say in Palermo, revenge is a dish best served cold, don’t stay mad at Faux-ny Tony, get even!


If instead of running for the OC’s 3rd District Supervisor seat (again) in 2012 you decide to sit on your hands, rest on now long-forgotten laurels, then go toe-to-toe with T-Rack for his OCDA job in 2014, who could conjure up a juicier scenario---Beating him to the punch on this glaring oversight, making him look stupid? He’s gotten a reputation for who or what he refuses to prosecute, once again we’ve teed his head up, put it on a platter.

This isn’t a double-dip for you, Todd, it’s got legs, it’s got traction, it’s more like a triple whammy! And think that every courtroom appearance, every hearing, every deposition will have high-profile national media exposure! That’s CNN and Wolf Blitzer calling on Line 2, Tony.

“The phrase, "All politics is local" is a common phrase in U.S. politics. The former U.S. Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill coined this phrase which encapsulates the principle that a politician's success is directly tied to his ability to understand and influence the issues of his constituents. Politicians must appeal to the simple, mundane and everyday concerns of those who elect them into office. Those personal issues, rather than big and intangible ideas, are often what voters care most about, according to this principle. Politicians often use this against one another, as well, to hit each other where it hurts most—back at home. The prediction is that most people who vote, or debate issues, are focused on resolving their local issues.”

It’s high noon, Todd, it’s high time that the Parade’s Grand Marshal, the Exalted Politico Poobah of the Republican Party way up the prestigious food chain, ride in on his white horse and run the bad guys into the hoosegow.

Dr. Stephen Choy and Christina Shea

Former Irvine City Councilwoman Christina Shea and current ICC man Dr. Steven Choi held your coat, bravely and honorably held the fort as if enlisted grunt Marines themselves in Irvine over years and years duration, Todd. Time for fewer words and lot more action from your campaign committee strategists. And hey, Todd, they’re Republicans, where in the Hell is your loyalty?

We’re ALL calling you out Todd, at least those of us who want what’s best environmentally and financially for OC residents. Democrats bray and brag about transparency in governance, well, pull the curtain back on Agran, the Wizard of Irvine, let the wrathful and frustrated public get a glimpse in a courtroom when they bring these SOBs forward in shackles. Then you’ll have seriously dented the false reputation for sunshine, the inherent hypocrisy that Dems allege they own.

We’re sending out this message in a bottle, this SOS to you personally. Even the title is intended to get the most online hits possible, the greatest web presence for aggregators. There’s no need to call us or even acknowledge our existence, Todd. But we will send you and yours copies, we will create a mass broadcast media tsunami, saturate and utilize Search Engine Optimization on the web. Those of us at are trained Marines, we know how to hunt people down due to those same federal tax dollars.

So don’t run and hide Todd, stop ducking, answer the clarion call for justice, for fiscal accountability and responsibility, for the ongoing contamination that the Great Pork Board and our own Department of the Navy refuses to truly remediate. Sitting this dance out won’t get you the thousands of votes getting involved will. Get off of the bench before time runs out, get onto the field of play before you’ve ignored some serious value-add too long to be effective.

You WERE pretty good at getting indictments and convictions back in your prime---This is like shooting fish in a barrel, these bozos have placed their necks in the proverbial noose over and over. Their insidiously greedy DNA and fingerprints are everywhere at the scene of the crime.

We’ve 5 media outlets that have loaded the bases for you, there’s nobody out, tie score, bottom of the 9th. You’ve a reputation for being a contact hitting, long-ball designated batter, all you need is a sacrifice fly and we win. It doesn’t get much easier for you to push one measly run across the plate, the home team carries you off on their shoulders.

Orange County Great Park's Mike Ellzey

Don’t just stand there paralyzed, mute or neutral, for God’s sake and the voters, for the taxpayer’s whose funds have been “mysteriously disappeared” by Larry (What Me Worry?) Agran. Settle a score, close an open, profusely bleeding $$$$ wound that now irritates even those voters who naively supported this fiasco 15 years ago at inception.

Well Todd, like the Pope and Catholic plenary indulgences of yore, we’re going to forgive AND forget all of your mortal sins. In your legalistic world I think they call it expunge, wipe the slate clean of previous lapses. Help your district, help your county, help your state and country by outing these municipal thieving monsters and you can come back home to cheers.

So guess what Todd? You’ve just won the chance, the political lotto, the potential ticket to redeem yourself, to rehabilitate your precious smirched image by making the Great Pork train wreck a key high profile plank in your platform as you once again run for office in 2012 or 2014.

"Hello, Mrs. Spitzer, is Todd home? Can he come out and play cops and robbers with us?" It’s right in your freaking back yard, currently Agran and his boot-licking lackey CEO Mike Ellzey are rearranging the deck chairs on this fiscal Titanic secretly, clandestinely in closed sessions---But not without themselves and their ass-kissing, suck-up cronies walking off with all of the passengers (taxpayers) loot.

Larry Agran, Captain Crook?

Maybe we should call it “Pirates of the Good Ship Sucker,” because OC voters sure got bamboozled, plucked and plundered aplenty, the fattened swag bag’s almost empty. Or maybe just call it what it is: “Irvine’s Great Black Hole.” Money goes into it, disappears and mysteriously shows up in another parallel universe: The friends of Larry Agran’s pockets. Perhaps Dr. Stephen Hawking should get a chance to figure out where the terminus, the endgame of this thing will be ‘cause it defies even quantum physic’s theories.

What really irks me, Todd me lad, is that you have boasted and bragged for years about fiscal responsibility, about protecting the public’s health and safety, about keeping us all out of harm’s way, so why aren’t you leading an intervention in your own back yard?

"I'm ready for my closep Orange County"

Crikey, it’s freaking t-ball Todd, the bad guys and dolls are Democrats, you’re supposed to be part of the new breed of Republicans. God knows newbie Irvine City Council Jeff Lalloway is worthless as tits on a boar hog in this, but you Todd, you’re an attorney, you’ve prosecuted many a case, you must have contacts in the federal and state judicial systems, so what’s the holdup? If this isn’t obvious racketeering (RICO) what in the Hell is? Money has left the state, probably left the country untraceable.

Are you gonna man up? Put your leverage where your $50,000 sparkly teeth and lip-glossed mouth are, and like Gloria Swanson in the movie “Sunset Boulevard” get ready for your close-up: You’ll be a “shoe-in” for that 3rd District seat, granted wearing your exotic, ostrich skin Mezlan Bacco Bucci® footwear.

You have the window and field of confrontation wide open with no competition, beatified (Think of how that sounds: “St. Todd”) a deified and legitimate savior. Instead, you’re probably home narcissistically observing your reflection in every polished surface. Or maybe arranging your Armani tie and slicking your hair back with Dixie Peach Pomade® for that constantly wet Valentino look? Have you EVER passed a mirror that didn’t love you and vice-versa? Let us help you afford oodles more of the same by getting you elected, Todd!

You don’t even need to look for victims: Once you toss out Agran’s A-holes from the mix all you have left are hundreds of thousands of duped victims, the class action tort potential alone could make an ambulance chaser or whistleblower wealthy: Federal and state taxpayers, philanthropic donors, funds from just about very public pile, the former base inhabitants/vendors/visitors affected by the highly-contaminated drinking water, not to mention the voters who trustingly handed over the keys of this racy car to a small, incestuous, Mafiosa-style mob called The Great Park Board.

And by the way, just wondering, but whose asinine idea was it to automatically seat the 5 Irvine City Council members as the majority on that 9 member Board, Tony Soprano?

So if they do make a movie of this, another sequel that brings the tale of deceitful corruption flick “Chinatown” to mind, we’ll get Antonio Banderas or some other glam metro-sexual guy to play you ‘cause Nicholson’s getting too fat, a little bald and haggard. But you could borrow a line from “The Shining,“ you know when he goes nuts and breaks in the door, we just put Agran & Co. in a room, exchange Jack’s dialogue for “Here’s Toddie!”

Journalists from the region like myself have kept the door wedged ajar now for a decade, all you gotta do is walk through it Todd. The heavy lifting has already been done by the investigative press sleuths aplenty.

The Voice of OC, the OC Weekly and staff have all placed the issues before the public ad nauseum AND ad infinitum , even lifted the most astute and insightful from the other dude’s work trying to get someone who can intervene immediate attention. We do sound like a broken record to ourselves, maybe even created a new reporting category: Derivatively derivative.

We must be crazy, we keep thinking that this is so blatant, so obvious, so egregious and in plain view that somebody in the judicial compliance and fraud divisions will pick up the ball and run with it. Since guys in your category like the limelight, hey, go for it, that’ll be us glorifying, exalting and sweeping you back into office. We’ll sing your praises while watching you on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360®.

So put up or shut up Todd. No guts, no glory. Walk the walk into fame Todd. Either wade-in, paddle out, or sit on that ridiculously still-polluted, never rehabilitated former MCAS El Toro site as a spectator and weep along with the rest of us Marines who formerly served there and still care.

Well, tell you what, YOU take ALL of the damn credit if you want Todd, just show up, maybe you’re uncertain but there’s no down side regarding accountability here. Fiscal watchdogs get statues Todd. You, up there on a pedestal for all of eternity, now isn’t that tempting?

Unless of course YOU also traitorously got 30 pieces of silver to betray the voters of OC, the people who were actually convinced that a city with zero CERCLA experience could take on a multiple-billion $$$ SUPERFUND site and deliver what was promised instead of hoarding, hiding behind closed doors, succumbing to sheer, unadulterated criminal avarice.

Edvard Münch's THE SCREAM - Well, pretty much
everybody is being raped, plundered and pillaged

At the middle of every successful parade led by the people is a politician saying: “Look what I did!”

Like Mighty Mouse, you can come in and save the day, pretend that you intended to be the 101st Airborne Calvary coming over the hill all along. Hell, I’ve even personally buy you a beer, slap you on the back, put a crown on your head--- as long as the beer’s not made using the contaminated water in the aquifer beneath Irvine. You know, the subterranean carcinogens that are estimated to take at least 40+ years or more to remove.

A really lame and conflicted Texas Superior Court judge (redundant?) many moons ago hectored a woman who had been brutally raped and beaten severely. He actually told her in open court before sentencing the culprit that she shouldn’t have struggled, she shouldn’t have fought him, just laid back and enjoyed it and he might not have pounded her into submission.

Well, pretty much everybody is being raped, plundered and pillaged by these cretins. Time for you to become the tip of the spear, Todd, time to inflict a surgical strike and lob some percussive bombs into the arrogant, the smarmy Branch Agran Headquarters.

There will be a rat in there, someone who, to save his own hide from serious prison time, will roll over, turn turtle and snitch out the creeps when deposed so that the authorities can root out ALL of the guilty ones, big and small. Hopefully Larry will share a cell with some gangbangers, you’ll recognize him, he’ll be the grimacing one, the glam “gal” wearing the lipstick and apron.

As for you, Todd? Can you please tell me where HAVE all of the cowboys gone? After being sworn back in again, you’ll either be smiling ear-to-ear in your old District 3 Supervisors office in 2012 or down the block at the DA’s offices in 2014, your feet up, a genuine, bona fide American hero, considering your next political jump up the ladder, maybe run for Governor or even President. Does revenge get any sweeter than that?

Articles for background:

"The Latest In Spitzer Firing" (OC Register 8/31/2010)

"Todd Spitzer vs. Chuck Devore for OC Supervisor?" (R. Scott Moxley, OC Weekly 3/10/2011)

"Orange County's Great Park..Interrupted" - (Jim Newton, LA Times Op-Ed 5/21/2011)

"Welcome to the Ronald Reagan Great Park" (Matt Coker, OC Weekly 3/31/2011)

"How Many Great Park Consultants Does It Take to Do a Public-Private Partnership?" -(Adam Elmahrek, Voice of OC 5/19/2011)

"Bait & Switch: The Broken Promise of the Great Park" - (Eddie Rose, Orange Juice Blog 6/04/2011)

"Rigonomics: Money Sure Hasn't Gone Towards Great Park" - (Jim Righeimer, Red County 8/31/2009)

FYI: If a project near you has some interesting enviro-aspect(s) that you think is/are worthy of coverage and our readers attention, feel free to contact me with a very brief synopsis. Water-related “Blue Interventions” are my specialty!


Launched in 2010, Odd Man Out is the creation of Roger von Bütow and his OMO columns are written exclusively for Salem-News-com. Born and raised in the LA Harbor area, son of a German immigrant father, he's been in Orange County for 45 years and is a 38-year resident of Laguna Beach, Ca. In 1998, he began his professional career in environmental review processes (CEQA, NEPA, MND, MND and EIR/EIS). He's a rare mix of cross-trained builder, writer and consultant as he brings his extensive construction experiences dating back to 1972 into his eco-endeavors. He has tremendous field and technical expertise in successful watershed restorations, plus wastewater, urban runoff, water quality monitoring/improvements and hydrologic mechanisms. He's built everything from commercial spas to award-winning private residences, and provided peer review and consultant analyses for single homes, subdivisions and upscale resorts.

View articles written by Roger Butow Read Roger's full biography on the Staff Page

His resumé is extensive, try an online GOOGLE search of his personal journey and historical accomplishments. His consultation fees are reasonable and if you've got a major project that alarms you, that needs creative intervention, then he's your man. His credentials and "CV" can be provided upon request.

Contact him at his office: (949) 715.1912 or drop him an email:

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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Roger von Bütow June 11, 2011 6:44 pm (Pacific time)

Chuck Devore vs. Todd Spitzer in the 3rd OC Supervisor District in 2012 is one possible scenario: If so, Chucky should jump over T-Rex and Hot Toddie, steal their thunder, go after the Agranistas himself. Whomever gets there first gets the golden ink, CNN interview and the people's gratitude + literal votes of confidence: Gentlemen, start your engines!

Spitzer Backdrop June 11, 2011 9:05 am (Pacific time)

To Editor [my earlier post of yesterday has not appeared here]

Readers from outside of the Orange County area: You may want to read the linked to article to get an understanding of the backdrop to this story.

Roger von Bütow June 10, 2011 4:32 pm (Pacific time)

Thanks...I sent the link to as much of the OC Republican food chain as I could, even the OCDA office hoping it will go viral, but frankly this isn't a partisan issue in my mind...It's at minimum a blatant abuse of discretionary powers. I am perplexed why Neo-cons haven't sunk their teeth into this. I don't expect our Democrat Moonbeam Governor or AG Kamala Harris to be of any help. Hopefully, all local voters/taxpayers will realize that it's not that difficult to have been pro-Great Park, but realize the schism isn't contradictory, the anti-abuse position of such massive funds. Voters TRUSTED the City of Irvine, let the future of that GP concept become politicized by making the seated ICC members the de facto GP Board majority. As a So Cal native, I was insulted by Ronald Reagan's mindset;;;But he was right about one thing: Government doesn't solve problems, it is the problem....Too much power, too much opportunity for mischief, concentrated in the hands of too few. When Agran angrily exclaimed a few weeks ago that it could take 75--100 years to develop this site, he gave himself a hall pass after promising 5--10 years max. back around 2001. Hey Larry, check your watch, your time is up!

Rob Tablot June 10, 2011 2:03 pm (Pacific time)

Light 'em up Butow, clever article that somehow leaves us with a glimmer of hope. There is no excuse for not doing the right thing, Agran has to go...

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