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Archive for the ‘Anaheim’ Category

Bill to Force District Elections on Cities Introduced

Posted by OC Insider on February 24, 2014

For those unfamiliar with legislative deadlines, each year there is a date where all legislation must be introduced by. For 2014, that was Friday, February 21st. We will look at many of the bills that have been introduced as they move through the process, but one bill in particular strikes this writer as an all-out assault on local control.

AB 2715 by Assemblyman Roger Hernandez (D-West Covina) looks to require cities with a population over 100,000 (based on the last census data) to have district based elections. The bill does not specify how many districts a city could have, but each district will vote for only its own council member. Hernandez had been threatening this for months, but finally introduced it at the last-minute. The law would apply only to non-charter cities, meaning that the cities of Costa Mesa, Garden Grove and Orange would be subject to district elections by July 1, 2015.

If you follow Orange County politics at all, you know that this has been one of the paramount issues in the City of Anaheim. The council finally agreed to place district based elections on the November 2014 ballot, after much debate and discussion. Other cities, like Palmdale, have also been forced to move to district based elections. In Orange County, there are currently three cities with districts: Newport Beach, Santa Ana and Seal Beach.

Hernandez states that “this bill would adhere to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by providing underrepresented groups throughout California an opportunity to have their voice represented.” Hernandez believes that citywide election results don’t always reflect demographics, particularly in cities where large minority populations haven’t resulted in minority representation on city councils.

These types of bills are an assault on local control. While it is clear that minorities are becoming a more significant percentage of the population, these types of decisions need to be made at a local level. The same can be said of mandates like plastic bag bans. Each community is unique, and must be allowed to make these types of decisions for themselves. This author is not advocating for districts or at large elections, but it is not the state’s place to dictate how a city like Orange or Costa Mesa should be governed. If the community wants to change it, let the community decide the best way to go about that.

The bill will likely be amended to address specific issues, but hopefully our cities, businesses, and other stakeholders will weigh in to stop this blatant violation of local control.

Posted in Anaheim, California | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Live from OCGOP Central Committee: Early Endorsements

Posted by Chris Nguyen on February 17, 2014

We’re here live at OCGOP Central Committee for Early Endorsements for the Primary Election.

(7:13 PM): A slew of Youth Associates have been sworn in.

(7:18 PM): Sergio Picchio, former Field Representative to Assemblyman Don Wagner, is receiving the Donald Award for Legislative Staffer of the Year on the occasion of his retirement.

(7:26 PM): Minutes are approved.

(7:27 PM): Announcement of the passing of Jack Christiana.

(7:29 PM): The candidates and elected officials present are introducing themselves: Lucille Kring, Ceci Iglesias, Michelle Steel, Diane Harkey, Baron Night, David Shawver, Robert Hammond, Scott Voigts, Tony Beall, Mike Munzing, Robert Ming, Jim Righeimer, Steven Choi, Phillip Chen, Helen Hayden, Paul Glaab, Tom Tait, Julia Ross, Michael Glen, Tim Shaw, Brett Barbre, Travis Allen, Deborah Pauly, Mark Wyland, Jeff Lalloway, Fred Whitaker, Michael Gates, Steve Nagel, Mark McCurdy, Janet Nguyen, Matt Harper, Lee Ramos, Hugh Nguyen, Dean Grose, Lynn Schott, Jeff Ferguson, Allan Mansoor, Kevin Haskin, Shari Freidenrich, Keith Curry, Ray Grangoff, Eric Woolery, Carlos Vazquez, Claude Parrish, Anna Bryson, Tony Rackauckas, Long Pham, Emanuel Patrascu, Don Wagner, and Young Kim.

(7:36 PM): OCGOP Chairman Scott Baugh speaks about the successful Republican effort in the San Diego Mayor’s race.

He also speaks about Republican efforts to replace Irvine Councilman Larry Agran with Lynn Schott.

(7:39 PM): Irvine Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Lalloway announces that Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait has been named one of the two 2013 OCGOP Local Elected Official of the Year (alongside Supervisor Janet Nguyen who was also announced as the other winner of the award previously).

Baugh gives speaks about Tait’s mayoralty.

Tait thanks the Central Committee for the award.

(7:41 PM): Chairman Scott Baugh brings up early endorsement consideration for District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.

Alexandria Coronado asks a procedural question, to which Baugh responds.

(7:42 PM): TJ Fuentes moves and Mark Bucher seconds the Rackauckas endorsement. He is endorsed unanimously.

RACKAUCKAS ENDORSED

(7:43 PM): Robert Hammond moves and Charlotte Christiana seconds the endorsement of Treasurer-Tax Collector Shari Freidenrich. She is endorsed unanimously.

FREIDENRICH ENDORSED

(7:45 PM): Michelle Steel moves and Tim Whitacre seconds the endorsement of Diane Harkey for Board of Equalization.

Deborah Pauly offers a substitute motion, and Allan Mansoor seconds, to table until the close of filing since there is no incumbent, and more Republicans might jump in.

(7:47 PM): Baugh rules both motions out of order after determining that candidates need to speak before either motion can be made.

(7:49 PM): Baugh says three BOE candidates were notified: Assemblywoman Diane Harkey, Senator Mark Wyland, and former Assemblyman Van Tran. Harkey and Wyland are here, but Tran is not.

(7:50 PM): Harkey opens by describing the BOE’s function. She speaks about her private sector career dealing with corporations and taxation. She speaks about the importance of limiting the field, so that campaign funds can be focused instead of divided. Harkey says it’s critical to get the third vote on actions on the BOE. She speaks about her successful efforts to gain Democrats’ votes to kill legislation. She speaks about how the Legislative Analyst’s Office credited Harkey with getting more oversight against cap and trade. Harkey says she could have walked into Supervisor or Senate, but BOE is the job she wants. She says both she and Wyland are also asking for San Diego GOP Central Committee’s endorsement.

(7:53 PM): Wyland thanks the Central Committee for its work. He talks about how he owned his own 100-200 employee business and how he had to deal with the BOE dozens of times as a business owner. He says he knows how to reform the BOE. He says there were three efforts to unionize his employees, but he defeated those three efforts, so he knows how to fight unions. He notes his electoral background and how he’s given over $1,000,000 to help conservative campaigns. He speaks about how he gave $100,000 to Tony Strickland’s 2008 Senate race when Strickland defeated Democrat Hannah-Beth Jackson by less than one vote per precinct. Wyland urges the Central Committee to delay an endorsement vote until after filing closes.

(7:56 PM): Pat Shuff asks the two candidates what was their CRA score. Harkey says 100%. Wyland is unsure what his CRA score was, but got 100% from both Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and California Taxpayers Association.

(7:59 PM): Mr. White asks why Wyland doesn’t want an endorsement made tonight.

Baugh notes dual endorsing is unprecedented but possible.

Wyland says he’s fine with a dual endorsement. He says he’s only requesting the San Diego GOP Central Committee endorsement purely as a defensive major since Harkey’s asked for the Central Committee endorsement. He says he wishes Central Committees would avoid pre-primary endorsements when there’s multiple Republicans.

Harkey says Central Committees should endorse and frequently do. She says Prop 14 has made this more important. She says AD-65 and SD-34 need money, so endorsements can help stop the spillage of money in intraparty primary matters.

(8:03 PM): Desare’ Ferraro asks if a Democrat has filed for BOE and if the seat is in danger.

Harkey says one Democrat has filed, but it’s a Republican seat, though she notes Democrats are gaining.

(8:04 PM): Jeff Matthews asks the two candidates if they’re Republicans in good standing.

Harkey says she’s highly rated by a slew of conservative organizations and the importance of helping candidates both with manpower and money.

Wyland says their vote records are probably quite similar. He again urges Central Committee neutrality and letting the electorate decide. He again notes he’s given financial support to candidates. He speaks of party unity.

(8:06 PM): Steve Nagel asks if either has taken union money.

Both admit taking union money for their legislative races.

(8:07 PM): Kermit Marsh asks what other counties the two have requested.

Harkey says she has requested them in every county in the BOE 4th District.

Wyland says he has not done so.

(8:08 PM): Robert Hammond asks how each voted on an Assembly bill funding Common Core.

Harkey says she didn’t vote for it.

Wyland notes he served on his school board and is proposing legislation to restrict state funding of Common Core. He says he didn’t vote for the bill that Hammond is asking about.

(8:10 PM): Mike Munzing talks about his own efforts to fight AB 32 and SB 375 at SCAG and on the City Council. He asks Wyland about his $1500 contribution to Al Gore in the 1980s.

Wyland admits he once was a Democrat but became a Republican long ago. He again notes his $1,000,000 for Republicans. He speaks about his votes against AB 32 and “all” other regulatory bills. Wyland notes Gore was more conservative in 1988 and bragging about being a tobacco farmer.

(8:13 PM): Mark Bucher asks if Diane Harkey’s exception for public safety unions on her no-union pledge (required on the Central Committee endorsement form) applies to the past or prospectively.

Harkey says she’s still taking public safety union money. She says public safety is 80% Republican. She says Republicans need to reach out to them. She says public safety is important to Republicans. She says she agrees with the no-union pledge for local office but opposes it for state office.

(8:17 PM): Tim Whitacre asks if Wyland voted to increase property taxes in 2012 and if he walked out on certain bills, like naming a ship after Harvey Milk and illegal immigration restrictions, to avoid voting for them.

Wyland notes they vote on 2,000-3,000 bills. He doesn’t remember them all, but doubts he voted for that one in 2012. Wyland says he abhors naming a ship after Harvey Milk but it’s possible he may have missed the vote. Wyland says the Assembly allows its members to add their votes after missing them, but the Senate does not allow such a thing. Wyland says he has introduced more legislation on illegal immigration than any other legislator, including requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote and redirecting DREAM Act funding to veterans.

(8:21 PM): Baugh states that no further questions can be asked directly of the candidates due to the Central Committee’s time limit rules.

(8:22 PM): Tim Whitacre moves and Mary Young seconds the endorsement of Diane Harkey.

(8:23 PM): David Shawver says candidates should have formed committees months ago.

(8:24 PM): Assemblyman Allan Mansoor urges no early endorsement because a lot of questions still need to be responded to. He notes he’s worked with both Harkey and Wyland in the Legislature. He says he’s endorsed Harkey. Mansoor says there are multiple Republicans in good standing running for a Republican seat. He says endorsements should only be made if a RINO is running or if there’s risk of a Democrat winning.

(8:25 PM): Tim Whitacre says the Central Committee usually endorses when he wants neutrality. He says he is not being paid by anyone for BOE. He says Harkey is more conservative than Wyland. Whitacre says Harkey’s an OC resident, unlike Wyland. Whitacre notes Harkey is a lifelong Republican. Whitacre believes San Diego GOP Central Committee will probably endorse Wyland. Whitacre says Harkey’s the best qualified.

(8:28 PM): Mark Bucher says neither should be endorsed. He is very concerned that both have taken union money. Bucher says money is taken from members coercively and spent against their beliefs. Bucher says union money is corrupting. Bucher points to what public safety unions have tried to do to Jim Righeimer in Costa Mesa. Bucher says the OCGOP should not abandon the no-union pledge by endorsing one of them.

(8:30 PM): Tony Beall urges the Central Committee to take a leadership role to influence the electorate. Beall says he’s been Mayor of Rancho Santa Margarita, which is represented by both Harkey and Wyland. He says Harkey is regularly in his city, and he’s never met Wyland. Beall acknowledges that Wyland has assisted California campaigns but not OC campaigns. He says Harkey has helped OC campaigns.

(8:33 PM): Deborah Pauly says this is not about Harkey or Wyland: it’s about process. (She does note Wyland has spent 20 years dealing with the BOE as a businessman.) Pauly says the grassroots is sick of the party jamming decisions down the voters’ throats. Pauly points out that this is a five-county race; if different counties endorse differently, it could be used by the Democrats against whichever Republican advances to November. She says she originally supported waiting until after filing closes, but after listening to the debate, she thinks the Central Committee should wait until the voters have decided in the Primary Election.

(8:37 PM): Robert Hammond asks if the Central Committee is allowed to endorse candidates who violated the no-union pledge.

Baugh says it would violate a 2010 resolution but not the bylaws.

(8:39 PM): The voice vote is unclear. Baugh calls for a standing vote. It requires 2/3 of those present and voting to endorse (i.e. abstentions simply lower the vote threshold required to endorse).

(8:41 PM): The vote count is underway.

(8:42 PM): The vote is 35 for Harkey (32 were need to endorse).

HARKEY ENDORSED

Posted in Anaheim, Board of Equalization, Orange County District Attorney's Office, Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector, Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Anaheim Council Members Make (Or attempt to) Their Case to the Central Committee

Posted by Brenda McCune on January 21, 2014

The OCGOP held it’s monthly meeting last night at the (newly renamed) Hotel Irvine (Fka the Irvine Hyatt). The speakers for the evening were Lucille Kring and Kris Murray. These council members have been under attack for their vote on permitting hotel developers to have a rebate on the Transient Occupancy Tax, (TOT) once and if the hotels are built by the developers. This issue came before the council in 2012 and the council was split 2-3. More important is the May 2013 vote, when the issue was again considered and the vote was 4-1, Mayor Tom Tait being the only vote against the rebate.

The other hot topic of discussion was the ongoing negotiations with the Angels to extend their contract with Anaheim.

We heard over and over again from Kring and Murray that these were “complicated” issues. It seemed to me they had forgotten that their audience for the evening were 1) Grown-up people whom have all presumably stayed at a Hotel at some point in their lives, 2) Live in Orange County and know a few things about the Angels and Arte Moreno and 3) Are all politicians of one ilk or another.

It’s not complicated. It is not new math. It is not brain surgery or rocket science, but here’s the message they delivered.

Kris Murray beat the drum of unity of the City Council, indicating they were all in agreement on this and that and a whole bunch of other things. It is noteworthy, that the Central Committee meeting is open to anyone who wishes to attend, and in general, whomever is speaking is also not a secret. It would seem to behoove good local Republican politicians to know what the goings on are in their county’s Central Committee, particularly when a monthly meeting might be featuring one of their cohorts on their own council. Mayor Tom Tait was a guest speaking at the meeting just a few months ago. He delivered a very different message. His message was that he stood alone fighting the battle of fiscal conservativism on the Anaheim City Council. The 4-1 vote in favor of extending tax rebates (TOT’s) to hotel developers (Tait was the only dissenter) seems to bolster this claim by Mayor Tait.

Ms. Murray went on to discuss the “complicated” issues arising in the negotiations with the Angels over extending their contract with Anaheim. She emphasized the long history of the partnership of the city and the team, (no mention of the protracted litigation over the name just a few years ago) and the huge risk to the city should the Angels decide to up and move to a nearby city that will build them a new stadium, such as happened in Atlanta. She prepared a Power Point but time constraints did not permit her to go through it. She was kind enough to email it to the Central Committee members today for our review. It was interesting in that the Power Point contained one map of the United States that showed the teams that are receiving substantial subsidies from their city. These included four teams, Seattle Mariners, Arizona Diamondbacks, Washington Nationals, and Tampa Bay Rays. Each are purported to be receiving in excess of $300 million dollars in facilities funding. She emphasized that the city “makes” money on the Angels franchise in that it brings people to the area who support local retail and hotels. There are 30 MLB teams, there was no information or statistics on the averages, or any other variations, only the four teams getting subsidy’s of $300 million or more.

Tom Tait, when he recently appeared before the Committee, had argued that the city was not making money on the current deal with the Angels, and that the Angels were in essence being provided “free rent”. The Orange County register in September reported that over the past 16years that the current agreement has been in place, the city made money in nine of those years, and lost money in the past seven, for a net loss of $52,000.00. A sports/business expert interviewed by the Register called it an “irrelevant” loss. Tom Tait’s demeanor on that evening, was emotional, self serving, and desperate to convey to us that he was fighting the good fight and holding the line as a fiscal conservative. From that initial perspective to the message of last night, it is clear to see the emotionality in this divided Council. If Council Members Kring and Murray accomplished anything last night, it was to explain the emotionality and bolster the credibility of Mayor Tom Tait.

Lucille Kring discussed the TOT. This has been widely debated and criticized as the “$158 million dollar give away”.  She went on into a lengthy discussion and explanation of the TOT, of the fact that in the ‘90′s some hotels chose to build in Garden Grove instead of Anaheim, because of such tax advantages, and that Garden Grove at that time gave away free land. She failed to note that those Garden Grove hotels have undergone several ownership changes since they were built.  No discussion of whether the lack of success of those hotels has to do with the lack of proximity to Disneyland. She also noted that travelers frequently choose to stay in “four star” hotels in beach cities.  There was no discussion of what these proposed hotels getting the TOT rebates would be, but one report was that the plan was for a three story structure.  If that is what is proposed, that’s not a luxury hotel. She was terribly condescending in her repeated statements that the “city is not writing a check”. Well, maybe not now, but if this is indeed a “rebate”, that is exactly what the city will do. Again, she seemed to forget her audience, and stayed firm on her position that it was just too much for us to understand, and that if only we understood we would see what a great idea it was. She further, had great difficulty in admitting that she campaigned on representations that she would not support such tax breaks fro developers. Only after several questions from the typically forceful Debra Pauley, and then after the same question was restated by Chairman Baugh did Ms. Kring ultimately, finally admit that she “only discussed that with a few people, yes.”. She continued to assert that it was never stated in her “campaign materials”.

As public servants, both of these women serve our community at a substantial sacrifice to themselves, and nowhere could this be more appreciated than by this audience of public servants. However, in taking up the cloak of leadership, credibility, responsibility and message are relevant. Local politics is a blood sport and it appears they have engaged in this battle essentially unarmed. Overall, both Council Members were unconvincing in their message that everything is coming up roses in Anaheim and there is peace and harmony and that campaign promises are alive and well all around the Council Chambers in Anaheim. When Ms. Kring made the statement regarding her “campaign materials”, she turned away from the audience to face Chairman Baugh and spoke very softly. Nevertheless, it garnered an audible sigh from the audience.

There are a number of business people in Anaheim who support the Hotel deal, even though the most vociferous discussion on this TOT vote has been negative. Maybe there is a really good economic policy behind this and maybe it will ultimately be a wonderful outcome and bring business and revenue to the city, but we did not hear anything that sounded like that. There was a recurring excuse from both the speakers that these actions are similar to actions that have been taken before. That “well they did it back then” attitude and theme was as unpersuasive as every other part of the presentation.

Neither one of them appeared to believe in what they were selling. They were well prepared, rehearsed, polished and articulate and said what they came to say, but it was weak and unconvincing to say the least. If they believed in what they were doing, had absolute confidence in the positions they have taken on these issues, then there should have been no reason to sidestep actions contrary to campaign promises or to deny the obvious and well documented division among the council. This is certainly the wrong room to come to and be timid, apologetic,defensive, or untruthful.

In litigation we have a saying for silly or non-meritorious arguments, “That dog don’t hunt”. In the public forum as well as the political gathering last night, not only do these positions and policies “not hunt”, these politicians now and in their re-election bids will continue to be the hunted if they persist on a platform of excuses and half truths.

Posted in Anaheim, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Councilmembers Murray and Eastman Cost Anaheim Taxpayers $2 Million

Posted by Allen Wilson on January 8, 2014

KrisMurrayGail Eastman

The protracted issue regarding how Anaheim councilmembers are elected has come to an end but with a steep price.

Councilmembers Kris Murray and Gail Eastman has cost the taxpayers of Anaheim at a tune of $2 Million.

The City of Anaheim has already racked up $1.2 Million to defend itself and now must bear the cost of paying the litigants legal bills of over $1 Million, the ACLU and Anaheim Community Activists, who brought the issue to it’s head two years ago.

The Orange County Register reports that Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait says, “the cost of fighting the lengthy lawsuit could have been avoided if the City Council in August 2012 had approved his call for similar ballot measure.”

The two councilmembers joined with then-Councilman Harry Sidhu in 2012 as council majority stubbornly rejected Mayor Tait’s proposal.

The issue centers around Latino activists who echoed the need to change how councilmembers are elected from at-large to districts, because no Latino currently sits on the dais and 52% of the community are Latinos.

The settlement was agreed upon from a case Moreno, et al. vs. City of Anaheim that was slated to go to trail on March 17, 2014 regarding the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA).

The Voice of OC reported that Councilmember Murray called the deal “a win for our citizens, for our residents, for the taxpayers of Anaheim.”

Ironically, the Orange County Register reports that Councilmember Murray says, “I am still opposed to a form of single-member district election.  I think this lawsuit and the fees attached to it are unfortunate for this city.”

In the January 8th, 2014 edition of The Anaheim Blog contributor Matthew Cunningham asserts that the ACLU and Jose Moreno are at fault for costing the taxpayers huge legal bills:  “The fault lies with the plaintiffs’ stubborn insistence on bypassing the voters in favor of the imposition of single-member districts by judicial fiat.”

Frankly, Mr. Cunningham forgets that Councilmembers Murray and Eastman have an fiduciary duty to protect the city’s assets such as taxpayer funds and settle the issue back in 2012 as suggested by Mayor Tait to let the voters decide how their councilmembers are elected.

Councilmembers Murray and Eastman should realize that the buck stops with them and they have the power by finding a consensus with Mayor Tait instead of fighting against him and the community.

The bottom line is this:  consensus is cheap, litigation is expensive.

Posted in Anaheim, California, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 35 Comments »

Anaheim Chamber Misleading E-Newsletter

Posted by Allen Wilson on January 7, 2014

AnaheimChamber

The Anaheim Chamber recently boasts that the EZ (Enterprise Zones) was a success due to a recent independent audit in the January 7th, 2014 e-newsletter edition of “This Week in Anaheim”:

The recently published audit of Year One of the Anaheim Enterprise Zone was confirmation of the Chamber’s successful launch and operation of the EZ. According to the independent audit,  “the City of Anaheim and the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce have developed an effective partnership and made substantial progress implementing the Enterprise Zone Program, and in carrying out core responsibilities.” The audit’s “assessment of the Program’s first year of operation revealed many key successes” and judged that the “the Enterprise Zone Program achieved a substantial number of its first-year goals, and made significant progress on the other goals. This includes processing 1,417 voucher applications from local businesses, each representing a newly hired employee.”

This is no surprise: last summer, the Governor’s Jobs Czar told the Chamber that if every Enterprise Zone in the State operated as well and as efficiently as the Anaheim EZ, the program would not have been eliminated. This was a judgment echoed by other leaders in Sacramento.

The Chamber stood-up a successfully operating Enterprise Zone in next to no-time. As of December 4, 5,786 job-creation vouchers had been issued – in less than two years.

That is a testament to the City of Anaheim’s wisdom in contracting out the operation of the EZ, rather than running it in-house; the city recognized it was unlikely to achieve as much success, as quickly, as the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce. We were able to administer the EZ at half of what it would have cost the city to do so in-house, while deriving vouchering revenues back to the city to the tune of $400,000.

“I am extraordinarily proud of the work our Chamber staff and Enterprise Zone team did in administering and managing the Zone. Today, there are businesses operating in Anaheim and not out of state because of the Enterprise Zone,” said Chamber of Commerce Chairman Jeff Farano. “Today, there are many formerly unemployed and hard-to-employ Anaheim residents who now have jobs because of the Enterprise Zone.  That is a real record of accomplishment of which all Chamber members and Anaheim residents can be proud.”

However, the Anaheim Chamber neglects to disclose in their e-newsletter that the same audit reported chamber’s spotty expense tracking according to the December 30th, 2013 article in the Voice of OC.

The Chamber was awarded a five-year contract by the City of Anaheim in 2012 at an initial cost of $1.8 Million, then it was bumped to an additional $1.1 Million for the need to hire more staff at a grand total of $2.9 Million for the purpose of administering Anaheim’s enterprise zone.

The full account of the audit was performed by Sjoberg Evashenk Consulting at the request of the City of Anaheim.

The Voice of OC reports that chamber’s expense tracking was so shoddy that auditors could not determine whether the business group spent taxpayer funds on other, perhaps political, activities.”

The Voice of OC further reports that “the chamber’s tracking of staff time was unreliable, so verifying the organization’s spending under the contract was impossible”, Ouch!

When a civic organization, such as a chamber, that gathers support from the business community should be forthcoming with all of the facts and not omitting facts for the purpose of bragging rights on the success of the enterprise zone program.

It makes one wonder if the Anaheim Chamber had a journalist in mind when producing the e-newsletter for accurate reporting instead of a propaganda tool at the behest of those at the top in charge of the organization.

Therefore, misleading or slanted information of any documentation such an e-newsletter diminishes the reputation of an organization.

Posted in Anaheim | Tagged: , , | 7 Comments »

Kris Murray Raises $90,000 at Re-Election Kick Off

Posted by Matt Cunningham on June 27, 2013

Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray

Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray

Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray held a re-election kick-off fundraiser yesterday evening at the Diamond Club at Angel Stadium. The event was attended by 175 people ( a mixture of community and business leaders, her three council colleagues, former Mayor Curt Pringle and a variety of others) and raised at least $90,000.

That is a huge amount to raise at a single political event in Orange County, even more so when you consider it is for an election that is about a year-and-a-half away. Murray has held together her victorious 2010 coalition, which if anything is now stronger and broader.

To put the blow-out success of this fund-raiser in perspective: during her first (and winning) city council run, Kris Murray raised a total of $114,000 for all of 2010. Yesterday, she raised 78% of that in a single night. With a few days left in the reporting period, she could possibly break the $100,000 mark – and that still leaves 15 fund-raising months between now and November 2014.

There are two council seats up in November 2014, held by Kris Murray and Gail Eastman. For all the howling from the peanut gallery and the media focus on the demands of vocal, organized factions (of which part of the leadership hails from outside Anaheim), Murray and Eastman are strongly positioned to be re-elected. Despite the claims of some gadflies to speak for “the people of Anaheim,” their divisive, class- and race-based rhetoric is not appealing to the great majority of Anaheim’s citizens. When the rubber meets the road next summer and fall, Kris Murray and Gail Eastman will be able to communicate a record that will lead Anaheim voters to reward them with a second term.

Posted in Anaheim | Leave a Comment »

Anaheim Activist to City Council: Give Voters the Option of At-Large Council Districts

Posted by Matt Cunningham on June 6, 2013

[Originally posted on AnaheimBlog.net]

At last week’s Anaheim City Council meeting, Anaheim Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) member Gloria Ma’ae spoke eloquently on how the UNITE-HERE/OCCORD coalition had manipulated the CAC process. She described how half of the CAC committee strongly desired the opportunity to recommend that the City Council also place on the ballot the option of expanding the City Council to 6 members who are elected at-large but nominated by council district (as in Newport Beach, Santa Ana and the Orange Unified School District):

The Tait/Galloway bloc on the CAC — who had been resolutely committed to 8 single-member council districts from the very beginning of the CAC process – absolutely refused to countenance further discussion (aided, inexplicably, by CAC member Keith Oleson). CAC members Vivian Pham, Martin Lopez, Bill Dalati – these were folks who couldn’t say enough about having a robust discussion (I don’t include the ridiculous Larry Larsen who said little for most of the process).  Vivian Pham even invited the obnoxious, noisome kook William Fitzgerald to make a formal presentation to the CAC.

Yet when five of their colleagues wanted the opportunity to discuss also recommending a six-member council elected at-large from council districts as an option for the City Council’s consideration, those four would have none of it. I noted this on Facebook while watching this shutdown of discussion in action:

Briceno FB pro-silencing discussion

Note how UNITE-HERE second-in-command Ada Briceno’s approval of this silencing of discussion. So much for the Left’s commitment to tolerance and inclusion.

Hopefully, the mayor and the members of the Anaheim City Council will not imitate these strong arm tactics. They are elected officials and are not bound by the CAC’s recommendations. It is they who constituted the Citizens Advisory Committee, and not the other way around.

But if the City Council decides it must give such weight to the CAC’s recommendations as to put them before the voters, it should also demonstrate awareness that at least half of the CAC also wants the voters to be given the option of electing their council from district while retaining the right to vote on all council candidates. It’s there in the video of the May 9 CAC meeting for those who care to watch it — and upon watching it, there’s no denying the reality of what I have described above and what Gloria Ma’ae explains in the video.

To ignore that reality and confine themselves narrowly to the CAC’s formal recommendations would be to deliberately short-change the ability of Anaheim voters to decide what kind of government they want.

Posted in Anaheim, Uncategorized | 10 Comments »

Video: Lucille Kring Speaks Common Sense on Single-Member Council Districts

Posted by Matt Cunningham on May 6, 2013

Anaheim Councilwoman Lucille Kring took the time to speak to next-to-last meeting of the Anaheim Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) on April 18. She gave the CAC members a brief and to-the-point tutorial on why she is opposed to single-member council districts.

Kring’s appeal to common sense employed reality to illuminate the down-side of single-member council districts and illustrate why they are not the solution that proponents contend they are:

Posted in Anaheim | Tagged: | 6 Comments »

Video: Last Tuesday’s Anaheim City Council Throw-Down

Posted by Matt Cunningham on May 6, 2013

The buzz in Orange County political circles since last week has been about the drama that occurred during the council comments that traditionally come at the end of the Anaheim City Council meeting.

The mayor goes last, and Tom Tait took the occasion to blast Councilwoman Kris Murray over her op-ed piece on single-member council districts in last week’s Orange County Register. it’s a symptom of how negative the dynamics of Anaheim city government have become that what is, at its heart, a disagreement over the application or interpretation of the California government code blew up into allegations of character assault.

Anaheim gadfly/wedding videographer Jason Young ripped a video that has been floating around other OC blogs — but in his Ministry of Truth-style, Jason was careful to omit Murray’s response and other key moments.

So in the interest of the whole truth, here is video of the entire incident:

 

You can read the rest of the post here.

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Mission of Group Leading Council District Push In Anaheim: Roll Back Conservatism In OC

Posted by Matt Cunningham on April 30, 2013

The bland-sounding Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development (OCCORD) is an off-shoot of the left-wing union UNITE-HERE, and has been the lead organizer of the left-wing coalition pushing to carve Anaheim into 8 single-member council districts, drawn according to ethno-racial criteria.

This week, OCCORD is busily preparing for tomorrow’s May Day union rally, next week it’s focus will be on the final meeting of the Anaheim Citizens Advisory Committee meeting.

I’d wager few Orange County Republicans and conservatives have heard of OCCORD, so here’s a primer.

OCCORD recieves north of half-a-million in funding annually from a variety of non-profits, including the is The New World Foundation, a radical, New York City-based non-profit that funds left-wing organization in the United States and around the world.

OCCORD’s grants came from the NWF’s “New Majority Fund” – which is its largest funding vehicle. The ambitious agenda of the New Majority Fund is  “building electoral majorities that can reverse the rightward trend across America” and helping groups like OCCORD to “grow in scope and scale to influence the broader political climate and reshape government at the municipal, county and state levels.”

Indeed, OCCORD’s mission fits perfectly into The New World Foundation’s larger goals, self-consciously casting itself as an agent for rolling back conservative politics and governance in Orange County.

In April of 2012, Norma Rodriguez, an organizer for the San Diego-based Center on Policy Initiatives (another recipient of financial support from the New World Foundation’s New Majority Fund) posted this OCCORD job opportunity:

“OCCORD- Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development is  a sister organization of CPI’s in Orange County, they are hiring a Researcher and Policy Analyst, please forward on to colleagues in OC or colleagues interested in moving there!!”

In the job posting, OCCORD Executive Director Eric Altman told potential applicants [emphasis added]::

“OCCORD is hiring a campaign-oriented Researcher/Policy Analyst.  We’re looking for a good strategic thinker who will keep digging until they find the information they need and who can communicate the relevance of their findings to multiple audiences ranging from policymakers to grassroots leaders.”

Altman concludes with this revealing caution [emphasis added]:

“Oh, and since this is Orange County, the epicenter of the modern American conservative movement, we need someone who doesn’t mind fighting  an uphill battle…”

According to another OCCORD job posting for the same position:

“The Researcher/Policy Analyst utilizes research and data analysis to reframe the debate about our regional economy and the role of government in our society, and integrates the research component into OCCORD’s comprehensive campaigns.”

That call to oppose the conservative movement and persuade Orange Countians to accept a larger government role in their lives is echoed in an August 2012 job posting by OCCORD for a Community Organizer:

“OCCORD is a leader in the emerging movement to reclaim Orange County, California, from the extreme laissez-faire policies and entrenched anti-immigrant sentiment that have long dominated our region.”

OCCORD paints a pretty clear picture of how it sees its mission: overturning the philosophical political underpinnings of Orange County and shifting our politics left-ward toward an increased role for government in the regulation of our lives.

Furthermore, it’s clear OCCORD views dividing Anaheim into eight single-member council districts as critical to its goal of “reclaiming” Orange County from the influence of free market and limited government ideas and “re-framing” the debate about the role of government in the lives of Orange Countians. That would tend to argue that single-member council districts will move Anaheim governance to the Left.

OCCORD’s present political focus is on re-structuring the governance of Orange County’s largest city to make it easier to elect liberals to the Anaheim City Council. The person ultimately hired for the Researcher/Policy Analyst position, Clara Turner, is a fixture at Anaheim Citizen Advisory Committee meetings, continually supplying CAC members with charts, graphs and arguments for dividing the city into eight single-member districts.

However, it is worth noting that OCCORD’s ambitions for its agenda — in its own words — is not limited to Anaheim but is county-wide in scope. And that ought to concern supporters of limited government who are either indifferent to what is happening in Anaheim, or have convinced themselves it is nothing to worry about.

Posted in Anaheim, Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 7 Comments »

 
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