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OCEA's John Leos (center) with OCEA Prez Robert Gibson (right) at Jerry Brown inaugural shindig.

OCEA’s John Leos (center) with OCEA Prez Robert Gibson (right) at Jerry Brown inaugural shindig.

As this blog as documented pretty thoroughly, the Orange County Employees Association spent a staggering amount of its members’ dues money in an effort to elect one of its members, John Leos, to the Anaheim City Council.

How much did that failed effort cost on a per-vote basis?

OCEA directly put into $350,000 into independent expenditures for Leos (this doesn’t take into account OCEA money that may have made its way into the election via transfers to other union-controlled committees, or even the estimated $100,000 OCEA spent in 2011 on direct mail promoting Leos).

John Leos ultimately garnered 19,051 votes.

That comes to $18.37 per vote…to buy a third place finish. Keep in mind that number may change when all the money is finally accounted for.

In 2010, OCEA directly spent $200,000 trying to elect Leos in 2010, when he received 12,966 votes. That’s $15.42 per vote.

Amazingly, OCEA  dollar-cost-per-vote ratio increased from 2010 to 2012, for a third-place finish both times. Not a good ROI on OCEA members’ moolah.

I’d like to provide a counter-point to Matt Cunningham’s criticism of the new garage sale ordinance. Local governments have a great deal of leeway in dealing with public nuisances and upholding community standards. Enacting a limitation on outdoor neighborhood activities like garage sales, the Anaheim City Council acted within its legitimate powers.

The purpose of the ordinance isn’t to limit the freedom of residents. It doesn’t,  in my opinion, limit anyone’s freedom in a meaningful way. It is a response to concerns expressed by residents over those who are running thrift stores on their lawns. They are eyesores and can impact property values. It’s a case of their rights colliding with the rights of their neighbors, and finding a middle ground that accommodates both. The fact that this divided council approved it unanimously says a lot.

This council or future councils are free to make adjustments in the ordinance as experience and circumstances, informed by feedback from residents and enforcement officers, dictate. Let’s save the homilies on liberty for issues where that is really what is at stake.

OK, vacation is over and blogging will resume.

On November 13, the city council voted unanimously to enact a garage sale ordinance, where none previously existed.

Henceforth, it will only be legal to hold garage sales on the first full weekend of March, June, September and December from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The ordinance will be enforced with an escalating series of enforcement acts, beginning with courtesy notices.

I understand the where supporters of this ordinance are coming from, especially if they live in neighborhoods where someone is basically running a consignment store on their front yard.

However, it strikes me as pretty draconian to go from no limitations on garage sales to only four times per year. It seems to me the city could have explored and adopted a less heavy-handed approach, or a more liberal initial limit on the number of garage sales.

The ordinance contains provisions like a prohibition on offering food or beverages for sale or trade. Say your kids are entrepreneurial go-getters who want take advantage of the sidewalk foot traffic on a hot day to by selling bottles of water for 50 cents or a dollar; or your daughter the Girl Scout sees a chance to sell some Girl Scout cookies to help out her troop. No dice. They’d be breaking the law.

Older cities like Anaheim and Orange aren’t Irvine. They have a significant number of immigrant residents who are poorer, and who uses garage sales as a way of helping make ends meet. Amidst the seeming permanence of our slow economic growth and high unemployment, that’s not an inconsiderable consideration.

However, the ordinance has passed and we’ll have to see how it works out. In any case, it’s difficult to foresee any future liberalization of this ordinance.

I recommend today’s Frank Mickadeit column on the private, faith-based community center started earlier this year in a gang-infested Santa Ana neighborhood, because it contains lessons not just for Anaheim, but for every community in this nation.

“The center is a kind of rogue facility that opened up when a cop-turned-pastor named Kevin Brown and a university professor named Cristina Jose Kampfner rented a two-bedroom apartment in the 1800 block of Evergreen Street. They just leased the place, opened the doors to the apartment-saturated neighborhood and started calling themselves a community center. No help or official go-ahead from the city or school district.

The day I discovered it in August, it had just gotten a little lending library donated by Access Books. Kampfner, a psychologist, was offering therapy and starting to work with juvenile delinquents. Brown’s Side-by-Side Church was doing Bible studies.”

Mickadeit re-visited Evergreen-Cedar Community Center this past Saturday, and ran into Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait there:

I guess I shouldn’t have been completely surprised by Tait. I’d told him about Kampfner’s little miracle last August, right after one of Tait’s own poor Hispanic neighborhoods had erupted in rioting. Tait had asked for Kampfner’s contact info, and he’s now met with her a couple of times. On Saturday night, some of Brown’s guys were going to start walking an Anaheim neighborhood for the first time, trying to build trust.

“It’s inspiring what one person can do,” Tait said as we watched families milling around Kampfner in the courtyard of the apartment complex. “Rent an apartment. … Let the city get out of the way.”

The two ideas Mayor Tait expressed — “it’s inspiring what one person can do” and “Let the city get out of the way.” are, of course, exactly right.

Government has a critical role to play in terms of law enforcement. That’s why we have government. That is removing the criminal element from the equation. The rest is really up to the Kampfners and the Browns of our communities – private individuals acting out of love of God and humanity. Government can’t really do that.

Mickadeit’s column reminded me of Marvin Olasky’s great book “The Tragedy of American Compassion,” which examines America’s robust and largely forgotten history of private charity and how it was displaced by the welfare state. Olasky quotes this dialogue from the 1844 McGuffey’s Reader that contrasts two philosophies of charity:

Mr. Fantom: I despire a narrow field. O for the reign of universal benevolence! I want to make all mankind good and happy!

Mr. Godman: Dear me! Sure that must be a wholesale sort of job: had you not better try your hand at a town or neighborhood first?

Mr. Fantom: Sir, I have a plan in my head for relieving the miseries of the whole world…

Mr. Goodman: The utmost extent of my ambition at present is, to redress the wrongs of a poor apprentice, who has been cruelly used by his master…

Mr. Fantom: You must not apply to me for redress of such petty grievances…It is provinces empires, continents, that the benevolence of the philosopher embraces; every one can do a little paltry good to his next neighbor.

Mr. Goodman: Every one can, but I do not see that every one does…[You] have such noble zeal for the millions, [yet] feel so little compassion for the units.

Mayor Tait’s point apply beyond just getting the city out of the way. The larger principle is getting government, in general, out of the way. The legacy of the  Mr. Fantoms of this country, from the Progressive Era to the Obama Era, is an enormous welfare state and a citizenry increasingly dependent on it. On a local level, the path away from the legacy won’t be paved with ticket taxes or dedicated diversions of TOT revenue, but by the action of more Kevin Brown’s and Cristina Jose Kampfners and those in the private sector who will help them.

To the last I grapple with thee; from  hell’s heart I stab at thee!”

— Captain Ahab in Moby Dick

I’ve heard from multiple reliable sources that the Orange County Employees Association has fixed on its next target: Assemblyman-elect (and former Anaheim mayor and councilman) Tom Daly. The goal: find and fund a candidate to challenge Daly for re-election in 2014. The focus is apparently on Santa Ana Councilman Sal Tinajero, with a Anaheim City School District Trustee (and ACLU litigant) Dr. Jose Moreno another mentioned possibility.

This would be of a piece with the OCEA’s recent shift away from its traditional don’t-let-the-perfect-be-the-enemy-of-the-good-enough approach to politics. The OCEA’s expensive and failed attempt to elect union staffer Julio Perez in AD69 is an example. Perez had the requisite left-wing ideological qualities — “There’s not less money in the economy, there’s just less money in government coffers” — but little else to mark him as the man to beat Daly. And so he didn’t.

I’m going to go out on a climb and say this is an ill-advised strategy likely to end in expensive failure. For one thing, expensive failure has been something of a hallmark of OCEA political strategy in recent years. Half a million dollars in two failed, back-to-back attempts to elect John Leos to the Anaheim City Council.  Around $300,000 for Julio Perez to place third in AD69 $200,000 in IEs against Shawn Nelson in the 2010 supervisorial special election. That’s just the last two years.

True, OCEA did defeat the proposed Costa Mesa charter, Measure V. But obtaining a “no” vote on a charter measure that was placed before voters in a fairly hasty manner – especially when you are outspending the “yes” side by order of magnitude — is not political genius. Confusion and doubt are the stalwart allies of any “no” campaign.

Even in Costa Mesa, both conservative, pro-outsourcing incumbents retained their seats, and their ally, Planning Commissioner Colin McCarthy, ran a strong race and is strongly positioned to win a seat in two years. Anti-outsourcing candidate Sandy Genis is a former councilmember who has retained a strong profile in the community and would almost certainly have won even absent OCEA support.

The point is that it is hard to see the point in OCEA declaring jihad on Tom Daly. He ran far ahead of the candidate field in the June primary, and romped to victory in November. The top-two primary is tailor-made for a Daly’s brand of centrist, bipartisan coalition politics. He was the top priority of the California business community, which spent enormous sums in pro-Daly IEs.

And he’s going to be an Assemblyman for 12 years. That is a long time for the OCEA to have earned the hostility of the Democratic Assemblyman from central Orange County.

Who knows? It’s 14 months until filing opens for AD69. We’ll see if OCEA is still in Captain Ahab mode at that time.

Megaphoning for socio-ethnic justice for a peacefully diverse environment.

During public comments at Tuesday night’s Anaheim City Council meeting, former Los Amigos President Amin David asked how much the city had spent defending itself against the ACLU lawsuit seeking to force a switch to a district-based system of council elections.

He neglected to mention he is one of the plaintiffs in that lawsuit.

The answer to Amin David’s question was $144,000 as of the end of September.

During the campaign, Anaheim City School District Trustee Jose Moreno took council candidate Jordan Brandman to task about council districts, lambasting him for supporting a citizens commission to examine in a deliberate manner, rather than rushing to place a slapped together proposal on the November ballot.

“When we asked you to discuss district elections, and to be really clear that we want district elections now, to not go through the expense of a lawsuit, which is general fund money, but to rather have the council vote to put it on the ballot…”

Moreno’s point was that folks like Brandman were costing the city money in litigation costs by not preemptive lay bowing to the lawsuit.

That, by the way, is the line generally taken by the defeatists the among Anaheim activists, who have bought into the conventional wisdom that resistance is futile and a quick surrender is the least expensive option.

Leaving aside the validity of that conventional wisdom — which I do not buy — let’s consider David’s and Moreno’s concerns over how much their litigation will cost the city, because it is uniquely within their power to do something about it.

They could simply suspend their lawsuit until the citizens commission completes its work, forwards its recommendations to the Anaheim City Council, and the city council takes action regarding those recommendations.

Putting their lawsuit into suspended animation — not dropping it — would stop the clock on the city’s legal expenses.

In fact, it’s my understanding the city has asked them to do exactly that — and they refused.

Keep that in mind next time Jose Moreno, Amin David or anyone supporting their litigation sheds crocodile tears over “the cost to taxpayers.”

I’ve been informed that Mayor Tait, at last night’s City Selection Committee meeting, nominated his council colleague Gail Eastman to the OCTA Board of Directors, and that she was handily elected.

Those of us who very much want to see an end to the destructive divisions on the Anaheim City Council are relieved and encouraged by Mayor Tait’s extending this big olive branch. It is a signal that the councilmembers who have been at loggerheads, often bitterly, can work together in the common interest of the city. This  is good for the council and the city.

Hopefully, this will become more typical of how the councilmembers operate in the future.

Watching the changes in the vote totals since Election Day as the late vote-by-mail and provisional ballots are counted, I am struck by how they have propelled Democratic candidates for state and local office. It’s a demonstration of the how much more motivated labor and Democratic voters were, in large part due to the presence of Prop. 32 on the ballot.

Rep. Loretta Sanchez, who represents the Anaheim flatlands in Congress, had 60.4% of the vote at the end of Election Day counting. As of this evening, she has 62.2%. That is almost 20 points ahead of Democratic registration in CD46 (which is 44%). Keep in mind this is new-drawn district for Sanchez and includes the conservative Republican City of Orange (west of the 55 Freeway), and her showing is more than 9% higher than the 53% she garnered in 2010 in a district that was more Democratic.

Fullerton Mayor Sharon Quick-Silva led Assemblyman Chris Norby by 1,004 votes on Election Day in the 65th Assembly District, which also includes the Anaheim flatlands. Her lead has grown every day since, and now stands at 1,996 votes. Her 51.2% puts her 15 points ahead of Democratic registration.

Jordan Brandman finished Election Day as the second-highest vote getter in the Anaheim City Council election (the top two finishers being elected). On Friday, he edged into past former Councilwoman Lucille Kring by 57 votes, and his lead has now grown to 450 votes.

What is curious is this trend did not seem to benefit John Leos, who although a Republican was also the government union candidate and whose patron, the Orange County Employees Association, made Prop. 32’s defeat a top priority. The OCEA also hit Brandman hard in the mail in the campaign’s final week.

I have long been a strong supporter of paycheck protection and voted for Prop. 32 (despite reservations about the inclusion of both private sector unions and corporations in the measure; I think a simpler initiative focused exclusively on government unions would have been better). That said, having Prop. 32 on the November ballot certainly boomeranged against Republicans. Admittedly, this cannot really be blamed on Prop. 32’s proponents, who planned the initiative for the June 2012 ballot. unfortunately, Gov. Jerry Brown, with the cooperation of the Democratic legislature, changed state law to restrict initiatives to the November ballot (it helps to be able to re-write the rules to suit one’s goals).

It’s fair to say that Prop. 32 cost Assemblyman Chris Norby his seat and handed the Democrats super-majorities in the state legislature.

The macro-point is that going forward, Republicans ought to think carefully about ballot initiatives we qualify, and who will they bring more of to the polls – us or them. Prop. 32 would have been a big victory for Republicans in terms of leveling the political playing field, but it was life or death for the unions – especially the government unions. They simply could not survive absent the ability to coerce political dues from members. In other words, they had greater motivation to beat Prop. 32 than Republicans had to pass it.

 

The City of Anaheim has partnered with Burbank, Los Angeles, Pasadena, and Riverside to send 89 linemen and utility crew members to Long Island, New York, to help with power restoration efforts in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.  The Anaheim Public Utility (APU) team includes Supervisor Pat Jelensky, and crew members Nick Heidel, Emi Villalpando, Dave Bogdan, and Frank Gehr.

Their primary focus is to work in the residential neighborhoods to set new poles and replace overhead wires damaged when high winds blew tree limbs into power lines.  The APU team and their two bucket trucks were transported to New York on a C-5 military transport aircraft on November 5.  They made their way from JFK airport to the Long Island Power Authority’s (LIPA) staging area, and are expected to be assisting  LIPA for one more week before returning home.

Kudos to Anaheim for reaching out to help fellow citizens in need in the destructive wake of Hurricane Sandy. Here’s a picture of members of the APU on the scene:

Every day, the OC Registrar counts outstanding late vote-by-mail (VBM) and provisional ballots. And at the end of each day, Jordan Brandman has gained ground on heretofore top-vote-getter Lucille Kring.

At the end of today’s counting, Brandman passed Kring and into first place, by 57 votes.

 

It should be noted that the ballots being counted since Election Day are ones that were cast late in the campaign — when the OCEA and the Tait-connected “Taxpayers for Safer Neighborhoods” were hitting Brandman on the trumped-up DA “investigation” and other issues.

There are still 11,863 Anaheim ballots left to count: 3,977 VBMs and 7,886 provisionals.

While litigating and agitating for replacing the at-large council election system with a district-based system, litigators and agitators liked to point to the fact that four of the five councilmembers live in Anaheim Hills as evidence of how “unrepresentative” the current system is.

It is an intrinsically weak argument, in part because it is anomalous to have 4/5 of the council residing in Anaheim Hills.

And now the outcome of the November elections have rendered it even weaker, since the two winners, Jordan Brandman and Lucille Kring, both live in the flatlands. Together with incumbent Councilwoman Gail Eastman, two-thirds of the new council will be flatlanders.

This should illustrate that the geographic distribution of councilmembers will naturally fluctuate from election to election and permanently restructuring how the city council is elected because of a passing anomaly is ill-considered and hasty public policy.

Megaphoning for socio-ethnic justice for a peacefully diverse environment.

There are three plaintiffs to the ACLU’s lawsuit against the City of Anaheim, seeking to force the replacement of the current at-large council election system with election by districts. One of them is Dr. Jose Moreno, a member of the Anaheim City School District Board of Trustees.

The basis of the lawsuit is that Anaheim’s current system violates the California Voting Rights Act because not enough Latinos have been elected to the council of a city that is 50% Latino, and believe a district-based system will ensure the candidates of the right ethnicity are elected.

Which leads me to ask: why doesn’t Moreno sue the Anaheim City School District? After all the Latinos are the dominant ethnic group in the district. The vast majority of the students are Hispanic. And yet, four of the five members of the Board of Education are white:

Mighty white.

This week’s election changed nothing. Two union-backed candidates, Al Jabbar and John Santoianni, went down in flames. Board of Education member James Vanderbilt was re-elected, and will be joined by a former ACSD principal, Bob Gardner, who is also unarguably a white guy:

Bob Gardner.

If matching the ethnic composition of a jurisdiction’s elected officials with that of the residents is the sine qua non of representation — which is the underlying rationale of the ACLU/Moreno’s lawsuit — then shouldn’t Moreno lead by example by suing his own school district for being so unrepresentative of the community? Are not the same conditions that exist in the City of Anaheim also present in the Anaheim City School District — only more so? The ACSD’s Board of Trustees is elected at large — and is whiter than the Anaheim City Council.

What argument could be made against Moreno suing to implement trustee districts, other than being indecorous and not very cricket?

The election is over, but the issue of how the governance of Anaheim will be structured still rolls along. The Citizens Advisory Committee on Elections and Community Involvement holds its second meeting this evening at 7:00 p.m. in the Crown Royal Theater at Katella High School, 2200 E. Wagner Avenue.

Here’s the agenda and agenda packet.

The committee will elected a chair and vice-chair (for some reason, at the October meeting, committee member Bill Dalati asked that action to be deferred to tonight) and hear a presentation from Cal State University Professor Justin A. Tucker “Overview and Discussion of Election Systems.”

Here’s Dr. Tucker’s bio, and a presentation he gave in 2009 at the “National Teach-In on Global Warming.”

The dust has settled and once again, a hugely expensive government union effort to elect John Leos to the Anaheim City Council has fallen short.

In 2010, the Orange County Employees Association spent $——- in independent expenditures on behalf of John Leos candidacy. He came in third with 12.1% of the vote.

Leos and Berardino

OCEA’s John Leos at the union’s celebration of Jerry Brown’s inaugural, with OCEA Prez Robert Gibson and OCEA GM Nick Berardino

In the Fall of 2011, OCEA spent an estimated $100,000 on direct mail Anaheim voters promoting John Leos and his “transparency ordinance.”

This year, the OCEA put $350,000 into its pro-Leos campaign. Leos finished third with 13.9% of the vote.

That’s $650,000 in members’ dues money that OCEA has spent over two years in a vain attempt to make Leos an Anaheim City Councilman (and I’m not counting the $138,000 from the government union umbrella group UEOOC).

That additional $450,000 the OCEA spent for Leos in 2011-2012 only barely budged his percentage of the vote from 12.1% to 13.9% – even in a year with presidential election turnout. When you consider that unlike in 2010, this year Leos had the active support of the city’s well-liked conservative Republican mayor, as well as conservative Republicans Supervisor Shawn Nelson and Assemblyman Chris Norby, the failure of the Leos/OCEA campaign effort is even more glaring.

$650,000 is a huge sum of money to burn with nothing to show for it.

If the vote-by-mail returns hold, former councilwoman Lucille Kring is coming back for a thrid term, and Jordan Brandman for a first term. Kring has 21.2% and Brandman has 20.4%.

John Leos, with half-a-million in government union money at his back, finished third with 13.3% (which I think is worse than his showing two years ago).

Chris Emami did yeoman’s work posting up a number of mailers from the tsunami of mail that landed on Anaheim voters this election.

Although we’ll know the results in a few hours, you can view a number of the mailers largely driving those results here, here, here, here and here.

Despite the gusher of government union money uncorked to elect John Leos, I’ll venture a prediction that it is in vain, and that Leos falls short. I think enough voters are smart enough to realize what the game is, that the sheer volume of government union money becomes an issue in itself, and the OCEA’s mail was uneven, and enough of it just not very good. Two years ago, there was a flood of it portraying Leos as a champion of the taxpayer; the problem was it all said “paid for by the Orange County Employees Association.” Nothing has changed.

If Leos loses, that means OCEA will have spent around $700,000 since 2010 in a vain attempt to elect him to the Anaheim City Council.

In other news, Councilwoman Kris Murray distributed this response to yesterday’s op-ed by Mayor Tom Tait.

 

I

Mayor Tom Tait published on op-ed in yesterday’s OC Register articulating what he sees as the challenges facing Anaheim and his characterizations of why Anaheim voters should support John Leos and Lucille Kring for Anaheim City Council.

Few people would disagree with much of what Mayor Tait states in his op-ed about Anaheim, and there are areas where I respectfully disagree with his characterizations — most strongly with his recommendation of John Leos.

Most importantly, there is what is missing from the op-ed and what I believe is the crux of this election: the bold attempt by a powerful government union, the Orange County Employees Association, to place an active member and former officer on the Anaheim City Council.

To this end, OCEA has invested $350,000 dollars. I sincerely doubt OCEA, during its entire existence,  has ever — ever — committed that much to electing a single candidate. In addition, a government union umbrella PAC has invested an additional $138,000 to elect Leos.

The Anaheim Municipal Employees Association — the union representing most Anaheim city employees — is an affiliate of the OCEA.  John Leos is an OCEA shop steward, and until earlier this year was on the Board of Directors of the OCEA and the OCEA political action committee.

Although directed at school board elections, this exhortation from a mailer I recently received from another government union, the California School Employees Association, clearly states the stakes in Anaheim:

“Elect your bosses! Classified employees have the unique opportunity to elect our bosses. Whether you are voting for your local school board, board of trustees members or a local ballot initiative, please consider CSEA’s endorsements. Electing pro-education candidates not only enhances your community, but also creates your work environment.”

In its own words, here is a government union restating the axiom that public employee unions are government organized as a special interest — to install those with the power to approve changes to pay, benefits and work rules. As it says in the CSEA mailer, what the OCEA’s support of John Leos is an attempt to elect the OCEA/AMEA’s boss.

And that is dangerous to limited government, as Franklin Delano Roosevelt – no enemy of big government — recognized:

“All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations.”

I have met and conversed Leos a few times during the last few years. He is a very nice, very friendly man and strikes me as someone who would be a great neighbor.

But OCEA isn’t opening the financial floodgates to support him because he is a nice fellow. OCEA is not a charity. Sometimes the union will enter a race and spend large in order to impress its members that it is “fighting for them,” but this isn’t a case of political bread and circuses. The OCEA is government, organized as a special interest. It is the nature of OCEA to oppose conservative government reform, because conservative government reform involves reducing the size and scope of government — including the outsourcing of city services to provide the same or higher level of service to the public, for the same or lower cost.

That is the central issue in this election — or ought to be. Will Anaheim continue as the kind of city it has been, or will its politics come to more closely resemble the government-union dominated cities of Los Angeles County?

John Leos’ biggest fan.

Prior to last Thursday, the Orange County Employees Association has already placed a huge bet on electing government union activist John Leos to the Anaheim City Council: $300,000, courtesy of dues deducted from members to support a candidate those members may or may not support (No wonder John Leos opposes to Prop. 32).

As an OCEA member put it on my personal Facebook page a few weeks ago: “I love John, but how can they do that with our money?”

This past Thursday, OCEA raised its bet on Leos by another $50,000, bringing it’s total wager to $350,000. When you add that to the $138,000 contributed by the United Employee Organizations of Orange County IE committee, the government unions have committed $488,000.

That is almost certainly an Orange County record of union spending for a single council candidate.

One of these days, the Orange County Register editorial board might get around to asking itself why such a staggering sum of money — more than OCEA is spending in Costa Mesa, the ground-zero for outsourcing – is being expended on Leos behalf, by the union that represents the Anaheim city employees union?

I received a press release from the conservative Family Action PAC, withdrawing its endorsement of Melissa Melendez in Assembly District 67 in Riverside County:

Larry Smith, Chairman of the Family Action PAC stated, “It is with sadness that we withdraw our endorsement of Ms. Melendez.  While we rarely take this kind of action, we have done so because we are concerned by her close ties to unions and the financial backing she’s received from unions across California.  We believe that union influence in elections is the paramount public policy issue we must reform in our state and we can not stand along side a candidate who appears to disagree.”

The Orange County Register has expressed the same opinion about union influence on government and politics, and yet endorsed John Leos for Anaheim City Council, who is on his way to setting a record for the most government union money spent on a municipal candidate in county history.

The Orange County Register should give itself a similar reality check and withdraw its endorsement of John Leos. It’s never too late to start being right.

A group called “Taxpayers for Safer Neighborhoods” filed the required disclosure form with the Anaheim City Clerk yesterday. According to the form 496, this committee spent nearly $12,000 on a hit piece targeting Anaheim council candidate Jordan Brandman (judging by the dollar amount, it’s probably targeting Republican voters).

The negative mailer has yet to land in mail boxes, so we’ll see if it follows the same line of attack as the two sleazy hit pieces sent out this week by the powerful government union, the OCEA, or a more conventional “Brandman is a Democrat” angle.

Judging from the Taxpayers for Safer Neighborhood report, some of the funding is earmarked for mail in different city. Here’s a breakdown of the money behind the Brandman hit:

  • $5,000     Tait Family Trust
  • $9,000     Green & Clean Investments LLC of Cheyenne, Wyoming
  • $9,500     Carol Young, a secretary with The Braille Institute

That would still leave another $11,000 or so in the “Taxpayers for Safer Neighborhoods” kitty for another mailer.

NOTE: An earlier headline erroneously indicated the contribution to this IE committee was from Mayor Tom Tait. That is not the case. The donation is from Ken and Val Tait. Apologies for the error.

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