tait portraitVivian PhamReading Matt Cunningham’s coverage of the Anaheim Citizens Advisory Committee process ought to be an eye-opener for anyone concerned about the future of our city. It has put all other media coverage combined to shame.

Sad to say, it has largely been hijacked by a confederacy of highly-organized and well-funded liberal pressure groups with direct representation on the CAC, courtesy of Mayor Tom Tait and former Councilwoman Lorri Galloway.

Take a look at the CAC Chair, Vivian Pham. When Tom Tait appointed her, she had only lived in Anaheim for two years, according to voter records sent to me.

Two years! Anaheim is more than a century-and-a-half old. The CAC is making recommendations to the City Council about how our city will be governed for the next century. And the Mayor appoints a new arrival with no understanding of the history, culture or political landscape of Anaheim? Shouldn’t that make Cynthia Ward go into “tilt” mode?

Pham is a liberal Democrat who, in her day job as a “community development officer” for Wells Fargo Bank, has shoveled almost one hundred thousand dollars into the coffers of OCCORD, the group leading the lobbying effort targeting the CAC.

Conflict, anyone?

I’m told that when the odious, unbalanced William Fitzgerald spoke during public comments at a CAC meeting last month, Pham put him on the agenda for the next CAC meeting because she ignorantly thought his Anaheim HOME “organization” was a legitimate organization that would support single-member council districts.

Obviously, Pham has never attended or even watched an Anaheim City Council meeting!

And this is who our conservative Republican mayor appoints to the Citizens Advisory Committee? He couldn’t find someone who actually has roots in Anaheim? Who wasn’t completely entangled with the pro-council district advocates?

Speaking of conflicts, there is Martin Lopez, a member of the executive board of UNITE-HERE Local 11, which was relentlessly lobbied the CAC throughout the process. If it were a Disney executive on the CAC and Disney were mounting a full-court press on the committee, VOC’s Adam Elmharek would be pumping out an article every day.

Lopez was appointed by the liberal Galloway, which we’d expect; we didn’t expect Tait to appoint TWO liberal Democrats (the other being Bill Dalati).

As I wrote, Anaheim Blog’s publisher has covered this process in far greater depth than either the Orange County Register or the Voice of OC. The latter, predictably, completely ignores the lefty/union campaign to game the process and restricted its coverage to Kris Murray appointing two replacements when her original ones resigned. But the Voice’s coverage is so obviously biased and agenda-driven that it can’t attempt to deny it.

The hope is the Anaheim City Council is wise to these shenanigans and refuses to be taken in by the OCCORD/UNITE-HERE astro-turf campaign. And at some point, Anaheim residents deserve an answer as to why Mayor Tait would appoint a recent transplant with an agenda and no roots in Anaheim to such a critical role in shaping the city’s future. Did he know about her close ties to OCCORD? Did he know she had only lived here for two years and knew little of our city?

Transparency is a good thing, right?

We expect liberal pressure groups like OCCORD to try to game the process. It’s a shame Mayor Tait gave them an assist, and the Register and Voice of OC turned a blind eye to it.