You are currently browsing the monthly archive for August 2013.

Anaheim Insider here.

Did you see the Orange County Register article about how the Orange County Employees Association shuffled political funding through various PACs in order to disguise who was paying the campaign mailers? Among other things, OCEA gave a PAC called California Citizens for Fair Government $75,000 in start-up donations, and provided 81% of the PACs funding during its three-year lifespan:

[OCEA General Counsel Don Drozd] said he checked with the treasurer of the OCEA PAC that funded CCFG and confirmed that OCEA had nothing to do with creating CCFG or deciding how CCFG should spend its money.

That’s pretty hard spin to swallow: “Here’s $75,000 of our members’ dues money. We don’t care what you do with it.”

One of the commenters on the OC Register story reacted this way:

Drozd and Bernadino have a firm grip on every decision OCEA makes. For him to say he didn’t recall the specifics, then specifically deny any strings were attached, is not credible. The proverbial hand in the cookie jar.

The story reminded me of one Adam Elmahrek wrote near the end of the Anaheim city council elections last year called “Disney’s Latest Adventure: Local Campaign Attack Ads.” In it, Elmahrek pointed to Disney’s participation in political committees that paid for campaign mailers advocating for and against Anaheim council candidates and unfavorably compared it to the OCEA’s above-board approach:

Labor unions have also spent big, nearly matching the business establishment dollar-for-dollar in their support of former labor leader John Leos. The difference is following the labor money is relatively easy, while keeping track of Disney’s spending is a bit like riding a roller coaster in the dark [emphasis mine].

Martin Wisckol and Morgan Cook of the OC Register sure made a hash of that claim.

It’s not like Voice of OC can’t analyze campaign reports. Elmahrek spent a lot of time doing that for the above article and for another one called “Disney’s Hidden Hand  In The Anaheim City Council Race.” It seems it’s the hidden hand of its major funder, the OCEA, that escapes the Voice’s notice. [Although the Voice did take advantage of the opportunity to say “See! We’ll criticize the OCEA!” by printing a summary of the OC Register’s article.]

Anaheim Insider here.

If you read Orange County political blogs, you know there are a few very vocal, very deluded bloggers out there, claiming to represent blocs of voter opinion. Here’s an example from a rant Anaheim’s own Cynthia Ward wrote on the hit piece against Lucille Kring from the Orange County Employees Association-funded Voice of OC:

Enjoy that one last term girlfriend. Do you really think these people are going to re-elect you, Lucille? You blew off the support base that would have stood with you if you stood up for us. 

Who are “these people”? What “support base” is Ward talking about? The gaggle of people who come to her house for free food? Vern Nelson? Jason Young? Will she be as effective against Kring as she was in getting Robert Nelson elected in 2010? What a deluded threat.

Lucille Kring has won election to the Anaheim City Council three times. She has strong name ID and a strong base of supporters cultivated over many years of walking precincts, being involved in the community, running for office and serving on the city council. It’s delusional to think she was elected by this imaginary “support base” that exists in Ward’s mind. She has her own support base, and its members could care less what Ward thinks, assuming they even know who she is.

Kring didn’t need Tom Tait’s support to win election to the council last year. He needed her more than she needed him. It was better to have Tait’s endorsement than not to have it. It wasn’t the difference between Kring winning or losing. She finished more than 6,000 votes ahead of John Leos, the candidate whom Tait and the OCEA went all in for.

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Today we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the march on Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech. The signature line from that speech is, of course, this:

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

It is sad and ironic that 50 years later, the City of Anaheim is being sued by self-styled civil rights activists who seek to base Anaheim’s city council elections on the color of  its citizens skins, and not their character as unique, individual citizens.

Strip away the rhetoric and the ACLU lawsuit seeking to impose single-member council districts centers on race. This elevation of ethno-racial group considerations above individual rights is evident in this comment by ACLU lawsuit plaintiff Jose Moreno at the June 11, 2013 Anaheim City Council meeting:

After paying at least rhetorical deference to Councilwoman Kris Murray’s point about the individual citizen’s right to vote for whomever they choose, Moreno offers this critical caveat:

“…so that neighbors may elect neighbors regardless of what they may look like but that people who look a certain way or may have a certain surname, that their voting patterns are respected.” [emphasis added].

That is (or should be) a startling admission of a radical idea. In plain English, what Moreno is saying is that the ballot choices of Latino voters should be accorded more weight than non-Latino voters. That principle stands in opposition to one of the bedrock principles of this Republic of equality before the law. Each of us has the right to vote and to cast his or her ballot for the candidate or candidates of our choice; but no person’s vote does and should count more than the vote of anyone else. Sometimes our favored candidates win, and sometimes they lose – but those are our choices as individuals and not merely constituent parts of a racial group, or individual manifestations of ethnic groupthink.

I had heard about this case before, but wasn’t aware of any of the details until reading this story in the OC Register.

Tony Jalali has never faced federal charges, yet the federal government wants to seize his office building because he rented space to a medical marijuana dispensary.

Even though medical marijuana shops are allowed in California, the businesses are outlawed by the federal government. As a result, federal prosecutors are using a law that allows them to confiscate property linked to criminal activity.

“The government’s role is to stop these types of stores from proliferating in cities that don’t want them” said Steve Welk, an assistant U.S. Attorney. “The government’s role is to stop these types of stores from proliferating in cities that don’t want them.”

Jalali had no connection to the dispensary, Releaf Health and Wellness, and evicted the tenants just days after the property forfeiture case was filed last year, said his attorney, Larry Salzman of the Institute for Justice. The defense team is asking a federal court to dismiss the case and allow Jalali to keep the building at 2601 W. Ball Road, valued at $1.5 million.

You can read the whole article here.

I fully support Anaheim’s ban on medical marijuana dispensaries; a recent state Supreme Court ruling permits Anaheim and other local governments to enact such bans, and I think such actions fall squarely within the police powers of state and local governments.

But the fact remains the medical marijuana dispensary in question wasn’t Jalali’s, and it is unfair and unjust for the government to seize his property. i have no problem with asset forfeiture laws when they are applied to the property of drug dealers; but it is another thing altogether when the government abuses them to go after the property of individuals who are not involved in the criminal drug trade.

Whatever the City of Anaheim can do to prevail upon the feds to back-off Mr. Jalali, it ought to do.

In addition to the proposed addition to the governing board bylaws regarding how it is elected, there was another interesting item on the agenda of last night’s Anaheim City School District Board of Education agenda – related to paying for candidate statements.

Candidate statements are probably the single most important communication a school board candidate has with the public. It’s the candidate’s chance to explain their stands and issues in 200 or 400 words, and it goes to every voter in the OC Registrar of Voters sample ballot..

Traditionally, the candidate is responsible for reimbursing the OC Registrar for the cost of the printing and mailing the statement. that is the case in every Orange County jurisdiction with an elected body, and the Anaheim City School District — currently — is no different:

The district shall assume no part of the cost of printing, handling, translating, or mailing of candidate statements filed pursuant to Elections Code 13307. As a condition of having candidate statements included in the voter’s pamphlet, the district may require candidates to pay their estimated pro rata share of these costs to the district in advance pursuant to Elections Code 13307

Last night’s agenda item on the subject asked the governing board members to keep the current policy or replace it with this:

In order to help defray the costs of campaigning for the Board, the district shall pay the cost of printing, handling, translating, and mailing candidate statements filed pursuant to Elections Code 13307.

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Anaheim Insider here.

Adam Elmahrek’s hit piece…excuse me, article…on Lucille Kring was forwarded to me earlier today. Not to put too fine a point on it, but what a shoddy piece of…journalism.

It’s a long article, but here’s the gist: Elmahrek claims Kring changed her position on four issues in response to campaign contributions.  He offer no proof. Even the liberal “watchdog” types the Voice always calls for quotes to support their slant scoff at Elmahrek’s allegations.

Elmahrek does dredge up Cory Briggs, a liberal environmental ambulance-chaser from San Diego to echo his allegations and chirp that Kring should hire a lawyer. Briggs is the same guy brought in by OCCORD to ask the AG and the DA to prosecute Kring and the other three councilmembers on trumped-up conflict-of-interest charges.

If Elmahrek is truly interested in writing about flip-flopping Anaheim politicians, how about Mayor Tom Tait (I realize that is ridiculous since Tait has blanket immunity from the Voice)? How about the story of how the mayor’s broken promises to council candidate Steve Lodge helped break his candidacy, a story now well-known in Anaheim political circles?

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BEAT the HEATThis came over the transom from Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray, promoting the “B.E.A.T. the HEAT” concert rally against human trafficking taking place the evening of Sept. 9 at Twila Reid Park, 3100 West Orange Avenue in Anaheim. The concert rally is being organized by OC District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

This past November, the voters of California overwhelmingly supported Proposition 35 to ban human trafficking and escalate criminal penalties for those convicted of this crime. Proposition 35 passed with 81% approval making it the most successful ballot initiative in California’s history.

For years, Anaheim’s police department has been leading on this issue to combat prostitution and human trafficking as Anaheim is one of the Orange County cities on a circuit of trafficking affecting many communities in the western United States. Since the proposition’s passage, local law enforcement and county prosecutors have teamed up to go after those involved in this terrible exploitation of women and children – with the vast majority of children affected between the ages of 12-14. Since the passage of Prop. 35, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckus has filed charges against 9 alleged human traffickers and 402 alleged prostitutes and sex purchasers.

Read the rest of this entry »

I posted last week about the city’s report regarding the distribution of city services – a critical issue because a central contention of single-member council district advocates is that the flatlands are short-changed, an alleged situation that single-member districts will supposedly remedy (see the Magic Single-Member District Unicorn). Radical community group OCCORD has been the chief proponent of this view, even putting out a study purporting to rove this disparity.

Here’s a video clip from that August 13 council meeting in which Councilwoman Kris Murray engages staff in an illuminating exchange comparing the city’s study with the problematic OCCORD document:

"We don't need single-member districts at ACSD!"

“We don’t need single-member districts at ACSD!”

Let’s say a member of a school district board of education was the lead plaintiff in litigation against the city in which his district was located, alleging the at-large council election system disenfranchised the city’s Latino majority and asking the court to force a change to electing councilmembers from single-member districts.

Let’s also say this same school board member was himself elected at-large to a five-member board of education that had only two Latino members – despite a student population and voting base that are even more overwhelmingly Latino than the city in which the district is located.

Let us further posit that the board of education on which the plaintiff served could switch from at-large elections to single-member district elections at any time, by its own action, without even having to put it to a vote of the people. All that would be required would be action by the board and a waiver from the state Board of Education – which has granted such waivers to other school districts.

Let us further suppose that despite months of heavy coverage of this plaintiff’s lawsuit, no media outlet (save one) ever raised the question of why that plaintiff had never sought to enact within his own school district what he was trying to impose on the city in question via litigation? It is, after all, a reasonable and screamingly obvious question — and the failure to pose it raises its own set of questions.

Why Hasn’t Moreno’s Anaheim City School District Abandoned At-Large Elections?
Of course, this isn’t a hypothetical but a reality:  it is true that Anaheim City School District Board of Education member Jose Moreno is the lead plaintiff in the ACLU lawsuit seeking to impose single-member council districts in the City of Anaheim.

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An interesting aspect of OCCORD calling on the state Attorney General and the OC District Attorney to prosecute all four members of Anaheim City Council for imaginary violations is it puts some members of the OCCORD Board of Directors at political odds with themselves.

OCCORD is the political offspring of UNITE-HERE. Unions provide OCCORD with funding, and at least 40% the radical group’s board of directors consists of union executives and members.

Among those are Ada Briceno, Secretary-Treasurer of UNITE-HERE Local 11; Rick Eiden, the executive vice president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 324; Rob Penney, organizing director for the United Nurses Associations of California;  Jorge Inestria, UNITE-HERE activist.

In addition to being a director of OCCORD, Eiden is also the president of the Orange County Labor Federation (the OC presence of the AFL-CIO) — which endorsed Jordan Brandman for Anaheim City Council in 2012.  UNITE-HERE is represented on the OCLF board by its president, Tom Walsh (Briceno is UNITE-HERE Local 11’s No. 2).

On its face, you have UCFW President Rick Eiden – in his capacity as an OCCORD Director — calling for the criminal prosecution of an elected official (on absurd legal grounds) whose he officially and materially supported as head of the OC Labor Federation.

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Judge Frederick Horn’s has granted of UNITE-HERE’s request for temporary restraining order against the Honda Center. However, it is still questionable whether the militant union’s lawsuit will ultimately succeed, given that dubious constitutionality of how the relevant state labor code section was enacted. It was last-minute, non-budgetary amendment that slipped into a budget trailer bill.

Loren Kaye, president of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education, published a Fox and Hounds Daily column on this issue on June 20. It worth reading the full column, but I’ll excerpt the most directly relevant portions here:

The Constitution forbids it. A unanimous Supreme Court slapped their hands. But when it comes to loading up budget bills with extraneous goodies, the Legislature just can’t resist. Bowing to the demands of their allies in organized labor, the Legislature inserted into a budget trailer bill (Section 48 of Assembly Bill 76) substantive language designed to force a successor employer that provides food and beverage services at the Honda Center in Anaheim to hire the prior contractor’s employees. This mandate has no bearing on the state budget or any state operations. (It’s also lousy policy, but that’s a debate for another day.)

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I posted earlier today about militant union UNITE-HERE Local 11’s lawsuit seeking to force Anaheim Arena Management, operators of the Honda Center, to hire its members.

According to the Voice of OC, a OC Superior Court judge granted a temporary restraining order forcing AAM to put several hundred UNITE-HERE members on the payroll.

Click here to read the TRO. I find it interesting that UNITE-HERE was seeking not only to force AAM to hire its members, but to get rid of non-union food service workers hired since Aramark was released as the food and beverage service vendor. The TRO written by the union order says AAM is “restrained and enjoined from (a) hiring, continuing to employ or scheduling for work any food and beverage service employees to perform work at the Honda Center without first offering employment to, retaining and scheduling for work the individuals who were employed by Aramark Sports and Entertainmment LLC…].

The judge struck “continuing to employ” from the TRO. Still, UNITE-HERE sought to kick those new, non-union hires into the unemployment line to make room for its members on the payroll.

This came over the transom yesterday from Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray:

Anaheim to Pursue Quality Rental Housing Program

City Committed to Ensuring Quality of Life for Most Vulnerable Residents

Just this week, Prevention Magazine listed Anaheim as 4th among the 25 Happiest, Healthiest Cities in America – ranking above Honolulu, Hawaii! Prevention Magazine evaluated 100 of the Nation’s largest cities based on 48 measures of health, happiness, and well-bring to find the healthiest, happiest cities in America. Their findings were based on well-researched facts, including access to green space, farmers’ markets, levels of disease, unemployment rates, and crime statistics.

Anaheim is a beautiful city with many wonderful attributes that reflect years of thoughtful planning and compassionate leadership – but there is still much work to be done to address some real challenges. Unfortunately, there are many residents in our community living in deplorable, substandard housing conditions. These residents are hardworking individuals and families being taken advantage of by disreputable landlords and left to live in dangerous conditions that violate state and city health and safety codes.

Housing6A year ago, I joined Code Enforcement staff to inspect a one-bedroom housing unit occupied by a family of eight after a complaint was filed by neighbors. The conditions we witnessed were so terrible and dangerous that the building had to be yellow-tagged meaning that no one could occupy it until repairs were made. This family is just one of many in our community living in conditions that include vermin infestations, crumbling walls, damaged stairways and ceilings, exposed electrical wires, mold, and much, much more.

Over the past year, I’ve worked with community leaders and city staff to draft an Anaheim Quality Rental Housing program to improve the quality of living of all Anaheim residents. Yesterday, the City Council held a public workshop, where staff presented the details of the proposed program. If approved by the Council, this program will give city Code Enforcement the tools they need to protect residents and would be fully funded through minimal fees paid by rental property owners. This program would include new resources for the City to work with property owners, including:

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Guaranteed jobs...it works for Cuba!

Guaranteed jobs…it works for Cuba!

Is is right and just for the government to force a private company to offer jobs to specific individuals who were never that company’s employees in the first place?

That’s the question at the heart of the lawsuit filed by UNITE-HERE Local 11, claiming Anaheim Arena Management (which operates the Honda Center) has violated the state’s Displaced Janitors Opportunity Act (DJOC) — or more accurately, the amendment dropped into the law by the legislature this summer that applies only to the Honda Center. This arbitrary, capricious legislation was pushed through by Assembly Speaker John Perez (a union staffer-turned-legislator) at the behest of UNITE-HERE.

If a businesses replaces one janitorial contractor with another, the DJOC forces the new contractor to hire the old contractors employees for at least 60 days. Obviously, this creates a disincentive to change janitorial contractors, and is a significant obstacle to any entrepreneurial soul who might want go from being employee to business owner by starting his or her own janitorial service.

The legislature’s amendment this summer extended that requirement to “every contractor that provides food and beverage services at a publicly owned entertainment venue” that is also located in a state Enterprise Zone. Guess how many venues fall within that definition? Only one: the Honda Center.

So now UNITE-HERE is suing AAM, claiming they are violating this new provision. I’m not sure how it applies to AAM, which isn’t replacing Aramark with another food and beverage contractor but providing that service directly, and the retention requirement of the code applies to contractors and sub-contractors and not the “awarding authority” (which is what AAM is).

But that is a matter for the lawyers and courts to sort  out.

There are deeper issues at stake. One is that the UNITE-HERE amendment to the state labor code is unjust. Everyone was free to apply for food and beverage service jobs with Aramark. AAM offered interviews to everyone who applied. It hired a substantial number of Aramark employees — members of UNITE-HERE Local 11 — who had worked at the Honda Center.

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smiley_face-e1299013825420This bit of happy news came over the transom today from the City of Anaheim:

Prevention Magazine Ranks Anaheim #4 In Top 25 Happiest, Healthiest Cities In America

ANAHEIM, CA – (August 21, 2013) – The City of Anaheim is listed as #4 in the “25 Happiest, Healthiest Cities in America,” as identified by Prevention Magazine in their August 2013 edition. Anaheim received top scores for its focus on fitness. Anaheim is Orange County’s largest city, the 10th most populous city in California, and the 55th most populous city in the country.

“There are 346,000 reasons that contributed to this high ranking: Anaheim’s 346,000 residents,” said Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait. “I am proud of everyone who resides in Anaheim, and for letting the world know Anaheim is the place to be. We have great parks, outdoor trails and indoor fitness facilities, but this ranking is a true reflection of our residents’ commitment to happy and healthy living. I also want to thank Prevention Magazine for recognizing our residents. They got it right!”

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This evening, OC Supervisor Janet Nguyen is kicking off her campaign for the 34th Senate District with a fundraiser at Azteca Mexican Restaurant & Crooners Lounge on Historic Main Street in Garden Grove- her traditional campaign event venue.

Janet Nguyen fundraiser flyer

SD34 contains a portion of Anaheim west of the 57 freeway, straddling I-5 and bordering Garden Grove.

The kick-off event is from 5:30 -7:30 p.m. and headlined by California Republican Party Chairman Jim Brulte and OC Republican Party Chairman Scott Baugh.

 

A significant but overlooked on last week’s Anaheim City Council agenda was a report on the distribution of core city services throughout Anaheim.

I say significant because a core contention of the left-wing coalition pushing for single-member council districts is that East Anaheim receives a disproportionate share of city services and amenities, and that the Flatlands — especially Latino areas — are getting short-changed. This imbalance was the major underlying factor for the “unrest” in July 2012 (along with “racist cops” running around “murdering” innocent Latino males minding there own business in stolen cars or playing look-out for illegal gun deals, to listen to Genevieve Huizar, Donna Acevedo and their apologists).

Single-member council districts will magically remedy solve alleged imbalance, according to advocates of thus carving up the city. This was the mantra parroted month after month, over and over and over again by OCCORDites, UNITE-HERE members and pother assorted of this coalition at meetings of the Citizens Advisory Committee and City Council. These folks adhere to the strange theory that severing any ballot-box accountability between all councilmembers (save one) and voters in a particular council district will somehow make those councilmembers more responsive to the needs of that district. [Hey, I’m just presenting their thinking; I don’t claim it makes sense.]

The report prepared by city staff cuts the leg out from under that “the flatlands are short-changed” myth. If anything, it shows the opposite is true — an inconvenient reality for the pro-single member council districts side.

Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray’s most recent e-newsletter sums up the report’s findings:

Anaheim has emerged from a lasting recession with a stronger, sustainable economic climate due to years of innovative planning and significant private sector investments that enabled the City to hit the ground running as the state and national economies recovered. This past fiscal year, the City Council adopted a balanced budget, restored city cash reserves, and invested in core city services across all neighborhoods. The financial health of our city is a direct reflection of the strength of Anaheim’s business climate and economic growth. The nexus is clear – a strong economy grows city revenue that is reinvested into our communities. This is great news for all of Anaheim!

At last night’s council meeting, City staff presented a report on the allocation of core services to each of Anaheim’s Neighborhood Council Districts: West, Central, South, and East. The report included day-to-day costs of services such as police and fire protection, library programs, and street and park maintenance; as well as investments being made by the City’s Capital Improvement Program into community amenities and infrastructure such as parks, libraries, and community centers.

The report found that the proportion of each neighborhood’s costs are closely related to the size of its population and that investments being made through the Capital Improvement Program demonstrate a true commitment to our most distressed neighborhoods of West and Central Anaheim.

I hope you will take a moment to review the charts and graphs below that illustrate the distribution of city resources within our community.

Core Services Funded by the General Fund for FY 2013/2014

Summary Results of the Report

Summary results table

 Total Net Cost by Neighborhood

total net cost by neighborhood

Per Capita Net Cost by Neighborhood

Per capita cost by neighborhood

Capital Improvement Projects by Neighborhood

In addition to the programs and services covered by the General Fund, investments are being made into improving community amenities and building new neighborhood facilities in our city. Oftentimes these capital improvement projects have one-time costs and are funded by restrictive grants and developer fees – not the General Fund. Therefore it is important to also consider these investments being made through the City’s Capital Improvement Program when considering the distribution of resources into our city’s neighborhoods.

Investments in Community Amenities from 2005-2012

Investments in amenities

 Investments Anticipated over the Next Five Years

anticipated investments

Note: While the report included all areas of the City, it did exclude services provided to the Resort in an effort to avoid distorting analysis of the services provided to residents of the South neighborhood. The report also excluded projects and programs funded by outside restricted funds and special assessments.

The charts and graphs above have been pulled directly from the Budgeted Costs for Core Services by Neighborhood report prepared by the City of Anaheim Finance Department. To read the full report, click here.

Best regards,

Kris Murray
Council Member
City of Anaheim

I have no illusions any of this information will matter to those for whom the campaign for single-member council districts is about trying to elect liberal Democrats to the Anaheim City Council to push for liberal policies that are being stymied by the present Republican majority.

Anaheim Insider here.

The buzz around insider circles is the possibility that state Sen. Lou Correa might run for Mayor of Anaheim next year, when current Mayor Tom Tait seeks a second four-year term.

Correa is forced out of the state Senate by term limits in 2014. What are his plans? He has a Lou Correa for Attorney General 2018 office holder account. It has about $140K in it but isn’t very active (I believe this is the account at was looted by Kinde Durkee). Correa also has a Board of Equalization account into which he has raised $55,000 so far this year, bringing that up to $133K.

The conventional wisdom is Correa would term out and then run for Board of Supervisors in 2016 when Janet Ngyuen terms out of this seat; or he could run in 2015 if Nguyen beats former Assemblyman Jose Solorio for Correa’s Senate seat and there’s a special election for the 1st Supervisor District.

Correa has been heard to talk about returning to the private sector, as well running for Mayor of Anaheim. There would be a historic dimension to it: Anaheim’s first Latino Mayor.

There are some obstacles to a Correa mayoral run. He would have to move, which is a pretty big one. Moving to run for Anaheim Mayor would take him out of 1st Supervisor District contention, since Anaheim isn’t in the 1st.

Correa’s isn’t the only name being heard. Councilwoman Lucille Kring has been encouraged to run for Mayor, and the buzz is that she’s seriously considering doing it, if she hasn’t made up her mind already.  That would be a battle royale, with Kring attracting/inheriting most of the support base that got behind Tait in 2010, plus her own formidable base of supporters.

Then there’s Lorri Galloway. Anaheim watchers take it for granted she’s going to run for Council as part of a Tait Ticket, but there are persistent reports she’s thinking about throwing her hat in the ring. Word was she called Tait over the weekend in mid-June to let him know.  All those OCCORD, UNITE-HERE and Hispanic activists who’ve been singing the Mayor’s praises would desert him for Galloway, their true heroine and a real leftist like them.

Tait won’t be a push-over. Taking out and incumbent mayor is very difficult. Most Anaheim voters like the mayor and aren’t tuned in to the drama and the infighting like insiders are.

But the Mayor is vulnerable; if he weren’t, he wouldn’t have a state Senator and a Council colleague looking at challenging him. He’s never been a very good fundraiser, which showed in the most recent campaign reports; although, if push came to shove, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a couple hundred grand from the family fortune make its way into the campaign.  But alienating your donor base (many, if not most of them, long-time supporters) is about more than campaign donations; it’s a loss of energy and momentum.

Tait v. Correa? Tait v. Kring? Tait v. Galloway v. Kring? Tait v. Kring v. Correa (v. Galloway)? A brawl is almost guaranteed, no matter who the participants end up being.

Whenever OCCORD takes some political-policy initiative of some kind, it’s plastered all over the radical left-wing group’s Facebook page. Whether “picketing” Anaheim City Hall or marching to demand immediate citizenship for illegal immigrants, OCCORD isn’t shy about advertising where it stands.

Except for its most recent action: bringing in liberal San Diego enviro lawyer Cory Briggs to cook up some phony accusations that Anaheim Councilmembers Gail Eastman, Kris Murray, Jordan Brandman and Lucille Kring have violated the state’s Political Reform Act and petitioning the state Attorney General and the OC District Attorney to prosecute them for these imaginary crimes.

OCCORD even went so far as to accuse those councilmembers of selling their votes in exchange for campaign support. OCCORD doesn’t have any evidence…because that is generally the case with false charges.

I guess egging government prosecutors to go after political opponents for non-existent crimes must dovetail into OCCORD’s mission of “bringing together workers, families, and community partners to organize and advocate for good jobs, strong communities, and inclusive democracy in Orange County.”

I’m curious why the lack of public ownership of this “bold” action? Especially if OCCORD leaders really believe there own accusations.

An interesting discussion took place at the Anaheim City Council dais last night. As Mayor Tom Tait announced they were taking up item 22 (the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce’s Enterprise Zone contract), Councilman Jordan Brandman jumped in with a point of order.

He made reference to the OCCORD/Cory Briggs letter asking the state Attorney general and the OC Districts Attorney to prosecute every member of the city council (except Mayor Tait) for voting in favor of the GardenWalk agreement this May. The specious contention being those votes violated conflict-of-interest laws because those councilmembers either served on the SOAR Advisory Committee or had received contributions from the SOAR PAC.

Brandman pointed out that each member of the city council, including the mayor, had received campaign contributions from either the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce PAC, Chamber members or Chamber affiliates. Given the OCCORD/Briggs letter, would they be violating those same conflict-of-interest laws, since the same circumstances presented themselves?

Here is video of Councilman Brandman’s question and City Attorney Michael Houston’s response:

Houston’s response should put to rest any idea that the OCCORD/Brigg’s allegations have any merit at all – which is sure to be a disappointment to certain inhabitants of the local blogosphere who are fairly drooling at the idea of the objects of their political hatred being prosecuted for something, anything.

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