You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2013.

Gun-rights advocates have announced plans to recall Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, who responded immediately with a they Should Be Ashamed of Themselves” e-mail to supporters, asking for donations to fight the recall.

Which brings us to why this recall could backfire to Quirk-Silva’s benefit. under California campaign law, recalls are a considered ballot measures – the upshot being the target of the recall is freed from individual campaign contributions. That way, individual Quirk-Silva supporters can give unlimited donations to her recall campaign, which she can then spend telling voters how great she is…and to, by the way, vote against the recall.

In other words, pursuing a recall now, a year before the regularly scheduled election, allows Quirk-Silva to solicit unlimited donations to build her positive name ID – something she wouldn’t be able to do absent a recall.

LibOCHeaderMag2012Over at TheLiberalOC.com, Dan Chmielewski tries to find out if Anaheim H.O.M.E. – for which Anaheim wackjob William Fitzgerald identifies himself as the spokesman — exists any longer:

Anaheim gadfly William Denis Fitzgerlad, who went on a homophobic and anti-Semitic rant at a recent Anaheim City Council meeting, made OC Weekly’s “Scariest People” list along with Anaheim council member Kris Murray, Angels owner Arte Moreno, and Anaheim blogger Matt Cunningham. And while his selection is easily observed, what’s not so clear is the organization he represents.

Anaheim H.O.M.E. is described as a non-profit organization or a government watchdog group.  Fitzgerald himself described the organization as a former PAC.  There is no website for the organization.  There is no phone number.  No address.  There is no list of “directors” that Fitzgerald says he is a spokesman for or speaks at the direction of.  And there is no listing for this organization that we could find on the California Secretary of State’s page.  Is it just Fitzgerald?  He won’t say.

You can read the rest of Dan’s post here.

gift_of_history_logoThe Gift of History – a great program that seeks to educate youngster about local history — is looking for volunteers for its big annual at Angel Stadium. Here’s the message from the source:

Calling All Volunteers –

As you know, we are just two weeks away from the Gift of History lesson, taking place on Thursday, November 7 at Angels Stadium!  As part of the event, we provide every student with a tote bag that contains the book,Nothing Rhymes with Orange, as well as other educational activities.  We need your help with stuffing the bags to ensure that 18,000 third graders get their gift at the Gift of History!

We need volunteers to come to the Anaheim Public Utilities Assembly room and help us fulfill bags starting this Saturday!  If we can get 180 volunteers to commit to stuffing 100 bags (it will only take 2 hours), we will be able to meet our goal of providing a wonderful gift of history to our third grade students. If we can get volunteers to commit to stuffing even more bags, we will be able to get it done even quicker

Shift Schedules

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The ACLU is demanding the city turn over a trove of documents, voice-mails e-mails, and text messages – both official and personal — from a small army of current and former councilmembers, staff, city commission appointees and private citizens, often pertaining to circumstances, events or issues not even tangentially related to “racially-polarized voting.”

It’s sort of like litigation carpet bombing, and it done in support of the racially-driven lawsuit the ACLU is arguing on behalf of lead plaintiff and Anaheim City School District Governing Board member Jose Moreno – the goal of which is to impose on Anaheim citizens a single-member council district system for which they have not asked.

ACLU letter photoClick on the image to see the October 4 letter to City Attorney Michael Houston.

The letter from ACLU attorney Bardis Vakili claims:

“The documents identified herein are relevant to a central issue in the case – the lack of accountability of Anaheim’s city council to Anaheim’s Latino community, resulting from the continued maintenance of an at-large system after being advised that the system dilutes the vote of the Latino community.”

Like I said, from the perspective of the plaintiffs and the ACLU, this is all about the color of a person’s skin.

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Young Kim

Young Kim

Sharon Quirk-Silva

Sharon Quirk-Silva

I recently learned from sources-who-know that a recent poll by Assembly Democrats shows freshman Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva trailing her presumptive Republican opponent, Young Kim. I didn’t learn what size gap the poll showed between the two candidates, but was informed the caucus leadership wasn’t feeling very encouraged.

That’s not to say there won’t be a ton of money poured into the race by elements of the ruling Democratic coalition. Quirk-Silva’s narrow victory last November was an upset, but one won against a flawed and distracted incumbent. Next year, in Young Kim, she will be facing a fresh, energetic and appealing candidate who (among other things) negates the advantages Quirk-Silva has as the woman candidate.

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Anaheim Mayor Pro Tem Gail Eastman is holding a re-election kick-off fund-raiser the evening of November 18 at The Honda Center’s newly-opened Grand Terrace:

Gail Eastman kick-off

This will be Gail Eastman‘s third time on the ballot. She was a Planning Commissioner in 2008 when she ran the first time and came close to knocking out incumbent Councilwoman Lorri Galloway (who is strongly rumored to be a candidate for mayor next year). She was the top vote-getter during her second run in 2010.

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Anaheim Veterans Day

The City of Anaheim will be honoring our veterans in a Veterans Day ceremony on November 9 on the Downtown Community Center Lawn, adjacent to City Hall. The annual celebration on our military veterans is being chaired by Councilwoman Lucille Kring, reprising her tradition of chairing the event since her initial election to city council in 1998.

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Motivated by the raft of anti-gun legislation passed by the legislature and singed by Gov. Jerry Brown, Second Amendment groups are launching recalls against several Democratic state legislators – including freshman Assemblyman Sharon Quirk-Silva.

Here’s the e-mail she sent out today to her supporters:

Yesterday afternoon, I found out that I — along with four of my colleagues — will be the target of a recall campaign led by gun-rights extremists who want to replace me with one of their Tea Party allies.

Let me set the record straight right now.

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Young Kim

Young Kim

Republican Assembly candidate Young Kim — who is looking to take the 65th Assembly District seat away from first-term Democratic Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva — has joined the effort to undo AB 1266, which

Dear Friends,

As a longtime member of the Cerritos Presbyterian Church, I am proud to announce that our church has joined the effort to overturn Assembly Bill 1266, the “Transgender Bathroom Bill.” From now until November 10, you can pick up a petition at our church, which is serving as one of the petition distribution centers.

This bill, which passed with a crucial vote by State Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, allows boys and girls in K-12 to decide which bathroom, showers, or locker rooms to use. Like so many ideas out of Sacramento, this poorly written legislation creates a whole new set of ethical and legal challenges.

Although I empathize with youth that are struggling with gender identity issues or bullying, the solution isn’t to increase the harassment of women and girls. That’s why all of Orange County’s representatives, Republican and Democrat, opposed the bill — everyone except Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva.

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Some thoughts on the ongoing debate over Anaheim’s recently adopted anti-camping ordinance.

For starters, it was good to see the City Council unanimity on the matter. This really isn’t a complicated issue: there is a homeless encampment in La Palma Park which has a deleterious effect on the life of neighboring residents and is effectively denying the use of a public park to the public.

Opponents of the ordinance criticize it by asking where the city proposes that the homeless campers go? The underlying assumption is that by squatting in a city park, homeless individuals thereby obligate the city to provide them with someplace else to live. That is a poor precedent to set.

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Victor LaFontaineUPDATED: I’ve added a video clip of Mr. LaFontaine’s remarks at the end of the post.

I’m glad the Anaheim City Council acted with unanimity to enact the anti-camping ordinance. I was impressed by the testimony from the many residents who live near the park, who addressed the council last night. They spoke with plain and direct eloquence about their plight and without invective, and their comments cut through the fog of misplaced complaints about “criminalizing homelessness.”

One speaker, a Mr. Victor LaFontaine, was particularly effective, and I’d like to share what he had to say:

Dear Mayor and councilmembers:

My name is Victor LaFontaine. I’m an Anaheim resident and a property owner since August of 2008. I also work here in the city of Anaheim. I’m here to endorse the ordinance to ban camping at all hours in city parks. I live on Clementine Street directly across from La Palma Park.

As you already know, the camping of homeless people at La Palma Park has become quite the eyesore. I see it every morning at 6:00 a.m. when I go to work, and I see them camping till past 10:30 every night.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: I originally posted this on September 24, but the item in question — the Anaheim Police Department’s report on the impacts of Gov. Brown’s “re-alignment” policy — was continued to tonight’s council meeting.

The prison realignment policy implemented by Gov. Jerry Brown two years ago is a terrible policy the only sure consequence of which — other than complying with court-ordered reduction in the state prison population — is increased crime. When thousands of criminals are released back among the law-abiding, they will commit crimes against the law-abiding.

On tonight’s Anaheim City Council agenda is a report from the Anaheim Police Department on the impact of realignment on Anaheim. Not surprisingly, the impact has been an increase in crime.

The statistical data provided suggests a strong correlation between the program, repeat offenses and an increase in criminal activity in the City of Anaheim. Further, the data concerning the PCS probationers released in Anaheim show the increased local burden of offender supervision, housing and rehabilitation created by the program, along with its potential impacts on the community. For example, after a subject has been arrested on a new charge while under the PCS Program, the bill allows release of that subject into our community to re-offend at a time when jail overcrowding forces low bail schedules and even the release of prisoners with a citation. An example of this was an Anaheim PCS probationer who was discharged from supervision in December of 2012. After discharge from supervision, the subject committed a number of serious crimes in the three months following his discharge. This subject was involved in an Anaheim Police Department vehicle pursuit and subsequently arrested with ammunition inside his vehicle. After he was released on bail from that charge, he was arrested a short time later for possession of a half-pound of methamphetamine and a firearm. After his second release, the subject was again arrested in Anaheim for having been found to be in possession of two firearms and a substantial amount of methamphetamine.

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p21_logoOne of the consent items on tonight’s Anaheim City Council agenda is a resolution that officially declares Anaheim to be a “P21 city” – the first in the nation, apparently, for whatever that distinction is worth.

P21 is short-hand for Partnership for 21st Century Skills. Google searches turn up lots of information, but less illumination. According to the P21 website:

“The Partnership for 21st Century Skills is a national  organization that advocates for 21st century readiness for every student. As the United States continues to compete in a global  economy that demands innovation, P21 and its members provide tools and resources to help the U.S. education system keep up by fusing the 3Rs and 4Cs (Critical thinking and problem solving, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity and innovation). While leading districts and schools are already doing this, P21 advocates for local, state and federal policies that support this approach for every school.”

Like education reform movements past and present, the language employed is so general its difficult to take exception with anything. Who can be against creativity or critical thinking? the devil with these things is always in the details.

Tonight’s proposed resolution is the culmination of a pro-P21 petition drive that has been underway in Anaheim for some time now. Hundreds of students attending high school in Anaheim attended the most recent council meeting and presented a petition asking for what is on the agenda tonight, per this page from the Our Future Now website:.

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Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray

Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray

Over at TheLiberalOC.com, Dan Chmielewski posted this interview with Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray. Dan and I see eye-to-eye on very little in terms of politics, but we’ve become friends over the years and are able to debate issues with mutual respect – unlike the Orcs of the OC blogosphere who view disagreement as a call to destroy.

In any case, I’ll a portion of the interview, the rest of which you can read on LOC:

Surrogates arranged for me to speak with Anaheim council member Kris Murray about a week and a half ago.  We had a long discussion — at least 90 minutes — off the record.  And then she agreed to an on the record interview which you’ll find posted below.

From a policy standpoint, we agreed to disagree on matters pertaining to the Light Rail project near Disneyland and on council redistricting.  I found her to be smart, pleasant, and knowledgeable on the issues we discussed.  I didn’t find her to be evil incarnate, “Maleficent” the evil Disney queen, or a litany of other phrases used to describe her that you wouldn’t want your wife, daughter or mother to ever be called.  I’ll go out on a limb and say now she’ll likely never get the support from this blog for any elected office moving forward but there’s no reason not to engage her in a detailed discussion on policy. And publishing heranswers doesn’t mean we agree with her on policy issues.  Dialogue is important.

Now that Ms. Murray is putting these statements on the record, readers are free to address them specifically.

Q. Before we get started, would you like to make any statements or address any specific misperceptions?

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Robert Rubin

Robert Rubin

From the Los Angeles Times:

Opening a new front on efforts to improve minority representation on local elected boards,  attorneys  representing several Latino citizens have accused the Coachella Valley Water District of violating the California Voting Rights Act.

In a letter delivered Monday to John Powell, the district’s board president, lawyers Robert Rubin and Megan Beaman said the district’s  at-large election system “dilutes the ability of Latino constituents to elect candidates of their choice to the board or to influence the outcome of board elections.” 

The letter asks the district to switch to a system of electing board members by geographic district or “other lawful system” or be sued.

Though the sprawling district has large numbers of Latino residents, the Coachella Water District’s board members all are white. 

You can read the rest of the article here. Perhaps this will wake up the inhabitants of political La-La Land — primarily my fellow Orange County Republicans — who do not think the Left is going to use CVRA as a tool to litigate their way electoral gains in Orange County local government that they are unable to gain at the ballot box.

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bacon_kevin_l

Kevin Bacon must be connected somehow!

Several days ago, PBS “SoCal Insider” host Rick Reiff used the term “gutter politics” to refer to what he perceived (wrongly, in my opinion) as attempts to link Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait with gadfly William Fitzgerald’s now infamous anti-Semitic rant. PBS SoCal’s David Nazar went on an even more offbase on-air bender on the same topic.

Yesterday, the Voice of OC – PBS SoCal’s media partner — published a story explicitly attempting to link Anaheim Councilmembers Kris Murray and Jordan Brandman with a scandal to which they have no connection whatsoever.

Will Rick Reiff and David Nazar similarly denounce as “gutter journalism”  this actual attempt to manufacture a link between an elected official (in this case, two) and a dishonorable act – in this case from their station’s online media partner? Is anyone going to hold their breath for that to happen?

Adam Elmahrek’s post is headlined “The Calderon FBI Investigation’s Connections To OC” tortuously attempts to draw a connection to Kris Murray and Jordan.

You see, the FBI is investigation involving Sen. Ron Calderon, his brother Tom and the Central Basin Municipal Water District in LA County. on August 5, the FBI served the district with a subpoena that. According to the Los Angeles Times:

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On Wednesday, a three-judge state court of appeals panel overturned a Sept. 30 injunction by a Superior Court judge that cancelled the City of Palmdale’s council elections next month.

LA Superior Court Judge Mark V. Mooney felt Palmdale’s at-large council election system was “discriminatory” against Latinos and in his infinite judicial wisdom decided the best way to secure voting rights was to cancel the election while figures things out. That makes sense: prevent citizens from electing their government in order to make sure they have “representative” government. File that one under “It became necessary to destroy the village in order to save it.”

Palmdale appealed, and won on narrow technical grounds. From the LA Times:

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jose moreno for thee not meOn October 15, the City of Anaheim filed a motion with the OC Superior Court to continuing the hearing on its various motions regarding the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) lawsuit plaintiff Jose Moreno, which seeks to force the city to adopt a single-member district system of electing the city council. Moreno and his co-plaintiffs are being represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and claim the current at-large system hasn’t produced enough Latino council members and must therefore be cast aside in favor of a method they claim will do the job of electing more councilmembers of the preferred ethnicity.

Judge Franz Miller moved the hearing to November 5.

As readers know, Moreno is an elected member of the governing board of the Anaheim City School District’s Board of Education – which, like the Anaheim City Council, is elected at-large. The population of the ACSD is significantly more Latino than the City of Anaheim’s, and Latinos are elected to the ACSD Board of Education at about the same rate as to the Anaheim City Council.

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UNITE-HERE continues its war on the Honda Center. On October 10, Jessica Choy, a research analyst and spokeswoman for UNITE-HERE headquarters in the Bay Area, submitted this public record request to the City of Anaheim:

To Whom it May Concern:

Under the California Public Records Act § 6250 et seq., I am requesting copies of documents related to the Honda Center and Anaheim Arena Management LLC. Specifically, I am requesting copies of: 

1. All emails, letters, and other written communications sent or received by staff or elected officials of the City of Anaheim to or from any representative of Anaheim Arena Management LLC, including but not limited to Tim Ryan, Jay Scott, and Kevin Starkey from January 1, 2012 to the present; 

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Public record act requests are a necessary and valuable means for citizens to obtain information from their government that isn’t ordinarily available.

They are also a valuable tool for reporters, bloggers and opposition researchers to go on fishing expeditions for information they hope will be damaging to whomever it is they hope to damage.

Anaheim City Hall receives large number of PRAs from a very small number of individuals. Out of curiosity, I recently submitted a PRA for PRAs submitted since June 1, 2013 by a select group of frequent submitters such as Jason Young, Cynthia Ward, Adam Elmahrek/Voice of OC and OCCORD. According to the reply from the very responsive staff of the Anaheim City Clerk’s office, there were:

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