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The Ministry of Truth was one of four government bureaucracies that rule fictional Oceania in George Orwell’s classic novel 1984 – the propaganda arm of Ingsoc; its job to twist stated reality to suit the extant needs of the Party.

The full-page political advertisement purchased by CATER in yesterday’s Anaheim Bulletin ad embodies the spirit of the Ministry of Truth, from the “Stop Lying” headline down through the catalog of straw man arguments rolled out by these gadflies:

Ignorance is Strength

Ignorance is Strength

The “Stop Lying” logo is, ironically, more accurately directed at the authors of this ad. Let’s start with the headline:

“The Truth About The Angel Stadium Deal”

The truth is there is no Angel Stadium deal. There is only a non-binding MOU that establishes a framework for the negotiations between the city and the Angels. CATER’s claim that there is an “Angel Stadium Deal” is an untruth.

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Boysen Park

From the City of Anaheim:

The City of Anaheim is proud to announce its recent designation as a 2014 Playful City USA, for its commitment to providing places and opportunities for children’s year-round balanced and active play.

Anaheim strives to continue to create and maintain a vibrant park system consisting of well-maintained parks which provide safe, challenging recreational opportunities that feature playgrounds with exciting play opportunities. These playgrounds energize children and stimulate their minds, as well as offer physical challenges that encourage fitness to be part of their daily lives.

“Anaheim is a great place to live, work and play, with an emphasis on play,” said Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait. “My thanks to everyone at KaBOOM! and the Humana Foundation for recognizing the importance of outdoor recreation, and for partnering with Anaheim to renovate several of our existing playgrounds. Our children are the true winners of these acts of kindness and generosity.”

“With the tremendous support of our friends at Humana Foundation, we are thrilled to recognize all of these communities that are working to ensure all kids, particularly the 16 million that live in poverty, get the play they need to thrive,” says KaBOOM! CEO and Founder Darell Hammond.

Humana President and CEO Bruce Broussard added, “We’re excited about our journey with KaBOOM! and we appreciate the shared values that Humana, the Humana Foundation, and the KaBOOM! organization can rally around. Making it easy for families to play, be healthy and thrive together is a part of Humana’s dream, and it’s a commitment that all of us at Humana enjoy sharing with KaBOOM!.”

KaBOOM! has participated in the renovation of five Anaheim park’s play areas (Edison, Stoddard, Schweitzer, Modjeska and John Marshall), as well as has added other amenities within the parks.

This marks Anaheim’s first designation as a 2014 Playful City USA. In total, 212 cities and towns across the United States were 2014 Playful City USA honorees. Anaheim is the 23rd city in California to receive this distinction, and only the second city in Orange County.

Playful City USA is a national recognition program sponsored by the Humana Foundation, honoring cities and towns that champion efforts to make play a priority through establishing policy initiatives, infrastructure investments and innovative programming. The program strives to recognize communities that demonstrate a commitment to ensuring all kids get the balance of active play they need to thrive.

To see the full list of the 212 communities named 2014 Playful City USA honorees, or for more information on the Playful City USA program, visit

Like many Orange County cities, Anaheim sponsors a outdoor entertainment in city parks for the enjoyment of the public. The “Summer Nights Under The Stars” kicked off at Pearson Park last week and continues this Friday with “The Mad Scientist: the Magic of Science and Chemistry.”

Summer nights under the stars


Click here for a PDF of the brochure containing the schedule and ticketing information, and enjoy the warm summer nights of your choice.

Anaheim Insider here.

One of Mayor Tom Tait’s favorite targets is “crony capitalism,” which he distorts as any form of governmental economic assistance to businesses. A few months ago, he stood before the Republican party of Orange County and told them it was “a cancer on our party” and accused his council colleagues of promoting it.

The Mayor’s outrage over this cancer is selective, and confined only to Republicans on the Anaheim City Council. When the Republican-dominated city council of neighboring Orange recently unanimously approves a generous sales tax sharing agreement with SC Fuels, the Mayor doesn’t sound the alarm that this “cancer” is spreading further on the party. In fact, he recently accepted a $1,400 donation from the president of SC Fuels to his mayoral campaign. Will his campaign return the tainted contribution from this “crony capitalist”?

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Cory Briggs.

Cory Briggs.

Cory Briggs, via his Inland Oversight Committee, has joined with the recently-formed CATER in suing to stop the city council-approved expansion of the Anaheim Convention Center. The lawsuit will cost Anaheim money, quite possibly millions in community benefits, and certainly delay and possibly squash construction jobs for people who need them. But what’s all that balanced against the demands of a fistful of gadflies?

Briggs, as always, claims he is serving the “public interest.” But what about the interests of his clients – one of which is UNITE-HERE Local 11?

For years, UNITE-HERE has paid Briggs’ law firm for “representational activities.” UNITE-HERE is in the membership business. The more members UNITE-HERE has, the more revenue from member dues. Employees of Aramark, the sports and entertainment services company, are UNITE-HERE members. Aramark provides food service and meeting-planning services for the Anaheim Convention Center. An expanded Anaheim Convention Center booking more and bigger conventions and conferences means more members for UNITE-HERE — which could use it after Aramark lost its food service contracts with the Angels and the Honda Center last year.

So while Briggs is collecting a (modest) paycheck from UNITE-HERE Local 11, he is working with CATER to torpedo the convention center expansion that will generate more members and revenues for UNITE-HERE Local 11 – a lawsuit which certainly isn’t in its interest. Perhaps the potential payout from the lawsuit is more than the $44,746 UNITE-HERE has paid Briggs Law Corporation since 2009.

anaheim 1888From the Anaheim Brewery Blog:

Anaheim 1888, our flagship beer, won a Silver Medal at the 2014 California State Fair Commercial Craft Brewing Competition. This competition is limited to beers brewed in the State of California.

Greg Gerovac, one of the brewers and owners, says “We are thrilled that our flagship beer placed so high among such outstanding competition.” Over 850 entries were submitted in 30 categories.

Anaheim 1888 earned the Silver Medal in the Amber Hybrids category.

You can read more about this winning brew here.

Jeff LeTourneau

Jeff LeTourneau

According to a reliable source, Jeff LeTourneau, a long-time left-wing activist who last year lost a bid for OC Democratic Party chairman, is in the running for the OCCORD executive director position, vacated when founder Eric Altman tendered his resignation to run the campaign to persuade voters to adopt single-member council districts in November.

As amply documented on this blog, OCCORD is a left-wing advocacy group working to push Orange County’s political center of gravity as far to the left as possible. LeTourneau would fit right in with their mission to redefine the role of government in our society.  LeTourneau’s confrontational style would be a departure from Altman’s more convivial manner, but there’s little practical difference in terms of philosophy of government. If LeTorneau gets the job, OCCORD will remain committed to more government regulation and control of the economy, and immediate citizenship for illegal immigrants.  Keep in mind is a OCCORD’s ideological-bent attracts staffers who mourn the death of “Commandante” Hugo Chavez, the late socialist dictator of Venezuela.

OCCORD (via its lawyer, environmental ambulance chaser Cory Briggs) is suing to undo the economic assistance agreement for the GardenWalk Hotels that was approved last year by the Anaheim City Council. Perhaps “undo” isn’t quite correct; OCCORD probably has a list of demands it wants satisfied in exchange for dropping the suit. Extortion by litigation.

OCCORD has been on a hiring spree lately, In addition to finding a new executive director, the union off-shoot is shopping for a Communications and Operations Coordinator and a Lead Organizer. Got to staff up for the election!

The “Keep the Angels” campaign has taken out a series of full-page ads in the Anaheim Bulletin, making the case for the city and the Angels to conclude a deal that keeps the team in Anaheim, rebuilds the city-owned stadium at no cost to taxpayers and generates economic activity on dormant city-owned stadium land.

Last week’s ad was a trip down memory lane to the 1990s, when the Los Angeles Rams left Anaheim for St. Louis:

Keep the Angels rams ad

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Americana HotelThe city is planning to spruce up the segment of Beach Boulevard running from Lincoln Avenue to Ball Road, a stretch of streetscape that has seen better days.

“Improve the Boulevard” is made possible, in part, by a $500,000 grant from the state government’s Strategic Growth Council under the Sustainable Communities Planning Grant and Incentives Program. It will help fund the creation of a Beach Boulevard Specific Plan (BBSP) focused on the Beach Boulevard corridor.

From the City of Anaheim website:

West Anaheim residents generally live in well-maintained neighborhoods. However, many residents report feeling unsafe in their neighborhood due, in large part, to the negative impacts associated with the Beach Boulevard corridor. The purpose of the BBSP is to improve the image and economic potential of West Anaheim’s corridors by creating the land use framework to guide and encourage future public and private investment in the area.

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When it comes to the relationship between Anaheim gadfly group CATER and liberal litigator Cory Briggs Inland Oversight Group, it seems that one hand washes the other. Briggs’ IOC is CATER’s co-plaintiff in the lawsuit to stop the council-approved expansion of the Anaheim Convention Center.

As it turns out, CATER has joined Brigg’s legal battle against the expansion of San Diego’s convention center, which was filed at the beginning of April of this year.

On May 12, CATER and IOC filed their lawsuit against the Anaheim Convention Center expansion. Two weeks later, on May 27, CATER jumped into the San Diego Convention Center legal fight, with Greg Diamond of Brea filing an answer to a Briggs “reverse-validation complaint.” I’m not a lawyer, but a lawyer tried to explain it to me. Even though CATER is clearly allied with Briggs, it is technically a defendant in the San Diego case but it’s “answer” to ask the court to find in Brigg’s favor:

WHEREFORE, Defendant CATER prays for the following relief against Defendants City of San Diego, City of San Diego as successor agency to the Redevelopment Agency of the City of San Diego, Housing Authority of the City of San Diego, and Public Facilities Financing Authority of the City of San Diego (and any and all other parties who may oppose Defendant CATER or Plaintiff in this proceeding):

A. A judgment determining or declaring that the Bond Approvals do not comply with all applicable laws in at least some respect, rendering the Bond Approvals null and void, invalid, or otherwise without legal effect;

B. Injunctive relief prohibiting Defendants City of San Diego, City of San Diego as successor agency to the Redevelopment Agency of the City of San Diego, Housing Authority of the City of San Diego, and Public Facilities Financing Authority of the City of San Diego (and any and all other parties who may oppose Defendant CATER or Plaintiff in this proceeding) from taking any of the action contemplated by the Bond Approvals unless and until said Defendants comply with all applicable legal requirements, as determined by the Court;

C. All legal fees and other expenses incurred in connection with this proceeding, including but not limited to reasonable attorney fees as authorized by the Code of Civil Procedure; and

D. Any and all further relief that this Court may deem appropriate.

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Yesterday I referred to a July 2013 post on an Inland Empire blog reporting that at the time the Inland Oversight Committee (IOC) — CATER’s partner in suing to stop the approved Anaheim Convention Center expansion — listed a dead man, Ian Trowbridge, as it’s chairman.

As it turns out, the IOC publicly listed Mr. Trowbridge – deceased for almost a year-and-a-half – as its chairman until several days ago. Check out this June 4, 2014 snapshot of the IOC website via the Internet Wayback Machine.

IOC dead Ian Trowbridge


Keep in mind the CATER/IOC lawsuit was filed weeks before, on May 12. That puts the City of Anaheim in the unique position of having been jointly sued by a director of the OC Cemetery District and a group headed by a dead man.

Per the Voice of San Diego:

The website for the Inland Oversight Committee, a nonprofit from which Briggs frequently sues in San Bernardino County, posts Briggs’ law office as its contact address. The website lists someone named Anthony Kim as the organization’s legal adviser. Kim is an attorney in Briggs’ office. The website also names Ian Trowbridge, a San Diegan and a Briggs ally, as the group’s chairman. Trowbridge died more than a year ago. Since Trowbridge’s death, Briggs has sued at least nine times on the group’s behalf.

Sometime during the last two weeks, Brigg’s Inland Oversight Committee changed the chairman listing to “SD Fraker.” 

I suppose it’s metaphoric that CATER, after inviting this legal vampire into Anaheim, finds itself teamed with the undead.

I thought I’d share this May 27, 2014 Voice of San Diego article on Cory Briggs, the left-wing ambulance chaser working hand-in-glove with CATER to stop the council-approved expansion of the Anaheim Convention Center:

Cory Briggs, the attorney who helped end the political career of Bob Filner, wants to stop a lot of other things in San Diego, too.

Like an expansion of the city’s Convention Center. And a half-dozen new neighborhood libraries and refurbished fire stations. And even a Jack in the Box drive-thru in North Park. All told, Briggs’ lawsuits are tying up more than $2 billion in projects across San Diego. No one paralyzes City Hall’s ability to do anything more than him, City Councilman Scott Sherman said.

“People are just scared to death Cory Briggs is going to sue over something,” Sherman said.

In fact, Briggs instills the same fear in politicians and developers all across Southern California. No attorney sues under the state’s main environmental quality law more than him.

These lawsuits all tend to follow a formula: A local City Council approves a big-box development, like a Wal-Mart. A nonprofit with a watchdoggy name sues, with Briggs as its attorney. The developer settles the case and pays Briggs for his trouble. It’s often unclear who is against the project other than Briggs himself.

It’s a fascinating article, and you can read the whole thing here.

Given how closely CATER works with Briggs and his front non-profit Inland Oversight Committee; and given that Cynthia Ward and other allies of Mayor Tait established CATER for the express purpose of filing such lawsuits, one has to wonder if it wasn’t Cory Briggs who gave them the idea to start CATER.

Cory Briggs. Dead people have rights, too, you know.

Cory Briggs. Dead people have rights, too, you know.

Although CATER gets the credit – if that’s what you want to call it — for the lawsuit that spiked a deal with Citigroup for bond financing of the Anaheim Convention Center expansion, the loud little group is actually a co-plaintiff. The other plaintiff is the Inland Oversight Committee (IOC).

The IOC is a creature of left-wing attorney Cory Briggs, the left-wing attorney from San Diego who is OCCORD’s attorney in their lawsuit against the 2013 GardenWalk agreement. It is a tiny non-profit that has been filing lawsuits against economic development projects in San Diego and the Inland Empire. Indeed, the more you look at it, the more CATER seems to have been modeled on it.

The late Ian Trowbridge. Proof of litigation after death.

The late Ian Trowbridge. Proof of litigation after death.

Like CATER, IOC claims to represent a group of citizens but keeps that claimed membership anonymous. How ‘real” a group is the IOC? Consider the following and draw your own conclusion: the auhor of this July 2, 2013 post on the Empoprise-IE blog was researching IOC and discovered that the person listed on IOC’s website as it’s chairman had actually died several months earlier.

I’ve heard of dead people voting, but not suing.

CATER and IOC being co-plaintiffs against Anaheim is actually quasi-karmic: CATER President Cynthia Ward is a trustee of the OC Cemetery District, and IOC used to be headed by a dead person.

The IOC website currently lists as its chairman someone named “SD Fraker” – who presumably is still among the living, but who really knows? It also lists as its “Legal Advisor” a Mr. Anthony Kim – an attorney in Brigg’s law firm.

Anaheim Mayor Pro Tem Councilwoman

Anaheim Mayor Pro Tem Kris Murray

Following a growing train of Orange County city councils in the wake of a court decision declaring such ordinances unconstitutional, the Anaheim City Council repealed an ordinance banning registered sex offenders from being in a city park.

At the same time, Mayor Pro Tem Kris Murray asked the city attorney to draft a resolution of support for a legislative fix to the constitutionality issue. From the June 16 OC Register (published prior to Tuesday’s council meeting):

Calling the repeal a setback, Councilwoman Kris Murray asked the city attorney to draft a resolution that calls for supporting any future state legislation that gives cities the authority to restrict sex offenders at parks. The City Council this week was expected to support the resolution.

“I think it’s important that we don’t walk away and throw our hands in the air,” Murray said. “We need to do something to keep our kids safe.”

The council did indeed adopt the resolution on a 5-0 on Tuesday.

More retro clipart at the Anaheim Union High School District will consider a report claiming district facilities need $1.2 billion – yes, billion — in improvements.

According to the OC Register:

More than $1.2 billion in safety and classroom upgrades are needed at 19 campuses in the Anaheim Union High School District over the next decade, according to a report that will be considered Thursday by the district’s board of trustees.

If approved, the board’s next step is to decide, on July 10, whether to place a $249 million bond measure onto the November ballot to partially pay for those improvements in a district serving 32,000-plus students from portions of Anaheim, Cypress, Buena Park, La Palma and Stanton.

“We’re looking at basic renovations to keep our students safe, along with giving them classroom tools and modern classrooms so that we can provide them a 21st-century education,” said Al Jabbar, an Anaheim Union board member.

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moreno no endorsement from unionThe unions representing teachers in the Anaheim City School District (ACSD) and the Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD) have a joint political action committee – the Anaheim Educators PAC – which several days ago made its endorsements for this November school board elections. Three ACSD Board of Education seats are up for re-election. One incumbent, Sandy Blumberg is retiring and another, Jeff Cole, is seeking re-election. The third incumbent, Jose Moreno, is presumably seeking re-election, although rumors have swirled for months about him being the second council candidate on the Tait Slate.

Not surprisingly, the Anaheim Educators PAC endorsed Cole, as well as AUHSD history and psychology teacher Ryan Ruelas, creator of the BROS program, a past high school teacher of the year and the Anaheim Secondary Teachers Association representative on the CTA State Council. Given the sound and fury blasting out of the CTA over the Vergara decision, I’d be curious to know his opinion of it.

The most interesting thing is who the AEPAC did not endorse: Jose Moreno.

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Anaheim_PoliceHeader2On Tuesday, the Anaheim City Council unanimously approved a request from Mayor Pro Tem Kris Murray to adopt a policy to hire 10 additional police officers a year for the next for year, funds permitting. From the staff report:

Mayor Pro Tem Murray requested that staff prepare a policy for City Council consideration at the June 10, 2014 meeting to memorialize the City Council’s commitment to public safety by increasing the number of police officers back to pre-recessionary levels. The proposed Resolution adopts a policy to prioritize the funding, as part of the annual budget process, for 10 additional police officers each fiscal year for the next four years beginning with fiscal year 2014/15, should there be sufficient General Fund resources available to fund such positions.

Ensuring citizens are safe in their homes, neighborhoods, on the streets and in their businesses is the first duty of local government. While a tiny but vocal group that frequents city council meetings is possessed of the belief that the public’s safety is threatened by the police, the council acted from the responsible, traditional and common sense position that a police department of sufficient strength is a necessary condition for having a safe community. 

To be sure, reducing crime and ensuring public safety isn’t solely a function of hiring more police. The character of the community, the refusal of citizens to tolerate the presence of criminals and criminal activity in their neighborhoods is a key element, as well as parents doing everything they can to keep their children on the moral straight and narrow and away from gangs or other criminal involvement. But at the end of the day, a city needs good men and women with badges to keep out the bad guys. 

Few things undermine citizens confidence in free government more than that government’s inability to provide law and order. I’ll end with a quote I’ve posted here before from the 1964 acceptance speech of Barry Goldwater, hardly a friend of oppressive government:

“Security from domestic violence, no less than from foreign aggression, is the most elementary and fundamental purpose of any government, and a government that cannot fulfill that purpose is one that cannot long command the loyalty of its citizens. History shows us – demonstrates that nothing – nothing prepares the way for tyranny more than the failure of public officials to keep the streets from bullies and marauders.”

Anaheim Insider here.

At the end of Tuesday’s Anaheim City Council meeting, City Attorney Michael Houston reported out actions taken during closed session.

With respect to closed session item number 1, “CATER et al versus Anaheim Public Financing Authority .” the City Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency and the Anaheim Public Financing Authority met in joint closed session and by a vote of 4 to 1, with the Mayor voting “no,” approval was given to defend litigation entitled “CATER and IOC, or Coalition of Anaheim Taxpayers for Economic Responsibility and the Inland Oversight Committee, v. the Anaheim Public Financing Authority et al,” with respect to an action alleging that actions taken on May 11 relating to the issuance of bonds violated various provisions of the California Constitution and the City Charter.

So, Mayor Tait voted against defending his city from a lawsuit filed by the non-profit arm of his re-election campaign. Why? Maybe the Mayor can explain at the next council meeting why he doesn’t won’t a fight a bogus lawsuit that is seriously jeopardizing the Anaheim Convention Center’s ability to keep its biggest convention, NAMM, and sign other big conferences like the American Heart Association.

On the other hand, Tait joined the rest of the council in voting to defend the city from OCCORD’s lawsuit against the May 2103 economic assistance agreements with the GardenWalk Hotels. Why one and not the other?


“Keep the Angels” has been running a series of full-sized ads on the back page of the Anaheim Bulletin. The first two were open letters to Angels owner Arte Moreno spelling out their appreciation for everything the team does for the community — economic activity, charitable support and involvement, civic pride — and the third focused on the indelible role Angels baseball has played in Anaheim’s history.

The fourth ad lays out to very different futures for the stadium and the community, depending on whether or not the city is successful in negotiating an agreement to keep the team in town:

Keep The Angels Ad 2 paths


A great ad that cleanly and simply delineates the choice facing the Anaheim.

Anaheim Insider here.

CATER propaganda quote

As Dan Chmielewski of has already noted, the CATER claque has published a website for their club: CATER is run by a very loud person who has said very little about her non-profit 501(c)4. We know it is her, camp follower Brian Chuchua and her blogging sidekick Greg Diamond. They’ve filed two lawsuits against the City of Anaheim to undermine negotiations to keep the Angels in town and to torpedo the vital expansion of the Anaheim Convention Center. Although they demand transparency from others, they refuse to say who funds their activities.

At least CATER is being truthful about its purpose: “carrying on propaganda.” Yes, CATER really does says that on the “About” page of its website, which also says:

“[CATER] shall not participate or intervene in any campaign (including the publication or distribution of statements) on behalf of any candidate for public office; and, it shall not, except in an insubstantial degree, engage in any activities or exercise any powers that are not in furtherance of the purposes described above.”

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