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Unite Here protestorsThe campaign for by-district council elections has received another big union check: UNITE-HERE Local 11 contributed $25,000 to the Committee for District Elections, which is the “Yes on Measure L” campaign. 

Who does UNITE-HERE Local 11 represent? Hotel workers (and food service employees). Of what does Anaheim have thousands? Non-unionized hotel workers that UNITE-HERE not only wants, but needs as members. 

The only hotels in the Anaheim resort area with unionized workers are the Anaheim Hilton and the Disney properties.  

UNITE-HERE wants to change that.  It’s 501(c)4 satellite group, OCCORD, has been fighting the GardenWalk Hotel economic assistance agreement in court. By an amazing coincidence, OCCORD is being represented by Cory Briggs, the same left-wing ambulance chaser who is co-plaintiff with CATER against the Anaheim Convention Center expansion.

[OCCORD is housed in office next to UNITE-HERE, in a building owned by UNITE-HERE, and receives a $5,000 check from UNITE-HERE every month]. 

OCCORD doesn’t object to the city’s TOT subsidy for the GardenWalk project. What they (or rather, UNITE-HERE) want is for the GardenWalk owners to allow UNITE-HERE to unionize their employees. If the GardenWalk investors agreed to that, OCCORD’s lawsuit would go away. In the meantime, the OCCORD/UNITE-HERE strategy is to wear the GardenWalk investors with drawn-out litigation and force them to choose between agreeing to be unionized or giving up the project. 

Bu that is a laborious, expensive approach to unionizing hotel workers. It would be better for UNITE-HERE to have a left-leaning, Democrat-majority on the Anaheim City Council that made it clear to hotel developers that approval of their new or expanded projects hinged on having unionized workers or agreeing to “card check neutrality” as a condition of approval (in addition to incorporating similar demands into the conditions).

Since the at-large council election system has proven a barrier to electing more than one Democrat to the city council, UNITE-HERE and other left-wing constituencies want to replace it with by-district elections, which would structurally tilt council elections toward a Democratic majority. It’s no accident that nearly 92% of UNITE-HERE political contributions go to Democrats.

Orange County Republicans should consider that the pillar of Democratic power in Nevada are the unions representing hotel and casino workers.  Imagine how the political landscape in Orange County would be altered if the Left succeeds in passing Measure L and opening the door to unionizing the estimated 8,000 hotel workers in the Anaheim resort area. That’s a lot of union dues revenue available to fund the election of Democratic candidates.  

UNITE-HERE Local 11 needs members. Or rather, it needs the revenue from member dues. It also represents Aramark employees, and lost members when the Anaheim Ducks decided to get rid of Aramark and bring its food service operations in house.  UNITE-HERE lobbied the Anaheim City Council to require the Ducks to staff their in-house food service operation with UNITE-HERE members. They even pushed for the council to ask the Ducks to allow UNITE-HERE to organize their food service workers via card check. 

Since the four of the five members of the Anaheim City Council are Republicans, UNITE-HERE’s demands were rebuffed. Does anyone think that would have been the case if a Democratic majority were in control?

This is what is at stake in the battle over by-district election in Anaheim. It’s not the naive (and cynical) malarkey about “neighbors electing neighbors” or better city services (neither of which by-district elections would deliver). This is the opening salvo in a political campaign to shift Anaheim and Orange County to the Left. 

keep the angels_logoLos Angeles Times sports columnist published a great column this Sunday, opining that helping secure an agreement to keep the Angels in Anaheim would be a fitting legacy as Bud Selig’s term as baseball commissioner comes to an end:

We are 10 days shy of the one-year anniversary of what appeared to be the resolution, a tentative agreement in which Moreno would pay for the estimated $150 million in Angel Stadium renovations and would get the right to try to make his money back from developing the surrounding parking lot, at no cost to the city of Anaheim.

Mayor Tom Tait objected, saying the parking lot was too valuable to lease to Moreno at $1 per year. A subsequent appraisal commissioned by the city valued that land at $225 million.

But the appraisal also valued the land at up to $325 million if the stadium were demolished, and Moreno was agitated that the city would assess that option if it were intent on keeping the team.

There have been no negotiations since the appraisal was released in May, and the Angels have considered sites in Tustin and Irvine, with the Tustin site currently considered the most feasible alternative.

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lorri galloway at rallyThe Democratic Party of Orange County (DPOC) voted Monday evening to endorse former Councilmember Lorri Galloway for Mayor of Anaheim. It would have been startling if the DPOC failed to do so since Galloway is a viable candidate, a Democrat in good standing and the only Democrat running for mayor.

Nonetheless, I am told that former DPOC Vice Chair Greg Diamond tried to derail the endorsement. Diamond is a vocal supporter of Mayor Tom Tait, a conservative Republican. At the same time, the DPOC endorsed Jose F. Moreno even though he has endorsed Tait over Galloway.

Dan Chmielewski has more over at the

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Anaheim Insider here.

Last week the ACLU gave $10,000 to Measure L. That’s not surprising since the ACLU represented Jose F. Moreno in his CVRA lawsuit against the city. The settlement signed this January is why Measure L is on the ballot this November.

Here’s Moreno introducing Mayor Tom Tait at the January 8, 2014 press conference organized the ACLU and Moreno. After reaching out and embracing Moreno, the Mayor can barely contain his joy at what he calls a “victory” over the city by Moreno and the ACLU:

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Gloria Romero

Gloria Romero, a leading education reformer and former Democratic state Senator from Los Angeles, took direct aim at Anaheim council candidate Jose F. Moreno in today’s OC Register editorial page.

As readers know, Moreno is long-time member of the Anaheim City School District Board of Education. Romero blasts Moreno for “suppressing” the efforts of Palm Lane Elementary School parents to utilize  the state Parent Trigger law and convert Palm Lane to a charter school. She also notes the chasm between Moreno’s rhetoric on Latino empowerment in the context of the Anaheim City Council, and the reality of suppressing this attempt by Latino parents to empower themselves for the sake of their children’s education.

For awhile, [Palm Lane Elementary] parents were hopeful: Principal Roberto Baeza had assumed leadership, bringing with him a stellar record of excellence and respect for parents. That ended when he was inexplicably removed by the Anaheim City School District in May. Parents approached the school board, including the sole Latino representative, Jose Moreno, but felt rebuffed.

That’s when parents decided to use California’s Parent Trigger law, which enables parents to transform such chronically underperforming schools. Although parents still hope Baeza will return, they’ve decided to try to convert Palm Lane into a charter school. Los Angeles Unified and other CORE districts have won an exemption from the law, but Anaheim City is not one of those districts.

Parents thought it might be helpful to seek support from Los Amigos of Orange County – a Latino advocacy organization headed by Moreno. I joined them Wednesday at a meeting to appeal to club members. Not only did they leave with no support, but Moreno missed the presentation. He told the parents afterward in the parking lot that he was displeased with their actions.

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WWFDRDI wanted to write about an issue that, while not particular to Anaheim, impacts Anaheim and communities across the country.

The Internet is the fastest- moving technological game changer in history. It sparks innovation, speeds access to information and gives people across the country equal access to products and services, all while fueling investment, job creation and economic growth. This has been made possible through crowd-sourced innovation. Despite this success, however, some groups are maneuvering to fundamentally re-structure the Internet that has engendered these benefits.

Ironically, these advocacy groups want to solve this non-existent “problem” of this future-oriented technology by reaching into America’s Great Depression-era past for a “solution.” They want to take the sprawling, vibrant, round-peg that is the Internet, and cram it into the square hole of 1930s-era regulations that classified the U.S. telephone system as a government-regulated utility. Applying these static regulations to the constantly evolving Internet is not a good fit. Would you use stage coach regulations to regulate the electric vehicle industry?

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cater who caresFrom the beginning, CATER gadflies have scoffed at the suggestion that their legal battle — waged in partnership with liberal San Diego litigator Cory Briggs and his Inland Oversight Committee cutout – to obstruct the Anaheim Convention Center expansion would have a negative economic impact on the city. [And if it did, their attitude has been “so what?”]

It’s ironic that a group styling itself as a Coalition of Anaheim Taxpayers for Economic Responsibility would be so economically irresponsible.

This August 22 story in the OC Register shows CATER’s deluded attitude is…deluded, and could have cost the Anaheim Convention Center at least two major conventions:

The expansion turmoil has prompted at least one trade-group executive to says his organization would look at options to leave if the expansion doesn’t materialize.

“We’d have to assess our options and current growth. We’ve been going with the knowledge and assumption that it’d be happening,” said Adam Andersen, group show director for New Hope Natural Media, which runs the Natural Products Expo West.

NAMM’s chief echoed that sentiment:

The top executive of the National Association of Music Merchants said he is cautiously optimistic the expansion will be completed a year before NAMM’s long-term contract expires in 2018.

“We are counting on the expansion to hold us. We probably could inhale or tighten our belt for a year or two, or even three, until the expansion is completed,” said Joe Lamond, NAMM’s president and chief executive officer. NAMM is the biggest trade group to visit Anaheim’s convention center.

In the past, Lamond has said an expansion is vital to the trade show staying in Anaheim. Organizers have said the show generates $91.5 million in spending at local restaurants, hotels, and tourist attractions like Disneyland and elsewhere.

Greg Diamond de la Brea, CATER’s lawyer and gadfly fixture at Anaheim City Council meetings, intoned with ominous intent:

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Jose Moreno megaphone croppedNot ones to let mere partisan formalities separate kindred left-wing spirits, the Democratic Party of Orange County has endorsed Jose F. Moreno for Anaheim City Council — notwithstanding he has only been a Democrat since this month.

To recap: the Democratic Party of Orange County has endorsed Moreno for city council, and Measure L, which would carve Anaheim into single-member council districts.

Moreno also benefited from a $1,900 contribution on August 21 from the United Food and Commercial Workers union, Local 324. UCFW represents workers at the Disneyland Resort, Disneyland California Adventure, Downtown Disney and the Disney-owned hotel stores, among other places.

moreno charter schoolsYesterday, newly-minted Democrat Jose F. Moreno sent an e-mail to members of the Democratic Party of Orange County Central Committee seeking their endorsement for his Anaheim City Council candidacy. The most interesting part was the section devoted to charter schools, in which the Anaheim City School District Board of Education member felt it necessary to distance himself from his recent vote to support the GOALS Academy charter school application:

As a result of my focus on the needs of our children, you may have heard that I did choose to support the establishment of a local charter school. I am NOT a supporter of the overall Charter School movement which is clearly a veiled effort to undermine education as a public entity. I have always, and continue to be skeptical of corporate-based and networked charters that come into our communities under the auspices of educational equity. It is indeed unfortunate that over the past 20 years our legislature and State Board of Education has established and expanded Charter school laws.
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Anaheim Councilwoman Gail Eastman is holding a re-election campaign kick-off fundraiser this Sunday, August 24.  It’s a summer BBQ from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. at the home of Brad and Daria Daniels in Anaheim:

Eastman 8-24-14 fundraiser

You can RSVP to

Anaheim Insider here.

As readers know, Mayor Tom Tait is trying to defeat his two Republican council colleagues and has recruited two candidates for that purpose: a guy who lives down the street from him, Doug Pettibone, and Anaheim City School District Trustee James Vanderbilt.

Since there are only two council seats are on the ballot, that would seem to leave Tait’s political ally Jose F. Moreno out in the cold. Two weeks ago, dyed-in-the-wool lefty Moreno changed his registration from NPP to Democrat, and then filed to run for Anaheim City Council.

However, Moreno is standing by his endorsement of Tom Tait for Mayor. He told the

I gave my endorsement to Mayor Tait back in January and I gave money to his campaign because he has been fighting for things that matter to me. Mayor Tait fought harder than anyone on the council for district elections. My endorsement of the mayor will stay with him as long as he wants it.

Say this for Moreno: he sticks by a promise. He still has a Tait yard sign in front of his house:

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ruby heeled districtsHere’s news for any conservatives and Republicans out there still clicking the heels of their ruby slippers together and telling themselves the campaign for by-district elections is NOT a left-wing political initiative to capture Anaheim city government: the ACLU of Southern California has donated $10,000 to the Committee for District Elections.

The Committee for District Elections is the “Yes on Measure L” campaign, Measure L being the ballot initiative to carve Anaheim into single-member council districts – which in turn is born of the Left’s frustration at being unable to elect Democrats to the Anaheim City Council under the at-large election system. Only one of three mayors and just three of 12 councilmembers elected in the last 20 years have been Democrats.  

Measure L is about putting an end to Anaheim’s status as the largest city in California with a Republican majority city council.

The ACLU joins the Orange County Labor Federation (the AFL-CIO chapter in OC), the Voter Fund (a San Francisco-based left-wing “issues” group that “invests” in building “progressive infrastructure”), and OCCORD (an arm of the militant UNITE-HERE union) as funders of the Yes and Measure L campaign.

To date, all of Measure L’s donations come from left-wing groups from outside Anaheim.

That’s the reality – as opposed to the fantasy that Measure L is about good government and “neighbors election people from their neighborhoods” – unless you think 85,000 people is a “neighborhood.” 

lovitz bylawsAnaheim Republican Assembly President Steve Sarkis forwarded me this e-mail he sent early this morning to Tom Hudson, the parliamentarian and chairman of the CRA Rules Committee.

Wait – let me put this in the breathless prose of modern journalism: Anaheim Blog has obtained an e-mail sent by Anaheim Republican Assembly President Steve Sarkis to Tom Hudson, who is parliamentarian and chairman of the CRA Rules Committee:


Benita Gagne called a meeting of non-ARA members.

I called an August meeting of ARA (notice included Benita) and we had a quorum and we held elections.

Attached is a copy of the notice handed to me by John Briscoe after my August ARA meeting was adjourned.

There is no authority in the CRA bylaws to support the contents of this notice.

The May and June meetings were called in accordance with ARA bylaws. A quorum was not obtained and the meetings had to be adjourned. What happened at the July meeting (loss of quorum) is already known to you.

Roberts Rules of Order state that an elected officer retains that office until elections (in accordance with the bylaws) are held for that office. If elections cannot be held due to lack of a quorum, then the elected office is not automatically vacated.

ARA bylaws do not state that any elected office is automatically vacated if elections are not held in the month of May.

Benita is only an ex-officio member of the ARA Board and has no power to call an ARA meeting much less conduct elections for ARA officers unless there has not been at least one meeting called during any one quarter.

Charter Review has no authority to interpret a unit’s bylaws and make a decision that the offices of a unit have been vacated and then hold a reorganizing meeting and elect new officers. Only the Board of Directors has that authority.
Steve Sarkis
Anaheim Republican Assembly

Clearly, Steve has a different perspective on the issue (and it’s interesting that the letter that CRA President John Briscoe gave to Steve Sarkis yesterday is post-dated today, August 21).

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If you can't find the "enterance," please feel free to use the entrance.

If you can’t find the “enterance,” please feel free to use the entrance.

I went to a meeting of the Anaheim Republican Assembly (ARA) tonight at the Northwest Orange County Republican Headquarters, in Stanton.

At the same time, in the next room, there was another meeting being held by a group purporting to be the Anaheim Republican Assembly.


For the last several weeks, the ARA has become the target of an old-school unit take-over attempt being organized by the Tait re-election campaign. Tait forces (including the Taits, Tait neighbor and insta-candidate Doug Pettibone, and janissaries such as Cynthia Ward and sidekick Brian Chuchua, and others weren’t even Republicans) stormed the meeting and attempted to dump unit President Steve Sarkis and replace him with Tait supporter Benita Gagne. Steve has been a GOP volunteer for years and years, but his status as a supporter of Lucille Kring for mayor marked him for liquidation. In the end, the coup apparently didn’t succeed.

Fast forward to this evening. The legitimate ARA unit conducted its business (bylaw changes, officer elections, reports) and scheduled an endorsement meeting for September.

In the next room, at the Tait ARA gathering, clapping could be heard.

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Jose Moreno megaphone croppedCOPE stands for Committee on Political Education. It’s the AFL-CIO’s PAC, and each affiliate of the giant union organization has its own COPE (at least, that’s how it has been explained to me).

At yesterday’s meeting of the OC Labor Federation’s COPE committee, a “no endorsement” recommendation was adopted regarding Jose F. Moreno’s council candidacy (maybe being a Democrat longer than a couple of weeks is necessary).  According to sources, the building trades and police and fire unions played a key role in securing the “no endorsement” position, and the Orange County Employees Association (OCEA) – which represents the Anaheim Municipal Employees Association — abstained.

moreno historyDan Chmielewski of the has posted the first part of his interview with Anaheim city council candidate Joe F. Moreno. Here is an excerpt:

Q.  Why the sudden change to be a Democrat of which there is some criticism that you’ve become a Democrat to gain the benefits of party affiliation without the “sweat equity.”

A,  I became a Democrat because I felt the beliefs of the party aligned with the belief of my heart.  It coincided with the first time I went to the DPOC to address the party.  The timing was just right.  As far as “have I paid sweat equity to the party,” did I do it when I walked neighborhoods for Sharon Quirk Silva?  Did I earn it when I volunteered to register new Democrats at the DPOC booth at the Orange County Fair?  Or did it do it when I endorsed Democratic candidates, walked neighborhoods for them, endorsed them for office?  I believe I can contribute to the party and I believe I can help Anaheim build a strong bench of Democratic candidates for elections to come.

Q. You championed districts for Anaheim. What’s wrong with the district-based at large elections like they have in Santa Ana?

A. That’s a colonial based form of government that we fought a war against more than 200 years ago.  It’s not effective and it’s not what the people want.  Santa Ana should adopt what we are trying to do in Anaheim.  To use the Santa Ana method of district elections further disenfranchises Latino voters.  While we make up the majority of the city’s population, we are only 32 percent of the electorate so we cannot affect change or even influence elective races even if we want too.  That’s the basis on a California Voting Act for which we filed the lawsuit.  This is issue number one for me.

I didn’t realize the Founding Fathers fought the Revolution in order to end from-district council elections. Who knew?

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

powerpac no transparencyLast week I called, the progressive “issues advocacy” group from San Francisco that has provided nearly half the funding ($45,000) for the Yes on Measure L campaign. I was hoping to connect with a spokesperson who could explain why was so interested in changing how Anaheim elects its city council, and where the $45,000 came from. The person I spoke to said she’d pass my request on to their vice president, who would have someone call me with a response.

A week later and nothing.

In the interim, I called the Los Angeles office listed on’s website and get a “This is not a working number” message. Same thing when I call’s Washington DC office. I called the San Francisco office again and got an answering machine.

So, this morning I call the San Francisco office again. The same lady I spoke to last week answers the phone. I explain, again, who I am and that I’m calling about a donation made to Anaheim initiative campaign; she responds as though she’s never talked to me before.

“I can pass on your request,” she tells me.

I explain that she had told me the same thing when I called the week before, and I’d never received a response.  She repeated that all she could do was pass on my request.

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Yesterday evening, I e-mailed this open letter to members of the Republican Party of Orange County Central Committee:

Dear member of the Republican Party of Orange County Central Committee:

With the November election is only 10 weeks away, there is an urgent need for clarity among Orange County Republican activists, donors and officeholders about the true political situation in Anaheim.  For more than two years, it has been obscured by the dynamics of ongoing conflict between the majority of the Anaheim City Council and Mayor Tom Tait centered on a few, specific areas of disagreement.

The outcome of Anaheim’s mayoral and council contests are important — but of greater long term consequence for the political trajectory of Anaheim and Orange County is Measure L, which would replace Anaheim’s current at-large council elections with a by-district system that is used in cities like Los Angeles and San Bernardino.

If Measure L passes, the Democratic Party will have established a beach head in Orange County’s largest, most important city – a beach head it would be almost impossible for the Republican Party of Orange County to reverse.

Consider these facts:

  • Anaheim is the 10th largest city in California
  • It is the largest city in the state with a Republican-majority city council.
  • Of its 123,823 voters, 38.9% are Democrats, 35.1% are Republican and 21.8% are NPP.
  • Since 1994:
    • Only 1 of Anaheim’s 3 mayors has been a Democrat
    • Only 3 of 12 councilmembers have been Democrats

Given liberal Democrats’ poor election track record under Anaheim ‘s traditional at-large election system, a coalition of left-wing interest groups and activists has been working since 2012 to enact a by-district election system. Under this scheme, Anaheim would be carved into 4 (or possibly 6) single-member council districts. Instead of being accountable to all Anaheim voters, council candidates would only be voted on by voters into their geographic districts.

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Anaheim Insider here (again).

A friend forward to me this e-mail from the Tom Tait campaign to OC GOP Central Committee members, who are voting tonight (possibly right now) on whether to give Tait an early endorsement:

Subject: Union Money invades Anaheim

Dear Central Committee Member,​

Tonight, our Local Elected Official of the Year, Mayor Tom Tait, will be rightfully seeking the endorsement of the Republican Party of Orange County for his reelection this November.  One or two supporters of Anaheim City Council Members Lucile Kring, Kris Murray, and Gail Eastman, may try to pull his name from the consent list for separate consideration.  

Two of these Council Member​s, Murray and Eastman, are up for reelection in November as well.  Council Member Kring, is in a safe seat yet has decided to run against Mayor Tom Tait in spite of his strong Republican credentials and stellar job performance.   Why?  

The attachment speaks volumes for itself.  Union money is pouring into the coffers of all Anaheim Elected Officials on the City Council except one – Mayor Tom Tait. 

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Anaheim Insider here.

I was sent this photo taken at Tom Tait’s election campaign grand opening this weekend. It’s a photo of the Mayor chatting it up with a supporter named Carlos Becerra:

Tait Carlos Becerra

[Photo credit: Allen Wilson]

Background information on Mr. Becerra was also provided that makes clear he is a very radical leftist activist who is hostile to property rights, wants to get rid of the free enterprise system, and denounces Anaheim police officers as thugs and “a gang.”  This is Becerra’s view of law enforcement:

Police are murderers

Activists volunteer their time and support to candidates who share their views and whom they believe will advances the causes and issues they believe in. Becerra is very impassioned about the direction in which he wants Anaheim politics and government to move. That direction is a sharp turn to the left.

So why does someone who is fighting for leftist policies in Anaheim supporting Tom Tait’s re-election? Why does someone who thinks the police of murderers and wants society to “transition” away from private property want Tom Tait to be mayor for four more years.

Mayor Tait knows Becerra, knows what his politics and views are, and obviously is perfectly comfortable that his track record as mayor has attracted the support of a committed local leftist.

Becerra isn’t an isolated example. Mayor Tait presents himself as the conservative conscience of the City Council, yet he’s attracted significant support from the more radical elements of Anaheim politics. These activists are delusional in their political beliefs, but they aren’t stupid when it comes to identifying candidates who will advance the policies they support. Orange County conservatives should be disturbed and alarmed by the level of support Mayor Tait has from radical activists, and start re-examining their assumptions about Mayor Tait’s politics.

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