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Wondering what kind of anti-business policies single-member council districts would make more likely in Anaheim? Look no further than UNITE-HERE Local 11’s lobbying of the City of Anaheim to adopt a “retention” policy a la that paragon of mismanagement and ill-governance, Los Angeles.

To illustrate how “retention” works, I’ll excerpt from Los Angeles International Airport’s retention policy, which imposes these requirements on LAX contractors:

  • Contractor agrees to offer to employ and retain for a 90-day period the employees who worked for at least 12 months for the terminated contractor/subcontractors earning less than $15.00 per hour.
  • Contractor agrees to not discharge without cause the employees retained during the 90-day period.
  • Contractor agrees to perform a written performance evaluation of each employee retained at the end of the 90-day period.

[LAX packages their retention policy with a “Living Wage” ordinance: in LAX’s case, contractors were required, as of July 1, 20102, to pay their employees at least $10.70 an hour, along with a minimum health benefit hourly rate of $4.67 per hour (up from $1.70 per hour when the mandate was imposed in 2010).  Plus, the “Living Wage” has to be increased every year. If the contractor doesn’t provide health benefits, then the minimum health benefit hourly rate must be added to their pay – spiking the “Living Wage (in this case) to $15.37 per hour.]

UNITE-HERE is meeting with Anaheim city officials to press their case for imposing a retention policy on Anaheim contractors.

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Jay Burress

Jay Burress

The OC Register published a profile today on Jay Burress, the new president/CEO of the Anaheim/OC Visitor & Convention Bureau. Burress has been on the job for a month, now:

The top of his list is getting the word out about all of Orange County’s attractions that people may not be aware of, he said. International travelers, who make up 10 percent of the visitors to Anaheim and Orange County, are a prime target. Burress is particularly interested in Chinese tourists, who are increasingly traveling to the United States after eased visa restrictions.

“We have a major opportunity to capitalize on that and we want to be a leader,” said Burress, who started wooing Chinese visitors to Texas 15 years ago when he was in sales with the Dallas Visitor & Convention Bureau.

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IMG_6494The Anaheim Citizens Advisory Committee on Elections and Community Involvement meets again this Thursday, March 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the Anaheim Central Library, 500 West Broadway. On the agenda: an overview of the cost of Anaheim elections and the size of the city council, plus a staff update on the ACLU lawsuit against city.

If past CAC meetings are any guide, Orange County Labor Federation Political Director Julio Perez will be there as part of the ongoing union effort to drives bodies to the meetings to call for single-member districts during public comments, in order to create the impression of overwhelming public support for this scheme.

Readers may remember Perez, a liberal Democrat, was the union candidate in last year’s 69th Assembly District primary. At his campaign kick-off, Perez said, “There’s not less money in the economy, there’s just less money in government coffers.” Jeepers.

Perez and other union staffers want Anaheim carved up into single-member council districts because it would make it easier to elect liberal and union-supported candidates to the Anaheim City Council, where they can push for left-wing policies like the “living wage” and a gate-tax and oppose any efforts to outsource city services to private sector providers.

Chairing the Citizens Advisory Committee will be Vivian Pham, a political supporter of Julio Perez. Last year, Pham  (who was appointed to the CAC by Mayor Tom Tait) contributed $100 to Perez’s Assembly campaign:

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I recommend today’s Frank Mickadeit column on the private, faith-based community center started earlier this year in a gang-infested Santa Ana neighborhood, because it contains lessons not just for Anaheim, but for every community in this nation.

“The center is a kind of rogue facility that opened up when a cop-turned-pastor named Kevin Brown and a university professor named Cristina Jose Kampfner rented a two-bedroom apartment in the 1800 block of Evergreen Street. They just leased the place, opened the doors to the apartment-saturated neighborhood and started calling themselves a community center. No help or official go-ahead from the city or school district.

The day I discovered it in August, it had just gotten a little lending library donated by Access Books. Kampfner, a psychologist, was offering therapy and starting to work with juvenile delinquents. Brown’s Side-by-Side Church was doing Bible studies.”

Mickadeit re-visited Evergreen-Cedar Community Center this past Saturday, and ran into Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait there:

I guess I shouldn’t have been completely surprised by Tait. I’d told him about Kampfner’s little miracle last August, right after one of Tait’s own poor Hispanic neighborhoods had erupted in rioting. Tait had asked for Kampfner’s contact info, and he’s now met with her a couple of times. On Saturday night, some of Brown’s guys were going to start walking an Anaheim neighborhood for the first time, trying to build trust.

“It’s inspiring what one person can do,” Tait said as we watched families milling around Kampfner in the courtyard of the apartment complex. “Rent an apartment. … Let the city get out of the way.”

The two ideas Mayor Tait expressed — “it’s inspiring what one person can do” and “Let the city get out of the way.” are, of course, exactly right.

Government has a critical role to play in terms of law enforcement. That’s why we have government. That is removing the criminal element from the equation. The rest is really up to the Kampfners and the Browns of our communities – private individuals acting out of love of God and humanity. Government can’t really do that.

Mickadeit’s column reminded me of Marvin Olasky’s great book “The Tragedy of American Compassion,” which examines America’s robust and largely forgotten history of private charity and how it was displaced by the welfare state. Olasky quotes this dialogue from the 1844 McGuffey’s Reader that contrasts two philosophies of charity:

Mr. Fantom: I despire a narrow field. O for the reign of universal benevolence! I want to make all mankind good and happy!

Mr. Godman: Dear me! Sure that must be a wholesale sort of job: had you not better try your hand at a town or neighborhood first?

Mr. Fantom: Sir, I have a plan in my head for relieving the miseries of the whole world…

Mr. Goodman: The utmost extent of my ambition at present is, to redress the wrongs of a poor apprentice, who has been cruelly used by his master…

Mr. Fantom: You must not apply to me for redress of such petty grievances…It is provinces empires, continents, that the benevolence of the philosopher embraces; every one can do a little paltry good to his next neighbor.

Mr. Goodman: Every one can, but I do not see that every one does…[You] have such noble zeal for the millions, [yet] feel so little compassion for the units.

Mayor Tait’s point apply beyond just getting the city out of the way. The larger principle is getting government, in general, out of the way. The legacy of the  Mr. Fantoms of this country, from the Progressive Era to the Obama Era, is an enormous welfare state and a citizenry increasingly dependent on it. On a local level, the path away from the legacy won’t be paved with ticket taxes or dedicated diversions of TOT revenue, but by the action of more Kevin Brown’s and Cristina Jose Kampfners and those in the private sector who will help them.

I received a press release from the conservative Family Action PAC, withdrawing its endorsement of Melissa Melendez in Assembly District 67 in Riverside County:

Larry Smith, Chairman of the Family Action PAC stated, “It is with sadness that we withdraw our endorsement of Ms. Melendez.  While we rarely take this kind of action, we have done so because we are concerned by her close ties to unions and the financial backing she’s received from unions across California.  We believe that union influence in elections is the paramount public policy issue we must reform in our state and we can not stand along side a candidate who appears to disagree.”

The Orange County Register has expressed the same opinion about union influence on government and politics, and yet endorsed John Leos for Anaheim City Council, who is on his way to setting a record for the most government union money spent on a municipal candidate in county history.

The Orange County Register should give itself a similar reality check and withdraw its endorsement of John Leos. It’s never too late to start being right.

I saw a post over at OC Political entitled “Atlas PAC Endorsed Candidates Make Their Final Push.”

For readers unfamiliar with Atlas PAC, it is a conservative group committed to “individual liberty, free enterprise, limited and fair taxation and limited government regulation.”

I didn’t know until reading the post that Atlas PAC, like the OC Republican Party, endorsed Brian Chuchua for Anaheim City Council. Like the OC GOP’s action, an odd choice.

I’m assuming Atlas PAC made its endorsement before Chuchua announced his support for imposing a ticket tax on Disneyland, Angel Stadium and the Honda Center, in order to fund city social programs.

His support for a ticket tax comes despite this promise from his campaign website:

As your next councilmember, I will:

– Never vote to raise your taxes;

Perhaps Atlas PAC was unaware Chuchua is one of the biggest cheerleaders for fellow candidate John Leos, a government union activist whose council bid is being fueled with hundreds of thousands of government union dollars.

Like Leos, Chuchua supports the lawsuit filed by the ACLU and three left-wing activists, seeking to replace the current at-large council system with a district-based system of their design — which would be drawn to guarantee at least a third of Anaheim’s council seats are held by liberal Democrats.

For good measure, Chuchua has become active in “Los Amigos,” a group that agitates for left-wing causes in Anaheim.

But again, I’m assuming Atlas PAC was unaware of these facts. Otherwise, it’s hard to see why they would endorse him.

If you’re looking for an example of how the OC Republican Party Central Committee endorsement process continues to misfire, Anaheim is a perfect example.

The main value to a candidate of this endorsement is the hope that somehow, from someone, money will arrive at the OC GOP to fund a “member communication” — usually a mail piece touting the endorsed candidates as “Team [fill in the city]” or something like that. They are mailed only to Republican voters, and are not independent expenditures because the member communication can be coordinated with the endorsed candidates campaign. Plus, they are sent out using the California Republican Party’s mail permit, which has a lower postage rate and thus gets the endorsed candidate more mileage for their postage dollar. The main drawback is member communications can’t be sent to non-Republicans.

In any case, the two OC GOP endorsed candidates in Anaheim are Lucille Kring and Brian Chuchua.

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There was another gang-related shooting in Anaheim, which took place this evening on the 700 block of north East Street. The OC Register reports:

Officers arrived to find a male suffering from at least one gunshot wound lying on a sidewalk in front of a residence.

The victim was taken to a hospital in critical condition, Dunn said.

It wasn’t immediately clear what sparked the shooting, and no information about the shooter or shooters has been released.

Based on the circumstances, police suspect that the shooting is gang-related, Dunn said.

Quick! Organize a streetside candidate forum near the scene of the shooting and engage in some heavy-duty community listening. Or respond by hitting visitors to Disneyland and Angel games with a dollar admission tax. Or maybe divert a fixed percentage of transient occupancy tax — say, 1%? — to city social programs.

Any of those should do the trick.

At the Anna Drive candidate forum last week, most of the candidates in attendance endorsed the idea of imposing a tax of $1 a ticket on the Disneyland Resort, Anaheim Stadium and the Honda Center in order to fund “youth programs and neighborhood development.”

Those pro-tax candidates include government union activist John Leos, Green Party activist Duane Roberts and Brian Chuchua (who, amazingly enough, is endorsed by the OC Republican Party).

Leaving aside the fact this ticket tax is bad public and economic policy, as a practical matter it is unworkable. It doesn’t appear to have occurred to Leos, Roberts or Chuchua that the city cannot single out those venues for a ticket tax, while exempting other venues in the city. The tax would have to e applied across the board, or not at all. So if John Leos wants a new admission tax (because that is what it is) to provide dedicated revenue to fund social programs, he’ll have to slap it on movie theaters, on the Grove of Anaheim, or any other venue where people are charged for admission.

Anaheim is a major city, the 10th largest in the state of California, and being a councilmember requires significantly more than this kind of seat-of-the-pants policy improvisation, or glibly endorsing a half-baked admission tax idea tossed out at a street-side candidate forum.

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