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Anaheim Veterans Monument

 

This came over the transom from the City of Anaheim yesterday:

MILITARY VETERANS TO BE HONORED IN ANAHEIM ON SATURDAY, NOV. 8

Community is invited to gather at the Anaheim Veterans Monument to honor our military heroes

ANAHEIM, Calif. (October 30, 2014)  It is a privilege to honor our nation’s veterans, and on Saturday, November 8, Anaheim will host an event to recognize and applaud those who have served and protected us.  The City’s annual Veterans Day Ceremony will take place at Anaheim’s Veterans Monument in downtown Anaheim, beginning at 10 a.m.  All are welcome to attend in support and appreciation for all who have served our country.  

“Anaheim is proud of all veterans, and we are pleased to honor the brave men and women who valiantly served our country,” said Council Woman Lucille Kring, who is also chairing this event. “Freedom isn’t free, and it because of the sacrifices made by veterans and their families each and every day that we can live in the greatest country on earth. I hope the entire community will join me and my Council colleagues as we say thank you to our heroes.” 

This year’s event guest speaker will be Major Christopher Steele, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Executive Officer from Camp Pendleton.  Major Steele has dedicated his life to the service of others as an Officer in the Marine Corps, and has a deep understanding of military history and the importance of Veterans Day.  Major Steele deployed in 2013 with the 13th MEU and held the Billet of Battalion Landing Team ¼ Executive Officer,  Commander of Troops of the USS New Orleans (LPD-18),  and Officer in charge of the rapid response force prepositioned on that ship. 

The Veterans Day ceremony will include the presentation of colors by the 13th MEU.  The City of Anaheim adopted the 13th MEU on Oct. 9, 2007 to encourage interaction between the community and military personnel.  The Marine Adoption Committee serves as a support system for the 13th MEU and their families at home while the Marines are deployed.  The 13th MEU provides community support by participating in local school programs and City special events. 

Marine veteran and award-winning broadcaster Ed Arnold will serve as the ceremony emcee.  The event will include patriotic music by students from the Esperanza High School choir.

The Veterans Monument is adjacent to the MUZEO (241 S. Anaheim Blvd.).  Anaheim’s 9-foot high Veterans Monument was dedicated on Dec. 4, 1999, and designed by Orange County artist Richard Turner.  The monument, made from bronze-relief and concrete, depicts all branches of the military from wars of the 20th century.  Turner’s research in the Anaheim Library led him to include images depicting actual Anaheim residents.  The monument is flanked by two fountains, representative of water washing away years of conflict.  

Free public parking is available on Center Street Promenade and at Anaheim City Hall (200 S. Anaheim Blvd.).  

The City of Anaheim is proud of its commitment to supporting its veterans as well as active military members. Anaheim’s Veterans Online Resource Center is available online at www.anaheim.net/veterans and offers information on City resources, Anaheim’s designation as a Purple Heart City, the Military Banner program, the Veterans Memorial Burial Flag Flying Program, the City-adopted 13th MEU, and more. 

For more information on the City of Anaheim, please visit www.anaheim.net.

garage sale ordinanceThis weekend is one of only four during which Anaheim residents may legally hold garage sales under a 2012 ordinance unanimously adopted by the city council, and the Orange County Register today took the occasion to run a critical editorial:

…such a prohibition, especially on something like holding a garage sale at your own home, seems an inherit violation of a property owner’s rights.

The city does allow residents to apply for an exemption – if there is a death in the family or they are selling items before moving – but the city shouldn’t be the arbiter of garage sales, period.
After all, there are plenty of rules and regulations already on the books that could have dealt with the few offenders without condemning the group.

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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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declaration of independence

It’s been 238 years since the Founding Fathers declared these “United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be, Free and Independent States” and opened an era that has bettered the state of mankind. Let’s not forget what they declared: that our rights are the gift of God and not government, and the latter exists to secure what was given us by the former.

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

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The campaign to bring safe-and-sane fireworks back to Anaheim continues, as the “Yes on Measure E” campaign has dropped two more pieces of mail.

This piece landed in mailboxes late last week:

MillionsV8

A fourth mailer targeting Anaheim Hills voters hit mailboxes this week:

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The campaign to return legal safe-and-sane fireworks to Anaheim has begun in earnest since vote-by-mail ballots started going out on May 5. The “Yes on Measure E” campaign has sent out two mailers in the last week:

Measure E mailer 2

You can see the mailers here and here.

American Promotional Events dba TNT Fireworks deposited $40,000 into the “Yes on Measure E” committee on April 22, and another $40,000 on May 7. Thus far, there is no organized or even disorganized opposition.

I don’t think there is any polling on this issue, but I’d be surprised if the voters do not approve it.

The cajuly 4 fireworks patrioticmpaign to return safe-and-sane fireworks to Anaheim is getting organized. On the June ballot will be Measure E, a product of the Charter Review Commission that would legalize safe-and-sane fireworks, which were banned by Anaheim voters back in 1986 by a vote of 56%.

The “Committee for a Safe 4th of July – Yes on Measure E” was formed on April 22. The same day, American Promotional Events West dba TNT Fireworks deposited $40,000 into the campaign account.

As far as I can determine,m there is no organized (or even disorganized) opposition to Measure E. And that is a good thing, because there is no good reason that safe-and-sane fireworks should not be used legally in Anaheim to celebrate our liberty and independence. Even the warring factions in and around City Hall are united in their support for Measure E (I’m assuming CATER hasn’t found some legal technicality to hang a complaint upon).

Some prominent supporters of legalizing safe-and-sane fireworks are also prominent opponents of Measure D (two-year mayoral terms) – which is interesting because one of the arguments they make against Measure D is it should be defeated because the voters already decided the issue back in 1992 and it would be wrong to re-visit the issue. At the same time, they support re-visiting the issue of fireworks, even though the voters already spoke on that issue in 1986.

Earlier this week, Assembly Speaker John Perez pulled Senate Constitutional Amendment 5 from the Assembly at the request of its author, Sen. Ed Hernandez. SCA 5 would basically overturn Prop. 209’s ban on discrimination in public education; per the bill’s text:

The California Constitution prohibits the state from discriminating against, or granting preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.

This measure would eliminate this prohibition on state discrimination or preference in the operation of public education.

The Left has always loathed Prop. 209’s elimination of racial preference in government, and longs for its abolition. The list of SCA 5 supporters is a roll-call of liberal interest groups.

As this Daily Kos post elucidates, this latent desire – currently expressed in SCA5 – puts California Democrats at odds with Asian-American voters because its adoption would punish their educationally over-achieving children by artificially restricting their access to top-tier UC campuses.

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Interested in the kind of governance progressives have in mind for Anaheim? Watch Santa Ana under the Sunshine Ordinance regime.

Last night, the Santa Ana City Council approved a 5-year strategic plan required by the so-called “sunshine” ordinance adopted in 2012.  Both were largely the products of lobbying by SACReD (the Santa Ana Collaborative for Responsible Development). SACReD is Santa Ana’s equivalent of the coalition of left-wing interests in Anaheim that pushes for policies like single-member council districts and retention ordinances; in fact, it includes some of the same players, like OCCORD.

Much of the strategic plan is what you would expect to see in such a document produced in any city, and replete with jargon, buzz words and catch phrases. Other parts reflect the political priorities of the progressive interests that lobbied for it under the SACReD umbrella.

This is progressive governance – as distinct from traditional representative government — in action. With the latter, candidates present their political beliefs and governing priorities to the voters, who respond by either voting for or against them. The judgment of the citizenry, rendered at the ballot box, then sets the direction of government via the electorate’s selection of who will captain the ship of state – subject to amendment or reversal in future, regular elections.

Progressive governance differs because it views government not as a mechanism, but as a living organism that should embody the passions, priorities and needs of the people at any moment not only reflects, but incorporates the people. There’s no real distinction between “the people” and the government. Since progressive see themselves as representing the legitimate aspirations of the people, then it is their political priorities constitute the legitimate objectives of government.

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PrintHere at the Anaheim City Council meeting, the chambers are packed to overflowing for the big vote on the proposed Anaheim Convention Center expansion.

A different issue popped up during the public comments period: a “job retention” ordinance. That’s the innocuous term for forcing contractors, after they take over a contract from a different firm, to hire (or at least pay) the employees of the preceding contractor for a period of time, usually 2 or 3 months. It’s the type of invasive regulation one finds in politically left-of-center cities.

UNITE-HERE – which represents workers in the hotel and food service industries — mustered half a dozen members to take to the microphone and ask the City Council to adopt just such an ordinance. These members identified themselves as no longer working at Angel Stadium since their employer, Aramark, was terminated by the Angels in favor of Legends Sports and Entertainment.

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On Tuesday night, the Anaheim City Council took up the Charter Review Committee’s recommendations, which staff had packaged into four proposed charter amendments for the June ballot. Anaheim voters will have the opportunity to say yes or no to changing the mayoral term from four to two years; legalizing safe and sane fireworks; and enacting a bucket of government efficiency reforms. The council unanimously rejected placing the repeal of term limits on the ballot.

july 4 fireworks patrioticLegalizing Safe and Sane Fireworks
Measure 4 would repeal the city charter’s ban on the sale and use of safe and sane fireworks, which 59% of voters approved in 1986, and the council was unanimous in its support not only for putting the measure before the voters but in hoping they would approve it.

“This is something, I think, that the people want. It’s a good thing. It brings people together on the Fourth of July, it brings neighborhoods together, and it something I wholeheartedly support,” said Mayor Tait. Well put.

As someone who strongly believes we ought to be able to celebrate our freedom and independence with safe and sane fireworks, this is a great development and continues a trend toward reversing the tsunami of fireworks bans that swept Orange County cities in the late 1980s. Fullerton voters legalized fireworks in 2012, and Westminster and Villa Park have also reversed their bans in the last few years.

Two-Year Mayoral Term
The Charter Review Committee recommended this change by a vote of 5-2, with Tom Tait and Lucille Kring’s appointees voting in opposition – and that is how their appointors voted on Tuesday night as the council voted 3-2 to place Measure 2 on the June ballot.

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Tomorrow night, the Anaheim City Council will take up the recommendations of the Charter Review Commission. The staff recommendation is to package the recommendations into four ballot measures and proposed ballot summary language is proposed – which, if actually used, will probably doom these charter amendments to defeat.

Measure 1 is essentially a bundling of charter amendments sought by city staff, which fall mainly into the category of modernizing and streamlining city government operations. Here is the proposed ballot language:

Measure 1

If Measure 1 appears on the ballot like this, it will very likely be rejected by the voters. Keep in mind that this is all the information upon which many, if not most, voters will base their decision.

  • “Address methods of setting City Manager’s compensation”? That sends up a red flag the minds of voters in the post-Bell era.
  • “Clarify and validate application of utility rate transfer to retail rates” – what does that even mean?

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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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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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Mayor Tom Tait

Mayor Tom Tait

A group of California mayors, including Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait, have submitted a request for title and summary for their Pension Reform Act of 2014 initiative. All are Democrats, except for Tait.

From CalPensions.com:

The mayor is proposing a state constitutional amendment intended to allow cuts in pensions earned by current state and local government workers in the future, while pensions already earned through time on the job would be protected.

Reed said private-sector pensions and public pensions in 12 other states have the flexibility to control costs by reducing pension amounts that current workers earn in the future.

Under the constitutional amendment, cuts in the pensions earned by current workers in the future could be bargained with unions or placed on ballots through initiatives. There also could be no change.

“It’s all about empowering cities to solve their own problems,” Reed said after addressing a pension conference last week at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. “How they do it will be up to them.”

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On the Anaheim City Council’s agenda on September 24 was some good news amidst all the usual unpleasantness: the creation of Miraloma Park and Community Center. The city had its eye on a commercial property for some time, and moved to purchase it when it became available. According to the staff report, amenities will include:

Miraloma Park and Community Center in the City of Anaheim consisting of re-purpose the existing 4,312-square-foot building to create a Silver-level, LEED-certified community center with a multi-purpose room, classrooms, counseling offices, a kitchen, restrooms, a computer center, and a lounge. The project will also include a perimeter loop trail, a sloping skate plaza, an outdoor classroom plaza, a picnic and BBQ area, a multi-court/events plaza, an interactive water feature, a variety of play areas, native gardens, a vertical garden wall, storm/bio swales, solar canopies and a parking area.

miraloma

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One of the arguments made by single-member council district proponents is that Anaheim is so big that the cost of communicating with so many voters prices potential candidates out of the running – especially Latinos – and allows special interests to dominate the elections. Carving the city into single-member council districts, the argument goes, diminishes the significance of campaign warchests by making it easier for a candidate to win in this smaller voter universe by walking precincts.

There is no denying that an ample campaign warchest is preferable to a small one, and that running a robust campaign mailer effort in Anaheim isn’t cheap. However, that isn’t the decisive factor, and the candidate who spends the most money isn’t necessarily the one who wins.

Another mantra of the single-member district cult is “only three Latinos have been elected to the Anaheim City Council in 156 years.” The intellectual dishonesty of that claim aside, it’s illuminating that when one of the those Latinos, Lou Lopez, was first elected, he came in first even while being vastly outspent by the candidate who finished second, Bob Zemel. From a February 10, 1995 Los Angeles Times article:

The cost of being elected to the City Council was dramatically different for Bob Zemel and Lou Lopez.

Zemel, who had placed third in the two previous elections, spent more than $108,000 for last November’s win. Lopez spent $34,000, according to financial disclosure records reviewed this week.

“All the power-brokers said I couldn’t do it my way,” Lopez said Thursday. “People can’t believe I won on that kind of money. I was told I would need a minimum of $60,000 to get elected in Anaheim. But I’ve been involved in politics for 15 years, won three elections and have knocked on a lot of doors. I didn’t just come out of the woodwork.”

Other top-spenders included: Paul Bostwick, who finished in fourth place after spending more than $80,800, about half of which was his own money; fifth-place finisher Sharon Ericson, who spent about $55,300, and seventh-place finisher Leonard Lahtinen, who reported expenditures of more than $47,800, of which $29,000 was his own money.

Candidate Shirley McCracken, running for a council seat for the first time, managed to finish third while spending only $20,500.

In other words, the first and third highest vote getters – Lopez and McCracken — were the candidates with the poorest campaigns in terms of spending.

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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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