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moreno leos

Jose Moreno’s city council campaign e-mailed out this fundraising invite today:

Dear Friend,

With Election Day arriving in less than 9 weeks the Dr. Jose F. Moreno campaign is sprinting towards the finish line, BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP!

October is Voter Outreach Month and our community-centered campaign needs YOUR help more than ever to raise the money that we need to bring our campaign message to the voters’ doorstep and mailbox.

We need to raise $40,000 in September to fully implement our mail program and supply our volunteers with everything they need for October including phones, campaign literature, clipboards, pens, refreshments and snacks.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

My frend Chris Emami at OC Political has posted about an Anaheim Campaign Database project he is launching. It is a worthy endeavor, and the information about council candidates is useful. I do have some suggestions for making it more complete.

The profiles of the candidates’ campaign finances don’t include how much of their own mony they donated to their campaigns. Brian Chuchua, for example, pumped about $60,000 (if memory serves) from his own pocket (and the pocket of a family member). Not that it did him any good, but it does belong in any pie chart or profile of his campaign finances.

Also, independent expenditures aren’t included. The post includes this illustrative pie chart about John Leos’ campaign contributions:

johnleospicture

But the real story is the staggering $531,000 the unions — mainly the Orange County Employees Association — spent in independent expenditures on behalf of Leos.

Still, this project is a good start, and I’m sure Chris will be incorporating improvements along the way.

 

$900,000? Sure it's a lot of money, but there's more where that came from.

$900,000? Sure it’s a lot of money, but there’s more where that came from.

The year-end Form 460s — those are campaign finance disclosure forms — were due yesterday, but a number of them were filed over the course of January.

I opened up the Form 460 for the OCEA-sponsored “Committee to Support John Leos for Anaheim City Council 2012,” and did a double take when I saw the final total spending on behalf of Leos:

$531,055.17

One would have to do the research, but I’d wager that is an Anaheim record for IE spending on a single candidate by a single entity (with a sub-category of spending it and losing).

$365,622.65 of that was spent in the final 17 days of the campaign, with a large chunks uncorked in the last days to fund phone banks and paid walkers.

Ouch.

$390,000 of that $531,055 came from the pockets of OCEA members, the rest from other labor unions (some of which also receive campaign fund transfers from OCEA, so the latter’s total may be higher).

Now, if you had this to the $200,000 spent by OCEA in its unsuccessful attempt to elect Leos to council in 2010, and the estimated$100,000 it spent in 2011 on a series of city-wide mailers promoting Leos and his “transparency ordinance,” then OCEA has spent $700,000 over the course less than three years to put John Leos on the Anaheim City Council.

Now, add the $32,360.79 spent by the OCEA Independent Expenditure Committee to fund attacks on Jordan Brandman.

Let’s further broaden the scope to include the $64,000 that OCEA put into signature gathering for the anti-GardenWalk Take Back Anaheim initiative, which failed to qualify for the ballot. And then add in the money OCEA spent on mailers hitting Councilmembers Harry Sidhu, Kris Murray and Gail Eastman over the GardenWalk vote — which was likely another $100,000 (and I’m estimating conservatively).

We’re talking at least $900,000 the OCEA has spent on Anaheim politics in less that three years. That’s almost a million dollars, and with very little to show for it: two Leos losses, a failed initiative campaign, and an alienated new councilmember.

Liberty, anyone?

Liberty, anyone?

Like the county’s TIN CUP ordinance, the city’s campaign ordinance allows the city council to increase the campaign contribution limit in January of odd-numbered years, to account for increases in the Consumer Price Index.

In practice, that translates into $100 increase every two years. On Tuesday, the Council will bump the limit from $1,800 to $1,900.

For many years, the contribution limit in Anaheim and at the county level was stuck at$1,000 per person. Then along came Chris Norby to the Board Supervisors. Norby pointed out that TIN CUP permitted a biennial cost-of-living increase, which the Board had never done. Norby pushed the Board of Supes to overcome its fear of Shirley Grindle and approve such an increase. Now it has become routine at the county and cities like Anaheim with campaign ordinances modeled on TIN CUP.

Now, the freedom-friendliest thing to do would be to abolish campaign contribution limits altogether. Campaign contributions are a form of political speech that ought not be abridged. And it is time for even the most die-hard advocates of “campaign reform” to finally admit that contribution limits is a reform that has been tried — and tried and tried and tried and tried — and failed to accomplish anything but advantage incumbents and make elections less competitive.

Just think: if campaign contributions were eliminated, the OCEA could just dumpy $400,000 directly into his campaign account rather than running an “independent” expenditure campaign. Leos’ consultant — the brother of immediate past OCEA President Robert Gibson — would sure make a lot more money, and he could hardly do worse than the OCEA’s standard consultant.

Here’s hoping someone makes a motion for increasing free speech and more competitive elections in Anaheim.

oc-register-logoI’d like to share some more thoughts about last week’s OC Register editorial, especially the worrying about “hastily” putting the GardenWalk agreement on the agenda and concern that “other interested parties deserve more notice.”

The GardenWalk agreement isn’t exactly being rushed back to the City Council. The judge’s decision voiding the council’s January 2012 approval came out on December 10. One month later, developer Bill O’Connell, Sr. notified the city he would the agreement to be placed on the January 29 council agenda. The agreement is not on tomorrow’s agenda, as it turns out.

The Register’s concern is misplaced. Anyone tuned into to Anaheim politics knows the anti-GardenWalk forces like OCCORD and Los Amigos have been busy organizing for some time now in anticipation of another council vote on the agreement. It’s well-known among insiders that Mayor Tait has on several occasions said the anti-GardenWalk people will be out in force.  The Register’s worrying about project opponents having a chance to speak shows how out of touch the editorial writers are with Anaheim politics.

And it is hard not to notice the editorial board only seems concerned that opponents of the agreement have the opportunity to have their say. The convention wisdom in Anaheim political circles is that Brian Calle, the editorial page director, is good friends with Mayor Tait and is using the Register editorial page to support the mayor’s political agenda. That would at least explains why the libertarian paper went all-in in support the support the OCEA’s candidate for city council, John Leos.

Diane Singer

Diane Singer

Last night, the Anaheim City Council appointed Diane Quezada-Singer to fill the Anaheim Public Utilities Board vacancy created by Jordan Brandman’s election to the Anaheim City Council.

Singer lives in Anaheim Hills and is an elected trustee of the Orange Unified School District, representing Area 1.  She briefly explored running for the Anaheim City Council in 2008 before deciding against it.

Three individuals were nominated at last night’s council meeting from a list of 10 applicants. Mayor Tom Tait nominated John Leos, Councilwoman Lucille Kring nominated AB Abdulrahman, and Councilwoman Kris Murray nominated Singer.

Leos received the vote of Tait, while the other four councilmembers abstained. Abdulrahman received the votes of Kring and another councilmember (I’m not sure who) with three abstentions.

Singer received the votes of Murray, Mayor Pro Tem Gail Eastman and Councilman Jordan Brandman, with Kring and Tait abstaining. Afterward, Singer’s appointment was made unanimous.

I have known Diane for several years. She is smart and passionate about her city and I’m certain she will make an excellent member of the Public Utilities Board.

Chuchua

Jordan Brandman’s election to the Anaheim City Council created a vacancy on the Anaheim Public Utilities Board, which is charged with “making recommendations to the City Council concerning the operation of electric, water and other public utilities under the management of the Public Utilities Department.”

On the agenda for Tuesday’s City Council meeting is filling this vacancy from a list of ten applicants. They include:

John Leos, twice unsuccessful candidate for Anaheim City Council in 2010 and 2012, despite massive outlays of campaign funds by the Orange County Employees Association.

Brian Chuchua, also a twice unsuccessful candidate for Anaheim City Council in 2010 and 2012, but with comparatively far less massive outlays of campaign funds from his own pocket.

Also applying is Jose Moreno – not Jose F. Moreno, liberal Anaheim school trustee and litigant against the City of Anaheim, but Jose L. Moreno, who was the Republican un-candidate in the 69th Assembly District race won by former Anaheim Mayor Tom Daly.

Robert Nelson, another unsuccessful 2010 council candidate, has also tossed his hat into the ring for consideration.

You can read the full list of applicants here.

This is not an inconsequential appointment — not simply because Anaheim’s is a major municipal utility, but because the bodies such as planning commission and the utility board are launching ads for future councilmembers. Kris Murray and Jordan Brandman both went from the Public Utility Board to the City Council. Tom Tait and Gail Eastman both graduated from the Planning Commission to the council.

OCEA's John Leos (center) with OCEA Prez Robert Gibson (right) at Jerry Brown inaugural shindig.

OCEA’s John Leos (center) with OCEA Prez Robert Gibson (right) at Jerry Brown inaugural shindig.

As this blog as documented pretty thoroughly, the Orange County Employees Association spent a staggering amount of its members’ dues money in an effort to elect one of its members, John Leos, to the Anaheim City Council.

How much did that failed effort cost on a per-vote basis?

OCEA directly put into $350,000 into independent expenditures for Leos (this doesn’t take into account OCEA money that may have made its way into the election via transfers to other union-controlled committees, or even the estimated $100,000 OCEA spent in 2011 on direct mail promoting Leos).

John Leos ultimately garnered 19,051 votes.

That comes to $18.37 per vote…to buy a third place finish. Keep in mind that number may change when all the money is finally accounted for.

In 2010, OCEA directly spent $200,000 trying to elect Leos in 2010, when he received 12,966 votes. That’s $15.42 per vote.

Amazingly, OCEA  dollar-cost-per-vote ratio increased from 2010 to 2012, for a third-place finish both times. Not a good ROI on OCEA members’ moolah.

To the last I grapple with thee; from  hell’s heart I stab at thee!”

— Captain Ahab in Moby Dick

I’ve heard from multiple reliable sources that the Orange County Employees Association has fixed on its next target: Assemblyman-elect (and former Anaheim mayor and councilman) Tom Daly. The goal: find and fund a candidate to challenge Daly for re-election in 2014. The focus is apparently on Santa Ana Councilman Sal Tinajero, with a Anaheim City School District Trustee (and ACLU litigant) Dr. Jose Moreno another mentioned possibility.

This would be of a piece with the OCEA’s recent shift away from its traditional don’t-let-the-perfect-be-the-enemy-of-the-good-enough approach to politics. The OCEA’s expensive and failed attempt to elect union staffer Julio Perez in AD69 is an example. Perez had the requisite left-wing ideological qualities — “There’s not less money in the economy, there’s just less money in government coffers” — but little else to mark him as the man to beat Daly. And so he didn’t.

I’m going to go out on a climb and say this is an ill-advised strategy likely to end in expensive failure. For one thing, expensive failure has been something of a hallmark of OCEA political strategy in recent years. Half a million dollars in two failed, back-to-back attempts to elect John Leos to the Anaheim City Council.  Around $300,000 for Julio Perez to place third in AD69 $200,000 in IEs against Shawn Nelson in the 2010 supervisorial special election. That’s just the last two years.

True, OCEA did defeat the proposed Costa Mesa charter, Measure V. But obtaining a “no” vote on a charter measure that was placed before voters in a fairly hasty manner – especially when you are outspending the “yes” side by order of magnitude — is not political genius. Confusion and doubt are the stalwart allies of any “no” campaign.

Even in Costa Mesa, both conservative, pro-outsourcing incumbents retained their seats, and their ally, Planning Commissioner Colin McCarthy, ran a strong race and is strongly positioned to win a seat in two years. Anti-outsourcing candidate Sandy Genis is a former councilmember who has retained a strong profile in the community and would almost certainly have won even absent OCEA support.

The point is that it is hard to see the point in OCEA declaring jihad on Tom Daly. He ran far ahead of the candidate field in the June primary, and romped to victory in November. The top-two primary is tailor-made for a Daly’s brand of centrist, bipartisan coalition politics. He was the top priority of the California business community, which spent enormous sums in pro-Daly IEs.

And he’s going to be an Assemblyman for 12 years. That is a long time for the OCEA to have earned the hostility of the Democratic Assemblyman from central Orange County.

Who knows? It’s 14 months until filing opens for AD69. We’ll see if OCEA is still in Captain Ahab mode at that time.

The dust has settled and once again, a hugely expensive government union effort to elect John Leos to the Anaheim City Council has fallen short.

In 2010, the Orange County Employees Association spent $——- in independent expenditures on behalf of John Leos candidacy. He came in third with 12.1% of the vote.

Leos and Berardino

OCEA’s John Leos at the union’s celebration of Jerry Brown’s inaugural, with OCEA Prez Robert Gibson and OCEA GM Nick Berardino

In the Fall of 2011, OCEA spent an estimated $100,000 on direct mail Anaheim voters promoting John Leos and his “transparency ordinance.”

This year, the OCEA put $350,000 into its pro-Leos campaign. Leos finished third with 13.9% of the vote.

That’s $650,000 in members’ dues money that OCEA has spent over two years in a vain attempt to make Leos an Anaheim City Councilman (and I’m not counting the $138,000 from the government union umbrella group UEOOC).

That additional $450,000 the OCEA spent for Leos in 2011-2012 only barely budged his percentage of the vote from 12.1% to 13.9% – even in a year with presidential election turnout. When you consider that unlike in 2010, this year Leos had the active support of the city’s well-liked conservative Republican mayor, as well as conservative Republicans Supervisor Shawn Nelson and Assemblyman Chris Norby, the failure of the Leos/OCEA campaign effort is even more glaring.

$650,000 is a huge sum of money to burn with nothing to show for it.

Chris Emami did yeoman’s work posting up a number of mailers from the tsunami of mail that landed on Anaheim voters this election.

Although we’ll know the results in a few hours, you can view a number of the mailers largely driving those results here, here, here, here and here.

Despite the gusher of government union money uncorked to elect John Leos, I’ll venture a prediction that it is in vain, and that Leos falls short. I think enough voters are smart enough to realize what the game is, that the sheer volume of government union money becomes an issue in itself, and the OCEA’s mail was uneven, and enough of it just not very good. Two years ago, there was a flood of it portraying Leos as a champion of the taxpayer; the problem was it all said “paid for by the Orange County Employees Association.” Nothing has changed.

If Leos loses, that means OCEA will have spent around $700,000 since 2010 in a vain attempt to elect him to the Anaheim City Council.

In other news, Councilwoman Kris Murray distributed this response to yesterday’s op-ed by Mayor Tom Tait.

 

I

Mayor Tom Tait published on op-ed in yesterday’s OC Register articulating what he sees as the challenges facing Anaheim and his characterizations of why Anaheim voters should support John Leos and Lucille Kring for Anaheim City Council.

Few people would disagree with much of what Mayor Tait states in his op-ed about Anaheim, and there are areas where I respectfully disagree with his characterizations — most strongly with his recommendation of John Leos.

Most importantly, there is what is missing from the op-ed and what I believe is the crux of this election: the bold attempt by a powerful government union, the Orange County Employees Association, to place an active member and former officer on the Anaheim City Council.

To this end, OCEA has invested $350,000 dollars. I sincerely doubt OCEA, during its entire existence,  has ever — ever — committed that much to electing a single candidate. In addition, a government union umbrella PAC has invested an additional $138,000 to elect Leos.

The Anaheim Municipal Employees Association — the union representing most Anaheim city employees — is an affiliate of the OCEA.  John Leos is an OCEA shop steward, and until earlier this year was on the Board of Directors of the OCEA and the OCEA political action committee.

Although directed at school board elections, this exhortation from a mailer I recently received from another government union, the California School Employees Association, clearly states the stakes in Anaheim:

“Elect your bosses! Classified employees have the unique opportunity to elect our bosses. Whether you are voting for your local school board, board of trustees members or a local ballot initiative, please consider CSEA’s endorsements. Electing pro-education candidates not only enhances your community, but also creates your work environment.”

In its own words, here is a government union restating the axiom that public employee unions are government organized as a special interest — to install those with the power to approve changes to pay, benefits and work rules. As it says in the CSEA mailer, what the OCEA’s support of John Leos is an attempt to elect the OCEA/AMEA’s boss.

And that is dangerous to limited government, as Franklin Delano Roosevelt – no enemy of big government — recognized:

“All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations.”

I have met and conversed Leos a few times during the last few years. He is a very nice, very friendly man and strikes me as someone who would be a great neighbor.

But OCEA isn’t opening the financial floodgates to support him because he is a nice fellow. OCEA is not a charity. Sometimes the union will enter a race and spend large in order to impress its members that it is “fighting for them,” but this isn’t a case of political bread and circuses. The OCEA is government, organized as a special interest. It is the nature of OCEA to oppose conservative government reform, because conservative government reform involves reducing the size and scope of government — including the outsourcing of city services to provide the same or higher level of service to the public, for the same or lower cost.

That is the central issue in this election — or ought to be. Will Anaheim continue as the kind of city it has been, or will its politics come to more closely resemble the government-union dominated cities of Los Angeles County?

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.

John Leos has made “transparency” a cornerstone of his campaign: he’s all about ensuring nothing is hidden from the voters.

Except when it comes to telling voters about his stands on the issues.

Click here to go to John Leos’ campaign website. Scroll down and in the lower right-hand corner you’ll see a photo of him with Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait:

Now, here’s the same photo in a John Leos campaign mailer that went out a few days ago, targeting Republican voters:

But wait! Are they the same picture? Let’s make a side-by-side comparison:

Well, what do you know? The Leos campaign altered the photo: Photoshopping out the “No on 32″ signs on the back wall.

Why would the Leos campaign do that?

Leos, a government union activists and (until recently) a director of the OCEA. opposes Prop. 32, which would require unions like his to get members’ permission before using their dues for political purposes. Prop. 32 has strong support among Anaheim Republican voters, and letting them know Leos’ stance on this issue would undercut efforts to sell him as a conservative reformer.

So Leos airbrushes his”No on Prop. 32” stance out of existence. He’s so transparent on the issue of Prop. 32 that his position on it has disappeared!

Another sleazy attack on Jordan Brandman from the Orange County Employee Association landed in the mailboxes of Anaheim voters today.

This comes on the heels of this piece that landed on Monday. At least this time, OCEA refrained from claiming Brandman had actually broken the law. A small victory for truth.

Still don’t get why OCEA tries to slime Brandman by using photos that make him look squeaky clean, but I’ll save that for a post on why OCEA burns so much money on not-very-good mail.

As I’ve mentioned before, the baseless “accusation” being “investigated” by the DA is from one of Brandman’s AUHSD Board of Trustees colleagues, Katherine Smith, an antagonist with her own truthiness problems, who herself admits she has no evidence of any kind of any wrong-doing.

Then there’s the $158 million canard being tossed about by GardenWalk project opponents and uncritically regurgitated by the media. It is not a misleading number, but the claim that it diverts money from any city service is a logical impossibility.

The last attack has to do with allowing home builders to pay the residential impact fees after a house is sold, rather than before a single home as been built, in order to help the home building industry, which creates these things called jobs. But construction workers, electricians, contractors, etc., don’t pay dues to OCEA, so who cares about them, right?

Holy. Mackerel. Is there any bottom to the Orange County Employees Association’s well of cash?

Check out the most recent report for the OCEA’s Issues Committee, which only covers the period between October 1 and October 20.

During that three-week period, the well-moneyed union dropped a jaw-dropping $352,000 into its Issues Committee. After tossing $80,000 into the coin jar of the OC Labor Federation, $252,000 was put into the ironically-named “Taxpayers for Open & Accountable Government” – a committee set-up by the OCEA to fight the attempt by the conservative council majority to make Costa Mesa a charter city. [This is on top of an initial OCEA contribution of about $25,000 in August.]

So what does this have to do with Anaheim?

Well, consider that the OCEA has basically been laying siege to Costa Mesa since Councilman Jim Righeimer and the conservative council majority began pushing for greater outsourcing of city services. The present battle over the proposed charter (“Measure V”) being the latest campaign in that war.  OCEA has declared Costa Mesa to be ground zero. The political and prestige stakes are huge for OCEA. It’s the government union’s Vicksburg (or the council majority’s Battle of Tours. We shall see).

To summarize: OCEA has committed $274,000 to defeating the proposed Costa Mesa City Charter (which would liberalize outsourcing), and $300,000 to electing John Leos to the Anaheim City Council.

So what does it tell you that OCEA is committing more money to electing a single candidate in Anaheim, than it is spending on its high-profile, high-priority war against outsourcing in Costa Mesa?

It tells me the OCEA views electing Leos as mighty important to its strategic plans in Anaheim and the county. And that should give pause every thinking conservative.

[and as an aside, what’s up with Jim Lacy? He sold OCEA spots on slates — like “Save Prop. 13” and “National Tax Limitation Committee” — for anti-Measure V messaging, just like he sold spots to OCEA for John Leos.]

“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?”

       — The Mad Hatter

That pretty much sums up the state of Anaheim politics for the last several months, as the disagreement over the GardenWalk vote earlier this year has grown into a huge, seemingly permanent rift between otherwise natural council allies — and primarily to the benefit of Nick Berardino and the AMEA/OCEA, who have happily fanned the flames and exploited the rift.

The fruit can be seen around an Anaheim in the form of these campaign signs:

Surreal.

Look closely at the disclaimer on the bottom of the sign: “Paid for by Committee to Support John Leos for Anaheim City Council 2012 sponsored by the Orange County Employees Association.”

Crazy. A sign advertising a conservative Republican mayor’s candidate slate — comprised of a government union activist and a former councilmember who flipped to embrace a liberal, union sponsored initiative in order to get the mayor’s endorsement — and paid for by the same government union that is simultaneously spending huge sums to defeat Prop. 32 (paycheck protection) and the conservative majority on the Costa Mesa City Council.

“Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said. ‘One can’t believe impossible things.’

‘I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

                 – Alice in Wonderland

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.

No flip-flopping allowed.

Former Anaheim Councilman Frank Feldhaus has pulled his endorsement of council candidate Lucille Kring (with whom he served on the council from 1998 to 2002).

The reason: Kring’s changing her position on the “Take Back Anaheim” initiative, a ballot-box budgeting measure that would take one specific revenue stream — the transient occupancy tax — and require a city-wide vote on its use in one specific instance: to subsidize hotel development.

Kring had opposed the “Take Back Anaheim” initiative, which was spearheaded by a coalition of liberal activists and funded by the county employee union. Then, a few weeks ago, she switched her position. As the Voice of OC reported:

Kring received Tait’s endorsement after she decided to support the “Let the People Vote” initiative, which would transfer power to approve hotel room tax subsidies from the council to the ballot box.

Kring, a former councilwoman, at first opposed the initiative.

“I changed my mind because I’ve seen polling, and people are really interested in voting. So why not?” Kring said.

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