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Anaheim Mayor Pro Tem Kris Murray - the top vote=getter.

Anaheim Mayor Pro Tem Kris Murray – the top vote=getter.

What to make of Tuesday’s election?

Mayor Tom Tait was elected to a second term, Mayor Pro Tem Kris Murray was the top vote-getter for council, and Councilwoman Gail Eastman has apparently been narrowly edged out by James Vanderbilt, a member of the Anaheim City School District Board of Education whom Tait recruited at the beginning of the year to run for city council. All had sufficient resources to communicate their messages to Anaheim voters, and independent expenditures were well-funded and plentiful. [NOTE: Eastman has generally been losing ground in the daily tallies since Election Day, although today she gained 99 votes – leaving her 269 votes down. A lot of Anaheim ballots were counted today – 9,513. There are only 38,591 uncounted ballots left county-wide. A huge percentage of those would have to be from Anaheim for Eastman to be able to catch Vanderbilt.

Do the results bear out Tait’s claim to the Voice of OC that voters are “tired of tired of city leaders steering public resources to expensive projects and subsidies for the resort area and major businesses, while paying little attention to underserved neighborhoods.”

No. That’s spin.

For the moment, let’s put aside the underlying falseness of the mayor’s claim, which is part and parcel of a sustained campaign of distortion aimed at dismantling Anaheim’s traditional economic development vision. If Tait’s analysis were true, then Kris Murray would have been defeated. She has been the most vocal advocate of the public-private partnership approach to economic development. Defeating her was Team Tait’s top priority and she was subjected her a merciless, mendacious pounding from both Tait /Vanderbilt campaign proper and a $100,000 IE campaign funded by the Tait Family Trust and Howard Ahmanson via the California Homeowners Association (CHA) independent expenditure committee. 

Team Tait clubbed Murray with the same themes Tait sounded in the above even more so than Eastman. Yet, Murray was the top vote-getter and received a higher percentage of the vote than four years ago. Jordan Brandman was hit with the same attacks two years ago, and he was the top vote-getter. Jose Moreno ran on much the same platform as Tait, and he finished as distant fourth place. The mayor’s interpretation of the election results is a stretch too far.

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Former state Sen. Gloria Romero devotes herself to championing charter schools and helping parents utilize the Parent Trigger Law (which she authored) to create better educational opportunities for their children. She has lately been helping parents at Palm Lane Elementary School, in the Anaheim City School District, who want to use the Parent Trigger Law to convert Palm Lane to charter status.

ACSD Trustee Jose Moreno is an avowed opponent of charter schools: shortly after declaring his council candidacy this summer, he wrote to members of the Democratic Party of Orange County to assure them he not opposed the formation of charter schools (other than the one sponsored by a friend of Mayor Tait’s), but he wishes the state legislature had never allowed charter schools in the first place.

This Sunday, a robocall recorded by Sen. Romero went out, asking voters not to cast their ballots for either Moreno or his ACSD Board colleagues and council running mate, James Vanderbilt:

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We’re near the finish line for the Anaheim elections. On the council side of things, the real choice before Anaheim voters is between re-electing Mayor Pro Tem Kris Murray and Councilwoman Gail Eastman, or replacing them with two members of Anaheim City School District Board of Education: James Vanderbilt and Jose F. Moreno. Vanderbilt is a Republican and Moreno is a left-wing Democrat, and together they constitute the Tait Slate.

True, Mayor Tait hasn’t formally endorsed Moreno as he has Vanderbilt, but that is a mere pretense at this point. Tait has told Republican leaders he is supporting Moreno. It’s apparent from Tait campaign Facebook page posts feature Tait with Moreno and speak of “James Vanderbilt, Jose F. Moreno and myself” that no effort is really being made to keep support for the left-wing Moreno on the down-low anymore:

Tait me and jose FB post 11-2-14

Tait promoting Moreno on campaign FB

 

In a joint mailer from the jointly-run Tait and Vanderbilt campaigns, the mayor says to voters:

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Jose F. Moreno, the leftist academic running for Anaheim City Council with the backing of rich San Francisco progressives, militant unions, local radical and Mayor Tom Tait, talks a lot about focusing on “neighborhoods” and representing of all Anaheim.

Judging by this photo from his Facebook page, it looks like he’s running to represent only part of Anaheim and is ignoring neighborhoods in the Hills area:

Moreno GOTV 11-3-14

The pushpins represent targets of the Moreno campaign’s efforts (that’s Moreno campaign field coordinator Jesse Rivero in the photo). Notice the complete absence of pushpins in Anaheim Hills. Last time anyone checked, that’s also part of Anaheim.

As he is the face of the by-district council elections campaign, this photo is unwitting visual testimony of a central criticism of by-district elections: councilmembers won’t much care about those parts of the city that can’t vote for or against them.

Here’s another gem from The Moreno Files:

moreno compares marked license to nazis underlined

This comment is intellectually incoherent and historically ignorant. How many readers out there think that when issuing a drivers license to someone living in the US illegally, it would be Nazi-like if that DL notes the holder is here illegally?

OK, this is the same guy who has compared Anaheim to a fascist statebut how many readers think that is even a remotely rational comparison?

The Nazis stripped Germans Jews of their citizenship, sent them to concentration camps along with Gypsies, homosexuals, dissidents and other “undesirables,” then invaded other countries, rounded up their Jews and other “undesirables,” and liquidated them on mass scale.

However, Jose Moreno thinks America would be going “down the path of Nazi Germany” if we gave drivers licenses to people here illegally – in effect, making their status a more legal — but at the same time noting on that legal document that they are not here legally. Oh yeah – that’s just a few steps removed from organized genocide!

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moreno child care entitlementOn his campaign website, Jose F. Moreno says he will protect the city’s “fiscal stability.” 

Creating a new city-funded entitlement program isn’t how one normally goes about doing that.

Yesterday, the Voice of OC published an article in which Moreno calls for city government to provide subsidized child-care to Anaheim residents – or at least  assume he would limit it to residents. Considering the leftist Moreno’s enthusiasm for massive wealth redistribution and denunciations of profit as a “filthy word,” it’s best not to assume common sense is at work.

In an interview with Voice of OC, he said “working poverty” is the most dire issue facing neighborhoods and talked about shifting the focus of government subsidies from hotels and light-rail to things like child day-care for families.

Let’s put this in perspective. The GardenWalk agreement will rebate a maximum of $158 million back to hotel owners over 20 years (only after the hotel opens for business) but generate an estimated $450 million in TOT revenue to the city – and Moreno thinks that is an irresponsible “giveaway.”  But creating an open-ended entitlement program funded by the city is fiscally responsible? 

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The Tait for Mayor campaign posted this photo on its Facebook page this week:

Tait promoting Moreno on campaign FB

Why take a photo of Mayor Tom Tait with council candidate Jose Moreno thanking him “for his leadership” and post it on the Tait campaign Facebook page for the benefit of Tait campaign supporters – rather than on his non-campaign mayoral Facebook page? The Tait campaign doesn’t throw random photos on its Facebook page. Any savvy campaign knows this gives the impression of a support for the pictured candidate as voters are making up their minds and filling out their ballots; each FB post communicates a deliberate political message. The message here is Tom Tait is supporting Jose F. Moreno, a leftist who practices race-identity politics, for the Anaheim City Council.

The question of whether Tait is supporting Moreno’s council candidacy has been a topic of conversation in Anaheim political circles for some time, intensifying after the second member of the Tait council candidate slate, Doug Pettibone, evaporated from the race. The consensus opinion is that he is. The two men have become political allies in recent years and Moreno has endorsed Tait for re-election. Their campaigns share volunteers in common, and where one sees a Tait yard sign, it is usually accompanied by a Moreno sign. Tait wants to elect two political allies to the city council; he isn’t exerting all this money and energy to go from being a minority of one to a minority of two. 

A few days ago, I spoke with a prominent leader in Orange County conservative politics who confirmed that Tait is supporting Moreno’s election, because the mayor told him as much earlier this month.

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For more the last week a series if independent expenditures have been hitting the two official and one unofficial member of Team Tait with a series of negative mailers. Most have been hit against James Vanderbilt and Jose Moreno from the OCTax PAC.

The mailers targeting Moreno have focused on his “openness” to a variety of new and increased taxes such as a “gate” tax, for which his support goes back at least two years. This was the first to land, hitting mail boxes last week:

OC Tax hit on Moreno 10-18-14_Page_1

 

A second mailer landed over the weekend (which I don’t have at hand) and the third one landed today:

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One of the questions put to the candidates at the Anaheim Buzz/Anaheim Hills Community Council forum was a speed-round on taxes. They were asked for a yes-or-no response to whether they supported or opposed:

  • Imposing a “gate” tax on entry to Disneyland Resort, Angel Stadium, the Honda Center and other sports and entertainment venues”
  • A utility tax
  • Raising the sales tax for Anaheim
  • A “split-roll” property tax system, i.e. removing Prop. 13 protections from commercial property 

All candidates responded with a quick “non” to each tax…except Jose Moreno. As Anaheim Blog reported earlier this month, the left-wing Democrat responded to each question about imposing a new tax or hiking an existing one with “Open to the idea.”

Here’s the video:


Given Moreno’s clearly stated political philosophy, it’s reasonable to assume that translates as, “I’ll vote for that tax increase if it comes before me.”

powerpac friendsJudging by the campaign reports, the left-wing community in San Francisco feels very strongly about the importance of electing Jose F. Moreno to the Anaheim City Council, 600 miles away.

PowerPAC.org Voter Fund, a left-wing political committee based in San Francisco, has so far spent almost $54,000 in independent expenditures for Moreno’s council candidacy. 

A good chunk of that money comes from wealthy liberal heiress Susan Sandler of San Francisco, whose parents founded Golden West Savings. Sandler gave $65,000 to PowerPAC.org Voter Fund in May of this year. $45,000 of that was then donated to the Yes on Measure L (by-district council elections) campaign. Election wins for Moreno and Measure L are top priorities for Sandler, who has also made the maximum $1,900 individual contribution to Moreno’s campaign.

Another San Francisco left-winger lending a hand is Steve Phillips – progressive activist, attorney and husband of Susan Sandler.  On October 1, Phillips gave $60,000 to the PowerPAC.org Voter Fund, helping fuel the committee’s IE campaign to elect fellow leftist Jose Moreno to the Anaheim City Council (and most likely to help boost the Yes on L and M campaign). 

Sandler and Phillips are all about leveraging their wealth to “build progressive infrastructure” – sort of like mini versions of George Soros:

“[Sandler] has long been focused on strengthening progressive infrastructure. She is president of the donor collaborative Progressive Era Project that builds infrastructure in California to move forward a bold, social justice policy agenda. Sandler is also chairperson of the Board for the Campaign for Community Change and sits on the board of directors for the Center for American Progress.

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IMG_5473

It’s October, so there are quite a few independent expenditures being conducted to influence the outcome of the mayoral and council races, as well as the balloting on Measure L (which would replace the current at-large council election system with by-district elections. A bad idea).

One IE campaign in particular bears particular attention, and that is the mail campaign being waged against Mayor Pro Tem Kris Murray and Councilwoman Gail Eastman. The vehicle being used is a campaign committee called the California Homeowners Association (CHA), and the funding for the hits is coming from the Tait Family Trust (Tom Tait’s parents) and Fieldstead & Company (quirky Home Savings heir Howard Ahmanson).

On October 10, both entities deposited identical amounts into CHA: $49,750. That’s $99,500 altogether.

So far, CHA has spent $50,103 so far on three hit pieces against Murray and Eastman. They’re entirely predictable and closely hew to the line of attack Tom Tait has pursued for the last two years: the GardenWalk agreement (“$158 million giveaway“), on a 2012 MOU with city employees (which Anaheim Insider posted about yesterday) and falsely accusing them of eminent domain abuse regarding the Anaheim Rapid Connection streetcar.  [Note: even though the three mailers attack both councilwoman equally, only $16,024 of the $50K is attributed to hits on Murray, rather than split evenly.]

That leaves just under $50,000 in the CHA till for Anaheim purposes. Whether that will be used to continue hitting Murray and Eastman, promote Tait and/or Vanderbilt, or hit Lucille Kring remains to be seen.

What is beyond dispute is that Team Tait is pulling out the stops to take out the mayor’s council colleagues. There’s something surreal about the OC Republican Party’s Local Elected Official of the Year waging a very expensive war to take out his two Republican council colleagues – especially when one considers that if Tait is successful, the most likely result is the election of the most left-wing Democrat anywhere in Orange County local government.

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Anaheim Insider here.

In a condescending, inaccurate mailer funded by the Tait Family Trust, Mayor Tait accuses council women Gail Eastman and Kris Murray of giving a “sweetheart” deal to the city’s public employee unions. The mailer is covered with feminine touches such as hearts, lipstick marks and pink-colored lettering. The Tait family’s mail consultant must have been in a hurry because the tea doilies and aprons were left out.

2nd CHA hit on Kris and Gail 10-16-14_Page_1

The Tait camp might want to consider that more than a few women voters are more likely to be offended by the mailer’s chauvinistic tone, which is quite out of place considering the reason Tait’s hand-picked candidate Doug Pettibone dropped out of the race (or rather, was thrown under the bus by the Mayor).

If Murray and Eastman were men, does anyone think the mailer would have looked like this?

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Leftist Jose Moreno (L) and conservative Jose Moreno (R)

Leftist Jose Moreno (L) and conservative Jose Moreno (R)

Left-wing academic Jose F. Moreno 1 must be worried about conservative GOPer Jose Moreno 2 taking away votes. His physical and online campaign materials emphasis his middle initial “F” in order to differentiate the two candidates in voters mind.  

Now, there is a phone-banking operation calling voters, identifying itself as supporting Jose F. Moreno 1 and telling them that Jose Moreno 2 is only on the ballot to throw off voters. Phone-banks cost money. If significant resources are being diverted towards combating voter confusion rather than into voter persuasion, then threat posed by conservative Jose Moreno to left-wing Jose Moreno must be fairly serious.

8ball_YouMayRelyThere is an Anaheim City Council meeting on Tuesday, October 21. It is the last city council meeting before the election.  

Mayor Tom Tait has said repeatedly that public comments are “sacred” and we can say anything we like. He’s also said many times that more transparency is always a good thing in government and civic affairs.

During next week’s public comments, what if someone asks the mayor who he is voting for city council? We know he’s voting for James Vanderbilt, who is running on a platform of being Tait’s ally on the city council. But for whom is Tom Tait voting for the other council seat?

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Last week, PowerPAC.org Voter Fund did an independent expenditure for Jose Moreno, the left-wing, uber race-conscious academic running for Anaheim City Council. The funding come from the United Food and Commercial Workers union, at the behest – according to Democratic sources – of Tefere Gebre, the left-firebrand who is the Number 2 man in the AFL-CIO hierarchy.

This is easily the worst mailer of the season so far in Anaheim. Let’s start with the front:

PowerPac.org hero mailer_Page_1

 

Cheesy. Syrupy. Off-the-mark. Take your pick. Are there any Anaheim voters out there thinking to themselves, “Man, what this city really needs on the city council is a hero!“? Not safer streets and neighborhoods, civic improvements, keeping the Angels, economic growth.

As if that wasn’t enough of an indicator that this out-of-town committee and it’s consultant don’t understand Anaheim, there’s the mailer’s headline: “Anaheim City Needs a Hero…Not A Politician.”

Anaheim City? Really?

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On the campaign trail, left-wing academic Jose Moreno talks a lot about “protecting taxpayers.” As noted in an earlier, it’s an open question how much of taxpayers would be left to protect given the range of new and increased taxes Moreno would support if given the chance.

But for those still in denial of how radical Moreno’s politics are, here’s another example from an October 25, 2013 post on his Facebook page: 

russell brand rant a MUST SEE

Moreno call this interview with British actor Russell brand a “must see” followed by his “It is time Anaheim” slogan, which is how Moreno and others of Anaheim’s radical set indicate their approval for a policy or governmental action.

What does Brand say that Moreno considers to be “must see”? Brand rattles off a diagnosis of what he considers wrong with modern capitalist society – a diagnosis that mirrors Moreno’s public statements. When interviewer Jeremy Paxman asks Brand what his solution is (at about the 4:35 mark in the video), Brand gives this impassioned tirade:

“I think a socialist egalitarian system based on the massive re-distribution of wealth, heavy taxation of corporations, and massive responsibility for energy companies exploiting the environment. The very concept of profit should be hugely reduced. [British Prime Minister] David Cameron says profit isn’t a filthy word – I say profit is a filthy word because wherever there is profit there is deficit.”

“Socialist egalitarian system”?

“Massive re-distribution of wealth”?

“Heavy taxation of corporations”?

“Profit is a filthy word”?

Other than a radical left-winger (and the folks who populate the anti-cop marches in Anaheim each summer), who gets jazzed up by that kind of rhetoric and urges others to bring that kind of “revolution” to Anaheim?  Who other than a left-winger from academia doesn’t understand that such economics punishes initiative, retards liberty and only leads to scarcity and greater poverty?

And this is the ideology to which – unbelievably — Tom Tait is trying to give a seat on the Anaheim City Council dais. 

moreno open to taxesLast night’s candidate forum sponsored by the Anaheim Buzz and the Anaheim Hills Community Council was by and large a civil event, with a few flashpoints during the evening.

One of the most illuminating was at the beginning of the council candidates segment. The first question was on taxes and kicked off with a “speed round” in which the candidates were asked to give a yes or no response to whether they supported a range of new or increased taxes. 

Left-wing academic Jose Moreno, who seemed to have a bit of a chip on his shoulder throughout the forum, was the only candidate who did not provide a yes or no answer.  

The other candidates on the podium – Mayor Pro em Kris Murray, Councilwoman Gail Eastman, Team Tait member James Vanderbilt – each responded to every tax with a crisp “no.”

Not Moreno. Each time he was asked about a tax, he leaned forward and answered “I’m open to the idea” with a sly, slight smile on his face:

Do you favor a gate tax?

“I am open to the idea.”

A utility tax? 

“Open to the idea.”

An increase in the local sales tax?

“Open to the idea.”

A split-roll tax, i.e. removing Prop. 13 protections from commercial property?

“Open to the idea.”

In the context of Moreno’s record and philosophy, “open to the idea” sounded like code for “I’ll be easy to convince.”

Juxtaposed against Moreno’s openness to increasing taxes were his regular claims that he’d protect taxpayers? At what point? After taxpayers have been picked clean by all the taxes to which Moreno is so open? 

Moreno goes on about how he’s running to help the working poor. ow does it help the working poor to support new and increased taxes that raise their cost of living and take more money out of their pockets?  How does it help the working poor to increases the cost of buying goods, paying their utility bill, increasing their rent and the cost of taking their families to a sporting event or Disneyland?

moreno ufcw uniteThe United Food and Commercial Workers union has funneled a $20,000 independent expenditure for Jose Moreno, the left-wing academic running for Anaheim City Council. 

UFCW ran the money through PowerPac.org Voter Fund, depositing $36,500 in mid-September and expending it as follows yesterday:

– $1,600 to pay for Field Director Javier Mendoza

– $13,099.50 for a mailer

– $3,345 for phone banking

Why would the UFCW funnel the money through PowerPac.org Voter Fund, rather than a direct IE? According to Democratic sources, this represents the long arm of AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre: moving it through a reputable, national committee makes it easier for Gebre to control.

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A few days ago, Jose Moreno, the left-wing academic and candidate for Anaheim City Council, posted this on his Facebook page:

Quotes socialist bernie sanders

Bernie Sanders, for those who don’t know, is a self-described socialist. His solution for “income inequality” is to classic left-wing “soak the rich” tax increases and re-distributive economics combined with restricting our 1st Amendment political free speech rights (to make it harder for “the wealthy” to fight back when the government confiscates more of their money).

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What does Jose Moreno, the left-wing Democrat candidate for Anaheim City Council, think of the Democrats who represent Anaheim in the state legislature and Congress?

Shortly after jumping into the council race, Moreno announced his endorsement by Sen. Lou Correa, who represents a portion of Anaheim in the 34th Senate District:

“I am humbled by the Senator’s gracious words,” Dr. Moreno said today. “Like him, I am committed to a balanced approach to governing with a focus on neighborhoods, families, and fairness. I’m proud to live in Anaheim and as a father have always advocated for sensible approaches to support our children and families. I’m running because I want to build a greater, better Anaheim not just today, but for the future. I am proud to stand with Senator Correa today, and honored by his support.”

But is that how Moreno really feels, or is it polite candidate palaver? This unfiltered Facebook post by Moreno should give us an idea of what the correct answer is:

bashing Dem legislators from OC

Lou Correa has been one of Anaheim’s local legislators since 1998 (except for two years on the Board of Supervisors, 2004-2006). That would make him one of those whom Moreno, with true left-wing sincerity, was denouncing only two years ago as a corporate toady. 

I do not agree with this characterization of Lou Correa, with whom I have had my differences (but if there were siginificantly more Democrats like him in Sacramento the state would be in better shape). It’s pretty clear the unfiltered Jose Moreno of this FB comment, with all its hostility toward the free market, is the real Jose Moreno.

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