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In January, I wrote of my disappointment with Voice of OC reporting on Anaheim. I had high hopes for the Voice when is started. However, I have reluctantly concluded reporter Adam Elmahrek has a definite agenda that colors his decisions about what stories to cover and how those stories are slanted. Some players in Anaheim politics are subjected to intense and often unfair scrutiny, the actions of others are ignored, and context is often lacking.

Last month, he wrote a story about an e-mail he hadn’t seen, and impugned the integrity of two prominent public servants with sterling reputations. Elmahrek all but accused them of defrauding the federal government, but has yet to provide any evidence other than one basically innocuous e-mail. His allegations float out there on the Internet, uncorrected.

Elmahrek’s latest article is another story about nothing. He reports on a contract Jordan Brandman had to perform a facility needs assessment for the Orange County Clerk-Recorder’s office, after he had left that office but prior to being elected to the Anaheim City Council.

I’ve noticed a pattern to Elmahrek’s reporting: he includes a lot of extraneous and irrelevant information about the subject of his story, which has the cumulative effect of making him or her seem sinister or not-above-board. The story on Jordan is true to that pattern, and after clearing away all that editorial underbrush, here is what Elmahrek has: he isn’t sure as to the status of the needs assessment, or whether Jordan was even paid.

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There had been a rumor on the political street of a non-aggression pact between the Orange County Employees Association (OCEA) and Anaheim City Council candidate Jordan Brandman.

The OCEA has killed that rumor with this hit piece it sent out against Brandman:

Readers will recall that Brandman’s erratic, less-than-truthful AUHSD Board of Trustees colleague Katherine Smith filed a complaint accusing him of misusing district resources — even though Smith herself admitted having no idea what she thought he was misusing. I described this as a variation of the old tactic of filing a complaint, and then sending out hit pieces claiming the target is “under investigation.”

Which is exactly what the OCEA has done with this truly sleazy hit piece, with the union claiming — absent any evidence — that Brandman has broken the law. [And this is another argument for forming the 5150 Committee to take out elected officials like Smith who have stayed in office past their expiration date.]

The irony is that if Brandman were just some rank-and-file OCEA member who was not just accused, but guilty of misuse of public property, the OCEA would be working to keep him from being fired!

And anyone want to bet we will not be seeing any OCEA-funded hit pieces against Lucille Kring?

If there is a silver lining for Brandman, it’s that the OCEA wouldn’t be hitting him unless its polling showed him positioned to win — not a cheering prospect for the government employee union whose desired outcome is the election of John Leos (and probably of Kring).

This just came over the transom from the Jordan Brandman for Anaheim City Council campaign:

Troubled Board Member Katherine H. Smith Continues Campaign of Harassment
 
(Anaheim) – Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD) Trustee and small business owner Jordan Brandman today categorically denied the false accusations made by disgruntled Board Member Katherine H. Smith.  Jordan Brandman called the baseless allegations made to the District Attorney, a “politically-motivated vendetta which is wasting precious taxpayer dollars.”  
 
“This is another groundless personal attack by Katherine Smith to smear my good name.  She has repeatedly attacked me personally in public since I joined the Board of Trustees.”  Smith has been allied with AUHSD school board candidate Thomas “Hoagy” Holguin and controversial former AUHSD school board member Harald Martin.  Smith opposed Brandman’s appointment to the Board and opposed his successful elections in 2008 and 2010.

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I don’t know what he’s doing. Better call the D.A.!

It is an old political trick: file a complaint against Candidate X with a government agency. Then, when that agency responds as it is supposed to by saying, “Tes, we’ll look into it,” the candidate’s opponent(s) send out mail saying “Candidate X is being investigated by (fill in government agency name here)!”

Usually it’s done by filing a complaint with the Fair Political Practices Commission, and done late in the campaign so there won’t be any resolution until after the election. This time, it involves the District Attorney.

In this case, the victim is Anaheim Union High School District Trustee Jordan Brandman. His fellow trustee, Katherine Smith, has asked the District Attorney to investigate Brandman based on…well, I’ll excerpt the Voice of OC’s accounting of her complaint:

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