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Rick Reiff hosted Mayor Tom Tait and Councilwoman Kris Murray on his “SoCal Insider” program (which airs on PBS SoCal) this week:

SoCal Insider tait murray

Among other things here, the claim is made that the council majority took away the mayor’s power to place items on the council agenda. That’s just false. The mayor has the same ability as anyone else to agendize items: during council communications.

Lost in all the hair-pulling and garment-rending over this issue, amidst all the absurd claims that the mayor’s office is being stifled, is this inconvenient truth: the mayor’s office has only had the power to agendize items in between council meetings since spring of 2012 – when the council approved it. Keep in mind that was in the wake of the GardenWalk vote when Murray, Gail Eastman and Harry Sidhu were being vilified by the OCEA, OCCORD and the backers of the “Take Back Anaheim” initiative that Mayor Tait was strongly supporting.

Neither Curt Pringle nor Tom Daly had this power during their tenures as mayor. Mayor Tait himself has said he has rarely used this power. At some point, it might occur to some journalist somewhere to ask the obvious question: how is the newly-minted, rarely-used prerogative critical to the functioning of Anaheim city government? But who am I to point out the obvious questions?

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Tom Daly

Tom Daly

Sharon Quirk-Silva

Sharon Quirk-Silva

Don Wagner

Don Wagner

The Assembly is voting on AB 93, which would gut the California Enterprise Zone program — including Anaheim’s and Santa Ana’s Enterprise Zones. The Assembly GOP Caucus asked for a recess and the vote hasn’t been completed — standing now at 49 “yes” votes. 54 votes are needed to pass the bill and kill the Anaheim and Santa Ana EZs.

Assemblyman Tom Daly – the former Anaheim mayor who represents Santa Ana and much of Anaheim — has surprisingly cast a “yes” vote to gut the two EZs in his district. Still getting my head around that one.

Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, who also represents part of Anaheim, hasn’t voted yet.

Assemblyman Don Wagner, who represents Anaheim Hills, voted “no.” Kudos to Don to standing up for private sector job creation.

If Quirk-Silva votes “no” and Daly switches his vote to “no,” then this job-killer bill will die. This is a bright line vote, and will say much about commitment to real economic growth.

UPDATE: The Assembly is back from recess. Sharon Quirk-Silva has voted “yes” on AB 93 – i.e., in favor of killing the Anaheim Enterprise Zone. That brings it to 50 of the 54 votes necessary to pass.

AB 93 passed the Senate yesterday on a 39-0 vote – Senator Lou Correa among the “yes” votes.

UPDATE: AB 93 hit the necessary 54 votes to pass. Unbelievably, several members of the GOP Caucus joined the Democrats.

GOP Assemblymembers Curt Hagman, Marie Waldron, Jeff Gorrell and Katcho Achadjian voted with the Democrats to kill the Enterprise Zone program. Hagman and Waldron switched from “no” to “yes” votes!

By putting up their “yes” votes, these Republicans allowed three Assembly Democrats take a pass on casting an anti-business vote. Effectively, those Assembly Republicans cast anti-business votes so those Democrats wouldn’t have to! How are Republicans supposed to have any hope of taking out Democrats when they can’t master the basics like forcing Democrats to cast bad votes?

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.

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