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John Leos' biggest fan.

John Leos’ biggest fan.

Anaheim Insider here.Voice of OC logo

It’s no secret the Voice of OC got its start with very generous funding from the Orange County Employees Association. What many of us didn’t know was how dependent the Voice of OC still is on OCEA funding, which is in turn funded by government employee dues automatically deducted from their paychecks.

According to this press release from Supervisor Janet Nguyen’s state Senate campaign, the Voice gets 63% of its funding from the county employees union.

Sixty. Three. Percent.

Here’s the breakdown from the press release:

TOTAL FUNDS RECEIVED (report from latest 2 year period) : $797,040

Orange County Employees Association
$499,500     63%

California Endowment                                                                          
$121,012     15%

Wylie Aitken (Former Chair Democratic Foundation of OC)    
$85,000     10%

United Food & Commercial Workers                                                
$25,000     3%

Former Democratic Senator Joe Dunn                                            
$14,635   2%

*Major Democrat Donors:                                                                  
 $30,000   4%

Unnamed small donors                                                                        
$21,956    3%

*(donors to: Act Blue, DCCC, Barbara Boxer, Beth Krom for Congress, Alan Lowenthal for Congress, Loretta Sanchez for Congress).

The Voice is totally dependent on the OCEA to meet payroll, pay its rent, fund benefits, and other expenses. When you think about that, the Voice’s outrage campaign against Freedom Communications deal with Anaheim to broker naming rights for ARTIC is comical. How does the Voice question the ability of a Freedom Communications subsidiary (the OC Register) to cover Anaheim government impartially, when it is reporting on county and city governments whose employees are represented by the funding source that keeps the Voice of OC’s lights on? We’re expected to believe Freedom’s deal comprises the OC Register’s Anaheim coverage, but the Voice’s dependence on OCEA has no effect on its coverage?

Think about it another way. At the same time that it was spending $600,000 last year trying to elect John Leos to the Anaheim City Council, we now know the OCEA was also giving hundreds of thousands to the Voice of OC; and the Voice was reporting obsessively about Disney’s spending on behalf of candidates opposed by OCEA, while giving much less attention to OCEA’s campaign activity.

All of which goes to the point of Nguyen’s press release:

Unfortunately, Janet’s efforts to reform CalOptima and outreach to the community have been mischaracterized by the Voice of OC  blog whose only interest is to further their own political agenda through an organized smear campaign.

Some have asked why this Blog has taken such an interest in a smear campaign against Janet Nguyen?

The answer should be obvious. Just follow the money. A check of the Voice of OC’s most recent IRS filings shows that nearly all of their funds come from labor unions and Democrat donors. A full 63% comes from a single public employee union – OCEA.  The remainder from Democrat/liberal donors or groups. These entities all have a huge stake in making sure State Senate Dems keep their 2/3rds super majority.

AMEA Negotiations Coming Up; Watch Voice Of OC Reporting On Anaheim
The Anaheim Municipal Employees Association is an affiliate of the OCEA. It’s contract negotiations begin later this month, and its current contract expires January 3.

The Voice has already hit Lucille Kring with a below the belt piece accusing her of trading votes for campaign contributions (without any evidence). Will we see a continuation of past pattern of targeting City Hall in hopes of freezing and demoralizing it during negotiations. I hope not. But keep an eye on the kind of stories the Voice writes about Anaheim in the coming months.

Anaheim Insider here.

If you read Orange County political blogs, you know there are a few very vocal, very deluded bloggers out there, claiming to represent blocs of voter opinion. Here’s an example from a rant Anaheim’s own Cynthia Ward wrote on the hit piece against Lucille Kring from the Orange County Employees Association-funded Voice of OC:

Enjoy that one last term girlfriend. Do you really think these people are going to re-elect you, Lucille? You blew off the support base that would have stood with you if you stood up for us. 

Who are “these people”? What “support base” is Ward talking about? The gaggle of people who come to her house for free food? Vern Nelson? Jason Young? Will she be as effective against Kring as she was in getting Robert Nelson elected in 2010? What a deluded threat.

Lucille Kring has won election to the Anaheim City Council three times. She has strong name ID and a strong base of supporters cultivated over many years of walking precincts, being involved in the community, running for office and serving on the city council. It’s delusional to think she was elected by this imaginary “support base” that exists in Ward’s mind. She has her own support base, and its members could care less what Ward thinks, assuming they even know who she is.

Kring didn’t need Tom Tait’s support to win election to the council last year. He needed her more than she needed him. It was better to have Tait’s endorsement than not to have it. It wasn’t the difference between Kring winning or losing. She finished more than 6,000 votes ahead of John Leos, the candidate whom Tait and the OCEA went all in for.

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The Anaheim Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting will convene for its final meeting this Thursday, May 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the Anaheim City Council chambers.

The CAC members vote on the draft report to the ciy council.

You can read and/or download the draft report here.

Vivian Pham

Vivian Pham

The Anaheim Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) on Elections is chaired by Vivian Pham, a liberal Democrat who had only lived in Anaheim for two years when Mayor Tom Tait chose her last fall as one of his two appointees to the CAC (the other being another Democrat, Bill Dalati).

I eventually came to the opinion she was almost certainly coordinating with the left-wing coalition, led by OCCORD and UNITE-HERE Local 11, that is lobbying the CAC to recommend electing the City Council by single-member districts. After all, in her capacity as its Community Development Officer, Wells Fargo has funded OCCORD’s activities to the tune of at least $80,000. Furthermore, it is hardly a secret Pham is solidly in favor of single-member council districts.

Other observers of the CAC process have reached the same conclusion, and any doubts I may have had pretty much evaporated during last week’s CAC meeting (you can watch the video here).

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The Anaheim Citizens Advisory Committee on Elections and Public Involvement meets again tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Downtown Community Center, 250 East Center Street.

On tonight’s agenda:

– Presentation from Anaheim HOME-Home Owners Maintaining their Environment (that should be interesting)

– City of San Jose (which has single-member districts) memo outlining the history of their electoral system

– Overview, presentation, discussion and possible decisions on the Committee’s deliberation and recommendations process

DPOC logoWhile the OC Republican Party slumbers, the Democratic Party of Orange County is lending its voice to the left-wing coalition pushing to abolish Anaheim’s current at-large system for electing the city council, and carve the city into eight single-member council districts.

My friends at TheLiberalOC. com posted yesterday that the DPOC Central Committee approved a resolution of support for this scheme, which is being quarterbacked at the political level by a confederation of OCCORD, UNITE-HERE Local 11, Los Amigos and the OC Labor Federation — with the ACLU covering the litigation front.

Hmmm.

Democratic Party of Orange County: left-wing.

OCCORD: left-wing.

UNITE-HERE: left-wing.

Los Amigos: left-wing.

OC Labor Federation: left-wing.

ACLLU: left-wing.

Anyone seeing a pattern, here?

Given that constellation of support, it’s safe to say this plan for eight single-member council districts isn’t intended as a recipe for limited government and greater liberty in Anaheim.

Wondering what kind of anti-business policies single-member council districts would make more likely in Anaheim? Look no further than UNITE-HERE Local 11’s lobbying of the City of Anaheim to adopt a “retention” policy a la that paragon of mismanagement and ill-governance, Los Angeles.

To illustrate how “retention” works, I’ll excerpt from Los Angeles International Airport’s retention policy, which imposes these requirements on LAX contractors:

  • Contractor agrees to offer to employ and retain for a 90-day period the employees who worked for at least 12 months for the terminated contractor/subcontractors earning less than $15.00 per hour.
  • Contractor agrees to not discharge without cause the employees retained during the 90-day period.
  • Contractor agrees to perform a written performance evaluation of each employee retained at the end of the 90-day period.

[LAX packages their retention policy with a “Living Wage” ordinance: in LAX’s case, contractors were required, as of July 1, 20102, to pay their employees at least $10.70 an hour, along with a minimum health benefit hourly rate of $4.67 per hour (up from $1.70 per hour when the mandate was imposed in 2010).  Plus, the “Living Wage” has to be increased every year. If the contractor doesn’t provide health benefits, then the minimum health benefit hourly rate must be added to their pay – spiking the “Living Wage (in this case) to $15.37 per hour.]

UNITE-HERE is meeting with Anaheim city officials to press their case for imposing a retention policy on Anaheim contractors.

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