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chuchua leosElfin-visaged Brian Chuchua is a fixture at Anaheim City Council meetings and a member of a gadfly claque that spends its time and energy attacking the council majority and singing hosannas to Mayor Tom Tait. He’s one of two known members of CATER, which styles itself as a group of Anaheim taxpayers who support “economic responsibility.”

He is a Republican who has run for city council twice. In 2010 he got 4.7% of the vote, finishing 8th in a field of 14 candidates. Two years later, he garnered 7% and placed 7th in a field of 10 candidates. He was endorsed by the conservative Lincoln Club of Orange County both times, and by the Republican Party of Orange County in 2012. 

In a short span of time, though, Chuchua has migrated concretely to the political Left. One sees the early stages in Chuchua’s staunch support in 2012 of John Leos, the Orange County Employees Association activist on whom the OCEA lavished hundreds of thousands of dollars in independent expenditure support. Leos also opposed Proposition 32, the conservative paycheck protection initiative that would have required unions to obtain members permission to use dues for political purposes.

Chuchua has announced his support for a gate tax to be levied on the Disneyland Resort, the Honda Center and Angel Stadium (at least for starters).

Although he is (presumably) still a Republican, Chuchua isn’t supporting the energetic, mold-breaking Republican nominee in the 65th Assembly District. Instead, he is helping the Democratic incumbent, Sharon Quirk-Silva – who support Proposition 30 to increase the state sales tax and voted to abolish the Anaheim Enterprise Zone). Here’s Chuchua, sporting his trademark yellow-tinted shades, in a Quirk-Silva campaign TV commercial now being aired:

Chuchua Quirk-Silva TV ad

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moreno chuchua youngAccording to the Anaheim City Clerk’s website, the first big donors to left-wing Chicano Studies professor Jose Moreno’s city council candidacy were Brian Chuchua and SaveAnaheim.com’s Jason Young.

Moreno filed to run for Anaheim City Council on August 8. The next day, Chuchua wrote him a check for the maximum contribution of $1,900 and Young cut one for $1,000.

Chuchua is a retired businessman, two-time council candidate, one of the two (known) members of CATER (Coalition of Anaheim Taxpayers for Economic Responsibility) and helped found the Anaheim Small Business Association. Which begs the question of why he maxed out to the most left-wing, anti-business candidate in the race? Is imposing a gate tax, burdening Anaheim businesses with retention ordinances and killing jobs by imposing a “living wage” the economically responsible thing to do for Anaheim taxpayers? Of course not, but philosophically coherent action isn’t one should expect from the political precincts inhabited by Chuchua and those he follows.

The only other contributions so far to the Moreno campaign are a $1,000 transfer from his school board campaign account, a $1,777 personal loan, and a $1,900 contribution from United Food and Commercial Workers Local 324 PAC.  We won’t know about contributions of less than a $1,000 until the next round of campaign reports, due on October 6. 

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If you’re looking for an example of how the OC Republican Party Central Committee endorsement process continues to misfire, Anaheim is a perfect example.

The main value to a candidate of this endorsement is the hope that somehow, from someone, money will arrive at the OC GOP to fund a “member communication” — usually a mail piece touting the endorsed candidates as “Team [fill in the city]” or something like that. They are mailed only to Republican voters, and are not independent expenditures because the member communication can be coordinated with the endorsed candidates campaign. Plus, they are sent out using the California Republican Party’s mail permit, which has a lower postage rate and thus gets the endorsed candidate more mileage for their postage dollar. The main drawback is member communications can’t be sent to non-Republicans.

In any case, the two OC GOP endorsed candidates in Anaheim are Lucille Kring and Brian Chuchua.

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At the Anna Drive candidate forum last week, most of the candidates in attendance endorsed the idea of imposing a tax of $1 a ticket on the Disneyland Resort, Anaheim Stadium and the Honda Center in order to fund “youth programs and neighborhood development.”

Those pro-tax candidates include government union activist John Leos, Green Party activist Duane Roberts and Brian Chuchua (who, amazingly enough, is endorsed by the OC Republican Party).

Leaving aside the fact this ticket tax is bad public and economic policy, as a practical matter it is unworkable. It doesn’t appear to have occurred to Leos, Roberts or Chuchua that the city cannot single out those venues for a ticket tax, while exempting other venues in the city. The tax would have to e applied across the board, or not at all. So if John Leos wants a new admission tax (because that is what it is) to provide dedicated revenue to fund social programs, he’ll have to slap it on movie theaters, on the Grove of Anaheim, or any other venue where people are charged for admission.

Anaheim is a major city, the 10th largest in the state of California, and being a councilmember requires significantly more than this kind of seat-of-the-pants policy improvisation, or glibly endorsing a half-baked admission tax idea tossed out at a street-side candidate forum.

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