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futureA friend alerted me that missing from yesterday’s post on implementing Measure L was a discussion of how many council seats will be on the ballot in 2016.

The answer is: four. Councilmembers Lucille Kring and Jordan Brandman will be running for re-election in yet-to-be drawn council districts, and two new, open seats will be on the ballot.

According to the text of the Measure L charter amendment, once the four winners are sworn, they will cast lots to decide which serves only a two-year term and runs again in 2018:

Notwithstanding the term of office specified in the first paragraph of this Section 500, at the City Council meeting where these four members are sworn in, the City Council shall select by casting of lots one member elected at the November 2016 general election to hold office for a term of two years and until his or her successor qualifies; the remaining three members shall serve for a term of four years and until their successors qualify.

This is done so that going forward, there will always be three council seats on the ballot every two years. So, it is possible that either Councilmember Brandman or Kring will have to run a third time in 2018 (but for another two-year term). It begs the question of why the amendment didn’t limit the lot casting to the winners of the two newly-created council district seats.

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The Yes on L and M campaign appears to be afraid of its own initiatives.

This mailer has been landing in mail boxes this week:

Yes on L and M mailer week of 10-4-14_Page_2

 

What is intriguing about this mailer is that nowhere does it tell voters what Measures L and M actually do! Which raise the question: why wouldn’t the the leftists running the “Yes on L and M” campaign go to such length to avoid telling voters that Measure L would limit them to one representative on the Anaheim City Council, and that Measure M would increase the size of the city council by two members?

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The Orange County Labor Federation’s (OCLF) top two 2014 election priorities are:

1) Re-Elect Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva

2) Adoption of by-district council elections in Anaheim.

This is according a presentation in January 2014 – several days after the City of Anaheim-ACLU settlement agreement placing by-district elections on the ballot – by the OCLF, entitled “Analysis of the 2014 Elections In Orange County”:

OCLF Presentation AFSCME 36 - priorities slide

 

So, nine months ago, the AFL-CIO chapter in Orange County decided that changing how Anaheim citizens elect their city council was second in importance only to preserving the Democratic super-majority in the Assembly. Since OCLF campaign support is given almost exclusively to Democrats, the upshot is it sees Measure L as a prime opportunity to permanently end the Republican council majorities that have governed Anaheim. Since then, the OCLF has contributed at least $20,000 to the Yes on Measure L campaign.

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Unite Here protestorsThe campaign for by-district council elections has received another big union check: UNITE-HERE Local 11 contributed $25,000 to the Committee for District Elections, which is the “Yes on Measure L” campaign. 

Who does UNITE-HERE Local 11 represent? Hotel workers (and food service employees). Of what does Anaheim have thousands? Non-unionized hotel workers that UNITE-HERE not only wants, but needs as members. 

The only hotels in the Anaheim resort area with unionized workers are the Anaheim Hilton and the Disney properties.  

UNITE-HERE wants to change that.  It’s 501(c)4 satellite group, OCCORD, has been fighting the GardenWalk Hotel economic assistance agreement in court. By an amazing coincidence, OCCORD is being represented by Cory Briggs, the same left-wing ambulance chaser who is co-plaintiff with CATER against the Anaheim Convention Center expansion.

[OCCORD is housed in office next to UNITE-HERE, in a building owned by UNITE-HERE, and receives a $5,000 check from UNITE-HERE every month]. 

OCCORD doesn’t object to the city’s TOT subsidy for the GardenWalk project. What they (or rather, UNITE-HERE) want is for the GardenWalk owners to allow UNITE-HERE to unionize their employees. If the GardenWalk investors agreed to that, OCCORD’s lawsuit would go away. In the meantime, the OCCORD/UNITE-HERE strategy is to wear the GardenWalk investors with drawn-out litigation and force them to choose between agreeing to be unionized or giving up the project. 

Bu that is a laborious, expensive approach to unionizing hotel workers. It would be better for UNITE-HERE to have a left-leaning, Democrat-majority on the Anaheim City Council that made it clear to hotel developers that approval of their new or expanded projects hinged on having unionized workers or agreeing to “card check neutrality” as a condition of approval (in addition to incorporating similar demands into the conditions).

Since the at-large council election system has proven a barrier to electing more than one Democrat to the city council, UNITE-HERE and other left-wing constituencies want to replace it with by-district elections, which would structurally tilt council elections toward a Democratic majority. It’s no accident that nearly 92% of UNITE-HERE political contributions go to Democrats.

Orange County Republicans should consider that the pillar of Democratic power in Nevada are the unions representing hotel and casino workers.  Imagine how the political landscape in Orange County would be altered if the Left succeeds in passing Measure L and opening the door to unionizing the estimated 8,000 hotel workers in the Anaheim resort area. That’s a lot of union dues revenue available to fund the election of Democratic candidates.  

UNITE-HERE Local 11 needs members. Or rather, it needs the revenue from member dues. It also represents Aramark employees, and lost members when the Anaheim Ducks decided to get rid of Aramark and bring its food service operations in house.  UNITE-HERE lobbied the Anaheim City Council to require the Ducks to staff their in-house food service operation with UNITE-HERE members. They even pushed for the council to ask the Ducks to allow UNITE-HERE to organize their food service workers via card check. 

Since the four of the five members of the Anaheim City Council are Republicans, UNITE-HERE’s demands were rebuffed. Does anyone think that would have been the case if a Democratic majority were in control?

This is what is at stake in the battle over by-district election in Anaheim. It’s not the naive (and cynical) malarkey about “neighbors electing neighbors” or better city services (neither of which by-district elections would deliver). This is the opening salvo in a political campaign to shift Anaheim and Orange County to the Left. 

OC-Labor-FedOn August 7, the OC Labor Federation, via its Orange County Dignity PAC, contributed $10,000 to the Committee for District Elections, the committee running the campaign for by-district council elections.

So, we have another contribution from another liberal special interest group interested in carving Anaheim into single-member council districts. The OC Labor Federation joins OCCORD, San Francisco-based PowerPac.org and left-wing litigators from Northern California as funders of this effort to re-cast the politics of Anaheim city government.

Perhaps this will cause a few more scales to fall from the eyes of those Republicans who still refuse to see the campaign for by-districts in Anaheim for what it is: a campaign by the organized political Left to re-structure how Anaheim elects its council members in order to achieve permanent Democratic majorities.

Powerpac.org logoAs I reported last week, of the $101,100 reported by the campaign to convince Anaheim voters to adopt by-district council districts, not a penny comes from Anaheim.

93% of the “Committee for District Elections” funding is “dark money” – meaning its true sources are undisclosed. Half of that is from a liberal issues advocacy group from San Francisco – PowerPac.org.

The obvious question is why does a political interest group from the San Francisco Bay Area think changing the why far-away Anaheim elects its council is so important that it plows $45,000 into the effort?

PowerPac.org describes its mission as:

“direct[ing] financial and human resources to strategic local and state legislative fights, ballot initiatives, and other campaigns by organizing donors who are committed to social justice politics. We identify priority areas for investment and help donors achieve maximum political impact with their political giving.

Our process includes conducting research and analysis on the political landscape, identifying critical social justice issues to bring more voters – particularly voters of color – into the political process.

PowerPAC believes that the most effective way to build political power for historically underrepresented constituencies is to invest in long-term political infrastructure that can be mobilized for short-term victories.” [Emphasis added]

“Social justice politics” is left-wing jargon that translates into bigger government, redistributive taxation, and intensive regulation of the marketplace.

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In their rebuttal to the argument against carving Anaheim into single-member council districts, Mayor Tom Tait and Councilman Jordan Brandman made a number of claims ranging from fanciful to plain old misleading. 

One passage in particular drew a complaint from Councilwoman Lucille Kring:

The entire City Council agreed that Anaheim deserves to have neighborhood representation, and that is why we unanimously placed Measure ____ on the ballot for your consideration.

That sentence clearly and falsely mislead voters into believing the entire Anaheim City Council supports by-district elections.

This morning, a judge signed off on a settlement agreement striking that passage from the rebuttal.

Too bad someone didn’t file a complaint against the section of the argument in favor of by-district elections claiming that adopting it would result in Anaheimers getting their trees trimmed.

single-member districts unicorn 3

Just close your eyes and listen to the Magical Single-Member Council Districts Unicorn!

This November, Anaheim voters will decide on two initiatives: whether to replace the current at-large council election system with the single-member district (or “by-district”)system being pushed by a left-wing coalition; and whether to expand the city council from four to six members.

Ballot arguments for and against the by-district initiative were filed on Monday. The pro argument is signed by Mayor Tom Tait and Councilman Jordan Brandman. I’ll comment in greater depth soon, but a couple of things jump out.

For months and months, the advocacy of single-member district by proponents has been racially-based: a relentless focus on the ethnicity of current and  former councilmembers and claims that at-large elections “disenfranchise” Latino voters. Indeed, that was the entire basis of the Jose Moreno/ACLU lawsuit that put this initiative on the ballot.

However, except for a very oblique reference to “reflecting our neighborhoods,” the ethno-racial appeals are entirely absent from the pro-single-member districts argument – no doubt reflecting a cynical awareness by the pro-districts coalition that for voters who haven’t majored in Chicano studies, calls to gerrymander city council elections to produce a pre-determined ethnic composition holds little appeal. 

Instead, the pro-argument promises that all things bright and beautiful will happen to Anaheim voters if they adopt single-member districts: cleaner streets, filled potholes, trimmed trees, whiter teeth, happier marriages and an answer to the question of whether intelligent life exists on other planets. OK – not the last three things, but that’s probably because it would have put them over the 300-word limit.

In any case, here is the Argument in Favor, followed by the common sense truth of the argument against.

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