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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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Several hundred thousand dollars have been contributed by outside organizations to ensure Anaheim voters approve Measure L, a vote to change the process for electing members to the Anaheim City Council. Does Anaheim need to elect members by district instead of at-large? (I also ask the same question regarding Measure M: Does the city council need six members instead of four?) What is the demonstrated need to switch to a different basis for electing council members? Has want been mislabeled as need?

A good reason for passing Measure L would have been that the current system for electing council members does not result in the equal distribution of city resources and services. Mayor Tait and Council Member Brandman (2014) falsely imply a disparity, writing that passing Measure L “ensures neighborhoods get their fair share of city services.” In fact, the distribution of city dollars spent per capita in Anaheim has been remarkably similar. For example, the distribution for 2012 and 2013 is almost the same (City of Anaheim Finance Department, 2013, p. 12):

g1rev

Tait and Brandman offered no substantive reason or argument in their ballot verbiage for passing Measure L. Behold the purported reasons and implications—and note the absence of a shred of evidence for their support.

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Jose F. Moreno

Jose F. Moreno

UPDATED: After consulting an expert legal mind about the nuanced language of the staff report, the settlement agreement’;s restrictions on single-member district ballot arguments isn’t as draconian as I initially concluded. I’ve revised the post accordingly.

Apparently, the commitment of single-member council districts to “authentic representation” doesn’t extend to free and unfettered debate with opponents.

Item 18 on tomorrow night’s Anaheim City Council agenda deals with placing on the November ballot the proposed charter amendments to re-structure the city council. One of those is the single-member council districts charter amendment, being put on the November ballot pursuant to the settlement agreement with the ACLU and plaintiffs Jose Moreno et al. Interestingly, the ACLU and the plaintiffs included some very political demands designed to tilt the campaign playing field in their direction.

According to the staff report:

As one of the actions being taken tonight, the Council should identify two or more members of the City Council to write the arguments. Agreement provides that the selected members must be those that “support a change in the City’s electoral system to ‘by-district’ elections.” This resolution prohibits Council members from using their City titles for identification as an author in the signature block of any written argument or rebuttal argument except for those Council members authorized by this resolution to write the argument in favor of the single member district Charter amendment measure. [emphasis in the original]

And indeed, the settlement agreement stipulates just that (page 2, second paragraph):

Neither the City Council , nor any of its members, shall file a ballot Argument against the [by-district] Charter Amendment measure pursuant to Elections Code 9282(b).

In other words, only councilmembers allowed to sign ballot arguments on this issue – in an official capacity, using their titles — are Mayor Tom Tait and Councilman Jordan Brandman – sort of a ballot argument-version of gerrymandering.

For folks who tirelessly portray themselves as speaking for “the people,” it’s very revealing that proponents have so little confidence in the appeal of single-member council districts to Anaheim voters that they proactively sought to exclude Mayor Pro Tem Kris Murray and Councilmembers Gail Eastman and Lucille Kring from signing ballot arguments against by-district elections.

Jordan BrandmanI have noted on this blog numerous times of the disconnect between the lead plaintiff on the ACLU lawsuit seeking to force single-member districts on the Anaheim City Council while simultaneously doing nothing to bring them to the Anaheim City School District – in spite of the fact that the circumstance Jose Moreno says warrant them in the City of Anaheim are equally present in the ACSD.

Last night, a different advocate of single-member districts stepped forward to impel the ACSD to action. Anaheim City Councilman Jordan Brandman attended the meeting of the ASCD Board of Education. During public comments, he invoked Section 35145.5 of the California Education Code and requested of the Board that:

“the following two ACTION items be placed on the Anaheim City School District Board of Education Agenda for your next regularly scheduled meeting on January 27:

1. Adopt a revised Board policy to shift to By-Trustee/By-Governing Board Member Area/Single Member District elections for the November 2014 General Election, and 2. Adopt a resolution seeking a waiver from the California Department of Education of the requirement that board member areas and adoption of a By-Trustee/By-Governing Board Member Area/Single Member District election process be submitted to the electors for approval in November 2014, as set forth in Education Code Sections 5019, 5020, 5021, and 5030, inclusive.”

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An interesting aspect of OCCORD calling on the state Attorney General and the OC District Attorney to prosecute all four members of Anaheim City Council for imaginary violations is it puts some members of the OCCORD Board of Directors at political odds with themselves.

OCCORD is the political offspring of UNITE-HERE. Unions provide OCCORD with funding, and at least 40% the radical group’s board of directors consists of union executives and members.

Among those are Ada Briceno, Secretary-Treasurer of UNITE-HERE Local 11; Rick Eiden, the executive vice president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 324; Rob Penney, organizing director for the United Nurses Associations of California;  Jorge Inestria, UNITE-HERE activist.

In addition to being a director of OCCORD, Eiden is also the president of the Orange County Labor Federation (the OC presence of the AFL-CIO) — which endorsed Jordan Brandman for Anaheim City Council in 2012.  UNITE-HERE is represented on the OCLF board by its president, Tom Walsh (Briceno is UNITE-HERE Local 11’s No. 2).

On its face, you have UCFW President Rick Eiden – in his capacity as an OCCORD Director — calling for the criminal prosecution of an elected official (on absurd legal grounds) whose he officially and materially supported as head of the OC Labor Federation.

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Yesterday was the deadline for filing Form 460s – campaign disclosure reports — covering contributions received and expenditures made from January 1 through June 30 of the Year of Our Lord 2013.

Anaheim City Clerk Linda Andal’s office is very good at uploading these reports very quickly. So far, the reports for Mayor Pro Tem Gail Eastman and Councilmembers Kris Murray and Jordan Brandman are online. Murray and Eastman are up for re-election next year.

“Gail Eastman for Council 2014” didn’t hold any fundraisers during the reporting period. She reported $10,209 cash-on-hand (COH) and no debt.

“Kring for City Council 2012”, who was elected last year, raised $21,972, spent $2,650.89, re-paid $37,500 of a $50,000 loan to her campaign from the Kring family Trust, and ended with $1,476 COH and remaining debt of $37,500 (to her family trust).

“Brandman for Anaheim City Council 2012” raised $6,962.73 in the first six months of this year, spent $15,683.75 and ended with a 682.52 COH and $15,000 in debt.

He also filed paperwork for his 2016 re-election committee on July 30.

I’ll update this post with Mayor Tom Tait’s and Councilwoman Kris Murray’s campaign reports when they become available.

UPDATE: Councilwoman Kris Murray‘s report shows very strong numbers: she raised $61,371.99, spent $2,239, and ended the period with $64,297.70 cash-on-hand and no debt.

UPDATE: I have the basic numbers from Mayor Tom Tait’s report: he raised $49,825; spent $18,298.25; and ended the period with $48,523.06 cash-on-hand and no debt. His report should be posted on the Anaheim City Clerk website tomorrow morning.

UPDATE:  The actual report for Tom Tait for Mayor 2014 is up.  The first thing that caught my eye was how much money his campaign spent, which is unusually high considering the election is a year-and-half away. Upon further examination, spending $5,267 now to lock down the Landslide Communications family of six conservative/Republican targeted slates is a smart move.

There was also an $1,158 expenditure on an anti-GardenWalk robocall that went out shortly before the vote on the amended GardenWalk agreement; hard to see how that will provide any benefit come November 2014 when GardenWalk is far away in the voters’ collective rear-view mirror.

The Kris Murray for Anaheim City Council 2014 has also been posted. I noticed a certain blog troll who used to live in Anaheim is having a hard time understanding how a candidate can raise $90,000 at a fundraiser and yet show less than that amount in her campaign report.

It’s really quite simple to understand by applying a modicum of brain power. Kris Murray’;s fundraisers was held on June 26 –a mere four days before the end of the filing period (June 30). The reality of fundraisers is not everyone who commits to buying a ticket a) physically shows up and/or b) pays right a away with a check.  The money raised continue to trickle in over time as donors make good on their commitments.

The fact that Kris was able to collect and deposit two-thirds of the money raised in several days is quite an accomplishment. In fact, she raised more money (the bulk in less than a week) more quickly than any other Anaheim candidate.

When a union attempts to organize a work-place, it needs to get a specified percentage of targeted workers (I believe it is 30%) to petition for a unionizing vote, which is conducted by secret ballot.

Allowing workers to vote their preference in secret, free from harassment and intimidation, has become an obstacle to workplace organizing, so a top priority of the union movement is replacing the secret ballot with the “card-check” system.

Card-check does away with the secret ballot. Instead, union organizers go to work on employees to sign cards stating they want to be represented by the union. Once a majority of workers have been, This is done publicly, in full view of their co-workers and union organizers.  Union organizers know exactly who does and who doesn’t support unionization, making workers vulnerable to harassment and intimidation. Anyone who doesn’t think that would happen should attend an Anaheim City Council meeting packed with UNITE-HERE members.

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$900,000? Sure it's a lot of money, but there's more where that came from.

$900,000? Sure it’s a lot of money, but there’s more where that came from.

The year-end Form 460s — those are campaign finance disclosure forms — were due yesterday, but a number of them were filed over the course of January.

I opened up the Form 460 for the OCEA-sponsored “Committee to Support John Leos for Anaheim City Council 2012,” and did a double take when I saw the final total spending on behalf of Leos:

$531,055.17

One would have to do the research, but I’d wager that is an Anaheim record for IE spending on a single candidate by a single entity (with a sub-category of spending it and losing).

$365,622.65 of that was spent in the final 17 days of the campaign, with a large chunks uncorked in the last days to fund phone banks and paid walkers.

Ouch.

$390,000 of that $531,055 came from the pockets of OCEA members, the rest from other labor unions (some of which also receive campaign fund transfers from OCEA, so the latter’s total may be higher).

Now, if you had this to the $200,000 spent by OCEA in its unsuccessful attempt to elect Leos to council in 2010, and the estimated$100,000 it spent in 2011 on a series of city-wide mailers promoting Leos and his “transparency ordinance,” then OCEA has spent $700,000 over the course less than three years to put John Leos on the Anaheim City Council.

Now, add the $32,360.79 spent by the OCEA Independent Expenditure Committee to fund attacks on Jordan Brandman.

Let’s further broaden the scope to include the $64,000 that OCEA put into signature gathering for the anti-GardenWalk Take Back Anaheim initiative, which failed to qualify for the ballot. And then add in the money OCEA spent on mailers hitting Councilmembers Harry Sidhu, Kris Murray and Gail Eastman over the GardenWalk vote — which was likely another $100,000 (and I’m estimating conservatively).

We’re talking at least $900,000 the OCEA has spent on Anaheim politics in less that three years. That’s almost a million dollars, and with very little to show for it: two Leos losses, a failed initiative campaign, and an alienated new councilmember.

I posted yesterday on the sleazy mailer from the Orange County Employees Association, accusing Anaheim City Council candidate Jordan Brandman of breaking the law — without any evidence whatsoever.

Illustrating just how unhinged Anaheim politics have become in a few short months, you have a member of the Orange County Labor Federation (OCFL) attacking a candidate who as been endorsed by the OCFL.

Keep in mind that no OCEA mail goes out without the approval of General Manager Nick Beradino.

And keep in mind that Berardino is a Vice President of the California Labor Federation — of which the Orange County Labor Federation (OCFL) is a part.

In other words, a senior officer of the state labor federation is funding a smear of a candidate endorsed by a local affiliate of the organization of which he is an officer.

It’s analogous to the Vice Chairman of the California Republican Party funding a hit on a candidate endorsed by the Orange County Republican Party.

Brandman has filed a complaint with the OCFL seeking an investigation and possible sanctions against OCEA, writing in a letter to CLF head honcho Art Pulaski:

This mailer blatantly attacks my integrity without any evidence and I refuted all accusations long before this mailer was sent (press release attached).  I find this action by OCEA and its General Manager Nick Berardino who is also a Vice-President of the California Labor Federation very disturbing and ask for your immediate investigation and consideration of sanction against OCEA for violating long-standing practice to not attack fellow labor endorsed candidates in elections.

The animus of Berardino and OCEA toward Brandman is no secret, but an uneasy truce was put together during the maneuverings over OCFL endorsements in the Anaheim City Council election. The private sector unions backed Brandman but not Leos, and vice versa for the government unions. It was ultimately agreed that neither wing of the OCFL would block the other’s chosen candidate, clearing the way for OCFL to endorse both Brandman and Leos.

OCEA’s rash attack mailer essentially shatters that agreement.

And regardless of one’s partisan affiliation or preferences in the Anaheim City Council race, the OCEA’s mailer should be considered pretty scurrilous. Accusing someone of breaking the law, in the absolute absence of any evidence, is wrong.

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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The Anaheim city council campaign began in earnest last week as 60,311 vote-by-mail ballots were mailed to Anaheim voters by the OC Registrar of Voters (1,104 have been returned thus far, and total VBMs issued is up to 61,994).

Campaigns times their mail campaigns to that exercise, and the first mailer (from Anaheim school trustee Jordan Brandman) landed a few days prior to VBMs being mailed.

Since then, mail pieces have been raining on Anaheim voters. Brandman and Steve Chavez Lodge have been dominating the mail box, both in their own pieces and in mailers from independent expenditure committees. Lucille Kring sent out one piece, as did John Leos (neither of which I have).

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