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moreno lefty moneyLeft-wing Chicano Studies professor Jose Moreno received two more checks from his fellow travelers on the political portside.

$1,900 From UNITE-HERE Local 11
On September 5, UNITE-HERE Local 11 – the militant union representing hotel and food service workers – gave him the maximum contribution of $1,900. This is no surprise, given the ties of ideology and association that bind Moreno and UNITE-HERE.

As readers know, UNITE-HERE would love nothing more than to have the thousands of non-unionized hotel workers in Anaheim on its membership rolls. It would represent an enormous infusion to dues revenue for the union. As I’ve noted before, unions are businesses. They are in the dues business. When UNITE-HERE fighting with Disney a few years ago, the sticking point was health care: Disney’s offer included a health care package for UNITE-HERE members. That may have been good for UNITE-HERE’s members, but not so good for UNITE-HERE, because those workers would no longer have been buying their health insurance from the union.

Currently, UNITE-HERE’s non-profit community organizing arm OCCORD (of which Moreno is a director) is litigating the city’s economic assistance agreement with the GardenWalk Hotels investors. OCCORD’s lawyer in the case is left-wing San Diego attorney Cory Briggs (who is also challenging the Anaheim Convention Center expansion in court in conjunction with CATER). OCCORD wants UNITE-HERE to represent the GardenWalk Hotels’ workers; if that happens, the lawsuit goes away. Welcome to unionized America.

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dark-money-graphicTake a gander at the campaign finance report filed by the campaign to carve Anaheim into single-member council districts. Two things jump out beside the $101,100 in contributions: 93% of that total is the “dark money” hated by the progressives running this campaign  and not a penny of it comes from Anaheim – most is from Northern California.

The biggest single contributor to the Committee for District Elections is OCCORD  – to the tune of $49,000.  OCCORD is a left-wing non-profit political advocacy group headquartered in a Garden Grove office building owned by the militant union UNITE-HERE.  [OCCORD’s professed mission is to reverse the polarity of Orange County politics and shift it as far to the Left as possible.]

That’s a neat trick. OCCORD Executive Director Eric Altman announces his resignation to go run the Committee for District Elections. $49,000 is diverted from OCCORD on June 26 to the committee Altman is heading up (it’s unclear exactly when Altman left OCCORD, but his replacement as executive director wasn’t announced until mid-July.

Since OCCORD is a 501(c)4, it only has to file annual financials with the IRS and refuses to disclose its donors. In other words, by the time any figures out where that $49,000 came from, the November election will be long over. Is it from traditional OCCORD donors like the California Endowment and the James Irvine Foundation? Wells Fargo? If so, did they understand their money would be going to fund a ballot initiative? We know at least some of that money comes from UNITE-HERE, which cuts OCCORD a $5,000 check every month.

Mind you, OCCORD founder and leader Eric Altman (now the director of the Committee for District Elections — is an advocate of transparency… at least for others. I encourage the Voice of OC and the OC Register to ask OCCORD where the $49,000 came from, and see if they get an answer. I once tried, and was rebuffed.

The second biggest donor is PowerPac.org Voter Fund, a San Francisco-based political action committee that on May 30 donated $45,000 for a campaign to re-structure how Anaheim is governed.  Hmmm…why would a PAC from liberal San Francisco care how Anaheim elects its city council?

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rubin $264KThe lawsuit filed by Jose Moreno et al and the ACLU against the City of Anaheim demanding the imposition of single-member council districts by judicial fiat, claimed the city was in violation of the California Voting Rights Act. One of the attorney’s sharing in the $1.22 million the city is paying as part of the lawsuit settlement is Robert Rubin.

Rubin, along with another left-wing lawyer, Joaquin Avila, authored the CVRA. Since the laws enactment in in 2002, Rubin has traveled the state filing, threatening to file or participating in CVRA lawsuits against cities and school districts. Conveniently, when defendants lose or settle CVRA lawsuits, they have to reimburse the plaintiffs for legal fees and expenses incurred.

According to Wikipedia, Rubin and Avila and their fellow litigators) have collected $4.3 million in fees from three cases. Who know one could rich fighting for the poor and disenfranchised?

Rubin was also part of the team suing Anaheim, and according to city documents he was demanding to be reimbursed at the kingly rate of $825 per hour! He billed 341.4 hours to “supervise all aspects of the case including legal/ litigation strategy and filings, argue/ attend hearings and city council meetings, correspond with opposing counsel” – which would have brought his haul to $281,655! Yowza.

As it is, Rubin settled for a mere $775 per hour, meaning he will pocket $264,585.

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Robert Rubin

Robert Rubin

From the Los Angeles Times:

Opening a new front on efforts to improve minority representation on local elected boards,  attorneys  representing several Latino citizens have accused the Coachella Valley Water District of violating the California Voting Rights Act.

In a letter delivered Monday to John Powell, the district’s board president, lawyers Robert Rubin and Megan Beaman said the district’s  at-large election system “dilutes the ability of Latino constituents to elect candidates of their choice to the board or to influence the outcome of board elections.” 

The letter asks the district to switch to a system of electing board members by geographic district or “other lawful system” or be sued.

Though the sprawling district has large numbers of Latino residents, the Coachella Water District’s board members all are white. 

You can read the rest of the article here. Perhaps this will wake up the inhabitants of political La-La Land — primarily my fellow Orange County Republicans — who do not think the Left is going to use CVRA as a tool to litigate their way electoral gains in Orange County local government that they are unable to gain at the ballot box.

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