The Orange County Labor Federation voted yesterday to give the Democratic Party of OC a choice: remove Greg Diamond as Vice Chair or kiss it’s support good-bye.

Such a removal of support would be crippling to the DPOC.

Diamond’s opposition to a range of jobs-generating projects was cited. Diamond – resident of Brea but a fixture at Anaheim City Council meetings – is also the lawyer for fellow gadfly Cynthia Ward’s CATER group, which basically annoys the city with complaints and lawsuits. Diamond’s and CATER’s opposition to the Anaheim Convention Center was apparently the last straw.

Dan Chmielweski has more over at TheLiberalOC.com.

Like her or lump her, agree or disagree with her, Lorri Galloway is nothing if not an energetic candidate.

Next week, she is holding a “show up rally” for her mayoral campaign:

galloway 4-24 rally

 

The special guest speaker will be Jose Solorio, Rancho Santiago Community College District trustee and candidate for the 34th Senate District (which includes much of west Anaheim).

Anaheim Insider here.

I recently criticized agitator Cynthia Ward’s FPPC complaint against Kris Murray as nonsense. Ward claims Murray violated the FPPC’s mass mailing rule because she’s featured in an Anaheim Chamber of Commerce mailer. I’ll let her faulty reasoning speak for itself:

The complaint is nearly done formatting, let’s see, do I have it all?

Chamber accepts public funds. Check.
Tangible item. Check.
Mailed to at least 200 addresses. Check.
Public official name and/or photo included. Check.
Official participated in the mail piece. Check.

That about does it.

Ward is guilty of a double standard, because Mayor Tom Tait is all over the Chamber of Commerce invites to the annual State of the City event. If Ward really believes in Murray is in violation of the mass-mailing rule, then she must also file a complaint against Tait. Otherwise, it’s simply a case of the mayor’s biggest cheerleader harassing one of his critics (which we all know is really the case).

Read the rest of this entry »

The day after the radical non-profit OCCORD formed the Committee for District Elections to fight for single-member council districts, allied individuals formed the “Committee Against Measure D.”

Measure D is the charter amendment on the June ballot that would change the mayoral term from four to two years.

The principal officer is Anaheim City School District Board of Education member James Vanderbilt; he is also running for city council on Mayor Tom Tait’s slate and signed the ballot arguments against Measure D. The treasurer is Helen Myers, a friend of Cynthia Ward, treasurer of a political action committee formed last year by Ward, and was treasurer of millionaire developer Tony Bushala’s Fullerton Recall PAC.

In my earlier post ruminating oOCCORD Logon the possibility of the OCEA playing sugar-daddy to the single-member council districts ballot initiative campaign, I mentioned OCCORD (Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development) as a leader of the left-wing coalition in that side of the issue.

And it appears OCCORD will indeed be taking a leading role in the campaign. On March 25, paperwork was filed with the Anaheim City Clerk creating the “Committee for District Elections, sponsored by One Anaheim” – with an address in Garden Grove, 92843. While the street address is redacted from the Form 410, its safe say this committee is a creature of OCCORD – which is also in Garden Grove 92843. Plus the committee treasurer is Susan Hecht, who is OCCORD’s development and operations manager.

“One Anaheim” is identified as a “social welfare organization,” meaning it is (presumably) a 501(c)(4), which are allowed to engage in partisan political campaigns (as a secondary activity). They also are not subject to limits on their lobbying activity and are not required to publicly disclose their donors. I haven’t yet found any documentation on “One Anaheim,” but it’s a safe bet it is also an OCCORD political project.

It’s also ironic that the campaign to carve Anaheim into several, more politically bite-size pieces has taken the name “One Anaheim.”

As some long-time readers know, OCCORD, in its own words:

“is a leader in the emerging movement to reclaim Orange County, California, from the extreme laissez-faire policies and entrenched anti-immigrant sentiment that have long dominated our region.”

Yes, to to the folks at OCCORD, our highly-regulated economy here in Southern California is an example of “laissez-faire” economics – which tells you just how radical they are. Can someone tell me again how bringing single-member council districts to Anaheim is NOT a political project of the Left?

On March 22, the left-wing coalition backing single-member council districts in Anaheim kicked off its campaign to win their approval by Anaheim voters this November. 501(c)(3) groups like OCCORD can actively advocate for a ballot measure within limits on “lobbying” activity. Per the BolderAdvocacy website (published by the left-wing Alliance for Justice):

Under Section 501(h), the overall limit on lobbying starts as high as 20% of those expenditures for small charities and diminishes to a smaller percentage of the expenditures for larger organizations, with a maximum cap of $1,000,000 on an organization’s annual lobbying expenditures. In addition to this overall limit, the 501(h) test imposes a limit on grassroots lobbying, calculated as one-quarter of the overall lobbying limit. For example, a 501(c)(3) that has made the 501(h) election, with an annual budget of $500,000, would have an overall lobbying limit of $100,000 and a grassroots lobbying limit of $25,000.

OCCORD’s annual budget has historically been somewhat over half-a-million dollars, so the above is a solid guide to how much of its budget the left-wing advocacy group can devote to this ballot measure.

Convincing Anaheim voters to re-structure how they elect their city council will take a considerable amount of persuasive voter communication – especially since there is no grass-roots groundswell demanding single-member council districts.  In other words, the pro-council districts coalition needs a benefactor(s) to bankroll its campaign.

Who will do it?

One possibility would be the Orange County Employees Association (OCEA), which definitely has the resources and presumably the interest in replacing at-large council elections with a single-member districts system.

Read the rest of this entry »

Supervisor Janet Nguyen

Supervisor Janet Nguyen

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association has endorsed Supervisor Janet Nguyen for the 34th Senate District (which includes a large portion of west Anaheim).

This is from the Janet Nguyen for Senate press release:

Today Janet Nguyen announced receiving the endorsement of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA) for her campaign for Senate. The HJTA is California’s largest taxpayer protection organization and was instrumental in passing California’s historic property tax law Prop 13.

“Janet Nguyen has our support because she is committed to defending taxpayers and preserving Proposition 13 against liberal attacks in the Legislature,” said HJTA President Jon Coupal.

Nguyen’s Democrat opponent, former Assemblyman Jose Solorio, voted to dismantle Proposition 13 and enact a “split roll” while he was in the Assembly. Supervisor Nguyen is a strong supporter of Prop. 13 which eliminates dramatic rises in taxes for property owners across California. Having the endorsement of the HJTA is key in the election for the 34th Senate District as tax increases are likely to be one of the top issues in the election.

Read the rest of this entry »

Continuing our series of posts (here, here and here) on what will be the most contentious measure on Anaheim’s June ballot – Measure D – we present the “Rebuttal to Argument Against Measure D (which changes the mayor’s term from four to two years):

REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE D

We urge you to Vote Yes on Measure D to bring greater accountability to the Mayor’s office and strengthen Anaheim’s term limits law.

Common sense says a two-year term brings greater responsiveness to the Mayor’s office. Yes on Measure D does that.

An effective Mayor should have no problem seeking voter approval every two years. Longer terms don’t make for better leaders. Good mayors can accomplish a lot in two years, while a bad mayor will accomplish nothing in four years.

Read the rest of this entry »

From Eric Carpenter’s “Ask Mr. Anaheim” column in the Orange County Register:

 Q. A friend recently told me that the Anaheim Convention Center is about to get bigger again. I grew up around here and have always liked the shape of the arena there on Katella, but it seems underused now. Where is there room left for it to grow, and is it worth the cost?
– Jeff Buck, Anaheim

A. Your friend told you correctly, Jeff. The Convention Center is about to grow again.

The City Council last month approved the $180 million expansion, which is expected to begin later this year and could be completed by 2016. The 200,000-square-foot glass building will face Katella Avenue, next to the space-inspired dome that you mentioned, which has been there since 1967.

I see your point, Jeff, that the arena may seem like it isn’t used quite as much, especially since it used to be a concert hot spot in the 1960s and ’70s, hosting the likes of Elvis Presley and Led Zeppelin.

Now big-name artists are much more likely to travel east on Katella to book the nearby Honda Center.

But the Convention Center, of course, is now much more than the arena. In fact, it has undergone six previous expansions and is one of the premiere event spaces on the West Coast. City and tourism officials want to ensure it remains that way.

You can read the rest here.

Anaheim Insider here.

Last week, I dismissed Cynthia Ward’s threat to file an FPPC complaint against Kris Murray. Ward is president of secretive non-profit she created called CATER. She alleges Murray violated the FPPC’s mass mailing regulation when the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce sent out an e-mail informing members about a Murray campaign fundraiser. Ward reacted by saying her complaint was “a reality not a threat” and presenting the reasoning for her complaint against Murray:

“Chamber accepts public funds. Check. Tangible item. Check. Mailed to at least 200 addresses. Check. Public official name and/or photo included. Check. Official participated in the mail piece. Check.”

Ward’s reasoning is faulty and will get bounced by the FPPC. But if Ward really believes what she is saying, then she should also file a complaint against Mayor Tom Tait because of all the invitations the Chamber sent out promoting the Anaheim State of the City event “featuring Mayor Tom Tait.” It meets everything on Ward’s checklist.

If Ward is consistent and really motivated by concern for holding elected officials accountable to the law, then she’ll file an (equally without merit) FPPC complaint against the Mayor, as well. She won’t do that, of course, which will expose her motivation motive as purely political: she’s trying to damage Kris Murray politically. Ward hopes to force Murray to spend campaign funds fighting an FPPC complaint, like she did with her lawsuit against council candidate Steve Chavez Lodge. She lost that case, on balance, but bled Lodge’s campaign of money that would have gone to campaign mail.

In this case, it’s a false hope. Neither Kris Murray nor Tom Tait nor the Chamber have done anything wrong. There is no violation and Ward’s complaint will go nowhere.

Continuing our series of posts (here and here) on what will be the most contentious measure on Anaheim’s June ballot – Measure D – we present the “Rebuttal to Argument in Favor of Measure D (which changes the mayor’s term from four to two years):

REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE D

Vote “NO” on Measure D.

An overwhelming majority, over 70% of Anaheim, has already decided the mayor should have four years to speak for the people.

So who’s wasting our time with a question to which we already know the answer?

Special interests.

Why?

Their best argument is that two years is how they do things in the fine cities of Orange and Irvine. They say it increases accountability.

Read the rest of this entry »

Many of us have been waiting with eager anticipation bordering on impatience for the Anaheim Packing District to open its doors, and a date has finally been set: Saturday, May 31:

anaheim packing house grand opening

 

It looks like it will house some very cool venues, such as The Blind Rabbit Speakeasy. According to this Facebook post, “The Blind Rabbit Speakeasy will serve up some swell specialty cocktails behind this wall inside the Anaheim Packing House“:

Blind Rabbit Speakeasy

 

According to the Orange County Register:

An eclectic mix of eateries and artisans, the Packing House has leased 23 of the 24 spots inside the converted historic building near Anaheim Boulevard and Broadway, said Chris Bennett, director of development for LAB Holdings, last week. Some venues could hold “soft openings” as early as next month.

The opening comes about seven months after it was initially expected.

Some delays were related to food venues getting their health permits, a process that took longer than anticipated.

Well, better late than never. I, for one, am looking forward to a great addition to north-central OC’s night life and wish this venture every success.

 

Supervisor Janet Nguyen

Supervisor Janet Nguyen

Supervisor Janet Nguyen (Republican) is running for the open 34th Senate District against Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee Jose Solorio, a Democrat; SD34 includes a large chunk of west Anaheim. She published this in the OC Register on Monday, and it bears re-publishing here:

SCA5 Is A Warning for State

By: Janet Nguyen

Senate Constitutional Amendment 5, a divisive piece of legislation that sought to repeal portions of Proposition 209, has been tabled. For the time being, California voters will not be forced to decide whether they want to grant preferential treatment in public education to individuals on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin. However, the battle over SCA5 is not over.

In the past, SCA5′s author Sen. Ed Hernandez made similar attempts to reintroduce preferential treatment into public education, first in 2010, with Assembly Bill 2047, and in 2011, with Senate Bill 185. Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed both bills. Consequently, while SCA5 is temporarily dormant, there is no guarantee that it will not return.

Read the rest of this entry »

Anaheim Insider here. The real one.

Tom Tait had a campaign fundraiser last week. It was mildly attended from what this insider’s sources have said: about 40 people, give or take. Many were family members or staff, along with those you’d expect: Amin David, Jose Moreno, Cynthia Ward; the mayor’s personal clique of supporters more than neighborhood representation. No surprising given how the mayor has progressively alienated his supporters.

Tait touched on the topic of his opponents. He took partial credit for Councilwoman Lucille Kring’s election in 2012 and called her a flip-flopper, and mentioned Lorri Galloway as his friend and colleague who decided to run against him.

Tait kept up his pitching for the Democrats’ pet party-building project in central OC: by-district council election in Anaheim. he pointed out that by-district elections would be on the November ballot and thanked Jose Moreno, the liberal ethnic politician whose lawsuit against Anaheim cost the taxpayers almost $3 million. Tait said by-districts elections would give everyone a voice; someone might let him know that the same number of people can vote in both at-large and by-district elections.

Read the rest of this entry »

wondercon_logo_event_mainWonderCon Anaheim is nearly here. The annual annual comic book, science fiction, and motion picture convention is coming to the Anaheim Convention Center on April 18 through April 20. WonderCon started in San Francisco in 1987 and came to Anaheim in 2012.

The program schedule has been announced, and here it is:

Friday April, 18 2014

12:30pm – 1:30pm 501st and Rebel Legions: Costuming for the Good of the Galaxy! Room 203
Have what it takes to create an amazing Star Wars costume? Want to know more about joining the 501st Legion and/or Rebel Legion? “Trust in the Force”…and a little assistance from members from the 501st Legion (The Bad Guys) and the Rebel Legion (The Good Guys) who are here to help. Learn about basic costuming standards, what’s involved, how to join, and more

1:00pm – 2:00pm The Art of the Pitch: The Writer. The Director. The Story Room 207
The Disney/ABC Talent Development programs have launched the careers of many writers and directors, many of whom have worked on some of your favorite shows, such as ABC’s Castle, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Once Upon a Time. What makes these individuals perfect for the program and right for the room or the production set? Disney/ABC’s Creative Talent Development team and current program participants and alumni offer an engaging conversation about standing out, fitting in, and putting your best pitch forward. Moderated by Ken Choy (Hyphen magazine).

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Part of the settlement reached in January between the City of Anaheim and the ACLU (representing ACSD Trustee Jose Moreno and two other plaintiffs), the city agreed to pay ACLU’s legal fees in an amount negotiated between the two parties.

Tuesday night, the Anaheim City Council approved paying the negotiated amount $1.22 million. You can read the staff report here; a summary of the plaintiffs’ attorney’s rates here and of the city’s attorneys’ rates here.

Over at TheLiberalOC.com, “Editorial Staff” tries to paint this as a futile waster of money:

The amount is on top of the $1.25 million in legal fees the city had incurred fighting the inevitable. The only thing gained by the council majority’s opposition to the lawsuit was to delay the implementation of a new district election process, and it’s presentation to voters for approval in November.

Why so much effort, and waste of taxpayer funds, to stop what was clearly inevitable? Simple really; to protect the status quo so that members Murray and Eastman would get one more shot at four-year terms on the council before the implementation of districts. The entire battle, all of the posturing and positioning, all the legal fees, was so that the current power base in Anaheim would have four more years to raid the public piggy-bank to reward the rich and powerful interests in Orange County’s largest city.

I suppose that is one way to look at it, even if it is the wrong way – on several levels.

Read the rest of this entry »

diamond me tooReaders know Greg Diamond as the Brea resident who has taken up residence at Anaheim City Council meetings, invariably taking to the podium during public comments to hold forth about this and that. He’s also a busy litigious bee, buzzing around the City of Anaheim as the “general counsel” of Cynthia Ward’s non-profit political organization CATER.

Readers may not know that he’s also Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of Orange County (don’t ask me how that happened). Given Diamond’s predilection for opposing projects that create construction jobs, an important political constituency has had enough of him in that post and wants him ousted.

The LiberalOC.com reports that the building trades is giving the DPOC a choice: lose Diamond or lose the support of the Los Angeles/Orange County Building and Construction Trades Council:

TheLiberalOC has obtained a letter from the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council to Henry Vandermeir of the Democratic Party of Orange County that unless Greg Diamond, a lawyer and candidate for District Attorney, isn’t removed from Diamond’s Vice Chair of the DPOC North leadership post, the union will immediately withdraw all support of the DPOC. Diamond also blogs for the Orange Juice blog. The letter can be read here.
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“Outrage Over Police Shooting Dominates Council Meeting”

So reads the headline of the March 26 Voice of OC article on public speakers who voiced their outrage at last week’s  city council meeting.

To recap the shooting:

  • Two probation officers checking up on a parolee, approached three men in broad daylight near the intersection of La Palma and Citron. Two of the three men ran away. One of those was Robert L. Moreno, Jr., a documented gang member and felon with a violent criminal history.
  • While fleeing, Moreno brandished his weapon at a mother and her young children who were getting out of their car, threatening to kill them if they talked to the police.
  • Moreno was hiding behind a trashcan when K9 Bruno (on a 20-foot leash) found him. Moreno opened fire, hitting the dog.

So, the parade of angry speakers at last week’s council meeting were outraged at Moreno’s callous disregard for life, at his threatening an innocent family with death, at firing his weapon at law enforcement officers – right?

Wrong.

They were outraged…at the police.

Read the rest of this entry »

The unifying power of beer will be in evidence tomorrow at the Anaheim Brewery.

From the Anaheim Brewery Blog:

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to tap Unite Pale Ale, the result of International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day!

You can feel good about each pint of Unite Pale Ale, since a portion of the proceeds will go to support the Pink Boots Society, a professional organization for women in the beer business, and to the Orange County Family Justice Center. The Family Justice Center does amazing work for our community. Read more on their website: http://www.anaheimfamilyjusticecenter.org/

International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day was the brainstorm of Sophie de Ronde of Brentwood Brewing Company, Essex, UK. She came up with the basic recipe for the beer, and encouraged breweries to donate the proceeds to both Pink Boots and to a local charity.

You can read the post of the post here.

 

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