The gloves come off in Anaheim! The Blogosphere salivates.

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We broke the news here back in August, in our seminal and controversial piece “Disney’s Incest Problem,” that Disney and the OCEA had a secret gentleman’s agreement in this year’s Anaheim Council race – Disney would refrain from attacking OCEA’s boy John Leos, and OCEA would refrain from attacking Disney’s boy Jordan Brandman.

This was around the same time – could it have been exactly the same time? – as the obvious Faustian bargain OCEA made with the Pringle/resort forces where the union would get that sweetheart deal from the Council majority in return for their yanking funding and support away from the “Let the People Vote” initiative.

Such nauseating secret bargains are never quite proven, they’re known first by rumor and then confirmed by the results we all witness.  We civilians only see the shadows of the miscreants flitting against the wall – inexplicably great deal passed, funding suddenly yanked without explanation, two controversial candidates passing unmolested by the moneyed forces, Brandman even receiving the Labor endorsement for Christ’s sake!

It’s never good for the little people when the most powerful forces make secret pacts with each other.  The simple man on the street – for example you or I – mutters to himself, “Shades of Darkness at Noon,” before reminding himself that comparing Disney or OCEA to Stalin and Hitler is a bit of a stretch.   But still visions dance through the man on the street’s head of the final scene in Orwell’s Animal Farm:

“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

Well, the good news is those days are over – Disney has been busted, by clever internet detectives including Save Anaheim’s Jason Young and Think OC’s Cynthia Ward, funneling money through the fatuous Lucy Dunn’s OC Business Council, which in turn hands it over to a PAC run by Curt Pringle and Councilwoman Kris Murray named “Citizens For Anaheim’s Future”  – who have in turn spent over 30 grand of laundered Disney money SO FAR sending out defamatory hit pieces on Leos and Kring.  (It’ll probably turn out this is also the way uber-hack Matt Cunningham is getting paid to run HIS poisonous little Brandman-Lodge bloglet.)

And this arrangement has not escaped the notice of the OCEA, whose canny general manager Nick Berardino won’t confirm or deny to me the existence of the original truce, but mourns to me with crocodile tears, “We never WANTED to attack Jordan, but seeing Disney’s money trail left us no choice.”  LOL.  Now the natural order is restored, men can once again be men and pigs pigs.  Let’s look at some of the fruits of the new hostilities, shall we?

First, this week’s Disney-Pringle attack on Lucille Kring.  Remember, these folks still dream of getting in not only Jordan but lying cop Steven Albert Chavez Lodge, so they must attack BOTH the Mayor’s candidates, Leos and Kring.  See if you can tell me what’s hysterically hypocritical about this one:

You got that, right?  This piece, dinging Lucille for “generosity with taxpayer money” in previous decades,  comes from the folks who famously gave away $158 MILLION of taxpayer money, this year, no strings attached, to ONE HOTEL DEVELOPER BUDDY OF THEIRS … and are pulling out all stops to retain the ability to keep doing the same.  And they’re calling LUCILLE “generous with taxpayer money?”  Irony coughs up blood.  Also, how ’bout that quote from weaselly Pringle crony Reed Royalty, who’s been busting his ass of late TRYING HARD to divert $1.3 billion of your Measure M sales tax funds to build TOLL LANES on the 405?  Great guardian of the public interest, him.

Anyway, are any of the charges on this flyer actually true?  Cynthia Ward, with her great institutional memory of Anaheim, tries her hand at answering in OC Political comments:

“The items they blame Kring for were under two different Mayors, Tom Daly who the SOAR/Disney crowd is supporting, and Curt Pringle who sent the mailing. But they want the world to believe one Council member answering to two Mayors did this all by herself.

“…Just the first item I picked out, claiming Kring boosted utility rates, says it all. The mailing cites Res. 2007-183 approved on 10/23/2007. With the exception of Harry Sidhu, who felt the average increase of $6 per month was too high, the entire Council, INCLUDING MAYOR PRINGLE, approved that rate adjustment that they are now blaming Lucille for! It was first since 1993, in response to State mandates forcing us to buy more expensive electricity.

“AND….the Council was acting on the recommendation of their Public Utilities Commission, which included Commissioners Jordan Brandman and Kris Murray.In fact it looks like Murray voted for this increase on her first day as a Commissioner, despite not having attended the workshop outlining the need for increases at the earlier meeting. But let’s blame Lucille for that.

“I am trying to find time to track down some others, it is clear that [Disney/Pringle] is not a side voters can trust to tell the truth.”

The following Leos hit piece is just as full of shit:

Excuse me?  THIS is coming from the crowd that, just last June, approved a contract between the Anaheim council and Anaheim general employees union “that promises, among other things, no layoffs, no outsourcing of city services, an end to furloughs and lump sum payouts totaling $2,200 to every employee who had previously taken furlough days” – an agreement that not only Mayor Tait, but supposed Union tool JOHN LEOS, called “excessive.”

It’s even worse, in at least two ways:  this Council giveaway in June was done as part of a deal to torpedo the “Let The People Vote” movement – i.e. they made an unaffordable giveaway to their union employees in order to be allowed to continue making unaffordable giveaways to their corporate masters.  On top of that, by far the largest, most excessive spending on union wages and benefits go to the police and fire unions, who are backing NOT the fiscally conservative Leos, but the DISNEY-PRINGLE CANDIDATES BRANDMAN AND LODGE!

John responds to this BS:

“I am a little surprised that corporate interests are opposing the only candidate who actually has experience with pension reform and restructuring retiree medical benefits,” said Leos. “This is the only pension reform Orange County has ever seen. Working alongside people such as those on the County Board of Supervisors, I worked to save taxpayers many millions of dollars.”
John Leos is former U.S. Marine and a lifelong resident of Anaheim whose family has been in the city for nearly 100 years. This is his second campaign for Anaheim City Council, having placed third for two seats in 2010.

Well enough for now of Disney’s contributions to the discourse – Disney who, Cynthia claims, has never before engaged in such negative and deceptive campaigns, and is doing so against candidates who don’t really pose any particular threat to them (as Lorri Galloway has in the past) beyond simply running against their chosen, dependable, water boy.  Let’s see what OCEA has put out, in response, so far, against said water boy:

And a great wailing like that of a stuck pig was heard across the town, as Jordan went whining to the man he considers to be Berardino’s boss, California Labor Federation head Art Pulaski, hoping that Nick and his OCEA will be somehow punished for daring to go after the golden Brandman:

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.

Wah, snivel.  This character really thinks that his bosses, Disney and Pringle, can sneakily break their pledge to keep their mitts off Leos, and the other side won’t dare to do anything about it.  It’s all of a piece with his general attitude that he’s above the rules, something he probably learned from his mentor Pringle, and exactly what’s gotten him into this investigation in the first place.

The investigation, which probably won’t yield any results before the election, is probably not the BEST way for OCEA to attack Jordan, I could suggest several better ones, but I’m sure they’ve got plenty more up their sleeves, and I’ll share it when I get it.  But I do have a lot more to say about the investigation – it’s a lot more than the unauthorized using of an office, although that itself is illegal.  But that deserves its own story.  And in that story – TEASER – I’ll share what I learned yesterday from the OC’s King Homophobe Reverend Lou Sheldon about the time a couple years ago that Jordan came begging the bigot for his endorsement, claiming to be born again, and the reason Sheldon denied him!

Keep your eyes on the Orange Juice Blog, the county’s political Mosh Pit!

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.