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Anaheim is about to have a big election year. You guys are looking at:
- Charter Revisions
- District Elections
- Angel Lease Negotiations
- Two Council positions
- And a heated three-way race for Mayor
These are all important issues with multiple themes intersecting through billions of tax dollars, debt, pensions, and a vision for Anaheim’s future. The task for candidates attempting to address the electorate on any of the big ticket issues in Anaheim will take months and hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on glossy mailers and full page ads in the Register. Factor in a run at potentially breaking the Democrat’s super-majority in the state legislature and you’ve got yourself a 1000-layer political cake complete with cherry chip frosting.
One could host a forum a day covering a unique issue affecting an Anaheim voter without ever discussing anything without a potential impact spanning more than five years, having a cost lower than $1,000,000, or actually dealing with life and death issues impacting the community.
That is, unless you’re Dan Chmielewski of the Liberal OC.
Dan has posted two Anaheim blog posts in four days. He also broke the news of Lori Galloway’s official campaign opening on Tuesday.
He had four whole days plus a weekend to prepare the stage for Galloway’s grand arrival. With the hundreds of issues that could potentially resonate with an Anaheim voter – pension reform, districts, city-wide equality, city-wide unity, parks and recreation, libraries, police oversight, free speech rights at council meetings, civility, Anaheim Stadium lease, the role of local government in the economy . . . what does he pick?
0.01% of a contract deal for a hotel in Garden Grove and what happened to 0.0001% of the General Fund in 2013.
Really heavy stuff.
I hope Lorri Galloway is paying attention. Not only did Chmielewski squander a golden opportunity to set the tone for the entire first half of the campaign season, but he managed to do such a poor job defending his own fascination with microscopic issues through blatant distortion that he managed to detract actual real attention away from Galloway’s announcement. Total comments on her campaign announcement on the site breaking the story: Z-E-R-O. Comments on the other two stories he published? Rollin’ up on 100. Good job, Dan-o.
There’s only one explanation for this: The Chmielewski Effect. It’s only known to occur in a dark corner of Larry Agran’s basement, but it is quite debilitating: You see, somebody who is suffering from the Chmielewski Effect loses the ability to distinguish what pieces of reality are relevant, has an uncontrollable desire to regurgitate the semantic, and will be so desperate to win an argument that he or she may actually challenge someone to “whip out” something, anything, to see whose is larger during a comment exchange.
Let’s all hope that Dan gets the care he needs to become an active and responsible contributor to society. In the meantime, here’s what he should have done. (Not the photo, but the analysis beneath it.)
Anaheim’s mayoral race breaks down to one thing: Leadership. Simply put, who can string together THREE VOTES on Anaheim’s city council in 2015.
Tom Tait: Popular Republican incumbent, but politically isolated on the council. Mayor Tait needs to demonstrate not just the superiority of his positions, but that he can actually bring two votes with him in 2015.
That’s it. No more, no less. To demonstrate leadership, the mayor needs to find two more votes on the council– either through reconciliation or by bringing two council candidates with him on a ticket. He gets those and he’s in. He doesn’t and he’s probably out.
Lucille Kring: Well-funded Republican, but deficient in trust and vision. Kring finds herself in the awkward position of having to defend votes she cast that contradict the promises she made to get elected. Furthermore, voters know exactly what they’re going to get with Kring: her accomplishments while on council might as well be a list of new ways she’s found to spend taxpayer money. It’ll be more of the same as she represents the sitting majority who have made their intentions quite clear: public tax dollars to the well-connected using the premise of an economic impact study to justify the expense. We’ve seen it before . . . we’ll see it again.
To demonstrate leadership, Kring needs to find a way to convince voters that she’ll actually follow through on her promises this time around and while not being an unenthusiastic representation of 20th century Anaheim. Voters won’t pick a leader they can’t trust and who has no original thought. That’s a tough problem to fix – but she’ll have the money to make an attempt and lying isn’t necessarily a death sentence for a politician in America, let alone Anaheim.
Lorri Galloway: Populist Democrat, but ALSO hampered by political isolation . . . Galloway wants voters to believe that she represents a fresh start, an opportunity to recapture some civility lost in the last two years. Considering she’s taken similar if not identical positions to the mayor regarding the city’s most contentious issues (Gardenwalk Giveway, districts, Angels negotiations) it’s impossible to believe that anything would actually change if she were mayor. In fact, the same majority that opposes Mayor Tait stripped Galloway of her Mayor Pro Tem title as a consequence of supporting the Mayor on a contentious issue.
To demonstrate leadership, the ex-Mayor Pro Tem needs to, like Mayor Tait, find two more votes on the council. However, unlike Mayor Tait, Galloway also has to convince whoever she allies with that she won’t stab them in the back when it becomes politically expedient to do so.
Galloway took the first shot at demonstrating leadership with the roll out of her campaign platform today. (www.lorrigalloway.com and associated social media feeds.) Her platform is sweet (Create, Commit, Collaborate,) and she’s making it clear that she’s making it a priority to demonstrate a connection with real people who have real problems in Anaheim. She wants to run a campaign for Anaheim in 2025, one that makes the mayor personal, not political, for everyone in Anaheim.
I think it works. She’s going to attack the populist vote while attempting to retain as many Brandman-brand Democrats as possible. Can she ride this type of strategy to the mayor’s seat on the dais? Yeah, it’s possible.
Can she do anything after she gets there? Nope. Not with this.
If I’m a voter in Anaheim, and I’m not, this is all very pretty and inspirational – there’s plenty of what Galloway wants to do and why she wants to do it. But, there is absolutely nothing on how she’s going to get anything done or what she’s done in the last year to prevent some pretty awful council decisions from occurring. Zip.
Nothing on what she’s doing RIGHT NOW to make changes to the city’s Charter to help business grow.
Nothing on what she’s doing RIGHT NOW to prevent giving away the city block’s worth of land around Anaheim’s biggest public asset and source of pride — Angel Stadium — for one dollar a year.
Nothing on what she’s doing RIGHT NOW to make the case for single member districts so residents can make a choice that suits them and their neighbors best.
Nothing on who she’s bringing with her RIGHT NOW on the (de facto) Democratic ticket to break up the existing majority.
Nothing on what she’s been doing ALL OF LAST YEAR to prevent an abusive council majority from stripping Anaheim taxpayers dry.
Nothing on why she left Anaheim’s mayor hanging out to dry to defend the city’s best interests for ALL OF LAST YEAR.
Nothing . . . not one word on where she’s been the year Anaheim needed her most.
BUT, and it’s a big but– it’s not even February. Lorri Galloway has nine months to explain where she’s been the last twelve. It better be good, but it would be better if she had started explaining her case . . . right now.
Dan– you should have spent your four days talking about what Lorri Galloway is doing RIGHT NOW to make Anaheim better. Instead, you let the Chmielewski Effect get the better of you.
Too bad. Maybe next time you’ll just whip it out instead of talking about the little things.