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As their respective leaders publicly embrace the opposition, Orange County’s Republicans and Democrats are betting against the City Council Majority governing Anaheim. Americans remain anxious and concerned about spending in what appears to be a new normal for the economy. So with high-profile contests raging in and around the city, neither party can afford to be associated with Anaheim’s leadership. The waste and abuse at City Hall presents an undeniable narrative; it is, after-all, in plain sight.
With three of its four members in campaign mode, the Council Majority must change the terms of the debate heading into November. To that end, the coalition will use its considerable financial clout to produce a more favorable counter-narrative. Last week the Council Majority filed three politically motivated lawsuits related, loosely, to the present campaign. Therein, one can discern what the Council Majority is attempting to pass-off as reality.
The first two law suits were filed by Councilwomen Gail Eastman and Kris Murray against an elderly City Hall gadfly named Denis Fitzgerald. A hold-over from Curt Pringle’s tenure as mayor, Fitzgerald is known for his regular public rants on, what he believes is, the poison in Disneyland’s fireworks. The elected officials are taking this shabby eccentric to court because they would like him to retract a statement claiming Disney, the city’s largest employer, has a “tremendous influence” over the City Council. In the complaint, Murray and Eastman put their mastery of Latin to use and call the allegation an “ad hominem attack”.
It is odd that Councilwoman Eastman would participate in the lawsuit. She is on the record saying she believes Fitzgerald is mentally ill and has accordingly urged compassion. Perhaps because her Disney connection lost her an election in 2008, she has since changed her tone. In lieu of compassion, the Councilwoman is insisting that a very busy judge censor what she believes is a mad man.
Preferring intimidation and character assassination, Kris Murray never afforded Fitzgerald any sympathy, or for that matter, any attention. Nevertheless, it is obvious what Murray has to gain by raising Fitzgerald’s profile. An alleged Disney connection will draw attention away from her prominent connection to high-speed rail and ARTIC. And ever since Murray’s infamous hate-speech stunt, she has sought in vain to link Fitzgerald, who recently added bigotry to his act, to the rest of her critics. Apparently, she feels that the public will cut her some slack if they feel she is the victim of homophobia and antisemitism.
- Looking to unseat incumbent Mayor Tom Tait, the third frivolous lawsuit comes from Councilwoman Lucille Kring. She could not participate in the former because 1) She has openly discussed being familiar with the homophobic antisemite Fitzgerald, and 2) Kring has made statements about Disney and the City Council that make “tremendous influence” sound like an understatement.
- Not to be left out of the fun in any event, Kring sued Mayor Tait. She claims the language he used in his ballot statement wrongly suggests her support of district elections. The phrase in question, “neighborhood representation”, seems sufficiently vague enough to cover the constantly evolving views of the councilwoman. However, she is on record saying that she would not mind if Anaheim Hills was left without any representation on the Council; no, she encourages “let the [current election] system play-out.”. Given Ms. Kring’s views on alternative dispute resolution, perhaps the Mayor should concede the point.