Anaheim Hotel Subsidy: You Know You’re Being Conned when Lousy Projections are called ‘Facts’


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Kring, in Tait's absence, reads off her pitch for rebating taxes to hotels

In Tait’s absence, Kring reads off her pitch for rebating taxes to hotels

Summer Anaheim City Council meetings, whether after holidays or during the Mayor’s long-scheduled vacations, have become excruciating.  When the Top Cat’s away, the mice will play the same games they usually do — but with more reckless abandon.  Last night, Mayor Pro-Tem Lucille Kring — aside from offering a little comic relief by lying about her comments while wielding the gavel last month about preventing the audience from applauding, and being caught in a lie or two by Cynthia Ward and Victoria Michaels, the latter of whom actually came in from watching the Council meeting at home to nail Kring on her lie! — presided over a PR push for the “Hotel Program” that gives away over 2/3 of two decades worth of Anaheim’s future income to anyone — fairly therefore! — who will come in and built a four-star hotel.

Rather than inserting paragraph places in places where I’d think they would go, I’m going to break up the bulk of her piece into sentences, listed in numerical order, so that it will be easier (when time permits) to identify the ones that contain lies and discuss how and why that is.

Note that Kring says that she had written this herself.  I highly doubt that.  For one thing, after she read off the first part and passed the baton to James Vanderbilt, she said that she had forgotten to “save” (she may have meant “say”) something previously.  It would be interesting to know how the new section appeared before her — but one can’t prove anything (at this point.)  It’s just insulting.

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KRING (1:49:20): I pulled 21 and 22 for a couple of reasons.  I wanted to address some of the concerns that people have about this, so I’m going to just read something that I had written before:

  1. New hotels coming to Anaheim will benefit residents for years to come by creating money for public safety, community services, and paying down debt.
  2. People have said that they have so many ideas what they can do with that half-billion dollars, but that’s exactly what we’re going to do with it: public safety, community services, and paying down debt.
  3. But you’d never know it by listening to the opponents, who are putting politics ahead of the residents when it comes to our program to bring four-diamond hotels to Anaheim.
  4. Here are the facts.
  5. Over 20 years, the hotels will generate nearly $300 million in new revenue for, again, public safety and paying down debt.
  6. Beyond the 20 years, after the incentives are paid, the hotels will generate billions for our residents and support a growing city for decades to come.
  7. We’re not giving away anything, because you can’t give away what you do not have.
  8. The hotels will generate entirely new revenue that does not exist today and would never be realized without this incentive program.
  9. Hotels aren’t just for visitors; they are Anaheim’s primary way of funding the services our residents expect and deserve.
  10. New hotels under Anaheim’s hotel program mean more money for police, fire fighters, libraries, community centers, youth programs, streetlights, graffiti removal, and improving our neighborhoods.
  11. You don’t have to look far to see the alternatives.
  12. Cities all around us are seeking to raise taxes on residents to shore up their ailing budgets.
  13. Anaheim, as Councilmember Murray has said, and I have said, Anaheim does it by economic development.
  14. We do not do it by raising taxes.
  15. Westminster — those residents will be asked in November to raise taxes.
  16. Stanton already has the highest sales tax in the county.
  17. In Fountain Valley, they’re thinking about putting in a sales tax, and they already have it on, I was just told, on their — they’re going to be raising their sales tax — and that is inappropriate.
  18. We’d rather do things, as I said, through economic development, not taxes.
  19. That’s the best way that Anaheim competes.
  20. Opponents would abandon 60 years of proven policy to set us down an uncertain financial path that is all do familiar to our neighboring cities.
  21. To be sure, the rhetoric of fear and division is tempting.
  22. Trouble is, it’s some of the biggest lies you’ll ever hear.
  23. As Councilmembers, we are elected to look out for the residents beyond the next election.
  24. As we consider these new hotels, we only need to ask: will they provide more or less for the people we are elected to serve?
  25. The answer is resoundingly clear.
  26. The three sites proposed for hotels, currently home to two motels and a parking lot, now generate $3.5 million a year for Anaheim.
  27. Four diamond hotels on these sites will generate $14.5 million a year on average.
  28. Even under the hotel program, where developments share in the TOT for 20 years.
  29. At a time when emotions rule politics, facts like these are mere inconveniences for critics of our Hotel Incentive Program.
  30. For many, their opposition stems solely from who is behind the hotels.
  31. Walt Disney, which wants to create a parking lot with a four-diamond hotel.
  32. In adopting a hotel program, Anaheim created a [level] playing field for anyone with a worthy project and Disney is no different from the Hilton or the Marriott or the Red Lion.
  33. The test is the same: are Anaheim residents better off with a parking lot or a four-diamond hotel.
  34. Disney parking lot today generates $40,000 a year in property taxes, but a four-diamond hotel under this hotel program will generate nearly $7 million a year in hotel stays, sales, and property taxes over twenty years.
  35. Which is better for our residents?
  36. As other cities struggle with cutting services and raising taxes, the debate over Anaheim’s hotel program must seem absurd — and it truly is.
  37. Of course there are challenges and unmet needs in Anaheim, but that’s exactly why we need these hotels for decades to come: for all the benefits that they will bring.
  38. Anaheim is able to do what other cities cannot because we have what other cities don’t have: a thriving visitor economy and companies that want to make investments here.
  39. Governing by politics is wrong.
  40. Four-diamond hotels, and the benefits they will bring to our city for years, are right for our residents.
    Thank you for that, and with that I will make a motion to approve 21 and 22.
  41. [Kring later adds, after James Vanderbilt’s comments explaining why he would vote “no”]:   There’s a couple of items that I forgot to save.
  42. Some critics have said that these hotels would have been built have built even without the incentive.
  43. There are two hotels on the east and west corners of South Harbor, and Harbor and Katella, that is the gateway to the resort area.
  44. And there was one, it was on the east side of Katella, he wanted to build a four-diamond hotel there.
  45. But —  I won’t go into the details, but he didn’t want to go as long as this process has taken.
  46. So, on the corners to the entrance to the resort, we had two lovely hotels — but they are three-star hotels.
  47. And this city deserves better, our visitors deserve better, and our residents deserve better.
  48. That would have been the epitome of the entrance to the resort.
  49. But they did not want to go through the problems that the current developers are going through.
  50. And they’re sticking it out and they’re going to built beautiful projects, and I thank them for having the courage and forethought, and foresight, to do what they’re doing with three hotels in Anaheim.

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Then Murray talks, at 1:57:40 or so — but someone else can take over the transcription duties, please?

This is unannotated — consider it “fair play” on OJB’s part to give Kring her forum — because God knows that she would never be able to stand up to cross-examination.  I’m going to take down Kring’s (and probably Murray’s) comments down in a separate piece.  I just wanted people to get the full benefit of the con before I do so.


About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Deposed as Northern Vice Chair of DPOC in April 2014 (in violation of Roberts Rules) when his anti-corruption and pro-consumer work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, who then worked with the lawless and power-mad DPOC Chair to eliminate his internal oversight. Expelled from DPOC in October 2018 (in violation of Roberts Rules) for having endorsed Spitzer over Rackauckas -- which needed to be done. None of his pre-putsch writings ever spoke for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level, nor do they now. One of his daughters co-owns a business offering campaign treasurer services to Democratic candidates and the odd independent. He is very proud of her. He doesn't directly profit from her work and it doesn't affect his coverage. (He does not always favor her clients, though she might hesitate to take one that he truly hated.) He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)