Arturo Ferreras Answers Kring’s Self-Serving Lies in the Register — and It’s GLORIOUS!


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A man of the people -- AND an opponent of STRs! Put him on Council!

A man of the people — AND an opponent of STRs, AND someone who will impose some quite reasonable constraints on rapacious Disney? Put him on Anaheim’s City Council right now!

Hey, Chumley is right: printing entire press releases DOES make blogging a lot easier!  And this one is great!

Ferreras Responds to Kring’s Op Ed in OC Register

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 6, 2016

Anaheim, CA  A wise man once said: always judge a politician by what they do, not what they say. This certainly applies to Lucille Kring, who recently addressed The OC Register’s refusal to endorse her and its description of her as “patently dishonest.”

Ms. Kring tries to rewrite her own history as a councilmember, the reality of which is that of a politician who has consistently placed the interests of her big campaign contributors ahead of the people of Anaheim.

But fortunately people are paying attention.

When she ran again for office in 2012 she opposed the Gardenwalk Hotel tax kickback scheme. She also supported by-district elections. But once elected, she quickly turned 180 degrees on both issues. Was it a coincidence that Anaheim’s corporate special interests had begun raising money for her so that she could pay off previous campaign loans – to herself?

Soon after being elected Ms. Kring completely backtracked on by-district elections in Anaheim in order to support special interests at the expense of Anaheim’s residents.

Kring’s position on short term rentals (STRs) has been equally slippery and her statement about how she voted on the issue simply isn’t true. She refused to support the ban that would have included an appeal process for those who could show a real economic investment after the STR use became legal in 2014. Her sympathies obviously lay with the commercial interests that want to turn 4th District neighborhoods into motel zones.

According to the OC Register, Lucille Kring’s word is “fungible.” I have to admit that I had to look up the meaning of that word. It means something that can be bought, sold, or traded for something of similar value.

For Anaheim 4th District residents one alarming fact remains: according to Orange County political watchdog Shirley Grindle, as of June, 2016 Ms. Kring still has over $83,000 in outstanding campaign debt – to herself. Paying herself back for previous political adventures appears to be Lucille Kring’s number one priority, an important fact to remember on Election Day.

Lushille Kring’s Op-Ed from last Wednesday appears below.  (I’ve highlighted the deceptive parts and the outright lies in (appropriately enough) bold martini-olive green, though I’m not going to take the trouble to distinguish among them.)  But the interesting point to be made about the appearance of this piece appears up here in pimento red:

WHY DID THE REGISTER INVITE ONLY ONE OF THE TWO ANAHEIM DISTRICT 4 CANDIDATES — THE ONE THAT THEY HAD IDENTIFY AS SUCH A LIAR THAT THEY COULDN’T EVEN ENDORSE HER — TO WRITE AN OP-ED COLUMN A WEEK BEFORE THE ELECTION?

It’s pretty clear why!  They get a lot of advertising money from Disney — and so a compromise was apparently hammered out: they didn’t have to ENDORSE her, but they had to give her HER OWN FORUM in which SHE COULD ENDORSE HERSELF, so that the Register could consider itself “untainted” and Disney would be satisfied enough not to take action against them.

WE CALL UPON THE OC REGISTER TO DIVULGE WHO MADE THE DECISION TO GIVE KRING THIS FORUM, AND WHEN, AND ANY CONTACTS THAT ANYONE WORKING FOR OR WITH THE REGISTER HAD WITH ANYONE WORKING FOR OR PLAUSIBLY IN CONCERT WITH DISNEY ON ENDORSEMENTS AND OP-EDS RELATED TO ANAHEIM’S DISTRICT 4!

If DISNEY’s buying the District 4 election makes you sick — about a quarter of a million dollars or more for their gnarled servant Kring along with very likely putting pressure on the REGISTER  to vote her way, then you should vote for the only candidate in District 4 who can beat her: ARTURO FERRERAS!

Again, here’s Kring’s Register Op-Ed piece, with the misleading portions in bold martini olive green.

Since 2012, I have been honored to represent Anaheim on the City Council, including for the past two years as mayor pro tem. In that time, I joined with my council colleagues to support key initiatives benefiting all Anaheim residents. We are in our third year of restoring the police department to pre-recession staffing levels and we are investing nearly $300 million across the city in infrastructure improvements.

Now, just days away from Anaheim’s first election of council members by districts, I am running for re-election to represent District 4. But recently, the Register decided not to endorse any District 4 candidate, citing differences with my positions on the hotel program and short-term rentals. I believe the Register misunderstood my positions, and I appreciate this opportunity to clarify.

Before I ran in 2012, a proposal offered an 80 percent tax incentive for two hotels at GardenWalk. My public opposition was clear: an 80 percent incentive was too high, the hotels were not required to be four-diamond quality and there were no mandated job benefits for residents.

After my 2012 election, I negotiated to reduce the incentive to 70 percent over 20 years, to require that hotels be four-diamond quality and to stipulate that Anaheim residents and military veterans have first priority for construction and permanent jobs. This is the program passed by our council in 2013.

Even the Register opined that Anaheim should create a level playing field to any hotel being built. The council responded with a comprehensive, citywide hotel program in 2015.

Why offer a hotel program? The resort is our economic engine, generating more than half of our general fund for public safety and resident services.

Anaheim competes with other cities for visitors and conventions, and we are disadvantaged by a lack of four-diamond hotels. Simply put, even with a tax incentive, four-diamond hotels benefit the city because they generate far more revenue than three- or two-diamond hotels.

STRs, another issue cited by the Register, have operated quietly and legally in Anaheim for nearly a decade. With the Great Recession came home foreclosures, distressed sales and deteriorating neighborhoods as homes were vacated by those who no longer could afford them.

Investors saw an opportunity to buy houses, make improvements and run them as STRs. In 2014, the council required STRs to be licensed, pay hotel-stay tax and abide by regulations. Yet the number of STRs grew, distressing some neighborhoods.

In July, the council unanimously banned new STRs with an 18-month phase-out for those already in place. Theoretically, the phase-out allows owners to recover costs for improvements made to properties.

I voted twice for an STR ban. However, there should have been a longer phase-out to protect the city from liability in cases where owners are unable to recover all of their investment. Cost-recovery shortfalls could expose the city to an estimated $60 million in liability and legal fees.

As a councilmember, it is my responsibility to safeguard city funds – money that should go to public safety, parks, libraries, youth programs, streets and neighborhoods.

That is why I advocated banning STRs with a longer phase-out. Some in the community disagreed, but STR owners have property rights, too. Among the most difficult decisions faced by city leaders is how to balance the competing rights and interests of property owners.

At a time when emotions drive politics, my approach to complex issues has been reasoned and rational assessment, even if it doesn’t always lend itself to pithy campaign mailers or newspaper endorsements.

I’m off to work on another piece, but perhaps some of our regular commenters can expound on how and why the parts that I selected to be in bold martini-olive green are misleading.


About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose worker's rights and government accountability attorney, residing in northwest Brea. General Counsel of CATER, the Coalition of Anaheim Taxpayers for Economic Responsibility, a non-partisan group of people sick of local corruption. Deposed as Northern Vice Chair of DPOC in April 2014 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. Occasionally runs for office to challenge some nasty incumbent who would otherwise run unopposed. (Someday he might pick a fight with the intent to win rather than just dent someone. You'll know it when you see it.) He got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012 and in 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002. 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. A family member 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.)