Kleptoheim: Here Come Harry and the Angels


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Stadium Lot delineating 154-acre parcel

Well, that didn’t take long.

Today’s OC Register highlighted a new proposal from the new Anaheim majority to keep the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim.

The proposal includes an interim lease extension, which is on top of the last interim extension, so the City and Angel Management can hash out a deal.

To be clear, this is EXACTLY how Anaheim got into this mess.  Giving up its leverage (time) to placate an owner who is much, much better at negotiating than any of the economic lightweights over at City Hall.  If the City hadn’t handed over the keys to destroying the lease to Arte Moreno five years ago, we wouldn’t be in this mess.

Sidhu’s solution?  Try the same failed strategy again.  Extend the lease, give Arte Moreno time to negotiate a deal of his choosing, and hope for the best.

Here’s two quotes from the Register, my emphasis, for your amusement:

“From that meeting, it is clear the team’s priority is to stay in Anaheim, if we can work out a deal that benefits our residents, the city and the team. We need a plan to make that happen, and we need time to make that happen,” Sidhu said.

The team’s priority is to make money.  Piles of it.  The Mayor has publicly stated that Anaheim would be nothing without the Angels (and his other nonsense pillars).  Guess what Mayor Sidhu is going to give the Angels to make sure they stay in Anaheim?  Giant piles of money.  Your money.

“I think we can get a lot more than Tom Tait got out of the Ducks deal.”– Jordan Brandman

Sure, Jordan can negotiate a $25,000 pay day for himself to plagiarize a report and turn it in late . . . and maybe he even stayed at a Holiday Inn last night, but consider that he has never had a real job and has never negotiated a real deal concerning major assets.  Maybe he thinks that the words “we” and “more” mean something different than they actually do.  Only time will tell.

More certainly to come from the newly elected majority in Anaheim.  Early prediction?  Expect a new stadium, housing, and retail in Anaheim by 2026.  Arte floats his own money to finance the work with tax exemptions, rebates, and near zero dollars in rent for 30+ years.  Obvious winners will be the Building Trades and the Angels . . . the taxpayer’s main benefits will be measured with words like “pride” and “partnership.”

This is Anaheim’s single largest and most leveraging asset.  This is the second lease extension to be approved, negotiated behind closed doors, and with no increase in benefit to the taxpayers since 1996.

You get what you vote for.


About Ryan Cantor

Our conservative columnist, based in Fullerton, works as a Project Development Analyst and Strategic Planner.