Weekend Open Thread: Tom Daly Gets It Right, Can Do More


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He has serious faults, but he also doesn’t want to see his city looted. So he gets to be our WOT cover boy.  He knows what else he should do now.

It’s pretty rare that I agree with my assemblyman Tom Daly on anything, but when he’s right he’s right, and this letter is for the ages:

Sept. 27, 2020
To Anaheim Mayor and City Councilmembers:

Because it is an outrageously one-sided deal, I am opposed to the pending agreement to sell the stadium property to a company apparently controlled by Angels owner Arte Moreno.

It is my firm belief – shared by many expert professionals in real estate and city finance – that this deal gives away hundreds of millions of dollars of Anaheim taxpayer money.

For residents outside of Anaheim, this deal looks like a sad joke of self-inflicted bumbling and false choices. It does them no financial harm. But for Anaheim residents – who own the valuable stadium property – this is a massive, historic giveaway costing at least $1,000 for every man, woman and child in the city.

Here are just some of the problems with this deal:

1. Property Undervalued. In recent years, provisions of the Angels lease were manipulated so as to undervalue the property. Menawhile, the city-sponsored appraisal of value was manipulated to lower the cost to the buyer.

2. Shrinking Sales Price. Why are Anaheim taxpayers reimbursing $169 million to the buyer/developer (“credits”) for features such as a park and affordable housing, when these items are ALWAYS the responsibility of any developer (especially one who’s receiving approval for 5.175 housing units!)

3. Mysterious Removal of City Manager. Under mysterious circumstances midway through the negotiations, the city manager was forced out of his job and paid a $475,000 buyout.

4. “Saving Baseball.” Underpinning the negotiations has been a laughingly false narrative about “saving” major league baseball in Anaheim. Sensible folks know this is just leveraging and posturing.

It’s not too late to reconsider the price and terms, and avoid the embarrassment and lawsuits that are sure to follow this one-sided deal. Anaheim residents deserve a better deal, and a fair deal.

Tom Daly
State Assemblymember
69th District.

So, when Tom’s aide sent me this letter, she told me “This really hurts Tom deeply as an Anaheim resident,” and I responded, “I don’t think it hurts him enough, he’s still endorsing Steve Faessel for Council, and Steve is totally responsible for this.” She responded that the endorsement pre-dated the Stadium Deal, a sort of absurd contention as this deal has been in the works for two years and Steve has always been behind it. But I answered, “Well, Tom is a Democrat, and it’s not too late for him to rescind his endorsement of Steve, a Republican, and endorse the Democrat Kenneth Batiste instead.” She agreed that in the case of that surprising occurrence, Tom would call me.

This is your Weekend Open Thread.


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.