“Dirty Politics Crosses the Line.” The latest on the Orange Land Grab, from Orange-Needs-Parks.org




Found in today’s bulging Orange Juice Inbox (our emphases) :

Bought-off councilman Bilodeau, tireless for-hire wordsmith Cunningham, Ridgeline Land-Grab boosters.

Hi Vern,

Sometimes one side goes too far in a political fight. In the City of Orange, developer John Martin and his investors have done just that.

Mr. Martin received approval from the Orange City Council to develop 39 multi-million dollar homes on 51 acres, which is zoned as recreational open space. His approval came after he and his companies donated $40,000 to support key candidates in the recent City Council election.

Furious at the Council’s decision, Orange residents organized an all-volunteer petition drive to place the plan directly before the voters. But the developer was not content to let democracy run its course. Mr. Martin’s team has hired people to circulate false petitions to confuse Orange voters. These petitions have nothing to do with any real policy actions taken up by the City Council, and are not intended to be submitted to any government official for any purpose. The developer also actively discouraged voters from signing the real petitions, and even urged voters to rescind their signatures on the real petition with the Registrar of Voters, again, all to confuse voters.

Martin even took the petitioners to court in an effort to prevent the Registrar from certifying signatures to place the referendum on the ballot. The judge flatly denied the request this week, supporting the ability of local citizens to exercise of their democratic rights.

Even in a hard-fought political fight, these tactics cross the line.

This coming Tuesday, August 9th, the Orange City Council will face two choices: rescind the General Plan Amendment that paved the way for Mr. Martin’s development or let the voters decide through the referendum that has qualified for the ballot. It’s time for the public to know the truth about these dirty tricks and to let their voice be heard. Developers should not be allowed to squelch a democratic process just to make a buck, especially when they have to resort to lies and aggressive tactics to prevent a vote of the people.

I hope you will consider shining a light on this damaging situation in the City of Orange. It’s in the best interest of all Californians to ensure that residents have a fair shake at shaping land use priorities in their communities.


Sev Williams for

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.