GALLOWAY IS IN, for Anaheim Mayor. What Now?

The Orange Juice Blog can report – hours before the Register‘s Mickadeit, but hours AFTER Gustavo’s well-written spoiler – what’s been rumored for weeks and what we COULD have reported weeks ago – former Anaheim councillady and Eli Home founder Lorri Galloway IS running for Mayor next year.  We also wish she would have waited just a couple more days before announcing, it all might have gone so much more smoothly – all we’re saying.

Does this spell the end of what has made Anaheim so special and fascinating these last few years – the alliance of honest left and honest right against the Kleptocrat middle?  Hopefully not and not necessarily.

Does this mean what Gustavo fears, that Pringle’s KLEPTOCRAT candidate (who appears to be character-free councilwoman Lucille Kring) will easily beat general allies LoGal and Tom Tait in a three-way race?  Again, hopefully not and not necessarily.

But there are so many X factors here to consider.  Oh, but first of all:


I’d been on Lorri’s shit list for a couple months just for suggesting she put off her Mayoral run till 2018.   Then we had a BIT of a phone-rapprochement recently where she explained to me – somewhat convincingly –  all the reasons that her run, now, made good sense.

And the Machiavellian little scamp said “What if I let you have the exclusive story when I announce?” like she’s holding out some piece of candy.  And I’m thinking “I could write this damn thing the second I hang up…” but I’m also thinking “What’s best for Anaheim?”  And she’s all, “It’ll either be you, or Gabriel (San Roman, of the Weekly) or Adam (of the Voice of OC.)”

And I’m all … “Well, I would make it clear that I’m still not 100% sure this is a good idea, you running against Tom;  I would try to present all the pros and cons.  And I think I would also ask you about whether you’d done anything on council in the past that you regret, that you would have done differently.   That would just make it a better story.”  And she was all, as she always is:  “Hm… interesting.”

So I suppose that’s where I failed the audition.  And apparently so did Gabriel and Adam.  The big LoGal announcement is set to be written by the Register’s cigar-chomping courtier-columnist Frank Mickadeit sometime this morning tonight .  Good call actually.  Not only a bigger readership than me, Gabe and Adam put together, but knowing Frank, it will be a softball personality-based puff piece.  Had I time, I would make a pre-parody of it right here, but …. on to more important points, forgive the self-indulgent detour…

Lay of the Land

First let’s specify that district elections are VERY unlikely to happen by Nov 2014 – not real districting, not fake districting, and not the expanded council – the kleptocrats’ foot-dragging, enabled by cautious Judge Miller, has been successful.  (If this prediction is wrong, then possibilities expand pretty unpredictably.)

Current Mayor Tom Tait, a conservative Republican who has been friends and almost always allies with progressive Democrat Lorri Galloway for two decades, is still planning to go for re-election – meaning at this point they’re up against each other, and some Tait adherents are considering Lorri a backstabber.

The Kleptocrat candidate for Mayor, as the OJ has long predicted, is going to be character-free Lucille Kring.  We knew that when we saw all the anonymous commenters on Matt Cunningham’s AnaheimBlog saying months ago, “Gee, Lucille would make a great Mayor!”  (See, that blog does have its uses.)

(Lorri seems pretty sure that former councilman and perennial officechaser Harry Sidhu will also be running, but mutual friends assure us that he’s not – his wife is apparently exasperated with his squandering the family savings on fruitless campaigns.  Again – he could change his mind, we could be wrong, and that will just make things more INTERESTING.)

We believe EITHER Tom or Lorri would beat the character-free Lucille like a rented mule.  In a three-way race?  A little dicier, but my money would be on Lorri for reasons I’ll discuss.  But WHAT A WASTE for both Tom and Lorri to run against each other, when the reprehensible kleptocrats Kris Murray and Gail Eastman are running for re-election onto council, and Tom and Lorri are probably the only two candidates with the name recognition and money to take one of them out.  (Given this pre-districting landscape.)

So Lorri has made the case, which I cautiously agree with, that for the good of the city, the Mayor should run for Council and knock off Kris Murray – which he could easily do – and let her beat Lucille like a rented mule.  It would still not be a great Council, with a Brandman-Eastman-Kring majority, but with Murray off, Kring and Eastman are weak-minded, and Brandman is occasionally forced to act as a Democrat.  (And maybe Kring and Eastman join Tom in acting as Republicans when issues of fiscal responsibility come up?  Ah … too much to ask…)

The Arguments for Mayor Lorri with Tom on Council

  • The biggest danger to Anaheim (besides killer cops – a different issue) is the Kleptocrats’ nonstop looting of city resources. They are ruthless, clever, and always one or two steps ahead of our beloved Mayor.  He is not a fighter or a calculating politician like Lorri, which is what is needed in these times.  We friends and fans of his have driven ourselves crazy coming up with lines, speeches and plans for him that he rejects as too aggressive.  He’s a sincere Christian who believes that kindness, and showing kindness, will save the day and make his case;  but it’s just not doing the trick.  Each time they yank away more of his power, he accuses them of being “mean” … which, in my great respect for him, I won’t characterize how lame that sounds.
  • The Loyalty of City Staff.  I’m taking Lorri’s word that the City Staff on the “7th floor” still has a great and abiding love for her – and I have seen some evidence of that.  What we do see plainly – most dramatically during these Angels Stadium meetings – is the staff showing thinly disguised contempt for Mayor Tait, which disgusts us all.  Apparently this lack of respect is not necessarily based in a loyalty to the Pringle Kleptocrats as much as the fact that Tom – like a good conservative Republican – immediately came after their pensions at the beginning of his Mayorship – and also he’s just not by nature a big 7th-floor gladhander.  Sez Lorri, a Mayor’s GOTTA have staff with them, and as she has taken to saying frequently of late, “I learned this from the best – CURT PRINGLE.”  [Update – LG wants you to know that is a VERY IRONIC comment]
  • And then there’s of course this – let’s just say, Anaheim’s and America’s changing DEMOGRAPHICS – the growing Latino population AND Democratic registration – makes it timely for the OC’s biggest city to FINALLY have its first female Mayor AND Mayor of color.

PS Now I see Dan C wrote a similar piece on his little blog.  How rushed he was to try to prove his Kleptocrat tendencies were about the Democratic Party or liberalism.  Does he know how far Lorri’s vision of what it means to be a Democrat is from his BFF Jordan?  No, I don’t think Dan C knows or understands much…

Update Nov. 2

Like Greg, I wish Tom and Lorri could both be on the dais together again, but it doesn’t look like that’s gonna happen.

I had a beer with Tom Tait last night. A couple of beers. He ain’t budging. I failed back in August to get LoGal to run for council instead of mayor, and I failed with Tom last night. Many others have failed at both tasks. But I did my bit, gave the college try.

“What’s the big deal about being Mayor instead of Councilman? There’s not really that much more power.” (Don’t ask me why I didn’t ask LoGal that, I did.) Tom firmly believes that the Mayor sets the tone for the city, and that he’s been setting the tone of KINDNESS. He can tell story after story of acts of kindness he’s seen in the city recently, that apparently… back up his theory.

Tom also said that when LoGal told him back in May that she would be running for Mayor, it felt like “a punch in the gut.”

So. If some magical candidates don’t appear soon who can take out Kris and/or Gail, you guys are gonna be stuck with the exact same council you have now, up thru 2016 … and that’s if you’re lucky. (Oh, did I say “you guys” instead of “we”? Must be a subconscious sign that I’ve had enough of this for a while.)

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, or 714-235-VERN.