All You Need to Know About Voting in Anaheim This Year, Part 1: On the Ballot Measures & Candidates

Anna Drive Candidates' Forum, Oct. 3, 2014

From left: James Vanderbilt, Denis Fitzgerald, Tom Tait, Dr. Jose F. Moreno, Donna Acevedo.

YES on Measure L: City of Anaheim – District Elections

The argument of opponents — at least the ones not screaming that brown people might take over the government — is that “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”  This, of course, is being said by middle class white people who are part of the ruling class.  Of course it is “not broke” — for THEM. But when a group of Anaheim residents have determined something is so broken they will allow their lives to be turned upside down, permit their reputations and families to be subject to scrutiny and abuse in order to file litigation, then it sure seems to “be broke” for someone out there. In that case, who the Hell do we think we are to shove them out of the way to preserve what works for those already in power?

“It’s not a matter of representation, it’s a matter of participation.”

As Lucille Kring has oh-so-diplomatically put it, “Hispanics don’t vote.”  Now I get this, because statistically the heavily Latino neighborhoods have some of the lowest voter turnouts in the city.  The Krings and Denis Fitzgeralds of the world will tell you this is the result of areas clogged with “illegals” who should be put on a bus and sent back to “wherever they came from.”  Others of more charitable mind will say that is because those areas are more heavily weighted to children below the voting age.

The truth is that there is a higher percentage of Latino residents who are eligible to vote, based on age and citizenship status, who simply fail to register and participate, and on some level it is ON THEM to get up and fix the system by voting.

At the same time, I also understand that when one is working two jobs, you tend to prioritize where you will spend your time and effort. Doing one’s civic duty gives way to this:

Do I take an extra bus home to vote and then go on to my second job?

Only if I think the people available to choose from are even remotely likely to offer to make the streetlight in front of my cramped apartment stop blinking on and off at night, and maybe fix the crumbling sidewalks so my Mom can get her walker to the corner carniceria and back — because last week she tripped on that uprooted spot that was blacktopped over instead of being properly fixed and she is still pretty bruised.

I might take the time if those running for office talked about clearing the way for good manufacturing jobs like I used to have, maybe even with some benefits so my kids weren’t so humiliated with the Medi-Cal cards photocopied in their school records. But when they speak of “job creation,” it is giving a subsidy to Anaheim’s biggest employer, which appears to have cut much of their staff back to 29 hour work weeks so they don’t have to pay benefits under Obamacare, shifting the cost of their medical coverage to the State’s subsidized program.

So why would I give my time to even fill out this from that is probably going to get me called in for Jury Duty, and my boss doesn’t pay for THAT either.”

When for many years now the candidates all look and sound like Lucille Kring, why would I waste an evening filling in a ballot when I could be catching the last of Junior’s soccer game after my last shift?

The establishment screams: “But when was the last time those neighborhoods ran a candidate?”

You are kidding me, right? The residents of Anna Drive, Guinida Lane, and Mountain View are the most optimistic dreamers on the face of the earth. Every last one of them believes someday they will get out of their apartment with the paper-thin walls, and live the American Dream. But there is also a realism to their aspirations, and while their climb to become the upwardly mobile is a hard one, it is also incremental.

Pushing a corn cart or shaved ice cart could lead to owning a second hand truck selling goods/vegetables, or a food truck/roach coach and someday turn into a brick and mortar store or restaurant. The guy laying in the street fixing yet another beater car so the owner can get to and from a thankless job BELIEVES that someday he will repair luxury imports from a below-ground bay in his own garage/shop. It seems doable because the elephant is eaten in small bites.

Again, consider the thought process of these hard working people and the reality they live with on a daily basis, if districts were to pass;

“Reach voters in a District of tens of thousands of people? It will take hard work, and every nickel I can scrounge from friends and family and yard sales, and maybe we sell the car and share the minivan for now, and everyone I have ever known will need to get out and walk precincts to hand out the black and white flyers I bought (paid a little extra for the color paper!) because there is no money for a mail permit. Mom and Aunt Rosa are going to have to break out their address books with the worn spines and pages pulling loose, and work the phones like nobody’s business. But doable.”

And you know what? I would vote for that guy! Because he/she wants it so bad it is stirred into their morning coffee like creamer, it is tucked into their lunch box and savored during a break from work, and the dream is woven into the 99¢ store pillow case they put their heads on at night.  When was the last time the establishment crowd was so hungry to be a voice for a forgotten community that they walked until their discount shoes split and then put cardboard in them to keep going because their last $20 just went to another printing of flyers?

But you tell that SAME dreamer to go reach voters in an At Large election of 350,000 people in a city that spans nearly between two county lines?

“Excuse me, I have a bus to catch or I will be late for my next shift, and my hours are already down this week.”

Am I right? There is “the dream” and then there is “crazy uncle Harold” who talks to invisible sheep he pretends to keep on the back patio.

Are we so far removed from that reality we can no longer understand it? It is time to reduce the size of Anaheim’s government so that it is no longer the private play toy of the wealthy or those who owe their seats to the wealthy. It is time for Districts to reduce the size of Anaheim’s government from “crazy uncle Harold” to the dreamer who will lose 10 pounds in two months walking every household in his District to hand out black and white printed flyers (on color paper.)

By the way, before you ask how a middle class white Republican from the “wealthy enclave of the Colony Historic District” (insert hysterical laughter here) knows or even guesses how someone on Anna Drive lives, it is because I was there. I used to live in a neighborhood across from the empty lot that later became Bill O’Connell’s OTHER subsidized hotel, the Doubletree. I never forget that I could be taking the filthy plates of Bill O’Connell’s dinner guests back to the kitchen for the dishwasher instead of leaving my own breakfast mess in the kitchen on my way out the door for another meeting. I got out because my very driven Romanian-immigrant first husband was one of those newly-American dreamers who worked himself half to death to get us out of that apartment by building his own business.

But I very recently was invited to the home of a gracious lady, the unofficial Mayor of Anna Drive was good enough to invite me into her world. And while I am sure she was preparing herself for rejection, I was honored to be there. I could describe the layout of the apartment behind the bedroom wall, because it was once very much like my own. The only difference between myself and Yesenia Rojas is that I got a few breaks she did not. I have a bigger home. She has more backbone and heart than I will ever possess. Her gratitude for each and every small blessing she calls her own makes me ashamed of how I take for granted the life I now enjoy, and she is one of the few people on earth who can me feel both lazy and selfish.

I get it. I get there is a difference between insanely difficult dream and just insane. And it is time to make public service accessible to the point of attainable for someone who wants it badly enough to walk themselves silly talking to voters about it.

It is time for Districts in Anaheim.  The rant continues below, where I discuss the Candidate from Anna Drive.

YES on Measure M: Expansion of Anaheim City Council from 4-6.

Here is the only argument I have heard against this one:

“It is too expensive to expand Council Chambers.”

(Yes, that is the brilliant analysis of Lucille Kring.)

I count HOW MANY people on Planning Commission?  One..two…three…yeah SEVEN Planning Commissioners.  And they meet where?  In their own specially constructed seven-person Chambers?  (If so, borrow the Planning Commission’s room…)  Oh … no … wait! The Planning Commission meets in the Council Chambers! So there IS room for 7 bodies up there. Hmm…

“Oh, it will cost more to remodel the Executive Offices on the 7th floor!”

So….the people who just approved $300MM in bonds for a Convention Center expansion, less $20MM in mystery money for which nobody can seem to identify an intended destination — it may or may not be used for a Fire Station, or Police officers, or whatever the City Manager puts on the budget for consideration based on which of Curt Pringle’s clients is up for their turn at the public trough that week — THOSE SAME PEOPLE are bugged at remodeling costs for their offices?!  OK, I have one word for you.  Portables.  Good enough for our school kids.

CW’s take: WRAP-UP on Council structure:

The best arguments FOR Measures L & M is the arguments of the Kleptocracy against them. Kring especially is the gift that keeps on giving. Examples:

Lucille did an interview on Fox with Brian Calle, in which she described one of the downsides to Districts.

  • “You want a police station you want a fire station and I want a park you get your police station and next year you and I are fighting and we don’t get what we want because there’s no consensus building.

I have heard Lucille use that analogy repeatedly, because she gives the SAME schtick to every community group she speaks to. The mind-boggling thing is she seems to truly believe that governing a city through a process of backroom deals is so completely acceptable that she rolls it out as the norm.

Yes, I know that there is an element of give and take, of course. But I have seen for years as the Neighborhood Council system has bickered over the ever-dwindling pot of CDBG funding in Anaheim. That entire system is set up on … NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCILS. Imagine that — people who live in the area they represent, are elected by those they represent, and try to drag resources back to the area they represent. And I have seen SO MANY TIMES as these decent leaders sacrifice a pet project for the greater good, because they understand that another area in desperate need of streetlights or a proper sidewalk is of more importance than an improvement to a park their area already enjoys.

Now someday we will have a discussion on how the city hosting the “economic engine” of the region has to fight each other for CDBG money to pay for streetlights.  But the example is this: that those who look out for the community in leadership positions will do what it takes to make sure residents have needs met, and that is sometimes going to be in areas not under one’s immediate representation.

It is only the small minded petty micro-dictators who currently run City Hall who would believe it is OK to withhold a Police Station or Fire Station from those who need one because someone didn’t kiss their ring and honor some sick hierarchy they have put into place for their own twisted power hoarding. Reason #428 that Kring should probably be subject to a recall.

But by all means, please, continue to send this “lean mean communication machine” out into the countryside to promote the Establishment vision for Anaheim. The pro-Districts folk could not ask for better advertising for their/our side. Seriously, can I pay for her gasoline to get to events?

NO on Measure N: Utility Tax

Sure, let’s give people who have shown exactly ZERO restraint in giving away our money to their friends even more money, this time siphoned off the water bills of residents.


Write in campaign.  No.  Hell no … and give us back what you HAVE BEEN SPENDING.

Anaheim Mayor: 

The four Mayoral candidates cover all of the bases: Republican incumbent Tom Tait, RINO Lucille Kring, Democrat Lorri Galloway, and Denis Fitzgerald, who claims allegiance with the Republican party but cannot find a Republican who will claim him back.

CW’s take:  Support Republican incumbent Tom Tait.

Do I even have to say it? Look at the voting record.

Kleptocracy giving money to their friends: 4 votes.

Sanity and fiscal prudence: 1 vote.  Tait’s vote.

Mayor Tait has been the “finger in the dam” for four years — and it is time to shore up the dyke and start rebuilding the reserves that the four in charge have been letting out of the floodgates.  Tait’s bi-partisan support includes endorsement by the Orange County GOP Central Committee following their naming of Tait as the Legislator of the Year — only one or two months after Lucille Kring’s disastrous “I didn’t put it in my campaign materials” visit to the OCGOP in January.  He has the Anaheim Republican Assembly endorsement as well.  Yet Tait is also welcome at meetings of Los Amigos on Wednesday mornings.   He is endorsed by Democratic Council candidate Dr. Jose Moreno, whom he has on many public occasions called a “dear friend,” and who Tait has said outright would be part of a Council majority (along with their mutual friend James Vanderbilt) that could brink Anaheim back from the brink of financial disaster.


Yes, there are a few. Nobody supporting the Mayor is a mindless “Tait-bot” as Dan C has claimed, and there are plenty of times when some of us do the palm-to-the-forehead thing … muttering, “Are you KIDDING?!”

Downside #1: Greg Laurie he is not.

While Tait’s public speaking skills are improving, there is no question that his greatest strength is in meeting people face to face, close enough for them to sense his sincerity and caring.  His is not the persona to raise a sports arena full of people to their feet, pledging their loyalty to whatever cult he is initiating them into.  And that is OK — because, frankly, enough oddly flavored Kool-Aid is served up in Anaheim to FILL Angels Stadium — and I believe we need someone who is the opposite of that guy. But there are some who want their leader to be charismatic, and project the confident demeanor of someone who knows where they are going and will lead us all to the promised land if we only sign on the dotted line, and initial here, here, here, and add the date here. A quick thumbprint and… HEY WAIT! THIS SAYS YOU GET MY SOUL?!

For those who are looking for that leader — well, you have the alternatives of Galloway and Kring to choose from — and I wish you well.  I prefer someone with a heart of gold and some backbone than a talking head full of empty promises. Actually, Fitzgerald seems pretty dynamic, and confident — so go for it.  (And his promises aren’t empty — in fact, they’re full of spiders!)

Here’s what I can tell you from personal observation:  when leaders are out in public, people will stop Shawn Nelson or Lou Correa, shake hands, or ask to get a picture.  But when Tom Tait is out in public, people walk up and HUG him.  It is the craziest thing I have ever seen, and it can be illustrated by two examples from just this weekend.

Last Friday night, Tait had tickets for the second Angels playoff game — tickets that any of us would have traded for  our right arms for.  If he didn’t care to sit with his colleagues in the City’s suite, I am fairly confident that Tait and Associates has some season tickets that are far from slumming it. Yet Tom and Julie Tait were not at the game Friday night.

(Cue the paid apologists for the majority to blame Tait for the Angels’ loss, because he tanked morale for refusing to cheer them on, further proof he wants the team to leave so he can bulldoze the stadium and put up affordable housing. And while they are at it, they can blame him for the beating in the parking lot, because Tait failed to provide enough security for beer-filled fans on an adrenaline high, right?)

So where were they?  The Taits were on Anna Drive Friday night — which sounds like the safer of the locations — at a candidate’s forum hastily assembled by people who are unlikely to be rich or powerful or influential, and thus are written off by most other “leaders” because they are not helpful to the ambitions of those leaders.

Tait was not even one of the candidates invited. This was a forum for Council candidates. He came because he wanted to observe, he wanted to hear what questions and concerns the residents would like to have addressed, and he came to support James Vanderbilt, who was doing all in his power to support the Mayor. Since Tait was there, and Fitzgerald crashed the party, the residents invited them to sit in and participate.

I have seen Tom and Julie Tait do some incredibly classy things in their time, nearly always behind the scenes; quietly, so they are not noticed, and certainly without a camera crew and media advisors along to exploit their good deed.  But their presence on Anna Drive, not as a campaign stunt and then off to another event to “see and be seen,” but as people connecting with other people, staying after the event to talk, with Julie remembering families from the Christmas/Posada events and asking about their children by name (I wish I could do that!) — that presence takes the cake for “class act.”

The second example was on Saturday. I was volunteering at the “history gig” I do, which I work HARD to separate from politics, and Tom and Julie noticed that the historic site was open and popped in.  All conversation stopped; our guests recognized the man in shorts and a baseball cap, and began to whisper “Alcalde.”  The Mayor would have none of that; he threw himself into conversation as though he was hosting a barbeque in his back yard and his greatest desire was to make his guests comfortable.  It was the one time that visitors no longer wanted a photo with the lady in the hoop skirt — and instead handed their phones to the lady in the hoop skirt to get a picture with the Mayor.

Spend 10 minutes in the community with Tom Tait and you understand what no expensive polling will accurately reflect. The man is not just liked or respected (or feared) — he is LOVED.  The Mayor who will never bring a stadium full of people to their feet can quietly turn a roomful of people into his new best friends — and the value of that is going to be seen on Election Day.  It does not matter what the mail will say about him:  those who have met him will not believe it.  Kris Murray’s calculated and strategist-approved “blame-Tait-for-Fitzgerald’s hate speech to deflect blame from their stripping the Mayor of his agenda powers” stunt — which she has apparently forgotten that she backed away from months go — should have taught the Kleptocracy a lesson. Sadly they are VERY slow learners.

DOWNSIDE #2: He is not General Patton either.

Tait can infuriatingly refuse to engage in their bar fight, no matter how many broken beer bottles his friends hand him in the back alley where the bad guys have assembled to try to jump him. Some who like Tait might support Kring, in the belief she will stand up to the bullies and put them in their places, or Galloway, in the belief that she will use her Good Witch of the North magic wand to vanquish discord, in hopes of resolving the gridlock at City Hall.

Some Patton-style stomping on people — say, confronting Murray by shouting “Would you PLEASE shut your pie hole you miserable selfish HARPY from the deepest bowels of Hell?” … sorry … did I say that out loud? … oh, come on, you were THINKING IT too, we ALL think it during her unending monotonous policy wonk rants … admit it — might be nice.  But should your resolve for Tait waiver — should you for one brief shining moment think that Kring would silence Murray instead of bowing down to her and her patron, or that Galloway could raise her priestly staff and part the waters of slippery verbiage streaming from Murray’s mouth — just remember who we’re dealing with here.  Galloway’s attempt at “leadership” got her stripped of her Mayor Pro Tem status; of the four in the Council Majority, Kring is the least well integrated, having done a 180-degree flip-flop to join the Pringle team after the last election was over.  Throwing over the Mayor’s moral compass for a shot at putting the Kleptocracy in its place, I am afraid Anaheim would sacrifice both the ethical bearings we have relied upon and the ability to dislodge the jack boot of Curt Pringle from the throat of Anaheim’s residents. Be careful what you ask for, my friends.  There’s a perfectly good other plan — elect a perfectly good, perfectly sane, new Council majority.

Here’s three ways not to do that, before we consider two ways that might well work.

CW’s take: Oppose “Pringle Ring Republican” candidate Lucille Kring;

Let’s just say it right now.

“…and she would spend the city down to the point where it could be annexed by Stanton.”  

I was drinking coffee when I read that line by Greg Diamond about Kring, and now he owes me a new keyboard. (Buddy, just take the trophy and go home. I am only sorry the trophy is chocolate covered in foil and cannot be melted down into a more substantial symbol of my appreciation.)

Lucille Kring was dressed down badly during the January meeting of the OC GOP Central Committee.  Some was for her support of Crony capitalist subsidies — but most of all for her flip-flopping betrayal of promises that she WOULD NOT SUPPORT those crony capitalist subsidies. This was followed by her attempt to stall the endorsement of Tom Tait a few months ago, having blown her own chances at the endorsement by accepting union money and then signing the pledge for the “Baugh Manifesto” to not accept that funding!

Lucille was not merely called out at the meeting — she was verbally ripped to bits by Chairman Scott Baugh, who many reported have never seen angrier than that night. He pointed out that Kring has pulled the same bait and switch in 2012, accepting union money, signing the pledge, and then when confronted saying it was a mistake, her husband’s mother had just died and he didn’t return the checks.  For the sake of her many years with the party, the GOP overlooked that gaffe in 2012 — but they would NOT forgive her that night.  Between the union money, her lies regarding claims of opposition to Pringle’s pocket-stuffing and the subsidies that support his clients, and her participation in the nasty vindictive back stabbing that has overtaken City Hall, Kring’s support base within the GOP is minimal to non-existent.

Where once Kring was the darling of the CRA, she failed to even put in an appearance at the Anaheim Republican Assembly endorsing convention last week, even AFTER a personal invitation from State President John Briscoe. Now, wait for it — a likely pseudonymous critic from thee Anaheim Chamber of Commerce will be over here momentarily to tell us that the ARA endorsement was hijacked by a bunch of mindless Tait-bots intent on scoring the endorsement. But the State CRA just ratified the ARA endorsement, after sending State reps to EVERY ARA event of note to monitor compliance and look for evidence of “running a drill” on the local unit (hostile takeover.)

Lucille’s long time friend and ardent supporter had been Steve Sarkis, a Stanton resident who inexplicably ran the Anaheim unit of CRA. His stranglehold on endorsements for his own special friends had been depleting membership for the unit for years, as it turns out he had been running an illegal unit since 2010! Lacking a quorum of members, their elections of officers had been outside the Charter for 4 years, as well as any financial business conducted. When a hand ful of us (myself and Brian Chuchua, later joined by the Taits) tried to join the ARA to pump up membership to the point that they could conduct a meeting and hold an election (Sarkis was running unopposed and no other candidates had been presented by us or anyone else) Sarkis was so threatened by members he could not control that he refused to accept new members! His behavior was openly aided by his sidekick, Buena Park’s own Baron Night, and Anaheim’s Lucille Kring. The two counselors to the pretend-President kept reminding Sarkis he need not explain himself to “these people” because the Charter let him decline memberships and he did not have to give a reason. Now there is some leadership for you.

Again, Matt will be here in a minute to tell us all I am “misinformed” but A) I have the videotape and B) a gathering of statewide CRA Board members convened to review the actions of Sarkis and Night.  That ended with Night’s removal from the organization for the next 5 years before he may reapply for membership — and Sarkis is the first in the history of the group to be removed for life. But short of that completely gamed endorsement process — which she planned to assure with the “new memberships” of Curt and Lexie Pringle, Matt and Laura Cunningham, Todd Ament and his girlfriend (who does not need to have her name used here) and Gail and Ron Eastman, and a host of other Chamber employees who live in cities other than Anaheim, and may or may not have any idea their names were going to be used — Kring failed to even mount an attempt for the endorsement with a fair and equitable rules.

Kring stayed home — and for the first time in many years the ONLY candidates in Anaheim bearing any official endorsements from Republican organizations are those who actually do represent fiscally conservative viewpoints. 

The Big Issue With Lucille; 

According to the Anaheim City Charter, the Mayor serves as the official head of the government — representing the City at public events, attending conferences and legislative gatherings. Consider this: Kris Murray won’t let Lucile Kring speak in public if Kris is in the room. Really, have you EVER seen Kris, Gail, and Jordan skip their own prepared speech to hand Lucille the microphone because they see her as their leader?  (I know, they also refuse to do so for Tait — but he’s not sucking up to them like a newborn calf.)

How do YOU feel about a gathering of leaders at the national Mayor’s Conference, and Anaheim is represented by “Mayor Lucille Kring?” Keep your breakfast down and fill in your mail ballots for Tait right now while the horror is still fresh in your mind.

“Saved us a trial, always a good outcome.” And “I didn’t put it in my campaign materials.”

Oh, there’s so much more.

CW’s take: Oppose Democrat Lorri Galloway.

Like Galloway, I too believe in a personal relationship with a God who loves us and has a specific plan for our lives.  I believe that someday He will combine all of our previous experience and lessons gained into some great adventure outlined for our own unique life story.  I get it.  I also have read the Bible beyond “Cliffs notes” — and we are warned of the dire consequences that befall those who claim to speak for the Lord as prophets.  Thankfully we are far beyond the days when we literally stoned false prophets when their predictions failed to hit the mark.  So, Lorri, just HOW CERTAIN of that still, small voice are you?

If we are to be “known by our works” and the tree is judged by the “fruit” it produces, someone last night posted a record of the Galloways’ “tree of life” and it wasn’t pretty.

Yes this is from a long time ago.  If you can’t tell from Daly as Mayor, the width of the lapels should tell you how far back this goes. The tale this investigator tells the public appears true, the court documents are public record and have been widely available for the world to see.

Now you can say that this was so long ago that Galloway’s penance has been paid in the many people she has helped over the years — but one would also consider this. Galloway has pocketed a paycheck for those hours, and secured paying work for her daughters, her husband, her best friends, and her supporters. Is her work a gravy train or a ministry? And has she ever used a nickel of that funding to repay the family of her husband that had been clearly and horrifically wronged?

The Lord can use anyone, and some of the best ministry leaders are the tatted up former thugs with track marked arms having lived a million hard lifetimes in one body. But they tend to also be the contrite and humble souls who are grateful to a loving God who would use them in spite of their own wicked deeds of the past, and NOT those who go on TV to brag about being in God’s favor based on “who they are…”

Playing the God card is not nice, Lorraine.   I have no need to slap you around for it, because it is not my place to remind you of Who will not be mocked.  Good luck with that.

CW’s take: Oppose Denis Fitzgerald.

Mr. Fitzgerald,

Please stop telling people you are a veteran and that you represent veterans.  The former is technically, legally true — yes you served our nation, but every veteran I have ever known (aside from you) has continued to offer their lives in service to their fellow man (and woman) even once the uniform is packed in mothballs.  Using your status as a veteran to give yourself some sick permission to degrade women, or shame homosexuals both real or imagined, is an insult to every man and woman who ever wore that uniform and conducts themselves with dignity and class.  I know so many, many veterans; they are the finest people I know. My father was a veteran, and while I respect your right to speak freely in the free nation you fought for, you do not have the right to defile the uniform you wore while fighting.

Thank you for cleaning up your language of late, if for no other reason than that it makes Kris Murray appear that much more petulant and ridiculous to stomp her foot and claim that Fitzgerald is a bully who only attacks the women for being women — when the substance of his comments is directed at the fact they are just plain bad leaders, and whether the have ovaries or not is irrelevant.

(I’ll give Fitzgerald this much: in a perfect world Lucille Kring would run a distant fourth in this race.)

Anaheim City Council;

Former Candidates:

Jerry O’Keefe is a former Anaheim police officer.

Business law attorney Doug Pettibone was the second seat on the “Tait Slate.”

Both candidates have dropped from the race for personal reasons. Given the evil that befell the Pettibone family, I have to honestly wonder now if Mr. O’Keefe was shown a similar vision of his own future, and likewise declined to subject a wife in poor health to anything the Kleptocracy may have unearthed or invented.  If he was, in fact, the victim of a threatenedsmear campaign, then I would encourage him to contact Pettibone. Unlike a certain youth facilities leader turned “business leader,” the degree on Pettibone’s wall is NOT photoshopped, the Juris Doctorate is as real as the (size 13 maybe?) leather loafers that someone is going to find on their throat in a courtroom some day. (Figuratively. Of course.)

CW’s take: oppose Incumbents Gail Eastman and Kris Murray:

“Disillusioned and horrified” is how many of their past supporters (which, stupidly, includes me) have felt watching this pair over the last four years.

Clearly, the OC GOP agreed.  They not only failed to endorse the GOP incumbents (itself nearly unheard of) but the Endorsing Committee refused to even CONSIDER THEM, having ruled them INELIGIBLE FOR CONSIDERATION FOR ENDORSEMENT BY THIS PARTY.

The good news is that, of the two, I find Murray to be the weak sister as a candidate.  She’s not well liked — even those who recognize her smarts see the underlying cold ambition, and robotic demeanor. Ideally, Tait will score a new majority on the Council, and Jordan “that-is-my-request” Brandman can be put in the corner for 2 years — but if Fate wishes to give us one new face on the dais and return one familiar to us, I prefer the scowls of Eastman over the alternating pouts and drones of Murray.  Without the reptilian hiss of Murray’s whisper in her ears, Eastman may be more reasonable, the woman is simply in over her head and relies on those around her to slip a note under the desk for the answer to the quiz. I would prefer someone able to pass the test on their own–  but if we have to get Eastman a tutor on the side next year, we can take up a collection.

CW’s take: support James Vanderbilt:

Conservative. Quiet. Reserved. Honorable. Decent. Ethical. Boy Scout. Fabulous jaw line.

Benefits to the Tait Slate:  in comparison, Tom Tait now looks like the lively party animal.

Don’t let James’ reserve fool you — there is a razor sharp mind in there and a heart for service to his community that would make Mother Teresa sigh. Single, with no kids, he ran for school board to help his siblings’ kids get the best education possible: he saw improvements that could be made and had the skill set to offer. Seriously, look at the bio on this guy. You would buy his used car without a test drive.

His paycheck comes from helping Veterans get medical care, following his second stint in the military — his first being in Navy’s Special Forces and then returning as a Registered Nurse and Captain in the U.S. Army. Yeah, strong, yet nurturing, and able to self fund a campaign thanks to an investment that paid off (I understand he loaned a friend money to start a business and it took off; one expects he loaned the money to be nice, not to get rich.) Ladies line up to my right. Guys, don’t bother; you can dream of being him, but he is not going out with you.

Key endorsements; Mayor Tom Tait. California Republican Assembly and Anaheim Republican Assembly. As the GOP declined to endorse for Anaheim Council after finding the incumbent Republicans ineligible for consideration (yes, really — see above) James is the only Republican with a credible conservative endorsement.

CW’s take: appreciating Dr. Jose F. Moreno, who, sadly, is a Democrat

I can’t help it; I have come to love the guy. Yes I know, as a member of the Exec Board of the ARA and an alternate for GOP Central I am contractually obligated to not endorse Dems, and the good Doctor broke my heart with a switch from his long held position of DTS registration. This is not an endorsement for a candidate for office; it is a character reference for a friend I hold dear. Yes someday he and I will be rolling in the dirt over some stupid left vs right thing, with Greg Diamond standing off to the side alternately cheering us both on and shielding his eyes. Of the two of us, Moreno is the stronger (and younger and better shape) but I bite and fight dirty so we will see.  For now, he is as invested in cleaning up Anaheim’s political morass as the rest of us, and I look forward to the day when we can GET to the argument about liberal vs conservative policy issues.  For now we are all focused on keeping our city from bleeding itself dry. (Or from being annexed into Stanton.)

Into the weeds, the fun stuff.

Dr. Moreno’s defection from “I don’t have a party” to “I am the new flavor of the month of the Democratic party” was frustrating for those of us who are now even more forbidden then ever to write him a check. There is “endorse outside the party” and then there is “endorse for the OTHER party”; one MIGHT get away with the former but never the latter.

But interestingly, it puts a whole new spin in the race. With Moreno now the new star attraction of the party (and by FAR the more dynamic personality and compelling public speaker than Brandman), Jordan gets marginalized by his own team.  He also gets spanked by his own team, as they now have a viable candidate for Council in the race and Brandman’s dance card is already filled with his endorsement of two Republicans!  We have a code of honor thing between friends here that forbids discussion of “party business” best left inside our respective organizations, but I will bet Brandman spent a LOT of time in the woodshed on that issue.  At best we SHOULDN’T see him walking precincts or fund raising for Murray and Eastman — and forcing Brandman to sit out a political race of any kind is as painful to him as a drunk watching an Oktoberfest from the sidelines.

With this much at stake for his beloved mentor Pringle and the clients who will feed them all into the foreseeable future, (or until Pringle dumps them for greener pastures and more connected friends not already used up), it has to be driving him up a wall to be stuck in the middle. Look for him to walk precincts in Centralia for his own little acolyte, Conner Traut, just to stay busy; given the size of Centralia, that may take all of a day.  (When Jordan starts walking your street so often he is staying for dinner, send him home.)

Dr. Moreno is also likely to draw the greatest abuse in the mail deluge certain to start at any second. The establishment will think twice about hit pieces on chiseled-jaw veteran Vanderbilt, whose only (hint of) negative was a hyphenated use of his Latino mother’s name in a past race, until he realize it just plain looked phony and dropped it.

The Curt Scouts might let Vanderbilt sneak in with the thought that his election only leads to a two-person minority, which still allows them to marginalize Tait, and they have 3 votes locked up to continue controlling their fund balance.  But no way, not on God’s green earth, will they permit Dr. Moreno to take a seat without a monumental fight.  Look for the mailers painting this educated husband and father as Anaheim’s Che Guevara: A Castro-style military camo outfit and cigar either from a Halloween in days gone by or Photoshopped for convenience may well appear in mailboxes.   (It’s got to be easier than manufacturing or manipulating questionable court docs, right?)

Mail will begin working up the older, whiter, “why can’t Anaheim be like it USED to be” voter, and Dr. Moreno will be portrayed as the smoldering Latino trouble-maker who will steal our women and corrupt our young people into his socialist leanings.  (Frankly I know some folks who would vote for him BECAUSE of that.)  This race will be anything but boring.

The Spin from “Fib” OC and that blog that uses public funds funneled through the Chamber of Commerce by odd excuses for bizarre public contracts, is that Tait can’t get along with anyone. They will say this while simultaneously bashing Tait for having support from personalities as disparate as the uber-Conservative Vanderbilt and more progressive Dr. Moreno. So, which is it?  Can Tait build a bipartisan coalition to move the City forward in a direction other than municipal bankruptcy?  Or is he nothing but the immovable rock preventing progress? My guess is the answer has less to do with Tait, and everything to do with the paychecks (or anticipated checks down the road) of those flinging the mud.

CW’s take: appreciating Donna Acevedo, also a Democrat

When we discuss District Elections, and the argument that Kring/Eastman/Murray make is that “those people” don’t run any good candidates, Donna Acevedo becomes the mirror to be held up to their hypocrisy. Ironically, when Anna Drive DID produce a candidate, she is reviled by the establishment as “not viable”… not because she had the bad manners to interrupt their idyllic existence by letting her son get shot by Police by being a bad mother (yes there are some sick SOB’s who present that vision of Anaheim.)  Instead, she is declared by some as “not credible” because nobody at the BIA has ever heard of her — and, really, would she fit in at an ACC-OC cocktail gathering in Washington? Donna Acevedo will never be “shopping buddies” with Lacey Kelly or Jill Kanzler — and for that reason alone I am proud to call her my friend.

Lacking the resources to reach voters, she has an uphill climb, but she has done the bravest thing I have ever seen anyone do (and I know a guy who went into the military TWICE and is still running for office right now!)  Following the death of her son (in some bizarre circumstances that DEMAND answers beyond the District Attorney’s usual rubber stamp — which, with former Deputy Chief Hunter now serving as Chief Investigator at the DA’s office, will happen the day Fitzgerald rides a purple unicorn to City Hall to take the oath of office — Donna uncurled herself from the fetal position in which so many of us would remain and has built a new life for her younger kids, showing them what class and grace and strength looks like.

Statistically. it is very improbable that Donna can win a seat.  But she can bring people into the political process and — who knows? — Donna might even do some serious harm to the establishment with more votes than they expect of her.  That alone might be fun to watch, and it would empower those in her own neck of the woods who might add to the numbers in the next race and move their own voices closer to being heard.

Once upon a time. Lucille Kring passed the Bar Exam.  No, I am not kidding.  In a world where Kring can be an attorney, Donna Acevedo’s service as a City Council member is a lot more plausible, so I would not write her off. Should Donna the-candidate-I-am-not-permitted-by-contract-to-assist gain a seat on Council, Donna my-friend-I-can-do-anything-I damn-good-and-well-please-for will be treated to a mani-pedi, massage, and a couple of business suits. (clearance sale suits under $400 total and fully declared as gift to public official from non-lobbyist without conflict of interest. I expect Cunningham to check, unless he has left the area in search of work.)

If you’re a Republican and you want to case a protest vote against heavy-handed policing and lack of care for our poorer neighbors, then in addition to supporting Vanderbilt you can be pretty confident that a protest vote for Acevedo is not going to get her elected.  But imagine her coming in second — or even first — in some precincts in Anaheim Hills.  That would send a message of discontent strong enough to make the news.  I can’t advocate it, of course — but I can enjoy how it might look.

I thought that I saw Jose Moreno’s name listed twice on the ballot, by the way.  I figure that that has to be some sort of mistake.  The one I wrote about above is a School Board member; the other one didn’t apply for the OC GOP nomination, so I don’t know much about him except that he’ll probably finish sixth — or lower.

Other than that I have no opinion on the Anaheim races whatsoever.

About Cynthia Ward

I am a truth-teller. It gets me in trouble. But if you ask me if a dress makes you look fat, I will tell you so, and help select another, before you go on television and realize it for yourself. My real friends are expected to be truthful with me as well. A secret shared will be taken to my grave, but lie to me, and it will end up here…on these pages… especially if you are tasked with the stewardship of public resources. I am a registered Republican who disdains the local GOP power structure, a born-again Christian who supports everyone’s right to spend their lives with the partner of their choosing. I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister. I am a loyal friend to those who merit that friendship and when crossed I am a bitch with a capital C. I do not fit into a box, nor do I see others through the stereotypes that politics and public affairs so often tries to shoehorn us into. I think for myself, and so do you. Welcome to our shared space in this world.