Kris Murray Prepares Pre-Primary Council Resolution Condemning Trump by Name; ILLEGAL, Must Resign




oh stop it photo by Mark Daniels

I am nearly finished with PART DEUX of Murray’s Discovery of West Anaheim, but then this came “over the transom” and had to be addressed.  (“Had to be addressed” as in, “if I don’t get this out I will emotionally explode.”)

When Council Member Kris Murray ended the last Council meeting with an order to City staff to come back with a Resolution in which the Council could denounce Presidential candidate Donald Trump for his hateful rhetoric, I sat stunned, waiting for City Attorney Houston to tell her no. Then I figured he would tell her privately, and the idea would quietly die and not get on an agenda. When I heard that the agenda was posted, and the Resolution was indeed included as Item 19, I figured they would oppose some generic form of “hate speech.”

But nope, Murray doubles down on the now customary use of public funds for personal purposes, and moves on to the use of public funds for political purposes. Our City Attorney has one foot out the door, returning to the private sector and fewer land mines like constituents expressing desire to file complaints with the bar association (who, me?), but you would think as the last public act in the last public meeting of his short but infuriating tenure of public service, he would at least want to pretend he was preventing his client from violating state law. Maybe?

SECTION 54964-54964.6 

(a) An officer, employee, or consultant of a local agency may not expend or authorize the expenditure of any of the funds of the local agency to support or oppose the approval or rejection of a ballot measure, or the election or defeat of a candidate, by the voters.

(b) As used in this section the following terms have the following meanings:

(2) “Candidate” means an individual who has qualified to have his or her name listed on the ballot, or who has qualified to have write-in votes on his or her behalf counted by elections officials, for nomination or election to an elective office at any regular or special primary or general election of the local agency, and includes any officeholder who is the subject of a recall election.  

(3) “Expenditure” means a payment of local agency funds that is used for communications that expressly advocate the approval or rejection of a clearly identified ballot measure, or the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate, by the voters. “Expenditure” shall not include membership dues paid by the local agency to a professional association.

Is this the legal counsel Anaheim gets now that Council fired the Latina who knew what she was doing and told the Council what they NEEDED to hear, replacing her with the younger, less experienced, but better paid white guy who tells them what they WANT to hear?  (Tell us again, Kris, about how you champion the rights of women and minorities. The only (former) Latina City Attorney in Orange County has disputed that.)

If we are talking about Murray’s passionate representation of the poor and downtrodden immigrant communities she serves, let’s review. First of all, the ACTIONS of Kris Murray, with a direct impact on the very populations she claims to be protecting from “divisive speech” have created more genuine division in her 6-year rule than Donald Trump’s words have created, specific to Anaheim. If “Kindness is love with its work boots on,” then Murray’s actions are elitism with its combat boots on. Murray wants to protect us from the words of Trump, but who is going to protect us from Murray?


General Fund programs with declining budgets, due to lost revenues from subsidy payments, have the most impact on working poor minorities who rely on city programs like libraries and parks and rec.

This would include the Stadium fiasco, Gardenwalk and other hotels, sales tax rebates to car dealers. Murray’s support of  extraction economics dates back to the very early days of her service, when she fought tooth and nail to preserve the City Manager’s signing authority up to $250K without Council oversight, and then fought tooth and nail to preserve then-City Manager tom Wood when he was caught lying to the Mayor about the need for-and transparency related to-that signing authority. Back before we had even caught on to the weasel ways of the majority or coined the phrase “Kleptocracy,” Murray was in there up to her eyeballs already.

Take from the poor and give to the rich?  CHECK!

Gas taxes expected to fund at least half of the Disney-benefitting ARC streetcar are regressive, impacting the working poor and immigrant communities more than others, as they tend to drive the least fuel-efficient, older cars, and thus pay a higher percentage of gas taxes than Kris Murray’s Tesla-driving neighbors in Anaheim Hills.

Fund a corporate boondoggle to benefit Disney while the population Murray claims to champion is left at the bus stop with funding cuts from OCTA?  CHECK!

The ARC streetcar docs show the highest number of bicyclists (likely victims when their bike routes cross known dangerous to bicyclists street car lines) and the highest number of Resort workers are in the SAME neighborhood, requiring them to cross the streetcar lines by bicycle to get to work. Yet the City’s documents dismissed the danger, and instead assume all bicycle travel is recreational, thus the Ponderosa residents working in the Resort are riding their bikes to the river trail on their days off, and thus there is no conflict and nothing to see here, carry on. Murray supports this project with her last breath.

OK to grind up a few Latinos under the wheels of the economic engine?  CHECK!

In her race to approve Disney’s gate tax exemption last July, the Murray-led majority failed to even review the 1996 Finance Agreement between Disney and the City that created the original exemption. Refusal to check for mutual accountability led us to leave potentially tends of millions on the table that might have been renegotiated, and pumped into the General Fund without ANY TAX RAISE AT ALL.

Failure to lead then leads to City’s failure to thrive?   CHECK!

Mortgages the future of Anaheim’s grandchildren to expand a Convention Center that already loses $10MM a year, in order to prop up hoteliers generating the least stable source of revenue Anaheim has come to rely upon (to our detriment.) Then continues to create such negative headlines that our city’s nationwide reputation has become mud, potentially impacting our ability to draw the big conventions to fill the Convention Center our grandkids will be paying for. Doubles down on stupid by also borrowing more than needed and pumping it into “neighborhood improvements.

Borrows from grandkids to fund today’s sidewalk repairs?  CHECK!

Approves pension obligations for public union staff who endorsed her, despite reports that our bond obligations are going to collide with our pension obligations.

Grandkids get to choose between paying retired cops or retired investors. Revenues from hotels already committed to kick back to hotels, no help there. Disney might help fund some obligations… It is to laugh.

Oh, we were supposed to leave you enough for CURRENT services too?   CHECK!

(Another bonus round issue: During the budget hearings of June 2012, when the Murray led majority approved outrageous pensions to public safety personnel on the same night cities around the US were standing up to such financial thuggery. The ONLY reduction in the entire budget mandated by the City Council was a cut to the Mayor’s budget, impacting the Mayor’s one and only staffer … a woman of color.)

Murray graciously donates soccer balls to the children of Anna Drive, knowing the playing fields at the nearby school have been closed for lack of funding to staff someone to open the gates. Murray votes against General Fund revenues to partner with schools for joint use.

Playing twisted game of Gift of the Magi in which kids now have play equipment but no location?  CHECK!

This one comes with Bonus Points: Kids playing with Murray’s donated soccer balls in the alley, as the only unobstructed stretch of space, are now forced into physical proximity with the gang members selling drugs in those alleys, allowing Murray’s pal the District Attorney to now list those kids in his “gang injunction” area for associating with known gang members. Begin the cycle, the line starts here.

Look at Murray’s actions since being elected. Look at the faces of those standing in front of City Hall, or at the microphone begging for help. Tell me Kris Murray gives a rat’s behind about Anaheim’s minority populations, beyond using them as props for media attention.

Murray pretends to work, while the Latino population of Ponderosa pretends they are not being used for a photo opp.

Murray pretends to work while the Latino residents of Ponderosa pretend that they are not being used for a photo opp.

Shall we keep going?

Spending Public Funds on Bad Advice

Did Michael Houston TRY to warn Murray about the prohibitions in State law against using public funds for political messaging, and she ignored him, moving forward with the help of oh-so-compliant Greg Garcia?

(Garcia — the guy who will follow orders until he accidentally accuses someone of the wrong criminal act in legal documents? hint: It’s not “gift of public funds” it is “violation of gift limits to a public official” and it’s not true no matter which one it is…  Not that I have noticed such things in my own legal disputes with the City.)

Or is Murray going to claim that her use of public resources fits the exemption for “incidental and minimal.”

Greg Garcia pulls in roughly $240K in total compensation, according to the 2014 reporting of Transparent California. I’d say his time is far from “incidental,” which is intended to apply to things like phone calls on the government phone system, not extended staff time or use of the City’s website to host political hit pieces that call out a candidate for office by name and office sought. But I guess this will be one for the Attorney General to review. Who is California’s Atty General again? Oh yeah, Kamala Harris, the Democrat…and who most wants Donald Trump to be the Republican candidate against Hillary? Remind me, again…

If one has to go to the trouble of filing a complaint with the State Attorney General, and make the case that the State needs to step in due to a pattern of past practice by the local DA to NOT take action regarding such prior events, then I guess outlining those prior events would be a good idea.

Clearly this is NOT Murray’s first rodeo. PRIOR uses of Murray’s official position for political manipulation or advantage. How many are needed to set a “pattern of past practice?”

Among the classics is the most obvious and blatant use of public office to quell PAID POLITICAL ADS of citizens who opposed them. We refer, of course, to the meeting of Kris Murray and Gail Eastman with the then-new Register owners, at the office of the City Manager. Henceforth to be known as, “That’s some nice naming rights we got on the table here, be a shame if something we to happen to them.”

And the “don’t bother people with voting” Charter change by Murray. Unlike the last meeting, Murray didn’t even order staff to do her bidding. A throw away line during her acceptance speech for swearing in for her second term became a mandate for the City Attorney to commit “months” according to Murray, for a Charter change on the upcoming ballot. Murray even admits during the discussion that the whole issue is aimed to prevent the most likely winners of upcoming elections from completing their campaign platforms. Now there is a nice democratic way of conducting the City’s business. Let’s cut leaders off at the knees before they even get elected.

March 3, 2015

  1. RESOLUTION NO.                             A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA, calling and giving notice of the holding of a General Municipal Election to be held on Tuesday, November 8, 2016 and ordering the submission of a proposed amendment to the City Charter to the electors of said city at said election (Measure No. ___ – Require 2/3 Vote of the City Council to Propose Taxes, aka “The Anaheim Taxpayer Protection Act”).


Land Use – Planning

Land Use – Zoning

MURRAY (1:58:08):  “Thank you. Thank you, Councilman Brandman, for asking some valid questions.

I raised this in my oath of office ceremony, after running for reelection successfully, because we are changing our form of governance.  We are moving to a new form.  We do have a number of candidates who talked about the funding priorities, and that they were open, and would potentially embrace, the type of taxes that have been discussed here tonight.  Again: regressive taxes on utilities, so that could rear its head again; on sales taxes; on gate taxes; on other use taxes; as a means of supporting programs.  That they were supportive of – as we go into a larger City Council, as we go into a new paradigm of governance

…and again, to bring Anaheim in line with a requirement that’s already there for General Law cities.

I believe there is a time relevance to bringing this up now, and having it before the voters for their consideration in the next election. Our City Attorney has done a great deal of research on this, spent the last couple months working on it, has brought forward a thoughtful proposal, and I believe we are ready to move forward, with consideration, if we’re supportive of a 2/3 vote threshold as approved by the voters in Prop 62, and as approved in place for a number of tax measures, that voters and/or other legislative bodies must consider, before putting measures before the voters. So with that, I again would humbly and respectfully ask for my Council representatives’ support here tonight. Thank You.”

Let’s not forget the retaliatory actions against then-Mayor Pro Tem Lorri Gallloway. My feelings for Galloway run pretty parallel to my distaste for Trump, (maybe worse, since to my knowledge Donald Trump never made Julie Tait cry in a sense of betrayal from a friend.) But even I had to cringe at Murray’s attack on Galloway for exercising her right to participate in a legal voter initiative that Murray happened to not like.

APRIL 17, 2012

  1. Review and consider the position of Mayor Pro Tem for the 2012 calendar year.

From the City Meeting Minutes:

Council Member Murray began her remarks by responding to concerns that had been raised earlier. She emphasized the fact that every member of council worked to ensure city services were there for residents and children and also worked tirelessly for nonprofits that served at risk youth and families in Anaheim. She pointed out Council Member Sidhu ran a health fair and a job fair each year, a personal initiative of his. She added that she and Council Member Eastman had attended many flashlight walks in at risk communities. She had also spent a year working with Toshiba for a private grant to supply the new Ponderosa computer lab for students to have access to state -of- the -art computers and the community to have that same access for job hunting and skills training. She added all five of the City Council cared about the city and while they may not always agree, it was her hope they would be able to work together.

For the last three months, she stated, she and her two colleagues had received emails distorting facts. Also, similar public comments at each subsequent council meeting, censured the council for their January 24 decision. Upon the filing of an initiative that would potentially and indefinitely stop economic development in Anaheim, she felt this item must be heard.

She (Murray) added by Council Member Galloway signing an initiative not as an individual or resident, but by using her title of Mayor Pro Tem, Council Member Murray believed it would mislead voters and that a line had been crossed and the only recourse available to keep that title from being put on the ballot and voter pamphlet materials, was to reappoint the position.

Council Member Murray then moved to nominate Harry Sidhu to serve as Mayor Pro Tem for the remainder of the calendar year;

Council Member Eastman seconded the motion.

Mayor Tait remarked the Mayor Pro Tem position had been initially rotated between Council Members as a nonpolitical act, but at some point that process ended. When he became Mayor, he opted to bring back the tradition of rotating the position so that every member of Council would have the chance to serve as Mayor Pro Tem during his tenure. He felt tonight’s action was a step backwards and while he disagreed strongly with the GardenWalk development agreement and supported a vote by the people on this issue, he wished to move this Council forward and requested Mayor Pro Tem Galloway be retained in her position and serve out her term with distinction.

Council Member Eastman indicated she had seconded this motion concurring with the point raised by Council Member Murray. She added while she supported the community’s right to participate in the process, she did not support the initiative for a number of reasons.

At such time, City Attorney Cristina Talley cautioned Council on the need to be mindful of the Brown Act in connection with this discussion. While the Brown act allowed brief comment in response to comments from members of the public, it should be kept in mind that the matter of the initiative had not been agendized. Council Member Galloway remarked she had signed the petition to gather signatures for the initiative as Mayor Pro Tem, as that was her title. She added she had been honored by the title and would continue to serve and represent the people of Anaheim. City Clerk Linda Andal remarked that before the motion could be considered there must first be a motion to remove Council Member Galloway from the position of Mayor Pro Tem or Council Member Murray could amend the language of the original motion to remove Council Member Galloway from the position of Mayor Pro Tem and to nominate Harry Sidhu to serve out the remaining 2012 term as Mayor Pro Tem. Council Member Murray accepted the amended language with Council Member Eastman seconding the amended motion. Roll CaII Vote: Ayes — 3: (Council Members Eastman, Murray and Sidhu.) Noes — 2: (Mayor Tait and Council Member Galloway). Motion Carried and Mr. Sidhu was appointed Mayor Pro Tem.

In EVERY one of these issues, the only “harm” caused to Kris Murray and her pals is that she doesn’t like what someone has SAID. Nobody has DONE anything to them. Nobody has denied them the right to vote, or taken their candy bar until after school lets out. Murray simply cannot handle WORDS that don’t match her vision of how the world is supposed to work. And she is totally OK with using OUR TAX DOLLARS and the power and authority granted to her by US to prevent or punish others for uttering those words. These don’t appear to be the actions of a rational adult, much less the character qualities needed in an elected leaders for public office. It is time for Kris Murray to leave the City Council. I am calling on Kris Murray to please resign, and stop the constant bickering that SHE is central to stirring up.


But wait! There’s more! No, sorry, the Ginsu knives are sold out. So are our elected leaders. All we have left is this collection of misdeeds dating back to right after the election of our voting block in 2010. Can you stand to keep reading?

The recent work by the Council majority to turn what should have been the community sing-a-long, group hug, and drum circle to celebrate the UNANIMOUSLY nominated People’s Map, instead going into overtime to find the most ludicrous excuse on the planet to kill the best option, in favor of splitting up communities of interests, and leading to what would surely be protests to disrupt the biggest convention in Anaheim. All because…what was Jordan Brandman’s reasoning?

The central committee’s action emanates from a personal political vendetta against me by Dr. Jose Moreno, an individual with whom I have had a long standing dispute. Dr. Moreno believes he should be granted a seat on the Anaheim City Council without having to earn community support and work for it. He is wrong. At no time during the selection process regarding which districts would be on the ballot this election cycle did I receive any personal communication from him, the author of the resolution Mr. (Jeff) LeTourneau, or Chair (Henry) Vandermeir. They never directly spoke to me, emailed me, wrote me, or called me. 

So Jordan drop kicks the outcome that many in the community worked hard for, participating in the public process, following the rules set by the City Council, with no opposition to the plan from the community and no alternate plan presented. Brandman uses the public resources of his seat on the City Council to oppose the potential election of Jose Moreno, and the other 2 blind mice follow him.

And yet, tomorrow night, we will be told, “nothing to see here, folks, it’s all just part of the show…” Some of us are TIRED of our local government being nothing but a side show. We are tired of “leaders” who work pretty damn hard to make our City a laughingstock on the evening news week after week, destroying the desirability of our community as a desirable destination, while increasingly relying upon tourism for our economic lives.

It is time for Kris Murray to resign, now that she has stepped over the line from “appearance of conflict” to “actual conflict.” When she will brazenly order staff to expend public funds for her own political game, and then double down on that stupidity by broadcasting that misuse of public funds out with her own website and email blasts, and media interviews as if she is rescuing puppies and giving them to orphans, then enough is enough.

Ironically, her cohorts would be better off without her. She has become a liability, and now that her removal from office is at least more likely than ever before (and more desirable than ever before) she takes down her compatriots by forcing them to stand with her. If Murray leaves office now, the remaining split Council will have to select someone fair and balanced, without obvious biases toward the previous majority or the Tait camp. No other individual will gain the 3rd swing vote from either side needed. Or she can stick around, set her face in the unblinking, wide-eyed stare of a deer in the headlights, not sure why the light is getting brighter, or why people seem to be yelling at her to get out of the road. This is one last time Murray can feel like she is in control of the Council majority she has lorded it over for 6 long, ugly years. I hope she uses it to for ONCE do what is best for the people of Anaheim. and put and end to the non-stop bickering and self-dealing, so we can move our community forward and be the best Anaheim we can be.

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.