Anaheim: The Mishegas and the Desmadre, October 2016! (and Weekend Open Thread)




So, I see Anaheim’s “Democrat” Assemblyman Tom Daly has now endorsed Republican Disney/SOAR-backed council candidate Steve Faessel against the only Democrat in the 5th District race, my wife Donna.  Not a big surprise.  I imagine Steve is working on Lou right now.  We hope Lou remembers what Party he’s in.  Which reminds me:

I Have a Faessel Trophy!

faessel trophy“How did you get a Faessel Trophy?” you ask, “Did you break the law by stealing one of your wife’s opponents’ campaign signs?” No, I don’t think so.

What happened: last night I was walking precincts for Donna, and I saw this huge Faessel sign attached to a nice, real-visible, chain link fence in front of the home of a Democratic Latino couple, so just on a hunch I knocked on their door anyway, and told them, in my broken Spanish, all about how Donna opposes the giveaways to Disney and the resort district, and wants to bring back resources to the community.

And they liked what I said and promised to vote for her. So I said, “I notice you have a Faessel sign out there; that’s her opponent, the Disney candidate. Did he ask you if he could put it up?” “NO. Someone just came and put it there. They never said anything.” “Do you want me to take it down? Can I put up Donna’s sign instead?” “Yes, yes, please!” So I detached it from their fence, which took some work, it was attached with tough plastic ties – and replaced it with two of Donna’s.

Daly and Faessel.

Daly and Faessel.

This is so typical of these Disney candidates too. They – or maybe the firms they hire – or maybe, the firms SOAR hires on their behalf to put up signs – stick the huge things ANYWHERE with no permission. The rest of us try to follow all the rules. But the kleptocracy’s sign-posters stick ’em high up on poles in every gas station without saying a word to the managers there.

Remember this is the crowd that calls themselves the Masters of the Universe, and that’s how they behave. We MUST defeat them!


As I sat admiring my Faessel Trophy, I began to wonder who’d paid for it – his own campaign committee, or SOAR, or some anodyne-sounding front group created by SOAR – but lo and behold, there was no such info at the bottom of the sign.  Nothing but a little blurb for the print shop that created it.  We’d been told we had to put a “paid for” at the bottom.

So I took a little walk around the corner to see our local Faessel Monument, one of the many Faessel signs up around the district that are big enough for three or four homeless people to sleep on.  On the way I examined a Lou Correa for Congress sign (had “paid for by bla bla Committee” on it) and a Mark Lopez for Council sign (which included the Committee ID#.)

Not Faessel.  The Monument on Baxter Street was exactly like my trophy, but ten times bigger … and nothing at the bottom but the print shop.  NOTHING about who paid for them, and there’s got to be a thousand of them around the district.  Are the other “SOAR candidates” also flouting these laws?  Hello FPPC!

FINAL UPDATE:  Our good friend Fullerton council candidate Jane Rands tells us that, counterintuitively, there’s no problem with these signs as long as they are from the candidate himself. Hmmm… But that means they are not done by SOAR or some IE, but by Faessel’s workers themselves, which makes me confused about David Bartash’s comment below, claiming that they don’t use plastic ties, and don’t put signs on private property without permission. *Scratches head in puzzlement*

(better photos coming soon)

(better photos coming soon)

Nothing but the COGS printer blurb ... and THEY should know better! What is being hidden?

Nothing but the COGS printer blurb … and THEY should know better! What is being hidden?


(Brief note: “Faessel” is not pronounced like “facile,” which means easily well-spoken but not deep, nor is it pronounced “fossil” which means old bones, but with a short “e” as in “fester.”  I did not know that before the Chamber forum.)

Right, the Chamber Forums.

In late September, the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce (Siamese twins to SOAR, the OC Business Council, and OC TAX) held a series of four council candidate forums, one in each district.  José Moreno pointedly boycotted the 3rd district forum, correctly sizing it up as a rigged game where his only role would be to utter a line at some point that could be taken out of context and used in an attack ad as they did in 2014.  Honest OC GOP-endorsed Robert Nelson also boycotted it, resulting in a one-man show of Jordan Brandman extolling the virtues of lavishing subsidies on our resort district.  Father Arturo boycotted the 4th district forum, resulting in a one-woman Lucille Kring show which must have been riveting.

angel-faesselHere we pause and consider how Anaheim does indeed have two parties, but those are not R & D, but rather the kleptos (who are both R&D) and the rest of us (who are both R&D.)  Just as the Chamber forums were avoided by nearly everyone but the klepto candidates, so the Anaheim Republican Assembly one was ATTENDED by nearly everyone but the klepto candidates.  (And to a lesser extent, the ACLU/Islamic Institute one last week.)

Still, Donna Acevedo-Nelson was planning to go to the Chamber Forum in District 5, until her work schedule changed, making it impossible.  Brave grassroots candidate Sandra Angel showed up along with the Chamber’s chosen candidate Faessel, to be grilled by OC TAX’s Carolyn Cavecche on such irrelevant (to council races) OC TAX obsessions as split-roll reform of Prop 13, and utterly Faessel-targeted softballs such as “Where did you stand on the Ball Basin Power Plant, and what did you do about it?”  (Opposing that project, successfully, over a year ago, is Faessel’s major claim to fame.)

After Cunningham posted a video of that forum, Donna decided she should post her own answers to the Chamber’s questions, along with the admission that she did have a lot more time to think about the questions than Sandra did:  READ HERE.

Last Week’s SOAR Protest!

Who is SOAR, and why did we protest their fundraiser last week?  (Apologies to longtime OJ readers who know all this;  the following is adapted from a Donna Facebook post.)

SOAR vampiresSOAR stands for Support Our Anaheim Resort (previously, in their first paranoid incarnation, “SAVE Our Anaheim Resorts” – hence some confusion.)  It is the political arm of Disney and Anaheim’s resort district. They pay to have their favorite politicians elected onto the city council, and in turn those council members give Disney and the resort district all the favors they desire. Over the last few years, that’s meant over $700 million in tax rebates to build unneeded hotels, an agreement not to tack on a gate tax to Disneyland for 30 to 45 years, and more. But they still want more!

This year, now that we have district elections, SOAR has chosen their candidates for each district – Lodge in district 1, Brandman in district 3, Kring in district 4, and Steven Faessel in 5 (with Democrat wannabe-klepto Lahtinen district 1 second string.}  They’ve already donated $100,000 to each of these candidates and there will be more – I’m hearing $2 million eventually – and that’s what us grass roots candidates are up against. You’ve probably noticed all their hundreds of huge signs going up all over your neighborhood.

Trinkets handed out by the anti-STR contingent.

Trinkets handed out by the anti-STR contingent.

One thing to remember – when their people knock on your door, when you see them putting up their signs, most of those people are being paid well. Campaigns like Donna’s, Mark Daniels’ and others are being run by volunteers who believe in their candidate, and funded by folks like you who believe in us. We finally have a chance now against the SOAR candidates, now that we have smaller areas to run in thanks to district elections.

Back to the SOAR fundraiser – it happened last Wednesday at The Catch, and a couple dozen of us protested outside. Obviously Donna and Mark believe in using the political system as they’re running for office, but we’ve always thought protest was useful too, to make the public aware of problems, to feel solidarity with people who feel the same way, and also to make the powerful a little uncomfortable.  (AND have some fun!)

So, if you think Anaheim should continue draining its treasury for the benefit of Disney and the resort district, vote for the SOAR candidates – Lodge or Lahtinen, Brandman, Kring, Faessel. But if you want us to start directing our resources to our neighborhoods instead, then vote for one of the GRASS ROOTS CANDIDATES … and please SUPPORT US HOWEVER YOU CAN! (Thanks to Lou Noble for this cool video of the protest!)

(By the way, Donna has been protesting SOAR fundraisers for years!)

The Bookmobile Comes to Anna Drive!

Last Wednesday on Anna Drive, EVERYBODY was excited to see the Bookmobile back.  It reminded me of how happy I was to see the bookmobile come by when *I* was a little kid.

vern slow bookmobile back

Donna, Yesenia and I have to be excused for feeling some pride over the bookmobile coming back to Anna Drive.  The portion of street you see here, since time immemorial, had said “No Parking Mon-Fri,” and since there was no obvious REASON for that, and since it was hardly ever ENFORCED, and since parking is so hard to come by in that area, people ALWAYS parked there.  But every now and then, once a month or so, some meter maid would get all zealous and give us all tickets.  And meanwhile Yesenia would be muttering to us about some “bookmobile” we never saw.

back view

So Donna and I took a little trip down to City Hall, first floor, the parking people.  And they were very helpful.  They explained that the school bus USED to pick up and drop off there, but as we explained to them and they later confirmed for themselves, that hadn’t happened in a long time, as the bus now stays on La Palma.


EXCEPT on Wednesdays, as they told us – Wednesday afternoons are when the BOOKMOBILE is supposed to park there.  And before long, the parking signs were changed – No Parking Wednesdays!  And since that was reasonable and made sense, people started following the law, and the Bookmobile came back, and all the children rejoiced!  And we learned the lesson that there are some very helpful and efficient public servants in our City Hall.


Talking to bookmobile librarian Katrina (dressed below as a Jedi Knight or something because it was “Star Wars Day” or something on the bookmobile, duh) we learned that Anaheim used to have TWO bookmobiles but now has only the one due to funding shortfalls.  We can be proud that we ARE the only town in the OC that still has a bookmobile at all, but we think that if we just allow these fabled new hotels, 3 or 4 star or whatever, to pay their TOT, there’s no reason we couldn’t have two again.  Think how big the town is, and how many children would love to use them!

katrina star wars

[more coming…].


You can see how I’ve been a little busy for blogging, but maybe these diary-type entries will do as blog posts for now.  This is also your Weekend Open Thread, so discuss whatever you like within … what was it … “broad bounds of decency and decorum.”


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.