Bankruptcy-Prone OC Register Rightly Slams Kring; Hilariously ‘Endorses’ Brandman (Dems Beware!)

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This morning, the Editorial Board of the recently bankrupted and still financially flailing Orange County Register lifted politically flailing (and still bankruptcy-inducing) Anaheim City Councilman Jordan Brandman off of the floor to give him the kiss of death in his heavily Democratic District 3 race: its lukewarm endorsement.

It did so, however, in a way that invites speculation that they were being deliberately satirical about it.  If so, it was a job devilishly well done.

Jordan Brandman Tuesday night sucked the life out of Lucille Kring's campaign when she stood behind his self-serving actions.

Today Jordan Brandman is stuffed full of Register-endorsement goodness that obtained by sucking the remaining vitality out of the Kring campaign.  Luckily, it will likely lead to terrible indigestion.

To understand the joke, it’s best to start with the companion endorsement of the day: the Register’s refusal to endorse Brandman’s District 4 compadre on the SOAR/Disney slate, Lucille Kring.  I’ll be printing both short editorials in their entirety for the purposes of criticism and spreading mirth.

No endorsement for District 4

Regrettably, we were unable to find a candidate we are comfortable endorsing in District 4. While we might be inclined to favor Mayor Pro Tem Lucille Kring, given our agreement on some issues, over the years she has proven to be patently dishonest. And while we sometimes endorse candidates with whom we have significant policy disagreements, we simply cannot put our backing behind candidates whose word is fungible.

For example, one of the primary reasons the Register endorsed Kring four years ago was her promise to oppose crony capitalism and sweetheart deals for special interests with political connections. Then, once elected, she supported the very projects she campaigned against. More recently, she has appeared to be on both sides of the short-term rental ban issue in Anaheim, taking a rather pro-STR position during a meeting with the Editorial Board while campaigning elsewehere on the ban, albeit with an amortization period longer than 18 months.

If one read this “endorsement” first, this would seem to bode ill for Brandman.  Yes, it is clearly true that Lushille Kring:

  • has over the years proven to be patently dishonest
  • makes promises that are “fungible,” especially if one isn’t quite sure what the word “fungible” means and considers it a synonym for “malleable,” “tractable,” “unreliable” — or “frangible”*
  • promised to oppose crony capitalism and sweetheart deals for special interests with political connections
  • then, once elected, supported the very projects she campaigned against
  • recently appeared to be on both sides of the STR issue
*(“Fungible“: “being of such nature or kind as to be freely exchangeable or replaceable, in whole or in part, for another of like nature or kind.”  Not to be confused with “frangible”: “easily broken”).

But on 4 out of 5 of these, SO HAS JORDAN BRANDMAN!  (Can you, dear reader, pick out the exception?  Hold on, we’ll get to that below.)

The really sweet thing about the Register editorial on District 4 is that the Register pretty clearly does want Kring to lose — because if they wanted her to win without their fingerprints propelling her they could have endorsed Robert Williams or Joe “JoJo” “Not a Doctor” Moreno, both of whom take votes away from the consensus leader in District 4, community activist Father Arturo Ferreras.  They didn’t.  Like most of the rest of the OC Republican Party (despite its being goaded into its own reluctant endorsement of Kring earlier this year), they want Kring gone gone gone and replaced by someone less continually embarrassing.  Good on you for that, OCR!

And that brings us back to their endorsement of Brandman, which I’ll break down into bullet-pointed sentences:

  • In Anaheim’s first district-based City Council election, we found it particularly difficult to find areas of agreement with the candidates in the District 3 race.
  • We defer to the experience of Councilman Jordan Brandman, who affirmed, “I don’t believe in levying any new taxes,” and cited successes in improving street lights, expanding library hours and undergrounding utilities.
  • We have serious reservations, however, with Brandman’s close ties to labor unions – including his support for a project labor agreement for the Convention Center and “labor peace” agreements with hotels, under which they would be forced to use union labor – and his zeal for a form of economic development that crosses the line from encouraging open dealings to supporting crony capitalism.
  • But while we disagree with Brandman on some key issues, we don’t doubt his commitment to the city and his willingness to engage in dialogue and discussion.

In the context of the Kring anti-endorsement it accompanies, I submit that this is a work of satirical genius.

First bullet point: quite right!  Same as with Kring — and to the credit of Brandman’s two viable opponents, Dr. Jose Moreno and actual Republican Robert Nelson.

Second bullet point: Brandman caught (1) pandering to the business-libertarian Register by toeing a Republican line; (2) dissembling if not outright lying (in that his favored policies will produce plenty of new taxes on Anaheim residents — as they have already begun to do with the ARTIC disaster, and will soon do with the STR lawsuits — but not until he is safely out of office); and (3) tricking the Editorial Board which (alas!) may not realize that the money for all of these quality-of-life goodies came from money borrowed from future Anaheim residents as part of the Convention Center Bond that they wouldn’t let current Anaheim residents vote on!  It will take, as Donald Trump might say, “bigly bigly future taxes” to make up for what should have be purchased from out of the general fund in the current budget.  Brandman gets no credit for buying voters a present only after swiping their credit card.

Third bullet point: This, is the deadly one, as it constitutes a de facto endorsement for the policies of both Dr. Jose Moreno and Robert Nelson, names that the Register (perhaps aware of its own “kiss of death” problem among Latino voters) chooses not to pronounce.

Final bullet point: Finally, something on which all can agree!  We here at the Juice don’t at all doubt Brandman’s commitment to engage in dialogue and discussion — so long as he can ensure that it’s one-sided, as when he started to flee from a debate held Monday night when the moderator would not step in to stop Dr. Moreno from saying derogatory true things about him — and his commitment to the City is unquestionable: it doesn’t exist.  His commitment is only to himself and to his political patrons.

But, again, the true genius of this muddle appears when one reviews the bullet points shot at Kring:

  • has Brandman over the years proven to be “patently dishonest”?  Oh, YES!
  • has Brandman’s word been “fungible,” especially if one isn’t quite sure what the word “fungible” means and considers it a synonym for “malleable,” “tractable,” or “unreliable”  Is his word “fungible”?  Yes, by any definition, and its near-synonyms apply as well!
  • Did Brandman promised to oppose crony capitalism and sweetheart deals for special interests with political connections?  Actually, we think that this might be Brandman’s sole sort-of-advantage over Kring: he never even promised to do the right thing for citizens.
  • Did Brandman support the very projects Kring campaigned against?  AND HOW!!!
  • Did Brandman recently appear to be on both sides of the STR issue?  Oh, Mr. Register Editorial Board?  We recently covered this in some detail!  It also shows how he can twist his word into curlicues if he thinks he can get away with it.

… Yet Brandman is “endorsed”!!!

Publishing an “endorsement” that reluctantly supports Brandman in the context of slamming Lucille Kring for the same things that Brandman himself has done looks like it may be hilarious intentionally satire.  We suspect, though, that it may have been carefully worked out in advance with Disney representatives, in a conversation that may have ended along the lines of this:

“OK, then it’s settled: You’ll let us drop-kick Kring — which is really doing you a favor, after all, but so long as we give Jordan Brandman some kind of endorsement that lets us print a headline that he can cite, we can undermine it as much as we’d like.  And, in return, you’ll continue putting your ads in our paper.  We can live with that!  And, if the polling going around is anything near correct, at least we won’t have to live with him on the City Council anymore, so Anaheim can live with it too.  It’s a deal!

And, again, a reminder to all of the many many many Democrats in District 3: an endorsement from the OC Register obtained through a “no new taxes (for Disney)” pledge is not something that should make you want to vote for anyone!


About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Corrupt party hacks hate him. He's OK with that too. He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)