Brandman Recall News: Jordan’s Response, our reaction to that, and some tips for Future Recallers!

Did you hear the one about…

In the same manner in which Jordan Brandman moved out of district 3, late on a moonlit night in 2018 on the last day possible to establish residency in district 2 to run against James Vanderbilt, in just that same way he sent us his response to our “Notice of Intention to Recall,” afterhours on the seventh and last day that he was allowed to.  We were already thinking he wasn’t gonna bother, and then we wouldn’t have to include his reply on our petitions.  (It’s a good thing we weren’t waiting for his reply before we sent in our “Notice of Intention” to be published in the Anaheim Bulletin – we would have been truly fucked, which was probably his intention.)

But let’s look at this response.  It’s VERY similar to the response sent on behalf of Mayor Sidhu, and probably ghostwritten by the same hack, Chris Nguyen.  We shall make use of the very scholarly device of footnotes to comment on each of Brandman/Nguyen’s contentions:


This recall is an unwarranted distraction.

Jordan Brandman is keeping his promises. [1]

Addressing homelessness – When Councilmember Brandman took office, nearly every West Anaheim park had encampments. Councilmember Brandman opened an emergency shelter within fourteen days. The encampments were cleared. Two more shelters have since been opened. More must be done, but we’re making progress.[2]

Fighting for West Anaheim – Councilmember Brandman is working tirelessly to attract higher-quality retail and dining to West Anaheim. He led the fight to approve 39 Commons with a planned Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. This is on the cusp of becoming reality.[3]

 Keeping the Angels – Before Councilmember Brandman’s election, the Angels were planning to leave. He got the Angels to stay for 30 years, struck a fair market value deal for the stadium land, and protected taxpayer dollars from funding a new stadium.[4]

When COVID-19 hit, Councilmember Brandman focused on:

  • Protecting Anaheim’s most vulnerable residents including rental assistance for those who’ve lost income and preventing evictions if they couldn’t pay their rent.
  • Providing residents relief by supporting local non-profits to establish food banks and distributing essential supplies.
  • Working to restart our economy and schools as soon as safely allowed.[5]

The Anaheim Police Association and Anaheim Firefighters Association urge you: DON’T SIGN ANY RECALL PETITION.[6]

Keep Councilmember Brandman focused on moving West Anaheim forward.[7]

So let’s see.

[1]Jordan is keeping his promises, really?  We already showed how he hasn’t been, and this response doesn’t refute any of our examples:

  • Jordan promised the Democrats that he would stop giving out corporate welfare to luxury hotels, and then not only did he vote in Jan. 2020 to extend a $180 million hotel subsidy, but outdid that in generosity with the Stadium property giveaway, for a taxpayer loss of about half a billion. 
  • Jordan promised the Arab-American community he would vote to “designate” the Little Arabia district, but silently refused to give a second when Councilman Moreno proposed that last Jan. 12. 
  • And Jordan promised the Democrats in 2018 (just as Avelino did last year) that he would at least back Moreno getting his items on the agenda for discussion; but he has declined to do that at least a dozen times now, putting the kibbosh on opening up council comments via Zoom; on resolving that Black Lives Matter; on publicizing the Stadium property appraisal; and much more which I’ve listed elsewhere.  Keeping his promises?  Watch him break two of ’em right here:

[2] Everything done by this Council to help the homeless was not only done pretty much unanimously, but also forced on the Council by Judge Carter, in response to lawsuits by activists like our friends on the People’s Homeless Task Force.  That six-week (early 2019) emergency shelter was a miserable place and its funding and construction were rife with corruption, enriching friends and contributors of Mayor Sidhu.  The two permanent shelters that came online six weeks later were the hard work of the previous Tait majority.  There is nothing here for Jordan to brag about.  The truest words here are: “More must be done.”

[3] The “fighting for West Anaheim” section has nothing about Jordan doing anything for his own district, District 2.  “39 Commons” is on Beach Blvd, in District 1 – Denise Barnes’ district, and now Jose Diaz’.  It was a popular idea and didn’t need any “fight” to be “led” by Jordan or anybody; on the other hand it is NOT on the cusp of becoming reality but maybe a decade off.  And Jordan’s obsession with “a Trader Joe’s in West Anaheim!” is already already the stuff of stand-up comedy.

[4] This is the paragraph most dense with falsehood.  “Keeping the Angels” – by now most of the public has figured out, the Angels were never going anywhere, they had nowhere to go, that was just a threat from Arte Moreno to get a sweetheart deal, and it worked.  The claim of a “fair-market deal” is laughable – the Anaheim public was shortchanged by probably half a billion.  “Protected taxpayer dollars from funding a new stadium” is equally pernicious bullshit – we were NEVER obligated to build a new stadium under the old lease!  And have we mentioned that the team is still named “The Los Angeles Angels” because only Jose and Denise pushed to change that – Jordan kept silent.

PS. Nearly forgot – that bargain-basement price that Arte got – $150 million?  It would at least be nice to get that NOW when we really need it, rather than in four payments in 2021-2024.  Wouldn’t it?  You think the billionaire could handle that?  Well, Jose and Denise tried to make it happen, but Jordan kept silent.

[5] All that Covid niceness was also done unanimously by the Council, would have been done by any Council, and is nothing special or remarkable for Jordan to boast about.  Although now that they mention it, Jose Moreno was the first, in early March 2020, to try to agendize an Eviction Moratorium, and Jordan nixed that (till later in the month) by refusing to give him a third.  Because that’s what Jordan does.  (Hello, DPOC?)

[6] The Sidhu version of this prose-turd read “Anaheim Police and Firefighters Urge You: DON’T SIGN ANY RECALL PETITION!” which I thought was a little threatening.  As well as presumptuous, given the hundreds of folks spoken for.  It’s more honest here, attributing the “urge” to the UNIONS, and it also makes more sense:  Jordan and his majority give those unions everything they ask for, including a Feb. 2020 raise that put us even deeper in debt, “dipping into our reserves,” right before Covid.  (Our debt then: $500 million, thanks to Jordan & Co.  Our debt now: closing in on $800 million, thanks to Covid & Jordan.)

[7] Again, this is supposed to be JORDAN’S RESPONSE, not Chris Nguyen making excuses for him.  So you’d think it would be written in the first person.  But then the final sentence would read “Keep me focused…” and that would make people laugh.

Finally, not addressed in Jordan’s response but big in our book:

  • His refusal to pass a rent cap to help the rent-gouged seniors of Rancho La Paz, or do the same for apartment renters before the state stepped in, or to stop no-cause evictions in Anaheim.
  • The billions of dollars of corporate welfare he gave away to cronies during his first (2012-16) term, including a promise to Disneyland of no gate tax for 45 years.
  • The various ways he has tried to sabotage district elections over the years, from appointing anti-districting Amanda Edinger onto the districting commission in 2013, to the crazy ways he tried to delay it in late 2015-16 so as not to have to face Moreno, to his current copout of “following the Mayor’s judgment because he was elected by the whole city while I was just elected by one district.”

Well, enough Jordan for now, my experiences with two recalls now makes me want to offer:

Tips for Future Recallers

Learn from our stupid but understandable mistakes.  If you’re recalling a city official, the City Clerk is gonna call all the shots, and don’t be surprised if they sometimes seem arbitrary and throw up obstacles: they need to keep their jobs and you are trying to recall their boss. 

First you gotta make sure exactly what set of rules your City Clerk is going to go by; ours has settled on this set of instructions from the California Secretary of State.  Eventually you will notice that these instructions are a little confusing and elliptical (incomplete.)  And you’ll want to look up, and carefully read, each of the law codes that are referenced.  (e.g. Elections Code §§ 11023 =  Here are a few tips, from the initial part of the process, based on mistakes we made or almost made:

  • Remember two things when you create your Notice of Intention to Recall – you’ll want to get as many signatures as you can – twenty plus a ten-sig “cushion” makes thirty – but also the more pages you use, the more expensive it will be to publish in the paper – two pages in the Anaheim Bulletin cost us $504.  So we made our Notice fit onto two pages with just one line per signatory, but the corollary is that folks will need to write small to get all their info onto one line.  Make sure they include their city and zip, even if city seems redundant – some of the instructions are not clear on that, and we got our Notice rejected for too many signers not including their city, and had to go back and get our signatures all over.  Here’s the Notice we made, feel free to copy and alter it for your purposes.
  • How the deadline works when you serve your target by mail.  The FIRST time we had our Notice to recall Jordan rejected, it’s because I misunderstood what date counted as Jordan being served.  You have seven days from when you serve your target before you have to file with the Clerk.  We had served him via registered mail, and I was waiting to get the notice back of when he signed for it, and counting seven days from THEN.  Wrong, the service date counts from when you MAILED it.  So might as well take one morning to go to the post office and then the City Clerk, get it all done together.
  • After the signatures on your Notice of Intention have been approved, the Clerk tells you what date your Notice was “filed,” and from that date you have basically 17 days to publish your Notice in a local paper (or possibly a little less – the target has SEVEN days to file a Response, and then you have TEN days – so if the target does it quicker, you might have less time.)  This deadline is NOT written in the instructions, I had to find it in the Elections Code.   (It’s almost like these rules were written by some Democrats in Sacramento who were trying to make it harder and more confusing to recall them!)  
  • RELATEDLY – your publication does NOT need to include your target’s Response.  It’s only logical to assume that it DOES need to include that, since you are given seven days to wait for that Response before publishing.  But NO.  It’ll cost you hundreds of dollars to publish that BS, and waiting for the Response is likely to make you miss the deadline for publication as well – both those things happened to us when we first tried to recall Sidhu!  So long story short: there’s no point waiting around after your Notice is officially filed, just go ahead and publish it right away, get it out of the way!
  • THE PETITION.  Newish laws (apparently passed by Democrats around the time of the Josh Newman Recall) require you to have a LOT of stuff on EACH side of your petition – your own Intention, a list of at least ten “proponents,” and the target’s Response; and on the back side, the “Declaration of Circulator.”  Without a lotta resourcefulness, there’d be no room for signatures!  With the help of Greg Diamond and TINY FONT, we created a two-sided LEGAL-SIZED (8-1/2 x 14″) petition with room for ELEVEN SIGNATURES; I believe that is the best anyone can do.  Feel free to download and alter our “Petition for the Recall of Mayor Harry Sidhu” for your own purposes!



The City took their maximum ten days, and found a FEW quibbles with our sample Petition.  There were a couple of tiny typos – MY grievous bad.

Irritatingly, they wanted us to change the text inside the address boxes that Greg had created, originally for the Sidhu Recall Petition.  Under the address lines we originally had, “WRITE IN ABOVE THE ADDRESS OF YOUR LEGAL VOTING RESIDENCE;” at the City’s urging it now says “WRITE IN ABOVE YOUR RESIDENCE ADDRESS.”  It’s unclear why the first version was okay last year but not this year.

third problem:  On the petition we are supposed to list at least ten “proponents,” out of the 30 voters who signed the Intention.  I listed EXACTLY ten to save space, but unbeknownst to me one of these voters had not passed muster with the Registrar of Voters when they checked the signatures.  There was no way I could have known that, but just be safe and list MORE than ten if you have room.

So now we have ten days to file the corrected version, but we won’t take them, we’ll re-file it today or tomorrow.  THEN the City will again take THEIR maximum ten days to tell us it’s perfect, or discover some other quibble.  Apparently the City feels it in their interest to keep this going as long as possible.  I don’t know why, the more time goes by the better the pandemic will be and the easier to get signatures.  Still, I’d like to get this thing going so we can try to get this Recall on the same ballot with the Newsom Recall so we don’t have to spend too much Anaheim money.

I’ve uploaded the new, CORRECTED version of the petition in case anyone wants to see it, or any other recallers want to adapt it for themselves.  Here it is as well:

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.