Gloria Ma’ae’s Fundraiser. With MAJOR RE-DISTRICTING TWIST UPDATE!

I wasn’t a hundred percent sure that appointed Anaheim District 2 Councilwoman Gloria Ma’ae (appointed to take the place of the disgraced Jordan Brandman) was going to run for Election this year. For a while we were suspecting that the Democrats were preparing an Avelino/Jordan scenario – where the Democrats would unite with the Kleptocracy behind a hyper-funded, unbeatable juggernaut of a candidate. After all, District 2 is heavily Democratic, and Gloria and her family have always been Republicans. But apparently that’s not in the works, as Gloria is holding her first big fundraiser tonight:.

I wonder how many of Gloria’s District 2 constituents will be able to afford this?

I don’t know who this Dara Maleki is, but the “co-hosts” stand out:

  • Paul Sanford is CEO of Wincome Hospitality, originally based in Asia but now apparently here in Anaheim; the company owns Anaheim’s TWO MOST HIGHLY SUBSIDIZED LUXURY HOTELS, including the “Anaheim Hotel” at which this event is being held. A friendly, portly, red-haired guy, he gives away loads of used furniture, that his hotels don’t need any more, in low-income neighborhoods, which is kind of nice. A few years ago he came to my neighborhood of Anna Drive, where a lot of people really did want that furniture, and he and I lifted many couches together while arguing about subsidies (he was sweating a lot in his suit!) Lately he’s been giving furniture away in West Anaheim with Gloria as she gets her coveted photo ops. I wonder what else Paul Sanford is going to want from the people of Anaheim in the near future?
  • The Anaheim Chamber of Commerce runs this here town, and is dominated by the very largest financial interests starting with Disney, the Angels and the Resort District, at the expense of small mom and pop businesses. They pretty much pick each of our councilmembers and Mayors for us except for in the rare instances we can successfully fight them. And then they instruct our Mayor and Council how to vote at each meeting; rarely do those politicians stray far. Technically they’ve been led till recently by Todd Ament, but even he was an unimaginative order taker, and has now reportedly left town and is under FBI investigation (rumors.) The Chamber really seems to be run by lobbyist Jeff Flint (right), who in turn is the Viceroy for Anaheim Affairs left here by the ever-burgeoning Curt Pringle when he “went County-wide.”
  • James O’Malley appears to be the Senior Vice President of Corona-based Real Estate Investment company Shopoff Realty Investments. Why is a Corona Real Estate businessman so interested in who will be District 2 Councilwoman? We need to remember that times have changed a little in Anaheim, and (apart from the Angel Stadium Swindle) the biggest assault on Anaheim residents is no longer subsidies to luxury hotels, but the sale of every available corner and lot to developers to make profitable, expensive housing (while not forcing them to do ANYTHING about AFFORDABLE housing.) So, James O’Malley and Shopoff want to be sure they have GLORIA in office.
  • And of course the “Hon.” Kris Murray – just check our Kris Murray archives for more than you want to know about the two-term Councilwoman who spent $3 million Anaheim taxpayer dollars fighting alongside Gloria against District Elections, a reform 70% of us wanted. Greg and I both did a double take when we saw that “Hon.” in front of her name, but I suggested it could be short for the “Honey Badger” who famously “didn’t give a fuck.” The Hon. Kris, who’d hoped to jump from Council to Supervisor but was stabbed in the back by her patron Pringle, has instead spent the last two years greasing the wheels in her ill-tempered way for the Poseidon boondoggle, on a powerful Water Board. When she shows up to Anaheim Council, to speak for example in favor of the Stadium Giveaway, Mayor Sidhu treats her like royalty and lets her pass in front of all the other public speakers. I knew that when I sang “Goodbye, Kris Murray” in 2018, it would not be forever.

AND THESE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO WANT TO MAKE SURE GLORIA STAYS ON COUNCIL.

Since her anointment appointment, Gloria has been no better or worse than we expected – she is an unquestioning member of the Kleptocrat Team. It’s disturbing actually – it’s like Sidhu, Diaz, Faessel, O’Neil, Ma’ae (and to a lesser degree Avelino) are not even individuals. Their votes are lockstep, ordered by the Chamber, and they don’t generally even try to explain them.

ANOTHER strict Chamber/Kleptocrat rule that Gloria adheres to religiously is to NEVER GIVE A SECOND OR THIRD to a motion from the hated Dr. Moreno. Thus we got, two meetings ago, the dismal sight of Moreno moving to have a public discussion on the current plague of STREET RACING, getting a rare (but occasional) second from Avelino, and then Gloria & Jose Diaz sitting on their hands while the motion died from no “third,” even though Gloria lives right of La Palma and Diaz lives right off Beach, and they KNOW what a hazard this is. Still, sidelining Moreno takes precedence over public safety!

GLO,” as her friends call her, is still, like Trevor, sardonically friendly to me (unlike the total hostility from Harry, Kris & Jordan) but she has one ironic new quirk – she tells me that she only cares to hear opinions from voters in her own district. Three responses to that:

  1. This is real fucking ironic, from a woman who passionately fought AGAINST districts for several years;
  2. That’s not the IDEA of districts (that you don’t have to listen at all to the rest of the city); you’re supposed to pay PARTICULAR attention to the needs of your own area, but you ARE still an Anaheim Councilmember… (but maybe she is passively “trying to shove districts down our throats”?); AND…
  3. How many of the folks attending her big fundraiser tonight, paying for her Election, are actually from her District? But moving on…

So, Who Will Run Against Her?

At the September 14, 2021 meeting where ten hopefuls vied for the District 2 appointment, even though it was clearly pre-ordained for Gloria, FOUR OF THE TEN, as we wrote at the time, stood out from the others:

  • Honest (-seeming) conservative Philip Wolfgramm, whom Gloria went ahead and put on the Planning Commission, where honest progressive Steve White finds him to be his best ally … but in any case he won’t be running against Gloria.
  • My good friend Fred Sigala Jr, the smartest of the bunch, who was enthusiastic about running until he got too many rejections, cold shoulders, and broken promises from most of his own Democratic Party.
  • Carlos Leon (right) another Democrat but a cipher so far. He’s been spending the last few months, mostly at his St Justin Martyr Catholic Church (which Fred and Rudy also attend) getting a lot of pictures taken of himself giving out food and Covid vaccinations, supporting Little Arabia and unions, and counting the homeless, so it FEELS like he’s getting ready to run, but he WON’T SPEAK to me or Fred, as though he’d been told not to. What are we to make of this? (If he does finally speak to us, I’ll note that here – I just want to know if he’s running, and where he stands on various issues.)
  • Right now we feel that the candidate we can trust most, who is DEFINITELY running, who is a Democrat in this Democratic district, who’s lived there for decades (like Gloria), is Rudy Gaona. Back in 2012-15 Rudy fought FOR District Elections while Gloria fought AGAINST them. He’s run for Council a few times but not recently. And when he saw how pre-ordained the process was on Sept 14, he angrily withdrew his name (see video below.) A military guy with a family and motorcycle, I’ve known him for a decade and feel I can trust him.

We really need to find out soon, where the Democratic Party, meaning the DPOC, stands on Anaheim. It seemed for a while that, like Dr Moreno, the Party was for good honest open government, and AGAINST subsidies to those who don’t need it – that is, against policies that make the rich richer and the powerful more powerful, because that always comes at the expense of the rest of us. (Unless you really believe in TRICKLE-DOWN ECONOMICS, as Jordan did and maybe Avelino does, and which is not a Democrat belief.)

Depressingly, when DPOC reps interview candidates these days, they ask NOTHING about their positions or beliefs or records, or even who else supports them, they ask about NOTHING EXCEPT THEIR FUNDRAISING PROSPECTS. As though any “Democrat” with enough money behind them is worth supporting.

So that’s where we are right now. Unless Carlos Leon turns out real soon to be the second coming of Dr. Moreno, I think we should all support good old Rudy!

Either that or maybe you should go to the Anaheim Hotel at 5:30 this evening and get behind Gloria Ma’ae and the hotel and building industries – if you can afford it!

Big Re-districting Update, 3/4!

Dunno how Glo’s big bash went yesterday, but the Council has chosen a new districts map which MAY change things radically for her and the rest of us. Gloria’s District 2 has just acquired a pretty big chunk of District 4, which includes, drum roll…. LUCILLE KRING! That fabled “pint-sized packmule unburdened by conscience or scruple,” who can just not get enough of being on Council (and is currently on Planning Commission, because Jose “Ricky” Diaz didn’t know anyody in his own district.)

I think chances are pretty good that Disney and the Chamber will look at this development, think of Lucille’s name recognition, (apparent) popularity, and total obedience, and ask Gloria to step aside for Lucille. As you may know, Lucille served the Chamber and Disney on Council for eight years before being termed out, took the required two years off, served the Chamber and Disney on Council for eight more years before being termed out, and by this November will have taken two more required years off and be ready to serve the Chamber and Disney on Council for eight more years till she’s (I’m guessing) a nonagenarian. How exciting is that!?

But Lucille is not the ONLY political actor who’s been scooped up from District 4 to District 2; there are also… (drum-roll please) … the Robbinses, Jeanine and Mike. As well as a WHOLE LOT OF THEIR FRIENDS AND SUPPORTERS who joined the Robbinses in fighting off the STR’s (Short Term Rentals) in their neighborhoods. STR’s is one rare issue that Jordan was good on, where he supported the people against the kleptocracy. Not Lucille though, she was the worst, and these folks know that.

Jeanine is too busy this year to run for Council again, but with our help, Rudy has a lot of new issues to use against either Gloria or Lucille! Vern out…

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 vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.