OC Weekly Does Hatchet Job On Kris Murray. What A Shock.

Gustavo memeOC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Gustavo Arellano published a post today about Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray that was a real hatchet job. What a shock.

And he gets it wrong. Again, what a shock.

Let’s review Arellano’s parade of errors:

“Take a recent move by Murray that switched out her delegates on an Anaheim advisory committee to determine whether the city should have district elections for city council.”

Contrary to Arellano’s assertion, it wasn’t a “move by Murray.” Her two appointees resigned. David Diaz reluctantly tendered his resignation because new job responsibilities will keep him on the road a lot and unable to attend the rest of the CAC meetings. Her other appointee, Joseph Karaki, hasn’t been able to attend many meetings and resigned so Murray could appoint someone who can.

Arellano portray the appointments as a purge, when the truth is she’s filling vacancies not of her making.

Arellano continues:

“One of the people she appointed was one Sandy Day, who has publicly gone on record to not only being against district elections, but also against being the Latina that she is.”

If he thinks having expressed a position on council districts is a disqualifer from sitting on the CAC, then why hasn’t Arellano called out Larry Larsen, one of former Councilwoman Lorri Galloway’s appointees. Larsen published a column in the OC Register on December 7 of last year — after being appointed — saying he believes the ACLU lawsuit has merit and that he thinks councilmembers ought to be elected by districts.

But that wouldn’t fit the narrative Arellano is trying to construct.

Arellano then takes Sandy Day’s statement deploring the emphasis on skin color in the council district question and twists that into Day being “against being the Latina that she is.” Huh? That feat of illogic should be surprising coming from a journalist — but then again, consider the source.

Arellano’s parade of errors marches onward:

“So what did Murray do? In a press release that appeared solely on the blog of favored Republican hack…Matt Cunningham, Murray made sure to note that Day is “a resident of Latin American descent.”

“Murray made sure to note?” That would be tough, since the press release was written by Anaheim PIO Ruth Ruiz, not Kris Murray. But again, the OC Weekly way is not to let facts get in the way of a good hatchet job.

And if Arellano is feeling put out at not receiving the press release, he can do what I did: go to the City of Anaheim website and sign up to receive notifications about CAC news. Isn’t that basic reporting?

And so what if the press release noted Day is f Latin American descent? I realize Arellano’s intellect can be as subtle as a sledgehammer, but noting one’s descent is different – by degrees of magnitude — from deploring the idea that representation should be based on race. The average, reasonable person grasps that easily and intuitively. That obvious distinction either escapes Arellano entirely, or is cynically ignoring it in order to take a cheap shot.

And the next entry in the parade of errors:

“But Murray did this to not only shield herself against accusations of racism, but also to show that Latinos are against district representation so therefore, no one else should, either.”

And how does Arellano know Murray’s reason for appointing Day to the CAC? Did he talk to her? Did she tell him that? Is he a mind-reader? Of course not. He’s reporting his own speculation as fact. God forbid he consider Murray might have appointed her because Day is a smart, principled, hard-working individual who will take the appointment seriously, and who won’t be intimidated by left-wingers who will denounce anyone not towing the single-member-districts line as a racist.


  1. An awful lot of typos in this one – does Gustavo make you nervous, Matthew?

    As usual your great masterful deconstruction of the innumerable errors in an opponent’s piece boils down to a petty list of quibbles.

    Probably you’ll never agree that a pro-districting person should be on the districting commission, just as we’ll never agree that an anti-districting person should be on it, but here’s what it boils down to: The Disney/Pringle faction likes to pretend they’re open to the idea of districting and just want make sure it’s done right, as they’ve publicly stated; but picking appointees like Day and Oleson shows that Murray at least, and probably the rest of that faction, are uncompromisingly OPPOSED to districting.

  2. Matt – when are you going to realized you playing for the wrong team? These people will do anything to retain their power structure and continue to rip off taxpayers for the sake of their Disney masters.

  3. Matthew Cunningham

    No, Gustavo doesn’t make me nervous. I tend to type too hard and fast, which produces typos.

    Also, Disney went on record months ago as being pro-single member districts; you might want to catch up with current events.

    Quibble? Since is getting a story factually wrong, or passing off mere speculation as fact, a “quibble”?

    The CAC isn’t a jury. It’s a political body and I would expect its members to have opinions about single-member districts, both pro and con. However, it is supporters of districts (like that twerpy Steve Perez) who act as if the CAC’s purpose is to come up with a single-member district plan, and attack pro-districting voices as illegitimate.

    If you’re going to “quibble” with Murray’s selection, then be fair and blast Galloway, as well, for appointing staunchly pro-district people to the CAC. Otherwise, you are no different than the Steve Perezes seeking to shut-down anti-district voices while you pretend to be fair-minded and concerned with the truth.

    • Just noticed this in Matt’s response: “Also, Disney wnet on record months ago as being pro-single member districts; you might want to catch up with current events.”

      Duh, Matt. I was the first blogger to write about that Disney statement, skeptically, on the day it came out – August 8 of last year. I know you haven’t been paying attention to Anaheim that long, but you could try re-reading my comment above more closely.

      My contention has always been that the position of Disney, Pringle, Murray, Eastman, and Brandman is to PRETEND to be open to districting, democracy, and diversity, but to kill it slowly with endless study, at least putting it off for several election cycles or until the court forces it on us. And probably with no more complicated motivation than hanging on to their power as long as possible and squeezing out as much more corporate welfare as possible.

      And with Disney councilwoman Murray choosing appointees who are so nakedly anti-districting, the mask completely slips off.

      • Vern: I have been paying attention to Anaheim far, far longer than you.

        Anyone can speculate, Vern. You presented your suspicion as a fact. I think the term Duane Roberts applied to your suspicions re another issue is appropriate here: “fanciful narrative.”

        Since you haven’t uttered a complaint about the appointment of nakedly pro-district CAC members, you aren’t in a position to criticize.

        • Shall I reprint, in this comment thread, Disney’s original August 8 statement, and how it envisioned this Citizens’ Advisory Committee? It wasn’t about “whether or not to move to districting.” It was supposed to be about the best way, the number of districts, how they’d be shaped, etc. So if we were to believe their rhetoric, the committee shouldn’t be stacked with districting foes.

          But it was just rhetoric, and the purpose of the Committee is delay, delay as long as possible. Appointments of people like Day and Oleson by Disney councilmembers confirms that.

          I guess that’s the main thing I’m pointing out here, the huge gulf between the Disney crowd’s rhetoric and what they’re more and more obviously up to.

  4. nojordanbrandman

    Matt – you’re just upset that Steve Perez called out Murray’s new appointees.

    • No I’m not. Steve’s just a punk who sees the world through race-colored glasses. It’s despicable. People are a lot more than their pigmentation. We’re individuals, not just members of racial or ethnic groups by accident of birth.

  5. Technically the CAC is issuing a quasi-judicial decision, and thus should be acting without bias. Even advisory boards must avoid conflict of interest, which includes having formed preconceived opinions prior to sitting on the panel. I think only those who have not formed solid opinions should be sitting on the board, just as when juries are chosen. It should not be about stacking the panel with appointees who agree with your viewpoint, or in this case finding the most hardcore, rabid, outspoken appointees one can drum up. They are supposed to be deciding what is best for Anaheim, not beating others into submission. Also remember, there is a lawsuit in play here. Do you really want to play with the whole definition of bias with the ACLU breathing down the City’s neck?

  6. Matthew Cunningham

    “Also remember, there is a lawsuit in play here.”

    You might want to remind Eric Altman of that fact. At one of the meetings last year, he asked the CAC to take a position on the litigation.

  7. Cynthia, regardless of what “should have been,” the CAC is what it is. Lorri Galloway’s appointees are very pro-single-member district. Of Mayor’s appointees, Dalati strikes me as being in that camp. Heck, Tom isn’t even waiting for the CAC to finish its work; last month he caled on the council to put single-member districts on the ballot.

    I find anyone’s hyperventilating about the dispositions of Sandy Day and Keith Olseson (and I’m not poiinting a finger at you, Cynthia) pretty disingenuous given their simultaneous silence regarding CAC members who are pretty clearly pro-district partisans.

    I have been to at least half of these meetings. The staff has generallly done a good job in terms of the substance of the presentations to the CAC. At the same time, the public comment period is completely dominated by the bodies generated by the unions — and they don’t even bother to disguise what they are doing — and a few left-wing activists like Steve Perez.

    Their goal being to dominate the public record so they can say at the end of the process, “Look, 90% of the public wants districts.” Anyone with a modicum of savvy can see that the unions and their allies recruit these sincere folks who live in poorer parts of Anaheim, tell them that council districts will mean more police/library/parks/after-school services — whatever it is they think their neighborhood needs more of – and arrange for them to come to the meetings and say they want districts.

    The city is laying out $60,000 for an outreach effort that is failing (in my opinion), judging by the turn-out of people who aren’t commmuntiy activists or products of the union/OCCORD organizing effort. For afraction of thhat cost, the city could record robocalls to residents dialed out a few days before each CAC meeting, urging residents to attend. That would probably do more to increase turnout from ordinary residents who un-affiliated with any pressure group — a presence that has been almost completely absent from this process

  8. nojordanbrandman

    Matt – I agree that each council members has stacked the deck. So why not just put districting on the ballot already? Let the people decide. From my understanding, and I am no expert on this issue, the ACLU will eventually prevail and we will have to implement some form of districting. Is that a correct statement? If not, please explain.

    So why has council member Murray spent over $280,000+ fighting the ACLU and untold amounts on this sham committee? Doesn’t make much sense to me. All that money could instead be used to better the neighborhoods etc. . .

  9. You would be fooling yourself if you thought that mindless drones filled out those applications to participate in CAC last year. Of course all 10 of them came into this with some sort of bias or else they wouldn’t of bothered to apply.

    Heck even the now-silent Cynthia Ward, 46 and a lifelong resident of Anaheim, was quoted in the OC Register last August saying, “Do we want to create a lot of special-interest districts and become like Los Angeles or Chicago?” she asked. “You’re going to have people saying, ‘Hey, you got a substation, I want a park for my area.’ ” and “Districts will create pork,” she added. “Just like Washington, but on a smaller scale.”

    So spoiler alert: People Have Opinions. Whoop-dee-fricken-doo!

    Democracy at its finest but in the meanwhile, enjoy the mudpies CAC – you are about to be hated, spit upon and slandered by some of the mayor’s kindest friends.

  10. Who cares what that editor thinks?

    Honestly, who is he or what has he done other than exploit Latinos self-oppressed state to the the financial benefit of his paper’s or his own back pocket.

    He actually called the people who brought on the Anaheim Lawsuit “pendejos” but now that it is sort of building momentum he wants to pick the side that is opportune to his “the white-man is evil” propaganda. Political opportunism at its worst and he has the nerve to call the councilwomen sort of two faced. Incredible idiot he is…worse is the people who admire or follow this guy.

    His big thing on Disneyland he spews out is how the Fireworks are harming the Latinos community that is adjacent to the park but how about the hundreds of marijuana dispensaries that advertise their products and harm all the thousands of young adult lives in the Latino neighborhood. He doesn’t care that the drugs are ruining people’s lives because he making money selling ad space.

    Then, he has the sex for sale ads while I’m sure he will tell all the Latinas that he against the exploitation of woman and the sex slave trade. Is he really that ignorant that he doesn’t see the connection of the ads he makes money on and the effects it has on women.

    Oh, Gustavo is a opportunist, a capitalist user but self appointed communist fighter, a person who belittles causes then later on jumps on them(See always Irvine city) and he would probably get 5% of the Latino vote if he ran for Anaheim city council. Most people sometimes will listen(read) issues from a race baiting journalist but most are smart enough not to follow them(vote).

    • Gustavo Arellano

      Wow, this has as many misspellings as the typical Jose Moreno rant, but I know it ain’t him because the comment implies I’m somehow feeling sympathetic to the ACLU lawsuit. Far from!

      • And here we have the confusion of Gustavo, who has admitted that districting is a good and important reform for Anaheim, but doesn’t like the activists who launched the suit, or the way the argument was phrased.

        But it should be clear by now, that this lawsuit is the only way we’re going to get to districting – in this decade at least. The Council majority, and the big money in town, is gonna fight it as long as possible. If the plaintiffs prevail we’ll owe them a debt of gratitude, and so will Gustavo.

        • Gustavo Arellano

          Vern: Don’t put words in my mouth. Matt doesn’t give a @#!*% about Anaheim other than what his handlers tell him to care about, but you and the Bloviator are so enamored with Los Amigos that you can’t see the burritos for the beans with those self-serving fools. Actually, Matt and Moreno deserve each other!

  11. Gustavo Arellano

    [Deleted due to gross misrepresentations of the truth. Please pray for Gustavo.]

  12. To answer your question Jason, it is because the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) loses cases all the time for failing to provide the hard evidence required. Take, John Doe v. Dixie County, where the ACLU lost its six-year campaign to tear down a Ten Commandments monument at the Dixie County, Florida, courthouse. They even lost their usual extortion money for harassing a community. Meanwhile, thousands of other cities around this country have caved in to similar lawsuits out of fear.

    And even more recently, on Jan. 7, 2013, federal Judge Julie Robinson soundly rejected the ACLU motion responding that, as a matter of law, the ACLU failed to provide any evidence in its case, ACLU (Kansas and Missouri) v Praeger.

    According to the complaint filed by the ACLU against Anaheim, the voting Latino community is actually more highly represented than any other segment of Anaheim’s population. For example, Central Anaheim (the highest geographic concentration of Latinos located in a geographically compact area in the central part of the city where Latinos constitute a majority of the Citizen Voting-Age Population) has two council members from that district. Meanwhile in East Anaheim there are approximately 6,000 voting Latinos also represented by two council members. We also have Kring from South Anaheim, where Latinos also make up a large majority of the residents. Also, Anaheim’s recent history of diversity on the council with all sorts of ethnic backgrounds doesn’t help its cause either.

    In other words, just because somebody sues you, doesn’t mean that they are right. Anaheim is very capable of proving the ACLU wrong in this particular case.

  13. I have been studying this case as well LegalZoom and you are correct. Given the reality of today’s council and its recent history of diversity both ethnically and geographically, the ACLU will have a difficult case to prove.

    Anaheim has the ability to fight this lawsuit while simultaneously promoting an effort to better engage residents that have chosen to not participate in the election process. The city can and should be a leader in this effort. A win-win for all parties.

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