Anger in Short Supply At Angels Negotiations Community Meeting

1-14 angels forumIf there’s a groundswell of public anger out there over the city’s negotiations framework with the Angels, it wasn’t in evidence at last night’s community meeting on the Angels negotiations.

There were around 60 people there, about half of whom were wearing Angel red and were there as part of the “keep the Angels” effort.  I think there were four critical speakers, and basically the same people who have been critical of the negotiation framework from the very start. Cynthia Ward was there, naturally, trying unsuccessfully to trap Tom Morton with as series of “gotcha” questions. At one point, she claimed the city shared in the Angels television revenues prior to the 1996 deal (which I don’t think is correct).

In any case, last night’s meeting made it pretty evident that the “anger” over the city’s negotiation framework is more or less confined to small number of council meeting regulars, and is not a widespread feeling among Anaheim residents. If they’re angry, they’re doing a pretty good job of keeping it to themselves.

It reminds me of how single-member district proponents relentlessly claims “the people” want districts, and yet throughout the Citizens Advisory Committee process and city council meetings on the subject, it was always the same group of OCCORD and UNITE-HERE Local 11 members and select gadflies and out-of-town bloggers who constituted “the people.”


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  1. Matt, how many people spoke in favor of the deal?

    • Matthew Cunningham

      There is no “deal,” Ryan. There’s a framework for negotiations a deal. People need to keep in mind instead of running around with their hair on fire.

      • That’s a non answer.

        Zero, one . . . One and a half?

        • Matthew Cunningham

          You asked a non-question.

          But there was one speaker who was “pro-deal” to put it in your terms.

          • Wow, four to one then. Thanks, Matt!

            To put it in your terms, it would appear that citizen approval of the framework is just about completely non existent.

            • Matthew Cunningham

              Good gravy – you’re too smart to seriously posit that ratio represents anything about public opinion.

              • . . . and you shouldn’t be claiming that the meeting is clear evidence that there isn’t anger about the deal in town.

                You’ve seen the comments on the “Keep the Angels” organization page you mention. Do you seriously want to tell me that the vast majority of the folks commenting there applaud the terms laid out in the MOU?

                The only conclusion that’s obvious coming from the meeting is that the public is clearly under informed about the goals, terms, and genesis of the current process that will dictate the use of the city’s largest asset for the next two generations.

        • There were 60 people in attendance; 40 wearing Angels gear. 10 times the number who are against the framework for negotiations.

          What the last game you attended at the stadium? Last season or years ago? The Ducks are the best team in hockey; do you go to their games?

          • So anyone in Angel Red is pro-deal? Anyone not isn’t? Nice logic bridge there, Dan. Let’s get some flags to put on our pick up trucks and just screw voting.

            My attendance at Angel games is none of your business and quite frankly creepy-stalkerish.

            Dan, you sound JUST like a Yankee fan. I expect your next question to be about how many championship rings I have. Are you a Yankee fan, Dan?

  2. It was pretty obvious most of the people there were folks who want the city to negotiate a deal to keep the Angels in Anaheim. The only critic who spoke who has any credibility was Paul Kott. Cynthia Ward came off like a crank trying to score debate points. Past council candidate Robert Nelson just asked a question about sales tax on stadium concessions.

    There’s no army of citizens up in arms over this. There’s the mayor, Cynthia and a couple bloggers trying to blow up any deal. They could care less if the Angels leave. Tait can run around lying to community groups. It doesn’t matter to him because he’s already decided to vote “no” no matter what the deal is. He has that luxury because the rest of the council does the heavy lifting and governing while he throws rocks.

    • To be clear, Gomez– I don’t think that ANYONE doesn’t want the city to negotiate a deal to keep the Angels in Anaheim. That includes the mayor, Ward, and Knott.

      The rampant rumor that special interest and unnamed politicians want to torpedo the deal is probably the most destructive influence in the discussion at the moment.

      What’s up for debate is what’s fair.

      • Wrong-o. Tait has said publicly, in candid moments, that if the Angels want to leave, let them leave. He’s OK with flushing a 50-year taxpayer investment down the toilet because thinks the whole stadium complex will magically transform into something else. He and his cronies are under the mistaken impression that the Angels have nowhere to go. Tait runs around Anaheim blasting his own city’s negotiators. Tom Tait is doing more than anyone else to undermine the city’s negotiating position.

        • Gomez, it is simply (and utterly) untrue to claim in any tangential fashion that Tom Tait wants the Angels to leave Anaheim.

          I have a hard time understanding why you think Tait is undermining negotiations. Seriously? What is the city going to do– give the land away for 50 cents instead of a dollar?

          What you’ve apparently missed is what he consider’s fair: Which (as I understand it) is a stake in the development of the property rather than just handing it over to Moreno without any preconditions of how the land lease ties the team to Anaheim.

          There’s a big difference between not being happy about forking over 2 billion dollars in public subsidy and wanting a team to leave.

          • Who said he WANTS them to leave? But he’s perfectly willing to let them leave unless the deal is done on HIS terms. We have a “my way or the highway” Mayor. He’s unable to compromise. He’s a poor leader because he alienates the people he has to work with to get anything done.

            • “There’s the mayor, Cynthia and a couple bloggers trying to blow up any deal. They could care less if the Angels leave” <– YOU.

              The only people getting alienated are the taxpayers who have to pay for a poorly constructed rushed framework thrust upon them with no public input after a holiday weekend.

              No one is trying to "blow up any deal". Lots of people are trying to blow up a very bad deal.

              Your point about compromise is absurd. Tom Tait: Why not a compromise? Why not a 50/50 joint venture to develop the land? (actually said, more or less.)

              Council Majority: Nah, we're voting for this thing as is. No changes. Our way or the highway. (not actually said, but that's what happened.)

              Compromise and alienation . . . who are you trying to fool? Do you really think you can pull this kind of crap out of thin air and people will believe it?

    • Hi, Gomez. It’s good to see commentary from someone so well-informed about this issue. (It’s all the more welcome given what from your name I presume is your Latino heritage.) It surprises me, though, that you have not commented on this issue here before, given how avidly you have thrown yourself into the discussion here today. What was holding you back until now? And from your approach to the issue — hey, you wouldn’t happen to be some sort of PR professional, would you?

      • No, I’m not. Just got tired of lurking. You’re that guy from Brea, aren’t you?

        • I might be — or you may be thinking of famous director James Cameron.

          So, you are saying — and you’re not at all lying about any of this — that you’ve just been hanging out absorbing all of the information you’ve presented here and that suddenly today an overwhelming urge to participate in a discussion overcame you and it all just ERUPTED, so that now you’ve been checking in here off and on for most of the day?

          OK, sure. That sounds legit. As legit as the twin separated-at-birth MOUs, at least.

          What prompted this sudden change in behavior, by the way? Were you at the meeting or something?

          • What’s it to you? Am I pestering anyone about why they’re commenting here? I wasn’t expecting a comment war with anyone, but Ryan Cantor keeps responding to mine. So I’ve spent way more time here than I’d expected. Should I ask your permission next time?

  3. Nick Gerda originally wrote in his Voice of OCEA story that only four people spoke against the deal points, then later re-wrote that to say “several people.” Guess he wanted to make the anti-deal crowd seem bigger than it is.

    • Wow, that’s almost as audacious as the time that “Keep The Angels” thanked its Facebook supporters for showing up in force at a recent City Council meeting … where nobody present was wearing any kind of Angels regalia and the only person who spoke in favor of the Angels deal was Todd Ament.

      Anecdotes don’t equal data, unless you’re a political blogger trying to pump up support for his ‘side’.

      • “Anecdotes don’t equal data, unless you’re a political blogger trying to pump up support for his ‘side’.”

        You must be talking about Ryan.

        • That doesn’t even make any sense. Get better and flinging insults. Quickly.

          • “Wow, four to one then. Thanks, Matt!

            To put it in your terms, it would appear that citizen approval of the framework is just about completely non existent.”

            — Anecdote from political blogger Ryan Cantor.

            • That was CLEARLY hyperbole directed at Matt regarding his overreach in the original post.

              • Try saying what you mean in the future.

                • “The only conclusion that’s obvious coming from the meeting is that the public is clearly under informed about the goals, terms, and genesis of the current process that will dictate the use of the city’s largest asset for the next two generations.”

                  That followed the obvious hyperbole by a whopping twenty minutes.

                  Try reading before you type.

                  • How do you know, based on this meeting, that the public is under-informed. Or even to what extent they’re informed?

                    • Before I get into this, are you seriously contesting that the public isn’t under informed?

                      Are you really going to claim they’re adequately informed?

                    • I don’t know if they are under-informed or not. It’s you and Biff saying they are. I’d like to know how you know how informed or not Anaheim residents are.

                    • So you’re conceding they might actually be under informed then. Lovely. At least we’re not going to have to walk through Wonderland.

                      Does anyone else think the attendance and comments at this meeting aren’t evidence that the electorate isn’t under informed?

            • Matt started the discussion trying to use the workshop attendance to make some kind of grand inference about opposition to the Angels deal, Ryan finished it on those terms. (Alternatively, he could have pointed out that despite Todd Ament’s claims to broad public support thanks to his 30,000-strong “Keep the Angels” army on Facebook, only a handful of them can muster the strength to put on a T-shirt and turn out to any given meeting.)

              I think that what this paltry attendance — on both sides — really illustrates is that the city’s whole public outreach/public comment process on this deal has been a sham from the beginning. Put in place an E-mail address for public comment that nobody responds to, hold a couple of poorly publicized workshops that (surprise, surprise) nobody attends, and — wham! — we’re done. Is this any way to run outreach for a multi-billion-dollar, multi-decade deal?

              • “Put in place an E-mail address for public comment that nobody responds to, hold a couple of poorly publicized workshops that (surprise, surprise) nobody attends, and — wham! — we’re done. Is this any way to run outreach for a multi-billion-dollar, multi-decade deal?”

                Skadoosh. Well done.

              • Biff:

                Can you tell any of us what actions and steps city staff has taken to inform the public about these meetings?

                • Well, let’s see. There’s the Angels baseball web page on the city’s Web site. There was a half-page ad in the latest Anaheim Magazine (sent out quarterly by the city) pointing to that Web page (“Want to learn more about the Angels Baseball lease negotiations?”), but it didn’t specifically reference the workshops. There’s a single blurb about the workshops on the city’s Facebook page (and nothing that I can see on Council members’ various Facebook pages, websites, etc.) City staff has been going out by request to Elks clubs and the like to give a puff presentation on the deal.

                  Am I missing something here? I was better noticed when the city was working on the railroad crossing down the street from my house.

                  (You’d think some bright spark would’ve at least thought to E-mail people who’ve sent comments to about the workshops, but I suspect that would have required them to dig those comments out of whatever digital dumpster they’ve been thrown into.)

                  • There were also news articles about the meetings. It’s on the home page of the city website. The city probably e-mailed its e-mail list. But because not many residents are interested enough to attend, then the outreach effort is a sham? That doesn’t follow.

                    What would you have done differently, Biff? Did you even go to the meeting on Tuesday?

                    • What would I have done differently? Formed a citizens’ commission, with multiple, well-publicized meetings scheduled FAR in advance and held in neighborhoods across Anaheim. I would have held these meetings before an MOU was drafted and approved, so all of this community input could be incorporated into that document. (Study the MOU process for Petco Park in San Diego if you want to see what things look like in a city that actually cares about collecting citizen input.)

                      Oh, wait. You mean what would I have done differently in this case?

                      1) Scheduled these workshops far more than four weeks in advance of the first workshop (no, I didn’t go to the workshop on Tuesday, because I was out-of-state — and I made my travel reservations months ago).
                      2) Sent out a city press release sooner than the week before the first workshop.
                      3) Held the workshops in somewhere more accessible, like our neighborhood community centers.
                      4) Sent out a damn postcard or two (as I said, I get better notice from Public Works when they’re working on a project in my neighborhood).
                      5) E-mailed a meeting notice to everyone who’s ever sent a comment to The city has a ready-built mailing list of people who care enough about the baseball issue to write them about it; why not make use of it?

                      The city did the bare minimum to publicize these meetings, and unsurprisingly, a bare minimum of people showed up. It seems pretty clear that they want the fig leaf of having sought public comment, without the troublesome ‘public’ part.

      • Data point for you: Jordan Brandman supported the GardenWalk deal. he got slammed by multiple hit pieces for that support. And he was the top vote-getter. Somehow, I think you’ll still say Anaheimers oppose the GardenWalk deal.

        • Sure would be nice if we had a way to check that . . . like, oh, I dunno . . . a vote on it. Wouldn’t be any arguing with that.

          Who refused to discuss that for lack of a second?

          • Read up on Robert’s Rules of Order; there was no second and it died. Tait voted against the 1996 deal with the Angels too.

            • Um, what? Read up on non sequitur.

              • “Who refused to discuss that for lack of a second?” That statement; Jordan didn’t talk about it because the motion died. Tait had kittens before bursting a blood vessel in his brain.

                • OH! So it was Jordan BRANDMAN (D) that refused to discuss it. Thanks for answering the question for Gomez.

                  Now who was it that promised to discuss it during her campaign and failed to make that second? Field that one for us, Dan.

          • Were you living in a cave then? Jordan wasn’t on the council in 2012. He spoke at the council meeting in support of the GardenWalk deal. Matt Cunningham posted the hit pieces against him were posted on this blog.

            • Ryan was obviously referring to a public vote on it regarding the level of public support, not a council vote. Votes for Brandman largely came as a result of his being a known Democrat — despite his position on this being opposite of most other Democrats in the area.

  4. For the City to have scheduled BOTH workshops in the evening, when many who are still working, or fighting traffic, gives little credence to complaints or conclusions about low public support numbers in either direction. Nor, to my knowledge, were arrangements made for videotaping, as was done for workshops after the civil unrest, examining district elections etc. So with this ‘go-through-the-motions’ public input, and two SIGNED MOU’s as default, the closed -door ‘negotiators’ seem to set up a clearer path to plausible deniability, than a hope of their sudden ephiphany to aggressively advocate for the residents benefit. Is it too much trouble for such a ‘credible source’ as this blog to break with tradition and actually include any of the questions or responses by the supposed critics or supporters, for the reader to reach their own decision? Evidently.

    • “For the City to have scheduled BOTH workshops in the evening, when many who are still working, or fighting traffic,”

      6 to 8 p.m. is hardly inconvenient to the vast majority of people, Red Wino. Council meetings start at 5:00 p.m. and there’s no shortage of people during public comments.

      If you’d bothered to go to the meeting, you’d know was asked or said . You could have watched Cynthia Ward nagging Tom Morton about critical points like “which staff member came up with $1?” or incorrectly claiming the city used to get a part of the team’s TV revenues.

      • So you could care less about people who are fortunate enough to have 2nd shift job to feed their families,and their ability to participate in their city’s government? Not at all surprising.

        • Playing the liberal guilt card, Red Wino? What start time do you suggest? 9:00 p.m.? What about people who don’t want to leave their house that late? What about working people who have to get up at 4 or 5 in the morning to go to work?

          There’s no schedule that’s convenient to everyone. And there are many ways to participate in city government. Maybe they could become bloggers with a weird name like BigBoxofRedWine.

          • Well, you could do smaller sessions in neighborhoods closer to where people live rather than on Katella Avenue, which, in case you haven’t noticed is a bit congested at 6:00. Say in local libraries and community centers. Maybe even a few churches.

            You could stagger the times the meetings are scheduled. You could include a weekend or two.

            You could stream the meeting live and take questions submitted online.

            You could, jeez, I dunno . . . discuss what demands from the community are unreasonable and why.

            Excuses for extending the reach into the consciousness of the community are cheap and easy. Then again, perhaps if there were a few more council members who were evenly distributed into smaller localized communities within the city (i.e. districts), it wouldn’t be so damn hard for people to get information, either. (There’s your cue, Matt. Just a suggestion, not a blanket claim that districts are only good with no downside.)

            This is the city’s biggest asset. It has the potential to enormously help with the city’s pension obligations and the challenges to improve and deliver essential city services like public safety, libraries, and improve infrastructure . . . Right now, I don’t see any evidence that these challenges are in any way directly assisted by revising the current lease.

            Or it can fall flat on its face and just enrich a few people who are already rich. It’s pretty clear who’s going to make money on this.

            The public’s greatest asset’s use ought to be taken very, very seriously. Flipping out the “liberal guilt card” is really just juvenile point scoring that has no place in an honest debate among adults.

          • Perhaps return to my post and read it S-L-O-W-L-Y this time – I was pointing out the LACK of VIDEOTAPING for later online viewing, even at a Public Library for those web-less. That is convenient to ANYONE, 24/7 I realize it’s hard for you to see the point with your eyes closed You have exhausted my limit of wastable time for today. Happy Trails..

      • Who did come up with the one dollar? Seems like a good question to me.

        • It doesn’t matter whether the deal point says $1 or “nominal amount” or “some consideration.” It’s not even binding. Here’s an idea: let’s wait and comment on an actual negotiated deal, instead of using the negotiations as a political wedge issue, which is what Tait is doing.

          • Sure it matters. I’d love to see a council member put that they’re the one responsible for giving away 155 acres of land for $1 on their next campaign banner. It’s a great idea, right? Someone should be proud to own it.

            There’s a big difference between putting “nominal consideration” and ONE DOLLAR in an MOU. “Binding” in the context of negotiating in good faith isn’t as arbitrary as you’d like everyone to believe.

            The only person using this as a wedge issue is Kring. That’s plain as day.

            • Has any council member voted to lease the property for $1 a year? No. And even if the amount were $1, which I don’t believe it will be, it isn’t giving the land away.

              The city has been sitting on that land for going on 20 years, and has failed to create any economic activity outside of Angel baseball. Tom Tait has been in office most of those years and done nothing about. It wasn’t until a few months ago that he and you and the rest of his cheerleaders are suddenly all concerned about what to do with that land.

              Kring has said clearly she will not vote for any deal that puts Anaheim taxpayers at a disadvantage. It is Tom Tait who is running around the city spreading misinformation about the deal points, or going to the OC Republican Party and blasting his colleagues over the deal points. To anyone but a Tait cheerleader, it’s super obvious he’s the one playing politics with the issue.

              • I didn’t ask who voted for it. I asked whose idea it was. Either it came from a council member, who directed staff . . . . or it came from staff . . . or it came from Moreno. Moreno says it didn’t come from him, which leaves only two options.

                We ought to know who the genius is who came up with the concept of giving out 155 acres of publicly owned land for $1 a day. Whoever it is ought to be proud of their brilliance and ought to rightfully accept the praise coming his or her way. If that person happens to be getting paid $300 an hour to negotiate on behalf of Anaheim taxpayers, Anaheim taxpayers certainly have a right to know.

                The city hasn’t done anything with the parking lot of Anaheim Stadium because Moreno won’t let them. He has the right to revenue from the parking spaces and if the city were to develop those parking spaces, well . . . then they’re breaking the conditions of the existing lease.

                The solution to this problem is to remove the obstacle in the lease: It’s not to use it as a political weapon to convince people who already know better that the city is not capable of developing projects it has already taken steps to approve. Tait, staff, and other members of the council have been working approvals for projects for years. Don’t call it a “sudden interest” If it were truly sudden, the parcel wouldn’t already be approved for thousands of residential and commercial units. The facts simply don’t support whatever it is you’re claiming.

                A better solution, as advocated by Tait, is to co-venture development with the city and not to exclude the city. Shocking concept, I know. Particularly for a guy who abhors compromise as you claim.

                Give me a piece of misinformation spread by Tait. I’ll show you, in black and white in the MOU, where it’s coming from. It’s not made up. You might not agree with the potential outcome of the MOU, but the conditions forming the boundaries of discussions are out there for everyone to interpret.

                Kring already voted to give away $158,000,000 of taxpayer money to subsidize a bad loan for a developer at Gardenwalk. His rate was almost double the market rate and the sole justification for a transit occupancy tax subsidy. She bought it hook, line, and sinker . . . you’ll have to forgive my skepticism that her hanging her hat on a fabricated economic study based on data from Houston will somehow justify any deal she approves in the best interest of the Anaheim and Orange County tax payer. She also promised to oppose Gardenwalk and let residents vote. She backtracked on those two promises, too.

                Keep lobbin’ ’em up Gomez. Maybe we can get you to pitch for the Rangers.

                • You’re obsessing the non-binding dollar amount, and isolating it from the context of the overall framework, so you can use it as a political wedge in support of Tait. More politics.

                  Tait has been claiming the framework gives the Arte Moreno ALL tax revenue from development of the Stadium site. He says it over and over and over. He’s not telling the truth. The MOU says nothing of the kind. He has been corrected on this more than once at council meetings. But he keeps saying it anyway.

                  Our free enterprise mayor who opposes any city involvement in Resort District hotel development wants the city to get into the sports/entertainment real estate development business. Very consistent.

                  Kring didn’t giveaway anything, Ryan. You can’t giveaway something that doesn’t exist. No GardenWalk Hotels exist right now, so the city can’t very well give away non-existent TOT revenue. There’s no tax rebate until the first GardenWalk guest pays his hotel bill, and that portion of the TOT only passes through the city, uncommitted to any existing city function.

                  • I use what I have in front of me. If it’s $1, great. $2, fantastic. It ain’t gonna be $2,000,000– so let’s not pretend the “obsession” is some kind of careless disregard for fact. Negotiating in good faith has a specific meaning. In short, we don’t get to just toss out the $1 because we think it’s stupid. Anaheim gets to offer up some other consideration if that part of the framework really gets obliterated.

                    To Tait’s point: Point 3 of the ground lease MOU states the city shall identify all applicable taxes and negotiate in good faith on relieving that burden. It sure as hell doesn’t say Moreno won’t get all the tax revenue does it? Perhaps you don’t agree that the city council is daft enough to give all of it away . . . Some folks do think that.

                    Shouldn’t the public have an opportunity to provide input that it is completely unacceptable? Shouldn’t they have had an opportunity up front to state that giving any of it away is unacceptable? Is there ANY DOCUMENT ANYWHERE that says that Moreno DOES NOT get all tax revenue sent back to him?

                    So, yes, that’s exactly what the MOU says. it says we’re going to talk about what taxes he has to pay and we’ll consider giving it all back to him. I think that sucks. You should, too.

                    I don’t think your free enterprise mayor objects to any city involvement in the resort district. I think your free enterprise mayor objects to giving a tax subsidy to a developer who could only secure an interest rate of 8% when the market rate was 4.25% to build a hotel that isn’t guaranteed to be any worse or better than a hotel that the market would build on its own (the wonderful three star four star debate, when the deal doesn’t actually require a four star hotel be built. Lovely.)

                    Of course the city can give away non-existent TOT revenue.

                    Imagine this conversation with the IRS.

                    IRS: Gomez, you owe us money. You have taxes due.

                    You: No, I don’t.

                    IRS: Yeah, you do.

                    You: No, I don’t. You see, the year before I only made $100.

                    IRS: Yeah, and this year you made $200. You only paid taxes on $100 of that.

                    You: Right, but the extra $100 didn’t exist the year before.

                    IRS: And?

                    You: Well, it’s incremental. I went out and improved my job, I invested capital . . . I made new income where there was no income before. Therefore, you can’t tax it.

                    IRS: Uh, yes we can. That’s why they call them taxes.

                    You: But it’s new! It’s new! It wasn’t there before! There’s nothing for you to tax!

                    IRS: Yes, so you owe us NEW taxes for your NEW money. That’s how the system works. That’s why rich people don’t like paying taxes.

                    You: But, I don’t understand. The developer at Gardenwalk got to keep $158,000,000 because the Transit Occupancy Tax he would have owed to the city . . . he convinced people it was “new”. It wasn’t there before, so the city council could just let him keep it. it wasn’t destined for parks, police and libraries . . . it was new! It was his precious. IT WAS UNCOMMITTED I TELL YOU! UNCOMMITTED!

                    IRS: Yeah, you’re right. Wanna hear something cool? We’re not that stupid. We get to tax him on that $158,000,000, too.

                    You: Wait a minute, so he still has to pay YOU taxes as income taxes even though a few non-so-bright people in Anaheim let him keep it using a false premise? That makes no sense? How can he still owe income tax on tax dollars Anaheim said weren’t actually “real” tax dollars because they were new?

                    IRS: Yeah. That’s how it works. Now, you owe us money, or you go to jail.

                    You: But it’s neeeeewwww! it’s NEW!!!!!!

                    • Tait used to support TOT rebate economic assistance to develop luxury hotels in the Resort District. Now he opposes it. Another Tait flip-flop.

                      Tait says over and over that the MOU gives ALL tax revenue from development of the Stadium District to Arte Moreno. This is what the MOU says:

                      “3. Economic Assistance: Developer and the City will identify all of the particular taxes and fees which would presently be assessed for the benefit of the City related to development of the Stadium District, and consistent with applicable state law and local ordinances, and following completion of a feasibility gap analysis, negotiate in good faith with respect to providing Developer with General Fund-neutral economic assistance from those revenues generated from the Ground Lease development pursuant to a mutually acceptable agreement.”

                      You defend Tait by saying “It sure as hell doesn’t say Moreno won’t get all the tax revenue does it?” But that’s NOT what Tait is saying, Ryan. He is saying that Moreno absolutely gets ALL tax revenue from the stadium district, no ifs ands or buts. He’s saying that is what the MOU requires. It’s in the Power Point presentations he’s given at council meetings. And he keeps saying even though his claim has been shown to be untrue.

                      And you’re crazy if you think the council is going to vote for an agreement that does what Tait claims it will in this area.

                    • Well, Gomez, Tait’s slide that I have sitting right in front of me says: “PCI will get additional ‘economic assistance’ as a rebate of the taxes generated from the project”.

                      That means there are either new slides that I haven’t seen or that you’re mistaken. Take your pick. Show me some new slides and I’ll happily take a look.

                      What I’m stating is that you claiming that he’s misrepresenting the MOU is incorrect. Even if Tait were saying that Moreno (PCI) got all the taxes due back (I don’t think he is), he wouldn’t be lying . . . well, because that’s certainly a possibility. You might not call it a reasonable interpretation of the framework, but it’s not inconsistent with the framework either, which means it’s not “not true”, i.e., not a lie. Had the council taken the opportunity to remove that condition from the MOU, well, we wouldn’t be having this silly conversation now would we?

                      Of course the council would vote to give back all the tax money. Given a choice to enrich a campaign contributor or to not enrich a campaign contributor in the last 2 years, when have they ever chosen the later?

                    • He finally corrected the slide. Watch the council video for the meetings where he gave the Power Point, you’ll see him telling the public that Moreno would get all the tax revenue.

                    • This slide is from September.

                      If there isn’t a new slide, you are mistaken.

                    • Your comment made me think I might be mistaken, so I looked at the Sept. 24 council video. At 3:32:32, Tait’s slide says “PCI gets all revenue generated from the property.”

                    • Well, son, there’s a big difference between revenue and economic assistance, or tax credits (which, incidentally is the next bullet on the slide.) Looks like you were mistaken. I can see how you made the mistake, but it’s a mistake nonetheless. I’m sure we’re all looking forward to your apology.

                      PCI does get to keep all the revenue from the property development (see point 2a of the MOU.) Tait’s compromise (50/50 jv) was rejected by the council majority when approving the MOU. But, I guess we’ll see where it falls out.


                    • Go further in the meeting, to 3:55:00, where staff refutes Tait’s claim.

                    • Um, yeah– no.

                      If you, or staff, is going to tell me that Moreno/PCI doesn’t get to keep all the revenue, you or staff can do so in writing.

                      It isn’t in writing.

  5. Let’s have a public vote on every pothole that needs filling; that would be efficient.

    • Did you seriously just try to compare using direct democracy to direct $158,000,000 . . . a council vote that’s not only rare it’s practically unprecedented . . . to using direct democracy for pot hole repairs that costs $100 to fix?

      There you have it folks. Dan Chmielewski, hero of Democrats: Direct democracy is absurd.

      • Why not? Nowadays, Tom Tait wants to put almost every policy decision on the ballot.

        • Every = two.

          Districts, apparently along with everyone else on the council (including Dan’s personal hero Jordan Brandman . . . twice)

          Gardenwalk, which Kring had promised to do during her campaign.

          Two is not the same as every. Thanks.

          Personally, I’d love to see the Angel lease deal go to the public– particularly given its . . . lets call it unconventional . . . revenue scheme. It’s not abnormal for cities to have a vote confirming major deals like this. Not abnormal at all.

        • Is that supposed to be a joke? If not, uh, define “almost every.”

      • Be nice, Ryan. He’s kidding. In Irvine, every pothole is already in the Master Plan.

        • Is it true you are a vegetarian Diamond? Wow, you and Pedroza have that in common. Do you both eat Mac and cheese by the metric ton? Do some sit ups please.

    • Would a few more public votes have improved the results for the Great Park project?

  6. Matthew Cunningham

    Gosh. Greg Diamond. “Biff.” BBORW. Most of the “Anaheim Blog is Irrelevant” Club is camping out!

  7. Back to Ryan’s original point; 60 people showed up at the session. 40 were wearing Angels gear. The session was about educating the public. If no one spoke in favor of the “deal” its because they were there to learn more about it. I’ll point out, Tait voted against the last Angels lease deal in 1996 and he’s publicly against the current negotiations. To say he supports keeping the team here is a joke. But he can count on the Tait Family trust to smear Brandman, the secretive CATER that must be funding “SaveAnaheim” and Greg Diamond’s legal practice. How much did he pay Vern to play piano at his poorly attended fundraiser? And Greg, your post about “is Matt afraid to comment on his own blog?” I’ve left three comments on SaveAnaheim asking Jason Young if he’ll thank Jordan Brandman for supporting districting…and not a single comment has appeared.

    • Lies, distortions or unsupported assertions? Let’s sort them out:

      (1) “The session was about educating the public.” No, not remotely. The session was about persuading the public to support a specific view. Only the likes of a PR professional would confuse that with “education.” [Distortion.]

      (2) “If no one spoke in favor of the “deal” its because they were there to learn more about it.” No — like the people that attended the “Save the Angels” rally at City Hall, it could have been people who were rounded up by the Catch and the ACOC to turn out. And in that case, their silence speaks volumes. [Unsupported assertion]

      (3) “[Tait’s] publicly against the current negotiations.” No, he’s against the current framework — one so bad that the main argument of its supporters is that they haven’t committed to any of it. He’s the only one on the Council that has actually proposed any instructions to the negotiators (to explore a joint venture) rather than just saying, in effect, “come back and let us know when you’ve finished working out a deal.” [Lie]

      (4) “To say he supports keeping the team here is a joke.” As he has said repeatedly, he would like to keep the Angels here, but simply not at any cost. Other Council members don’t appear to conceive of any cost being too high to pay. [Lie]

      (5) “He can count on the Tait Family trust to smear Brandman.” Does Chmielewski have any record of those funds in trust being used to attack Brandman at all? [Unsupported assertion at best, possibly outright lie]

      (6) “[H]e can count on … the secretive CATER that must be funding “SaveAnaheim” and Greg Diamond’s legal practice. How much did he pay Vern to play piano at his poorly attended fundraiser?” (A) Look CATER up on the Secretary of State’s site. It’s not secret. (B) Dan has no basis to say that the CATER must be supporting Save Anaheim. (C) CATER is a client and a plaintiff in legal actions. If that means “supporting my practice,” then yes; one might just as well say that my practice is “supporting” CATER. So, in order, that’s [Distortion, Unsupported assertion reckless enough to constitute a lie, and Distortion,]

      It seems to me that bullshit assertions like Dan’s are what has led Irvine’s Democrats into their current swamp; it pains me to think that Agran, Krom, and the like have ever listened to a thing that he has said. And we can see the result. For fun, the reader is invited to apply the method of analysis of the Tait Family Trust and CATER to Irvine’s interaction with Forde & Mollrich and George Urch. It takes real talent to be able to simultaneously smear people based on unsupported assertions as to who has supposed gotten money in Anaheim while whitewashing supported assertions as to who has gotten money in Irvine. Do Larry and Beth know that Dan is doing this?

      • Greg — Re; #5….I have all the forms for a hit on Jordan Brandman; documentation from “Taxpayers for Safer Neighborhoods” who paid for a hit piece on Brandman in the 2012 elections; it includes the following payments:

        $9,000 from Green & Clean Investments LLC of Cheyenne, Wyoming (where Julie is from…explain why anyone from Cheyeene, WY would care about Anaheim except for Disneyland)

        $5,000 from Tait Family Trust

        $22,5000 from Foothill Village LLC

        $9,500 from Carolyn Young (secretary, Braille Institute)- She’s Jason’s mother…man, that’s a lot of dough….

        It reports a $11,619.82 expenditure for the mailing.

        “Dan has no basis to say that the CATER must be supporting Save Anaheim.” Like you have no basis to say this blog is funded by the Anaheim chamber when its been denied by both the chamber and the blog publisher, but it never stops you.

        Tait’s voted against the Angels twice; he seeks a revenue deal that does not exist in professional sports today.

        “it could have been people who were rounded up by the Catch and the ACOC to turn out” got any proof of this? Do you really think people who are having a drink or a meal at The Catch are going to get on a bus or drive to the convention center is sit around? Really?

        “It seems to me that bullshit assertions like Dan’s are what has led Irvine’s Democrats into their current swamp; it pains me to think that Agran, Krom, and the like have ever listened to a thing that he has said.” I never say anything to them; they run their own campaigns without my input. I’m flattered you think I have that much influence with Agran and Krom, but they have stronger personalities that Mayor Tait must possess if he is so influenced by you, Mr. Democratic Party of OC Official. “Do Larry and Beth know that Dan is doing this?” They don’t tell me what to do Mr. Finger Puppet.

  8. Lifelong Anaheim resident

    Well – Very few of these 79 comments actually came from the outraged citizens of Anaheim. If the actual deal comes back and makes financial sense for the city, Paul Kott and his staff of outspoken opponents of the MOU will likely support so Tait will be left with out of town bloggers and Cynthia Ward who will oppose regardless or what it looks like. Anaheim wants the team to stay – just not at all costs. He’s going down on the wrong side of this issue in a campaign season – along with the ACLU creating wards in Anaheim.

  9. Neither do you. Neither does Diamond. Neither does Jason Young. Neither does Vern Nelson. Neither do I.

    • (Sometimes, Dan. Sometimes.) . . . my point is that Gomez IS (for all we know) actually from Anaheim and owns more than “very few” of the comments on this thread.

  10. Greg, how come you never identify yourself as being a Brea resident when you speak at Anaheim council meetings? It’s just a few extra words. Why do you withhold that information?

    • By law, I’m not required to identify myself at all. (Anyway, Kring often does it for me.)

      In any event, you misapprehend my involvement at the meetings. I’m there at the request of, and to give voice to, positions of many Anaheim residents who don’t have my legal background or experience with public speaking. I recognize that the game that the Pringle Ring is playing is to make sure that as much as possible they will have all of the voices experienced in public debate on their side of the argument. (It hasn’t been working, of course — not only has Tait been involved, but people like Paul Kott, David Zenger, beyond self-trained scholars of practical politics like Cynthia Ward have been weighing in. But you’re trying.)

      That’s how I got started. Now, I’ve invested so much thought and effort into it, and what’s going on seems so incredibly rotten to me, that I’d follow it through anyway. And if you think that the starvation of Anaheim’s General Fund in decades to come only affects Anaheim, then you’re wrong. It affects Brea — and Burbank. Bakersfield, Burlingame as well — because we’re all going to have to deal with the social upheavels caused when social services in Anaheim get slashed because, oops!, so much of the income due somehow instead ended up in the pockets of corporations and contributers connected to well-connected lobbyists.

      You get bonus points for challenging me on withholding information when you’re writing smack from an anonymous account. That takes real brass.

      • You didn’t answer the question, Greg. Why don’t you tell the public you’re a Brea resident when you speak at Anaheim City Council? You’re not required to give your name, but you do. So why won’t you tell the public you don’t live in Anaheim?

        • The irony of people arguing about Greg Diamond’s out-of-townedness on Orange resident Matthew Cunningham’s blog is rich — especially given Matt’s little spitball at ‘out-of-town bloggers’ at the end of this post.

      • “I’m there at the request of, and to give voice to, positions of many Anaheim residents who don’t have my legal background or experience with public speaking.”

        I HAD the laugh out loud at that one! Who has asked you to “give voice to their positions”?? Probably no one!

    • Anyone can address the public. And since Greg does the bidding of a conservative Republican mayor over a progressive Democrat, it’s easier to say nothing than tell the truth about his residency or his official position with the DPOC.

  11. I’m game; who requested you be there to speak out of their behalf Greg? Name names please.

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