It’s been a year since the Anaheim City Council voted 4-1 (Mayor Tait in opposition) to approve a non-binding MOU establishing the framework of an agreement between the city and the Angels that would have financed the renovation of the stadium at no cost to taxpayers, and generated economic activity on idle city-owned land in the stadium district. This framework was all upside for the city, with the Angels shouldering the risk.
Not wanting such a good deal for Anaheim to go unchallenged, gadflies Cynthia Ward and Brian Chuchua subsequently formed a non-profit called CATER for the express purpose of filing lawsuits against the City of Anaheim. Their first was against the Angels MOU, alleging Brown Act violations.
Prominent among their raft of allegations of shadowy dealings has been a much bally-hooed claim that an report by Convention, Sports and Leisure on the Angels’; economic impact was furtively altered to mislead the public.
Earlier this year, CATER leader Ward wrote:
When released, the report was City stamped to indicate it was distributed to the Council majority prior to the Council meeting of September 3. Yet the version of the report released for public review was an altered version, edited after the Council meeting and purged of a glaring mistake with the potential to discredit the “experts” findings, upon which the Council based their approvals. The City Attorney’s response to CATER’s letter to Cure and Correct the Brown Act violation confirmed the two versions, as Michael Houston included both copies (one stamped, one not) in his response.
Can you imagine the repercussions should the government begin approving expenditures based on one set of documents — and then alter those records to make them more palatable to the public prior to their release?!
To ensure no one missed the import of these revelations, Ward liberally used bold-type and text coloration emphasize this was really, truly an important point!
The interesting thing is, no media outlet ever reported in what way these two “versions” differed, or if the differences were in any way substantive. I placed both versions side-by-side and went through them line-by-line. They are identical until the summary on the very last page, where there are some very slight differences that in no way change the conclusions of the report.
I’ve reproduced the sections that so alarmed the political hypochondriacs of CATER, highlighting the parts that differ.
The second paragraph is slightly indented…but there’s no indentation in the corrected version. Sneaky!
The last sentence of the second paragraph in the First Version reads:
“The City of Anaheim also benefited directly in the amount of $4.7 million in new direct revenues from the Angels in the form of direct payments for admissions, parking and other events as well as new tax revenues generated from new spending associated with the Angels operations.”
In the Corrected Version…two extra words were sneaked in:
“The City of Anaheim also benefited directly in the amount of $4.7 million in new direct revenues from the Angels in the form of direct payments for admissions revenue sharing, parking and other events as well as new tax revenues generated from new spending associated with the Angels operations.”
Who does CSL think it’s trying to fool?
In the First Version, the last sentence of the third paragraph reads:
“It is estimated that the City would receive $20.1 million in cumulative taxes and other direct revenues during the remaining time in its lease before the Angels could exercise their out clause.”
In the Corrected version, five words were added to the sentence:
“It is estimated that the City would receive $20.1 million in cumulative taxes and other direct revenues from its lease with the Angels during the remaining time in its lease before the Angels could exercise their out clause.”
The manipulation is so subtle, so devious that any change in meaning is undetectable. The insidiousness sends a chill up one’s spine.
In the First Version, the last sentence reads:
“It is estimated that the City would receive $165.6 million in cumulative taxes and other direct revenues during the term of its current lease and expected extension through 2036.”
In the Corrected Version, no less then six (6) words were added to the final sentence:
“It is estimated that the City would receive $165.6 million in cumulative taxes and other direct revenues from its lease with the Angels during the term of its current lease and expected extension through 2036.”
The same five words as in the previous example were inserted.
Here you have it folks: the grand conspiracy to circulate two different versions of the CSL report in order to pull thew wool over the eyes of the good people of Anaheim. Sure, these minor changes weren’t substantive and merely provided some additional clarity. But why accept the ordinary, reasonable explanation when one can leap to conclusions, impugn the integrity of designated political targets and in the process try to inflate one’s own sense of importance and purpose?
Cynthia Ward and Greg Diamond are frauds. It is sad good people have been mislead by their propaganda.
That’s a very realistic Madame Tussaud wax dummy of Cynthia Ward!
It is impossible to read this and believe that Tait, Ward and Diamond have anything but contempt for the People of Anaheim and a distain for the city. How can you justify costing the city countless funds on such frivolous, menial distinctions as seen here. It is unconscionable.
are you serious; and she’d expect a different outcome of the council’s vote based on this?
That’s the advantage of being conspiracy theorists like the CATER folks: even the absence of evidence is actually proof of a conspiracy!
What’s the word Ryan Cantor always uses? Skadoosh! Matt, you should scan the offending pages side by side so everyone can see the evidence themselves. And this is really the basis for the lawsuit on the Angels MOU? At this point, Arte Moreno and the Angels should sue the snot out of CATER for their role in delaying negotiations.
And how about those Angels? It’s going to be a Red October