Tait’s Hollow Complaint

Anaheim Insider here.

Last night, Mayor Tom Tait held up the latest of the ads that the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce-led “Keep the Angels” coalition has been running. He complained these ads are causing Anaheim voters to blame him for the distinct possibility the Angels will leave Anaheim:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUg1gZxgGP8]

Incredible. Month after month, since the City Council approved the Angels MOU in September of last year, at any forum or gathering that would have him, Mayor Tait has assailed his colleagues for “giving away” the land around the stadium, and attacked the Angels for trying to take advantage of Anaheim taxpayers. His allies among the gadflies and at the Voice of OC echoed and amplified his attacks. Tait and his surrogates have spent the better part of year giving Anaheim residents the impression that the council majority is hell-bent on “giving away” the stadium district to Art Moreno with his connivance. The fruit of Tait’s PR offensive is the Angels have one foot out the door. Voters are making the connection and now Tait is blaming that on a few newspaper ads instead of his own words and actions for the past year.

Considering the very rough treatment Tait, his aide Mishal Montgomery, allies such as Cynthia Ward, Jason Young and the Voice of OC have been according to Tait’s colleagues, to the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce and to anyone else tagged as an enemy for disagreeing with the Tait line, it’s farcical for Tait to complain about being hit in a few newspaper ads.

Tait’s campaign to blow up the Angels MOU has had a political purpose from the start. He’s deliberately politicized the Angels negotiations as part of calculated campaign to weaken and ultimately defeat Kris Murray and Gail Eastman, replace them with councilmembers he could control. It’s naive to think otherwise.

Last night, Tait protested that it was absurd to suppose that he, as Anaheim’s mayor, would want the Angels to leave. But two years ago, Tait organized an independent expenditure campaign to convince voters that Jordan Brandman was probably a criminal. Did Tait really believe that? Or was that an example of the “politics” that Tait objects to now that he’s on the receiving end?

A year ago, Tom Tait could have said, “There are some aspects of the MOU I don’t like, but it’s a good basis for my colleagues and I to pursue an agreement with the Angels even as we seek to get the best deal possible for the city.” He no doubt could have deep-sixed the $1 a year proviso and secured some kind of development profit-sharing. Instead, he preferred trying to embarrass and out-maneuver his colleagues, instead seizing the opportunity to lead them. That would require compromise and give-and-take and trust.

Tait purposefully set out to blow up the Angels MOU. He succeeded. But in the process, his words and actions alienated Arte Moreno and deepened his alienation from his council colleagues. Now the Angels have one foot out of Anaheim and his political gamesmanship is coming back to bite him, and Tait refuses to accept any responsibility.

In the video, Tait says he wants to make a deal with the Angels and “I look forward to working with this entire council as we do that.” Would that be the same council that Tait is right now, in mailers going city-wide, urging voters to oust because he’s attacking them as being in the pocket of special interests? That’s a strange way of trying to work with your colleagues.


  1. Are you suggesting that Tom Tait has not been setting a good example for kind behavior?

  2. Tom Tait: Sons of Anaheim! I am Tom Tait.

    Young Soldier: Tom Tait is seven feet tall!

    Tom Tait: Yes, I’ve heard. Kills giveaways by the hundreds. And if HE were here, he’d consume the kleptocracy with fireballs from his eyes, and bolts of lightning from his arse.

    Seriously? This is all you people have? TOM TAIT HAS ONE VOTE.

    The only reason that the Angels have one foot out the door (and they don’t) is because Kris Murray gave them three more years to plan an exit. You want to be pissed about the prospect of the Angels leaving, point the finger in the right direction.

    • So now it’s Kris Murray and only Kris Murray? So typical of the Tait camp to attack one woman v the entire staff and council who supported the MOUs. She’s not running against Tait. He should stop acting like she is her opponent. Strong women clearly rattle Tait and his rag tag group of supporters.

    • Hey Ryan, since we’re complaining about censorship, will I ever be allowed to make comments on the Keep the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Facebok page. Or is it only ok for your friends to censor?

  3. The mayor sure can dish it out, but he doesn’t like to take it.

  4. So why did the MOU have specific points such as exact dollar amounts and specific lease opt out milestones. It was abundantly clear that the deal points had already been worked out in advance by Charles Black (or someone else equally disinterested in the well-being of the City’s interest.

    And please explain, Mr. Insider, how come at least two of the other four councilmembers (who knows, maybe ALL four) wouldn’t make an agreement with Moreno – without Tait.

    Details. We need details!

  5. It’s astounding that the Tait camp attacks his colleagues for giving away city property, which is not what the MOUs state for any educated reader, and then Tait and company slams them for attempting to work with the mayor on a series of assessments and land valuations and not end-running him by agendizing new agreements until those studies are done.

    And what if any one of the Council Members had asked for a final agreement to be brought to council for a vote before Tait’s numerous studies were complete – every one of you would have crucified them for not doing their due diligence. Tait is driving the team out, his cheerleaders who are suing the team and the city are supporting him and you are desperately grasping for straw arguments to deflect well deserved blame aimed at Tait. He’s the MAYOR and has yet to reach out to the team, staff, his colleagues or the public with any viable alternative plan – he should lead or sit down. And if the team leaves, only one person will be held accountable and it’s the Mayor of the City who did everything possible but back their bags to encourage them to leave.

    Tom Tait – if you are reading this – you can’t demand all of the power of your office and none of the responsibility. You have not lead on one major issue in the past four years and you empower people to sue the city every time you vote no. None of us are going to stay quiet anylonger while your campaign leaders – Cynthia Ward, Greg Diamond, Mark and Mary Daniels, and assorted others continue to attack and sue everyone you disagree with. Enough!

    • Oh, this ought to be good.

      Please, elaborate on how the educated reader doesn’t conclude the council intended to give away 155 acres for a dollar.

      Looking forward to being brought up to speed.

      • This “they should have stopped the mayor!” spin is getting pathetic. Tait and his attack dogs and his press agent at the Voice of OC blew up the negotiations. And now you and Zenger and rest are complaining that the rest of the council didn’t do more to stop the Tait crew! That’s like a drunk getting a DUI and then blaming the other people at the party for not taking away his car keys: “There was only one of me and a lot of them!”

        • No, I’m saying they need to stop lying. If they had three votes, then they had a deal. Clearly, they didn’t and now they’re using this as a political weapon.

          Your DUI analogy is correct, but it applies to Murray. She gave them three more years to think about leaving (in exchange for nothing mind you) and now she’s complaining they’re thinking about leaving.

        • And how, exactly did Tait’s crew “blow up” negotiations?

          It’s easy to blurt out, but a lot harder for you to demonstrate (but go ahead please try, if it’s not too much trouble).

          IF what we did constitutes bad government as you imply with every keystroke you make, then the other four had not only the ability but the OBLIGATION to make the deal in the interest of us citizens – just as they keep braying, but not acting on.

          What you are really confessing is that the other four were completely derelict in their refusal to make the right deal for the good of the City. They had the ability and the obligation and FAILED.

          We have been over this turf before, Mr. Insider: I am not “complaining” that the other four didn’t “do more.” I merely point out the blatant hypocrisy that they didn’t do anything – a fact that makes me quite happy. You, however, as an obviously bitter partisan for the Moreno Giveaway, should be incensed at the fecklessness of the Feeb Four. I would be if I were you.

      • Ryan, when people hear Tait say, over and over and over and over, “they want to give away 155 acres for a $1,” they’ll give it credence because he’s the mayor. That doesn’t make it an honest pitch. Tait’s primary objective (with help from attack dogs like you) was to as a wedge to try and hurt his colleagues politically.

        • Automatic F. Failed to address anything related to an “educated reader”.

          The only.people running political ads in connection to the Angels deal were connected directly to the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce. If you want to talk about how this issue was (and is) being used as a political weapon, start there.

          • On this blog and others, the framework has been explained time and time again. Either you are looking for cheap political points or it is something else.

            Perhaps then, we should ask Zenger and Cantor to explain their backgrounds with major infrastructure financing projects as a starting point as to how they feel qualified to speak with such conviction on what this framework would or would not do. I would also like to know who they spoke with to know what terms and conditions would have been put into a final agreement (since this information does not exist).

            • My team manages a capital construction portfolio with an annual spend exceeding $400,000,000.

              How about you?

              • How do manage that portfolio when you spend so much time blogging?

                Your company is the beneficiary of a tax subsidy that makes the GardenWalk deal look stingy by comparison, Ryan. You don’t seem to have a problem personally benefiting from “crony capitalism.”

                • And “anon” over at OrangeJuiceBlog wins with the prediction of your comment.

                  Hey, losers, this is a discussion on how an “educated” reader interprets the MOU. Now that we’ve determined I’m educated, why won’t anyone help Proud Colonist out of her hole?

                  Or, you know, we can make this about me. That’s cool, too. Err all know how much I love that.

                  Did I mention this is Kris Murray’s fault for giving the Angels three more years to think about leaving while getting absolutely nothing in exchange?

                  Real power negotiator there.

                • Now that is an interesting turn of events. Maybe we can hear more about how Ryan denounces/detests his employer’s policy. No doubt they would like to know his position on how his team is managing $400,000,000 of their assets.

                  • These ad hominem attacks are simply ploys to deflect attention from the crooked behavior of the less-than-fab four on the council. Bottom line: they didn’t get away with foisting that (hello!) legally binding MOU on the innocent public and they can’t stand it. One hopes that the two corporate sycophants won’t be returned to office, despite the Big Bucks supporting them, so that they don’t need to be recalled afterward, and that our good Mayor Tait can get on with the business of prudent financial decisions and good government after he is reelected.

                    • I hope you take some time today to look again at what people have told you about Tait and his policies. His ability to hoodwink others into thinking this is anything other than personal politics for his own empowerment are sadly mistaken

              • That can’t be true. No company would entrust management of such a large portfolio to someone who obviously spends his whole day reading and commenting on blogs.

            • “Perhaps then, we should ask Zenger and Cantor to explain their backgrounds with major infrastructure financing projects”

              Well, first you have explain what “major infrastructure financing projects” even means. I think you’ve got some of those words out of sensical order but I’m not sure. Please give it another try. Then I will be happy to tell you why my qualifications may be a lot better than Anaheim Insider or Gail Eastman.

              • Let me be more direct: Have you ever been part of a stadium negotiation?

                Point being, these appear to be very complex and nuanced undertakings. You have attacked the framework as if it meant the end of the world. Why the blind devotion to stopping a negotiation before it even started?

                So then I go back to my first point: What gives you special insights beyond everyone else, that just so happen to align perfectly with Tait, that shows you need to stop this negotiation? Since the battle from Team Tait was to stop this before it started, it looks to me like a political points move directed at his colleagues in an attempt to undermine them so he could get Doug Pettibone as his yes man on council to do as Tait commands.

                • I don’t have any special insights. It doesn’t take any to see the magnitude of the scam.

                  That’s why the public gets what Tait is saying. It’s soooooo simple. And that’s why Tom is going to win this thing going away.

                  We couldn’t “stop it before it started” (a logical nonsense, by the way) since nobody knew it had ALREADY started, even going so far as developing specific dollar amounts and lease terms. Oh, yes, the little negotiating gremlins were hard at work long before the papier-mâché MOUs finally saw the light of day – the day after Labor Day and announced to the public only the previous Friday the holiday.

                  • Tait had long known about the framework of the MOU. He had even told Arte Moreno, in person, months before, that he was fine with the framework. That’s one of the reasons Arte ultimately agreed to the MOU: he thought Tait was on board because Tait had told him so.

                    But in classic Tait style, after it went public, Tait turned and used it as a club. He pulled the same act on the O’Connells on GardenWalk. Just like he double-crossed Jordan Brandman and Steve Lodge. It’s a pattern.

        • “Tait’s primary objective (with help from attack dogs like you) was to as a wedge to try and hurt his colleagues politically.”

          Even if this were true, you now, finally admit that political fear kept the Feeb Four from doing what you consider to be the right thing.

          Got it. Thanks.

          • The council majority played by the rules, while Tait was waging guerrilla warfare and getting the better of them politically. Now that the political chickens of his shenanigans threaten to come home to roost, the Taitbots are worried and trying to shift the blame.

            Tait said the Angels will leave Anaheim “when pigs fly.” Now he sees wings starting to grow on the hogs and he doesn’t want to accept responsibility for the part he has played.

            • Tait said if the Angels actually do leave, it will be because the council majority gave the Angels three more years to negotiate a deal somewhere else.

              That was at the meeting the MOU was passed. That’s not blame shifting.

              Blaming the mayor for being in the situation he told you you’d be in a year ago because you were making a really piss poor decision? Yeah, that’s blame shifting.

      • Since you are admitting you can’t read I will spell it out for you – MOUs also waive all maintenance obligations of the city for the life of the agreement. That’s a savings of $600K annually or $40M in total for the general fund. Even if you take the $1 a year line verbatim the city makes $599,000 each year. All of you sycophants refuse to let facts get in the way.

        • Speaking of can’t read . . .

          The MOU also gave up A MINIMUM of $800,000 a year in ticket sale revenue.

          Since you’re literacy challenged, I’ll assume your arithmetic is also a bit dull. That’s a net loss of $200,000 a year, or a loss of $13,200,000 over sixty six years.

          Now, I’ll ask you again, just how should an “educated” person read the MOU? I’m just a lowly sycophant who can read and do math. Help me out.

        • Also, speaking about “verbatim”, $600,000 minus $1 is $599,999. It is not $599,000.

  6. How about complaining about something important like the Homeless Shelter that the Council is trying to ram down the throats of the residents located near La Palma Park. There are schools, businesses and a very wonderful program for students located less than a couple of hundred feet from the desired location. It was booed out of Fullerton, Santa Ana is having problems with their design. I am waiting for the Anaheim blog to get more details on the shelter. Worry about important Anaheim items.

    • Good point. Remember, it was Mayor Tom Tait who said that he wants to let the homeless back into La Palma Park this winter if they have nowhere else to go.

      • Beating up on the homeless now?


        I’ve been wondering when you guys would try to scuttle that shelter deal. That real estate would be just so tasty to the right, properly connected developer.

  7. Stand for Anaheim

    Why isn’t the register covering this? Oh wait, it is being controlled and driven by Tait/Fuentes loyalist Brian Calle. Seriously!?!?! Brian has been so quick to hit Murray and Eastman but perhaps could his sweet non-rep, Rep in name only Tait be wrong!?!? Rumor has it the Rep community is coming unglued with Tait’s actions…FINALLY!!

  8. “Rumor has it the Rep community is coming unglued with Tait’s actions…FINALLY!!”

    Well, that’s news to me. What I’ve heard is just the opposite: the OCGOP sees Mayor Tait as an upstanding standard bearer for the party. In fact, they’re getting weary of having to apologize for Anaheim’s non-rep, Rep in name only oligarchy.

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