Tait Family Trust Sinks to New Low With Another Smear Against Kris Murray

Anaheim Insider here.

The Tait Family Trust and Home Savings of America heir Howard Ahmanson have spent this month stretching the truth in their campaign mail attacks (done through the California Homeowners Association IE committee) against Mayor Pro Tem Kris Murray and Councilwoman Gail Eastman. The IE campaign is part of Mayor Tom Tait’s attempt to defeat his two GOP colleagues and replace them with James Vanderbilt and leftist Jose F. Moreno (since Doug Pettibone dropped out).

This very dishonest hit piece (even by the standards of this campaign), paid for by the Tait Family Trust, arrived in the mail yesterday: 




Acting against truth and logic, the Tait Family Trust is trying to tell Anaheim voters that Kris Murray only supports high-speed rail because in late 2013 a separate division of the company she works for, Willdan, is a subcontractor on a portion of the design and construction of the California High Speed Rail project. 

Never mind that Murray doesn’t work for the Willdan Infrastructure. 

Never mind that Murray’s support of high-speed rail predates that contract by several years. 

Never mind that the mailer is a lie.

What the Tait Family Trust has really done is fund a complete fabrication about Kris Murray.

Tom Tait’s business has a contract to do the engineering work for the former Tustin Marine Corp base, and the Angels arr negotiating with the City of Tustin about moving there. If that happens, Tom Tait stands to make money. When news of his Tustin contract came out, Tait and his hangers-on were pictures of moral indignation. How dare anyone suggest the Tom Tait had spent months trying to blow up negotiations with the Angels so that he could profit monetarily by an Angel relocation to Tustin! [Not to mention the likely increase in the value of the property next to Anaheim Stadium to which he “transferred ownership” to his daughter]. 

Yet, the Tait Family Trust is, in principle, falsely accusing Kris Murray of the same thing.

Using the Tait Family Trust’s methodology and commitment to the truth, the hypothetical mail piece would go something like this:

Tom Tait puts Tustin Marine Base commander on his company payroll to land base re-use contracts  

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Tait signs lucrative deal to provide engineering for the re-use of the old Tustin Marine Corp base.

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Tait acquires ownership of valuable commercial property less than 500 feet from Angel Stadium, creating a conflict-of-interest that should bar him from voting on Angels-related council matters. 

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Despite those conflict-of-interest laws, at a November 2012 council meeting Tait squashes creation of an ad hoc committee to negotiate a deal to keep the Angels from moving.

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Later, Tait votes against the Angels negotiations MOU that would have renovated the deteriorating stadium at no cost to taxpayers. Tait spend the next several months publicly attacking the Angels in an attempt to blow up the negotations. The Angels respond by ending talks with Anaheim and negotiating with Tustin about relocating to the old Tustin Marine Base…where Tom Tait still has a base re-use contract!

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(To paraphrase the Tait Family Trust mailer tag line): “No we know why Mayor Tom Tait is trying to drive the Angels out of Anaheim!”

Someone needs to invent a new word for this kind of behavior, because hypocrisy isn’t big enough to capture it.

This kind of mudslinging isn’t new for the Tait Family Trust, which perpetrated a like smear against Jordan Brandman in 2012, claiming his was the subject of a criminal investigation by the District Attorney. In reality, his unstable AUHSD Board colleague Katherine Smith had filed a frivolous complaint against Brandman that was subsequently dismissed because it had no merit. The Tait Family Trust also beat the tar out of him for supporting the GardenWalk agreement (that Tait has been tearing the City Council apart over for more than two years).

Brandman went on to be the top vote-getter.

Everyone should remember it is the Tait Family Trust that has lowered the bar to this point. Tom Tait has for years leveraged relationships developed as an elected officials to generate business for his company. Going forward, Tait and his defenders will have little standing to object if critics question his motives due to things like his Tustin contract or owning property next to the stadium, or his work with Garden Grove on the kinds of projects who tries to sink in Anaheim.


  1. Kris Murray has been running a positive campaign. I haven’t received any mail from her attacking Tom Tait or Vanderbilt or Moreno. She’s a class act.

    Tait and Vanderbilt could learn from her. Vanderbilt’s been attacking her from the beginning, and Tait’s family is in the gutter, too. His actions have made his “kindness” campaign such a joke.

  2. James Robert Reade

    Mayor Tait’s campaign of kindness seems kinda demented. I just saw Chief Welter’s video in which he says Anaheim needs a new Mayor. Chief Welter is highly respected in Anaheim and I think that video is the final blow to Mayor Tait ever regaining trust in regards to public safety issues in Anaheim. Very sad state of affairs.

  3. Tom Tait owes Kris Murray an apology (and no excuses that this is “independent” of his campaign. No one believes that, and it’s his family paying for this smear).

  4. Wish Anaheim residents could get this in a mail piece. Mr. Tait is covering a lot of sins with the kindness of others!

  5. Has the mayor ever clarified why he thinks his conflict of interest isn’t important?

    Tait has a strong record of failed leadership and ducking criticism by sending his legal team CATER out to muddy the waters so things are not traced back to him.

    Maybe just for once Tait could stand up and explain why he thinks his glaring conflict isn’t important and/or why he feels empowered to act above the law?

  6. Stand for Anaheim

    WAIT….isn’t Willdan a presenting sponsor of the Anaheim Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast? That is disgusting! What a horrible man he is. His wife, Julie, and his wretched campaign irony, John Lewis, are even worse! When will Anaheim residents wake up? Hopefully on November 4.

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