Jose Moreno Says NOT Taxing Disneyland Visitors Is Worse Than Rioting and Lawlessness


In a radical leftist polemic published in the OC Register, one-and-future Anaheim City Council candidate Jose F. Moreno railed against the expansion agreement between Disney and the city, which puts a de facto ban on imposing a gate tax on Disney theme parks.

Moreno takes his opposition comrades’ claim the deal denies the people the “right to vote” and cranks up the demagoguery amplitude by saying the right to vote has been “sold” to – you guessed it – “corporate interests.” Never mind the agreement does not impinge on the ability of Anaheim voters to slap an entertainment tax (the government’s taxing power being separate from its spending power). They could still do so in the knowledge that the equivalent revenues from such a tax would then be paid to Disney, but it is inconceivable a majority of Anaheim voters would undertake to tax Disneyland guests for the financial benefit of Disneyland.

Moreno piles on with more radical demagoguery, this time drawing moral equivalency between this agreement and the 2012 riots. Moreno characterizes the council’s approval of the Disney agreement as a “corporate riot,” as opposed to the 2012 disturbances, which he pasteurizes as a mere “social riot. I was unaware that riots came in different forms. Most people who are not left-wing university academics think in terms of the dictionary definition: violent, public disorder. Vandalizing businesses, fighting with the police, breaking the law, disturbing the peace; you know – what happened in Anaheim in three years ago:


Anaheim rioter

That’s what rioting looks like.

Moreno equates street violence and hooliganism with a duly-elected representative government body choosing not to impose tax on families going to the Disneyland Resort. He goes even further to say the Disney agreement is “a riot more profoundly corrosive to our democratic foundation than the “social riots” witnessed in Anaheim during the summer of 2012.”

Such astonishing moral blindness is a manifestation of an ideological world-view that is not only untethered to the founding principles of this country, but from the common sense of ordinary citizens. On what planet is refraining from a tax in exchange for a $1.5 billion investment in economic opportunity more “corrosive” to ordered liberty than street thuggery? Maybe in the rarified air of the ivory tower of the academy, but not in the real world.

Agreements like the one Anaheim concluded with Disneyland generate jobs and economic opportunity; it’s a signal to the world that Anaheim is a city that welcomes business and enterprise. The 2012 riots and the response by some that the fault lies not with the rioters but with society, sent the opposite signal. Indeed, several companies cancelled or froze economic development projects in the wake the riots and the uncertain trumpet sounded by some in city leadership.

Since when is economic growth more corrosive to representative self-government than crime and rioting? It’s an absurd statement that should not only be rejected out-of-hand, but should undermine the credibility of its utterer.

The reason for the hysterical reaction of Moreno and his allies is this agreement puts the Great Milk Cow of Anaheim beyond their grasp for the next 30-45 years. Moreno’s radical, racialist vision for Anaheim is one that is hungry for tax revenue. The big ideas of progressives center on government programs, and that takes money – lots of it. How does one pay for new city entitlement programs like free child care without being able to crank up the taxation of visitors to the Disneyland Resort?  Moreno and the other leftist ideologues believe their long-desired progressive council majority is just around the corner, and now the juiciest tax target in the city has been yanked from their reach. They have been outfoxed, and they are bitter about it.


  1. It’s shameful that this radical is Tait’s political ally.

  2. Couldn’t care less about the cholo gangster hissy fit in 2012.

  3. This is a great debate.
    An important discussion about the role of government.
    A question of how to give a hand up rather than harm people by issuing hand outs.
    I find it sad and unproductive that you spend so much time attacking the content of Dr. Jose F. Moreno’s character rather than the content of his proposals. When I read words like “radical, leftist, and comrades” I know it is done for a purpose… To frighten potential voters.
    If I didn’t meet Jose as a neighbor over 10 years ago, I might fall for Mathew’s imagery. Perhaps I would believe that Jose is person who has views that are morally blind and he must come from some far away ivory tower.
    Well it is true that Dr. Jose F Moreno did earn a doctorate degree from Harvard University. Rather than be scared by that, I am inspired by a guy who has worked very hard to provide for his family. I’ve been over his house for family gatherings and I have never seen any towers or ivory.
    I believe Jose is a person that wants to make Anaheim a better and safer place for his four daughters and other young people to grow up and reach their full potential.
    So when I read this article, the headline and the pictures, there is a disconnect from Mathew’s portrayal and person that I know.
    The fact that Mayor Tom Tait can be fundamentally opposed to many of Dr. Moreno’s proposals, yet still be respectful and work with him to improve the city of Anaheim is a strength, not a weakness. This example seems to be one from which people from both sides of the debate can learn from.
    I know it’s easier to smear, but your views are strong enough to support by using facts and illustrations that make your case. When you opt to take the low road, it makes me wonder why you choose that path.
    When one is involved in passionate debate, the easiest path is often to ignore the content of the opposing argument, focusing instead on personal attacks. People on both sides of the question could be called ideologues or demagogues, it’s simply a matter of perspective.

    • Matthew Cunningham

      Hold on. Jose F. Moreno is a leftist. His politics are radical. Your contention that this a “personal attack” is untrue and only serves to undermine the ability to engage in the important discussion you say you desire. If someone says I am a conservative. I don’t complain about “personal attacks.” I have no personal animus against Moreno. In fact, I have written here that I admire his rise from difficult circumstances and his devotion to his family. But I deeply disagree with his radical, progressive politics which favor bigger, more intrusive, more controlling government, treat people as members of ethnic and racial categories rather than as individuals, and are hostile to the free market. His views are sincerely held, and are sincerely at odds with the philosophy on which American government was founded.

  4. I am glad that have recognized the long history of community service that professor Moreno has provided our community. Yet you continue to refer to him in disrespectful pejorative terms. At the same time you say you are not offended to be called a conservative. Of course not… How about when you are called a corporate puppet or right wing wacko? Those descriptions are more analogous to they way you describe Dr. Moreno as a Leftist… Both you and Dr. Moreno believe in mixed market economy. Let’s take the high road and respect each other.

    • Moreno sees the policies that transformed Anaheim into the thriving tourism destination it is today as more destructive than a riot. In my opinion, the word choices explaining his positions have been extremely deferential.

    • Matthew Cunningham

      Tom, are saying “leftist” is a pejorative? I think it is an accurate description of his politics. Furthermore, I don’t believe in a “mixed market economy” – my economic views are very different from Moreno’s. Also, you are mischaracterizing my previous comment about him: I admire his personal accomplishments. His family immigrated here illegally from Mexico when he was a kid, and he and his siblings have gone on to be very accomplished individuals in their respective fields.

      At the same time, I don’t view his deep hostility to charter schools in general and the efforts of the Palm Lane Elementary parent sin particular to be indicators of community service, but of defending the established public education system against the attempt of parents to exercise control over their children’s school.

      There is nothing wrong with robust political debate. I do try to keep the personal out of it (though I sometimes fail); however, I’m not the one at whom you should be directing “take the high road” advice. Watch Moreno’s comments at the July 7 city council meeting and his written criticisms of the Disney agreement; your “high road” exhortations are more productively directed that-a-way.

  5. He did support the goals academy charter… Going against the union on that. Did not support the Palm lane charter. He has been holding our public schools accountable and through his efforts we are seeing many positive improvements. What are you doing to help our community and the young people? You don’t believe in a mixed market? So no police? No fire department? Not patent protection? Not zoning? Really? Admit it you are a mixed market guy, just a little less than others. It’s okay to be honest

    • Matthew Cunningham

      Moreno supported Goals as a favor to Tom Tait. Afterward, he sent an e-mail to the Democratic Party of OC Central Committee basically promising never to do it again, and explicitly saying he opposed charter schools and thinks the state should never have allowed any in the first place.

    • Matthew Cunningham

      Also, I don’t think you really understand what a mixed market economy is.

    • Matthew Cunningham

      And if it’s honesty your calling for, perhaps you should be honest and mention that you’re a teachers union activist – the ASTA rep at Katella High School.

  6. Nah I think I have a pretty good grip on it. Look it up and I think that if you are honest with yourself, you will agree that there is some role for government in the economy. Then again, you might want to keep denying the facts, because if you are at all to the left of Adam Smith…..You too could be called a LEFTISTS!!!!!
    Wow…You certainly know a lot about Dr. Moreno. You have referenced his children, brothers, sisters, parents, you seem interested in his e-mail account. Love and hate are sometimes connected….Maybe you have a man crush????

    • Matthew Cunningham

      Believing in limited government performing it’s proper function well (police, etc) is not support for a mixed economy, which is the term most commonly used to describe The economies of European social welfare states.

      I read an LA Times profile on Moreno that recounted his family background. No mystery there.

      And I’ve noticed your tone degenerating from the high-nite of calling for uplifting civil discourse into a weird, puerile taunting. Not exactly walking your talk.

    • what is this Moreno guy smoking if he thinks he will be a good councilman, Lmao. Anaheim beware this guy, he’s nothing but trouble. It’s a very good thing he is out of the school board since he never lifted a finger so the schools could be better. He actually went against people that made a diference in children’s education. Dr. Jose F Moreno all I have to say is, “hit the road Jack, and don’t you come back Jackass”.
      Anaheim doesn’t like you and you are now a fallen star.

      • Google says: No “Lupita Jonson” found in Anaheim. Anyone know differently?

        Fake names are worse than actually false names, because they claim respect that they have not earned.

  7. You are right I got drawn down to your level. We both believe in limited government so there is some common ground. Where we draw the line is the issue. If you google mixed market economy you see that is applies to all nations and examples given of government intervention include monopoly protection, patent rights, public goods like police protection, pollution laws, child labor laws etc… I did not see anything about taxpayer money being funneled through the chamber of commerce to support the Anaheim blog as an example but you clearly don’t object to that example.

    • Matthew Cunningham

      Sorry, Tom. I’m not at the level to which you’ve sunk. We could go around all day on what a mixed economy. You’re using a definition so broad as to be meaningless; for example, your attempt to paint me and Moreno as both supporting a mixed economy was intellectual dishonest. And there’s no tax money being funneled into this blog; in this case, you’re just telling a lie.

      Rather than cooperate with your attempt to change the subject away from Jose Moreno, let me ask you: do you join him in supporting an entertainment tax on Disneyland Resort visitors? If so, what should it be? Should it be capped? Do you agree with Moreno that Anaheim should provide child care for lower-income residents? Do agree with him that the city should impose a high-minimum wage? Do you, like Moreno, support Bernie Sanders for President? Do you agree with Jose Moreno that authentic representation on elected bodies is a function of race and ethnicity? Do you agree with Moreno that California should never have allowed charter schools? Do you oppose the efforts of Palm Lane Elementary parents to re-start their school as a charter school?

      • Moreno doesn’t support an entertainment tax on the Disney Resort. The only person I know who has come out for it publicly is me, because I’ve looked in depth at the 1996 agreement. You haven’t. (In your defense, neither had Paul Emery or Debbie Moreno as of well past the snap vote on July 7.)

        But please proceed back to changing the subject from the one where Mr. Gorrell was besting you.

        • Matthew Cunningham

          Keep fooling yourself, Greg.

          Also, you seem to be saying that if someone takes an “in depth look at the 1996 agreement,” that person would follow you in supporting an entertainment tax.

          • No, that’s not what I’m saying. Looking at the agreement shows that Disney has profited massively at the expense of the City of Anaheim, somewhat in that deal but especially in more recent years (and astoundingly at the July 7 meeting.) I think that that justifies taking action to right that wrong. Not everyone necessarily would.

            You can request the records that Cynthia requested, read the agreement, take whatever medicine you need to calm down, and judge for yourself. Why won’t you seek out the agreement? Are you skeered?

            • Matthew Cunningham

              So…because it is Greg Diamond’s opinion that Disney has profited at Anaheim’s expense (ignoring all the benefits that accrue to the latter becuase of the former), then the solution is to slap a tax on people who visit Disneyland (which includes many of those working families for whom progressives like Mr. Diamond always claim to be “fighting”)?

              But why am I surprised by such reasoning, when you also argued to the Superior Court that Curt Pringle uses mind control to direct the votes of the council majority, and that such use of mind control violates the Brown Act.

            • Matthew Cunningham

              “Are you skeered?”

              No. Are you 12 years old?

  8. I have not tried to conceal my identity…. I don’t agree with everything Jose proposes, but I do respect him and I when I get the opportunity will always listen to his perspective. I also respect the views of mayor Tait who believes in a more limited role of government. I wish that I really believed one side was completely right and the other was completely wrong because life would be more simple. Was I wrong about the laundering of money from the city through the chamber of commerce and then to you? I thought that was a well established fact.

    • Matthew Cunningham

      Only if you think that repeating an untruth over and over and over makes it a “well established fact.”

      And who said one side was completely right and the other completely wrong? You have a pronounced tendency to take issue with straw men.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *