Anaheim in Wonderland: The Magical Invention of the “Right To Vote” On NOT Imposing A Tax

Master_alchemist

After losing the original GardenWalk project vote in 2012, Mayor Tom Tait and then-Councilwoman Lorri Galloway tried to define the post-vote by framing the economic assistance agreement as a “$158 million taxpayer giveaway.” It was a distortion, but largely successful in defining the issue.

Fast forward to the July 7 city council meeting in which Tait and Councilman James Vanderbilt were on the losing end of the 3-2 city council vote to approve a development agreement under which Disney will invest as much as $1.5 billion in expanding its Disneyland Resort theme parks and build a 5,000 space parking structure; in exchange, the city will continue a de facto moratorium on a gate or entertainment tax for 30-45 years.

Opponents continue claiming the council action equals “denying the people’s right to vote” and that “as with State law, any tax matter must go to the people for a vote.” That’s melodramatic nonsense.

A development agreement cannot prevent citizens from placing something on the ballot, and the agreement with Disney does not impair that right. Claiming otherwise misleads the public.

If a gate tax were placed on the ballot and approved, the tax would be levied – and then Disney would be reimbursed for the equivalent amount. In effect, voters would be voting to tax Disneyland guests on behalf of Disney, and the agreement presumes a majority of Anaheim voters have the good sense not to do so.  It’s hard to imagine any but the most ill-informed Anaheim citizen voting otherwise. This agreement erects a barrier between those who covet a Disney gate tax and the resulting revenue, but it does not deny or obstruct the people’s right to vote.

Opponents of this agreement confuse the government’s power to tax with its power to spend. Although related, they are distinct and oftened governed by different rules. For example, the state legislature can spend money by a simple majority vote, but new or increased taxes require a two-thirds super-majority.

The Disneyland expansion agreement relates to the spending power: if one or more stated forms of an entertainment tax are levied, the city is specifying how the revenues from that tax will be spent. Californians have often levied taxes where the revenues are committed to specific purposes.

As for the claims the agreement contravenes the state constitution: it’s not just that makers of that argument are confusing the separate powers of taxation and appropriation. It’s the flight of fancy necessary to radically re-interpret the California Constitution as requiring a popular vote in order for the government NOT to impose a tax.

Claims that the agreement with Disney “deny the right to vote” are, at best, intellectually dishonest. At the end of the day, opponents of this deal want to be able to impose more taxes on Disneyland and its guests at some point in the future. Let’s not lose sight of that reality amidst the chaff being tossed out by the critics.

83 comments

  1. Matt, What is owed to the taxpayer, and what was denied to the residents of Anaheim, is the right to DISCUSS, as a community, the role that the largest business in Anaheim will play in the financial health of the community. To tax or not to tax is the right of the citizens, and i was usurped by those without the moral authority to do so, even if they have granted to themselves the legal right to it.

    That discussion did not happen when we got a few days notice (once again) headed into a major holiday weekend and gets worse when the average taxpayer trying to weigh in on the issue after work was denied entry to the “full” chambers, but Disney people came in to find willing smiling ushers “oh 2? Just a moment,” and then grabbing 2 seat warmers they swapped them out for the “preferred” crowd, over and over again until the pro-resort folks were comfortably seated and the taxpayers who LIVE IN Anaheim were left in the overflow room, where the sound quality is so bad many left in frustration. Legal? Sure. But if your crowd is going to INSULT the citizens of the City hosting the corporate giant, DO NOT EXPECT ANYTHING LESS THAN THE VEBAL BEATING OWED TO THAT KIND OF HEAVY HANDED BEHAVIOR! For MANY people there that night, Disney burned the last of the good will they had remaining, and at one time it was considerable. No amount of spin, or Chamber ads trying to normalize the decision with a bunch of Disney dependent non-profits applauding the move is going to sell that malarky to the citizens. So just accept that yes, the 3 votes managed to bully themselves into a policy, but nobody owes them civility-much less applause-for doing it. Take the lumps that are wholly deserved.

    The fact that there even WAS an exemption/rebate indicates that the tax itself WAS up for discussion in the 1996 agreement. Voters at the time did not agree to that exemption any more than voters were permitted to approve the one and a half billion dollars in bond payments we were stuck with in order to buy Disney a parking garage, one that reverts to full Disney ownership when we pay it off, and one the citizens derive ZERO value from, despite picking up 100% of the price tag for it!

    The 1996 agreement had that finite time frame on it for a reason, so that we could revisit the issues in the future, preferably prior to the next set of bond payments kicking in starting in 2017, which starts a whole new payment series NOT built into our budget prior to then. But now the deadline has approached, and our “leaders” rubber stamped an extension without actually revisiting the agreement of 1996, and THAT review is what we DID have a right to, sir! Instead, staff blatantly MISREPRESENTED, oh let’s just come out and say it, STAFF LIED about what the 1996 agreement was based on, STAFF LIED about why Disney had been given the exemption or promise of rebate, and STAFF FAILED COMPLETELY in their due diligence to ensure the taxpayers of Anaheim were receiving the values promised in the 1996 agreement.

    Staff should have drafted an Amended and Restated agreement, to revisit and reinforce the remaining structure of the 1996 agreement still in place through 2037. Instead they selected ONE out-of-context element and turned it into a separate deal, with a complete falsehood substituted as the “consideration” in exchange for the agreement.

    Matt, you have made it quite clear that the citizens of Anaheim are owed NOTHING but the right to sit down, shut up, and take the abuse heaped upon us by your 3 corrupt buddies who sold us out, while enabled by staff waiting for their next pay raise and pension spike with a pat on the head for being good soldiers. You are WRONG. The people of Anaheim are entitled to the HONEST SERVICES of those elected to lead and hired to implement the policy of leaders. The people of Anaheim are NOT receiving those honest services, and you can spin that story until the letters wear off your keyboard, you will not sell the people of Anaheim on that bogus premise.

    • Don’t give away the WHOLE case, Cynthia!

      (Note: this comment presented for humor value only and should not be taken as an indication of whether Cynthia’s arguments will in whole or part be part of any legal case to be brought in this matter, nor to foreclose the possibility that other arguments or grounds for litigation may be found. Yes, this may be a new record high “disclaimer to joke” ratio.)

    • I have to wonder, Cynthia: is it possible for you to argue without putting words in the mouths of others, imputing false motives to those with whom you disagree, claiming the moral authority to speak for The People Of Anaheim, and demonizing those with whom you disagree as evil and corrupt while canonizing those you support as living saints? You might get farther by dialing down the hyperbole and manichean rhetoric.

    • Stand for Anaheim

      It must be so hard to be as unhappy as you Cynthia. GEEZ! Get a life!

  2. P.S. Matt, you’re wrong on more points than I care to recount. But there’s no reason to litigate the matter here and now. For one thing, the judge is loopy.

    • Ah, so THAT’S it! CATER’s lack of success in court is due to “loopy” judges, not bad lawsuits.

      • “The judge,” in this instance, refers to you.

        We’ve had one case decided. We lost despite exposing city policies that led to an excellent Grand Jury report righteously slamming “vertical” JPAs.

        Losing means that I don’t make money; it doesn’t mean that we don’t make progress.

        That case had some great effects and will likely contribute to the CA Supreme Court’s reining in the excesses of the Rider decision. Keep on giving me the chance to remind people of that!

  3. Once again Cynthia Ward demonizes council members who voted for the agreement this time while holding Tom Tait on her shoulders as a beacon for moral leadership all while ignoring that he voted for the original agreement that included the largest bond financing the city has ever undertaken. No discussion. No vote. Yet he’s a saint and these members are evil. She and Tait have a very special brand of hypocrisy.

  4. Stand for Anaheim

    Cynthia- Who funds CATER? Where do you meet? Who are your members?

    • If CATER represents “the voice of The People” then how can an average citizen join? When do you have meetings for new members? How do you take input from the actual people of Anaheim?

      Seems to me, you have a hard time explaining you are anything but a Tait booster club with fixed membership and ideology.

      • Good point Jack,

        I am a “concerned Anaheim Taxpayer”. I would like to join a civic organization like this.

        How do I sign up? Are there “Ice cream socials”? “Happy Hours”?

        Please let’s find out HOW we too can join this organization.

  5. What is it about CATER you object to? I will proudly stand by every action we have ever taken. Unlike the Council majority CATER doesn’t need anyone lying to cover our decisions. Council is forever lashing out in thin-skinned self defense, quick to tell the public we have no voice in the process and then hurt that we don’t agree with the “wisdom” of their choices! Your objections seem to center on CATER calling out your friends on less than legal behavior, as though an outcome desired by you is reason enough to game the process. Did you expect the entire city to just roll over and play dead? Be nice, look the other way, and don’t upset anyone by saying anything? It is called “normalizing” and it is a sick take on human development that keeps dysfunctional behavior covered up.

    When we get to court the City doesn’t even bother defending the choices of Council, their legal cases are based on refusal to accept consequences for what they have done. Seriously, go dig through the Stadium suit, they don’t bother saying they didn’t violate Open Meetings laws, only that they don’t agree with the relief we seek in voiding the actions! And the Angels created a defense of the City insisting they negotiated the Stadium District deal in Closed Session! But the Stadium District was NOT DISCLOSED on Agendas, so that admission alone is a Brown Act violation, one they may get away with since it was not made public within the time frame for objecting. Getting off on a technicality doesn’t make it legal, or right! Same with the Convention Center, while staff spun quite the word game to create a fairy tale world in which ATID funding APPEARS to cover the bonds, once they got to court they admitted if they had to rely on what was publicly claimed during a PUBLIC HEARING they could hand the case to Plaintiffs right then and there! Instead they back-pedaled and created an argument that they had the LEGAL RIGHT to circumvent the stated intent of the City Charter, which requires voter approval for bonds. And if you think CATER “lost” in getting that admission from the City on record, you don’t understand winning.

    Now before you claim CATER is on the fringe for wanting the City Charter enforced, and voter permission given before our leaders mortgage our futures with bond payments, the OC Grand Jury just recorded the identical argument that CATER presented, completely ignoring the “wisdom” of the Rider suit used by the City to explain their refusal to follow the City Charter. Given how indignant Cunningham can be about judges interfering with the will of voters, you all are sure quick to agree with the Rider case permitting “shadow governments” to get what is wanted.

    I notice our 3 brain surgeons love to brag about the extra 20 million in “neighborhood improvements” with BORROWED money padded into the Convention Center bonds that they are using for road repair! And so far nobody has explained the missing $10MM Houston accused CATER of costing the City. (Go ahead, ask for the records, I did…TWICE.)

    So who is CATER, and how can you be a part of it? Well, thanks for asking! To begin with, mark AUGUST 20th on your calendars, since we are working on an event to benefit CATER, waiting for one last detail and that info has been embargoed. I will post here as soon as we can go public.

    But I would say CATER has been better at operating in the open than the entitlement establishment.

    Who are the 10,000 members SOAR has been claiming since the days I was there? I see a mechanism to join their mailing list online, but none to become a “member”…oh I guess being on the mailing list IS being a member. I get it! And how have they not added to that number in 7 years, given the presence of a VERY GOOD, very professional Public Affairs pro (who I still greatly admire despite being on opposite sides) and the pretty much unlimited backing of Disney, they are still pegged at only 10,000.

    How about the Orange Riverdale Alliance? The Kraemer shelter opposition was presented as an effort of the Alliance but the Alliance seems to have come AFTER the shelter opposition began. And how did the piano store guy (and any other local business owners) locate and hire Matt and let Matt get a website and opposition effort up and running within hours of the item posting to the public Agenda on the Friday afternoon prior to the Council’s consideration of the Kraemer site? It’s OK to admit foreknowledge, just come out and say so.

    CATER has conducted our actions in the open, at all times. Our requests for information are public, as are the responses. While the City cuts back room deals for MONTHS without public disclosure, CATER offers the City the chance to “cure and correct” issues, and we are always very clear about our next steps. If you look at EVERY issue on which we have ever taken a stand, we haven’t bickered about the issues themselves, our only concern has been the lack of public process and public information, and if you want to claim that the outcome is worth shutting out the public to the lengths staff and Council are taking, you are living in the wrong country. Dictators make decisions based on their own agendas, and public-be-damned. It is not supposed to happen in the US, and the California Constitution (voted on by the public) forbids those kinds of actions.

    Whether Tait passed the Disney bonds in 1996 is immaterial to me, I cannot fix that, all I can do is try to protect the future of my family in the city where we intend to spend it by preventing current and future damage. While you were checking the 1996 agreements to see if Tait voted or not, did you happen to notice that the “consideration” claimed by CM Emery was NOT an accurate retelling? Or that the 1996 agreement was supposed to fund PUBLIC FACILITIES with SHARED REVENUES and SHARED BENEFITS? NO? Didn’t think so.

    The revisiting of the old 1996 agreement prior to extending a benefit cherry picked from an existing and still enforceable contract would have been a good chance to amend and restate that agreement, and provide benefits to the General Fund from our own money sitting idle (NOT TAKEN FROM DISNEY) thanks to a long-ignored agreement built for an earlier economic structure! We missed that chance to put roughly 10 million dollars a year into the community for genuine neighborhood improvements, because staff was in such a hurry to get this done before the Council could be held accountable for their decisions! Anaheim lost more on that deal than money. Nobody at CATER objects to tourism, we want a visitor based economy that is SUSTAINABLE long into the next generation, so that when tourists leave the Resort they have visible evidence that tourism has indeed been good for Anaheim, and right now we do not have that.

    • Not really on point there so let’s clarify the questions a little:

      1) Who does CATER represent?

      2) How do you ascertain the collective intent/interest/will of the group represented?

      • CATER represents the interests of the residents of Anaheim.

        We operate on the presumption that people don’t like getting ripped off by an alliance of big corporate interests and the politicians they feed — who feed them public money in return.

        By the way, speaking only for myself here, I would concede that SOAR also can claim to “represent the interests of the residents of Anaheim. Anyone can claim to do so and can use their judgment in determining what those interests are and how best to pursue them.

        We think that we’re right and that SOAR is (in at least some important ways) wrong. No one has to agree. If you agree with CATER, support CATER; if you agree with SOAR, support SOAR. That’s how democracy works.

        • I just wanted to make sure we were on the same page. Specifically, that although CATER claims to represent the residents of Anaheim, CATERs position on issues are just assumptions you made up yourself without any basis for what an average resident might actually want.

          I think it’s important everyone keep that in mind.

          • I wrote: “CATER represents the interests of the residents of Anaheim.”

            Read that over and over as long as necessary until you see how it differs from your quote.

            Our positions are based on attentive study of City policies and proposals, something that most voters might be able to do themselves, but generally don’t. And we keep uncovering the distortions and illusions that the current regime uses to bamboozle and rip off the public — both present and future. I think it’s important that everyone keep that in mind.

            • And who / how do you determine those interests?

              The inescapable point is CATER does what it thinks is best for Anaheim. The people who determine what CATER “thinks is best” are basically you, Cynthia and that one other name that gets thrown in from time to time.

              That is three people taking positions and claiming they are doing it for the People but the evidence shows the only person benefitting from your actions thus far is Tait.

              • I’ve already given you plenty of examples. Unlike the approach of the crowd around the Council majority, none of those examples involve how much any of us stand to profit personally.

    • “How about the Orange Riverdale Alliance? The Kraemer shelter opposition was presented as an effort of the Alliance but the Alliance seems to have come AFTER the shelter opposition began. And how did the piano store guy (and any other local business owners) locate and hire Matt and let Matt get a website and opposition effort up and running within hours of the item posting to the public Agenda on the Friday afternoon prior to the Council’s consideration of the Kraemer site? It’s OK to admit foreknowledge, just come out and say so.”

      Cynthia, this lazy disregard for the truth is an example of why I tend to disbelieve your fevered claims and theories. Your assertion is wrong, yet you make it with absolute certitude. I do not work for Chris Vance, the owner of Piano Empire. He did not locate or hire me. The BetterSolutiuons4Anaheim.com website launched on May 1. The Anaheim City Council voted to support putting a homeless shelter at 1000 Kraemer Place on April 7. Cynthia, you have a distorted sense of time if, in your mind, “hours” and three weeks are the same thing. Furthermore, I did not create nor do I direct the Orange-Riverdale Homeowners Alliance. If you like, I can connect you with the man who did start it (whom I had never met prior to him starting it) and I’m sure he’ll tell you what you can do with your crazy theories. There are a number of residents and business owners who are working together out of the shared belief this is a poor location for a 200-bed shelter, that has not been thought out well.

  6. At the risk of sounding like a broken record……..

    WHO IS CATER? We know you (Cynthia Ward) are President. We know Brian Chachuchua is an officer of some kind, and finally NON-Member paid attorney Greg Diamond (who lives in Brea) represents you.

    So by my math that is TWO (2) members. In a city with a census figure of 345,000+ (estimated to be closer to be 450,000) you have TWO members. I think that’s .0000057142 % of the population. YES those are FIVE zeros.

    I am CERTAIN there are TWO people who think Ground Babies taste better than Big Mac’s!

    You are without credibility. Which is sad, because you once, were a voice of reason and sensibility. Now you sound like a political HACK for an ally.

    • If CATER had only two members and one paid staff member (“paid” in this case meaning “occasionally partially compensated”), that would be fine. After all, Pacific Coast Investors, LLP, to which the City wanted to give an eye-popping sweet deal of a lease for the Stadium Grounds, is just Arte Moreno.

      In fact, we are larger than that. We simply chose a corporate form that would protect our supporters and donors from vicious anonymous attacks and other retaliation from powerful local interests.

      Given people like you, that seems to have been an obviously justifiable decision.

      Now, who are you, and who sent you here on their behalf?

    • to WhoIsCATER…
      You are without credibility. Which is sad, because you once, were a voice of reason and sensibility. Now you sound like a political HACK for an ally.

      My allies are the taxpayers of Anaheim, and it is my pleasure to be their “hack” if it moves the City forward toward a better future, because it is not the direction we appear to be headed in given the current lack of transparency, with leaders giving away the farm, the tractor, and the farmer’s daughter, in back room deals absent public input on the assets our tax dollars are paying for. Speaking of “hacks” how is it that the PR spin machine trying to run cover for the 3 Amigos can’t offer a single name or organization not beholden to the Resort in some way? Where are the everyday citizens crying out in support of the “win-win” from the Council majority? The claims of “broad community support” merely play out to mean they found more than one industry willing to siphon off the public coffers, but the average Joe was not at Council waiting in the lobby, having been shut out of the Chambers they pay for by professional ushers blocking out entire sections of seating for the exclusive use of pro-Disney speakers. Those people waiting for HOURS in the lobby for the chance to speak wanted only to have their voices heard in the future budget decisions of their own tax dollars, potentially at risk if the General Fund has to cover even MORE gifts to Disney. So you go ahead and call me a “hack” and I will wear it as a badge of honor, but I’m not seeing anything more credible on the pro-Disney side these days. I understand there is GREAT disharmony even WITHIN the ranks these days, (yes, people inside the belly of the beast still speak to me and still slip me info, and as always while I will USE info offered in confidence I will never DISCLOSE it, secrets go to the grave with me) but even long time Resort supporters are pushing back against what they see as EXTREME OVER REACH by Disney execs who have lost the community spirit the company once had. Again, if I am incorrect, time will tell.

      Since the Council majority and their staff enablers were in SUCH a HURRY to make the deal, they overlooked what SHOULD have been done, and when the news breaks of the massive gift they scored for Disney on the backs of taxpayers, don’t say the rest of us did not warn you. If we had waited for just ONE MORE MEETING as requested by 2 of 5 officials, we would have had a lot more info to work from. Which was exactly what some did NOT want. Tell me this was in the best interest of the citizens.

      Credibility is in the eye of the beholder. If you are correct, then nobody will listen to me, or CATER, which as a corporate entity can (and I hope some day WILL) go on without me. If enough Anaheim residents agree, the CATER becomes nothing but a blip in the old meeting minutes, and your crony buddies may continue to pillage the public coffers. So far that is not the case, and CATER is growing rapidly. There is not a Council meeting that goes public anymore that does not result in someone cold calling me, asking what is going on, can I give them more information, and how may they help? Some have money to offer, some are flat broke but want to give time. Oddly, not ONE person has tracked me down in any forum other than the blog-o-sphere to tell me I am a misguided ankle biter. Indeed our legal Counsel increased thanks to the NEGATIVE attention offered by critics who have driven aid to us in an “enemy of my enemy” sort of deal, so thanks for that, Dan.

      • “My allies are the taxpayers of Anaheim…”

        ROFLMOA! Sorry, Cynthia. 99.9% of Anaheim taxpayers have no idea who you are, so they can hardly be your allies. This one sure isn’t. You don’t speak for Anaheim taxpayers. You only speak for yourself (and Brian Chuchua).

        • Yes, you sound very mirthful, and not at all nervous.

          Again: CATER does not represent the opinions of the taxpayers, which the Council majority, Staff, and their supporters brazenly manipulate through lies and misdirection. It represents their *interests*. And interest is growing in their interests, as the Council oversteps yet again.

        • I never said I represent anyone other than CATER. One needn’t be elected to befriend others. A handful of people started out defending what the California State Constitution says are OUR RIGHTS to specific access to public records and open meetings. If others agreed with us, fine, but we don’t NEED others in order to act in defense of our own rights, and in so doing we defend the rights of ALL taxpayers, even those with no idea that we exist and are working in a way that ultimately benefits them. As it turns out, a lot more people in the community DO agree with CATER, there isn’t a meeting that goes by that someone doesn’t cold call me later asking how they can help or get involved. When was the last time the Kleptocracy had everyday citizens reach out to them in support of their actions? I can tell you it doesn’t happen much, because as you know I also like to exercise my right to CPRA requests for communication, and if anyone NOT beholden to the financial interests benefitting from these schemes is thanking the Council majority for their “wise and visionary leadership” *cough*sputter* they are communicating in a way that doesn’t leave a trail to follow.

          So the big question here is, why do YOU seem to have your knickers in a twist over a small, but rapidly growing, non-profit whose only demands have been to enforce the rights of Anaheim’s citizens to open government? How is this a BAD thing?

      • How do you determine the interests of your “allies?”

        Above Greg mentions it is based on assumptions.

        So unless you have a means of polling, open membership or other manner by which you get a representative cross section of the actual taxpayers of Anaheim, your allies are just the people in CATER, which appears to be 3 people.

        Please stop saying you are doing this for the People, taxpayers or residents. You are doing it for your small group of friends and seemingly for the benefit of Tait.

        • It’s based on analysis of what’s happening in City politics. For example, on the Disneyland deal — if the City Council schedules a vote for just after a holiday weekend, at a time when there is no urgency, and refuses to postpone the vote to address issues that are raised during the meeting, that’s red flag that something is probably wrong. Most people in Anaheim aren’t paying close enough attention to city politics to notice that. We are. And between us, we have a broad set of knowledge and skills that help us assess what the Council is doing.

          Oh — and when we actually get to explain this to people, they often become very worried about what is going on with the City government. The notion that the City used a “City of Bell-style” vertical JPA to circumvent both the State Constitution AND the City Charter to get the Convention Center bond through without a popular vote, for example, actually seems to stun people — and we can show them the trial transcript to prove that it’s true. Your position seems to be that if they were fooled by the City Council and Staff, the right thing to do is to leave them in their ignorance. That’s absurd.

          Also note that we’re doing it as much for future residents of Anaheim, whose birthright the present Council majority is stealing for short-term political advantage, as for those who are there now. What you think that Cynthia, Brian, I, and others are getting from this is a total mystery. We’re doing it out of civic duty. That concept may be foreign to you.

          By the way: another thing to look for is who does and does not use their name to comment — because people that don’t use their name are more likely to be hiding some association of theirs that leads them to profit from fleecing the public. I’d ask you what you personally get out of what you’re doing — it’s clear what Matt gets out of it, and what Anaheim Insider gets out of it if he is indeed Todd Priest, but I wonder where you fit into the machine. Don’t worry, I don’t expect a serious answer from you.

          • No the point is that you are determining how all of Anaheim feels about an issue based on your personal interpretation of it. Your comment implies that if you spoke to everyone in Anaheim, they would all agree with you.

            This is representative of the many times CATER claims to be “for the People” and representing taxpayers and all those other great things but there is no evidence the organization can claim it represents the interests of anyone but its members…. thus a lot of people here want to know who the members are that think these approaches and policies are good for the city.

            Me, like a lot of people out there, think the city is on the brink of something truly great. This town has come a long way since the 80’s and it is a shame to see a group and mayor come in trying to undermine all that progress.

            • You can judge CATER’s views by the writings and verbally expressed statements of myself, Cynthia, and Brian — all of whom agree with the stances taken by the Mayor on these fiscal irresponsibility and corruption issues. Unlike the Angels, Disney, Pringle & Assocs., etc., I don’t think that we, or others associated with the group, have any “interests” other than serving the public good. (You can look to Tait, who’s not profiting off of his viewpoints, as a model of that.) It’s telling that you find that concept of civic virtue so foreign.

              Anaheim is past the brink of giving away income and the potential for income in future decades. People associated with CATER have both the capacity and the will to actually do the math rather than being comforted by fluffy phrases like “on the brink of something truly great.” It may be “truly great” for those who have been promised that they won’t have to pay sales taxes, TOT taxes, fair market leases, and so on. It it not likely to be great for the majority of the people in Anaheim.

              Tell me, person with no reputation to lose by lying, if Anaheim’s future is so bright, why are all of the studies commissioned to sell the public on these suddenly appearing plans before there’s even time for rational debate so lousy? I would love to see real studies done by independent people who are not trying to give the City leaders what they want so that they can maintain a business relationship (or, in the case of CSL, have their sibling company chosen for a plum contract with Anaheim Stadium.) But the Anaheim Council majority has tried to keep people in the dark and push through plans in one meeting before people realize what’s going on.

              It will catch up to you.

  7. Dan Chmielewski

    I’m not anonymous. I have a checkbook. If I wanted to join CATER, could I? I’d insist that my dues would be the same as anyone else’s via appropriate documentation so you wouldn’t place an undue premium on my fee to join. You have publicly asked for funds and members before. So what’s the process for joining your group? Is the any bylaw that would prohibit my consideration for membership? Would I be able to attend meetings and offer input?

    Unlike others asking here, I have no trouble identifying myself and asking for consideration. If membership is open to all and I am denied access, this is your wedding cake/gay couple rationale.

    So, how could I join?

  8. Dan, Yours of course is a rhetorical question, You have to know that.

    There is no REAL organization this is a political action committee created by Tom Tait. They scored a two bit lawyer (Who had never “set foot in a courtroom” by Cynthia’s own admission) to NOT defend them but rather to muck things up.

    Is Jose Moreno a member? What about the Amin dude? Miguel Mndragon, the union guy, is SCARED to death of CATER. He is actually a young man with a future…MIGUEL WILL YOU STAND FOR CATER? Where are the activists?

    It’s Ward, Brian C. and the crazy lawyer making noise. Even Vern is afraid to join…….

    • If Cynthia ever said that I had “never set foot in a courtroom,” she was mistaken. Correct your file on me.

      We’re not confirming whether anyone is or isn’t supporting CATER aside from ruling out people for whom it would be a conflict (whom we don’t solicit.) So you don’t know whether Vern’s a member. Not that you have a reputation to lose by lying. As for Miguel Mondragon (I presume that’s what you meant to type); I don’t think I know him. Why is he “scared to death of” us? Don’t bother answering; it’s a rhetorical question as there’s no reason to think that (at long last) you’d tell the truth.

  9. CATER is always happy to accept free will donations of any size, and checks may be written to CATER c/o my home address, which Dan, I believe you should have. I could also stop by or send a messenger to your office to pick up a check, if you are indeed “signing the fronts of them.” As you appear to have made at least a tentative offer of a “pledge” to support CATER in a public forum, may I assume you wish to waive the anonymity offered some other supporters? This WAS a bona fide offer of genuine support, was it not, sir?

    You did say this; “Unlike others asking here, I have no trouble identifying myself and asking for consideration.”

    Thus, since you are “out of the closet” so to speak. I assume you don’t object to use of your name and likeness for promotional materials? Is this pledge of support from you personally, or you and the Mrs.? Or is this tangible aid for efforts promoting transparency in local government to be considered a business expense? As such we will consider including Madison Alexander in our materials, by way of our appreciation. We could even perhaps link to your business web page, if you so choose. In fact, if I talk to our webmaster today I can let him know to add you as a “pledge of support” and we will update the page when the check comes in as a completed donation.

    While we will gladly accept the financial support of anyone, and all donors may opt to enjoy the same discretion offered under our 501c4 status, if your inquiry included a request for information on becoming a Voting Member or Board Member with rights to identify themselves as such, the benefits of Voting Membership or Board Membership are not being offered at this time to those with openly antagonistic behavior already displayed toward CATER, as it indicates potential bad faith in joining the organization. Please note that we are not legally obligated to accept anyone. This may be your wedding cake analogy, but CATER is not a public business like a bakery.

    However, Dan, you DO own a public business, like a bakery. How does one go about hiring your PR firm? CATER could use some media outreach for the upcoming event on August 20th…we might consider your services, which one assumes are offered to all at the same rate of payment, and with the same fervent passion for promoting the client. Right? How do I go about checking your portfolio and background of work performance for other clients? Do you offer references?

    Thanks again for your support, while it is admittedly surprising, it is not the first time we have enjoyed offers of help from unexpected sources, and I look forward to receiving your check.

    • Dan Chmielewski

      Cynthia — I doubt CATER can afford me, and, with respect, my PR services do not “cater” to political organizations such as yours, so the fit isn’t quite there. My rates are the same for all my clients and prospects.

      Any contribution would be from me alone or via my business. But you are already not providing an apples-to-apples member benefit by proclaiming to broadcast my support for CATER while protecting the privacy of your own members. Additionally, your CATER webpage hasn’t been undated in over a year so there’s not a lot of value to offer a business for the privilege of linking.

      So to summarize, you’ll take my money if you can, but subject me to a different standard than other members and deny me the full benefit accorded to other members while reminding me CATER isn’t a democracy or transparent…do I have that right?

      • You would be treated the same as other members in your membership class. Anyone can waive the privacy that a donation to a (c)(4) affords them; you seemed to be inclined to do so.

        (And, honestly, I don’t think that ANYONE can afford what you do. Yet you keep doing it.)

        I knew that you weren’t serious about donating. I’m glad that we needn’t accept people of bad faith.

        • Dan Chmielewski

          I’ve been given no pricing structure for dues and what rights come with those dues. I have only asked to be treated the same as anyone else. The response I received didn’t answer my questions.

          What are the dues and what rights do I get as a member of CATER; how much to become a voting member. Fair questions without an answer. What are you so afraid of revealing?

          • None of that matter, Chum, because you are not seeking membership in the organization in good faith. So you, specifically, do not get any rights as a member of CATER, just like you do not get any rights as the Queen of England or as a starter for the Clippers.

            Don’t confuse fear for contempt. (You wrongly think that you inspire the former rather than the latter.) I will answer your questions, no matter how much you stomp and thunder, other than to say that you make unwarranted assumptions about what must be true of the structure of an non-profit organization. You can find someone else to school you as to what they might be.

            Anyone who approaches CATER in good faith will get the answers that they need. So: that’s not you, not Cunningham, not Todd Priest.

            • I have asked honest questions about joining the organization provided I am treated like any other member of the group. I certainly don’t want to get hosed with an extraordinary admissions fee others didn’t have to pay.

              I have zero answers and accusations instead of information. And you are the judge of what constitutes good faith?

              Quite a pickle you find yourself in here Counselor. I can’t get an honest answer out of you or Cynthia about requirements of membership.

              I bet the John Birch Society would tell me.

        • Dan Chmielewski

          Greg — I have nine employees who work for me and a number of clients. My firm wins awards and is recognized for our work; professionally speaking, I have a lot more going for me than you do.

          • Oh, I wasn’t talking about what you do in your business.

            • Dan Chmielewski

              Fine. How much is it to join CATER? Quite a pickle you find yourself here. I’m asking for transparency into the process of joining and can’t get it

              • If a person of good faith — as you are not — wants to know, we’ll tell them. But ye of bad faith get nothing.

                As for the rest: again, you are making unwarranted assumptions.

              • Sorry Dan, but no pickle here. You see, CATER’s demand for transparency has been issued against government agencies who OWE us as citizens the right to open and fair government. CATER has no such obligation to you, no matter what you think you may know. Nor do I owe an iota of moral obligation to waste my time with someone clearly asking about membership for reasons other than an intent to support the organization, and in all likelihood intent to harm the organization. Now no matter what the size of the organization, also none of your business, I have a fiduciary duty as president to serve the best interest of the organization, which means I would have to be out of my mind to offer you a membership in any form that granted you authority in an organization you have already maligned at every opportunity. That is not even on the table, so you don’t get the info you have no right to. I am also not obligated to get the permission of you, or anyone, before enforcing my rights as a citizen and the rights of CATER’s members, within the structure of State law and the Anaheim City Charter. See, a non-profit is NOT the same as a government agency. I owe you nothing. I certainly do not owe you an explanation or an apology for standing up for what is right and/or standing against what is wrong. In short, it’s not a pickle, Dan, you simply are not wanted. I was trying not to say it our loud, because despite my willingness to call BS on the actions of elected officials who DO owe me and others the honest services of their positions, being bitchy for the sake of it is not my style. But if you want to make me say it, I will. You don’t get a seat at the table sir. Go start your own club.

                • “I would have to be out of my mind to offer you a membership in any form that granted you authority in an organization you have already maligned at every opportunity”

                  I imagine this is the same reaction of city staff when you offered to do Mayor Tait’s filing for him…..

                • Dan Chmielewski

                  Are you going to give every prospective member or donor the third degree? Who gets to decide who is of good faith or not?

    • One Who Knows Something

      Hey Cynthia: have you filed CATER’s Form 990s as required by the Internal Revenue Service? You filed CATER as a non-profit corp. on Sept. 10, 2013. That’s almost two years ago.

      But there is no record on any online nonprofit database of CATER filing a Form 990. Not on Guidestar or ProPublica or FoundationCenter or the IRS website.

      According to the IRS:

      “Most small tax-exempt organizations whose annual gross receipts are normally $50,000 or less are required to electronically submit Form 990-N, also known as the e-Postcard, unless they choose to file a complete Form 990 or Form 990-EZ instead.

      If you do not file your e-Postcard on time, the IRS will send you a reminder notice. There is no penalty assessment for late filing the e-Postcard, but an organization that fails to file required e-Postcards (or information returns – Forms 990 or 990-EZ) for three consecutive years will automatically lose its tax-exempt status. The revocation of the organization’s tax-exempt status will not take place until the filing due date of the third year. Watch the IRS YouTube presentation.

      Due Date of the e-Postcard
      The e-Postcard is due every year by the 15th day of the 5th month after the close of your tax year.”

      If Greg’s grousing about not getting paid is any guide, CATER falls into the “less than $50K” in gross receipts category, so you should have been able to file the postcard Form 990 quickly and easily. Have you?

      • We’re fine. Thanks.

        • One Who Knows Something

          What does that mean? Have you filed the required Form 990s or not?

          • I’ll tell you in person. We can meet at your place.

            • What's the big deal

              A 990 and c4 application must be made available upon request and without need to identify the person making the request during business hours at the nonprofit. Failure to do so is illegal. I’d think a nonprofits council would know that.

            • One Who Knows Something

              As Greg is never at a loss for words, I’ll take his refusal to answer the question as a “no, CATER hasn’t filed Form 990s.” And the previous commenter is correct. Strange that Greg Diamond, spends hours going on about what others a legally required to do, ignores this legal obligation.

              There’s a simple solution, Greg. CATER can walk its talk about transparency by posting the Form 990s it has filed with the IRS on the CATER website. Consider this a request that you do so, and as the previous commenter noted, the requester has no obligation to disclose their identity.

              • I’ll dlsclose my identity and formally ask for those Form 990s. Should I send an official letter to your “office” Mr. Diamond. I’d also like the dates those forms were filed.

                • I’ve been reading the comments and I’m starting to think there’s something to this Form 990 issue. If they had filed this mandatory paperwork, Greg and Cynthia would be jumping all over Dan and “One Who Knows Something” with ha-ha-we-did-too-file-it-you-evil-troll comments.

                  But Greg sidesteps the question and Cynthia is ignoring it altogether. Very out of character. I wouldn’t be surprised if they blew it off and are now scrambling to file the proper forms!

                  • Dan Chmielewski

                    I’ve already submitted a form to the IRS asking for a copy. My understanding is CATER should provide this on demand but the copy will come from the IRS instead. I also asked for the dates the information was filed.

                  • What's the big deal

                    There is I guess another possibility – that they arent actually a c4. If that was case they couldnt use a 990. They would have to file as a normal taxpaying entity. But that would mean they lied to everyone. I can’t imagine these bastions of truthiness would do that. An application for exemption must also be provided on request and cannot be withhel.

  10. All of this bluster to defend Cater’s ability to remain anonymous but no response to the blatant hypocrisy of Taits previous voting record. So Cynthia by your definition of evil doing you’ve accused the current council of committing, Tait was committing evil acts for 10 years on the council. you can’t have it both ways. Clearly by your definition Tait was an evil member and representative in Anaheim. Does that apply to Shirley? Frank? Irv? Where does it stop? No member of the current council created the hotel incentive programs, no member of the current council voted to increase pensions, no member of the current council voted for the largest bond financing in the city’s history. But Tait voted for all of those across the board with not vote of the people – all while accepting PAC support and max contributions from unions and businesses that benefited from those votes. Spare us the post 9/11 impacts – some of his votes preceded that tragic point in time. Let’s hear it – was he evil or not?

    • Without Tait, there would have BEEN no 20-year cap on the gate tax provision. So his forcing one in was not evil.

      Are you really interested in what the 1996 agreement says? Would you review it in good faith? If so, then I’ll bet that Cynthia would copy it for you at cost. It may prove to be quite an eye opener for you.

      • Actually Greg, I will be providing it online for free, along with some eye-opening commentary about how badly we got screwed by people in such a hurry to get something approved that they FAILED to negotiate in good faith an equitable deal for the taxpayers who just had their only benefits in the 1996 agreement pretty much VOIDED by their own current leaders.

        As far as Tait, I am not his defender, when I agree with him you hear it, that isn’t blanket approval on every breath he takes. I was not involved in 1996, I don’t have much social awareness of the situation back then, nor do I find it helpful to bash people for things so far in the past that they are no longer relevant nor fixable. In fact, that is just being bitchy for the sake of being bitchy and I don’t find it useful. Now if we have an issue TODAY that I think calling attention to might create some resolution, or at least accountability, then yeah I am all in. That premise seems to be missed over here, where the issues are overlooked for the sake of personal bashing for the sake of distracting people from discussing the real issues. But you go ahead and carry on out here, you seem to have it handled. Me. I am going top try finding a way to fix some of the damage being done to my community by the short-sighted leaders lacking in long-term sustainable vision. And THAT is what has folks over here riled up, that the “vocal minority” might actually ACCOMPLISH something to fix the failures in leadership.

        Can anyone here explain how Anaheim borrowed $20MM extra dollars in bonds from the Convention Center funding, but only had a $10MM surplus for neighborhood improvements? Doesn’t that mean Anaheim was $10MM in the hole and we would have run a deficit if the bond borrowing had not happened?

        If our “economic engine” is pumping out money in full recovery mode, why did we have to BORROW money to repair roads and sidewalks this year? How are we not SWIMMING in money, given the massive amounts pumped into Anaheim by the 20 plus million people who visit here every year?

        How about the latest Disney deal, which claims the tax exemption is in “consideration” of Disney’s next investment, in keeping with the 1996 agreement offering the tax exemption in “consideration” of Disney’s investment of the 2nd gate? If it turns out that the 1996 agreement was swapped for a more tangible benefit between Disney and Anaheim, would that change the premise for the July 7th agreement? Or is granting Disney a tax exemption so idealistically perfect that no argument against it would work for you? And what if the people of Anaheim are no longer receiving the full value of benefits outlined in the 1996 agreement, to the detriment of our General Fund, well into the millions? Is it STILL OK to have not bothered to review the 1996 agreement for compliance prior to extending ONE VERY SMALL PORTION OF IT?

        While the Council likes to point to places like Stanton (not a great comparison) tapping into sales taxes to rescue their sorry hides, how is it that other communities manage to pave their roads and pay their Police using nothing more than property and sales taxes and maybe a smattering of TOT from the Holiday Inn down at the freeway exit? How does a place like Park City Utah use tourism as a boost to make the community BETTER as extra money, like a bonus one doesn’t count on to cover the mortgage, without relying on tourism to fund critical needs services?

        I guess my point is that the arguments made over here do not work when compared to the real life numbers in the City budget and the idea that tourism has made Anaheim spectacular doesn’t gel against what we see in real neighborhoods. So no, I am not going to apologize for getting in the way of people whose cheerleading for the Resort has become a rather cult-like religion in which adherents check out of reason or logic in worship of The Great Mouse. I love Disney, always have, always will, but I am not subsidizing him anymore, to the detriment of my community, and I am NOT setting aside my right to participate in the process that is guaranteed me by the Constitution of the State of California just so some here can get their predetermined outcome rubber stamped. Get a clue, people are breaking the law to make their own agenda happen at City Hall, that is not a WAG that is certainty, and if you are OK with it, fine, but I’m not, and I have the right to fight like Hell against it. Have a nice day, I have work to do.

        • One Who Knows Something

          “As far as Tait, I am not his defender, when I agree with him you hear it, that isn’t blanket approval on every breath he takes.”

          You’re correct, Cynthia. Referring to you as Tait’s defender isn’t accurate. Worshipper, devotee, acolyte more accurately describe your slavishness toward our mayor.

      • if Cynthia Ward had the integrity to call someone he served with when that agreement was struck, Shirley McCracken or Tom Daly for example, I’m sure she would get a very different story about Taits involvement.

        • Why and how are you “sure”? Is this an act of pure will?

        • Just to clarify. we were discussing the October 1996 agreement when I said Shirley McCracken was not on the Council. Shirley was elected November 1996, and thus was on Council when the Disney bonds were approved in February 1997. But the Finance Agreement that initiated the Disney Gate Tax exemption/rebate was prior to McCracken’s election, and i wanted to make sure that was clear, or I can hear the whining from the peanut gallery, AHA! Got that horrid Cynthia Ward! She LIED about Shirley McCracken. Nope, but discussing a different meeting.

          BTW-the entertainment tax deal was NOT offered in exchange for Disney’s investment in the 2nd park, so the comparison of current “consideration” of Disney’s investment in their own property in exchange for continued tax abatement is a misleading argument (and one the CM presented to the detriment of truthful disclosure during the Public Hearing of July 7th.)

          In October 1996, Anaheim was receiving something of value from Disney in exchange for forbearance on a gate tax. There is no reason to demonize the leaders who made the deal back then, there was fair exchange AT THE TIME.

          In July 2015, that same consideration was NOT made, a substitution of far, far lesser value was presented, while nobody bother to check, and potentially enforce the loss of, benefits worth millions to taxpayers that I don’t believe we are still receiving. So the agreement today is not the same as the 1996 deal, and today’s leaders appear to have given away a significantly valuable bargaining chip or valuable asset (as the right to recoup certain losses in the bond docs) and taxpayers DID NOT receive fair value in exchange for the 2015 agreement. Your comparison is unfair, and not truthful.

      • One Who Knows Something

        Tom Tait said at the July 5 meeting that he if he had it to do all over again, he would have voted against the 1996 agreement, in which case the gate tax moratorium would have been in perpetuity. That’s an example of why he’s a poor leader. Having a “pure” voting record is more important to him than striking compromises that advance his goals.

  11. “… in exchange, the city will continue a de facto moratorium on a gate or entertainment tax for 30-45 years.”

    Well anyway, thanks for acknowledging that the ability of voters to approve or deny a tax increase has been effectively nullified by their own “representatives.” That little trick reminds me of the last one – where the council did an end run around their own City Charter by denying the people the right to approve a bond issuance – a bond NOT secured by Convention Center revenue, but by the General Fund.

    It’s pretty funny when a city council is so in bed with corporate interests that they keep denying us of our rights.

  12. He took money from all of those interests when he ran for mayor in 2010 – after having voted for those “special interests” for 10 years on the council. It’s laughable that you have the gall to say you aren’t his defender and try to shield that his actions were so far in the past as to be irrelevant. His actions in 2010 are the same reasons you are using to claim current council members are “evil”. Your words. If it applies to them, it applies to him. You don’t get to pick and choose how to apply a principle. Your delusions have no boundaries and you are first and foremost Tait’s defender. Even your allies had to laugh at that one. What a joke.

    • Yeah, he apparently had a change of heart when he got a good look at the City’s books after the Pringle years. Were you at his inaugural speech as Mayor in December 2010?

      Incidentally, what is it that you’re supposedly proud of?

      • One Who Knows Something

        What Greg said, without meaning to, is that Tait wasn’t paying attention during his previous 10 years on the council. The only other explanation for his serial repudiation of his council record is that his philosophy of government changed before or after becoming mayor.

  13. Now why would I bother Shirley McCracken when she was not ON the Council when this deal was passed? I have spoken to her about a lot of other issues. and I have been privy to the extreme betrayal she suffered at the hands of Resort people not long ago. You want to see a lack of integrity, look at what they did to her. That they picked Tait (who had NOT been Resort-friendly) was within their rights, but the way they treated Shirley is something I will NEVER forgive as long as I live. It was not needed. It was mean for the sake of being mean, to someone who had never been anything but a friend and solid supporter to those who knifed her over lunch at the Gardenwalk, I’m the one who had to go get her, and it is not a memory I cherish, so if you believe these people are your friends through thick and thin, you are as clueless as they are heartless.

    You accuse me of lacking integrity, but I’m not the elected leader approving deals that have been papered over by City staff. What I do is out in the open, in bright daylight, when was the last time Council did that? Staff negotiates high value real property negotiations of publicly owned property (which is what the gate tax exemption was, NOT a stand alone agreement but part of a Disney lease of public property) they do it in the shadows without public notice until the last possible second, misrepresent key elements of the deals, and then whine when the public objects after the fact, as though they are being unfairly picked on. I think you need to recheck the meaning of “integrity.”

    But as far as the issues at hand, you misunderstand what I (and CATER) have objected to. I am not even addressing the issues of the actual entertainment tax, one way or the other. I don’t know anyone who WANTS to tax Disney (not even Moreno, frankly) There is an enforceable agreement that the City cherry picked the gate tax exemption out of, without review of the actual agreement to ensure the provisions are in compliance (it doesn’t look like it) and if the CM had done basic due diligence and waited for the bond workshop that followed the next meeting (you think they didn’t KNOW that was coming) we could have enforced the benefits that seem to be missing from the 1996 agreement and asked Disney to come back to the table on what we are now OVERPAYING on the now out of date agreement we are stuck with for another 20 years! If Disney stands by their belief they will keep generating the funding we need to cover the bond payments, then perhaps we could have reset the LPMR baseline to reduce what we are OVERPAYING to a Trustee (who may or may not be paying interest on our overpayment in the millions) so we could use our own money to cover neighborhood improvements instead of BORROWING 20 Million more on the Con Center bonds. No new taxes, no harm to Disney, but we didn’t get that chance. Would that not have been more prudent? We missed that chance because everyone was in a such a hurry to get it done, we didn’t stop to read the document, and didn’t wait for the Finance department to review the bonds FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE CITY’s HISTORY!

    EXAMPLE: How many YEARS did we watch POLICY decisions made with the underlying justification that the Resort “generates well over half of General Fund revenues.”As it turns out, it is not even a FOURTH of GF, and our Finance Director admitted that in the 2015/16 Budget they quantified the impacts of Resort on the City FOR THE FIRST TIME. So on what basis did we make those policy decisions for years? We based it on the rumor of benefits supposedly claimed by the CBRE SOAR report from 2007-08, which was not made public, not even to SOAR members at the time. Do you REALLY want City policy drafted on the basis of claims made by those benefitting from the policies citing an unsubstantiated report you have not ever SEEN? Even those who cheer loudest for the Resort cannot possibly want this type of policy making to take place. If the benefits are there, lets’ see them so we can all cheer together. Any less erodes the credibility of the Resort and looks like someone is hiding the truth!

    Why was this one element of an existing and enforceable agreement cherry picked to become a NEW agreement, instead of the Amended and Restated Agreement it SHOULD have been drafted into? And why was the Council not notified in properly disclosed Closed Session (thus giving a head’s up to the public as required by law, lessening the feeling of being sucker punched) that the REAL PROPERTY AGREEMENT from 1996/97 was being renegotiated? WHO AUTHORIZED THAT? Given the amount of flack created by the deal, did the really-wanted-the-CM-job Emery take it upon himself to authorize something that big without Council approval? Really?

    BTW I have talked to Tom Daly and Shirley in the past about some of these issues. And I read the October 1996 Meeting Minutes and ordered (and read) the word for word transcript of the October 1996 meeting, plus I have read the bond docs the tax exemption was tied to. (have you?) I also had support docs from the October 1996 agreement pulled from storage, where the CM let them sit without pulling them for his own due diligence, so a claim I lack integrity for not calling someone who was not on Council at the time is a bit much given the research I did. BTW if anyone wants to see the docs I will gladly make them available. The City Manager didn’t bother reading them before pushing through his recommendation (which grossly misrepresented the “consideration” by Disney for the benefits they demanded in 1996 and renewed again this month) but perhaps we can get some of the taxpayers to read them now and understand what was lost in looking the other way on unenforced benefits.

    Demanding that government operate in bright daylight if they are truly proud of their actions is NOT running cover for Tait, I don’t even know where that comes from. Stick to the issues, or someone stumbling on this post might think you are trying to distract the discussion from the very real topic of fraud.

  14. So after the THOUSANDS of words posted in rebuttal to the central question: Who aside from Cynthia Ward and Brian Chacuca belong to this organization? It’s sounding like being a little bit like a Diamondbacks fan, NOBODY (sorry Greg, that was a sports reference, specifically baseball).

    I stand by my math that 2 out of 450K is a pretty SMALL percentage, greater than WICAN’S and Baby Eaters. I care not what Cynthia Ward says about credibility and here projectionist mentality of calling others cowards, Its pretty clear, there are TWO people working out of a broken down house in central Anaheim. The third and most vocal participant does not live in the city. Yet he feels compelled to “fight corruption”.

    I’ll give you folks this, all you bluster and Bull seem to keep you from working real jobs or helping legitimate charities.

    Lastly, Ms. Ward, you show your ignorance when you repeatedly call someone SIR!. It reads bad and is just infuriating to those who speak and read English as their primary language: “Well done, SIR!” or “Yes SIR, I agree” or the other thousand misuses you’ve penned.

    • Who is “WhoisCATER?” It’s starting to sound a lot like Anaheim Insider.

      The notion that it’s only three of us, in addition to the Mayor and sometimes one or another Council member, who have been changing the debate in Anaheim since September 2013 is quite flattering, but it’s not true.

      But that need not matter. If you want to pretend that only three people are involved in CATER, go ahead and do it. People can judge us by the points we raise, by the arguments we make, and by the things we do. I’m proud, for example, that Cynthia unearthed the 1996 agreement that the City Manager, City Attorney, everyone voting in the early morning of July 8 ought to have already read before the vote — or at least postponed the vote long enough to read, as there was no legitimate rush. That will come in handy. If you want to think that only three of us are accomplishing all of that — hey, that’s fine! It’s wrong — but so is much of the rest of what you think!

      I certainly understand why you would not want to fight against us on the substantive terrain of policy arguments. You’re ill-equipped, supported by concocted arguments and evidence that won’t bear scrutiny — and you know it. So keep on asking “Who is CATER?” and the answer will increasingly be “the group that is kicking your mendacious anonymous ass.”

      • One Who Knows Something

        Of course there are more than three people involved in CATER, notwithstanding the formal membership. No one really thinks otherwise. Although they may not formally be members, Tait’s and Vanderbilt’s council aides, Mishal Montgomery and Helen Myers, are members in all but name. Montgomery leaks like a sieve. Myers is Cynthia Ward’s best friend, and was treasurer of Tait’s anti-Measure D committee. All of you collectively are the coordinating cabal you accuse others of being.

    • Oh good, I was afraid another day might go by without an anonymous sock puppet calling me out on credibility.

      I will let you self-assess the irony of your sentence;

      “It reads bad and is just infuriating to those who speak and read English as their primary language:”

      While you are taking the remedial grammar course, run down the hall to the Business department and educate yourself on the difference between a not-for-profit corporate entity, a charitable organization, and a public agency. I’ll give you the Cliff’s Notes version to save time. While more than two people MAY form a corporation, only two are required as a legal minimum. More Board members may serve the organization, but the corporation is within their rights to disclose only the two officers as legally required. Your opinion does not dictate the law, nor does it drive CATER policy.

      Disclosure of more than two corporate officers does not make an organization “more incorporated.” CATER is not obligated to comply with your wish list.

      Corporations can be “for profit,” meaning they are formed to financially benefit those incorporating the organization, (like Amazon or Anaheim Arena Management) or “not-for-profit”, which is NOT the same as a charity, it merely means those incorporating the entity are not doing so for the purpose of direct financial profit to themselves. This is why the IRS sets standards for 501 (c) 3 or 4 or 6 etc. to provide various designations for various organizations.

      HINT: The Chamber is an example of 501 c 6 not-for-profit corporate entity. While not directly profiting their Board, they are not a charity, and while they receive public funding they are not a public agency, although their actions as “agent’ to a public agency can sometimes require compliance with transparency laws. It is ironic that you understand enough of that here to defend the Chamber’s refusal to disclose both the donors providing Chamber revenue and the recipients of expenditure funds, despite receiving public funds that CATER does not. The Chamber fails to even require their staff file ALL of the required pages of form 700, despite a requirement to disclose at the BROADEST category possible in their Contract with the City. Save the phony indignation of CATER using private dollars in a lawful manner for the day your friends spend tax dollars in full compliance with the law.

      Back to quick definitions; A public agency has far more authority than a corporation, as they have the authority to potentially deny us our right to property, freedom, and our lives, and may enforce their decisions at gunpoint where needed. In the minds of some over here, that authority is never to be challenged, even when it is clear that the public agency is in violation of the boundaries set up to prevent abuse of the authority they hold. May God help us the day all citizens become so complacent.

      Since the law does not agree with readers over here, and recognizes the damage that can be done by “public servants” acting in secret, public agencies are obligated (by law) to follow the minimum legal standard for open and ethical actions, and the law has provided pathways to enforce those requirements when public agencies fail to comply with basic minimum standards. CATER merely uses the pathways provided by law to enforce the minimum requirements we believe the City of Anaheim, acting as a public agency, may not be following. You seem to be more concerned with the actions of CATER, (frankly, none of your business) than the actions of the public agency that ARE the public’s business.

      CATER is a corporate entity that is not a charity, and not a public agency, and your belief that CATER is required to follow standards for those organizations is as misinformed as your belief that, “reads bad” works as a shaming device. CATER has been legally formed without your input or approval, as public approbation is not a requirement for filing with the IRS. Your opinion of CATER has as much impact on its legal status as your opinion of carrots has on their existence, or YOUR dislike of carrots might have on MY right to eat carrots.

      CATER owes you nothing outside the requirements of the law, which CATER is following religiously. The fact that CATER’s mission seems to seriously piss you off is merely a bonus in my otherwise routine day.

      As far as I can tell, you would amend the legal standards to include these additional “violations,” which live in your head, but not in actual reality;

      CATER only has two publicly disclosed officers, in blatant violation of YOUR OPINION of minimum requirements for incorporation!

      CATER has the nerve to enforce our rights as citizens in requiring public agencies to follow the law!

      CATER takes positions that sometimes agree with political figures and/or staff with no legal or financial ties to the corporation in any way! CATER also sometimes agrees with the views of John Oliver, it doesn’t make us stockholders in the Comedy channel he works for. See the Chamber’s disavowal of ownership of this blog despite Matt’s self-reported Chamber income for example.

      Oh yes, and CATER failed to get YOUR PERMISSION before taking action, and you don’t like anyone acting without your oversight and control!

      Did I miss anything? Sir?

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