VOC’s Selective Reporting on “Scandal” Coverage in Anaheim: Any Tait Conflict Overlooked, But Every Perceived Council Majority Slight Magnified

Anaheim Insider here.

Another day, another breathless blog post from the Voice of OC attacking a member of the Anaheim City Council majority for a perceived “scandal.” The M.O. has become all too familiar – tenuous, almost acrobatic leaps in logic and innuendo to create impressions of impropriety and conflict. Selected quotes from experts decrying the “appearance of conflict” then applied to the situation at hand. The most recent hit piece targets Jordan Brandman. The latest by Adam Elmahrek follows his style by “suggesting”, “implying” and otherwise dancing around charges of impropriety and casting doubt on the subject’s professional integrity. Of course, when you sort through all the hushed implications and rhetorical questions, you will find no actual evidence of wrongdoing to back up his claims, but hey, the headlines read well.

Yet for this series of conflict stories with no real…conflict…you’d never know by reading the VOC that one member of the Anaheim City Council has real, actual conflicts, and lots of them. We’re talking of course about the VOC’s best source…err…friend… err…whatever…Mayor Tom Tait. If the VOC actually covered Tait’s series of political conflicts and improprieties, they wouldn’t need oblique quotes and veiled implications, they could just cover facts. But as an OCEA-funded political blog, this would not suit their founding purpose, so don’t hold your breath. Fortunately, your Insider is here to remind and report, in detail, the real conflicts that exist in Anaheim…all with Mayor Tait.

1.​Conflicts involving the land he owns near Angels Stadium that he put in the name of his daughter only after he had crossed the line and engaged in negotiations prior to the end of California’s one-year restriction.

2.​The deep conflict in the fact that Tait and Associates maintains contracts at OCTA, yet the Mayor kicked his colleague off the OCTA board so he could take the (effective) Anaheim seat on the Board while still holding those contracts.

3.​Or the mammoth conflict – not to mention hypocrisy – involving Tait’s contracts with the City of Garden Grove and the developer behind the Great Wolf Lodge and Water Park that received free land and TOT rebates – essentially the same economic assistance Tait and VOC regularly make personal attacks against the Council majority for their support of the Garden Walk hotel agreements.

On that last point, the Orange County Register just reported (excluding Tait’s involvement) that one of the Garden Grove business owners effectively had his property taken out from under him to provide the free land to the Great Wolf developer. Tait and Associates, who has contracts with both the City of Garden Grove and the developer for this hotel project, is profiting off this deal. The free land provided by the city at the expense of another private business completely violates the spirit of the law as outlined by the Supreme Court’s Kelo decision (http://www.ocregister.com/articles/ice-674322-city-joe.html). The Great Wolf project has been wholly subsidized by Garden Grove at the expense of taxpayers, businesses and low income residents. Worse still, property owners were kicked off their land and then had to watch it be handed to Great Wolf…for free; furthermore, adding insult to injury, while the mayor is decrying Garden Walk, the Great Wolf project from which he is profiting will pull TOT, sales and property tax revenue from the City of Anaheim. This one issue alone is a financial and political conflict for Tom Tait worthy of a Summer Blockbuster in 3D.

If Murray, Brandman, Kring or former council member Eastman had done any of these things, they would be publicly drawn and quartered by Voice of OC. But somehow, because it’s Tom Tait, the silence is deafening.

At this week’s Council meeting, the City faces another contentious item. In this case, an important issue is being impacted by a close personal and professional relationship between a paid lobbyist and a member of the Council.

You see what I did there. You probably thought I was referring to some relationship between Curt Pringle and a member of the Council majority. But in fact, I’m referring to Mayor Tom Tait and his close friend, advisor, political consultant, and paid lobbyist, John Lewis.

The issue deals with fair housing services for Anaheim’s lowest income residents – after a months-long process the city’s staff report said the following: “The City, as a recipient of HUD funds, is obligated under various laws to affirmatively further efforts to combat discrimination in housing, directly or indirectly, on the basis of Race, Color, Religion, National origin, Age, Sex, Pregnancy, Citizenship, Familial status, Disability, Veteran status, or Genetic information…the recipients of these services are low and moderate income families who need guidance in understanding and/or resolving various housing issues including lease provisions, collection and return of a security deposit, eviction actions and/or housing discrimination.” These recipients are single mothers, immigrants, refugees, working poor who need assistance to access and maintain Section 8 housing.

City staff completed a seven-month procurement process with two applicants: the Fair Housing Council of Orange County and the Fair Housing Foundation, which in recent years has become the preferred provider for 10 cities in Orange County including Irvine and Huntington Beach. Staff sought approval to contract with the Fair Housing Foundation, given the significant level of improved services they are committed to providing Anaheim’s most vulnerable residents. The resident-led Community Development Advisory Committee (CDAC) – reviewed and approved staff’s recommendation to contract with the Fair Housing Foundation.

While Council is always expected to do their due diligence on every issue, these are the kinds of technical issues in which the staff recommendation carries great weight. There are few if no philosophical issues at stake…just staff and the city committee’s technical recommendation after months of research.

But the local Apartment Association of Orange County (which represents the smaller apartment owners in Anaheim, the one’s most likely to house Section 8 recipients) is fighting this recommendation because they like the Fair Housing Council more than the Fair Housing Foundation. Their members came out in force at the last council meeting complaining that the Fair Housing Foundation is more litigious and imploring the council members to override staff’s recommendation because they perceive one service provider to be “easier” than the other.

Here comes the glaring conflict that the Voice of OC refuses to report: Former State Senator, paid lobbyist, longtime Tait family friend and Tait’s paid political consultant, John Lewis, has been hired by the Apartment Association to lobby the mayor and members of the council to override the staff recommendation and in favor of the Fair Housing Council. Lewis attended the last council meeting when the item was first considered and clearly did his job well, at least as it stands with regard to prepping his reliable vote at the dais. When the item came up, Mayor Tait had Lewis’ talking points well-rehearsed. Tait argued with staff that the incumbent has done a fine job and if “it isn’t broke” why would the city make a change. Ignoring the potentially significant improvement of services for Anaheim residents who need Section 8 housing, Tait is clearly supporting the Apartment Association and his friend, John Lewis. Effectively, John Lewis is being paid to lobby his friend and client, Tom Tait, to overturn staff’s recommendation and leave residents with the status quo rather than work in their best interest to provide substantially better and new services that the Fair Housing Foundation could provide.

Is it fair to call out the Lewis-Tait friendship and professional relationship and how it manifests in one agenda item where Lewis is now lobbying Tait and the Council. Well, ask yourself this. If the situation instead were that Fair Housing Council and the Apartment Association had hired Curt Pringle & Associates to lobby Kring, Murray and Brandman, how would the VOC cover the story? You know the answer. The very idea would have them foaming at the mouth.

And yet once again, with a very real, very personal and very political conflict for Tom Tait, what do we hear from the Voice of OC?

Cue the crickets.

85 comments

  1. These are questions that deserve an answer. These conflicts seem legitimate. Nothing cited here can easily be explained away.

  2. The Voice Of OC has not gained credibility beyond it’s union supported membership. Adam specifically has done a poor job slandering others. He seldom cites sources, when he does, it’s his same three friends on the Santa Ana city council, Fired County employees or some obscure researcher.

    When Adam rises to the level of competent reporter (in other words getting his sources to GO ON RECORD) he might make something of himself, until then he is just the kid that Joe Dunn, Nick Bernardino and Noberto Santana to do the unions dirty work.

    I will say this: The OCEA is scared of Jordan, when they realized Bernardino’s “boy” Garden Grove mayor Bao Ngyuen would be a carpetbagger and (while winning by a WHOPPING 15 votes) has been mayor for less than 200 days they looked to the FIRED and DISGRACED one hit wonder Joe Dunn, who is about in touch with young voters as the Old Guy from Jurassic Park. They panicked and started bashing Brandman.

    The VOC is what is, a mouthpiece for the public employee’s union. PLAIN AND SIMPLE. Nick Bernardino did as much for the people of Orange County as Kim Jung Un does for Koreans. He STOLE from the treasury to enrich a few.

    LET’S SEE CATER TAKE THAT ON!

    • Anonymous commenter attempts to shame named reporter for not having his sources “GO ON RECORD”? Let’s just all savor that for a moment.

  3. Stand for Anaheim

    Well done, Anaheim Insider! FINALLY!!!! We all know Tait controls the OC Register and the Voice of OC and blocks these stories about HIS blatant, shady conflicts. ENOUGH!!! This must be covered. You are correct WAND Member, these conflicts do seem legitimate. What about Mishal Montgomery? Can someone please call her out? I would be interested in learning more about her.

  4. So what are you saying? That Jordan produced $25,000 worth of product for the County? or that he shouldn’t be held accountable for producing work product on a professional level on behalf of taxpayers?

    Do you people even LISTEN to yourselves? Seriously? Ten bucks says Pringle represents the other company and Todd-I mean-Anaheim insider, can’t stand anyone getting in the way. And nobody over here has a problem with using public staff time and city resources to GET their own way for the Pringle Club, (see Stop the Power Plant With A Fake Park for the prime example.)

    So we have heard so far…Tait is somehow lining his own pockets by NOT developing land close to an investment he no longer owns (at a financial loss I assume) when the property is not IN the Platinum Triangle zone and is not in any way impacted by whether or not the Stadium lot gets developed.

    Pringle’s lobbying deal with Disney has no connection at all with the Council majority’s inane approvals of the Streetcar deal? Nor did the public displeasure at both ARTIC and ARC offer motive for the Mayor’s removal of our OCTA rep who refused to use an ounce of common sense or due diligence review on questionable projects, EVEN WHEN CONFRONTED WITH PREVIOUSLY UNDISCLOSED PRIVATE PROPERTY TAKINGS, nope, it is all about Tait’s involvement in a Contract he has no authority to approve after-the-fact and will have to forego even trying to get renewed when the Contract is up. Seems legit.

    I notice nobody here made a peep when the City gave the new owners of the Gardenwalk shopping center back HALF of the sales tax on the shopping center….let’s see…how many years does Kring have left on the lease of that failed wine bar? Did she BK that debt or simply stiff the landlord? Was she involved in the gift of public funds cleverly disguised as a “settlement” since the “claim” actually WASN’T one? Gee, now THERE might be a real conflict to look at.

    The passionate support of fireworks that destroyed the “quiet enjoyment” of peoples’ homes for much of June and into July is predicated solely on the belief that we cannot possibly celebrate being free people without lit carcinogens and sparkly heavy metals, and has nothing to do with TNT kicking back to the Anaheim Hills group controlled by and kicking funds back to the Chamber, who in turn pay…OH MATT CUNNINGHAM! Nope, no relations here.

    And then there are the neighbors in Garden Grove. What is it Tait and Associates are doing for the Great Wolf Lodge or whatever they call it this week? I think he said curb cuts. I dunno, maybe in your world hotels offer the lucrative curb cut contracts only to elected leaders willing to face Federal prison time for the contract, but the last I checked the curb cut engineers get a flat fee, not a cut of the profits gained from subsidized deals in another city. What is it Tait does to benefit the Garden Grove hoteliers? Does he raise money for PACs? Donate directly from his family wealth? Donate to a bunch of non profits to come out in support of the “win-win” for Garden Grove? Nope, the claim is Tait is deliberately screwing up tourism in Anaheim so guests will go down the street to Garden Grove and enrich hoteliers in thanks for letting Tait’s people put in curb cuts. Nope, nothing being smoked over here. (Maybe you SHOULD? I understand it calms paranoia.)

    It’s called “projecting” because the world according to Anaheim Blog mirrors your own existence of a hyper controlling former Mayor calling the shots and moving people around his financial chess board, you assume all others work the same way as well. I love the Taits, I make no secret of it nor should I, and I am in awe at the book-smarts of the Mayor, whose IQ could kick mine to the curb before his morning coffee, but to call Tom Tait a Machiavellian mastermind who is manipulating the political world around him is about as ridiculous as it gets.

    But keep spinning….

    • Tait & Associates was authorized as follows (for Mapping and Surveying):

      AGREEMENT WITH TAIT & ASSOCIATES, INC. FOR PROFESSIONAL CIVIL ENGINEERING DESIGN SERVICES LONG HARBOR BOULEVARD, BETWEEN PALM STREET AND LAMPSON AVENUE
      (F: A-55.356)

      • Staff report dated June 14, 2011, was introduced.

        Tait & Associates was authorized as follows (for Mapping and Surveying):

        “AGREEMENT WITH TAIT & ASSOCIATES, INC. FOR PROFESSIONAL CIVIL ENGINEERING DESIGN SERVICES LONG HARBOR BOULEVARD, BETWEEN PALM STREET AND LAMPSON AVENUE
        (F: A-55.356)

        It was moved by Council Member Jones, seconded by Council Member Broadwater, and carried by unanimous vote that the Agreement by and between the City of Garden Grove and Tait & Associates, Inc., to provide civil engineering design services for Harbor Boulevard, between Palm Street and Lampson Avenue, in the amount not to exceed $100,000.00, be and hereby is approved; and the City Manager is authorized to execute the agreement on behalf of the City.”

        Seems like a lot for 3 – 4 aprons (curb cutting). Just sayin’.

        • Perhaps you have confused evidence of a contract with evidence of a crime.

          Seriously: does Anaheim have a penal section for “Doing Business with Garden Grove”?

          • Diamond's not a girl's best friend

            What crime did the city council commit by entering into a long term lucrative deal with Disney? Are you familiar with the concept of representative democracy?

            • Address that question (changing “the city” to “the Mayor”) to Colony Insider, who is trying to show wrongdoing by the Mayor by presenting a perfectly legal contract.

              And try to keep up next time. If you were using your real name, your claiming that my above comment asserted what you suggest it asserted would embarrass you. (Maybe enough for you not to do it.)

      • At least the GG contract was done in open public session, which puts it WAY ahead of the Disney deal. Real money paid for specific performance has zero connection to driving tourists out of Anaheim to benefit Garden Grove. We can agree to disagree but let’s have at least an attempt at reason.

        Now to compare that to the sweetheart deal Disney just scored is laughable. Where do we even begin?

        NO CONNECTION to the 1996 agreement which contained significant “consideration” from Disney that was FAR ABOVE investment in the 2nd gate, In fact the DCA expansion was NOT the consideration offered for the Contract, despite the LIE told by newly minted/rewarded City Manager. If, as Murray insisted in her thin skinned defense last night against anyone refusing to kiss the ring. the agreement was merely a continuation of a previous decades long policy, as she pulled Tait under the dark cold waves with her, then why did it become a new agreement in its own right instead of the Amended and Restated Agreement it should have been? Ooops, if we did that we would have to let people SEE the 96 agreement, and realize we are getting hosed out of shared revenues for shared parking benefits in what was sold to the public as a PUBLIC PARKING FACILITY. So instead they stashed the 96 agreement on a separate page of the website, which like Jack Sparrow’s Island can only be found by those who know where to look, and left it out of the agenda packet, and/or failed to include it in the new deal. But go ahead, claim it is merely an “extension.”

        Hey, maybe someone HERE can explain ON WHOSE AUTHORITY DID PAUL EMERY OPEN NEGOTIATIONS WITH DISNEY? That needed a public meeting for Council to authorize negotiation of what was a REAL PROPERTY AGREEMENT in 1996, still enforceable through 2037 or the payment of bonds. WHO GAVE HIM PERMISSION and WHY DID IT NOT GET DONE IN PUBLIC?

        Do you know why despite the millions generated by Disney the city still cant fix roads unless they borrow more than needed on bond issuance? because the disney payments that suck ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of tax revenues off the Disney property over the 95 baseline, leave us clawing at each other for the crumbs left in the bottom of the General Fund jar. THAT should have been reconsidered, but it wasn’t until the FOLLOWING meeting that the Finance Director gave the FIRST ACCOUNTING EVER of the bond balances, and only because she was ordered to by Tait. If we had that info before the agreement (don’t tell me the mad scramble for July 7 was not in advance of the bond workshop…) and if we knew the payments we make now EXCEED what is needed for the bonds consistently, by TEN MILLION A YEAR with even higher numbers coming, and since our ONLY result of paying the bonds early is to sign over the Mickey and Friends structure that much faster (might as well, I can’t find the shared parking revenues either) the fact that we let US Bank National Alliance suck up ten million of our dollars EVERY YEAR diverted from the general fund, to be enjoyed by them INTEREST FREE, frankly pisses me off. How about you? Can you think of some great things to do in Anaheim with TEN MILLION extra dollars a year, NOT dependent upon borrowing with bonds the voters don’t get to approve but our grandkids will pay back. Not dependent on a gate tax to Disney (that I don’t want to see, as I watch my city turn to junk) we lost the chance to get Disney to rework that deal, because they would like us to forfeit the ten million so they get the parking garage sooner. GREAT FRIENDS you guys have there at House O Mouse. Real humanitarian types.

        But please, spin the message that Tait and a $100k contract approved in PUBLIC is the problem.

  5. Three people — on one or two people using three names — hurling charges above; not a single one of them would put their own personal reputations on the line by using their own name.

    Probably smart of them, given how much of the above is bull scat. But is it really worth refuting when no one’s reputation is on the line if they’ve lied? I am not inclined to let these trolls run people ragged batting away their hallucinations.

    • Greg,

      Adam’s fixation on Joe Dunn’s political enemies is as plain as day. You have trouble here because you are seemingly ASLEEP all day and blogging ALL night. Which is disturbing.

      Please tell us that you condone Adam’s stalking of teenage children of elected officials and his repeated use of ‘UNNAMED SOURCES”. Please explain to us how his employer the OCEA, has not Pillaged the taxpayers of OC. After all the “CORRUPTION” work you do, why is it you have NEVER questioned why simpletons like David Benavides, Beth Krom or Joe Shaw who can’t balance their own checkbook, yet have pledged MILLIONS to fund OCEA scrubs for decades to come.

      VOC is a method for the union to support more corrupt politicians.

      • Do I correctly remember that in your early here you were pretending to be non-ideological? Pretty funny.

        Check back with me when you face the possibility of damaging your own personal reputation when you lie.

        • Actually, I see the Voice Of OC for EXACTLY what is and was designed to be:

          A propaganda vehicle for special interests.

          It was designed, crafted and paid for by a public employee leader and a soon to be unemployed municipal reporter, who was decidingly liberal in his views.

          Remember in the early days of that blog, when the commenters, numbering in the HUNDREDS were public employee union members in support of OCEA contract positions. It has devolved into a circus like rag and now is just….well it’s just there, doing it’s job for Jenifer Delson.

  6. Cynthia doesn’t make one cogent argument in her raving and unsubstantiated claims against council members but totally glosses over Tait’s conflicts above. Par for the course from his zealots.

    It’s a joke to claim he doesn’t still own the land by the stadium – he gave it to an immediate family member who can easily transfer it back when he’s out of office and either way it all stays in the family. his dealings in Garden Grove are at the very least the height of hypocrisy given his stance against GardenWalk. Tait voted for the sales tax split for Garden Walk way back when so your facts are wrong Ms. Ward and now it seems that he’s carrying water for his friend and political consultant on fair housing issues – a guy who may be personally profiting if his client is successful.

    The fact remains that Mayor Tait gets a pass for things the rest of the council would be vilified for.

    • Again, wild charges by someone whose reputation will not suffer if — or I should say “when” — she is proven wrong.

      (Oops, did I say “she”?)

      • I’d like to know how Tait’s young daughter pays the property taxes on that property. Does Daddy write her a check to cover?

  7. This article identifies 4 big areas Tait needs to clarify.

    Does CATER have an answer as to why The Voice of OC or Register doesn’t cover a single one?

    Is it rational or fair for them to avoid all 4 of these topics?

    • Ok, “Jack,” have “your Insider” explain the legal rule that he thinks operates in each case. Then prepare to have it applied even-handedly, until you start to cry.

      I’ll give you a rolling start. On the first one, I suppose that the proposed legal rule is (A) that transferring property to a relative does not eliminate what would otherwise (let’s presume) be a conflict of interest; (B) that, based on a comment from someone in your reputation-resistant camp, selling to someone who might sell it back to you, without more, still represents a legal conflict of interest; and (C) that Tait’s actions included negotiating on the agreement before one year had expired, which I don’t recall anyone (at least anyone risking their reputation by writing under their own real name) asserting as true.

      Now, the first question we have is: is any of this true? Are the first two factual statements of the law? (I don’t think so.) Is the final assertion of fact accurate? (It doesn’t match my understanding.) so much for the obvious allegations.

      But we could — and I’d say should — go further. On the assertions of fact, does any evidence exist that these arrangements were made to thwart the purpose of the law? (Not that I’m aware of.)

      Ok, one down. Now would you like me to undergo the same exercise regarding Jordan Brandman’s alleged misuse of public resources for his campaign, or regarding any quid pro quo between Murray, Eastman, Brandman, and more to come regarding quid pro quo arrangements with Disney regarding campaign contributions/expenditures for favors? Because I’d be glad to do so!

      • I believe this is called the “Saint Tait” defense. If Tait did it then there is nothing to report here and no one should question him.

        However if anyone else did anything, VOC is justified in launching a multi part investigation!

        • Well, most of what you believe is a crock, so that you believe that this depends on Tait being a saint is no surprise. Go back and read what I wrote. Address it for what it is. Wait, on second thought —

          I should not ask you to respond to what I actually wrote, as I wouldn’t want to be responsible for the consequences to you, It would apparently cause you such great harm that you can’t even approach doing so.

          No question as to why you don’t put YOUR real-life reputation on the line!

          • My reply is as valid as yours.

            I asked why VOC or Register don’t cover issues where is looks like Tait might have a conflict. Your basic response is that you think he has done nothing wrong.

            So the only grounds for a VOC investigative report is if Greg Diamond thinks there is something wrong?

            If Brandman had done any one of those things, would you come to his defense just the same? Would VOC ignore it?

            Why then is the VOC giving Tait special treatment?

            • No, it’s not. You cannot possibly be this dense.

              You raised some issues regarding four matters, of which I responded to the first.

              Two insinuations based of legal impropriety and one factual allegations and one factual allegation were made. I determined the legal rules that seemed to underlie the insinuations based on law and asked if they were valid.

              They aren’t — the law simply is not what it would have to be for those allegations to have any force.

              I also went into whether there was any evidence of anything underhanded even if technically legal. So far as I can tell, none is even alleged.

              You also had a fact-based allegation. I refuted it.

              All of that answers the question of why the VOC and I are not jumping on them: there is no “there” there. There’s no cogent claim.

              Contrast that with what Brandman is accused of doing, based on the School Board’s lawyers OWN ANALYSIS! There is definitely a “there” there. The accusations, if true, would clearly be illegal — and there’s good reason to believe that they were true. THAT is what’s different.

              But I can come up with another example where Brandman does skate through on the first criterion of whether something he is alleged to have done does not meet the “facial” basis for wrongdoing.

              At one of the Council meetings of his first year in office, if I recall correctly (could have been the second year), Brandman publicly asked Mike Houston whether his voting on an item benefiting a campaign contributor was a facial violation of the Political Reform Act. Houston rightly said that it wasn’t; a campaign contribution, absent more, is not construed as a bribe. I granted that at the time.

              If one wants to go after Brandman (or Murray, etc.) for treating his campaign contributions as bribes, one would have to get that “something more.” I would not be surprised to be able to find it, because his tendency to continue to promote contributors interests with snap decisions on issues designed to block an informed public from the process is, at a minimum, very unusual.

              With Tait, there seems to be no reason to expect it at all. His actions regarding Angels Stadium, for example, would not even serve his children’s parochial financial interests even if he cared about that. Very different.

              What you are doing is throwing offal at the wall to see if it sticks — or if you can convince anyone that it did stick. What I’m doing is ACTUALLY ANALYZING the situation — allegations and evidence — the way that a court would do so. There’s no comparison.

              Your reply is no more “as valid” as mine than is a report cribbed from Wikipedia versus one from a qualified professional. Your nihilism may get you plaudits within the Pringle group, but it won’t satisfy anyone who doesn’t directly benefit from believing it.

              • And you cannot possibly believe anyone is buying your attempt to pivot the conversation.

                The Issue: If anyone other than Tait had any of those 4 issues, would:

                a) VOC similarly avoid coverage

                b) launch a 5 day investigative report claiming the end of democracy at hand?

                Serious question. Do you really believe VOC wouldn’t touch the story if it involved anyone other than Tait?

                • Hmmm. Maybe you ARE “that dense.”

                  I took on only the first issue. I figured that we’d see if we could get through it before I wasted time and effort addressing the others. Unless you are satisfied that my answer above satisfactorily handles Issue 1, so that it can be dismissed, then I’m still waiting for you to offer a substantive reply.

  8. Poor council majority, vilified at every turn by the media while Tait skates by. Cry me a river.

    • Tait inexplicably skates by. I would like to know why that is. What is VOC getting out of this deal?

      • Tait skates by while,the others are scrutinized. Hmm…could it be because Tait is not giving away public benefits as fast as he can get the deals on the agenda? In fact, name ONE TIME Tait gave away public funds, or property, or benefits, to his “cronies.” You claim tait is connected to CATER, he is not, but show ONE TIME tait used his official position to benefit CATER. Your bizarre obsession with imaginary conflicts fails to connect imaginary conflicts to actions harming the taxpayers, you can’t even connect Tait to actions the public has objected to. What charges would you have tait brought up on? He fails to jump into the action of gifting public funds to one segment of anaheim’s population. Ooooh…throw the book at him. Gardenwalk,,hotel, 15000 citizens signed a petition demanding to vote before hotel taxes are rebated back to,developers.that is not a small thing. Yet the Council ignored constituents and created a policy citywide. How was Tait out of line or out of step with the public in joining that movement? The stadium nonsense, you claim he owns property but fail to show how NOT developing the stadium parking lot benefits the property value. This I want to hear. Also if the city is so proud of the stadium deal why fight so hard against disclosing info on how the deal was put together that they would rather spend hundreds of thousands on lawyers when they only had to give me documents?! Oh and again, public opinion was not exactly in favor of that gift to Moreno, even the die hard sports websites panned the deal and mocked the council for buying the phony threat of leaving.bTW what is Arte using to extort goodies now that Tustin says they don’t want him and the new NFL team has failed to secure a deal, signaling the end of an era of trough feeding for team owners. And if you think the Disney deal is a winner in the public, you haven’t read the Chamber Facebook page lately. So far Tait is on the side of the people he represents, and vice versa. The 6 people here do not constitute a majority opinion in Anaheim, if you need a reminder please reive the hysteria over district elections vs the actual result. (Yes I have to accept that voters approved fireworks) and despite the accusations of “conflict” over here you have not once shown how Tait scores goods for friends or campaign supporters or his clients. So why would anyone listen to the spin machine over here?

        I doubt your assignment is even to persuade anymore, if it is your Clients are getting hosed. Instead I think your assignment must be to spin out of control throwing rocks and mud in any direction in order to keep people,so busy deflecting the chaos that we can’t move forward with anything positive for Anaheim. Gee, I guess your clients get hosed there too.

        • Please excuse the typing, working from mobile device

        • Long time Anaheim Resident

          Tait voted for all of the “special interests” you mention above and received thousands in campaign donations from those interests following his votes. He also voted to spike public safety pensions and then took their PAC support when he ran for Mayor. You are a hypocrite for giving him a pass.

          • And the two people who comment in favor of CATER do represent all the interests of the people of Anaheim?

            • We believe that we act in the interests of current AND FUTURE residents of Anaheim, the latter of whom are hard to poll about the theft of their future wealth.

  9. It seems like a lot on hostility here just because some association group hired a lobbyist. Tait had nothing to do with that. If Tait and Lewis are so tight then obviously Lewis was hired to lobby the OTHER council members. Take it up with them, why don’t you?

    Personally, I’d like to see all lobbyists flushed out of City Hall, but that wouldn’t be good for you would it Insider?

  10. One Who Knows Something

    Let’s keep in mind this is the same Greg Diamond who believes his various conspiracy theories are true not because he can prove them, but because nobody has DIS-proven them. It’s hilarious to see him challenging others to prove their allegations when he doesn’t hold himself ti the same standard. Just one more whack-a-doodle with a pathological need for attention.

    • No, it’s based on circumstantial evidence. And I have the guts to put my name next to the claims I make. You don’t. If you’re lying or experience a cranial meltdown, you just walk away from it and no one knows who you are. That’s circumstantial evidence that you want to be able to get away with things that you would not say under your real name. You are rightly ignored by those who don’t benefit from agreeing.

      • One Who Knows Something

        Since your attention is riveted to this blog, I’ll again ask you the questions you haven’t answered?

        Has CATER filed its Form 990s with the IRS?

        If so, when? For which years?

        When will CATER post these on its website in the spirit of transparency?

        Has the IRS even approved CATER’s application for c4 status?

        • Good luck getting a simple “yes” or “no” on that one out of Garrulous Greg Diamond!

        • I’ll answer what I have to answer when I have to answer from someone whose identity I know. I’m not going to be examined by someone who, for all I know, may be a counter-party to a CATER lawsuit. Just because you all have convinced yourselves that your flavor of madness is just fine doesn’t mean that I am bound to respect your “rules.”

          • OWKS: that’s Greg Diamond’s long-winded way of answering your questions, “No.” If CATER had filed its Form 990s, Greg would delight in snuffing out your question. That’s he’s being cagey and evasive means CATER hasn’t filed the paperwork and probably isn’t even an approved 501c4.

          • One Who Knows Something

            Greg, you regularly sue Anaheim because of you think this or that council action didn’t dot an “i” or cross a “t.” Now you refuse to comply with the language and spirit of the law out of spite.

            From the IRS website:

            “What does the disclosure law require a tax-exempt organization to do?

            An exempt organization must provide a copy of covered tax documents to an individual who makes a written or in person request at the organization’s principal office. If the organization regularly maintains any regional or district offices having three or more employees, it must also respond to request submitted to any such office. Covered tax documents include, in general, the organization’s application for tax-exempt status and its annual returns for a period of three years beginning on the date the return is required to be filed. If the request is made in person, it must generally be honored on the day of the request; if it is written, then the organization generally has 30 days to respond. (A request that is faxed, e-mailed or sent by private courier is considered a written request.)”

            http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Public-Disclosure-and-Availability-of-Exempt-Organizations-Returns-and-Applications:-Disclosures-Required

            Greg, you can click and go to Page 75 for more detailed rules on CATER’s public inspection obligations: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i990.pdf

            Furthermore, there is no requirement that the requestor must divulge her/his identity. Sorry, but you aren’t allowed to flout the law just because you don’t like someone.

            • No, your characterization is absurd. I sue the City for gross malfeasance and misfeasance.

              You haven’t satisfied the stated requirements. If you think that you have, then you’re welcome to your legal recourse. (But then we may know who you are. And then we might do — well, nothing, most likely. After all, our identities aren’t hidden.)

            • By the way — I thought that I had posted a reply to this already. Matt, did you fail to approve my reply? Under the circumstances above, where we’re facing a challenge to our ethics, not posting our reply that would be odd.

          • One Who Knows Something

            It’s hard to miss the contrast between Greg Diamond’s obsessive need to respond to commenters re Voice of OC coverage of Tait, and how he ignores questions about CATER’s compliance with IRS reporting rules for 501c(4) organizations.

            • Yeah, I ignore questions from people whose identities I don’t know and who may be associated with counterparties in court. You, by contrast, won’t put a thing under your own name because you don’t want to be judged by it.

  11. By the way, since we are playing the non-profit sleuthing game… Let’s take a GOOD HARD LOOK at MUZEO. Who is on their Board? When do they meet? How is their Board elected? THEY COLLECT MILLIONS in public funds and they fail to answer the questions you demand of PRIVATELY FUNDED CATER. So guess where I am sniffing around next? Your buddies at Muzeo can drop you the thank you note for the attention they are about to get. Have a nice day.

    • Thanks for showing your true colors, Cynthia: those of a malicious bully. You’re mad, so now you pick some random target like MUZEO? Who are you going to “sniff around” next, the Boys and Girls Club? You’re a joke and an embarrassment.

      • “Random target”?

        How much money does Muzeo get from the City?

        What prior arrangement had existed for Muzeo funding?

        Random? Really?

        • Uh…yeah! The Red Queen of Anaheim just said she’s going after MUZEO because people have the gall to ask for CATER’s Form 990s. Assuming you’ve filed them, Greg. You refuse to answer the question (and don’t hide behind your lame excuses).

          • The directions for putting in a request have been posted. Do you have some moral objection to following them?

          • As for Muzeo, she has complained about Muzeo’s cronyism and lack of transparency (given the hefty haul of tax dollars that they pull in) before. She wouldn’t be going after them because some of your commenters are being snotty, but because the City’s donations to them, given the agreement when those donations started, bears scrutiny and criticism.

            You know, conservatives in Irvine have gone after subsidy of their local theater. Why are Anaheim conservatives so different? Maybe it has something to do with who’s on the Board….

      • Ok so you ask questions of a privately funded non profit that is in compliance with the law, and you are merely seeking transparency. I ask who is on the board and when do they meet and elect their board, for a non profit that is PUBLICLY funded and I’m a malicious bully. Yeah, brought to you by the folks who get huffy when citizens connect insane taxpayer giveaways with the campaign donations of those behind them. The logic truck is offloading passengers at an alarming rate. Oh wait, that was the turnip truck. They look so alike…

        • The comment above is clear as day.

          Any lawyers out there? Isn’t there grounds for harassment or waste of public resources or something? She basically just admitted that is the motivation. There has to be something there or she and Greg wouldn’t be trying to back peddle like this.

  12. What's the big deal

    Doesn’t seem that much sleuthing is needed for Muzeo. Guidestar has a bunch of information on this group. I guess sleuthing is only relevant is the entity has something to hide after repeated requests.

  13. Diamond's not a girl's best friend

    Yes you have. Liar

    • Anyone can read the instructions and see that they have not been followed. Of course, none of the cowards here would bet their own reputations on the issue. It’s getting pretty funny.

      • One Who Knows Something

        Greg, those instructions have been quoted to you here on this comment thread. I have also asked a simple yes-or-no question that you refuse to answer and then lash out with petty insults.

        I’ll give you another chance to show the transparency and honesty that you loudly demand of others: has CATER filed Form 990s with the IRS? Has the IRS approved CATER’s application for 501(c)(4) status?

        Also, I will be sending you a written request to provide CATER’s Form 990s (assuming you or Cynthia have actually field them) via e-mail, per IRS regulations. It would include my identity; IRS regulations do not require that.

        • If you read the instructions, you’ll see that you don’t even have to do that, but that’s fine. I have no reason to think that you’ll use your real identity, but that’s how life goes.

          This “asking you to follow the rules” thing really seems to have agitated you! This isn’t City government, you cloaked creature; we actually DO have procedures to follow!

          • One Who Knows Something

            I’m not “agitated,” Greg. But you’re certainly being evasive and disingenuous, counselor, not to mention indifferent to the rules, let alone willing to follow them.

            • Nope, I’m just going to make you through proper procedures if you want to get information. If I’m doing so mainly because you’re an anonymous putz who (unlike the City) I’m not required to assist in finding relevant information, that would be within my rights.

              Why don’t you spell out how you think that you have followed the rules required for you to get this information? Then I’ll explain how and where you haven’t. It’s really pretty straightforward — I’d think it obvious, in fact, for “One Who Knows Something.”

      • I filed a request for the forms with the IRS. I also asked for the dates when CATER submitted them. Oh, and I’m a real person with a real name.

  14. The article on VOC today literally is a report about a vacation. Greg I DARE YOU to defend this reporting in light of the Tait issues. Absurdity at its highest levels.

    • Why does it being a “report about a vacation” render it immaterial? If a Council member went on a sex tourism trip to the Dominican Republic, as Rush Limbaugh famously did, would you dismiss that as being “a report about a vacation”? (Well, maybe you would do that too.) What matters is what the fact of and the events during that vacation tell you.

      Obviously, the vacation isn’t the point: the breach of the fiduciary relationship with the City in favor of an entity that contributes heavily to getting her elected is the point.

      And it’s certainly it’s not the only such evidence. Do you recall her “Masters of the Universe” email? (For all I know, you were AT that gathering.)

      • So you think that VOC article has more substance and more credibility as a story than any of the 4 points raised above?

        The obvious answer is no, but then you would have to explain why VOC is giving Tait special treatment and that gets messy.

        Agreed then, stick to your story that Saint Tait is beyond questioning. It is CATER policy after all.

        • I think that the VOC story could use more development — but for all you and I know, it may be forthcoming. In general, I think that quoting Shirley Grindle about ethics is newsworthy.

          If you’d like to compile a set of Tait’s vote over the past year or so, I’ll tell you which of them I disagree with. Of course, I’d be speaking for myself, not for CATER.

          I’ve only addressed the first of the four points to test the waters as to whether it was worth doing. It wasn’t; you can’t concede an inch, even when you’re so obviously wrong that you’re left without an argument beyond frothing invective. But I WILL note a nice nugget from Adam’s piece today, which is that Tait voted AGAINST Lewis’s client’s interest when it came before the Council, meaning that if he is doing favors for friends he is really, really bad at it.

          In contrast, name me a single time when Murray has voted against Disney’s interests. Hell, name me a single proposal that Disney would plausibly make when she WOULD CONSIDER voting against them. She’s an agent for Disney, not for Anaheim. If you don’t think that there’s a difference between the two — well, then I guess you’re earning your kibble.

          In fact, Jack, let’s take that further: name an instance in which Murray, during the time that she’s been on Council, has voted against the significant interests of ANY Curt Pringle client — ever, even one — the way that Tait just voted against Lewis’s client’s interests.

          (Sorry, I realize that taking time to scour the record might ruin your weekend, Jack.)

      • One Who Knows Something

        Sex trip to the DR? You are a piece of work, Mr. Diamond. How sleazy.

        CATER Prez Cynthia Ward, serial litigant against the city, hangs out with Mishal Montgomery, Tait’s consigliere, on the 7th Floor to watch council meetings. The close association between CATER and Tait is certainly material. Will Adam Elmahrek ever write about that?

        Tom Tait goes on about how tough it is being mayor but how much he loves it, but refuses to do a basic part of his job by refusing to sign the council resolution on the Disney agreement. How petty. Surely Adam Elmahrek is aware of this. Why no coverage.

        Tait has a public meltdown this week at the council meeting when he came back late from a recess he had called and saw Mayor Pro Tem Kring had re-convened the meeting and a motion and second had been made on re-zoning the Anaheim Way property. is council colleagues did know where he was. Neither did staff. But they waited for him to come back before voting. Tait could have been classy and collected but decided to have a public conniption instead. If that had been Kris Murray, Adam E. would be writing an article that she was being “criticized” for losing her temper.

        • Uh, I wasn’t referring to anyone in Anaheim City Government or the political and financial sponsors of the Council majority when I referred to Limbaugh’s “sex trip to the DR,” but just the idea that something being a vacation doesn’t insulate it from criticism. If I unwittingly trod on some one’s sensitive toes there, I do apologize. (But, you know, I’m not an “insider”; how am I to know who does what sort of thing on vacation?)

          I have no information about Cynthia watching Council meetings with Montgomery. Usually, when she’s in the building, she’s watching them with me, Brian Chuchua, and others. In fact, I still don’t know anything about that, because I can’t even consider the source here.

          CATER’s officers never — and I mean never — talk to Tait about our litigation against the City. We do learn important material from watching him in public, as I’m sure he does by listening to what we present — again, in public. Do you really think that Murray and Brandman can say the same about their contacts with Pringle and with Disney figures like Nocella? (Not under your own name, that’s for sure!)

          As an example: I hadn’t known that Tait refused to sign the Disney agreement — IF I can trust your word, which I realize I can’t, but let’s pretend — nor do I know what his basis would be for doing so. Do you? If so, can you report it here dispassionately?

          I was THERE at the meeting when Linda Andal asked for a recess to change the tape. I SAW Natalie Meeks and another woman ask Tait if he could come out with them and check on the installation of new lighting right outside the doors that lead to the entrance of the Council Chamber. As I recall, Meeks said something about their wanting to get things over with — it was supposed to have happened hours earlier — so that Staff could go home. (Something that is not only polite — but if anyone gets overtime, it saves the City money.)

          Starting the meeting in his absence before anyone had even taking a good look around before what was obviously a very contentious vote was bush league. It was needlessly rude. Tait was entirely justified in getting upset at his treatment; his reaction wasn’t planned, it was a spontaneous response to a rude surprise. If it had happened to Murray, she would have been justified in getting upset too. (And God forbid what sort of outburst we would have seen on the tape if it had happened to Brandman!)

      • I post this at the risk of being deleted, censored or banned. That’s OK

        Given the dozens of posts about SEXTATIONS and DPOC officials/supporters and members, I am surprised that Greg would bring this up. Then again, I am not. This narcissist will do anything to keep the battle going and the attention on him.

        Does anyone get the feeling it’s not about winning or losing, right or wrong with Greg. It’s about Greg. If anyone out there is a gambler, perhaps they could create an Over/Under on how long before Cynthia Ward discovers he’s a scam artist, useless to her organization.

        Again I am amazed that Greg would bring this up. Is he baiting somebody? At who’s expense is Greg willing to make his point? UNBELIEVABLE. REALLY GREG, THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC?

        Speaking of the Voice Of OC, I see they have turned on one of their own. SA councilman David Benavides………That one’s been a long time coming.

        • Oh, I think that you post this at absolutely no risk of being deleted, censored, or especially banned — and if you were banned you could just change your name, as I presume that you have at least once already.

          Maybe you’ve really never heard of Rush Limbaugh’s sex tourism trip to the Dominican Republic, which prompted me to use that country as my example of how a “vacation” can be an embarrassing this. No shame in that; maybe you were too young or inattentive. Anyway, here’s a link from the document-sleuthing site: The Smoking Gun. (REALLY, THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC!)

          http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/crime/rush-limbaughs-dominican-stag-party

          There, you can stop hyperventilating now.

          I have no information about anyone in the DPOC — friend, foe, or neither — having engaged in sex tourism to the Dominican Republic. Nor do I have information about anyone in the OCGOP doing so. Nor, I’m betting, do you — or your post would be a lot more coherent and less like your repeatedly poking a bayonet into a haystack trying to find a hiding prisoner. (Note: before you quiver, nor do I know anyone in the DPOC or OCGOP to have done that.)

          I have never encountered the term “sextations” before your post either. It doesn’t seem to get a whole lot of use — and I’m not sure what it means. Don’t feel obliged to explain.

          A friend of mine contacted me today laughing about how I had apparently reduced the anonymous commenters on this blog to gibbering idiots. I brushed off the compliment. Looking at your post, maybe I did so too hastily. You seem awfully desperate.

          In closing, I ask yet again: Who is “Who is CATER?” And do they hate themselves yet?

          • “A friend of mine contacted me today laughing about how I had apparently reduced the anonymous commenters on this blog to gibbering idiots.”

            I don’t know if you are super-conceited or really pathetic, or both. “Boy, Greg! You’re really tearing it up in the comments!” You’re actually bragging about someone giving you attaboys for spending hours and hours commenting on blogs? Get a life, sir. Truly.

      • What if Tom Tait was the council member who went to the DR? You’d defend it

        • Matt, why didn’t my reply to this comment appear? (I can’t monitor it in real time due to my being on moderation.)

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