“Tait Slate” Funder Fined For Money Laundering By FPPC

Leos and Tait with No on 32 feature

Anaheim Insider here.

Last week, the Orange County Register reported that the California Fair Political Practices Commission is fining trash hauler George Briggeman Jr. $15,000 for money laundering in connection with his 2012 contributions to the Taxpayers for Safer Neighborhoods political action committee. This PAC paid for mail supporting then-council candidates Lucille Kring and John Leos and attacking Jordan Brandman. As we know, Brandman was the top vote-getter, Kring was elected to the council for the third time, and public employee union activist Leos lost his second consecutive council race.

Briggeman ran afoul of the law by giving $13,200 to this PAC as “Green & Clean LLC” of Cheyenne, Wyoming, instead of under his own name. If he’d done the latter, he’d be in the clear. According to the FPPC:

Briggeman created and fully funded Green and Clean LLC, which is located in Cheyenne, Wyoming, for the purpose of making political contributions in California to conceal himself as the true source of the contributions.

Briggeman violated the Act’s provisions against making contributions in a name other than one’s legal name and failing to identify himself as the true source of funds contributed, in violation of the Political Reform Act1 (“the Act”).

But the Register failed to note the larger context: Mayor Tom Tait’s first attempt to secure a council majority through a candidate slate. Tait pulled his endorsement of Steve Lodge and reneged on a long-promised endorsement for Jordan Brandman. Instead, he endorsed Kring and Leos, who became the “Tait Slate.”  Taxpayers for Safer Neighborhoods was the primary vehicle for promoting the Tait Slate to the voters. The anti-Brandman mailer sent by Taxpayers was the most vicious hit on him of the entire campaign.

The other funders of the Tait Slate’s mail were The Tait Family Trust and Carolyn Young, mother  of Brandman-hater Jason Young. The mail consultant was Chris Jones, who has also been Tait’s campaign mail consultant for many years.

The FPPC notes that Briggeman created Green and Clean LLC for the purpose of giving to political campaigns. But why in Cheyenne, Wyoming, of all places? Briggeman’s various businesses are all incorporated in California. True, there are tax advantages, but according to the FPPC, Green and Clean LLC was a shell that existed to funnel campaign dollars, not function as an actual business.

Tait does have strong ties to Cheyenne. His wife’s family have lived in Cheyenne for several generations, and have been leading citizens for decades. Last year, Mayor Tait’s brother-in-law was elected Wyoming’s Secretary of State. There are fewer than 600,000 people in the entire state, and only 62,000 in Cheyenne. It isn’t evidence of a direct connection to Briggeman’s funding of the 2012 Tait Slate, but it is quite a coincidence. CATER lawsuits and Cynthia Ward/Greg Diamond conspiracy theories have been based on less.

43 comments

  1. Kindness in Anaheim

    Does anyone know what Tom Tait’s connection is to this trash hauler. I saw the article and thought it was odd that they supported Lucille Kring when they don’t work in Anaheim. Clearly this company was courted by the Taits. More kindness from that family and their family trust.

    So why was Lucille Kring singled out when their money also went to John Leos and the Tait committee. Not every balanced reporting by the Register.

  2. One familar refrain of the Taitbots.Is that Mayor Tait runs a sucessful business. Most recently sounded by sole employed member of that sad colition of housewives, kitchen table lawyers, and fired public employees oh toss in a musican for good measure, anyway the only one who appears to be employed, Ryan Catnor, defended Tait as having had “built a sucessful business”

    The reality is, and the fact remains that Tom inherited his father’s business. Those who know Taits past get clearly, he was a rich kid who along with his brother took the free ride Greg Diamond so despises. Kinda ironic really.

    Anaheims future is NOT going to change based on a “buddy bench”. Rather strong leaders.

  3. And no word from Cater defending their fearless leader! A shell corporation is set up in his wife’s hometown to conduct money laundering for Tait’s slate. I for one hope the FBI investigates.

  4. How does the OC Register not ask the obvious follow-up questions? Doesn’t the reporter know how to read a campaign report? How does the Voice of OC not look into this? Julie Tait’s family are long-time big wheels in Cheyenne, Wyoming, which by an amazing coincidence is where Briggeman sets up a shell corp to funnel money into a Tait-directed IE. Does anyone believe Tom Tait did NOT have a hand in Briggeman’s involvement?

    If we were talking about any member of the council majority, Adam Elmahrek would have written 2 or 3 articles by now.

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

    C’mon Adam. Do. Your. Job.

  6. George Briggeman created and fully funded the green and clean LLC which spread $13,200 into three cities. The article states that money was spent to help six candidates and oppose three others. In Anaheim money was spent to help Kring and Leos and to oppose Brandeman.

    The article does not say how much money was spent in each city, but if we divided it up equally under $4500 was spent in Anaheim.

    Now connecting Tom Tait to this boat load of money is rather difficult because he did not run for office in 2012 but he did endorse Lucille Kring (who is completely innocent of all charges) and he did endorse John Leos (who is completely guilty of all charges)…Tait also failed to endorse Jordan (who is innocent of all charges). A little bit tough to make the connection to Tait.

    But wait… We have the smoking gun. The LLC was set up in Wyoming! Wyoming people!!!! Come on leftist liberal media…(Is the OC Register one of them now?) Don’t you see the connection?????

    Tom Tait has family that is from and still lives in Wyoming! Game….Set….Match!!! Call in the FBI!!!!!

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA this website is so rich I just love it!

    • One Who Knows Something

      Tom Gorrell, don’t be such a Taitbot.

      – On October 23, Briggeman puts $9,000 into Taxpayers for Safer Neighborhoods.
      – On October 24, The Tait Family Trust puts $5,000 into Taxpayers for Safer Neighborhoods.
      – On October 25, Jason Young’s mother puts $9,500 into Taxpayers for Safer Neighborhoods.

      – On October 29, Tait’s campaign consultant is paid $11,619 for a hit piece on Jordan Brandman.

      And it’s all a giant coincidence? You’re going to say, with a straight face, that Tait had no involvement in this? He went all in for the Tait Slate. He was so desperate to get his own majority, he broke promises and went all in for a government union hack. Can you explain why Briggeman sets up his shell money-laundering operation in Cheyenne, Wyoming? There are many places he could have created Green and Clean that have no connection to Tait. But he didn’t.

      • I imagine if George would have set up his LLC in Arkansas, or Texas or just about anywhere, you would have found a way to connect it to Tait… “Uncle John’s third born son rode horse through that state….”

        The fact is that nearly $250,000 dollars was donated to the PAC called “Taxpayers For Safer Neighborhoods” in the 2011-2012 election cycle. Yes The Tait family trust donated $5,000. In my opinion that was a bad idea, but at least he did not hide his identity.

        I don’t like that any of Tait’s money was tied to a PAC that put out a hit piece on Jordan Brandeman. Jordan is a former school board member and a supporter of public schools. In his upcoming campaign for Congress, Jordan will have many big union endorsements. So you probably see where I’m going with this. Some of the money spent by the pack helped John Leos who had Union support and some of the money went to attack Jordan who also had Union support.

        It’s difficult to follow your conclusion that he “went all in for a union hack”

        • I don’t believe it was Tom Tait’s money. Tait Family Trust. That is a big family, close knit, and any of them could have been angry enough at the abuse of their son/brother etc to throw some money into a PAC. My bet is on Daddy. Nobody gets more upset at a loved one being abused than a parent watching a child having their character disparaged. Heck, in that case look for Mom’s checkbook as easily as Dad’s. And yes I DO believe a family member would fund a mailing without telling the Mayor, to protect him from the very charges you level anyway. A lot of good that does.

          • Maybe CATER can look into this

            • Well gee, Jack, was taxpayer funding used? I am kind of busy running down the variety of ways the public treasury has been spent and/or funding not received at all by taxpayers thanks to some behind the scenes finagling. So how about we team up, and CATER will keep looking into how the public is harmed by the misuse of public funds, and you can be in charge of tracking the misuse of PRIVATE funds, but while you are at it, let’s look at ALL the various “laundering” that is going on, including that which happens on behalf of the Council majority, which has been well documented. And you can report back on how much has been pumped into PACs through other entities, and I will report in on how the city of Anaheim’s General Fund is being siphoned off, and I promise if I find even the slightest hint that Tait or Vanderbilt have been funneling money or benefits to their friends I will report on it. In fact, feel free to send me in the direction of any agenda items or contracts etc that you think benefit the insider club of Tait or Vanderbilt, and you hold me accountable if I don’t follow up.

              Sound fair?

              • (PSSST!! CYNTHIA! BE NICE! He sounds like he wants to donate to us to fund our investigative work!)

                • That would require Anaheim Jack to both:

                  Put his real name on a check.
                  …and…
                  Step up and do something tangible to move Anaheim forward instead of anonymously commenting from Mom’s basement, unshaven and un-showered, in his boxers.

                  Oh, and he would have to get me to accept the check. It wouldn’t be the first one I have declined. Sorry Greg.

                  • Has the Tait trust given enough that you can be selective with your donors?

                  • Cynthia seems to be getting angrier and nastier with each post. How long before that train comes off the rails?

                    But, on point. I haven’t seen ANYTHING CATER has done to “better” the community. You have lost every lawsuit you filed, you have, in the name of transparency cost the city THOUSANDS of dollars. All because of what YOU, one person, Ms. Cynthia Ward says. It is no wonder no other person (save an old car dealer and a kitchen table lawyer who doesn’t even live, work or visit Anaheim…too expensive according to Greg himself).

                    So what we are supposed to blindly follow you? ignore the courts that repeatedly say you are WRONG. Because….You live in the Colony, were once remotely respected, perhaps liked.

                    What is it Cynthia? You are drowning in your failures.

                  • “It wouldn’t be the first one I have declined.”

                    Leave it to Cynthia to blabber about how she is Honest and Full Of Integrity.

                  • And it wouldn’t be the first check from liberal sources that you have accepted either Cynthia.

                  • Wow, Cynthia — four attacks on your integrity in a row from people who are too scared (or, in junior’s case, perverse) to associate themselves with what they say publicly! That must hurt like being nibbled at by guppies! Hysterical, diseased, incoherent, and toothless guppies….

                    • It’s tough to attack someone’s integrity when she doesn’t have any.

                      Speaking of lack of integrity, when will you start disclosing at public comments that you don’t live in Anaheim, Greg?

                      At every council meeting, you swagger up to the dais and wearily lecture the council as if you’re the smartest guy in the room…instead of a bumbling, incompetent lawyer and blogger who is pitiably desperate for attention and relevance. As if you have anything to contribute to our city, which isn’t your city. It’s pathetic to watch.

                    • Like so many things CATER does, this is a mischaracterization if not out right falsehood. Cynthia questioned my hygiene (which would cause any CATER member to threaten a defamation lawsuit) and all I asked was if she was willing to admit she can be selective in who she takes donations from because the Tait Trust has you all fully funded.

                    • Oh Jack, I am sorry. I guess I do need to own up that I have no way to know if you showered before sitting in Moms basement with a laptop and lack of information. My apologies.

                    • I appreciate the apology and owning up to the fact you make comments with no way of knowing their veracity. The whole comment is still wrong, but hey, baby steps. I think we are finally heading in the right direction

                    • I think that it’s fun to be lectured by some guy (or gal) who won’t even use his or her name about not taking up my limited time in public comments to say, yet again, that I only work on Anaheim issues without residing there. That’s so dorky that it’s a good sort of comment not to sign.

                      As for Cynthia “defaming” you — YOU ARE A FICTIONAL CHARACTER! YOU DON’T EXIST! HOW ARE YOU GOING TO SUE, YOUR PUNGENCY?

      • Well let’s follow that argument to its logical and obvious conclusion with an example closer to home. If Tait is automatically included in the PAC IE with even a tenuous connection, then let’s trace how much Disney money went into the folks who voted for a Gate Tax Exemption pulled completely out of its context from the very real “consideration” it was swapped for in the original 1996 deal. Instead the July agreement demanded NO ‘Consideration” from Disney in exchange for the new exemption, AND the City Manager didn’t even bother to make sure Disney covered their obligations in the LAST agreement before renewing ONLY the benefits to Disney. HINT: I don’t think so, at least it is not in the decade and a half of Budget docs or studies done on the area, and you would THINK the City Manager would at least have thrown that into the July 7 staff report, that Disney did such a rockin’ great job of fulfilling their obligations to the taxpayers in exchange for that gate tax exemption that we are going to renew it….right? So you want to talk about dark money buying access?

        http://voiceofoc.org/2014/10/disney-breaking-its-own-campaign-spending-records/

        Fast forward to a post-election Anaheim in which Disney broke all previous records for their donations, AND the head of their Gov Relations Division slips off to Europe with her bestie Kris Murray right after the election, but nope, no connection between Disney pumping PACs full of their special interest dollars. Nothing to see HERE, folks, nope, the only one guilty of conflict is the guy voting AGAINST giving away the City Treasury. So if Mr. Gorrell is a “Tait’Bot” does that make you Mousketeers? By the way, I don’t know Mr. Gorrell, before you go insisting he is part of the CATER cabal. or at least I don’t think we have met. Folks along the parade route need not know each other to see that the Emperor is naked as a jaybird. Although if we are going to point, laugh, and possibly use hand gestures, we should probably make introductions so we can go for a beer afterward.

  7. One quick glance at the city’s website at you can quickly see the only contributors to this fund were Tait Family Trust and a couple of out of town corporations that have no connection to Anaheim – not hard to go to the transparency page and search the name Taxpayers for Safer Neighborhoods. It smells funny just at a glance. The fund was wholly used to oppose Brandman and support the mayor’s candidates. I’m no political insider but it isn’t much of a leap to connect the mayor to these shenanigans. I for one would like to know why this account that was convicted of money laundering was set up coincidentally where the Mayor’s wife has long standing family connections. It’s a fair question.

  8. The Mayor makes kindness a central theme of his administration and I don’t believe his family would put their trust funds into a campaign to attack a candidate without his involvement or at least agreement, not when it includes his last name. You cannot reconcile kindness with money laundering and vicious political attacks no matter how you try to dress it up or make people look in other directions. The Mayor at the very least should have asked his family to stay out of it. But it makes far more sense that he and his political aides were involved since it was used to support his slate and attack those he did not want elected. I would prefer he own it and admit his involvement given his political objectives at the time than stand behind his family and those who are defending him on this site.

    • So…WAND…(I get that the name is not a registered trade mark, but given how well known that local organization is, do they know you use their name to hide your personal identity while offering personal opinion?)

      Would you like to explain your definition of “vicious political attacks?” I guess I missed some mailings. But all I ever saw was FACTUAL STATEMENTS based on verified and publicly available voting records.

      I’ll bet Matt would let you upload a scan of mail if you sent it. What was said in those mailers that was not true? What did I miss?

      Did anyone ask the District Attorney, Chief Welter, or Kerry Condon to “stay out of it” when telling LIES about the Mayor in those slanderous videos? I was at the meeting where the events referenced in the videos took place, and Council minutes and video all prove without question the Mayor NEVER advocated for a memorial to a gang member, much less with public funds, that was a LIE. Someone came to the microphone and OFFERED quite a lot of private funding to build some sort of community amenity at Anna Drive where residents could come together to remember those lost to gang violence, the Mayor asked the City Manager to follow up. What was he supposed to do? He could not even say NO, it was not on the Agenda for discussion, the only legal answer he could give was to reference the CM.

      Likewise, despite what was said in videos funded by a PAC using money from other entities, the Mayor did not oppose the collection of private funds for the Bruno statue. Murray’s proposal was to front PUBLIC MONEY to be repaid by fund raising later. Given this was the SAME meeting at which the MUZEO (where she had been on the Board and thus relevant to discussion) had to be bailed out to the tune of seven figures. So Murray’s track record of failing to fund raise for MUZEO, presented at the SAME meeting, doesn’t offer a shred of hope that once the statue is done she would collect enough to pay back the taxpayers. Tait was correct to say there is no rush for the statue, the dog park is just fine and perfectly usable without the monument, and we can practice some delayed gratification with pay-as-you-go dog memorials to be hand-crafted after Murray and her buddies fund raise for it.

      But it seems perfectly OK over here for the Pringle PAC to use money filtered through other entities to fund FLAT OUT FABRICATIONS easily fact-checked to show they are LIES, while someone else puts private money into a PAC to tell the voters the TRUTH about prior voting records etc. and some are ready to tar and feather Tait, who shares a last name with a whole lot of people who have reason to help their loved one, the Mayor. Now I could be wrong, it could be Tom, I have not asked him. how he spends his money is his business, how the Council spends MY money is MY business. But the automatic default of Tait being the master of all those around him is rooted in the experience of those here who are used to the last guy to hold the mayor’s office being the puppet master. They are not the same people, they do not act in the same manner, and until the FPPC makes a connection to anyone-named-Tait, this is merely your own unsubstantiated conspiracy theory, as you accuse me of falling into when I make connections between people and money.

  9. “You cannot reconcile kindness with money laundering and vicious political attacks no matter how you try to dress it up or make people look in other directions.”

    So how do you reconcile the “Happiest Place on Earth” with money laundering and vicious political attacks?

  10. Man oh man, it looks like the “Cocoa Puffs” Crew is FREAKING OUT.

    You mean to tell me you can’t run a revolution from a kitchen table, with a busybody gadfly, who doesn’t put her OWN skin in the game, wait what about that wealthy benefactor who was a business owner……….TWENTY YEARS AGO.

    The one thing that CATER doesn’t seem to have is time, but how can that happen when you LOSE case after case? How can you pretend to be on “the right side” of the argument repeatedly, if you LOSE, have little public support and frankly have become so adversarial that the only ones who champion you are expatriates to places like Reno, NV.?

    Maybe it’s time for CATER to re-group. Like the Dodgers, make some obvious changes. Starting with their BIG MOUTHS. Replace: READY, FIRE, AIM with thoughtful dialogue. Then again, if you stay awake all night on the internet, that is unlikely.

    • You’re funny. Thank you for your surely heartfelt anonymous advice.

    • And here I was starting to think you folks were getting inside info from people who actually knew what was going on. If you don’t know that I have ALL the skin in the game then I guess your lack of current info indicates just how “inside” you all are. Or not.

      Have I lost? Well let’s see, the Grand Jury could have written their opposition of the Anaheim City Council’s behavior from our Convention Center lawsuit, so how “off base” do you think we were? Oh! Yes, CATER and the Grand Jury were BOTH wrong! I get it. Of course the Grand Jury didn’t know that the Court losses were based on information NOT TRUE but submitted to the court as true, and once THAT starts to get out God only knows who the “loser” is going to be, (other than the taxpayers funding the mess our leaders are making) but I have nothing to be ashamed of, and so far YOU have not justified the actions of your heroes at the dais.

      What else did I lose? The Stadium suit? It is still on, and if you could see how hard Rutan and Tucker is fighting against giving me what SHOULD be routine documents, you would understand my conviction that something genuinely funky happened behind the scenes leading up to the September 3 agreements. By the way, the Angels’ own attorneys threw the City Council under the bus in court, but you go ahead and point fingers at me. Do you think this bugs me? I defend myself in case someone accidentally stumbles over here looking for credible information and gets Anaheim Blog all over themselves, it is the opinions of unwary residents that I am concerned about, not yours.

      You want losses? Let’s add them up.
      Council majority approved adding 10 new officers to the Police force. Then let Disney eat them up by absorbing them into the Resort service schedule, I’d say the taxpayers lost that one.

      The ONLY bragging rights the Majority had to work with in the last election was the claim that millions are being pumped into neighborhoods. Oops, forgot to tell everyone they blew off the pay-as-you-go plan and BORROWED an extra $20MM to fund BASIC MAINTENANCE COSTS. What would have happened if they didn’t get the bonds and had to cover that massive payment on the Convention Center that was hovering over their heads?

      We can’t fund even basic improvements anymore in Anaheim, thanks to a quarter of our General Fund running right back out the back door to fund goodies to benefit Disney, and the Council majority was in such a hurry to approve the ONLY thing Disney has been courting them for over the years, that they MISSED the chance to rework an outdated agreement that no longer serves the taxpayers, and COULD HAVE made them genuine heroes by providing about $10MM a year from money ALREADY collected, NO NEW TAXES, merely moving them from a surplus fund that does us no good. Nope, missed the boat, missed that the City Manager they hired the same night he facilitated doing Disney’s bidding failed to even CHECK the old agreement to ensure compliance with all of its provisions before approving ONLY the benefits absent ANY consideration. Yeah, That is how we run a “world class city” alright. Like back woods yokels. Disney sucker punched the Council, refusing to let both sides have a win that would have been no loss to Disney, they simply would win at the same rate agreed upon in the agreement rather than the accelerated rate we are overpaying into. THAT is the definition of greed, and 3 of our “leaders” made it work. Some day Murray is going to wake up and understand how completely her “bestie” threw her under the Toy Story Shuttle Bus. Sadly it is too late for taxpayers once that cat fight begins.

      When even mild-mannered school board members show up at the Public Comments microphone with torches and pitchforks, disputing the untruths and mistruths put out during Council meetings, you know you are getting hammered.

      And week after week all Murray can say in response is, “I think it is unfortunate that some are misleading the public with these false statements about (Pick the subject) and unfairly attacking the character of (insert department name here) staff.” So according to Murray, EVERY call for additional information, every demand for accountability regarding how our tax dollars are spent, and every instance of bringing the City’s own documents forward to show information in Staff reports, Public Hearings, and now it turns out COURT, are simply the attempts of “politically motivated and misinformed” individuals, and City staff is believed infallible, at all times, in all subjects, no matter what their own emails show us.

      You can call me a loser. You can also call yourselves unicorns. It doesn’t make it true.

  11. “You can call me a loser. You can also call yourselves unicorns. It doesn’t make it true.”

    There’s no such thing as unicorns, Cynthia. But you are a loser. And a liar.

    What court case has CATER actually won? Just because the city is fighting your stupid, egotistical lawsuits doesn’t mean you are winning or that you’re right/. What kind of nut draws that conclusion?

    • Greg, I smell fear. Do you smell fear? Ok maybe I need to clean my shoes, I may have stepped in something over here, but I am pretty sure there is the whiff of fear mixed in with that. Folks over here are awfully upset at a group they insist have accomplished nothing. Don’t bother whining about what was spent on legal fees fighting CATER until you hit the $2mm mark like the Council majority using legal teams to stall for their own political advantage on a lawsuit that was obviously going to be lost.

      So tell me something. If the benchmark of being “right” is determined in the outcome of a. Lawsuit, why is this body STILL carping about how unfair and racist the Election Districts are? Was that issue not already decided and signed off by lawyers? Or is it OK to fight back against what one perceives as unfair practices only when YOU think the practice is unfair? Otherwise we are to suck it up and adapt ourselves to the clearly superior leadership skills of those in charge, is that it?

      • That isn’t fear you smell, Cynthia. It is reasonable, logical, normal people, and since you are unaccustomed to being around such people (or being one yourself), you are confusing it in your wacked-out mind with negative.

      • “…why is this body STILL carping about how unfair and racist the Election Districts are?”

        Strange complaint coming from someone who “STILL carping” about Anaheim City Council votes from 20 years ago. Oh well. A double standard and inconsistency from Cynthia Ward: standard operating procedure – along with an inability to separate fantasy from reality, per your insane conspiracy theory about the proposed Kraemer Place Homeless Shelter.

        • “… your insane conspiracy theory about the proposed Kraemer Place Homeless Shelter”

          Cynthia, this probably means that your theory is now officially confirmed!

          • No – but your comment demonstrates you’re just as big a kook.

            • Well I never! Let’s argue this out! First, you can write out exactly what you understand Cynthia’s “conspiracy theory” to be and what evidence she has produced. Then we can make sure that we aren’t talking at cross-purposes.

              I’m sure that you wouldn’t turn away a direct challenge like that, would you?

              • I’ll decline the offer, Greg. I don’t need to “write out exactly” what I “understand” her crazy, tortured, untrue conspiracy theory about my involvement in opposing locating a shelter at 1000 Kraemer Place. You’ve read it. “Arguing it out” with you is pointless, because you simply choose to believe what you want to believe, even in the absence of any evidence.

    • Yes – Cynthia is a liar – I can confirm that.

  12. Thus the purpose behind people seeking aged corporations that have a lifespan of greater than 2 years is that they frequently have an easier time establishing good credit and in some cases, we offer aged shelf corporations with established credit.

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