The council districts map sponsored by a coalition of progressive and Democratic Party interest groups has been adopted. The city council has determined the ballot order (although not the order pushed by that same coalition and Mayor Tom Tait): Districts 1 and 2 (West Anaheim); District 4 (the Latino-plurality, south Anaheim); and District 5 (Latino-plurality, central Anaheim) will on the 2016 ballot.
Last week, Mayor Tom Tait published this “candidates wanted” post on Facebook:
It’s not surprising that Mayor Tait is recruiting council candidates. He’s started the process of assembling a Tait Slate earlier and earlier with each election cycle since 2012. Recruiting via Facebook is a novel approach.
Tait’s FB post inspired a number of both positive and negative comments on the subject of by-district elections and other Anaheim city issues:
Very true. The political feasibility of such a move is another matter, but the point not only remains, it undermines one of the prime selling points used in the Measure L campaign: shifting to by-district elections means you’ll be represented by someone from your neighborhood. It’s tough the “carpetbagger” charge stick if an Anaheimer moves from one part of the city to another in order to run for city council. Anaheim’s districts are the size of the City of Fountain Valley in terms of population; it’s not as if most voters will notice.
Councilman Jordan Brandman has been very open about moving to west Anaheim and running for re-election from there should he not make it to November as a congressional candidate. Mayor Tom Tait brought the fluidity of residence uncomfortably to light at the last council meeting when he point-blank asked Councilman James Vanderbilt if he was planning to move to District 6 (Anaheim Hills) and seek re-election from there.
But hey – whatever lines Measure L proponents had to feed voters in order to get their votes, right?
Leonidas Cisneros, a recent intern for Rep. Loretta Sanchez who appears to be a democratic socialist (judging by his Facebook page), affirmed why he voted to re-elect Mayor Tait before launching into a confused progressive rant:
Mr. Cisneros, like other progressive and/or democratic socialists, pours new meaning into old words – in this case “disenfranchise,” which in reality means literally taking away a citizen’s right to vote. Mr. Cisneros’ also uses the word “Latinos” as if all Latinos subscribe to a single political world-view.
That said, let’s examine the premises in Mr. Cisneros’ comment:
- Increasing the council majority threshold necessary to place a tax measure on the city ballot “disenfranchises” Latinos.
- The council approved the Anaheim Taxpayer Protection Act in order “eagerly” disenfranchise Latinos.
- Anaheim Latinos all support imposing a gate tax on Disneyland.
- The “demands” of this monolithic Latino bloc must be adopted, regardless of election outcomes.
- By-district elections (or any elections, really) are only legitimate insofar as they translate the political and policy preferences of this monolithic (and presumably progressive) “Latinos” voting bloc into law. The legitimacy of elections or an election system (at-large, by-district, etc.) is determined by outcomes, not whether they are free and fair.
Mayor Tait let’s these absurdities go unchallenged, merely responding that he opposed the Taxpayer Protection Act – a measure Mr. Cisneros made clear he believes was deliberately designed to disenfranchise Latinos.
A Mr. Jason Hufnagel attacked the noxious idea at the heart of the Jose F. Moreno-ACLU lawsuit, the drive for by-district elections and the racialist mau-mauing of Jordan Brandman:
Yes. Mr. Hufnagel, it is ridiculous. And yet, it also carries the status of received wisdom among progressive Democrats. Witness the murmurings by OC left-wingers Jeff LeTourneau and Greg Diamond that Anaheim Councilman James Vanderbilt isn’t really a Latino because his mother is Chilean, not Mexican. Welcome to the wonderful world of the Left, where citizens are examined, classified and sorted according to the accident of birth that is race and ethnicity.
Ms. Jeannine Robbins retorts that Hufnagel is “missing the point” of by-district elections, but she herself misses the point because there is no guarantee that Anaheim’s council districts will be represented by people “familiar with the issues in those areas.” The recent example of Connor Traut and the West Anaheim Neighborhood Council makes that abundantly clear.
And since the great minds behind Measure L failed to include a run-off provision, Anaheim could very well have several councilmembers who did not receive the support of a majority of their constituents.
The second reading of the districting ordinance (including the ballot sequencing) will be on the council agenda next Tuesday. There will no doubt be a parade of the usual suspects from the professional Left, demanding the council pull West Anaheim’s District 2 from next year’s ballot and replace it with District 3. They will denounce Brandman and Murray and Kring for putting both West Anaheim districts on the 2016 ballot (after all, representing ion for West Anaheim was a big talking point for districting advocates) instead of allowing the politics of race to control their votes.
Hopefully, West Anaheim residents will also be there as well to speak up the approved ballot sequencing of Districts 1,2 ,4 and 5 in 2016, which actually conforms to the rhetoric used by by-district election proponents.