Anaheim Insider here.
The council candidate slate of James Vanderbilt and Doug Pettibone are being promoted as “Team Tait.” A more accurate label would be Team Tait Version 3.0, because this is the third iteration in four years.
The first Team Tait was the slate of Tom Tait, Gail Eastman and Kris Murray in 2010. While that wasn’t its formal name, Tait was seen as the leader of the pack, with Eastman and Murray as the council votes who would work in harmony with him to continue the pro-business, pro-job creation, “freedom friendly” spirit of the Curt Pringle era. That lasted for a little over a year, until Eastman and Murray disagreed with Tait over the GardenWalk project. Rather than move on and continue working with Murray and Eastman on the many issues and policies where the three of them agreed, Tait instead threw them overboard and lent his support to the OCEA-funded “Take Back Anaheim” campaign to paint them as toadies of special interests.
Team Tait 2.0 was already in place in 2012. Mayor Tait had given a very strong endorsement to Steve Chavez Lodge, headlining his first fundraiser. Tait had also promised Jordan Brandman support numerous times that he would endorse Brandman’s council candidacy, even during the months after the GardenWalk vote. By summertime, however, the Team Tait 2.0 had a launch failure. Mayor Tait decided to make obedience to his GardenWalk stance the litmus test, pulling his endorsement of Lodge and reneging on his promised support for Brandman when both refused to reverse themselves on GardenWalk.
That led to the hasty launch of Team Tait 3.0: former Councilwoman Lucille Kring and OCEA-backed candidate John Leos. Leos lost, and Tait soured on Kring when she backed a revised version of the GardenWalk. Both Tait and Kring had previously supported economic assistance agreements to encourage the development of luxury hotels in the Resort. Kring still does. Tait, on the other hand, has flip-flopped and now attacks such agreements as “crony capitalism.”
Fast forward to this year, and Team Tait 4.0: James Vanderbilt and Doug Pettibone. In the unlikely event they defeat incumbents Gail Eastman and Kris Murray, Tait isn’t taking any chances and his hand-picked candidates have basically signed loyalty oaths pledging to vote whichever way Tait wants. In less than four years, the Mayor has gone from teaming with like-minded slate mates with minds of their own to recruiting two extensions of himself (one of whom only lived a few doors away).