Tait Tramples Truth and Integrity

“Election season often brings out the ugliest in people. Negative attack ads and misrepresentations have become commonplace” (Orange County Register, 2014). No greater misrepresentations have been made toward opponents during this election than ones by Tom Tait, Anaheim’s mayor. Tait has indirectly accused two council members running for re-election, Gail Eastman and Kris Murray, of (a) betraying the public trust, asserting that each collected $500,000+ in campaign contributions from special interest groups, and (b) misrepresenting their voting for a subsidy to build a four-star hotel in Anaheim.

I use the word indirectly because the mailed campaign ad originated from California Homeowners Association (2014) in Willows, CA (500 miles north of Anaheim via I-5), an organization describing itself as “support[ing] fiscally responsible candidates for public office.” Ironically, this same special interest group, a PAC, has funneled $100,000 into the “attack Eastman & Murray–re-elect Tait campaign.”

False accusations. Eastman and Murray have not betrayed the pubic trust and each has not collected $500,000+ in campaign contributions—accusations by Tait for which no evidence has been presented.

Gross misrepresentation. It is common practice for cities to offer incentives to developers to build large hotels and sports stadiums. Cities contribute to a project because they want to collect millions of dollars from hotel taxes and sales taxes. The Los Angeles City Council awarded $500,000,000 in tax incentives for downtown economic development for 2015-2016 (Los Angeles Times, 2014). If the Anaheim Convention Center fails to increase its space, major conventions will meet elsewhere, as will conventions with increasing participants who previously met in Anaheim. Some organizations will meet elsewhere if Anaheim lacks sufficient rooms in first-rate hotels, ones that fulfill the needs of conventioneers (and more affluent families visiting the Disney Resort). These four-star hotels will be built eventually—in Anaheim or in a city nearly (e.g., Hyatt Regency in Garden Grove).

Gross misrepresentation. It is common practice for cities to offer incentives to developers to build large hotels and sports stadiums. Cities contribute to a project because they want to collect millions of dollars from hotel taxes and sales taxes.

The Los Angeles City Council awarded $500,000,000 in tax incentives for downtown economic development for 2015-2016 (Los Angeles Times, 2014). If the Anaheim Convention Center fails to increase its space, major conventions will meet elsewhere, as will conventions with increasing participants who previously met in Anaheim. Some organizations will meet elsewhere if Anaheim lacks sufficient rooms in first-rate hotels, ones that fulfill the needs of conventioneers (and more affluent families visiting the Disney Resort). These four-star hotels will be built eventually—in Anaheim or in a city nearly (e.g., Hyatt Regency in Garden Grove).

A hotel subsidy may be needed. Tait’s words are accusatory and entirely false: that supporting a $158,000,000 subsidy to build a four-star hotel “put[s] Anaheim at financial risk.” A member of the city council charitably refers to Tait’s self-serving barb as “purposefully misleading.” Ironically, plans for two GardenWalk hotels were established when Tait served on the city council—atait messagend he voted for them almost 15 years ago. The initial plan would have redirected this subsidy from hotel room taxes to hotel investors—hotels that have never presented a risk to Anaheim’s general fund, do not require any initial cost to Anaheim, and would not eliminate or cut any city service or program (see http://tinyurl.com/qz9g2sn). By not building a four-star hotel, Anaheim forfeits receiving tens of millions of dollars in new taxes. Instead of hotel investors and Anaheim profiting, dormant land awaits development while upscale conventioneers look elsewhere for a convention city.

The whopper. Yesterday, Tait’s mailed campaign claptrap (see “Message from the Mayor”) falsely accuses Eastman and Murray of “reckless tax and spend policies” and voting “to increase our city’s already excessive employee pension debt.” During the past few years, several votes have been recorded by the Anaheim City Council to decrease pension debt (City [Anaheim] Initiatives). All of these changes passed (see figure of “Council Actions”)—witACC actionsh Tait recording all the no votes, the only council member who supported maintaining a higher pension debt.

So ends last-minute examples of Tait trampling.

 

—Hugh Glenn

Sources

California Homeowners Association. (2014). See http://www.calhomeowners.com.

City [Anaheim] Initiatives: Pension reform in Anaheim—Full time personnel. Retrieved from http://www.anaheim.net/articlenew2222.asp?id=4966

Los Angeles Times. (2014, April 22). L.A., where tax breaks come easy—For some. Retrieved from http://tinyurl.com/m553o9m

Register Editorial Board. (2014, November 2). Editorial Board: O.C.’s shadow campaigns. Retrieved from http://tinyurl.com/lnur3zx

8 comments

  1. Tait lacks the capacity and vision to be the leader of an international tourism and convention destination. He also has a desperate need to feel in control. Thus, he might be good for a small city where the biggest draw is a Coco’s on main street but Anaheim needs someone who understands how to compete on the international stage.

    Tait does not.

    Everything he has done can be traced back to his inability to admit this to himself or others.

  2. Would love to see this dishonest megalomaniac voted out of office tonight. Sadly, he is likely to win and we will be subjected to four more years of this degradation.

  3. You are ignorant!!!!!

  4. Tait is a good Mayor a man of integrity and honesty. Has really the the backs of the common Anaheim resident. Finally the $$$airs can’t buy a seat at city hall. He’s a nice guy but as (paraphrasing) walk talk low quietly but carry a big stick.. Think that was Roosevelt. Look out special interests $$$airs Tait has a soul he’s gonna keep forever.

    • If all you have seen is his campaign literature, then I totally understand your comment. That said, I hope you get the chance to do a little more research into the Tait operation so that you might see the full scope of what he is doing to this city.

      • You seem to say, “Pay attention to what Tait does but disregard what he says.” No public official can serve effectively by acting honorably while trampling his opponents with half-truths, untruths, and misleading words.

        • To clarify, what I meant was that if the only source of information she has on Tait is the political mail he sends out, I understand why she would think that he has even an ounce of “integrity” or “honesty.” I hope she has the chance to do a little research and see how hollow all of his campaign lies are and uncover the full extent of the damage he is doing to Anaheim.

  5. Ms. Lister. Please be specific. When is he honest and a man of integrity? When he uses his significant personal wealth to attack two colleagues with sexist demeaning mail that distorts and out right lies about their records? He sent out letters under the seal of the office of Anaheim mayor stating that Gail Eastman and Kris Murray voted for pension increases. Said they voted for eminent domain. Said they voted to weaken the city’s fiscal strength. These are absolute lies. No way to sugar coat it.

    I’ve lived and been involved in Anaheim for decades and never seen an incumbent mayor run for reelection without the support of one Anaheim based group – he didn’t have the support of police, fire, chamber, or the city’s neighborhood associations. Not one recognized group in Anaheim. That speaks volumes.

    Tait was the one funding lies in this campaign and we very well may have lost a great council member in Gail Eastman because of those lies and insanely low voter turn out.

    All of Taits blind supporters should dig in a little deeper and please save your indignation. Those of us who have been involved and aware of facts are beyond upset. His actions are wreaking havoc in our city.

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