Friday, November 7, 2008
The folks at the County continue to count paper ballots, there are several hundred thousand to get through, and they do not appear to work weekends so the next update will be Monday. For your weekend stress levels, here are the latest numbers.
CITY OF ANAHEIM Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 2
Completed Precincts: 177 of 177
KOSTAS "GUS" RODITIS
ROBERT J. FLORES
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Anyone looking for the big picture can review this blog for the posts we have been sharing for months in an effort to educate Anaheim voters regarding the poor leadership of Councilwoman Lorri Galloway. Make yourself at home, there is plenty here, and we have included documents and sources for anything we have posted. But in these last few days before the election, we thought we would recap with a few bullet points for those looking for the “quick hit”.
Lorri Galloway’s own campaign materials list the reasons for re-electing her to be her civic improvements such as new libraries, police and fire stations. Literally every one of the improvements that were opened during her Council service were planned BEFORE her election in 2004. Lorri Galloway’s own claims are false, and she is taking credit for the work of others. Galloway’s only contribution to those improvements was to show up for photo ops.
Lorri Galloway is currently running a negative campaign against Planning Commmisioner Gail Eastman, and Disney. Lorri fed incorrect information to columnist Frank Mickadeit, who, instead of verifying the info, reprinted it as gospel. Mickadeit has since corrected the info, but Lorri’s campaign team still used the misleading Register headline to create a phony case against Disney and the candidate most likely to beat Galloway in this election. Galloway has been quoted saying she will oppose ANY development Disney is involved with, regardless of its merits. We don’t think hating the City’s largest employer, and the source of over 50% of our General Fund revenue, is a great campaign platform. Using a Council seat for personal vengeance is not the leadership we are looking for.
Galloway will complain to anyone who listens about special interests in this election. Yet, her own campaign has been funded by Public Employee Unions, Service Sector Unions (the protestors fighting Resort employers) and developers who have profited immensely from Galloway’s decisions. Who is in who’s pocket?
Galloway completely lacks even the most basic understanding of our local economy, and the need to keep revenue flowing into our General Fund to offset the pet projects she promotes. When confronted with economic reality, she has said, do not talk to her about the economy, she only represents one segment of the population. For her sake we hope that segment, made up largely of out-of-town union interests, shows up to vote. For our sake, we hope we have done our jobs to educate the people of Anaheim in why Lorri Galloway should not be returned to office
For all of you who have helped, thank you. This could not have been done without you. We at No On Galloway are proud of the campaign we have run. We have held to our standard to only print those items we could prove, and we have posted our documentation along the way. While Galloway’s opponents routinely find their signs ripped out or defaced, and replaced by Galloway signs, we have not stooped to that level. Nobody on our team has touched a Galloway sign. Indeed, there is a huge Galloway sign at Lorri’s not-so-secret-satelite-shelter in the heart of Gail Eastman territory, and it has been untouched all this time. Our No On Galloway banners are all posted on private property, while Galloway was the first in town to put hers on public property. While we are forced by circumstances to share negative information, we have fought a clean fight. It is now in the hands of the voters, and God. Please pray for the political health of our City.
Thank you all for your time.
Clementine Zimmerman and friends
Saturday, November 1, 2008
While we have already addressed the major points of misinformation here (See “Lorri Gets Desperate” for Details) let’s address what is behind those ads and mailers.
Anaheim Families and Business Owners for a Better Tomorrow, is a legally filed PAC, run by professional political operative Kinde Durkee. Ms. Durkee is routinely shown in internet searches being tied to campaigns of questionable nature, especially those mailings that mislead with false information, using “doctored” logos of other organizations. When one looks at the funding behind the PAC, we find that it is largely financed by neither Anaheim Families, nor Anaheim Businesses. Here are the latest FPPC filings showing where the money is being donated from:
Wylie Aitken, Santa Ana Attorney, heavy involvement in the Democratic party machine
Amin David, Latino Activist, head of Los Amigos, and ironically the one Anaheim address shown on the filings
UA Local 250, Gardena
OC Federation of Labor Committee PAC (COPE) Burbank
Service Employees Int’l Union Local 1877, Sacramento
Elm Street, Burbank
Why would these companies and Unions run negative pieces against Disney and another candidate? The obvious reason to discredit Gail Eastman is that she clearly has the best chance of defeating Galloway for re-election. With Galloway out of office, these Unions and developers lose their ally on City Council. As reported earlier in the post “Galloway Caught with Her Hand in the Affordable Housing Cookie Jar”, Elm Street was given a massive and unprecedented increase in profits by Galloway and Chavez, bumping their profits from the standard 15% of an affordable housing project to an unheard of 50% of the project. That is 35% of many millions of dollars that will never come back to the affordable housing fund it came from. Galloway did this while looking directly at the developer and saying, “I hope you acknowledge how much Council has been supportive of you.” It appears they are showing their appreciation now.
How much of an ally has Galloway been to the Unions? Let’s look at Galloway’s own words, as seen on the questionnaire she filed for an endorsement by COPE.
Lorri Galloway tells the Unions that as an elected official and representative of the people of Anaheim, she will walk Union picket lines and speak at Union rallies. In this document, she admits to participating in recent civil disturbances that blocked traffic, and resulted in multiple arrests in the Resort District of Anaheim. During these protests, Union employees, many who do not work at the Disneyland Resort nor live in Anaheim, dressed as Disney characters, and shut down public streets with the intent of being arrested for the publicity. This created a direct expense to the taxpayer for the public safety employees we paid to direct traffic, arrest, and process these troublemakers, led by an elected City Councilwoman! In addition, witnesses report union workers blowing air horns at guest rooms to disrupt the “guest experience” of our tax-generating visitors.
Is this an appropriate role for an elected official?
While the mailings were paid for by Unions and developers, to date, FPPC/Secretary of State Late Filings do not show the expenditure for the TV ad, which clearly states on the screen that it was paid for by Anaheim Families and Business Owners for a Better Tomorrow. Who has enough of a stake in Lorri’s Galloway’s leadership to put up that much money to keep her in office? Stay tuned as we look into that very question.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
In addition, Mickadiet has since met with Gail Eastman, who clarified that she never makes a decision without a full presentation of the facts, including staff reports and public comments so that she can make an informed decision. But of course Lorri is not going to let voters know that. Galloway follows the standard playbook and lifts the bits and pieces of information she find useful, because her goal is not to benefit her City, her goal is to benefit Lorri Galloway.
For those looking for clear information on the hotel issue, we offer here a piece from Mayor Curt Pringle, shamelessly lifted from the RedCounty blog without the permission of Matt Cunningham, but we are crediting him, and hope he forgives us. Below is the entire quote from Mayor Pringle, unedited, and we hope it clears up some confusion about hotel development, and the way in which Galloway is abusing information to suit her own need for re-election. We would also like to restate that Gail Eastman has not expressed an opinion one way or the other regarding the hotel development. For more information our readers can also contact the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce at http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=24905329&msgid=348177&act=M30J&c=272806&admin=0&destination=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.anaheimchamber.org%2F.
“I appreciate all of the Anaheim talk on the Blog over the last few days about our incentives for four/five star hotel properties. I would like to share my perspective on this.
It is always interesting that some wish to immediately be negative about what they hear on one issue, and from that, seek to claim that their interpretation of the situation defines conservatism or proper government management. I know there are opposing views, but one point of non-agreement does not define an entire political philosophy.The city of Anaheim takes great pride in its Resort district. It is an important economic engine to our city. We have fought hard this year to preserve it!
Even with 20,000 hotel rooms in our city, new hotel development is vigorous in Anaheim. At this moment in time, nearly 1500 new hotel rooms are under development in Anaheim. Many other developers are coming to the city expressing interest in developing hotels.
So we have seen in managing for our city’s future that many additional hotels are necessary. But in all cases, except the current construction of the 250 room expansion of the Disney Grand Californian, all of the new hotels are three star properties.
The current market conditions allow for the development of three star properties in our city, even with their current high property and construction costs.
But in planning for the future of Anaheim, we have considered how we could grow the Resort district, both in number of rooms and the average nightly rate.
We do not need to do anything to encourage three star properties. But four star properties and the additional construction costs that are required to get these properties to that level are much higher and they may not be built at the current cost of construction.
Four star properties can add to our opportunities to bring additional conventions to Anaheim and can assist in the growth of the Resort area.
On Tuesday’s agenda, we voted to provide a potential tax reimbursement to hotel developments if they seek to build four star properties. Our plan would be to require the full 100% of the bed tax be collected on the three star property equivalent rates. But we would consider, based on need, if we would reimburse for the first 10-15 years, the additional amount of taxes collected from the three star rate equivalent to the four star rate.
We are not reimbursing what the market will provide – in this case a three star property. But we see the value in growing the Resort for the long term. And a mix of high end hotels, even with higher construction and development costs, will insure that we have the mix of properties that will continue to grow the Resort.
At the council meeting, I respect that Councilmember Harry Sidhu wanted to delay this discussion for a few months in order to get more information.
And I also respect that Councilmember Lorri Galloway joined with HERE (Hotel Employee/Restaurant Employee Union) in opposing this plan. The HERE representatives were the only ones who spoke against this proposal.
I see a similarity in the council action on Tuesday, to when, in the Legislature, we provided a manufacturer’s tax credit on the purchase of new manufacturing equipment or when we provided an R&D tax credit to encourage more high tech research firms to locate to California. Some people didn’t like any type of tax credit or incentive programs. And I can respect that.
But with these incentives in Anaheim, I feel we are taking steps today to prepare for the long-term fiscal health of our city.
Sometimes planning for the long term is not seen by everyone in the short term.
But I will hold Anaheim’s fiscal position up as an example of a fiscally responsible and secure government even in these economic times. This year we have made a mid-year budget reduction of 2 ½%; we have maintained a 13% general fund reserve and are truly in a strong budget position.
I will proudly match our city’s planning and budget position to any other local government from Rancho Santa Margarita to Riverside. “
April 24, 2008 5:21 PM
Monday, October 27, 2008
Today’s photo is the Elm Street Commons project. It is a 100% affordable housing project, located on Elm Street just west of Anaheim Blvd. To make way for these enormous apartments, a single family, historic home was removed, and another lot was absorbed. At first, we just felt sorry for the poor saps who were left behind on the street, to be forever dwarfed by a gargantuan stucco box. But wait, there’s more!
It seems the funding on this project got a little creative. On November 28, 2006, SADI, the developer for Elm Street Commons, came to City Council to have their standard DDA approved through the Housing Authority. Standard practice in Anaheim is to give the developer money, to be paid back over time, 85% to the City, and the developer keep 15% as profit. The 85% is then recycled into more housing projects, which keeps Anaheim building apartments for the working poor. Whether you agree with building subsidized housing or not, it is an efficient system. In the development of the Elm Street Commons, the City offered many millions of dollars in direct funding, plus incentives added later such as a sewer project the developer decided the City should do. Rather than approve the otherwise ordinary deal, now-convicted-felon Richard Chavez pulled the development from the Consent Calendar, allowing discussion. In the end, the City Council, led by Chavez and backed by Lorri Galloway, changed the condition of the agreement, bumping the developer’s profit from the standard 15% to a whopping and unprecedented 50% profit for a private corporation!!
Mayor Curt Pringle admonished Council not to approve this deal, saying, “By taking money out of that pot and not returning it to that pot it limits the amount of affordable housing we will do in the future.” The change meant that the developer would not be paying back 35% of the cost of the project to a revolving fund, and therefore that 35% would not be available for housing the working poor in the future. Why would Chavez propose such a move? Seems the same folks had filtered money through a shady PAC (Hometown Voter) just before the vote, funding an Independent Expenditure on behalf of Richard Chavez’ failed re-election. Why would Lorri Galloway take money from the very people she claims to champion? Perhaps the answer is in her Council statement, as she looked at the developer and admonished him, “I hope you acknowledge how much Council has been supportive of you.”
Well the developers at Elm Street Commons sure did remember to acknowledge that 35% jump in their profits, funded by robbing Anaheim’s working poor. Again funneling money through PAC filings with Treasurer Kinde Durkee, who is frequently under investigation by the FPPC, a donation of $15,000 was made by Elm Street, which funded the Clear Channel billboards Lorri has all over the City. They also underwrote a large mailing, and the graphic arts for the mail piece
But wait, it gets stickier. Jump over to the filings for Orange County Leaders for Change, and you see Elm Street money mixed with a donation from SunCal, administered by the same Treasurer, Kinde Durkee, and spent on the campaigns of both Lorri Galloway and Diane Singer. If you recall, both Diane and Lorri backed SunCal’s attempt to strip the Resort District of an income-producing parcel in exchange for affordable housing subsidies. Developers, developers everywhere, and they all seem linked to what they can take from Anaheim, through the "leadership" of Lorri Galloway.
Watch the City Council meeting yourself here at http://anaheim.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=72
This item begins about 38 minutes into the meeting. We are trying to pull the section of video to make it easier to view, and will post it here if we can get that to work.
Lorri Galloway used her position on the Anaheim City Council to take money from affordable housing funds and increase the profits of a developer who is now financing her campaign expenses. She does not deserve another four years on the City Council. This race is getting down to the finish line, and the polls show it will be a tight race. No matter whom you might support for City Council, we ask everyone who reads this and is as disgusted as we were, please forward this page to every Anaheim voter you know. Felon (and Galloway employee) Richard Chavez was defeated by roughly 200 votes. Lorri Galloway can be defeated, if we all work together. Please help.
Join your neighbors by voting No On Galloway on November 4, and share this information with every Anaheim voter you know.