Anaheim Council Members Gail Eastman and Kris Murray are members of the Advisory Committee of the SOAR (Support our Anaheim Resort) PAC (Political Action Committee. Both were endorsed by SOAR when they won seats on the Anaheim City Council in 2010. Yet they both voted last month to give “up to $158 million in tax incentives to build luxury hotels in the Disneyland area, despite opposition by city staff members,” according to the O.C. Register.
“The city will not provide any money up front for the $283-million hotel project, which is to include 866 four-star rooms. Instead, the hotels would get money later from hotel bed taxes. In Anaheim, guests pay 15 percent of their room rentals for the bed tax, which normally goes to the city,” according to another article in the O.C. Register.
The Democrats are of course livid about this tax giveaway as it means less money to spend on city services – such as library services. But wait until the firemen and police figure out that this giveaway will also undermine their budget.
Empty Gardenwalk redevelopment disaster
Think about what this will do to the established hotels in the Anaheim resort area – these Gardenwalk hotels will be able to keep their bed tax and as such will be able to charge less than their competitors. The rub is that the SOAR PAC is pretty much run by the resort area hotels – but I am told they had no idea this was going to come to a vote. And Disney hotel boss Tony Bruno reportedly was completely taken aback by this although his External Affairs Director, Carrie Nocella, is on the SOAR Advisory Committee. Oops!
Anaheim Council Member Harry Sidhu also voted for the tax incentives. Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait and Anaheim Council Member Lorri Galloway were opposed but lost on a 3-2 vote.
The Democrats aren’t the only ones having a cow. So are the local unions. But you have to laugh at them. The OCEA spent a fortune trying to elect Sidhu for the 4th Supervisorial District. He got his tail kicked by Shawn Nelson, who is now the Vice Chair of the O.C. Board of Supervisors.
But the OCEA was not alone in backing Sidhu. Some of the very worst Republicans in Orange County also endorsed him, including Supervisor Janet Nguyen; former Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle; Fullerton Council Member Dick Jones (who is now facing a recall!); and John S. Williams, the ousted O.C. Public Administrator. And Sidhu was also backed by Democrats, including Buena Park Council Member Art Brown (now termed out) and La Habra Councilwoman Rose Espinoza.
Sidhu also “took at least $6,800 in illegal campaign donations during his failed 2010 supervisorial campaign from partnerships organized by William O’Connell and Sjesh Patel, development partners in planned, four-star GardenWalk hotels, campaign finance disclosure forms show,” according to the Voice of OC. That’s right. Sidhu got paid off in advance by the very same guys he has now given a multi-million dollar tax break to!
And you won’t believe how many yahoos endorsed Murray. Click here for the full rundown. Note that the list includes awful GOP politicians Dick Ackerman, Pringle, Bill Campbell, and Democrats including Jordan Brandman, who is now running for the Anaheim City Council too – and naturally SOAR is backing him too. Some people never learn.
When you look at Eastman’s supporters you will see a bunch of awful Republicans and a few Democrats, including State Senator Lou Correa, O.C. Clerk-Recorder Tom Daly and Brandman. You think they have buyer’s remorse now?
About the only guy defending the ridiculous tax break is Republican hack Matt Cunningham, who of course is a member of the Voice of OC’s Community Editorial Board. They deserve each other! What a joke.