Last week’s big story in Orange County politics was the meltdown at Anaheim’s City Council meeting — normally taciturn Mayor Tom Tait waited until the end of the meeting to clean Councilwoman Kris Murray’s clock. The You Tube video is here.
Tait’s specific target was Murray’s OC Register guest column from 24 April: Let process play out on Anaheim’s elections (outside Paywall here). On apparently bad legal advice (sources she won’t reveal), or with deliberate intent to deceive (surprising few), Murray misstated a number of facts regarding the noticing of a future election to decide on District-based versus City-wide (at large) Council representation for the city. She accused Tait of violating “state law”. Per the union-funded Voice of OC,
…after the meeting, Murray declined to identify the sources of her legal opinions. She declined to comment further on the matter. ACLU attorney Bardis Vakili sided with Tait and said Murray’s reading of the law is incorrect.
Tait’s response was in today’s Register Commentary section: Anaheim elections (outside Paywall here). It’s also important, and concerning, that the Register’s not run even one story on this drama which could drastically impact the future of the OC’s most well-known, nationally famous tourist and convention destination.
Murray and her Council colleagues are ardently opposed to the potential of Anaheim’s Charter being modified to allow for District-based elections that would surely push her, and most of her cohorts, out of office as the ethnic majorities in the City would gain control, likely via union-supported Democrat candidates. Murray, the juvenile Jordan Brandman and Gail Eastman, at least, fear that Anaheim would eventually turn into something similar to Santa Ana. That would be unfortunate, but it’s political reality given the similar makeups of both towns.
Mayor Tait called for Murray to retract her false or incorrect statements, but given her imperious attitude, we don’t see that happening. Neither would it hurt the Register to step in now with a legal opinion of Murray’s original piece which could have been better fact-checked.
Jason Young of Save Anaheim summed it up his position via Facebook on the Tait piece today:
Kris Murray wants to keep the status quo. Why? Because if Anaheim was broken up into districts it would be harder for her to keep her power structure. A structure that allowed her to GIVEAWAY $158 million to her well connect developer pal Bill O’Connell, strip Mayor Pro Tem Lorri Galloway of her title in an act of retaliation, amend the budget so that Mayor Tait no longer has an assistant, stop the voters from approving future giveaways to her developer friends, delay districting by setting up a commission to “study” the issue made up of her politically motivated appointees, force out Latino City Attorney Christina Talley, and most recently the resignation of City Manager Bob Wingenroth. This woman will do anything for her puppeteer, former Mayor Curt Pringle, and the Walt Disney Company. If you were to sit down and attempt to write a list of the positive contributions Kris Murray has made to the Anaheim community, you would find yourself in the end with a blank piece of paper.
Kris Murray is a disciple and sycophant of Mayor-for-Hire Curt Pringle and also OCBC President Lucy Dunn (where she’d worked before making the Council). As such, she’s channeling these grimy opportunists who wish to preserve Young’s “status quo”, keep Measure M money flowing into nonsensical infrastructure projects for the Resort (and Pringle’s failed Platinum Triangle) and ensure the Disney Company maintains their forever stranglehold on the city of Anaheim. Murray will be up for re-election next year.
The “facts” and accusations Councilwoman Murray has presented during this controversy are unprofessional, unwarranted and libelous. Her maneuvering from the Council dais is blatant and unbecoming. As we’ve documented here in the past, in consort with Pringle and Dunn, she’s caused the squandering OCTA Measure M funding that’s taken via sales tax from everyone buying goods in the OC to finance two huge and completely unnecessary transportation projects in Anaheim that total
nearly over one half Billion dollars. The ARTIC train station and the streetcar project she covets to connect it to Disney are not cost-justified and are designed on bogus ridership data (and anticipate that High-Speed Rail will actually be built into Anaheim). Neither project has attracted any private sector investment, especially from Disney which supposedly benefits from both of them.
We won’t be holding our breath for Murray’s retraction of her Register opinion that Tait’s correctly called for — but we can patiently wait until next year to see if Tait’s notion of a six-district Council and city-wide Mayoral election might be in place by November. These folks need to GO, starting with Kris Murray.
UPDATE (05.06.13): The Voice of OC publishes this a.m. a new story on the costs of Murray’s Streetcar and how it could be much more expensive than similar systems being considered elsewhere in the country: Disneyland Driving Up Costs of Anaheim Streetcar Project. Unsubtly, the VoOC also points their headline at the project’s real benefactor, who hasn’t contributed dime one to it.