JORDAN BRANDMAN IS PART OF THE PAY TO PLAY CULTURE IN ANAHEIM.
In politics, pay to play refers to a system, akin to payola in the music industry, by which one pays (or must pay) money to become a player.
The payer(s), in this case, SOAR (a.k.a. Disney), OCBC, OCTAX, The Anaheim Chamber of Commerce, and the GardenWalk hotel developers, made campaign contributions to Kris Murray, Gail Eastman, Harry Sidhu, and Jordan Brandman (Jordan Brandman only verbally supported this deal), and in return received $158 million in tax subsidies to build two privately owned hotels at the failed GardenWalk mall.
WHEN DID ALL THIS BEGIN?
In January 2012, the Anaheim City Council approved up to $158 million in TOT subsidies to a private developer named Bill O'Connell to build two luxury hotels at the failed GardenWalk mall. This was an amendment to a previously exisiting agreement which gave Bill O'Connell upwards of $40 million in TOT subsidies.
WHAT IS TOT AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
TOT, or Transient Occupancy Tax, is charged to guests who stay in a hotel in the City of Anaheim. The TOT funds acquired are used by the City of Anaheim to support vital services, such as police and fire services. Under this agreement, the developer, once the hotels are built, would keep 80% of the TOT funds for up to 15 years or $158 million dollars. The other 20% would go to pay off bonds used to revitalize the areas around Disneyland. This means the City of Anaheim would receive NO TOT for almost TWO DECADES from this development.
WHO WAS AGAINST THIS GIVEAWAY OF OUR PUBLIC TAX FUNDS TO A PRIVATE DEVELOPER?
Mayor Tom Tait, Mayor Pro Tem Lorri Galloway, and City Manager Bob Wigenroth all OPPOSED this giveaway of tax funds. In addition, the report issued by the city staff also opposed the deal.
The reasoning behind their decision to OPPOSE this project is highlighted in the video below.
WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH JORDAN BRANDMAN?Jordan Brandman vocally supported this $158 million GIVEAWAY at two council meetings:
WHY WOULD JORDAN BRANDMAN SUPPORT THIS GIVEAWAY OF OUR PUBLIC TAX FUNDS?
Jordan Brandman claims it is all about jobs; jobs for the students that he oversees as a board member of the Anaheim Union High School District,as well as their parents. "Highly skilled jobs," as he puts it, but the reality is that the average hotel employee makes around $37,000 a year. The agreement has no clauses that require the developer to hire local Anaheim labor, pay living wages, or hire union workers. In addition, it has been over 3 years since the original agreement was put in place and there are still NO JOBS.
SO WHAT'S THE REAL REASON JORDAN BRANDMAN SUPPORTED THIS GIVEAWAY OF PUBLIC TAX FUNDS?
Jordan Brandman received up to $8900 in campaign contributions for his 2012 City Council run in the months leading up to his speech at the council meeting from the developers, unions, and other folks directly involved with the GardenWalk project.
Furthermore, Jordan Brandman calls former Mayor Curt Pringle his "mentor," and Mr. Pringle, now a lobbyist, represented hotelier Bill O'Connell in his efforts to secure this tax subsidy of up to $158 million.
The video below is from the council meeting in which the aforementioned agreement was approved. It has been edited to show each of the individuals and organizations that supported Jordan Brandman and the amounts they contributed to his campaign:
Jordan claims in his recent mailer that:
"My decisions have ALWAYS been shaped by the citizens of Anaheim." It should read "My decisions have ALWAYS been shaped by the wealthy special interests outside Anaheim."
Want further proof that he doesn't stand behind the residents of Anaheim? Here is Anaheim City School District Board Member Dr. Jose Moreno addressing Jordan Brandman: