Kris Murray responds to Mayor Tom Tait

Kris Murray has written a rebuttal to Mayor Tait's piece in the Oc Register today. It reads (with my notes interspersed):

Kris Murray

Kris Murray

In an op-ed to bolster his endorsed candidates, Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait irresponsibly compares investment in Anaheim's resort district to the failed Solyndra solar power deal and says that such investment amounts to "sweetheart deals" and pandering to "special interests." Does it really need to be said again that forward looking economic investment is is what makes Anaheim unique among cities. Or that our city's 60-year, mutually beneficial partnership with Orange County's largest employer is not a special interest?

When that special interest (Disney) starts stealing tax revenue for their projects it becomes more of a parasitic relationship not mutually beneficially.

The truth is that public-private partnerships with the resort district have allowed Anaheim to balance the budget with cash reserves at a time when other cities are bankrupt. Investment in parks, libraries and gang reduction programs are being made at a time when other cities are contracting out basic services they can no longer afford to provide. 

Name one private-public partnership that has allowed Anaheim to balance the budget? The Convention Center, Honda Center, and Angel Stadium generate no direct revenue. To the contrary they are simply cash cows for the wealthy folks who run them.

Mayor Tait's claim that the Garden Walk economic assistance program is a $158 million give-away is false. In fact, the city's data is very clear that the action taken by the council earlier this year to amend a long-standing program for $40 million in additional tax reduction was designed to secure a $300 million, four-star hotel development. The Garden Walk hotels will actually raise $187 million over 20 years in new revenue to the city's general fund - funding that will support police, fire, parks, libraries without raising taxes on our residents or businesses. I encourage Anaheim residents to learn more about the city's long-standing economic assistance programs on the city's web page at

Kris Murray is one talented wordsmith.. It is a giveaway of $158 million with no community benefits agreement in place. The TOT revenue will be collected by the hotels, given to the city, and then a check will be written to the developers. Where does she come up with these numbers? 

It's been said that the OC Register is staunchly Libertarian, supposedly pro-business and supportive of sound fiscal policies, but their attacks on the resorts and on council policy are now becoming a pattern. When I attempted to rebut anti-business language in another recent editorial, I was given 250 words buried a week later under the day's letters. The placement of a nearly full page op-ed, the day before the election, is clearly an orchestrated effort by theRegister's editorial staff to take aim at Anaheim's business community - and completes an unprecedented campaign by the Register to impact the outcome of Anaheim's elections for the mayor's endorsed candidates. 

The attacks have only taken place because of the outrageous deals you brokered Mrs. Murray. Don't you get it. People are fed up with the giveaways and sweetheart deals while the rest of the city crumbles.

In his op-ed, Mayor Tait claims to be a "free market guy." Why then are the business community, the resort district, the Anaheim Chamber, OC Tax, Orange County Business Council, community leaders, and many more, endorsing the two opponents facing Mayor Tait's candidates? Why is the mayor endorsing a candidate who is a vocal supporter of gate taxes at Disneyland, Honda Center and Angels Stadium? I think it's time that balanced reporting is done on the impacts of Anaheim's stadium and resort districts - not just in our city, but countywide.

As you know, Mrs. Murray, all those organizations are funded by Disney. Of course they are all in alliance with your mission to steal more from Anaheim residents. What's wrong with a gate tax? I'm taxed when I visit attractions in LA. Maybe the money generated could fund the services to the residents you have neglected.

In Anaheim, we're focusing on improving our community, torn apart not by special interests but by those who support change ushered in with violence and hatred. Politicians who support these anti-Anaheim voices aren't pragmatic and independent. They're desperate.

What have you done to improve our community? Nothing.