From The OC Register:
Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait doesn’t get a lot of love from the other three Republicans on his City Council, frequently finding himself on the losing end of key votes. And one of those Republicans, Lucille Kring, is challenging his re-election bid.
But Tait got a major display of GOP support last month when the county Republican Party announced he was one of its two “Local Legislators of the Year.”
The timing was particularly conspicuous given the criticism he’s been getting from other Republicans on the council as well as from some members of the Anaheim business community. The timing is also notable because Tait is gearing up his reelection campaign.
These awards in election years are typically designed to give favored candidates a boost. The other “Local Legislator of the Year” was county Supervisor Janet Nguyen, who is facing a tight and crucial state Senate race against Democrat Jose Solorio.
“Tom has overwhelming support inside the Republican Party of Orange County,” said county GOP Chairman Scott Baugh, noting that the selections were approved by the party’s executive committee. “Tom and his family have been supporting the Orange County Republican Party for probably three decades, sharing their office space, doing precinct walks and helping financially.”
Among key issues where Tait has been at odds with his fellow City Council Republicans: He argued in vain that the beginning negotiating terms for the Angels’ new lease were too generous; he has favored pure district elections in order to ensure better geographic representation on the council; and he opposed a $158 million tax rebate to two new luxury hotels.
The GOP council majority has also targeted Tait by reducing his mayoral staff and limiting his ability to put items on the agenda.
Baugh said the award was not intended as an endorsement of Tait’s votes – that there was no strong consensus in the party on the more controversial issues – but rather an acknowledgement of his character and contributions to the GOP.
And if the award appears to be a slap at Kring, Baugh didn’t seem to mind.
“Tom’s being challenged by a Republican who lied to the (county GOP’s governing) committee and lied to Tom Tait,” said Baugh, referring to her statements during her 2012 council campaign that she opposed the proposed tax rebate to the hotels – and then voted for a rebate once elected.
Kring responded that the rebate deal had changed by the time her vote came up, and she was convinced it made sense. She said she never spoke to the county GOP on the tax-rebate issue, and she complained that the award for Tait had nothing to do with his position on issues.
“That is a joke, the whole thing,” she said. “Why would four people – three being Republicans – vote against him on the council if he was doing the right thing?”
Former Councilwoman Lorri Galloway, a Democrat, has also declared her candidacy in the race, which is officially non-partisan.