Disney in control of Charter Review Commission

Enough is Enough Mickey! You've already siphoned off $319 million of taxpayer funds for your private streetcar project. Not to mention the sweetheart deals connected to the Honda Center, Angel Stadium, the GardenWalk Hotel, and the resort area improvements. Now you want to get your white gloves on the charter (constitution) of the City of Anaheim. When are you going to learn to be a good citizen and not the rat you've become. 

For the uninformed, here is the cast that Disney has chosen (Disney lobbyist Carrie Nocella pictured below):

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Craig Farrow  - GardenWalk Hotel giveaway afficiando

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Gloria Maae - card caring SUCK OUR ANAHEIM RESOURCES (SOAR) member

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Todd Ament  - employer of Matt Cunningham who supported pedophile priest enabler John Urell amongst other nefarious activities. Mr. Ament also is the show runner for the Anti-Anaheim Blog that on a daily basis spins the truth for Disney.

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Keith Olesen  - Anaheim's biggest sellout and lap dog of Kris Murray.

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Amanda Edinger  - known for her anti-immigrant online rants, which comes as no surprise as she was given this post by Lucille Kring.

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OCTA Should Just Say No to the Disney Trolley

From The Voice of OC: 

LETTER IN OPPOSITION TO “Anaheim Rapid Connection Locally Preferred Alternative” — AKA — The REALLY REALLY Expensive Taxpayer-Funded Trolley to Disneyland’s Front Door.

Dear OCTA Member:

Some of you on the OCTA Board of Directors know me, others do not. By way of introduction my name is Jon Fleischman. I am the publisher of theFlashReport.org website on California politics. I am a former Executive Director of the California Republican Party. Here in Orange County I am a long-time elected member of the Orange County GOP Central Committee, a member of the Lincoln Club, and am an activist for conservative candidates and causes.

I admit that most of my attention is spent focused on what is taking place in Sacramento. These days, with the pervasive control that the state’s public employee unions have in the State Capitol, it’s not pretty. I only reference my focus on State Capitol politics as an explanation for dropping you a last minute, brief note on an issue that frankly deserves much more attention.

Let me caveat my remarks below by saying that as a strong advocate for lower taxes, Measure M, and it’s renewal were two local taxes that I actually supported. All you need to do is look attentively as you cross the border between Orange County and any neighboring county to see what our own investment into transportation infrastructure has meant for the standard of living for all who live here.

Carrie Nocella - Disney's resident wicked witch who's goal is not get those Ruby slippers but taxpayer funds to build Disney a $319 million streetcar to shuttle guests to Disneyland.

Carrie Nocella - Disney's resident wicked witch who's goal is not get those Ruby slippers but taxpayer funds to build Disney a $319 million streetcar to shuttle guests to Disneyland.

That having been said, I have been reading for quite some time about a proposal to used well north of $100,000,000.00 in Measure M funds, paired up with an even larger chunk of federal transportation dollars, to contract an elaborate trolley system to run for a few miles through Anaheim, to basically end at the gates to Disneyland.

THIS IS A TERRIBLE WASTE OF TAXPAYER FUNDS.

Since I mention Disneyland I will throw our a few quick points on DL — I am a financial supporter, as I pay retail for my family to all have Premium passes every year. I visited the park myself over 50 times last year. I have gotten to know many of the people that work for DL, and consider them friends. It upsets me to no end when that company, whose national and state corporate level bias is Democrat, pitches in big bucks to statewide stuff I don’t like (most recently in favor of passing last year’s Prop. 30 statewide sales tax increase). It’s my understanding, by the way, that this proposal calls for Disney Corporation’s contribution to this trolley system to be exactly – zero. Great deal for them!

That having been said, it was never envisioned by me that by voting for Measure M that I would be, in essence, subsidizing the Mouse (with all due respect). It seems like a lack of acknowledgment of entry into the 21st Century that anyone would sink vast sums of money into heavy-duty fixed, in the ground transportation systems. Especially here in California. I say this as I look at our state’s quixotic efforts to lay down a massive High Speed Rail System that I think will never see the light of day, and if it does, it doesn’t show up in Orange County in my lifetime (I am 45).

The way I read it, there is a goal of moving people from Anaheim’s train station to Disneyland (and whatever stops happen to be in-between) — and these I guess would be Metrolink and Amtrak users as I told you I am skeptical of HSR, which Congress now opposes funding. That’s’ great. Use buses. You can use more or less of them depending on demand. And the cost is vastly cheaper. And to those “studies” that show more people would ride a trolley than a bus — well, I’m not really interested in using my tax dollars to provide Cadillac transportation when a chevy will due. And I will withhold editorial comment about the type of people that would “scoff” at riding a bus.

Using buses would not only save a lot of federal money here (and let’s remember we are all citizens of the United States — it is not okay to put federal money to a wasteful use here in Orange County as pork spending). But more importantly, it would free up vast sums of money to do what we desperately need Measure M funds to do — widen and make more usable our freeway system. By my “back of the napkin” match, using buses for this project in Anaheim would free up enough Measure M dollars to add an entire extra non-toll lane both N/B and S/B on the 405 freeway! Or think about those funds used to widen that horrific bottleneck at the 91 going out to the Inland Empire.

In case you hadn’t noticed — traffic in Orange County SUCKS. We should be making sure that NO FUNDS that COULD be used to mitigate freeway traffic are spent elsewhere, where permissible under the guidelines of Measure M.

Look, at this late date you have all probably been woo’d and schmoozed by all of the lobbyists pushing this trolley boondoggle. And no doubt the OCTA staff is “in love” with this sort of “signature project” that allows them to play SimCity with other people’s money.

But you were all elected to the OCTA Board, with an understanding that you represent the interests of those Orange Countians who are funding transportation projects through their sales taxes.

I strongly encourage you to vote against this project. Or at a very minimum continue this proposal and bring in some other points of view both on the folly of spending huge money on trolley systems, and also inviting a broader discussion about best use of Measure M dollars.

If you are a local elected official, looking for GOP support in your next election, you should at least be cognizant that if I feel this strongly about this waste of taxpayer dollars, I’m not going to be the only one.

In closing, I want to reiterate that I am not trying to beat up on my friends at Disneyland. I am used to the idea that corporations in modern times are all about figuring out how to get as much public money spent in ways that benefit them as possible. But it is not their decision to make, it is YOURS.

Remember when you sit in your meeting and the lineup of folks is there to tell you what a great idea this is that there is a reason why taxpayers are not lined up to oppose it — because their representatives in the room, on whom they count, are YOU.

Jon

P.S. My favorite “spin” in a cursory review of the staff report is the minimizing of the VAST AND HUGE cost of this trolley project by somehow comparing it to the even more ginormous costs of some sort of Disneyesque above ground monorail system — when the comparison should be between a permanent trolley system versus amping up more buses, which has the advantage of being totally flexible based on ACTUAL usage (visions of half empty trolleys, with Goofy, Mickey and their friends waving from the back, enter my mind).

 

Murray thinks Save Anaheim's ads are "distasteful"

From the OC Register:

A change in the Register's advertisement policy – prompted by complaints from Anaheim council members targeted by political ads – is attracting accusations of favoritism from one affected advertiser and raising eyebrows among some in the newspaper business.

But the Register's publisher said that while the need for the new policy was brought to light by the complaints, the decision was not made to benefit any individual or entity. Rather, the move to ban negative ads was made to better the paper, he said.

 "When we see opportunities to improve we do so swiftly, and we saw this as an area to improve," said Publisher Aaron Kushner, who led an investment group's purchase of the paper in July. Since the ownership change, the paper has undergone numerous changes, including large-scale redesigns and the addition of more than 70 journalists to the newsroom.

Some media professionals have criticized the move to block negative ads as vague and vulnerable to charges of favoritism.

"Blocking an entire category of ad – it can look like you're trying to suck up to somebody," said former newpaper editor Andrew Beaujon, who writes about media for The Poynter Institute. "But it's Kushner's paper. It's his right to make the rules."

Beaujon also noted potential issues with the absence of specific guidelines in the Register's new ad policy.

"Acting on a case-by-case basis can make it difficult to have a clear standard of ethics," he said, adding that a ban on negative and attack ads was unusual in the newspaper business.

The move has drawn criticism from Anaheim activist and blogger Jason Young, whose half-page ads in the Register's Anaheim community papers prompted the change.

His Dec. 20 ad said that Anaheim council members Kris Murray and Gail Eastman "Violated CA State Law" and cited a court ruling earlier in the month in which a $158-million subsidy to build two proposed luxury hotels was blocked.

The judge in the case ruled that the council had violated the open meeting law, the Brown Act, when it voted 3-2 to approve the subsidy in closed session. Murray and Eastman supported the subsidy.

"It's definitely censorship," Young said. "The Register runs adult-services ads, but they won't run our own truthful and accurate ads.

"I disagree with the characterization of these as personal-attack ads. These are informing the public of what's going on in the city of Anaheim."

Kushner pointed to the Register's editorial page as evidence that the paper was not taking political sides with Murray and Eastman.

Young acknowledged that the editorial page has shared his criticism of the hotel subsidies, of Murray and Eastman, and that it endorsed the opponents of Murray's and Eastman's allies in November's City Council races. But he maintained that the ad policy change was designed to benefit Murray and Eastman, two pro-Disneyland members on the council.

"Disney spends a lot of money on advertising in the Register," Young said. "The Register clearly has an interest in keeping Disney happy."

Carrie Nocella - Disney's resident wicked witch who's goal is not get those Ruby slippers but taxpayes funds to build Disney a $319 million streetcar to shuttle guests to the resort. This is distasteful.

Carrie Nocella - Disney's resident wicked witch who's goal is not get those Ruby slippers but taxpayes funds to build Disney a $319 million streetcar to shuttle guests to the resort. This is distasteful.

At press time, Kushner had not responded to Young's accusation regarding the paper's relationship with Disney. However, Murray said it was unjustified.

"The Register works with a number of large businesses citywide, including sports teams and hoteliers, and it's unfair to single out Disney," she said. She also took exception to the characterization that she broke state law.

The new Register ad policy reads, in part, "The Register pays particularly close attention to advocacy or opinion-based advertisements that could be construed as negative or attacking an individual or specific organization."

Presented with a list of 12 common subjects of political attacks – ranging from policy positions to criminal convictions to racial slurs – Kushner declined to enumerate which might violate the Register's policy.

"I don't think it's appropriate to answer hypotheticals," he responded in an email. "If we do have an issue, our first step will be to talk with the potential advertiser to help them make either less of an attack ad or less personal by name or hopefully both."

Asked about those, such as Beaujon, who say the policy is subjective and vulnerable to criticism of playing favorites, Kushner wrote, "Unfortunately any time something is regulated there is subjectivity – even in the judgment about whether and what to regulate."

Kris Murray said she and Gail Eastman had mentioned that they found Young's ads "distasteful" in a meeting with Register President Eric Spitz, but that they did not ask for any change and that she didn't learn of the new policy until a reporter called her this week.

Save Anaheim Artwork

Right to left:

Todd Ament, Carrie Nocella, Reed Royalty, Kris Murray, Harry Sidhu, Curt Pringle, Jill Kanzler, Jordan Brandman, and Steve Lodge.

SOAR, Orange County Business Council, OC Taxpayers Association, Anaheim Chamber of Commerce, Disney

Kris Murray

Harry Sidhu

Gail Eastman

DISNEY can't keep their hands off Councilwoman Kris Murray

Here is a series of photos showing just how close Disney lobbyist Carrie Nocella is with Anaheim City Council member Kris Murray. Special thanks to Anaheim Colony members for providing these photos.

Disney's lobbyist Carrie Nocella sits on the board of several groups that contributed and/or helped Kris Murray get elected in 2010. I've also included the amounts they spent on Kris Murray's campaign in 2010.

Orange County Business Council's (OCBC) PAC Board of Trustees + OCBC Advocacy and Government Affairs Commitee with Kris Murray.

-click images to enlarge-

$1700

OC Taxpayers Association PAC Governing Board Member 

$7,924

Anaheim Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

$65,013+ for voter guides featuring Kris Murray, Gail Eastman, and Tom Tait.

SOAR Advisory Committee Member

$34,1010

http://www.soaranaheim.com/index.php?page=about-soar

How are Carrie Nocella and Disney connected to Jordan Brandman?

Well in addition to the campagin contributions, we have these photos to share (provided by Anaheim Colony residents):