Monday, September 1, 2008

Anaheim City Council Race

I am no political insider, but I do work hard to be informed, and the upcoming November election for Anaheim City Council is likely the most important we have ever had. While I get much of my political news from the Red County blog, they only reviewed Republican candidates, which I think is pretty shortsided considering City Council is a non-partisan office. Now, I have never been called impartial, nor am I shy about sharing my opinions. So this evaluation is just my own take on the upcoming race, and you are free to agree or disagree. I am posting whatever websites I have found, so you can do your own investigation of the candidates. If I do not have a website, it is because I do not know of one, and I am happy to update that info if you send it to me. I also love a good, well reasoned debate, so feel free to post a respectful rebuttal. But be warned, you better have done your homework, we are looking for facts, and flaming is a no-no too. Otherwise, have it, or if you really hate these views, get your own blog.

The candidates for Anaheim City Council 2008, in alphabetical order:

Brian Chuchua: Retired Businessman/CEO, declined to file a candidates’s statement, which in my mind is just plain lazy. How are we supposed to support someone who will not share information about himself?

Gail Eastman: Businesswoman/Planning Commissioner:
See this link for her Candidate Statement http://www.anaheim.net/images/articles/1773/EASTMAN.pdf
I have made no secret of my support for Gail, so I will not pretend to be fair and balanced here. If you have not met her, check her out. www.gail2008.com In my opinon Gail Eastman is the most qualified candidate out there. Her support base tends to be more non-partisan than the others, as an independent she is not playing party politics, which I think do not belong in a Council race. Her support base also tends to be people I want to have a drink with at a fund-raiser, and they tend to be passionate about the things I care about. Gail Eastman has my vote for one seat. I am still waffling on my other vote.

Robert Flores: Another candidate that declined to file a Candidate’s Statement. Bobby runs for everything. He wants to be elected to something, and does not seem to care what it is. Maybe it’s a marketing thing for his real estate business?

Lorri Galloway: Of all the candidates, she is the only one I know with a campaign AGAINST her! Rumors have always surrounded her past ethics, and the way she runs the Eli Home has been in question since the beginning. I did some digging around, some of the past rumors did not actually play out when investigated, on the other hand, I have verified some of them with my own research. Not enough space here to get into the lack of judgement of one candidate, email me directly if you want more info, or check out the opposition’s blog at http://noongallowayanaheim.blogspot.com/

Again, because it’s my blog and I can say what I want, I openly admit that I have a Lorri Galloway magnet on my fridge, as a daily reminder of how hard we need to work to get her off that dais in November. This chick is bad for the City with a hey-nonny, she needs to go.

John Karczynski: Businessman/Non-Profit Chairman, also heavy vested in the Republican party. Here is his candidate statement: http://www.anaheim.net/images/articles/1773/KARCZYNSKI.pdf
I have met with John a number of times, I like him, I like his views, I think he has a great vision for the City. Check him out at www.JoinJohn2008.com

Steve Perez: Ballot designation intentially left blank, he lists no occupation, but here is his ballot statement: http://www.anaheim.net/images/articles/1773/PEREZ.pdf
From my limited knowledge, Steve Perez is a college student, and while I am excited that young people are getting involved, I have some issues here. My biggest is that he has not done his homework, and has spouted off on issues based on fallacies and urban legend. Next up is his insistence that Disney is too involved in Anaheim, and that they are somehow bad for the City. Again, those who know me know better than to bag on the Resort, it does not fly. On the other hand, he did take my advice and switch from a juvenile MySpace page to develop a real website, at www.steveperez08.com. I have offered to meet with him, but he has put me off, so I do not have much to share on him.

Jennifer Rivera:
Ballot Designation intentionally left blank, Declined to File a Candidate’s Statement. A non-player in my book, with the exception of littering the City with annoying and amateurish campaign signs. In the name of fairness, if anyone has info about her I will update this blog with it, but I am not wasting my time chasing her down.

Kostas “Gus Roditis: CEO/Transportation Executive: Candidate Statement http://www.anaheim.net/images/articles/1773/RODITIS.pdf He does not appear to have a website, but lists his cell number as 714-423-7137.

Harry Sidhu:
Incumbent Councilmember: Heavily involved in the Republican party, in June he ran for State Senate, losing to Mimi Walters. Here is his Candidate’s Statement http://www.anaheim.net/images/articles/1773/SIDHU.pdf
And website www.JoinHarry.com
I like Harry, he tends to be very conservative, especially when it comes to spending tax dollars, which is always welcome. On the other hand, the buzz I hear is an underlying anger that if he still had a vision for Anaheim he should not have tried to leave for Sacto. Harry can easily finance a campaign, and I hope it is enough to win over those who are miffed with him for treating his Anaheim seat like a fallback position. Me, I could live with 4 more years of Harry.

Faiz Zuberi: Realtor, Declined to file a Candidate Statement. Ran for City Council in 2004, came in dead last.

This will be a tough race. Three viable candidates, Eastman, Karczynski, Sidhu, and two seats. In the end it will likely come down to who Mayor Curt Pringle gets behind, and right now he’s not saying. However, he has resurrected his old PAC, with a fundraiser on September 23 at House of Blues. Jubal at Red County reports on it at http://www.redcounty.com/orange-county/2008/08/if-there-was-ever-any/

So, the whole shooting match is up in the air for now. All I can say is do your homework, and if you have information or a contact for a candidate I missed here, let me know.

4 comments:

KeithO said...

Ok, I'll bite. There’s just so much to hate about all this, but here’s 2 cents worth to start. No candidate statement, no vote. That part's simple. But why is it that the ones that were submitted are, as always, nothing more than a list of generalizations, clich├ęs, and platitudes? Everyone is going to "create buffers" "clean up parks" "offer accountability" and "ensure we have laws" "build a strong future" "encourage cooperation" and address "quality of life" issues. What does any of that mean and what is actually going to be done to accomplish these lofty and fundamentally meaningless generic puffs of air? And let's not forget the politician's favorite: "hire cops and firefighters." Everyone's going to hire/strengthen/support/whatever police and fire services. Not the answer to any of the city’s issues, but boy people just love to hear that crap. Amazing how often fear and stupidity walk hand in hand. Talk about pandering. Spare me. I know space is very limited for candidate statements. All the more reason to get to the point and state facts and not empty promises, inflated lists of accomplishments, generalizations and fluff--that's what those expensive glossy mailers that investors and special interests buy you are for. You know, the ones with the photos of you standing in front of a police car or the one with you standing with some vapor-brained politician that's supposed to impress everyone by showing how well loved and connected you are, or the one of you with that happy little smile and maybe some kids in a park or some other Leave It To Beaver moment. And candidates: Stop saying you're not politicians. If you are running for a political office and you are in the political circus than you are a politician. Politician is not necessarily a pejorative term. That seems to happen after the election. This is all such bull shit that it's hard to know where to start or when to stop, and that certainly isn't everything that's annoying about these little snapshots into our candidates universes, but at least that’s a start.

colony rabble said...

KO,

You are one of the few people in this universe whose respect I would desperately covet. Well said.

kennedy said...

I'm not a Galloway acolyte, but I've never understood the enmity some folks have toward her. From what I can tell, it's that she dares talk about some of the ugly bits behind our city's (especially the Resort) Gunkist image. Those Resort workers are today's orange pickers, y'know.

But on a more important note, Cynthia: can't remember if you told me, but did you show Huell the Library's Pinocchio?

--Gustavo

colony rabble said...

I did not show Huell the library, someone from the Muzeo staff showed him around the Reading Room. But I think Pinocchio is at the Central Branch.

As far as Lorri, I admire her compassion for the poor. I was once one of those impoverished resort area workers, waiting tables for tourists who had forgotten that tipping is acceptable outside of Des Moines, and living in a rat trap apartment off Orangewood and Harbor. The other mothers and I would trade off, one would watch the kids while the other checked the lawn for condoms and syringes before taking our kids downstairs to play on the postage stamp of lawn, never taking our eyes off them, and fighting the hopelessness of the future. I know the fear of having the rent go up by $25 and realizing it is going to come out of your beans and rice grocery budget. I have bought someone else’s worn out yard sale blankets because I could not turn on the dinky wall heater. I get it. When I feel sorry for myself because I cannot refi out of my adjustable, I go over to Mallul Drive and sit for a bit. With my windows up and my doors locked, but I go. It keeps things in perspective.

Where I part ways with Lorri is her vision of these hard working people. She treats them like children who must be provided for. In Lorri’s world, the janitor will never be anything but a janitor, and so she must provide a subsidized home for him, where he and his family will spend the rest of their lives being supervised by the government, and cared for by the government, and I think it is humiliating to see human beings in this way. I was there, I remember these people, and they are intelligent, and hard working, and like me will jump at a chance to get out if they are given an opportunity.

Lorri keeps building high-density housing on every postage stamp of land, when Anaheim is behind New York City for green space (that is from the Kennedy Commission) But the projects are not limited only to Anaheim residents or employees, so they fill with the working poor from other areas of the County who have refused to meet their SCAG mandate, and we do not really fill the need for Anaheim workers, while gobbling up park space. As we continue to import the working poor from other areas, our income demographics continue to drop, so retailers and restaurateurs will no longer consider Anaheim for future development. Lisa Stipkovitch cannot get anything but a Chuck E. Cheese’s into the Sinkin Lincoln development, even with RDA subsidies! That means fewer amenities for residents who would love to eat dinner here in town, and a loss of sales tax, as we take our dollars to the Border’s in Brea or the Trader Joe’s in Orange. Gustavo when was the last time you bought a book in Anaheim? Especially after losing the Book Baron! Tragedy of all tragedies.

Rather than keeping people in a cycle of subsidized poverty, how about we attract higher paying jobs to the area, with subsidies if need be, and create more job training programs to meet the demands of these jobs? Instead of giving the Platinum Triangle janitor a subsidized housing unit which adds to the density of an already overbuilt area, how about we help him fulfill his dream to become an account manager in one of those Platinum Triangle offices with a market rate luxury Platinum Triangle condo? Yes, I am idealist who believes people want to make a better life for themselves, and for those who are truly unable (and there are legit cases of folks who cannot manage and I understand that) we do need to create programs of compassion. But I think Lorri oversimplifies the situation and certainly underestimates the people of Anaheim by institutionalizing an entire class of workers, and it is insulting.

My beef with Lorri Galloway is that she sees the janitor as incapable of helping himself, and I see that janitor as an intelligent human being with hopes and dreams and goals that he could do amazing things and care for his family if given the chance. I know because that janitor was once my next-door neighbor, and I once sat on that ratty lawn with his wife, watching his kids play, and hearing about his dreams to get out. I know, because I got out, and while I am not wealthy, I live in a home I once could not rent a room in. I know someone else who went to Chapman and made a better life for himself, and made Anaheim proud of him. And yet, in Lorri’s world you and I would be prime for her programs to pack us into subsidized apartments with no place for our kids to play.

Not that I feel strongly about this or anything.