Mayor Tom Tait has endorsed Lucille Kring for his slate of candidates in the 2012 City Council race. Lucille brings her extensive experience into play, following two stints on the City Council, serving from 1998 to 2002, and again from 2006 to 2010. While many believed her to be retired from public service, during a recent interview she told me that the current environment prompted her to step up and serve her city again, saying, “I’m running for council to bring my years of experience and political independence to be a unifying voice in City Hall.”
Lucille Kring has been endorsed by the GOP Central Committee as well as the CRA, and is the only Anaheim candidate endorsed by the Lincoln Club. Her impeccable conservative credentials bring balance to Tait’s slate, which has already backed John Leos, a Republican with serious ties to the OCEA. (I know, I know. Hand me that Advil. But Leos does present the best opportunity to stop the special interest deals and actually watch Tait’s back so I cannot fault Tait for the choice. And frankly Leos would never have the nerve to have given away the obscenely generous AMEA deal that the current Council majority blew in June, so we will roll with it and support the Mayor…while watching Leos VERY carefully. You hear me, John? )
Leos and Mayor Tait came to respect each other during their mutual support of the “Let the People Vote” initiative, a petition effort to allow Anaheim citizens to vote on future changes to TOT subsidies, prompted by the massive “incentive” of a full 80% of bed tax to developer Bill O’Connell, for two Gardenwalk hotels. (The first 20% was already committed to bond repayment that let Disney off the hook, so essentially 100% of the bed tax is gone.) The subsidy created widespread dissent in the community, as progressive leaders insisted the hotels would not be built without the incentive, while conservatives preferred to let the free market drive development, arguing that if O’Connell could not get funding without diverting all bed tax from the city’s General Fund, then perhaps there might not be the urgent need for 4-Star hotel rooms that previous studies claim.
In response to a 3 to 2 City Council vote, Mayor Tait led citizens in an effort toward a ballot Initiative to prevent future gifts of Resort revenue. While Leos has long been a vocal proponent of “Let the People Vote”, Lucille Kring has been relatively quiet, keeping to her usual style of weighing each individual issue as it crosses her desk, rather than make blanket statements of “always and never.” Ultimately her common sense approach must have appealed to Tait, and congratulations are in order for pulling together a balanced, highly electable team just in time for announcements to hit mailboxes with the absentee ballots that should mail by next week.
When all is said and done, voters are choosing so much more than who will occupy two City Council seats for the next four years. The current make-up of the Council reflects a perceived split in power, with allegiances divided between the Mayor who was legally elected in 2010, and the former Mayor who is still convinced he is running the City. The winners of those two seats will determine whether Tait has the votes needed to continue his own policies of “freedom and kindness”, or be shoved into a corner, forced to watch his Council colleagues ride roughshod over him while the Mayor-turned-lobbyist who used to occupy his seat makes even more money from clients getting their contracts approved by a very willing Council majority, eager to prove their loyalty to their mentor.
While no announcement has been made, I assume Mayor Tait will be doing some fundraising for his slate, because in this race there is no such thing as “good enough.” Tait’s candidates have to win against two extremely well-funded opponents whose corporate donors are already littering Anaheim with banners, many illegally posted on public property-and being defaced by local punks. Word to the wise; never, ever include head-shot photos on public signage, it is just an invitation for blacked out teeth and devil’s horns. But even vandalized signs get the point across, and Tait needs to get his people out there in front of voters to the same extent as the big money PACs have done for their choices.
Lucille Kring shared, “Anaheim faces a crossroads. Like so many California cities, we have been hit hard by the global economic downturn. The City Council has voted to cut key services, including police officers. It seems that special interests are getting too much of the council’s attention. It’s high time we bring fiscal responsibility back to City Hall.”