Piling on Anaheim Mayor Tait for Fitzgerald’s Outrageous Rant is Unwarranted and Disingenuous

Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray (Photo: Chris Prevatt)

Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray (Photo: Chris Prevatt)

There is zero doubt in my mind that the rant delivered by Anaheim gadfly William Fitzgerald at last Monday’s Special Meeting of the Anaheim City Council was anti-Semitic and anti-gay. It was a bigoted rant that deserves to be condemned by all who witness it. My colleague, Dan Chmielewski, took Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait and his Republican colleagues to task for failing to immediately condemn Fitzgerald’s comments. I have to disagree with Dan on his characterization of Mayor Tait’s response to Mr. Fitzgerald both during and after his comments.

Dan failed to recognize that Mayor Tait did interrupt Fitzgerald during his comments and requested that his commentary be modified to be “not so mean.” Mayor Tait was a bit tame in his criticism of Fitzgerald’s commentary up to that point. By the time Tait interrupted him, the comments had already crossed a line of civility and into the realm of anti-Semitic. I believe that he should have been more forceful in condemning the Fitzgerald’s comments. But Tait is limited by law, and the U.S. Constitution in what he could do about it, and it was clear from Fitzgerald’s response to Tait, that Fitzgerald was quite aware of those limitations.

Mayor Tom Tait, Anaheim (Photo: Chris Prevatt)

Mayor Tom Tait, Anaheim (Photo: Chris Prevatt)

But the public criticism of Tait by Councilwoman Kris Murray during her appearance on the SoCal Insider program with Rick Reiff, demonstrated her willingness to use Fitzgerald’s outrageous actions to distract from the discussion of the criticisms that Mayor Tait and his supporters have surrounding the decision by the Council majority to limit his ability to place items on the council agenda between meetings. Specifically, his desire to agendize and discuss the negotiations between the City and Angels owner Arte Moreno over the future of Anaheim Stadium and the land surrounding it.

Within the first few minutes of the segment Reiff asked Tait if he felt that the removal of his power to place items on the agenda was hardball? “Of course it’s hardball,” Tait responded. But Murray used the question as an opportunity to change the subject.

“I think what’s hardball is when we have the chambers filled with hate speech. and that’s what happened on Monday,” Murray said. “And that’s really what should be the story—is the presiding officer not taking action to stop what was some very clear horrific things that were anti-Semitic and a attack.” Murray continued explaining; “Clearly supporters [of the Mayor]—there were horribly anti-Semitic comments made, and until Lucille Kring and I asked the Mayor to intervene, there was nothing done to stop it, and the presiding officer is the only one with the gavel to try to correct that kind of behavior.”

Tait took issue with Murray’s claim that Fitzgerald is one of his supporters telling Reiff; “There is one gentleman who comes to our meetings, every meeting—ran against me for Mayor, I actually had to bring suit against him, so hardly a supporter, said some terrible things—but as you know at that meeting, at a council meeting, that mic is privileged and you can say slanderous terrible things, and there’s very little we can do about it. the same gentleman brought suit against the County of Orange for trying to stop him a few years ago—so there’s not a whole lot I can do about it.” Tait added; “It’s interesting that she [Murray] brings this up. Of course I’m abhorred by that. I’ve asked the city manager and city attorney to see what we can do, if there is anything, to stop terrible, racist things that were said, and of course I hate that.”

When Reiff asked Murray if she was suggesting that Tait was party to what was being said she responded; “Not a party to it, but he is the presiding officer and he does have privileges to control decorum in the meeting,” Murray said. “this has actually been escalating and going on for years, and largely driven by supporters unfortunately of the Mayor—and the character attacks on the council have been escalating, and it escalated against Jordan Brandman on Monday in a wery ugly and horrific way, and I think that all members of our Jewish community happen to be gay as well as members, who happen to be gay, of our community should be outraged at what was said and I wish that more had been done earlier, we’ve been asking for decorum policies for a number of years now.”

Tait countered. “To somehow try to blame me for what this fellow said, at a public meeting—all sorts of things are said at those public meetings—this one was outrageous—to somehow blame me—it’s kind of more of this hardball attack against me for something that someone said is kind of crazy.”

The timing of the call for a “Special Meeting” by Councilman Jordan Brandman to remove the power of the mayor to place items on the council agenda and require a second to place any item on the agenda, immediately following the discussion of an agenda item from the mayor regarding the negotiations with the Angels owner and the city—which Brandman and his majority holding colleagues didn’t want to discuss—belied the real reason behind the motion. Simply put, Brandman was moving to prevent the Mayor from bringing up items for discussion that the majority did not want to discuss. By the time Monday’s meeting rolled around, it appears that the council majority had the time to miraculously conclude that requiring all members of the council to place items on the agenda that they wished to discuss at the next meeting in open session during the preceding meeting would suffice. The only thing the special meeting last Monday accomplished was to remove the ability of the Mayor to set the council meeting agenda, and confirm the right of council members to request an Item be placed on a future meeting agenda which already existed implicitly, if mot explicitly.

The unfortunate result of this action is to prevent the Mayor from placing any items on the agenda, that inevitably come up between meetings. This could prove to be problematic. The action restricts the ability of the Mayor to prepare a meeting agenda, leaving that task to staff (if that is even allowed by council policy). If it is allowed there’s little doubt that the city manager can count, and knows who is in the majority. I think we can be fairly certain that if a member of the majority has something come up between meetings they want discussed, that item will make it on the agenda by way of staff.

Henry Vandermeir addresses the DPOC Central Committee during officer elections January 14, 2013. (Photo: Lou Delgado)

Henry Vandermeir addresses the DPOC Central Committee during officer elections January 14, 2013. (Photo: Lou Delgado)

But the politicization of Mr. Fitzgerald’s outrageous statements has moved beyond Murray and the Anaheim Council majority, making it’s way to the Chairman of the Democratic Party of Orange County. Today, DPOC Chairman Henry Vandermeir piled on, repeating, almost parroting, the language of Councilwoman Murray in condemning not only Mr. Fitzgerald’s comments, but also stating “Mayor Tait, as the presiding officer at the council meeting, has the responsibility to bar Mr. Fitzgerald from speaking at future council meetings.” The problem here is that the Mayor has no authority to do so, and Vandermeir should know that the rights of people to address their elected representatives cannot be abridged. The action that he is demanding is unlawful, and almost as outrageous as Mr. Fitzgerald’s comments were offensive.

Vandermeir adds that the Democratic Party of Orange County is calling on Mayor Tait to address this issue at tomorrow’s council meeting, and apologize to Councilman Brandman for not stopping Mr. Fitzgerald’s tirade, and announce that Mr. Fitzgerald, and any other person who addresses the council in such a manner, be barred from speaking at future council meetings.

First, Tait did take what action he had been advised by the city attorney was within his legal authority at the time of Mr. Fitzgerald’s comments. While one might argue that he could have been more forceful in language and tone, Mayor Tait was the only member of the council to actually make any statement in response to Fitzgerald at the time. Mayor Tait does not owe an apology for the actions of an individual exercising their rights of free speech, no matter how offensive that free speech is. Further, Mayor Tait is barred by the Brown Act, and ironically the actions of the council on Monday, from placing the matter on the agenda for council discussion tomorrow. He also does not have the legal authority to ban anyone from speaking before the council, no matter what their past conduct.

As a gay man, I am disgusted by the hate speech Mr. Fitzgerald engaged in at the Special Meeting last week. But I am also disappointed that the Chair of the Democratic Party of Orange County would make such irrational demands in the name of people offended directly by Fitzgerald’s comments. Mr. Vandermeir’s press release is political theatrics. It is one thing to be outraged and denounce hate speech whenever it occurs. It’s another, to simply pile on without the slightest thought towards the rationality of the actions you demand.

  75 comments for “Piling on Anaheim Mayor Tait for Fitzgerald’s Outrageous Rant is Unwarranted and Disingenuous

  1. Daniel L
    October 7, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    THANK YOU! I nearly puked when I heard Murray’s take on the events. Do people have no shame!?!?!

  2. Claudio W. Gallegos
    October 7, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    Well said Chris! I couldn’t agree with you more. Where was the DPOC and others when another gadfly, James Robert Reade, compared Mexicans to apes at a City Council Meeting? Where was Kris Murray’s outrage?

  3. Greg Diamond
    October 7, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    Well said, Chris. I’m shocked to find Henry Vandermier claiming that “the DPOC” is calling for actions that we’ve never even discussed. I have my suspicions about whom Henry likely discussed them with — and if that led to his echoing the sentiments of the atrocious Kris Murray, it should have been a hint that something is wrong.

    Asking Tait to apologize to Brandman? Clearly, whatever actual Democrat came up with that one has not been watching the Anaheim Council meetings, where Brandman is continually chewing scenery in his attacks on Tait for … well, for trying to exercise even a modicum of oversight.

    Nice to see some liberalism in The Liberal OC. We’ve missed you, Chris.

    • October 8, 2013 at 8:39 am

      All of the Republicans should apologize to Brandman for failing to call out hate speech Greg. As for liberalism, when did Tom Tait register as a Democrat to warrant such a man crush from you?

    • October 8, 2013 at 9:20 pm

      Thanks for the clarification about the accuracy of Mr. Vandermeir’s claim. I doubt that he sees any difference between those statements he makes on behalf of the DPOC, and those he makes for himself. I guess we can give him a little slack, Brandman probably didn’t give him much to work with. If it came from some other source, like Pringle and Associates or Disney, well we should probably just hand over the keys to Scott Baugh and call it a day.

  4. Ryan Cantor
    October 7, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    Well done.

  5. Cynthia Ward
    October 8, 2013 at 6:21 am

    Oh no, people actually caught on to that 8 am Monday meeting, Curt what do we do NOW? We are even more hated than before! We didn’t think that was even possible! Well, kids, the only thing in Anaheim more brutish than your own behavior in the name of “leadership” is the speech of that idiot Fitzgerald, go blame Tait for that, get the attention off yourselves. Gee, thanks Curt, you are so brilliant, that is why we NEED you in Anaheim to provide that strong visionary leadership that will save us from being a mediocre backwoods hick town, why we don’t even have our own failed transit system to enslave us for life like the big cities have, and now we have to put up with this Boy Scout of a mayor who forces us to discuss our spending, and justify voting to give your clients money. We are all so glad you are here to tell us what to do! (insert fawning if you need the visual to make it work for you. Personally I need to just be sick.)

    Thank you Chris, for providing a voice of reason to counter what I can only assume is a temporary lapse of sanity from the other guy over here (let the Angels have anything they want as long as it only costs Anaheim taxpayers to let me see a game? Really Dan?)

    I started scrounging through old meetings in Anaheim’s archives, looking for any evidence that the benefactor of the Big Four had made any attempt to reign in the ignorance and ugliness that has spewed across that microphone for many, many years during the nearly decade of his failed leadership. I cannot find an instance of Pringle forbidding someone to speak, cutting the microphone, muting, or otherwise stepping in. Fitzgerald has been pissing people off since the Daly years, and he is joined by a psycho chick named Alma who likes props, who hangs out with James Robert Reade, the scariest of the scary. By the way, Reade is welcome over at the Chamber funded AnaheimBlog, where unlike Council meetings the comments are moderated, someone has to LET that garbage be posted…and it is a private forum where they have the right to limit what is said. But by all means, let’s all pile on Tait for being handcuffed by the silly, meaningless obstacle of the LAW…

    Go check out the meeting of September 28, 2010, Public Comments at around the 16 minute mark. Alma (can’t recall her last name) sets up stuffed monkeys and bananas on the podium, and goes on a rant about “wetbacks and wetback chongos” she repeatedly refers to human beings as “chongos” and in the end offers the stuffed monkeys to Curt Pringle. The whole time you can see James Robert Reade directly behind her on screen doing his dweeby head-bobbing evil laugh, like a 9 year old who just learned the value of a new curse word to shock Mommy with. Pringle’s reaction to what was clearly in the same category of hate speech? “Would anyone else like to address the Anaheim City Council under public comments?” It was the same reaction he had when Fitzgerald called female Council members “whores.” This has been a frequent occurrence, it is wrong and ugly and I wish we didn’t have to hear it, but it is not exactly new. The only thing new about the gadflies is that the Council majority need a new “sin” to hang on the Mayor and distract from their own bad press attention!

    Eastman likes to gripe about how “disrespectful” meetings have become, with crowds cheering and clapping, but again that was happening back in the day, indeed I rewatched a video from the SOAR/SunCal fight, and speakers were cheered and applauded over and over again, with Pringle’s only reaction being to remind the crowd that it slows down the meeting when we delay between speakers to clap, and we all want to get on with it. I guess when it is YOUR crowd cheering it is civic engagement, when it is people pointing out the appearance that you just MAY possibly have sold your soul to special interests now it is suddenly “disrespect.”

    Nobody outside of their (fully funded) inside circle seems to be buying the load of garbage they are flinging at Tom Tait, every time they take a swing at him they just look even more evil, and ultimately I suspect it is not the voters or media they need to fear anywhere near as bad as the potential for law enforcement to start looking at this issue. Here is a scenario for their consideration. Use some bizarre parliamentary procedure, written out for Brandman’s use in advance so he can pretend he knows what he is saying, and take the gavel away from Tait. Let Mayor Pro Tem Eastman gavel down a speaker so the ACLU ends up suing Anaheim (as though they need more practice) and when the whole wadded up mess gets to court, and the Judge asks WHY Fitzgerald was pissed off at having to be at City Hall at 8 am on a Monday for a special meeting to conduct business that “could not wait” for the next regularly scheduled meeting, triggering someone to look into WHY the fab four were working so hard to shut up the Mayor and his ability to ask questions that need to be asked….how well do you think that is going to work for these folks?

    What is the quote? something about never interrupt an enemy when they are making a mistake?

    • October 8, 2013 at 9:39 am

      No lapse of sanity here Cynthia. I’m on your side against the efforts by Disney to use tax dollars to improve the roads to the theme parks but sorry, as far as the Angels go, you don’t know what Arte Moreno’s plans are. Instead of waiting to hear what his plans are, we’re getting completely bent out of shape. While I admire your dedication to Tait, you’re the sane one in the bunch that consists of two convicted felons, an underemployed lawyer who does puppet shows, a blogger who if he doesn’t like comments sends email threats, an fired anti-government politico seeking to blackmail the county into a six figure job or million dollar settlement, and a noted and known hate speech advocate (he was included on Diamond’s emails). All love Tait. Doesn’t speak well of your Mayor by the fans he has.

      Until Moreno provides details for developing the Stadium site, with details that can actually analyzed, I’m going to keep breathing in and out and worry more about the Angels’ pitching staff than the city’s negotiations. If you look at other teams, ballparks in other cities, taxpayers do contribute a significant amount towards these teams. I can guarantee you one thing; If the Angels leave town, Tait will be blamed and it will destroy his political career.

  6. junior
    October 8, 2013 at 6:41 am

    Great – now I have to go up against Cantor & you on Tait’s dereliction of duty. Well, at least you’re not an a-hole like Cantor Chris – glad you are back at it.

    • October 8, 2013 at 9:41 am

      agree with you on both counts Junior

    • October 8, 2013 at 9:11 pm

      Junior, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  7. October 8, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Dan’s piece made it into an anti-Republican thing; he obviously hasn’t noticed that there is no more Republican or Democrat in Anaheim any more, it’s corporatists versus populists.

    Thanks for inserting a little moral clarity here, Chris.

    • October 8, 2013 at 9:13 pm

      Hey, if Dan and I agreed on everything over here, life would be very boring indeed.

  8. October 8, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Vern — this is nothing wrong with being a corporatist Democrat. Not. A. Thing. But please don’t pretend you’re an Angels fan with the misleading FACEBOOK page; I’m pretty sure you couldn’t name a single player without using Google.

  9. Jesus Cristo
    October 8, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Hey Junior AKA Mike Tardif,

    Practice what you preach and don’t call people bad words. Was it not you who lecture others to be civil on their Facebook pages? Typical of your types to live under the idea of do as I say not as I do.

  10. Victor Mendez
    October 8, 2013 at 11:15 am

    The way I see it, the more Greg Diamond talks, the more I want to give the whole damn city to Moreno. ( who is already filthy rich, and a weak community citizen to Anaheim). But, if the people of Anaheim are stupid enough to let him steal another fifty million, thats on them.

    As for Jordan Brandman, who cares if he is gay, he’s a bad councilmember.

    He should have the gumption to stand up for himself though.

  11. Truth
    October 8, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    The Truth about James Reade. What do you have to say about this Junior AKA Mike Tardif.

    ANAHEIM CITY COUNCIL PUBLIC COMMENTSTuesday, April 17, 2012

    Rescue BononbosEvict Latino Gangbangers and Graffiti Vandals

    Bonobos are peaceful great apes. Bonobos, smaller than their cousins the chimpanzees, live in packs of 100 and are only found in one country, the Democratic Republic of Congo. Bonobos share 98% of the same genetic makeup with humans. A notable difference is, in the Bonobos community, harmonious coexistence is the norm.

    Bonobo populations declined from 200,000 in 1976 to 100,000 in 1996 and with less than 10,000 today are projected to drop to 4,000 by 2030. If we take no action Bonobos will be extinct while Latino gangbangers and graffiti vandals will overwhelm the planet.

    In contrast to the male dominated criminal culture of Latino gangbangers and graffiti vandals in Anaheim, Bonobos society is peaceful and powered by females. Bonobos are loving, caring and compassionate and Bonobos males are very polite unlike Latino gangbangers and graffiti vandals who are aggressive and nasty and sells drugs in the alley and wave illegal firearms at police at 9:45 at night.

    Bonobos in captivity have learned to use human language unlike Latino gangbangers and graffiti vandals who flunk out of Anaheim High School and use gangbang gibberish.

    Bonobo Females migrate to other groups when they reach puberty eliminating the chance for incest and this increases genetic diversity whereas incest is prevalent among females and their Latino uncles as reported by Mrs. Contreras’ daughter Lisa Herrera and this decreases genetic diversity in Anaheim which breeds defective character and forms the psychological basis for gangbanging and graffiti vandalism in Latinos in Anaheim.

    Our sibling species the bonobo is facing extinction. We humans have a responsibility to do everything we can to protect them. The Bonobo Conservation Initiative needs our help. Log on to bonobo.org. For mentally incompetent Caucasians like Mr. Fitzgerald and intellectually defunct Latinos like the Latino Mr. Fitzgerald John Leo’s, That’s b o n o b o .o r g.

    Latino gangbangers and graffiti vandals in Anaheim need our help too. We humans have a responsibility to arrest, legitimately charge, heavily fine and sweep Latino gangbangers and graffiti vandals and their culpable Latino parents as soon as possible.

    • October 9, 2013 at 9:03 am

      Reade is a despicable human being for saying this

  12. Cynthia Ward
    October 8, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    By the way, welcome back Chris Prevatt, you have been missed, and I am glad you are feeling well enough to write again.

    Dan, Anaheim residents need not drool over the lineup, we OWN the freaking Stadium. I don’t have to be a fan to be a landlord, (I also don’t know the names of my tenants’ three cats at our little rental, I only collect the rent and fix the plumbing) An MOU was signed using ridiculous giveaways as a starting point, yes I do have a right to be concerned. You do NOT put something in writing you cannot live with if negotiations go no further than that point. But then we have a bunch of people there who think siphoning government funds into private corporate coffers is how “business” is conducted. You and I both know this has less to do with Arte Moreno and the Angels, and everything to do with Curt Pringle and a commission. (actually I think you will find it goes back to the very thing you DO object to…)

    That is what this is really all about. The Council majority and their faux outrage were nowhere to be found when Fitzgerald was bashing women and minorities under Curt Pringle’s fabulously failed leadership. Nor did they say anything when that scumbag Reade chased a grieving mother down the aisle at a public meeting to scream in her face!

    Murray and her cohorts had DAYS to hold a press conference, but waited until Kris was backed into a corner by an inquisitive reporter unwilling to accept her line of BS that stripping the Mayor of his power during an emergency session in the early morning hours was anything but “administrative clean-up.” It was only then, when she had NO defense for her horrid behavior that she let fly on Tait, essentially throwing a brand new tennis ball into the yard to distract the family retriever while she slips out the gate with Grandma’s silver and Dad’s ipad. Congrats for falling for it. Now come out from under the sofa, its time for your bath, God knows what you have been rolling in over at Matt’s place.

    Again, welcome back Mr. Prevatt, I hope you are completely healed or well on your way to it.

    • October 8, 2013 at 9:10 pm

      Thanks Cynthia. Glad to be back, even if not at 100 percent yet.

  13. October 8, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    You own an aging and crumbing stadium that needs significant upgrades; why should Arte spend $150 in a Band-Aid when for a little more he can have a brand new house?

    Start by researching what cities have publicly financed for every other major league team or NFL team for that matter. Ask the people in Cleveland and Baltimore and St. Louis about what it felt like to lose a franchise. Please do shoot yourselves in the foot over this.

  14. Cynthia Ward
    October 8, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Oh look, City Attorney Michael Houston backs up the Mayor making it clear that he can do nothing more than he did. And where is the apology from Murray? Oh the four of them have now thanked him for his leadership, but no apology. And Connor Traut gets up and schools the City Attorney on what can and cannot be done? When did Mr, Traut finish law school? Um, that would be never.

    Dan, the people of Anaheim own a stadium that got what, $100 million in upgrades a decade ago? It is hardly crumbling. And if you had read the lease, as I am sure that Arte Moreno did, you would know that HE is on the hook for those repairs, it is the price he paid to get the naming rights he trampled on, along with all revenues from tickets, parking, food, etc. Indeed, he gets so much already, that they have to look OUTSIDE the Stadium to the land development rights to find something ELSE to give the guy!

    Name one stadium built without Redevelopment money. RDA is gone, those days of free money are gone. And if you check the studies (I will send you some links) you will find that unless the citizenry gets in on a cut of the action INSIDE the stadium, these sports deals are losers for the towns that fund them. At the very least can we get an Economic Impact study that is actually based on the Angels Impacts to Anaheim using REAL numbers?

    The whole issue is ridiculous! This awesome rabbi just now spoke at Public Comments and made it clear he sees right through them, that their selective outrage is merely a cover to try keeping their own misdeeds in the darkness hidden away from the light, THAT is what this whole thing is about, not the Angels or the Stadium, or even hate speech, it is about people who either fail to understand what they have done or are trying hard to hide it, and bashing the one and only guy who wants to ask questions on behalf of the people who own the asset is just creepy.

  15. junior
    October 8, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Hey JC! – although I suspect that your real initials are CG. This is not FB and Cantor is undisputably an a-hole.

  16. junior
    October 8, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    “Oh look, City Attorney Michael Houston backs up the Mayor making it clear that he can do nothing more than he did.”

    An attorney’s opinion is just that – an opinion. If you don’t buy the disruptive argument – let’s go for the “not within the jurisdiction of the council” angle. The point is that Tait could have stomped on Fitz with little if any consequence – he failed to do that.

    • October 8, 2013 at 9:31 pm

      Junior,

      I’ve danced more than my share of waltzes at the public meeting ball. I have spoken from both sides of the table. And one of the most constant realities that I have witnessed is that during public comment, a member of the public could get up before a government body and say anything they want, including slander, and there is nothings that the chair of the meeting can do about it.

      On this matter what the City Attorney has informed the Council, Mayor, and assembled viewers is not some abstract legal opinion. It is a statement of fact, backed up by law, and confirmed by the courts.

  17. Ryan Cantor
    October 8, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    Out of curiosity, what exactly has to be placed in front of you to admit you’re wrong?

    • October 9, 2013 at 8:31 am

      ask yourself the same question hotshot

  18. junior
    October 8, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    I don’t care if it would have been a violation – consequences are minimal (look at Claudia Alvarez) – sometimes civil disobedience, even by a public official, is just the GD right thing to do.

  19. October 8, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    The consequences would in this case however be borne by the taxpayers who would have to foot the bill for the resulting lawsuit. As we learned, specifically from the Alvarez situation, the consequences levied against elected officials for such violations of civil rights are minimal, if not non-existent. But the city could be sued for the official misdeeds and a sympathetic jury could award significant damages.

    That is not necessesarily a good outcome for the people, and do you really like the idea of Mr. Fitzgerald walking away with a boat load of money as a consolation prize for his bad behavior.

    • October 9, 2013 at 8:35 am

      what consequences would take place if the council just up and left? They aren’t denying the speaker’s first amendment rights to speak in a public forum, but the First Amendment does not state they have to sit and listen to hate speech directed at Jews, Gays, Mexican immigrants, or women. Next time Fitzgerald comes to the mic; they all get up, leave and come back after 3 minutes. Fitzgerald can spout all he wants.

      • October 9, 2013 at 8:47 am

        The council could have gotten up and left. There are two problem with that concept. First, the mayor would theoretically have to stay and listen. And second, you have the nagging issue of a quorum, which once absent, gives the speaker to continue once they return.

        But Dan, aren’t you forgetting your many admonishments of elected officials, for example in Santa Ana and Irvine, that their responsibility is to sit and listen to public comments by the public, no matter how much they dislike it. You’re usually more consistent in your arguments than this.

        • October 9, 2013 at 9:00 am

          Three words: noise cancellation headphones. And then swivel-back chairs. Place headphones on, turn around. Face the audience after three minutes.

          Criticism of public officials or public policy is one thing; hate speech is quite another. I agree they can’t interrupt a speaker when speaking, but there are ways to not violate the speakers first amendment rights while letting them know what you think of it. Certainly subject to a slippery slope.

          • October 9, 2013 at 9:08 am

            Dan. Re read the second paragraph of my comment. How do you propose to reconcile your inconsistency? Do you simply it to be ignored? Are you really suggesting that the Council have noise-canceling headphones at the ready, in arms reach to place over their ears at the first hint of an offensive comment? If so, do you also propose providing said headwear to the public, or do you think the “public servants” should be the only ones able to ignore public speakers?

      • Greg Diamond
        October 9, 2013 at 10:19 am

        Well, if they all left at the same time during the meeting, for one thing you’d have the potential for a huge Brown Act violation. It would be sort of interesting, though, to see how quickly the City Attorney could run after them screaming and waving his hands.

        The interesting thing is that all of these solutions — including Henry Vandermeir’s helpful suggestion (which I’ll paraphrase) that while free speech is important the Council should just figure out a way to suppress it legally, are an open expression of bad faith, which would figure heavily in a lawsuit.

        Ignorance won’t stop Dan from commenting, though. Never has, never will.

        • October 9, 2013 at 11:45 am

          You assume they’d all go to the same room? If they all did go to the same room and didn’t speak for three minutes while a city staffer was there to witness, is that a Brown Act violation?

  20. Ryan Cantor
    October 8, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    Thank you for putting that down without putting my asshole like spin on it. Well done.

  21. Claudio W. Gallegos
    October 8, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    Sorry to disappoint you Mike, but I am not Jesus Cristo. Plenty of people involved in OC politics saw you make a hypocrite out of yourself on my facebook page, it could have been anyone.

    If you are going to use bad language, don’t lecture me regarding tone of debate, I was only being truthful. Funny you criticize Tom Tait regarding Fitzgerald’s sick anti-semitic remarks but are silent on James Robert Reade’s comments suggesting all Latino men are prone to incest. Care to tell us why?

  22. junior
    October 9, 2013 at 5:59 am

    Claudio – I don’t intend to subject myself to the New Inquisition of Claudio & Gustavo. And I will not debate the finer points of hypocrisy , bigotry or serial anonymous identity “outing” with you or others. However, I will respond to you to say that the comments that you and others attribute to JRR are reprehensible and condemnable – and all circumstances being equal, such as my awareness of the comments, I would have and do condemn those comments and Mayor Tait for not gaveling them down.

  23. junior
    October 9, 2013 at 6:17 am

    Chris – You know that there was no lawsuit and zero consequences for Claudia Alvarez or the City for her several instances of not allowing public speakers to comment.

    • October 9, 2013 at 8:25 am

      And Junior you also know that there is a difference between the conduct of council members and the conduct of a member of the public addressing the council. The council controls the ability of the public to speak. Barring the public from exercising that right is what the council can be sued for, leaving the taxpayers to pay the bill.

  24. Dan Chmielewski
    October 9, 2013 at 8:30 am

    It was 1997 when the last remodel took place. When was the last game you attended? Paint can cover up a lot of stuff, but have you been to games at other parks? The new Yankee Stadium or CitiField? How about the Ballpark at Arlington or Camden Yards…all of those venues make the Big A look … old.

    I believe PacBell Park (now AT&T Park) in SF was built without redevelopment funds with the exception of some taxpayer provided infrastructure improvements to manage traffic; not sure, but I’ll double check. That stadium is a jewel for SF’s Skyline and economic engine.

    The continued argument that this battle is about good vs. evil is downright hysterical.

  25. junior
    October 9, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Dan – I like that ……..

  26. October 9, 2013 at 9:01 am

    In case people are wondering…

    I am still out on leave due to my recent surgery. I am limited in my ability to move my arm, and still on pain medications that prevent me from engaging in work related activities. Apparently, I cannot work under the influence of said medications. But one-handed typing is possible, and the relaxation of my usual inhibitions makes my hopefully clever and biting retorts much more fluid and fun. If I happen to step outside my usual level of decorum, please forgive me and credit the pain medication required for my recovery. :-)

  27. Ryan Cantor
    October 9, 2013 at 9:13 am

    You have a bone to pick, Dan? You and I happen to (substantially) agree on this one.

    I know your reflex is to be a jerk, but relax.

  28. Greg Diamond
    October 9, 2013 at 10:12 am

    You need to see a doctor about that problem, Victor.

  29. Greg Diamond
    October 9, 2013 at 10:37 am

    “All of the Republicans should apologize to Brandman for failing to call out hate speech Greg. As for liberalism, when did Tom Tait register as a Democrat to warrant such a man crush from you?”

    (1) By your logic, Brandman should also apologize to Brandman for failing to call out hate speech. The only one who did so, despite ample opportunity, was Tait.

    (2) I don’t think that Tait is a “liberal.” (That’s not damning; I don’t think of you as one either, despite this website’s name.) I think that he is a “good-government conservative,” with whom I as a “good-government liberal” would probably have some honest disagreements about spending priorities and possibly some strong disagreements about some areas of social policy. That’s OK; it’s how politics is supposed to work.

    (3) The notion that I would benefit our party by the reflexive support of all Democrats in all cases — not that people of your moderate ilk do so either, Dan — is wrong. I believe that I benefit our party by supporting Democrats insofar as it is possible to do so without opposing the principles of good government. You — no “good government liberal” or “good government moderate” or “good government anything” — seem to think that these decisions should be made on the basis of tribal affiliation. That’s convenient, for those interests who want to exert control over government by “owning both parties,” but I think that it hurts us greatly to give up what I hope to be our moral advantage.

    And I will make common cause on issues with those Republicans, Greens, Libertarians, and independents who want the moral advantage of supporting good governance to belong to their parties or factions as well. We may disagree about elections; we should not disagree about corruption. If you’re saying “I should only speak positively of Tait if he’s a Democrat because that what means that he’s not corrupt,” you’re not only being unfair to him. You’re hurting rather than helping our party, by feeding the perception that “both sides are crooked.”

    I sense some times that you seriously cannot understand this point, Dan. That makes you a good person for people to hire, I guess, but a bad person for people to follow.

    (4) Rather than throwing the term “man crush” back at you with respect to Brandman, Solorio, and others, I’ll just post a question to Chris: is the term as used in this context homophobic? Don’t feel that you need to answer; I know that you need to get along with your stablemate. The question is rhetorical and the answer is obvious.

    (I’m sure that I’m used the term too, but when I do it has tended to be more jocular. If not, then I may well be subject to the same criticism.)

    • October 9, 2013 at 10:53 am

      Greg,

      It must be the effect of my pain medication, but I’m not following your question. Is what term, in what context, are you asking about. Also, getting along with Dan does not inhibit me. We agree on many occasions to disagree.

      • October 9, 2013 at 11:42 am

        Actually Greg, I try to follow your points but seriously believe you need some Adderall to stay on point or a roadmap to lead me back to your original point.

        1. As Brandman was the subject of said hate speech, I believe he addressed the matter appropriately at last night’s council meeting. Shiould he have done so earlier? I’d say yes, but then you’d probably call him a whiner to have done so. I do believe if Fitzgerald — who is a part of your pro-Tait cabal (through no fault of Tait himself) — goes off on calling the women on the council “whores” that Brandman will be the first person to raise his voice in objection.

        2. I’m a liberal on social issues and a pro-business Democrat. Since you’ve defined me, allow me to define you as someone incapable of getting a simple message across due to excessive abuse of the English language. Lately, I have a hard time discerning what you’ve made up versus what’s factual. And if you learn to throw your voice, maybe you can sub for Terry Fator’s puppet show in Vegas.

        3. If you are unwilling to support elected Democrats, resign your position with DPOC. You allege corruption without proof. Do the party a favor and quit. If you don’t, better still you should be removed. I understand the issues just fine; I’m not buying into stuff with incomplete information or when the story isn’t finished.

        4. Chris and I agree on many things but there are things we will never see eye to eye on (Terefe for example). He doesn’t need my permission to write what he wants and I don’t need his.

  30. junior
    October 9, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Nah – that is all too complicated – just tell them to go all Claudia Alvarez on the jerk – no one is going to care.

    • October 9, 2013 at 11:43 am

      Have you noticed we barely write about Santa Ana anymore; not much room for Claudia to offend while she sits at the little kids table on the college board.

  31. October 9, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Dan,

    You’ve yet to answer for your inconsistency, unless I’ve missed it. Which is entirely possible. Are council members, as elected representatives of the people, supposed to sit and listen to comments from the public, whether they like their nature or not? You have previously said they do. Have you now changed your mind in order to support your current line of thought?

  32. Greg Diamond
    October 9, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    If a staffer who faced the prospect for be canned for telling the truth as happened to former City Attorney Cristina Talley was watching them, and then assured everything was OK, then it would be weighed as probative evidence by a court in the likely subsequent lawsuit.

    Or, here’s a better answer: ask Anaheim City Attorney Michael Houston what he thinks of your plan.

  33. Greg Diamond
    October 9, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Search on the name, Chris. Victor is some guy who posted up above. It’s unfortunate that so many comments wind up on the bottom of the pile here.

  34. October 9, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Greg, by clicking on the reply button on the comment you wish to respond to, your comment will be placed under the individual comment as opposed to the bottom of the thread. We have used the order of comment posting since the blog began, rather than in reverse order (most recent comment on top). I guess it’s a preference thing.

    • Greg Diamond
      October 9, 2013 at 5:51 pm

      No, Chris — what I’m telling you is that that system isn’t working. Each comment I’ve made here (save perhaps the first) has been preceded by my clicking on the reply button at the bottom of the comment. Sometimes we have this at OJB as well, so it’s not just an LOC software problem, but it’s been consistent for me here today. Maybe others can weigh in on this.

      • October 9, 2013 at 6:32 pm

        Interesting. It may be a bug, based on the number of comments we’ve incurred on this post. My replies were nesting before, but now they do not seem to be doing so. I don’t know what’s going on. Sorry for the inconvenience.

        • October 9, 2013 at 6:43 pm

          I’m hoping I have fixed the problem. I have changed the settings related to nested comments.

      • October 14, 2013 at 11:25 am

        I let the video sit all week and watched it again this morning; Kris Murray referenced hate speech in the chamber. She referenced supporters of the mayor in the audience. But the two statements are separate and she never once called Kitzgerald a supporter of the mayor.

        As fair as Tait speaking out against the hate speech, that was pretty tame/lame attempt to say something. Its confirmed by the transcript of the meeting from Diamond’s post.

  35. Greg Diamond
    October 9, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    This will probably wind up at the bottom as well, but it’s intended as a reply to Dan’s comment that begins: “Actually Greg, I try to follow your points but seriously believe you need some Adderall to stay on point or a roadmap to lead me back to your original point.”

    To Dan I say, as I recently did to his friend Matt Cunningham, that I have no idea whether you can or cannot follow my writing, because you would choose to say something like that on the basis of how well it supported your PR efforts rather than because you actually do have that thought. Now I can’t “prove” that either, but I can invite your readers to compare it to their own intuition.

    1) The backup point made by Henry, D.R. Heywood, and others was that Tait has allowed things to get bad over the course of two years. Well, Brandman and his claque have had ample time to present motions for any legal or illegal response to uncivil speakers; he hasn’t. He could have spoke up during Council comments about the Holocaust apologist theories — *I* sure would have, perhaps in part because I really am Jewish rather than being mistaken for it, as I’ve heard from first-person accounts Jordan has said of himself. Or, he could have called for whatever action — he has access to a majority vote, of course — he saw fit when Fitzgerald called Kring a whore. Did he? No. Is it surprising that you excuse him? No.

    2) I’m pro-business too. I want businesses to be able to succeed on their merits, not through cronyism, exertion of political control over politicians, and racing to the bottom when it comes to flouting regulations and ignoring the public good. Good corporations get crowded out by bad corpotations; it’s cheaper, if a business can get away with it, to sell uninspected cat meat then grass-fed fresh beef. I want to protect businesses who want to be good citizens. From what I’ve seen, you seem to want to protect businesses to give money to those who will defend them without respect to merits.

    3) I’m not a servant of elected Dems. I’m not in party office to cover up their corruption, if that’s what it is, or to impede honest assessment of whether that is what it is. I’m not in party office to have their backs when they ally against actual liberal activists with some of the most powerful reactionary Republican forces in the county. If the party wants me out of office for taking that sort of stance, they can look up the rules for removal. Meanwhile, you’re the guy who has been arguing that only baseball fans can make a decision about Anaheim’s largest public real estate asset. I don’t think that you understand the issues at all — and as you’re not a complete idiot, I think that that lack of understanding comes only after substantial effort on your part.

    4) I know that you don’t need Chris’s position to write whatever you wish. I’m just interested in knowing WHAT HE THINKS OF that little bon mot. [Note: Chris found this last entry in the comment as originally submitted offensive; while I disagree, I'm revising it (with the capitalized words and some excisions) and resubmitting it.]

    If you don’t understand any of what I’ve said, I’m sure that you can find someone to explain it to you.

  36. Daniel L
    October 9, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    I’m sorry, but First Amend. aside, the present issue is a no brainer. Anyone who watched the PBS interview or who has read the reporting on how the “hate speech” issue materialized can ONLY MAKE ONE CONCLUSION: The DPOC is utterly incompetent and should be shut down and replaced. Frankly, that has been the case for years… Its hard to prove corruption. Stupidity, on the other hand, stares one in the face.

    • October 10, 2013 at 10:14 am

      Actually, I like Henry’s decisive action to speak out and not wait for an “Occupy Wall Street” type consensus. I’m pleased he softened his stance for the actual public comments given the guidelines Chris pointed out. But Henry was right to go after Tait’s tepid response to this hate speech and the rest of the council’s lack of immediate action. Jordan could have addressed the comments directly right there as a point of order, but I believe he has to be recognized by the Mayor to do so.

      • October 10, 2013 at 3:19 pm

        Dan, After reading your response here I thought back to our high school days and the iconic SNL Point/Counter-point debates between Dan Aykroid and Jane Curtain. Specifically, Aykroid’s memorable line; “Jane, you ignorant slut…”

        Dan” you ignorant… (Insert descriptive word here),” you missed the fact that there is a regular agenda item that provides council members to make what ever statement, comment, or direction to staff, they wish to make. It is called in this case Council Communications.

        All members of the council had this opportunity to make a statement. None did, related to the commentary from Mr. Fitzgerald.

  37. Daniel L
    October 9, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Chris, I had the same concern re: order of comments.

  38. Greg Diamond
    October 9, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    Thanks for the clarification, Chris. While I still found it aggressive — and really sort of puzzling and tribal, as if one can only admire Democrats — if you think that that sort of gratuitous feminization is not homophobic, I’ll presume that Dan was just being a normal sort of jerk.

    • October 9, 2013 at 7:01 pm

      Well given that a crush is “A usually temporary infatuation,” and the definition for a man crush make it clear that it is not a sexual infatuation, I’m not sure how it is feminizing. I’m sure Dan is okay with you thinking he was being a jerk.

    • October 10, 2013 at 10:11 am

      That’s OK Greg. I think you’re a jerk too

  39. junior
    October 10, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    “If you don’t understand any of what I’ve said, I’m sure that you can find someone to explain it to you.”

    Diamond – Why this bit of condescending meatheaded arrogance?

  40. October 10, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    Chmielewski said: “Vern — this is nothing wrong with being a corporatist Democrat. Not. A. Thing. But please don’t pretend you’re an Angels fan with the misleading FACEBOOK page; I’m pretty sure you couldn’t name a single player without using Google.”

    1. In this century at least, I have found the people who put the interests of corporations over the people the most important people to fight – no matter which damn Party they cavort with.

    2. Me and Jason are not the only people running the “Keep the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim” page – we provide the political and economic points, but we sure couldn’t come up with all the Halos trivia and Angels factoids! Guess away at who our other colleagues are, YOU really don’t need to know. But the page sure is resonating with a lot of true blue Angels fans, who as i wrote on the page a week or two ago, “have a sense of fairness, and can tell that the proposed deal between Moreno and the City is not fair, as isn’t the way the Council Majority is bashing the Mayor over the head for asking critical questions.”

    Now, I didn’t really need to write this comment, but it’s doubling as an experiment which you guys should find useful — is it gonna show up in the right spot, near the top, under YOUR quoted comment, or is it gonna go to the very bottom of the thread as has been generally happening whenever I come over here? We’ll see in a second (oh, maybe a day.. if I’m still on moderation)

    • October 11, 2013 at 7:59 am

      Vern,

      Your comment location has nothing to do with decisions made by Dan or myself. That is the product of the mysteries of the insides of the wordpress platform and the theme I selected. I know a little about the inside functioning of the platform; at least enough to crash this damn thing several times over the years. Dan on the other hand, has no knowledge of such things. So you can rest assured that the only operational function Dan exercises is the approval, or rejection, of moderated comments, and those up moderated that fall out of line.

      I really shouldn’t be writing this comment because it is way off topic from the original post. It’s really a test, to see where the system leaves the comment, and whether you notice. ;-)

    • October 11, 2013 at 8:43 am

      Your Angels page is reasonating with less than 20 percent of the other Keep the Angels in Anaheim page.

      You cannot take about job creation without being pro-business. You can be pro-people and pro-corporations Vern. It’s a concept you fail to grasp. Without big business, just where will union jobs go? If organized labor falls to the point where its only public employee unions, that’s not healthy for anyone’s local economy.

      If you don’t have a vibrant business community, you won’t have a vibrant community. Look at Irvine; 3.5 jobs for every household. Our streets and sidewalks are well maintained; our schools excellent in spite of being at the bottom of the barrel for state funding; our crime rates …amazingly low. Why? A pro-business council with progressive leadership for 12 years. And Irvine always places the needs of its residents first.

      Frankly, the louder this particular pro-Tait movement gets with its “tainted” leadership, the worse the mayor looks. Sure, Fitzgerald is hard a Tait ally, but he sure sided with him and you guys embraced him. I am no fan of Mr. Pringle, but at least I am not recruiting a known bigot to join my ranks.

      Sorry, I won’t be commenting on OJ so you guys will just have to keep cutting and pasting my comments over there. A lame way to debate, don’t you think?

  41. WeedEater
    October 11, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Or in your case, the felons versus non felons Vern. Or the employed vs the underemployed. The haters vs the hated?

  42. October 11, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    comments are all over the place; we’ll try to sort it out

Comments are closed.