On Tuesday night, without comment, the Anaheim city council agreed to pay $1.22 million in plaintiff attorneys fees related to a voting rights lawsuit seeking to require the establishment of council districts, and district level elections, in the city. The amount is on top of the $1.25 million in legal fees the city had incurred fighting the inevitable. The only thing gained by the council majority’s opposition to the lawsuit was to delay the implementation of a new district election process, and it’s presentation to voters for approval in November.
Why so much effort, and waste of taxpayer funds, to stop what was clearly inevitable? Simple really; to protect the status quo so that members Murray and Eastman would get one more shot at four-year terms on the council before the implementation of districts. The entire battle, all of the posturing and positioning, all the legal fees, was so that the current power base in Anaheim would have four more years to raid the public piggy-bank to reward the rich and powerful interests in Orange County’s largest city.
Orange County Republicans, claiming conservative credentials, consistently complain about tax and spend liberals. What this voting rights case proves, above all else, is that these so called “conservatives” are all about protecting their ability to line the pockets of resort-area business interests and developers with taxpayer funded “incentives.” It will be interesting to see how much money these special interests will spend to defeat the charter amendment establishing district level elections, so that their hand-picked council-majority can implement a plan to erode the strength of district elections by having the entire city vote for individual council members.