Great Wolf Lodge Makes OCWeekly’s “Scariest” List

Mayor Tom Tait, Anaheim (Photo: Chris Prevatt)

Mayor Tom Tait, Anaheim (Photo: Chris Prevatt)

OC Weekly is out with its “scariest” list of 2015 and there’s the usual hodge-podge of criminals and political figures, but one entry that’s sure to draw the ire of the radical Tom Tait fanatics — Garden Grove’s “Great Wolf Lodge,” an indoor water park financed by the city of Garden Grove in the same manner that Tait routinely vetos in Anaheim.  But this is different because Tait’s company is a contractor on the project.

From OC Weekly:

Anyone who has driven on Garden Grove’s stretch of Harbor Boulevard can’t help but notice the tubular terror that is the Great Wolf Lodge. Just on the outskirts of the Disneyland Resort, the water-park resort is not only a case study in corporate welfare–the city booted poor RV-park residents off the land and gave it away for free to the developer, then rewarded said developer with $47 million in subsidies for a 600-room hotel in a desperate attempt to be anything but Garden Grove–but it’s also a WATER PARK BEING OPENED IN THE MIDDLE OF AN APOCALYPTIC DROUGHT.
Mitigating factor: Jobs, jobs, jobs! Trade-union construction jobs!

Garden Grove recently authorized a $42 million bond payment to the developer for the project and when a commenter to the Voice of OC story linked it back to Tait & Associates, the Taitbots descended quickly:

  • Looks like Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait is going to sink his teeth into some sweet taxpayer dollars on this deal. What? No mention that Tait & Associates has McWhinney as a client? I’m sure it was just an oversight.

    • Bob, you seem to be insinuating that Tait is doing/has done something wrong. Let’s review Tait’s deal in GG, okay?

      Tait gets civil engineering work with a municipality. That’s what his company does. Ethical problem? Of course not.

      Tait did work. Tait got paid for work – I presume according to the Government & Contracts Code and the Green Book. Ethical problem? No.

      Did Tait in any way lobby for a public works project on Harbor Boulevard that he later got to work on, courtesy of no-bid or suspicious procurement? No. That business model is the one pursued in Anaheim where useless or dubious public works projects are created and then doled out to the clients of the man who put Murray and Brandman in office, and who later bought off Kring.

      You’re in the wrong town, amigo.

      • As far as I can tell, you’re pitching a fit over $20k for curb cuts. Like it’s supposed to seriously offer some sort of rebuke to the city paying $42,000,000 in bonds, or in Anaheim’s case, $158,000,000 in tax rebates.

        That’s really, really, really sad.

        Please pony up some deets.


        Bob, Tait’s “client” in Garden Grove is the city. His actions as Mayor of Anaheim are based on a principled position. The Garden Walk tax kick back is rotten public policy. Unfortunately you are projecting the behavior of Kring, Murray and Brandman on to Tait without an iota of evidence – unless, as Cunningham would say, you are a mind reader.

        But, anyway, how in the world does opposing the tax subsidy of a “four star” hotel in Anaheim help the City of Garden Grove – where there are NO four star hotels?

        On your other point, if I lived in GG – instead of Anaheim – I would have vociferously opposed any subsidy to the water slide hotel on philosophical grounds and as a business venture, as well – the ROI looks awful and is probably phonied up anyhow. Ryan would have, too


Does it help or hurt his hotel client in Garden Grove if he attempts to weaken the viability of high-end hotels in his hometown or Anaheim? It’s somewhat odd that there is little vitriolic outrage about this $42 million taxpayer subsidy compared to the apoplectic seizures we saw on these pages when the Anaheim deal went through. 


Nice try bob, but this blog is a “see no evil” place of safety for Mayor Tait. Different rules for different people.

Please go to the post to read the entire string of comments.  I realize Tait & Associates has a business to run, but you do not have to take every client that comes your way.  Especially if the job is financed in a manner you didn’t vote for in nearby Anaheim.  What it looks like is you used your vote to kill projects that might compete with your neighbor city’s own construction project.

Since Tait & Assicates probably shouldn’t have pursued this deal to begin with, just about every contract I’ve been involved with has had an “opt out” or “cancellation” clause.  But this deal is what it is — a contract that let’s Tom Tait and his company have their cake and it eat it too.

  36 comments for “Great Wolf Lodge Makes OCWeekly’s “Scariest” List

  1. Cynthia Ward
    October 26, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Do you have any idea how pathetic it looks to go after Tait for a contract to do CURB CUTS? He is not an investor, he is not a stock holder (not according to disclosures anyway) he is not a lobbyist securing a “win bonus” and his company would put in the curb cuts whether it was a hotel, a Burger King, or a car wash, it makes no difference (other than the size and placement of the driveways) his business is not the slightest bit impacted by whether the deal is subsidized. And when you have to reach this far to find something “on” Tait, you give notice to the world that you are out looking for ANYTHING you can find to smack Tait with, it screams of desperation, but go ahead and have at it.

    In other news, how about that crack reporting you were planning to do on the West Anaheim hostile take-over of the Neighborhood Council Chairmanship by Connor Traut, who has no idea what a West District Chair DOES because I don’t think he has been to a meeting before, and it is such a funny coincidence that he just HAPPENED to have along with him enough others who are not known for attending the Neighborhood Council meetings, but how fortuitous that they all decided to attend for the first time on ELECTION NIGHT.

    If you are looking for something that stinks to high heaven, there is no need to go all the way down to Garden Grove, we have plenty to work with right here in OC’s oldest city. Hey, way to sniff out that corruption, there, sleuth.

    • October 26, 2015 at 7:57 pm

      Cynthia, Tait’s company isn’t doing curb cuts. It’s doing environmental work. If he’s against these projects and how they are financed in Anaheim, it’s hypocritical of him to take an opposite position when it comes to cashing a big check. Let another firm handle it.

      As far as a Connor Traut takeover of a Neighborhood Council, that wouldn’t be anything like you taking over the CRA in Anaheim now, would it. I seem to recall you storming the meeting with Julie Tait and kids in tow all to oust Steve Sarkis. It was all to get a CRA endorsement for Vanderbilt and Pettibone right. Tell me, has Julie Tait been to a CRA meeting since?

    • Colony Insider
      October 27, 2015 at 10:13 am

      Cynthia –

      I’ve heard from folks who were there. This was definitely NOT a hostile take-over and, for your information, Connor Traut has attended meetings of that Neighborhood Council. Why must everything you disagree with be considered corruption and what is your beef with Connor Traut?

      • October 27, 2015 at 11:47 am

        Oh look, lots of political contributions to Tait for Mayor from McWhinney…all on Tom’s reports. Is that unethical for the developer or Tait?

        • Greg Diamond
          October 27, 2015 at 11:56 am

          You’re suggesting that — to the extent that a campaign contribution is a bribe, and you’ll have to talk to Jordan about that — McWhinney bribed the Mayor of Anaheim to … to do what exactly? To vote for the approval of the Great Wolf Lodge by sneaking onto the Garden Grove City Council? To do curb cuts? WHAT IS THE SUPPOSED THEORY HERE?

          As for our host raising longtime active CRA member Cynthia Ward’s bringing in people to vote to replace Steve Sarkis — does he even know who Steve Sarkis is? Since when? If not, what was his source here? (As if we don’t know.)

          Connor Traut’s becoming head of the group where he plans to run for City Council was a canny move — but it was not the same as longtime CRA members who had been frozen out by the previous (admonished and penalized) leadership retaking control. That was an internal power struggle, not an external invasion.

          (I wonder if he’ll endorse Kring….)

          • October 27, 2015 at 12:14 pm

            McWhinney is listed as a customer of Tait’s on Tait’s disclosure forms. The source of the information? Common knowledge.

            • Greg Diamond
              October 27, 2015 at 3:32 pm

              The question was “what is the supposed theory here that explains why you think this was a bribe” (or other impropriety)?

              You didn’t answer it. Why don’t you start there?

              • October 27, 2015 at 3:52 pm

                I never said it was a bribe; you did. Projecting? Change the names from Tait and McWhinney to anyone and Pringle, and you’d be shouting “bribe.” Please keep promoting Tait and tell me again what a great Democrat you are?

                • Greg Diamond
                  October 28, 2015 at 10:27 pm

                  What reason would McWhinney — whoever he or she or it is — have to try to bribe Tait? By contrast, it’s VERY EASY TO SEE what reason Pringle and his group would have to bribe (de jure or de facto) Brandman, Murray, Kring, and Eastman — he stood to (and ultimately did) make an absolute mint in diverting future income that should be coming into Anaheim’s General Fund.

                  That’s why your analogy is ridiculous. Do you truly, after all of this time, not get that? Maybe you need to clear your mind of preconceptions and misconceptions, for once, and actually think through the basis of CATER’s critique!

                • October 29, 2015 at 9:25 am

                  You don’t know McWhinney? Do some homework Sherlock….and then connect the dots. And who said (other than you) anything about a bribe? I’m simply suggesting if Tom Tait is against Crony Capitalism in Anaheim, then perhaps his business should benefit from Crony Capitalism in Garden Grove. Is it that hard for you to make that connection?

                • Greg Diamond
                  October 29, 2015 at 2:21 pm

                  I haven’t even cared who McWhinney is. No influence there could be improper because Tait’s not on the GG Council.

                  You say that Tait’s company is doing more than curb cuts. Post links to how much Tait’s company is making, and from what. I’d like to know when the contract was dated, too, because if it was, say, in 2012, then it’s bizarre to attack him because we’re now in the fourth year of a drought. At that time, it was just one bad year.

                  I know that you’re not fair-minded and that you tend to twist things to suit your arguments, but you brought me into this and so now I’ll go ahead and do the due diligence. I’ll bet that Tait is not making 10% of whatever Pringle has made off of his deals. Hell, he’s probably not making what Todd Ament has made.

          • October 27, 2015 at 2:36 pm

            Replace the word “McWhinney” with “Pringle” and the word “Tait” with anyone else, and you’d certainly allege that.

            The Traut/Ward situation was exactly the same, which is why Cynthia hasn’t chimed in. Again, Greg since you might know, has Tait’s wife attended a single CRA meeting since? I’ll guess “no.”

            And while I’m at it, keep backing those conservative Republicans while claiming to be a Democrat. Do us all a favor and re-register to the party you always associate with good government — the Tait-Vanderbilt (I’m behind you James) and Pettibone crowd.

            • October 27, 2015 at 3:52 pm

              She was there when I crashed that party once late last year.

              On that note, I’m going back to Democrat this week. I think the monthly-meeting Anaheim Dems will appreciate that. Feel the Bern! Feel the Vern!

              • October 27, 2015 at 9:04 pm

                No one wants to feel the Vern. Except you

                • Greg Diamond
                  October 28, 2015 at 10:29 pm

                  (Methinks the laddie doth protest too much!)

            • Greg Diamond
              October 29, 2015 at 2:31 pm

              Cynthia has now “chimed in,” by the way.

  2. David Vasquez
    October 26, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    First, Let’s e clear about something: this is NOT Tom Tait’s business. It is his Daddy’s. Tom is a rich kid, who couldn’t find his way and like his brother before him (or after, depending on who you ask) took Dad’s offer for work.

    What would be interesting would to review the work/litigation history of this company, specifically Tait Sr. It would be easy to understand why they are based in Santa Ana and not the city of KINDNESS.

    This, I am told (or “given to understand”) was a problem for OC progressives LONG before Greg DIamond and his ilk appeared.

    • Greg Diamond
      October 27, 2015 at 11:48 am

      You appear to have summoned me, Fake Vasquez — but after reading your comment I have no idea what you’re yammering about, nor what the “this” is intended to mean in “this … was a problem long before….” Curb cuts? Being in Santa Ana? Fathers hiring sons?

      Anyway, going back to the original story, I mostly wanted to ask just where the so-called “radical Tom Tait fanatics'” outrage at the Weekly putting Wolf Hall (or whatever it is) on its Scariest List has appeared. Reading Zenger’s and Ryan’s comments, I don’t see much defense of the project at all. Is this also just pulled out of the air around our host? Is it from the same source that told him about Steve Sarkis?

      • October 27, 2015 at 2:38 pm

        Defense of Tait’s role in the project; if you run your own business (you should know this), you can decide what sort of clients you want to represent. Tait chose cash over principle. Its that simple.

        • Greg Diamond
          October 27, 2015 at 3:23 pm

          Excuse me, but that question was directed at Fake Vasquez. Are you Fake Vasquez?

          (Actually, I can ask that in earnest. Are you?)

          • October 27, 2015 at 3:53 pm

            I am not.

            Are you Dan D. Stalker? (More Ryan’s style of writing)

            • Greg Diamond
              October 28, 2015 at 7:59 am


              You didn’t answer my question; you just asked your own. You do that a lot.

              • October 28, 2015 at 9:48 am

                Scroll back up and read the first three words of my response.

                Question by you answered by me.

                Sometimes you’re dense. I like when you make stuff up out of whole cloth and ask me to confirm or deny it. It suggests an active fantasy life.

                • Greg Diamond
                  October 28, 2015 at 10:32 pm

                  You’re right, that one was my error. I missed your denial because I was distracted by your question. It’s amusing that you equate the level of abuse you get from whoever writes those is at the same level of what you smilingly allow against me on your site.

      • David Vasquez
        October 27, 2015 at 7:50 pm

        No. I am the “real” David Vasquez, the one who you have gone to great pains discover intimate details of my family and professional life. Given your dependence (self-described/admitted) I am frightened enough to question how smart it is to be challenging someone on psychcotropic medications (SSRI’S). Perhaps your dellusions are a sign to SLOW DOWN and concentrate on your health and family (as if it I already obvious enough).

        Don’t know those you speak of, other than they seem to ride in the clown car that has “Crazy Greg” at the wheel.
        I joined this debate with you for all the right reasons: I felt your divisiveness was hurting our party. Now I just consider you dangerous.

        You can’t fake being “sane” for long, an I think your time is coming up. Keep digging Greg, when you decide to come to my door (as opposed to my neighbors), I’ll make sure the men in white coats are there to take you back to Camarillo Brillo.

        • Greg Diamond
          October 28, 2015 at 8:13 am

          “Great pains”? No, I haven’t — and I don’t know who you are, let alone your family.

          I am pretty convinced that you’re a shameless and irresponsible liar. Given your (probably also faked) views on Prozac, possibly also a Scientologist. But I expect that you’re just a garden-variety political operative.

          I generally don’t let people say things on OJB that you have a wide berth to say here, but I suppose that editorial standards differ.

          • October 28, 2015 at 9:46 am

            actually you do allow people to say things on OJ that are far worse; it just depends on who they are saying things about. Your editorial standards appear to be “Diamond can say anything about anyone” and “No one can ever criticize Diamond for anything.” I think that’s about right.

            • Greg Diamond
              October 29, 2015 at 2:29 pm

              What tripe. I allow plenty of criticism — go check out Gabriel San Roman’s clumsy attempts today. What I don’t allow is vicious anonymous attacks on people — except in exigent circumstances when it’s a significant charge involving public behavior and the only way to elicit a timely response. You, by contrast, usually allow MOST of your comments to be in that category.

              You are projecting your own behavior on others. It’s unfortunate. But at least you have company now from Rick Clark.

          • Rick Clark
            October 29, 2015 at 7:57 am

            Jabba doesn’t generally let anyone who opposes him in a factual, articulate manner post on OJB or his dead-in-the-water rants about Brea blog.

            • Greg Diamond
              October 29, 2015 at 2:24 pm

              You have no way to test that, Jar-Jar. To the extent that you were ever factual and articulate, you abandoned that path just before I banned you. You’re the worst kind of Tea Partier — loud, self-serving, vicious, and lacking self-awareness. No wonder you like it here.

          • Rick Clark
            October 29, 2015 at 8:31 pm

            Jabba, once again, supplants fact with his personal brand of inarticulate fiction. Previously clarified my conservative, nonpartisan status and willingness to listen to all sides of an intelligent discussion of the issues.

            BTW Jabba and Jar Jar never appeared in the same film. A poor mixed metaphor at best.

  3. October 27, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    ROTFLMAO – just when you think Dan’s Tait attacks can’t get any weaker.

    Right – that’s the first thing we Tait-bots think when we’re driving down Harbor and see that water-guzzling eyesore: “Ah, the handiwork of Dear Tom!”

    • October 27, 2015 at 3:54 pm

      I admire how you defend your fellow Republican Vern. But the thought of you driving anywhere is scary

      • October 27, 2015 at 7:57 pm

        Wow, I just defended him there? Without even knowing it? What an insightful reader you are.

  4. junior
    October 29, 2015 at 6:22 am

    Nelson and Diamond – Go away!! – Go back to your Circle Jerk blog.

  5. gabriel san roman
    November 3, 2015 at 10:00 am

    What a bunch of amateurs trying to tackle each other.

Comments are closed.