Dr. Jose Moreno was the big winner at the DPOC endorsement meeting last night as central committee members endorsed him over Anaheim council member Jordan Brandman. Moreno got 62% of the vote (30 votes to 5 for Brandman and 14 for no endorsement) and will carry the official DPOC endorsement into November’s Anaheim District 3 race.
And, to the surprise of no one, except maybe the OC GOP, the Orange Juice Blog has revealed that Moreno has the endorsement of Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait. From Greg Diamond’s post, these two sentences on why the DPOC needs to endorse Moreno: If DPOC doesn’t stand with Anaheim’s Latinos, and we lose the seat as a result, the repercussions will be long-lasting. (The other biggest loser would be the unions; I’m told that (Republican Robert) Nelson is far more anti-union than Tom Tait — who has endorsed Moreno.)
Expect Diamond to walk back that specific language, but hey OC GOP…don’t you condemn Republicans who endorse Democrats? And finally an acknowledgement that Tait is anti-labor…so much for good jobs at good wages for working families.
In his speech to make his case for endorsement before committee members, Moreno criticized Brandman’s appointment of Amanda Ettinger to a city commission, calling her a racist. Since Moreno endorsed Tait in 2014 and there are a number of pro-Tait progressives in the room, a reminder that early in Tait’s elected career, his efforts to place an INS agent inside Anaheim City Jail isn’t exactly something Latino voters in Anaheim remember…perhaps Moreno can square his endorsement by Tait with these past actions.
This isn’t so much a criticism of Moreno as it is of Tait. Does Moreno embrace the Tait endorsement or reject it? And if he embraces it, shouldn’t the DPOC take a position on this? Should the OC Labor Fed back Moreno if Tait has, in fact, endorsed Moreno?
Congratulations to Dr. Moreno for marshaling the Party’s endorsement. An endorsement from an anti-union conservative Republican mayor, not so much.
Here’s more context on Tait’s racist anti-immigrant efforts against Latinos: from stories in the LA Times and OC Register from 1996 and 2002 (certain passages are either bolded or italicized):
INS SCREENS JAIL ARRIVALS FOR POSSIBLE DEPORTATIONS; IMMIGRATION: AGENT IS PLACED AT ANAHEIM FACILITY AFTER SURVEY FINDS THAT 35% OF THOSE ARRESTED ARE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. EXPERIMENT AIMS TO IDENTIFY THEM BEFORE THEY ENTER JUSTICE SYSTEM.
Los Angeles Times
May 28, 1996, Tuesday,, Home Edition
Byline: GREG HERNANDEZ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In an effort to crack down on illegal immigrants committing crimes, Anaheim is seeking to become the first city in California, and one of the few in the United States, to have an INS agent stationed permanently in its jail to identify and deport illegal immigrants who are arrested.
For the last 60 days, two Immigration and Naturalization Service agents have been conducting a pilot project in which they scrutinize new inmates to arrange deportations.
The federal agency agreed to the test project after a city-conducted survey last fall found that about 35% of those arrested by the city were in the country illegally.
“Their numbers were abnormally high,” said Richard Rogers, district director of the Los Angeles INS office. “We just didn’t think they were accurate. But with the numbers we’ve seen so far, they do have an issue. So, I’m glad we came in.”
There are INS agents stationed at the Orange and Los Angeles county jails. But at those facilities, agents seek to identify illegal immigrants for deportation as they are about to be released from jail.
In Anaheim, agents are screening for citizenship before a suspect goes to court. This is so that even minor offenders who do not receive a jail sentence can be deported after their arraignment if they are in the country illegally. If they receive a jail sentence, they are deported after serving the time, city officials said.
In addition to face-to-face interviews, the two agents assigned to the city jail check the INS central database with laptop computers to determine which inmates are in the country illegally. The idea is to make their immigration status known to a judge during arraignment so that a “hold” can be placed on them to prevent their release before trial.
Although final figures will not be available for at least two weeks, police and city officials say that more than 30% of the people brought to the jail in the last two months have been found to be illegal immigrants. INS agents would not confirm the city’s figures or say how many people have been deported.
The INS study officially ended Sunday, but the two agents in Anaheim are expected to continue their work at the jail until a decision is made about the project’s future. INS officials have not said when they will make their determination.
The city’s push for agents at the jail has drawn virtually no opposition, although it has been criticized by Amin David, head of Los Amigos of Orange County, a grass-roots civil rights group based in Anaheim.
“The idea smacks of an overreaction and it fits into the mode of hysteria that continues post Proposition 187,” said David, referring to the voter-approved measure to deny government services to illegal immigrants. Implementation of the measure is on hold pending court review.
David said his organization is “watching with interest” as the final data is being compiled. He believes that Anaheim Councilman Bob Zemel, the program’s chief booster, has brought the matter to the forefront to benefit politically.
“He wants to ride the hysteria,” David said.
Zemel bristles at any comparisons to Proposition 187.
“This is not about kids in school, patients in clinics or kids on a lunch program,” he said. “This is about repeat violent offenders in the country illegally.”
Actually, most of the previous crimes committed by illegal immigrants identified in the jail were not violent offenses.
But the city has had trouble with violent felons who were illegal immigrants. It was the wounding of one of their own that led the 350-member Anaheim Police Officers Assn. to ask the City Council to seek an INS agent at the jail.
On Sept 8, 1995, Officer Tim Garcia was shot by an illegal immigrant who had been deported twice. The suspect was killed in an exchange of gunfire at a motel near Disneyland and Garcia was seriously wounded.
Zemel immediately championed the cause and began an aggressive campaign to gain support for the concept at as many levels as possible.
“The problem is so obvious in our city as well as in the rest of the county,” Zemel said. “If you are illegal and commit a crime, you are lost in the system. The judge never finds out who you really are and doesn’t take appropriate action at the arraignment.”
Zemel received support from 26 of the county’s 31 cities, as well as from Gov. Pete Wilson, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif), and U.S. Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Newport Beach).
Such persistence, in addition to the survey results, led the INS to assign the agents to Anaheim, federal officials said.
“It was the first time we’ve had a request like this for a city jail,” Rogers said.
Zemel and Anaheim Councilman Tom Tait, who also took a leading role in the effort, flew to Washington to lobby legislators.
Their efforts, as well as the continued work of city lobbyists, resulted in Feinstein and Cox sponsoring amendments, in the Senate and the House of Representatives, to the Immigration Reform Act that call for the federal government to fund a six-month program at the Anaheim jail, expanding on the two-month study.
If the bill is signed by President Clinton, who has not said whether he will do so, the INS would have no choice but to commit to another six months in Anaheim. The bill is to go before Clinton in mid-June, said Kristine Thalman, the city’s intergovernmental officer.
Anaheim police say the temporary system in the jail has worked out well. The agents interview up to 50 inmates each morning before they are taken to court.
If inmates are found to be in the country illegally, they are held at court, then picked up by the INS if they are not sentenced to jail.
“This is instead of releasing them at the door of the courthouse,” said Sgt. Paul Mundt, detention facility commander.
Anaheim Police Chief Randall Gaston said, “We’d like to see it continue. The INS agents have been very active.”
One of the two agents assigned to Anaheim spoke on the condition that his name not be used. He said about 80% of those arrested who are detained for immigration violations come from Mexico. Many others are from Central and South America, he said. But there are some rarities. Last week, an illegal Russian immigrant was arrested for selling drugs in a local park and is awaiting deportation.
Anaheim officials have offered to spend the $ 37,000 it would cost to have the INS agents at the jail for six months. But federal authorities said that regulations prevent them from allowing the city to pick up the tab. If the agents remain in Anaheim, they will have to be paid by the federal government.
Rogers said that after the agency compiles its data from the last two months, it will decide whether the agents are still needed. Rogers said the agency might consider adding them to the three already at the Orange County Jail so that all cities can benefit.
“Right now, we don’t have the resources to fully staff the Orange County Jail,” Rogers said. “We have to evaluate whether we are getting as much production in Anaheim as we would in the county jail. If we dedicate resources to one city, the next question from other cities in the area is, ‘Where’s mine?’ There’s no physical way we could have resources to cover every city jail.”
Still, Anaheim police officers and city officials remain hopeful the agents will stay.
“We just want to get the message out into the streets that if you are here illegally and commit a crime in Anaheim, you’ll be deported,” said Officer Harald Martin. “Then people would say either I’ll stop doing crime or move somewhere else.”
Zemel said: “I believe that any community that suffers from the effects of criminal activity from illegal immigration, the federal government needs to provide for that protection. To try and avoid that flies in the face of their mission.”
Rogers said that the agency is developing improved electronic files containing the names of more criminal illegal immigrants. He said cities will begin to have access to this system and will be guaranteed a response by the INS within 24 hours.
In Anaheim, changes have already been made at the jail, which can house up to 140 inmates, that help officers identify illegal immigrants themselves. In October, jailers began asking each arrestee about their citizenship status. All were trained by the INS and ask a set of questions approved by the agency.
The city’s survey, conducted during the months of October and November, was based on the questions asked by the jailers. It showed that of the 1,445 people arrested, 511–or 35%–admitted they were illegal immigrants.
At least four of the arrestees had lengthy arrest records and had used numerous dates of birth and aliases. One man who was arrested for selling drugs at Pearson Park had been arrested 34 times–mostly for burglary–and had used 51 different names. He had been deported in 1994.
Another man had been arrested 22 times since 1973 before being deported in 1990. During those years, he had used 57 aliases and 23 different dates of birth. He had been arrested twice since the 1990 deportation.
Among the illegal immigrants arrested, 233 were booked for a parole violation or had a warrant out for their arrest. Among the most common crimes were: assault and battery; driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol; burglary and possession of stolen property. One person was arrested for suspicion of murder.
Other crimes included spousal abuse, assault with a deadly weapon, robbery, resisting arrest, assault and battery on a police officer, and public drunkenness.
Garcia, the officer whose shooting put the issue in the spotlight, returned to duty in February. The 29-year-old officer had been on the force less than a year when he was shot and is quietly supportive of the campaign to keep INS agents in Anaheim.
“If it’s going to help in regards to something like this not happening to another officer, then I’m in favor of it,” he said. “The bottom line is, it could help save lives and prevent crimes in this city, the state and the country.”
Only one paragraph on Tait but relevant:
Zemel makes third bid for council
Orange County Register (California)
September 19, 2002, Thursday
Byline: By Eleeza V. Agopian , Anaheim Bulletin
Former Councilman Bob Zemel said he wasn’t planning on running for a seat this year, but decided to jump into the race at the last minute.
The Anaheim Hills resident served one term on the City Council from 1994 to 1998. He gave up his seat in 1998 to challenge Mayor Tom Daly for his office and lost that campaign.
The following are some of his thoughts on his third bid for public office:
Q: Why are you running for City Council?
A: ”I received a call late in the game and I was not planning on doing this. As a former city councilman, I have a lot of supporters who felt that I should get in this race because, while there are excellent people running and they’re probably good candidates, there’s no proven, tried and true, tax-fighting, leadership on the ballot.
”I mean, no one’s been elected before, no one’s served as I have. I did four years on the City Council and during that time built a reputation as standing up for the little guy, going against bureaucracies, going against majorities when I felt they were wrong and the little guy was right.
”I put together a lot of programs that I would like to make sure that they stay, such as the INS program, which is an officer stationed in our jail to identify illegal alien criminals.
”Before I put the program in, Tom Tait and I traveled to Washington, D.C. In fact, I had to go back one time at my own expense because I couldn’t get plane tickets out of the City Council, which I was happy to do. **We** were able to convince the United States government that they had a duty to help identify illegal aliens once arrested.
”If a U.S. citizen is arrested for any offense, we immediately know who they are because they’re in the system — the fingerprint system — it comes up right away. An illegal alien, if arrested — and only if arrested, that’s very important, people saying it’s to stop people of color, that’s not the case — if they’re arrested we won’t find out who they are until three or four days later.
”That was one of the programs that I was working on that now is under attack, under fire that intrigued me to answer the call to run because I don’t see our current City Council standing up for the goodness of this program. Instead, they’re allowing it to be maligned.
”I didn’t see the leadership proven. This lady and gentlemen, these folks are probably very good people. Do they make a good leader? Well, if they’re elected, we’ll find out. I just want to bring some proven leadership back and the reason is because we’re going to have three new people potentially this time. Next time, two members are going off. So in the course of 24 months, we’re going to have five completely new and different faces.
”While I believe in the future, I believe in new blood, I also believe in continuity, in having someone kind of tie it all together. So, I’m looking forward to working with whoever wins in that second spot.
Q: What would you do to improve the city if you are elected?
A: ”Let me answer that by saying what I was doing and what I started out doing and what my message has always been for about 15 years now, even as a planning commissioner back in 1990. My feeling is that government is there for the sole purpose of protecting its community members from the social ills of communing together.
”In other words, we all commune in a community. Social ills rise up and the reason for the government is to protect. In other words, sheriffs and police protection and that sort of thing. No one should get hurt because of those things. No one should lose their property, or their life, or be hurt in any way.
”When the city starts forgetting that and not budgeting with that first, that’s when I speak up and that’s what I always have done. I’ve done everything I can to make our community safer, including providing the innovation for satellite offices for the Police Department.
”I’ve been pushing for one out in the Hills and in the west for at least 12 years on the record, privately before that. I also pushed for the INS program. I’ve also come up with some very innovative ideas to have the policemen live in the cities that they serve.
”One of those was I was able to add to the benefit package a few years ago a second trustee home ownership program. If a police officer bought a home and lived in Anaheim, we would loan him money and it would be paid back for him at a rate of $1,000 a year would be removed or forgiven.”
Q: What do you see as the key issues in the campaign?
A: ”I think leadership is the key issue. I think leadership and continuity. This community should never be afraid of the future. There is so many wonderful people in the city that will rise to fill these gaps. I believe the issue is going to be leadership. That is just one of those categories that will just trickle down.”
Q: How have you been active in the community?
A: ”The reason why I even got involved in the first place was after I moved into this neighborhood 23 years ago, there was several issues in the Hills that called for neighbors to rally together and go down to City Hall.
”At that time it was during the day, daytime meetings, and we couldn’t get people to go down because they’re working. So we pushed for night meetings to make it available for the public. We pushed for cable TV awareness. That sounds like dinosaur time, but at the time it was very big to get City Council to agree to do that.
”We started an organization called Anaheim Hills Citizens Coalition. Its purpose was to support proper development. It wasn’t anti-development by any means. But, we also kind of had it with the general plan being violated.
”I believe when you have a general plan that if you vary from it there has to be a reason, like the law happens to agree with that. There’s got to be something topographical, there has to be some reason that land deserves a variance.
”The treatment by that existing council — that was largely represented by the downtown area — was very, very poor. It was very disrespectful to the community. Taxpayers had no real voice.
”I then became a planning commissioner from the neighborhood group. Then I became the chairman of the Blue Ribbon Billboard Committee. The goal that came out of the committee was rather than just be anti-billboard — which I am, anti-billboard — what we came up with was land ownership, we have a lot of issues of investment and so forth, how do we change that?
”The committee that I led — I was the chairman — we came up with a program. For every new billboard that went up, you would buy four or eight inner-city billboards. So the person who wanted the billboard would have to invest in the community. ”After that I started working with the Chamber of Commerce. I became a director and I was chairman of the small business committee there.
”On the philanthropic side, I think I’ve probably worked with everybody. The YMCA of Orange, the Eli Home, Boys and Girls Club of Anaheim, I was on their board.”
Q: What are your community affiliations?
A: ”I’m the vice chairman of the Republican Party (of Orange County.) I’m very proud of that position. In that spot, I’m able to help out with the public awareness and get out messages and allow access for the public to be heard.
”When I was on the Council, I was able to serve on the Orange County Water District, I was able to serve on the Orange County Sanitation District, the Eastern Transportation Corridor, the tolls roads. Then I was appointed by Pete Wilson and Matt Fong to the California Debt Limit Allocation Committee.
”From there I was able to serve in Sacramento as the local representative — I was picked from the whole state — there was only one local elected official that represents the entire state and they picked me. I was pretty proud of that. I also worked on affordable housing and issues like that.
”There’s community involvement and then there’s community involvement, so to speak. Yes, I’ve been on the streets here representing the community. I’ve had that experience. Just as important, I can make phone calls to Sacramento.
”I’m recognized, I’m able to deal with issues a lot more than maybe the candidate that hasn’t had these positions. It would be a quick learn for me. Overall, as far as my community activism it’s been both as elected and as citizen.”