By Matt Coker
By R. Scott Moxley
By Charles Lam
By Nick Schou
By Gustavo Arellano
By Gustavo Arellano
By Steve Lowery
By R. Scott Moxley
Little Tommy Daly was a citizen of Disneyland long before he ever dreamed of becoming the mayor of Anaheim. On the day the park opened in 1955, Daly was rolling down Main Street, USA—in his stroller. The wreath of gray hair that is wrapping itself around his balding head these days doesn't hide the little boy inside, who would rather be wearing Mickey Mouse ears. It shows nearly every time he presides over the Anaheim City Council. Under Daly's "leadership" in the 1990s, the council has made a good show of bargaining hard with the Walt Disney Co. over the entertainment giant's various plans to make money with the help of taxpayer funds. In the end, however, the council has invariably done little but apply its rubber stamp: Disney controls nearly all revenue streams at the publicly owned Anaheim Arena—which has been subsequently nicknamed the Pond, a sly reference to the Disney-owned hockey team that was named after a Disney movie—which has precluded a professional basketball team from relocating to Anaheim. Disney receives all the profits of publicly owned Anaheim Stadium—including the millions of dollars that came from re-naming the place for a competitor to the city's electric company—although the city contributed $30 million to remodeling the stadium and continues to pay the mortgage. Disney forced Anaheim to downsize—and, for all intents and purposes, destroy—plans for a Sportstown attraction on the stadium site because the proposed attraction would compete with Disneyland for entertainment dollars. And Disney demanded Anaheim commit some $500 million to the renovation of roads, landscaping and parking facilities around Disneyland before it would go forward on an expansion that includes the California Adventure theme park and a huge hotel, shopping, dining and entertainment complex.
Western Regional Director,
Phil Montez may have the most difficult, thankless and, some may say, uneventful job in Orange County. He actually works in Los Angeles, but he's the Western regional director for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, responsible for supervising civil-rights issues throughout California, Nevada, Arizona, Oregon and Washington. Perhaps the most awesome aspect of Montez's job involves investigating allegations of police brutality. Montez's job is made easier in cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, where elected officials already sit on police commissions. But in Orange County, there is no police commission—not one, not even an oversight group that has any power either to investigate the police or hold them accountable for their actions. Which is unfortunate because there is no shortage of problems when it comes to Orange County's law-enforcement community. These problems have ranged from the bizarre (predawn, military-style anti-gang sweeps that occasionally descend on such cities as Fullerton and Placentia) to the absurd (mass arrests of Independence Day revelers year after year in Huntington Beach) to the far-too-common (trigger-happy police officers who shoot down unarmed suspects, including 17-year-old Jose Manuel Campos, who was felled after a traffic stop last year by a Santa Ana patrolman). For his part, Montez has earned high marks from local activists like Josie Montoya of the Anaheim-based United Neighborhoods, one of the few groups in Orange County that regularly deal with police issues. Montoya said she has been in regular contact with Montez and knows he's doing everything he can to stay on top of Orange County's civil-rights situation. "He's spread out over four or five states," said Montoya. "With all the issues and communities he has to deal with, it's an insurmountable task because the resources just aren't there. That's why it takes the commission two or three years to follow up." Montoya was referring to the commission's last hearing in Orange County two years ago, when it held a weeklong hearing and heard from witness after witness who begged the commission to officially recommend the formation of a countywide police watchdog agency that might have some modest form of oversight over law enforcement. Nothing of the sort has happened so far, and in an interview at the time, a commission staff analyst told the Weekly that the commission's report on the hearing would probably take at least two years to reach the public. That was more than two years ago. We won't hold our breath.
"I'm 41, and I am the most least powerful person in the world. I would change this: Do I work hard? Yes, I work hard, and I save much money, and I save to take care of my family in Mexico. And if you hate Mexican people, you should let us—some of us—work here. For every one of us who works here, we keep three, four or maybe five other Mexicans in Mexico. Like my family. So leave me alone to my work. That's what I would do if I had power. But I don't. And there's my bus, so I must go now. Good day."
Chairwoman, Orange County Democratic Central Committee
Orange County might have lost its lighter-than-air station, but we still count on Jeanne Costales to be our official political helium balloon. Logic might tell you that as chairwoman of Orange County's Democratic Central Committee—representing the third largest contingent of Democrats in California—Costales' threats and promises would carry weight. Think again. Her words float. Away. Apologists argue that under her reign, two Democrats have won elected office. So what? Costales' contributions to those victories were simply puff and bluster. Under her guidance, the Central Committee has no money or political power, and it can't even field a full slate of candidates at election time. As if to emphasize her weightlessness, Costales attended the California Democratic convention this year dressed as the Teletubby Tinky Winky. Hardly anyone noticed.