Attorney Ashleigh Aitken Announces Run for Anaheim Mayor

THY VO, Voice of OC

Attorney and Democrat Ashleigh Aitken.

Attorney and Democrat Ashleigh Aitken Wednesday announced she is a candidate to become the next mayor of Anaheim.

“I think people want a native daughter, they want a hometown girl with a commitment to public service,” Aitken said in an interview with Voice of OC.

She said if elected she plans to leave her law practice and focus full-time on the city. “For me to leave the legal profession and go into public service, I think people know that a decision like that is only made by somebody who is in it for the right reasons.”

With incumbent Mayor Tom Tait termed out in 2018, four candidates so far have filed paperwork to run: Aitken; former Anaheim councilman Harry Sidhu; John Machiaverna, the executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Anaheim; and former district 4 council candidate Robert Williams.

Aitken made her announcement in a Facebook live event Wednesday morning.

Aitken, 41, is a former federal prosecutor and current member of the Orange County Fair Board. She said she plans to step down from her job as an attorney at her family’s law firm, Aitken, Aitken and Cohn, to campaign full-time starting next summer. She has raised the most money of all the candidates so far, with $183,527 in her campaign coffers as of Aug. 8.

Aitken moved to Anaheim, Orange County’s largest city, as a child and currently lives in District 6.

She’s a relative newcomer to Anaheim politics and has never held elected office, but points to her experience as chair of the Anaheim Community Services Board,  which makes recommendations about the city’s social service needs. She was appointed to the board by former Republican Mayor Curt Pringle.

Aitken’s father, Wylie Aitken, is a major donor and chairman of the board of Voice of OC.

Top Issues

If elected mayor, Aitken said homelessness will be her top priority.

“The mayor of Anaheim is going to have to be a leader and hold the county to task,” Aitken said.

She also wants to “look at the relationship that city hall plays with the citizens of Anaheim” and reduce the “acrimony at city hall.”

“I think a return to civility is going to be something that’s going to be extremely important,” Aitken said.

Echoing a campaign promise made by several members of the current city council, Aitken said she also will focus on making the Anaheim Resort – a tourism district consisting of Disneyland, the Anaheim Convention Center and nearby hotels – more accountable to residents.

“We love to have our Resort District, we want it to grow and thrive, but we want to make sure that…[when] there’s a project being developed, that it’s being developed in a way that benefits all the citizens of Anaheim,” Aitken said.

“I can look at contracts, I can negotiate deals, and I can make sure that promises that are made are promises that are kept and not forgotten,” Aitken added.

She pointed to recent tax subsidies granted by a previous city council to three luxury hotel developments.

One of the three hotel projects includes a deal with UNITE-HERE Local 11, a hotel and resort workers union, to use union labor.

“They provide good union jobs for a lot of our local residents. And when those things are built, there’s a benefit to the city,” Aitken said of the subsidy.

Unlike the current mayor, who has called past subsidy deals “taxpayer giveaways,” Aitken said she doesn’t oppose subsidies and believes they are important incentives for businesses.

“I think if we can entice them to grow and build, that’s a positive thing,” Aitken said. “But you have to really, under a microscope, look at those deals, and make sure they’re equitable and fair for everyone in the city.”

She said “mistakes were made” when the original hotel subsidy deals were structured, and that any future deals would ensure “local hire, high-paying union jobs, [and] prevailing wages.

Homelessness

Aitken said homelessness is a “regional problem, not an Anaheim only problem.”

Citing her experience performing pro bono legal work for homeless veterans, Aitken said she would approach the issue with compassion with the goal of helping people “get into a long-term, stable situation.”

The issue has been at the forefront of Anaheim politics in recent weeks, with councilman Jose Moreno introducing a proposal to place portable restrooms for homeless people living on the Santa Ana Riverbed near Angel Stadium (the council took no action) and a separate proposal by councilwoman Kris Murray to declare a “state of emergency” and convene a task force to clear the riverbed. Murray’s proposal is slated for the Sept. 12 city council meeting.

In a campaign newsletter, Murray summarized the proposal as “those who want help will get it; those who refuse help must leave; our laws will be enforced; the health and safety of all our residents will be protected.”

Aitken declined to comment on Murray’s proposal, citing a lack of details about it.

A group of advocates for homeless people has also been pushing for the current City Council to repeal an anti-camping ordinance that allows the city to ticket homeless individuals who camp in public spaces, and confiscate their unattended belongings.

Asked for her views on the ordinance, Aitken referred to her earlier statement that lawmakers need to view homelessness as a regional problem, and avoid “piecemeal” solutions.

“I think the camping ordinance is something that was a reaction to the homeless problem,” Aitken said of the law. “Repealing it, if it was part of a larger plan, that might work. But repealing it and not having a holistic plan…doesn’t make any sense.”

She said the city ultimately must find a solution that also addresses the impacts on residents and homeowners.

Public Safety Board

Since a spate of police-involved shootings in 2012 killed two young Latino men and sparked large protests, police reform activists have argued for the formation of a police review commission that would have subpoena power and much broader discretion to review use of force incidents and recommend discipline.

Asked whether the city needs a police review commission to address public confidence in the police department, Aitken did not give a direct answer.

“There are some citizen oversight boards that have worked really well, and some that have been unsuccessful,” Aitken said. “As we develop something, we have to make sure that we do something that works for everybody.”

She said any solution should both ensure the public a “communication channel” with the Police Department and that the privacy of individual officers’ employment history is protected.

Aitken also said the mayor needs to be “a good partner” for law enforcement to “ensure they have the resources they need” to ensure a quick response to police calls.

“I think residents’ concern is response times,” Aitken said.

Contact Thy Vo at tvo@voiceofoc.org or follow her on Twitter @thyanhvo.

  • Fred Smith

    Greg now you sound as if you are drinking more than Vern. Seriously, you have never seemed more incoherent.

  • @Dan Chmielewski

    Fabulous response; There is a significant amount of research that goes into any PR effort which you fail to see as message points are developed; the ones you promote are not indicative of facts; for example, you do not think the homeless situation is as bad has the neighbors have outlined; the reality is its likely far worse.
    Secondly, the person who ridiculed you at the Anaheim city council meeting is likely unaware of your stroke. They think you’re an idiot as do many.
    When it comes to Vern’s arrest, he was not charged with Felony DUI until March of this year. Were to aware of the DUI arrest in June 2016 If you were, please note, why did you say nothing?
    Lastly, I have come to DPOC meetings reeking of Dayquill; I have had four doubts of bronchitis this year documented by a doctor. The Dayquill alloys me to function without hacking my lungs out at a DPOC meeting where I usually just sit. Marty has observed my hacking cough enough.

    Please have a DUI police force issue any test to determine I am impraired in any way.
    I ill work on making my beaith, Palitable

    • Greg Diamond

      Your first sentence/paragraph doesn’t make sense up through the third semicolon. Between that and the end, you seem to be asserting that the residents who did the petition and such are vastly UNDER-reporting the amount of crime committed by the homeless, which lacks credibility. Exactly WHY would they be doing this? Not surprising to see you on the “attack the poor” side of a discussion, yet again. Real Democratic stance you have!

      I didn’t say that the alleged puppet parodist knew that I’d had to stroke — YOU are the graceless oaf who took that line of attack. I presume that the alleged jester didn’t like the substance of my argument opposing the Volkspetition — and so was substituting ridicule for rational argument, much as you often do. I don’t give a damn when that sort of jerk makes fun of me for defending unpopular causes; it comes with the territory.

      I was an aware that something had happened and that Vern was not under arrest and that he continued to not be under arrest for a long enough time that I figured that whatever it was had blown over. Even if I had known that it was a DUI, though, I would not have held it against Donna, because your scenario that she would have tried to muscle a hostile police force that would be quite happy to arrest her for *trying* is completely absurd. The Council picks the Chief; it does not fix tickets, let alone arrests, you doofus. I do wish that you held the Pringle/Disney faction of the Council to such a high standard, though!

      “Smelling of alcohol” is what I heard from eye—or I guess nose—witnesses. I don’t use the stuff; does it contain alcohol? Could you have passed a breathalyzer test if stopped? If not, why were you driving yourself to and from?

      (Your being arrested for a low BAL due to cough syrup might be an example of “picayune,” by the way — and I would have publicly defended you there against all charges except that of hypocrisy.)

      You make me proud to wear sandals, which I had never really considered a political act until you and members of your anonymous posse (including “Fred” here) started giving me grief for it. Sorry, if you can appear in public in anything other than an extra large sack than I feel entitled to wear the common footwear of much of the world, and show my toes as plainly as you show your cruelty and other pathologies.

  • Cynthia Ward

    Wow, the level of anger over here is worse than usual, which is sad because I met her once and she seems nice. I am having doubts about her level of involvement, research, or the depth of knowledge about Anaheim, but she seems nicer than the treatment of her here warrants, and until she does something outright evil, how about we voice disagreement on positions or policies without the venom? I know Anaheim has forgotten how to do that but let’s give it a try.

    BTW–good job to the establishment Dems of distracting negative attention away from Ms Aitken, by flipping it to Vern and Greg, who curiously were NOT part of the original post. Troll much, Dan?

    Yes, Anaheim has a City Manager to handle the day to day. Yes the City Clerk is doing the job, that is how it works, the executive team moves up into those positions and as one of 3 direct reports to City Council, Linda Andal is well qualified for the job and her ethics are beyond reproach, which is why we didn’t hear anyone who was passed over for the job screaming about it.

    However, the Mayor is NOT just one of 7 votes. The Mayor is the face and voice of City Hall with the people of Anaheim, and the voice of the people back to City Hall, as well as the Ambassador to the rest of the nation on behalf of Anaheim. The Mayoral candidate should have a vision for a better Anaheim and the ability to communicate it to constituents, and if the people of Anaheim share that vision they give the Mayor the office needed to implement that vision to his/her colleagues, and eventually staff. I physically ACHE for the day when Anaheim has that kind of leadership, instead of having to constantly react to the attacks of colleagues that prevents us from moving forward and achieving the amazing potential Anaheim once had, and is quickly losing if we don’t get our collective act together.

    BTW–has anyone seen ANY press release about Anaheim trying for the Amazon RFP? I see nothing…(sound of me bashing my head against faux brick trendy wall in new loft condos)

    • Cynthia Ward

      Oh and someone asked about where the nearly $200k came from. Nearly all was from other lawyers. A few from Anaheim, mostly not.

    • @Dan Chmielewski

      I joined a conversation very late Cynthia; hardly the troll. But I’ll point to something Zenger wrote earlier in this thread: “Fortunately the Mayor is just one of seven votes and no executive experience is needed. Anaheim’s city government is (supposed to be) run by a city manager.” But that didn’t stop Tait from financially rewarding a political aide when he really has no more authority than any other member of the city council.
      You ache for the day when Anaheim has leadership? The majority of the city’s voters likely do too. The “city of kindess” has been an abject failure. And the revolving door for city manager and city attorney’s offices prove it as well.
      Why is there no one from District 5 on the Homeless Task Force? Does that make sense to you?

      • Greg Diamond

        Cynthia, Chumley apparently doesn’t know that “troll” is a verb as well as a noun.

        It sure is fun to see him regurgitating talking points from Murray, such as the “District 5 representation” issue, which has been explained previously from the dais (it’s Brown-Act-related) and was amicably resolved last night. I would wonder where he gets these little leads — not from watching meetings and such, it’s clear — if it weren’t already pretty obvious.

        • @Dan Chmielewski

          Yes. Troll is a noun and a verb and so is shill. And I do watch the meetings and read the agendas. Ever care to answer the question you were asked about what you knew about Vern’s DUI and when you knew it? I’ll take silence as you knew almost immediately and said nothing. This dishonesty is damaging to what credibility you think you have.

          • Greg Diamond

            Cynthia, I think that the above shill’s (seriously, it’s his CAREER!) acknowledging that your “troll much, Dan?” referred to the *activity* of trolling rather than to the *status* of being a troll (as his denial of being a troll suggested he interpreted it as meaning) is as close to an apology as he’ll be able to muster. The rest of us know what you meant and that being a latecomer to a comment thread is not the least incompatible with “trolling,” as he has amply demonstrated here.

            Chum: I’m writing a piece addressing Vern’s situation, but I’ll put it on OJB and just link to it here, as combing through the above comments for it would be a bit clunky. That choice also tamps down the hijacking of this comments section (which some would describe as “trolling”) by your buddy “Fred,” with your heaving assistance.

            Frankly, the inferences you make about the world are not of interest, as they are generally in the service of bolstering your world view and your weak self-image. But you can take my “silence” with some liquor and stumble around DPOC meetings, if you’d like.

          • @Dan Chmielewski

            Your understanding of the public relations industry is woefully inadequate.
            When you write your piece about Vern’s arrest, be sure to feature yourself as much as possible as its attention you crave more than anything. [please explain why you kept this news secret for so long.
            I don’t have a weak self image and I don’t stumble around DPOC meetings. But your credibility with the party is going to take a pretty big hit if you knew about the arrest before your promoted Vern’s wife for Anaheim District 5 while knowing about the DUI in an attempt to deceive the party — and if she had won, you and Vern would have been the de facto OJ seat on the council which is what you really wanted. You crave power and attention and no one will give it to you. Shame on you for your deception, and your blog’s silence.
            I wonder if you were aware, while you spoke at the Anaheim City Council meeting Tuesday, that someone was behind you with a puppet mocking your speech while you spoke. If you didn’t know, that’s even funnier. If you did know, then know you’re a joke.
            Might want to clean up all the typos and sentences that don’t make any sense in your last OJ post; I can tell you had a stroke from the gibberish. But the truth is, you were a joke before the stroke.

      • Cynthia Ward

        Dan, how did Tait reward a political aid all by his lonesome? First, she is a Policy Advisor, with a Master’s in Public Policy and a mind that can read and understand the complex issues at City Hall as a bridge between the paid staff and the Mayor. She is NOT a political aid. Second, even the Mayor lacks the ability to promote or give a raise to anyone, not himself, not his staff, not his dog. 3 other people had to be convinced to go along, and the level of convincing was pretty high given the political smack down they knew they would get from people like you who love to spend Anaheim’s tax dollars to subsidize your enjoyment of a ball game but who suddenly claim fiscal responsibility if it doesn’t benefit you and your pals. Have a nice day, Dan.

        • @Dan Chmielewski

          Tait had a majority on the council who approved it at his urging. She recruited candidates for Tait’s slate so let’s not pretend she wasn’t political. And she has her lucrative pension to protect. When was the last time you set foot in Anaheim Stadium for a game Cynthia?

  • Debby Bodkin

    Sure wish Ms. Aitken would run for OC District Attorney. Orange County needs a hard working and honest individual to clean up the filth that continues under the leadership of the County’s current DA. Ms. Aitken: Please reconsider and run for DA!

    • Greg Diamond

      Former Brea Mayor Brett Murdock, a plaintiff’s lawyer with a good track record in both law and politics, is running against Racky and Spitzer; he meets your criteria. I agree that Aitken would have been a good candidate for OCDA, but she rebuffed the attorneys who asked her to run.

  • Pingback: Anaheim Mayor: Ashleigh Aitken Officially Announces; Lorri Galloway Poised To Enter Race - Anaheim Blog()

  • robert williams

    Anaheimer’s,
    I have read your comments and I understand the despair and distrust that is shown in your comments. As one of the candidates for Mayor I will not take any pot shots at Mrs .Aitken.
    I am a democratic candidate, even though the position of mayor is a non partisan position. I welcome a debate or two with Mrs. Aitken, and then you can compare our and our views side by side. The Voice of OC, can even moderate said debate(s). Anaheim needs a strong leader, and not someone who is part of the past, but someone who can help pave the way for the future.
    I promise that Anaheim will be my priority as your next Mayor, under the Williams regime we will make peace with the Anaheim Angels, clean up our city, and the citizens who just happen to be homeless will be taken care of and treated like people/individuals who matter.
    Safety is the most important issue for me, and as such the City of Kindness will become America’s Safest City. Safety for all of our citizens, children’s issues will become a priority in Anaheim, businesses will be recruited to work hand in hand with the City and City staff.
    If you want more information about who I am, and what Robert Williams has to offer you as a citizen of Anaheim, please contact our campaign: http://www.williamsforanaheim.com/williamsforanaheim@gmail.com

    • David Zenger

      Some free advice: don’t use the phrase “the Williams regime.” It doesn’t sound too good.

      P.S. As far as the Angels go, let’s not mistake “the Angels” – a mythic tribal affiliation – with its owner, billionaire Arte Moreno, who almost got a massive public windfall due to the Kleptocracy’s ownership of the previous council majority. If “making peace” includes protecting Anaheim’s public assets, I’m all for it.

      • Greg Diamond

        On the contrary, David, “the Willians regime” sound fine in the right context. For example, it would be a perfectly good name for a 70s-era prog rock band.

  • David Resendez

    Anaheim’s very own Veruca Salt from Wily Wonka: Daddy, it’s not fair, I should be mayor!
    Daddy: ok pet, I’ll buy it for you, now run along.

    Anaheim doesn’t need a Silver Spoon.

  • John A.

    Having read about her I am really skeptical about her qualifications. Having been on the board of the OC Fair, she went along with policies that placed an emphasis on hiring foreign workers through the H-1B visa program, rather than hiring local workers.

    • LFOldTimer

      Another red flag that won’t get any print.

      I laugh at all those who wail over the homeless living on the riverbank while from the other sides of their mouths defend illegal foreigners and H-1B workers who steal their jobs and keep them homeless. Such hypocrites.

  • Latino business owner

    This lady sounds like the worst person to be mayor. For one, she seems like a spoiled brat. I mean, she is working at her daddy’s law firm, and she is being written about at the Voice of OC probably because her daddy donates to them.

    Second, this lady has no public service experience or business experience. Generally, business owners and founders of companies are the best people to lead because they have direct experience dealing with government. They have experience running things. And they have experience making tough decisions. This lady doesn’t have any of that experience. She was a prosecutor for crying out loud. And she is a practicing attorney at her daddy’s company. What — she couldn’t hang a shingle on her own?

    Third, this lady is pro-Disneyland tax cuts. She is going to give tax cuts to Disneyland at the expense of the taxpayers in Anaheim. She will help create more low-wage hotel jobs that don’t benefit the residents of Anaheim.

    Lastly, she basically dodged all questions asked in this article. And she loves to use tired, ambiguous statements. Prosecutors are the WORST people to lead.

    Anaheim, please elect a Republican business owner.

    • David Zenger

      “Anaheim, please elect a Republican business owner.”

      Have anybody in mind?

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  • Bryan E Kaye

    Since APD has arrested over 600 innocent people, beaten them, then filed false charges against the victim, how will Ashleigh Aitken correct this??? and The PEOPLE spoke up, and convinced APD to STOP killing people this year…. 2017… let 2017 be known as the People’s year….. the People spoke, and the police stopped killing the people….

    • LFOldTimer

      Didn’t you read this sentence?

      “Asked whether the city needs a police review commission to address public confidence in the police department, Aitken did not give a direct answer.”

      The short answer to your question is: She won’t.

      The cops will own her like they’ve owned all the others.

  • LFOldTimer

    “Aitken’s father, Wylie Aitken, is a major donor and chairman of the board of Voice of OC.”

    Be true to the Journalist’s Creed, VOC.

    Don’t follow CNN down Hillary Boulevard.

  • astar2b

    Kris Murray has her hands full…

    • Greg Diamond

      I doubt that. By now most of what was in her hands is probably in her pockets. (NOTE: METAPHOR WARNING!)

  • David Zenger

    “Aitken said she doesn’t oppose subsidies and believes they are important incentives for businesses.”

    Absolutely 100% wrong. They only provide incentive to manipulate the politics of Anaheim. She wants the resort to be accountable to the residents and yet is willing to hand over public assets in a misguided effort to engineer local economy? That’s an obvious contradiction in terms.

    • RyanCantor

      Agreed. Absolutely missed the boat.

      I get that she’s trying to build a coalition, but given’s Anaheim’s history of systematically abusing the taxpayer, the city continues to need a Mayor who is a strongly opposes corporate welfare.

      • Greg Diamond

        Sigh….

        • RyanCantor

          Is what it is, Greg.

          But, taken at face value, Ms. Aiken cares more about pleasing the Building Trades than she does about protecting Anaheim’s residents.

          I hope that changes.

          • Greg Diamond

            I will interview her at one or more points, I expect, about the race. It might be a good idea if you tagged along.

          • David Zenger

            I live in Anaheim. May I tag along?

          • Greg Diamond

            We’ll ask the candidate. I’d push for your being at at least one discussion, but generally I’d like to hold it to two apiece. And then of course there’s Vern’s opinion, which should be coming through at some point.

          • Fred Smith

            Why does Vern’s opinion matter? I mean, wouldn’t want to exclude the opinion of someone preparing to face felony trial for DUI numero cinco, right? Maybe instead of waiting for Vern’s opinion, someone should be talking to Vern about his drinking and driving, eh Greg? Isn’t the health safety and welfare of himself and others on the road more important than his political opinion?

          • Fred Smith

            Will you be live blogging from Vern’s pre-trial this week Greg? The one for his FIFTH DUI – A FELONY?

          • Greg Diamond

            No — are you expressing interest in live-blogging it for us? Please contact me if so. Of course, you’d have to waive our liability for your possibly getting arrested if you actually tried to do so. (There’s a reason that courtrooms still have sketch artists, in case you’re unaware.)

            I’m not writing about this week’s hearing — nor rebutting some of the misinformation being squirted around — until after it’s over. The pressure that has been exerted on me to jump in and get in the way of whatever his attorney has in mind is much less effective than some dullards might hope. But thanks for your sincere interest, “Fred”!

          • Fred Smith

            Can you please cite any of the “misinformation?” It was his fifth arrest right? It is a felony right? Donna never spoke about it during her campaign right? You didn’t either right? And you knew about it right? Those are all facts right Greg? And would you be writing about the hearing if was another high profile political blogger that lies about people on a regular basis?

          • Greg Diamond

            Yes I can. No — for reasons already explained, if you would bother to read — I won’t until after his hearing, “Fred.”

          • Fred Smith

            Doesn’t change the facts, “Greg.” This was an apparent coverup. And you appear to be part of it.

          • Greg Diamond

            No need to put my name in quotes, “Fred.” My identity is well-established. You, by contrast, are apparently using a pseudonym to hide behind while issuing attacks. I wish that VOC was as affronted my this undermining of “civil and productive discourse” (or however they phrase their hopes for their comment section) as it should be. And I only hope that readers — at least those not similarly hiding their identities — will recognize the cowardice of your putrid actions, however clever you may think you’re being. I put my reputation on the line when I write; you can spew whatever poison you wish and, when this persona is sufficiently soiled, you just break open a new one.

            I’ll offer a more complete explanation after the pretrial hearing, because as an attorney (albeit not Vern’s personal one here) I know that that is the responsible thing to do. Is there a part of “I’ll address this after the hearing” that mystifies you? Or is it just that you prefer irresponsibility?

            Bye, “Fred.” Keep thinking that you’re fooling people, if that’s what floats your boat.

          • Fred Smith

            Facts are facts, “Greg.” Everything stated is real, so you can throw your usual hissy fits and claim you are being attacked and describe facts as “putrid.” Just like you described Vern’s DUI arrest as “picayune.” One of the five arrests, anyways. You and Vern have made a career out of slandering people and never taking responsibility for your “putrid” actions. Keep making excuses for your reprehensible behavior. What’s happening to you right now is simply what you have inflicted on others over the years with your alcoholic associate. The question now is, what else have you and Vern covered up in the past?

          • Greg Diamond

            I don’t recall the arrest of Vern’s that I apparently described as “picayune,” but based on my use of the term I am pretty confident that it was picayune, as arrests sometimes are.

            You don’t likely know the required legal elements of slander, which ironically may save your own contention that I engage in slander from itself being “slander,” based on the classic “he was too ignorant to know what he was saying” defense. But, if you want to identify yourself in a way that makes you answerable to litigation and THEN accuse me of knowingly making false statements impugning someone’s reputation, etc., then I would be more than pleased to make your pitiful acquaintance. I’d even write you a nice long letter.

          • Fred Smith

            You don’t “recall” a DUI arrest? Incredible. That’s what it takes to be close to Vern, I guess. Drunk driving no longer is even something memorable. The events become so commonplace that they all blur together, huh? You can’t even remember your friend being arresting for driving drunk, yet you had the nerve to describe it as “picayune.” He was convicted, Greg. Spent a year in jail, Greg. Do you remember that one? Any of them? God forbid he kills someone behind the wheel, will you still defend him? He needs to be in jail for a looooong time.

          • Greg Diamond

            I recall that the arrest happened. I don’t recall the circumstances that, at that time, led me to describe it as “picayune.” I recall that I *did* know them at that time and I doubt that when my memory of them was refreshed, I would alter that description. But I guess it not impossible.

            Let’s talk about you though, Ken-I-mean-Fred. You really think that a fair reading of the above is that “drunk driving no longer is eve something memorable”? I don’t want to be unkind here, but do you really just not understand how human memory (and what’s called “meta-memory”) works, or are you some sort of “PR professional”?

            Yes, God forbid that he — or ANY OF US — will ever kill someone behind the wheel. But also God forbid that the justice system ever slake the bloodthirsty appetite of anonymous trolls who want to make political points out of other people’s misery. I trust the court to come to an appropriate sentence after establishment of guilt, and to do so with a lot more brains and sense of justice than hooting, without knowing the facts, that he “needs to be in jail for a looooong time.” I’ll bet that if it was someone you didn’t want to see harmed — someone like yourself — facing sentencing, you would be singing a different tune.

            Justice is supposed to be blind, but — unlike your commentary — it’s not supposed to be dumb.

          • Fred Smith

            “Greg,” if you can’t remember something as serious a a felony DUI, maybe you should get checked out as well behind the wheel. “Other people’s misery.” ? Most normal people would refer to that as “other’s people’s reckless disregard for the law and inability to find help for oneself.” Vern belongs in prison and yes for a long time. Also, it’s about time you answered the “what did you know and when” question because honestly, to many, you’re looking quite suspicious right now, Pudgy. I mean “greg.”

          • Fred Smith

            Hey “Greg,” when you and Vern can take a break from spreading all the hate against cops, can you please answer the question: When did you know about your drunken soulmate’s 5th DUI arrest? And why did you not share that info as you endorsed his wife’s joke of a council run? Also if you could, is he sober now? Is he driving? The community has a right to know the behavior of this menace to society. How many more passes will you give him for “picayune” drunk driving? Six? Seven? And what about other charges against him? What do you know about those?

          • Fred Smith

            On the subject, “Greg,” are you also going to poo-poo the numerous DUI convictions of your fave Dem activist-climber Victor Valladeres? Not the drugs, not the violence, not the resisting arrests, not the brutal domestic violence charges, although those do matter. And I’m sure more will be revealed about those things. You’re just such a fan of this slimy radical Gustavo-ite I just wondered if you found his arrests for drunk behind the wheel “picayune.” Did you know about his DUIs before you threw in so heavily for him?

          • @Dan Chmielewski

            Actually, you used that term in describing Vern’s fourth DUI arrest in a comment to a 2015 Anaheim Blog Juice post about Deborah Pauly’s second DUI arrest. Here’s your comment:

            *****Greg Diamond

            September 30, 2015 at 12:32 pm

            Ryan says “no.” And RR is knowledgeable about Anaheim politics and history to a degree that Fullertonian RC is not.

            It’s hilarious watching all these pseudonymous posters scurry around worrying about someone else’s pseudonym.

            All but one of Vern’s DUIs were from a long long time ago. His final one was picayune, but given his record it led to jail.

            I feel bad for Pauly, but of course in this joint bolstering Harry Sidhu is the sole consideration. Let’s start seeing the hit jobs on Choi, Matt!****

            You do realize that slander is spoken and libel is written. In both cases, slander or libel has to contain deliberate falsehoods about the subject. If the subject of said slander or libel is a public official or a public figure — and as publisher of a political blog — Vern is a public figure. To meet the standard for slander or libel, the offending text would have to be deliberately and knowingly false with the intent to harm his reputation. For non public figures, the information just has to be false and damaging to reputations.

            You threatening litigation over known facts would be laughed out of court for a slander or libel charge here.

          • @Dan Chmielewski

            I’ll ask then. My identity is well established and I’ll ask you if you were aware of Vern’s April 2016 arrest while you made a speech encouraging the DOOC’s endorsement of his wife for Abaheim’s fifth district. I will also ask you what your blog would have done if Lucille Mring’s husband were arrested for DUI in advance of her candidacy for city council? Neither of these questions have anything to do with Vern’s hearing tomorrow. You are free to answer.

          • Greg Diamond

            And I’ll discuss it *after* the preliminary hearing, not before. Thank you for validating my freedom as to how and when to respond.

            I remember some odd duck saying to me more than once, “I’m not your monkey.” Perhaps you could learn from him.

            I will answer your hypothetical, though: I don’t think that I would have made a big deal over an arrest of Kring’s husband for a DUI, as it reflects little if anything upon Kring herself. You, I recognize, take a different view when it comes to mudslinging, though you often leave it to “the help” — people using pseudonyms like “Fred Smith.” (He sounds a bit like you, by the way. Wasn’t going to mention it before, but here you are.)

          • @Dan Chmielewski

            I’m not “Fred Smith” but I’m amused when the shoe is on the other foot how you respond. I have no problem posting under my own name. Rich of you to complain about mudslinging with such dirty hands yourself.

          • @Dan Chmielewski

            Live blogging is allowed depending on a number of factors. http://www.dmlp.org/legal-guide/live-blogging-and-tweeting-from-court

          • Greg Diamond

            This is a specific court, chum, not an amorphous average of all possible courts. The article says to check the general rules of the court, then the particular judge’s rules. I’m reasonably familiar with the former, but haven’t looked up the latter. I haven’t heard of any exceptions within the Superior Court of OC, but if you think this is one, then go ahead and check it out. Or you can always show up in court and announce that you’re live-blogging — as the article you link suggests you not do — and learn the hard way.

          • @Dan Chmielewski

            Exactly; you have to check the rules of each court. Was that not clear? It strikes me as the question of live blogging would need to have been asked a while ago.

      • David Zenger

        The coalition looks an awful lot like the Kleptocracy® coalition – with the exception of the housekeepers’ union. But note that problem is easily overcome by making a new, subsidized hotel agree to a union contract. And somehow that’s good for “Anaheim.”

        I get the sense of one of those aristos slumming in politics just for kicks.

        • RyanCantor

          I hear very good things.

          I remain optimistic. For a change.

  • LFOldTimer

    “She was appointed to the board by former Republican Mayor Curt Pringle.”

    Red Flag: Neophyte politician running for Anaheim Mayor w/ past ties to Pringle.

    Those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat it.

    • Greg Diamond

      Her not being Harry Sidhu?

      • LFOldTimer

        At least Sidhu has a little bit of wear on his tires. Wasn’t he an an Anaheim councilman for 8 years? Ashleigh hasn’t even been taken out for a test drive. I just want to know what gives her impression that she deserves a place in the front of the line? That’s all. I’m not impressed by her name or who her dad happens to be.

        Don’t misinterpret my comment as an endorsement for Sidhu. It’s not.

        • David Zenger

          The only wear on Sidhu’s tires come from perpetually running for office:

          2008 – State Senate
          2010 – County Supervisor (twice, also faked addresses on voter registration)
          2016 – State Assembly
          2018 – Mayor of Anaheim

          And in 2013 he tried to get appointed County Clerk swearing that his politcal days were over. He failed at that too, maybe because he thought a “satellite” Clerk-Recorder’s office was going to be orbiting the planet someday.

          • LFOldTimer

            Diamond made a remark about Sidhu to me. I responded.

            My point was that Sidhu held an Anaheim council seat for 8 years.

            In contrast, what elected office has Aitkens held?

            As far as elected office tenure goes and hands-on experience managing municipal government operations Sidhu wins by a country mile.

            Again, not an endorsement. Just an observation.

          • David Zenger

            As a city councilman he didn’t manage anything. He took his orders from Pringle.

            I just took a free shot to inform folks that Sidhu is a shameless political hustler.

          • LFOldTimer

            Ok. We get it. You don’t like Sidhu. Fine. But you’re sidestepping my point.

            Why consider elevating the equivalent of a high-school rookie into the big leagues to run your city? Aitkens has ZERO municipal government experience and ZERO elective office experience. She’s just a pretty face who was born into a well-to-do family with connections. Do you really think she’d even be in the running for the lead elective office in Anaheim if not for dear old daddy?

            So she’s worked for the government as a prosecutor and for her daddy’s law firm. So what? What has SHE actually done? Obviously she runs in the right circles. She was appointed to the OC Fair Board – and to the ASCB by Curt Pringle, one of your favorite swamp dwellers.

            And are you interested where her $183,527 campaign treasure chest came from? That may provide some hints of who her owners are.

            Remember, we know from vast amounts of experience that politicians will tell us anything we want to hear to get our votes. Once elected, they disrespect us and do the opposite of what was promised.

            Aitkens has no track record in elective office. And you saw what she did with the $90k farmer’s monument. She turned it into a $350k monument. What do you think she’ll do to Anaheim’s budget? Easy come, easy go.

          • David Zenger

            Fortunately the Mayor is just one of seven votes and no executive experience is needed. Anaheim’s city government is (supposed to be) run by a city manager. I count Sidhu’s “experience” against him – an incomprehensible eight-year lackey for Pringle.

            What is needed is a person with a keen sense for accountability, skepticism and fealty to the public – rather than the bureaucracy and the lobbyist. Where is such a mythical creature?

            I do not care for many of the things Ms. Aitken has already said, and would only vote for her as the only realistic alternative to the execrable Sidhu.

            As for the money, well, watch the megabucks roll in from the Resort and the “public safety” unions for whomever is anointed by PringleCorp®. Right now that looks like Sidhu. Of course it may turn out to be Ashleigh herself!

          • LFOldTimer

            If you think the golden girl of the elite class is going to represent you and turn her back on the swamp (Disney, Hotels, Cops, etc….) I think you’re in for a big surprise.

            I’ve read her take on public pensions (the multi-million ones doled out to public safety) and she sees nothing wrong with them. ha. Anti-pension reform. Hello?

            Again, where did the $183,527 come from?

            All the red flags are there waving in the wind.

          • David Zenger

            “If you think the golden girl of the elite class is going to represent you and turn her back on the swamp (Disney, Hotels, Cops, etc….) I think you’re in for a big surprise.”

            I don’t have illusions in that regard at all.

          • Anaheimonmymind

            Your negative criticism is about how many times Sidhu has run for office and “failed”. Keep in mind, success is not measured by the number of times that you don’t prevail but by one’s persistence. History reminds us that President Lincoln did not give up and eventually succeeded, ultimately becoming one of the best Presidents this country has ever had.

          • David Zenger

            Um, Harry Sidhu and Abraham Lincoln? Really? You wan’t to go there? Thanks for sharing your disconnect with reality.

    • occynic

      The Mayor of Anaheim is not responsible for “managing a municipal government”, the City Manager does that. Of course I have lost count on how many City Managers Anaheim has run through in the last few years. Of course now the City Clerk is doing the job. Not sure Aitken would do any worse then the last few Mayors. The bar has been set pretty low in Anaheim, maybe it’s time for a political newcomer to get a shot.

      • LFOldTimer

        So lower the standard and let an E-5 Petty Officer 2nd Class captain the ship, eh?

        Yeah, that sounds like a winner.

  • kburgoyne

    Not meant as a pro or con about Ms. Aitken, but we need more engineers running for office. Engineering is all about solving problems.

    • LFOldTimer

      Jimmy Carter was an engineer by trade.

      Great guy. I adore the man. But he made a lousy President.

    • Latino business owner

      engineers need to stay away from government office. Politics is completely different from engineering (logic, mathematics). Business owners are the best people to lead.

      • kburgoyne

        The assumption the two are mutually exclusive shows the problem with relying upon business owners.

        • Latino business owner

          it’s no assumption. it’s fact