Moreno, Ward Want to Selectively Silence Political Foes

Should elected officials decide who can participate in the democratic political process and who cannot? When politicians support using the machinery of government to dictate how individuals act and businesses operate, is it right or fair for those politicians to also demand the targets of government action surrender their right to advocate for themselves? Is that consistent with free and limited government?

It’s a serious question, and one Anaheim voters ought to weigh when judging the candidacies of left-wing District 3 Councilman Jose F. Moreno and mayoral aspirant Cynthia Ward.

Disney recently announced its withdrawal from two tax incentive agreements with the city – one of which effectively prohibited the imposition of a ticket tax for 45 years – as its part to heal the harsh tenor of city politics.

In response, last month both Moreno and Ward are demanding Disney unilaterally disarm itself – politically speaking.

“It is my hope that Disney will cease to participate in the toxic body politics that has become Anaheim elections…I think it would be great if they were to divorce themselves from that body politic,” said Moreno, a progressive Democrat, at the August 28 council meeting.

At the same meeting, Ward, a Republican, called on “Disney to take a step back and get their noses out of our elections for one cycle. Allow the people of Anaheim to choose their representatives, so that after the election, we can have a frank discussion with Disney about what it is they really do need in order to thrive, without having both sides of the negotiating table represented by Disney.”

It’s important to note neither Moreno nor Ward called on their political allies to refrain from “interfering” in the November elections. Moreno isn’t asking his allies on the Left – the unions, progressive activists, etc. – to “cease to participate” in Anaheim elections – and those allies are spending huge sums of campaign cash to turn city government into their ally in organizing and bargaining. If Howard Ahmanson funds an independent expenditure to assist Ward’s candidacy, will she call upon the savings and loan heir to stop his “interference and “allow the people of Anaheim to choose their representatives?”

Don’t hold your breath.

Let’s put the singling out of Disney into context. Moreno is a vocal support of Measure L, an attempt by his political allies in the Resort union leadership to obtain at the ballot box what they’ve been unable to obtain at the bargaining table. These unions are trying to governmental power to impose their wage demands on a private business. Furthermore, Moreno has for years supported imposing a gate tax on Disneyland Resort guests.

Councilman Moreno isn’t shy about his willingness to use government to compel others to implement his policy priorities. That willingness surfaced clearly during recent council discussions on whether to force housing developers to include low-income housing units in their projects (known as “inclusionary zoning”).

“There are times when we don’t want to eat our vegetables,” Moreno said, “But there are times when we have to do it because it’s good for us.”

“I think none of us like to be told that we have to do something, until – there’s point where for the larger good, and the public good, we have to,” Moreno said from the dais. “That’s the role of government, is to be able to create methods and ways so that we can complete that social contract, that we’re providing necessary, fundamental issues of quality of life that allow a society to move forward in a civilized way.”

Moreno made clear he favors using government power to make businesses “eat their vegetables”:

“The developers themselves have said, when they come to the public hearings, and they’ve had no affordable housing in their projects, and we ask them here in public why are you not doing affordable housing…when I ask them why is there no affordability to your projects? They said ‘because we don’t have to.’ Why do you do it in other cities? ‘Because they force us to.'”

And for those who disagree with Moreno’s idea of the role of government and the larger public good, and would rather not have the city force them to eat their vegetables? If they act on that disagreement in the political arena – does that constitute creating a “toxic body politic”?

When Moreno’s allies UNITE-HERE and OCCORD in December 2015 literally shut down an Anaheim City Council meeting because they disagreed with a vote, Moreno had nothing to say. When special interests from the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington DC poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into support the districting ballot measure in 2014, Moreno raised no concerns. He’s been silent on the hundreds of thousands of dollars his Resort union allies are pouring into a divisive, militant campaign to dictate wages to businesses that aren’t cooperative with them.

None of them are asked to refrain from trying to influence city policy by abstaining from participation in our free electoral process.  Only an entity Councilman Moreno perceives as inimical to his political agenda and ambitions.

To an extent, this is understandable coming from a man of the Left. Progressives are no longer the friends of free speech they once were. But Ward is a self-proclaimed conservative Republican. It is on the Right where one finds the most robust defense of free political speech. Ward’s antipathy for Disney is abundantly clear. She’d love to torch the 1996 agreements that created the Resort District. Given her political aims, it’s disturbing that she would join Moreno in asking any individual or organization to essentially shut up, sit down and surrender their right to participate in the political process – especially when special interests are openly working to use the machinery of city government to the detriment of Disney.

Reducing the number of voices in the public square, restricting the flow political information to voters on the basis of partisan political considerations – that is not in keeping with the interest of robust political discourse nor our tradition of free elections.


  1. See how Jose’s and Cynthia’s words, asking Disney politely to back off the political process for a time, becomes in your paraphrase “demanding,” and thence, in your title, “wanting to silence,” and thence, in your illustration, a Kavanaugh-style mouth-taping ASSAULT!

    We had a chance at campaign finance reform before the Supreme Court declared money to be speech, and corporations to be people, in Citizens United. Reform should apply to corporations and unions both. But until Citizens United is overturned, it’s understandable to politely ask the biggest elephant in the room, the one nobody can match, the one that enjoyed the council it paid for from the 90’s to 2016, to kindly refrain from trying to buy this one election – especially since they seem to be on a charm offensive.

    Worth a try anyway.

  2. UNITE-HERE and OCCORD did not shut down that Dec. 2015 meeting. A whole bunch of people did, spontaneously, and some of us were from those groups.

  3. vern: JOSE MORENO IS A TWO HEADED SNAKE. He is also a smug narcissist. His is backed by UNITE HERE AND OCCORD. I have seen him be rude and dismissive many times at council meetings to anyone who differs with him and his agenda. Jose Moreno is afraid of Disney, He is such a bombastic narcissist that he will ask Disney to stay out of the election. He does so in order to pull off another term.

    Bless the short term and we can vote him out. He will then blame it on Disney rather than HIS very poor record of representation of a”all” people in his district.
    Get real Anaheim would not what it is today without Disney.


  4. DO NOT VOTE FOR AL JABBAR, JUAN GABRIEL ALVAREZ OR JOSE MORENO, Mark Lopez,Ms. Treho and Ashley Aitken as well– they have the same politics.

    This will be a start then we need to get out J PAULO MAGCALAS (sp), MIKE MATSUDA and all of this group

  5. Agree with Joe Disney not the problem !

  6. Did professor Moreno politely ask his wife and her new assistant to take break on the race baiting at Dale Jr. High? Did he ask Ryan Rueles to take a breather on the Bros walks for his puppets? Did he ask Mike Matsuda to relax on forcing all of his teachers to register new voters for the democrat party in the name of “civic engagement?” – just take a break and catch their breath for one election cycle? Oh I didn’t think so.

    • Jose Moreno and his posse have struck again. It’s been a number of years since anaheim elementary Principal Baeza was removed as lead administrator at Juarez only to be demoted by Moreno and his puppet superintendent a few months later.

      The rumor now circulating around Anaheim is that Moreno and his hand-picked successor Ryan Ruelas
      with the help of the new superintendent are about to remove or have removed another highly effective principal for no other reason than to show who is top dog.

      Dr. Dale Hillyer has been removed from Lincoln Elementary only two months into his tenure there. Prior to his appointment at Lincolm he served quite successfully as principal of Stoddard Elementary. For years, Stoddard has been seen as the top-performing school in the Anaheim City School District. So why then remove a successful principal yet again?

      Juan Alvarez, candidate to Anahein City School District Board and another AUHSD teacher looking to sit on the ACSD board in collaboration with sitting board member Ryan Ruelas and Councilman Moreno struck a deal with new superintendent Chris Downing, who is said to have gotten very chummy with Moreno and his friends quickly, to have Hillyer removed from Lincoln. Lincoln is staffed by a large group of pro-Moreno teachers.

      When will this demagogue and narcissistic monster otherwise known as Dr. Moreno be shown the door? He’s vengeful and ruthless as are his chronies when dealing with those who may disagree. Why are successful principals removed so unilaterally? They behave like bullies and must be stopped.

  7. DISNEY PLEASE throw all of your money and power and HELP us RID Anaheim of JOSE MORENO. Help us get rid of the whole group with each election.

  8. …”When will this demagogue and narcissistic monster otherwise known as Dr. Moreno be shown the door? He’s vengeful and ruthless as are his cronies when dealing with those who may disagree. Why are successful principals removed so unilaterally? They behave like bullies and must be stopped.”

    Julie H.I agree completely! Anaheim is in a quiet battle with some very, very troubling people who have calculatedly got about insinuating themselves into our city in order to gain control of it. We are at a terribly dangerous point in our city’s history. Make no mistake we must stop this group with this election. We must not allow Jose Moreno to get elected again. He has shown us who he is. We must not let any of his accomplices get elected as well. Do not vote for Jose Moreno, Ryan Anthony Ruelas, Juan Alvarez, Mark Lopez, Annmarie Randle-Trejo, Al Jabbar or Ashleigh Aitken.

    Yes I have said this before but I care enough about our city that I will say it again. Sound the alarm this group is not good for Anaheim and we must get involved. We must not vote for them.

  9. The Moreno associates also spent big dollars to fight to keep Palm Lane in its district rather than allow it to change to a charter school. They defended failing scores and fought to keep failing the kids.They defended failing scores and fought to keep failing the kids.

    If they can do that….

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