UPDATED: Councilman Jordan Brandman Resigns From City Council

Councilman Jordan Brandman, who represents west Anaheim’s District 2, has tendered his resignation. According to sources, the resignation came as Mayor Harry Sidhu prepared to agendize for August 10 consideration a resolution censuring Brandman and calling for his resignation.

Brandman’s resignation comes in the wake of controversy over vulgar remarks he made in the early morning hours of February 12, 2020 during a text conversation with a West Anaheim activist. Those text remarks came to light in July of this year. The texts were grotesque figurative descriptions of how to deal politically with then-Councilmember Denise Barnes, who represented west Anaheim’s District 1.

In a letter submitted earlier today to Mayor Sidhu and City Manager James Vanderpool, the embattled councilman wrote “It has been an honor to serve the residents of Anaheim, especially my friends and neighbors in Council District 2. Working alongside the mayor, council colleagues, and our talented city staff, my desire has always been to improve the quality of life for every resident in our city. I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish together.

Brandman continued:

“Like for most, there are periods in our lives when we are faced with competing career and personal priorities. For that reason I have decided it is in the best interest of me and my family to focus on them at this time. I look forward to remaining an enthusiastic resident of Anaheim and am excited about the future of our city.”

“Like so many, I became aware of the texts when they became public. I was shocked and appalled. I immediately had concerns about the former Council member’s ability to effectively serve going forward,” Mayor Sidhu stated in response to Brandman’s resignation.

“I gave Jordan some time to own his words, take responsibility for his actions, do what was best for Anaheim and address his own well-being,” Sidhu continued. “As mayor, I have an obligation to pursue the right outcome for residents and our city as a whole. I made Jordan aware that at this point I would bring this matter to the Council for potential censure and a call to resign.”

“What we see now is the result of that process. I thank former Council Member Brandman for the positive contributions he made to our city during his service. I also thank him for recognizing today the need to step away and allow the rest of the city to continue doing what’s best for Anaheim,” said the mayor.

Vulgar Text Screenshots Surfaced After A Year
At the time of the text conversation in question, screenshots were shared with some other West Anaheim residents, including Kathy Chance. More than a year later, Chance decided to share them with Councilmember Jose Moreno. They made their way to Vern Nelson, a blogger and Democrat activist who was trying to organize a recall of Brandman. In 2020, Nelson mounted a failed attempt to qualify a recall against Anaheim Mayor Sidhu. Nelson has been convicted of five DUIs. In 2017, former Councilwoman Lorri Galloway claimed Nelson made unwelcome sexual advances on her in 2012, an allegation that Nelson denies.

The texts, Brandman made hostile and denigrating comments about Barnes – although its unclear from the two screenshots why he made the comments.

Let Harry deal with it since he cares so much about my District,” the excerpted texts begin.  “No, not that but what my mother would say.”

“Unf——believably selfish c—” Brandman continued, apparently referring to Councilmember Barnes. “Sorry for using those words but they were my mothers favorites.”

Brandman was referring to his mother Mara Brandman, a longtime Orange activist, former city planning commissioner and sometimes city council candidate.

“As my mother would say, ‘im gonna rip her f—— t— off,” Brandman continued. “That’s really what my mother would say.”

Mosley’s replies are redacted from the screen shots.

Several months later, Councilmember Barnes was defeated for re-election, following a political swing left-ward that included her switching parties from Republican to Democrat a few months before the election.

Brandman was a rising star in Orange County politics at one time. He was a member of the Anaheim Union High School District Board of Education when he was first elected to the council in 2012, when elections were still held at-large. He ran for re-election from District 3 in 2016, but was narrowly defeated by Jose F. Moreno, a Chicano Studies professor at Long Beach State University.  Shortly afterward, both Brandman and then-Councilman James Vanderbilt moved from District 3 to District 2. In 2018, Brandman beat Vanderbilt to return to the council.

Texts Became Fuel For Broader Political Effort Against Council Majority
Although private communications when Brandman sent them, once the obscene texts entered the public domain, they became illustrative of how District 2 councilman’s erratic behavior and troubled private life were undermining his ability to effective serve his constituents.

Their surfacing also became fuel for the Brandman recall effort – itself part of a broader political effort by a group of progressive activists – including Councilman Jose F. Moreno – to delegitimize the current council majority and ultimately displace it in the November 2022 election.

Special Election Not Feasible For Filling the Vacancy
The city council has two options for filling the District 2 vacancy created by Brandman’s resignation: appointment or special election.

According to the city charter, the council is supposed to fill vacancies by appointment, and it required to do so within 60 days of the vacancy being created – meaning by October 4. If it is unable to agree on an appointee within that time frame, then the vacancy will be filled by a special election.

Government Code section 36512 states that a special election to fill the vacancy would have to held on the “next regularly established election date” but “not less than 114 days from the call of the special election.”  Those election dates are spelled out in Elections Code section 1000. Per the not-less-than-114-days rule, the earliest a special election to fill the vacancy could be held would be April 12, 2022.

In other words, filling the vacancy by special election would leave District 2 residents unrepresented on the council for more than nine months – which is not a realistic option.

The last time the Anaheim City Council dealt with a vacancy was in 1995, when then-Councilman Tom Daly’s seat became vacant upon his swearing in as the city’s directly-elected mayor. The council deadlocked until the appointment window had almost expired, before settling on a compromise applicant: Tom Tait, who was a planning commissioner at the time.

City councils traditionally choose to fill vacancies by appointment. For example, in the past few months, both Huntington Beach and Orange have filled council vacancies by appointment.

One reason is cost: it spares the city the cost of a special election in which voter turnout is low.

Another reason is as old as mankind: politics. Council majorities – however fluid and regardless of political orientation – would rather appoint a like-minded colleague than chance the election of an opponent.

On the current council, left-wing Councilman Jose F. Moreno is usually political minority of one. It’s a certainty he will push for a special election, since it presents an opportunity to elect a political ally. If a vacancy had occurred during 2017-2018 – when Moreno was part of a council majority – we reliably assume he and his council allies would have filled it by appointing a political ally.

48 comments

  1. Well it looks like Vern Nelson will need to find a new job as his only employment is at Recall Jordan.Brandman.
    Perhaps he can sell bongs and meth pipes at the Robbins pop up shop.

    • OK Facebook troll. I took that down off my profile. Back to “freelance musician” and “owner of Orange Juice Blog.”

      • Troll?

        This coming from the dynamic duo that publishes a picture of a Mother of a dying child and the caption reads:
        “Vern Nelson is in the bathroom m———-g to your picture” and publishes that on social media for THE WORLD TO SEE! YEAH RIGHT.

        And BTW Vern there are currently more than 300 pictures on your blog that Crack lawyer Greg Dumband posted on your blog.

        Keep it up cowboy!

  2. Na na na na.

    Na na na na.

    Hey hey hey

    GOODBYE

  3. For the record:

    My name is repeated over and over since this happened, but I will only say this once:

    I shared a text that I thought was kind of shocking with a group chat that was private, but I deleted it almost 2 yrs ago. Never in my life did I approve of someone airing this text, or using my name in doing so. I did not give permission. I did not want to be involved, and I had nothing to do with leaking this publicly. My name was exposed, and i did not ask for that. The person who exposed this text threatened me to expose it, and honestly, I told her that i didnt even remember the conversation and then had her blocked, thinking that was just bizarre that she would hold onto and use an old text from so long ago. That isnt, and wasnt my intention at all, and furthermore, my phone number was given out to Vern Nelson, by her, and he called to ask if it were true. I said i did not even know what he wasnt talking about. I was not being uncooperative, i just didnt remember, or even care.
    My name keeps being dropped as if i had a lot to do with this, and i did not.

    I am shocked at how disrespectful people have acted frankly, and I have resigned from doing anything with or for the city. My intention from decades ago when i started volunteering and being active in the city was to help west Anaheim improve and keep the focus on district 1.
    I did not agree to any of this other stuff, and I’m ashamed that I was once again put in a position to protect my name.

    I did not want or ask to be involved.

    • Jodie-

      [Comment deleted by editor]

      • Matthew Cunningham

        Kathy, I have put you in comment moderation due to your inability or refusal to moderate yourself. Opine on the matter at hand, but I’m not going to let you abuse the privilege to hammer bystanders whose role in this controversy is purely incidental.

        • Matthew~
          Trust me, I copied, pasted and email my comments out to the Masses, because I know you will either not post them, or make up some cry-baby excuse as to why you can’t. So everything I have attempted to Post here, is emailed out ahead of time.
          I’m sure Vern will be publishing an ACCURATE article on Brandman’s REMOVAL, so I will be commenting on HIS blog; because yours is simply a waste of time and everyone knows it. LIES, LIES, LIES!

          • Matthew Cunningham

            Kathy – you never attempted to contact me directly. Again, you used fake names and fake e-mail addresses to post comments containing unsubstantiated allegations. Furthermore, you made no attempt to contact me directly and openly.

            In the meantime, you and Vern can continue to use each other for your mutual purposes.

  4. For the record:

    #1 I DID NOT share these text messages with Mr. Vern Nelson

    #2 I DID NOT share these text messages with anyone because of any pending Brandman recall efforts.

    #3 I only shared these text messages with Councilperson Jose Moreno so that he could discuss the issue directly with Brandman.

    #5 The reason why I chose to release these text messages was because Mr. Brandman has sat on his almighty throne attacking others for much lessor, or NO REASON what so ever, namely Larry Larsen. Larry Larsen’s dismissal was the last straw as, Brandman’s text messages were far more filthier than anything Mr Larsen said, yet Larsen was removed while Brandman continued to represent Anaheim, making me absolutely sick to my stomach.

    I’m sure you’ll never publish this, Matt, because it won’t go along with your narrative.

    • Matthew Cunningham

      Kathy: I published your comment.

      The reason your slew of comments back in April were deleted was because:

      A) you posted them anonymously, using fake names and fake e-mails.
      B) You were making completely unsubstantiated allegations. You offered NO evidence to back on wild statements.

      I had no idea who you were or what you were talking about. I assumed you were just a blog troll. So I deleted your comments.

      I explained this, in a comment, to your anonymous self at the time. You responded – commenting as “Butt Sucker” – by calling me “a sissy-ass, butt sucker.”

      It’s hard to take you seriously, Kathy, because you do not act like a serious person.

      • There you go again, Matt, saying I am posting BUTT SUCKER comments. Why do you always lie about me, huh? You always write your “stories” according to your own narrative, and not the TRUTH!

    • Kathy —
      you certainly shared the text messages with other media outlets; you must have forgotten you wrote this on Vern’s blog:

      KATHY CHANCE
      Posted July 18, 2021 at 7:05 AM
      I gave the OC REGISTER and VOUCE OF OC, as well as ANAHEIM INDEPENDENT, these text messages prior to OJ BLOG contacting ME, and NONE OF THEM did anything with this information EXCEPT OJ BLOG. Kudos to VERN, who reached out to me, and Kudos to Denise for getting the other News outlets to pay attention! OC REGISTER and VOICE OF OC are simply riding on the coat tails of the OJ BLOG.

      • Matthew Cunningham

        Exactly. Kathy – using fake names – was posting the content of the vulgar texts in comments on Anaheim Independent., She did not identify herself, and offer no actual evidence.

        And since Kathy was using fake e-mails in addition to fake names, there was no way to contact her.

        Also, Kathy Chance never attempted to contact me directly.

      • “you certainly shared the text messages with other media outlets; you must have forgotten…”

        Learn to read, Chumpley. She wrote “I DID NOT share these text messages with anyone because of any pending Brandman recall efforts.”

        Get it? Read it again maybe?

        • Matthew Cunningham

          “Get it? Read it again maybe?”

          Would that be like your inability to read the plain English of Duane Robert’s post about Larry Larsen’s false allegation against Steve Faessel?

        • It doesn’t matter what her motivations are or were; she shared them and then joined the Recall Brandman team. And for an “educated woman,” you’d think she’d have a clue about how HIPAA works

  5. Heh, that paragraph about me is hilarious. I’d make a list of embarrassing things you’ve done (I mean ACTUALLY done) but I’m in too good of a mood.

    Harry really has the nerve pretending he had anything to do with this resignation. He was perfectly happy with all Jordan’s insincere apologies and pretenses at reform. What was coming up was an emergency resolution next Monday from all Jordan’s old allies in the DPOC demanding his resignation.

    What loyal Anaheim Firster will Harry pick? (Or should I say Ament, Pringle & Flint pick?) I know Gloria Ma’ae lives in District 2, I passed up her house getting signatures and almost knocked to say hi. Whoever it is, I’ll do my best to help Fred Sigala Jr. beat them next year.

  6. for Vern and Kathy, let me know when you’re ready to condemn all the vile things William Fitzgerald has said about women during public comments at Council meetings

    • Hey, Dan and Matt,
      How about we meet up down at APD and hash this whole thing out face to face. And, of course, you skewed all the information, twisted it, and am trying to call me a liar.
      Let’s meet up. If not at APD, how about in a court of law. Because THAT’S where I see this headed…and soon!

      • They’re coming to take me away,
        Haha, they’re coming to take me away,
        Ho ho, hee hee, ha ha,
        To the funny farm
        Where Life is Beautiful all the time
        And I’ll be happy to see
        Those Nice Young Men
        In their Clean White Coats
        And they’re coming to take me AWAY,
        HA HAAAAA

      • you did that yourself. You forgot what your wrote and lied about it. and I’m not trying to call you a liar i am calling you one using your own words. its a signed confession. oh please do sue. all i have to do is present things you wrote which contradict other things you wrote . call a lawyer first make sure you give them all your comments I didn’t skew a thing; you forgot what you wrote. and since you’re mentioning a court, I’m lawyered up. Look up what a SLAPP suit is (since you don’t know anything about HIPAA…not HIPPA)

    • The bad things Fitzgerald has said (and not just to women) I’ve condemned to his face. That’s why our relationship is often rocky.

      What the hell do you think Ms Chance has to do with Fitzgerald though? You people really think we’re all some little club or something?

      • The Scarlet Manuka

        That’s precisely what some of us think. (:

      • Vern, How can you be believed/trusted. You and your editor repeatedly delete HONEST FACTUAL posts on your site?

        Greg is especially afraid of honest debate. WE KNOW Mark said those things. We KNOW Jeanie Robbins posted and ad on Facebook offering Meth Pipes and Bongs for sale, WE KNOW you and Donna sent those sexually explicit message to a Mother with a sick child and we KNOW you attempted to manipulate a grieving sister, so just back off.

    • First, William Fitzgerald does not hold any public office, unlike Brandman USED TO.
      Second, a public speaker at the podium is protected, and can say whatever they want; not MY rules!

  7. sure you have; sort of like coaching your wife through a phone call on your bad behavior when drinking

    • Wow, how pathetic are all of you. I want to understand what happened to Council Member Brandman and found this article and then this ridiculous thread of finger pointing, petty attacks and blaming. What about the citizens of Anaheim who deserve better than your childish, pathetic behavior and the hard working city staff who come to work every day to serve Anaheim. Why don’t you take a look at yourselves and grow up. You are an embarrassment.

  8. Insert gif of Michael Jackson eating popcorn here …

  9. Brandman has always been a rude, slimy, condescending power monger. Justice prevails! Couldn’t have happened to a worse human being. Brandman truly deserved to be outed for the egotistical swine he has always been.

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