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August 15, 2007


Snow White hairs and E Ticket rides

Not being an Anaheimer,I'm not up on the SunCal deal - though affordable housing must be needed for many employees of Disney and others businesses nearby.
What I really wanted to say, though it dates me, was that the Carousel of Progress was one of my favorite rides. I wish I could experience it again today. Can you imagine how campy, retro, and ironic it would seem!

Jeff Flint


Seriously, are you going to complain about Disney/SOAR spinning? Seriously?

Not even going back to your prior posts, just in this one, you engage in some world class spin.

For example, you continue to insist that the Referendum "barely" qualified, as if SOAR should have gone out to collect an extra 10,000 or 20,000 signatures just for funs.

Think back to initiatives you and I have worked on together, picking at random, say, the voucher/opportunity scholarship issue. Would you have expected the proponents to do more than collect the minimum number of signatures, with a few extra for cushion, to qualify that? And what would your response had been if the opposition had spent all their time talking about how the initiative had "barely" qualified.

With regard to the vote, the referendum process is clear. Once the measure is certified, the city council has two actions to take, rescind their prior act, or place it on the ballot. SOAR is arguing, best I can tell, that the Council should do one or the other.

Why does Sun-Cal oppose both of those two options?

the brain

Its time to send this to a vote. Stop the spinning and let Disney and residents take on the developers. The resort zone business residents and previous councils did the right thing and have created an economic engine, why let some carpetbaggers come in and reap the profits?


I hope it goes to a vote. I am actually interested in how it would play out. SunCal will really have to put up a good fight to hang with Disney's checkbook. Does anyone know which consultant is running the show for Disney?



SunCal isn't opposing both options. Now that the referendum has qualified, SunCal and those supporting SunCal's position and opposing Disney efforts support putting the referendum on the ballot.

Only Disney/SOAR and it's allies have called for the Council to skip a referendum and rescind the zoning.

David Michael

Jubal, wasn't it the position of SunCal to have the decision to place the initiative on the ballot or have the zoning change repealed be postponed the first two times it was in front of the council?

Didn't SunCal want to try and find the compromise that the City Council wanted, or did SunCal go into the compromise with the attitude that it should be placed on the ballot?

Isn't it just in the last week or so that SunCal has now supported the council to place it on the ballot?

David Michael

By the way, I should have said Referendum instead of Initiative in the last post.

The Referendum is the measure that specifically repeals the zoning change to the Mobile Park Land.

Andy Favor

Great link to the Carousel of Progress. When they moved that attraction to Orlando they promised it would return. Come on Disney Land, lets bring it back.


David Michael:

When the referendum came before the council on July 17, our side supported placing it on the ballot. The Disney/SOAR side asked the council to forget all about the Disney/SOAR promises about "protecting your right to vote" and urged rescinding the ordinance rather than have an election. I covered this in the post.

SunCal went along with the continuances in hopes of working out a compromise with Disney. Particpants in those discussions signed NDAs, so I don't know why those talks didn't work out.

SunCal has consistently supported placing the referendum on the ballot ever since it qualified. It's Disney/SOAR that has been changing it's position on the matter.

David Michael

Thanks for the comment Jubal, I did go back and read the City Council meeting minutes from July 17th, and found this in the public comments.

>> Frank Elfend, SunCal, supported Anaheim voters having the right to vote on this issue, pointing out referendum petitions and supporters of keeping the resort district unchanged, concurred in having an election. <<

I was mistaken, and glad to see that SunCal wants to hear from the voters.

But then as part of the same minutes from July 17th I find this in the comments from the council members.

>>Council Member Kring has been talking to the developer from the beginning and had asked Disney to sit down and discuss this with SunCal and hammer out a decision to take the divisiveness off the table<<

And it was those comments from Ms. Kring that had me believe that SunCal was in favor of a compromise.

Anaheim H.O.M.E.

We remember the Disneyland Carousel of Progress.

We remember how Disneyland saved big bucks by not having safty devices installed.

We remember the pretty young Disneyland worker who was killed as the Carousel turned (cut in half).

What was her name?

Anaheim H.O.M.E.


David Michael

Yes, an unfortunate accident, Deborah Gail Stone did die shortly after the Carousel of Progress closed and was converted to America Sings. America Sings was designed to have the moving seating area move in the opposite direction as compared to the CoP. So yes, in 1974 a CM was crushed to death in a moment of confusion. Disney closed down the ride and installed safety devices and then made the walls by the CM microphones break away to prevent a second tragedy.

But how many folks die yearly on construction sites. A lot more!

NIOSH states that Construction has the third highest rate of death by injury: 15.2 deaths per 100,000 workers.

David Michael

I was thinking about the SunCal stance a bit more, and decided to go back through a few recent news articles.

From the OCR dated July 15th...


>>The two sides met over the weekend and may ask the City Council to postpone a vote on the issue Tuesday, said Frank Elfend, a consultant for developer SunCal.

The council is scheduled Tuesday to set the date on a referendum to overturn residential zoning on the plot where SunCal wants to build 1,500 homes in the Anaheim Resort. A Disney-funded group collected enough signatures to put the item on the ballot and has also sued the city over the proposal.......

"I think that all parties agree that a continuance on Tuesday would be good way to initiative positive dialogue," Elfend said.

Elfend declined to discuss the nature of the compromise, saying information would come out in the next few days.<<

From the OCR dated July 17th...


>>On Sunday, a consultant for SunCal, the developer that wants to build 1,500 homes on the plot, said he would ask for a delay on the vote after Disney and SunCal officials met Saturday to discuss possible solutions. Disney officials said no compromise was reached. SunCal wanted more time for discussions.

But on Monday, SunCal consultant Frank Elfend declined to comment about whether he still planned to seek a postponement.

Councilwoman Lucille Kring said she has been trying for a compromise and would like a delay. <<

And from the LAT dated August 1st...


>>The council postponed voting on the issue two weeks ago so that the housing developer and Disney Co. could settle their differences on the proposed 1,500-unit condominium and low-income apartment complex near Disneyland. On Tuesday, the council voted 3 to 2 to continue the item for three weeks after officials with developer SunCal Cos. requested a continuance 30 minutes before the meeting.<<

And from the OCR dated August 1st, 2007...


>>A representative from SunCal, the company that wants to build homes in the resort, sent a letter two hours before the meeting to ask the City Council for more time to talk with officials from the Walt Disney Co., which has launched ballot measures and sued over the 1,500-home project with 225 affordable apartments.

The City Council voted 3-2 to again delay decision on an election date for a referendum on the issue. Mayor Curt Pringle and Councilman Harry Sidhu voted against the postponement.<<

So my memory was correct, and it was SunCal and its consultants who were asking for the postponements....

And also interesting to see Jubal post this in the original blog article.

>>When circulators hired by the SunCal side presented countervailing arguments at SOAR circulator stations, Disney/SOAR even accused us of suppressing the right to vote!<<

And in the most recent Campaign Statement (Form 460 - 2nd Quarter) from CDPA, they paid $110,000 for "Payment to PCI Consultants, Inc. for signature gathering and blocking/withdrawal". So even the Protect Anaheim campaign admits they were trying to block the gathering of signatures in their official statements.

Political Veteran

Although I can't speak to the rest of your comment, David Michael, I believe can address the use of the term "blocking" based on my years of campaign experience.

Judging from your your comments, you don't seem like someone from the world of politics. Lucky you. :)

So it's understandable that you would take the word literally, as if the blocking circulators were actually physically preventing voters from signing petitions.

in this context, blocking is essentially a trade term (for lack of a better word) for hiring circulators to stay in proximity to the opposition's circulators. The blocking circulators might have a counter-initiative, rescission cards or simply be offering counter information in hopes of convincing people not to sign the opposition's petition. Sometimes tempers can flare between the opposing circulators, and sometimes "blockers" go overboard and actually physically block (in my experience, you tend to see that more from union activists than the professional circulators).

What I'm saying in my long-winded fashion is this appears to be more of a PR faux pas (stupidly using a trade term that non-politicos will misconstrue by taking literally), than an admission of guilt.

At least that's my take.

David Michael

As to Political Veteran's post.

Yes, I wouldn't call myself a political veteran, I do follow the news and vote in every election, and would describe myself as a middle of the road conservative Republican with some Libertarian tendencies.

But it is interesting to see Jubal complain about spinning, when one of his jobs is to spin for SunCal.

Has Disney/SOAR spun things in the favor... Of course they have.

But on the other hand so has SunCal, the way I have read their comments about the signature gathering, they were so sweet and innocent, just trying to get folks to sign their papers, and not interfere with the SOAR folks. And based on what you just said, it sounds like one of their primary jobs was to get people away from the SOAR folks and not let them talk to them.

Now, I have no direct knowledge of the SOAR/SunCal signature gathering, I have not seen either side in person when they were gathering signatures.

Of course, I have seen it with other issues and yes, signature gatherers tend to usually be paid per signature and will say things that they think will get the person to sign. And in this issue, BOTH sides hired professionals. CDPA spent $110,000 even though they had no official petition to circulate. They started with a statement of support for certain council members, then the cards that would cancel out the signature on the SOAR referendum, if the card was signed by someone who was a valid Anaheim register voter, and had signed the SOAR petition prior to signing the cancellation card. How many of the CDPA cards were actually valid. My guess a lesser percentage than the SOAR petitions got. I presume some folks signed the card because they supported CDPA, and never did sign the SOAR petition, since they were not in favor of it. Plus non registered voters and folks who did not live within the Anaheim city limits. And the gatherers that were hired by PCI got paid per signature too made them not care too much if the person signing really understood what the card was doing.

As for admission of guilt, this is a political hot potato, and I don't think that it is a comment that would find CDPA guilty of hindering an election in a court of law. But on the other hand, it does show that SunCal invested a lot (about 20% of CDPA's budget so far) to try and get less people to sign the SOAR petition.

David Michael

As to Anaheim HOME

Let me post what I said in the other recent thread discussing the SOAR vs CDPA issues...


>>I have no ties with either The Walt Disney Company, SOAR or any Disney consultants. I do provide pictures and occasional articles to a few Disney-related websites, which are also not owned or have any ties to the Walt Disney Company.

You can find my work at MiceAge.com and MousePlanet.com currently.<<

As to where I work, I am an Tax Accountant with a major accounting firm that has no ties to the Walt Disney Company, or SunCal to my knowledge...

And heck, even Jubal responded with..

>>So why is it that whenever someone has a well-researched, reasoned, intelligent viewpoint, you accuse them of working for the Mouse?

I didn't accuse anyone of "working for the Mouse." I was a bit over-combative with David Michael, and for that he has my apology.<<

But can we cut down on the Rhetoric, and discuss the points and issues about the zoning changes (or lack thereof), instead of trying to attack the messenger.

As I stated earlier, I have no problem with Jubal, and his current job is to try and get folks to support SunCal and spin things their way.

On the other hand, I like to see both sides (or as in life, many sides, as there is usually more than just two) of an issue and discuss it.

Political Veteran

And based on what you just said, it sounds like one of their primary jobs was to get people away from the SOAR folks and not let them talk to them.

Hold on. I didn't say anything about the SOAR v. SunCal circulators. My point was that to non-political ears, "blocking" takes on a very literal connotation that it lacks in campaign politics.

The point is to make it harder for the other side to gather signatures, and it's essentially the same as what is done campaign communications. After all, when Candidate A rebuts Candidate B's message, is he "interfering" with Candidate B.

It's pretty obvious you are a Disneyphile, and there's nothing wrong with that. But I think it's clouding your judgment on this particular matter.


On the other hand, what are your ulterior motives in this then, "Political Veteran"? If you don't have a financial interest in Disney, then how is David Michael's personal interest in TWDC as an organization relevant to the situation?

Jim Leonard

Matt, I think that you are confusing spin with options. Personally, I would I would prefer that the council get off their thumbs and just schedule the referendum as they are obligated to do. I think that we need to put this to the voters so that we can all get back to doing something usefull like emptying the dishwasher.

Did SOAR discuss rescinding the vote, yes they did and it was just an option that was given to the council. Jack White our Attorney also went over all of the options with the council, so saying that SOAR wants the council to rescind the vote is truthfull but not totally accurate. The option to rescind is just that, an option.

When this does get on the ballot, that is where Suncal and Disney will spend the big bucks. No one really wins except the political consultants, the ad companies and of course the US Postal Service that gets to deliver the spin. The question voters will have is whom do they want to support. Disney who has a vested interest in Anaheim and willing to standing up to protect that interest or a developer just trying to do what they do.

I have heard various estimates of how much Suncal stands to make off the deal which is why they are pushing so hard for the residential zoning as they can probably make a good $50 million more in profit than if the the property remains in the resort zone. Mr. Elfund said whats wrong with a company making a profit. Actually nothing is wrong with that, except that as an Anaheim Taxpayer, I can get a little testy when that money will have to come out of my pocket and the pockets of all Anaheim Taxpayers to fund the infrastructure that will be required to support housing at that location.

By the way, the OC Register printed another of my letters in todays commentary section.

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