The election season in Anaheim’s newly-drawn District 3 kicked off several days ago in the guise of two CD46 independent expenditures ostensibly done in support of Democrat and front-runner Lou Correa, but which were really a hit pieces targeting Anaheim Councilman and Democrat Jordan Brandman:
The mailers were paid for by Home Savings of America heir Howard Ahmanson through his company Fieldstead & Company, a long-time funder of conservative candidates and causes who has followed a zig-zaggy political path since re-registering as a Democrat in 2009.
They were also sent only to District 3 voters. One might think Brandman was still a candidate for CD46 because the mailer is more a hit against him than an IE than plug for Correa. After all, if someone as wealthy as Howard Ahmanson were really trying use council districts as an issue to help Lou Correa – which is certainly possible given that Ahmanson has been donating to and funding IEs supporting Democratic candidates – the mailer would have gone city-wide, and not restricted to District 3 voters.
Most likely the opening salvo of an Ahmanson-funded independent expenditure campaign to defeat Jordan Brandman’s campaign for re-election in District 3.
This will not be the wealthy heir’s first trip to the Anaheim election rodeo. In 2014, Ahmanson and the Tait Family Trust each contributed $50,000 to an independent expenditure campaign to defeat the two Republican incumbents seeking re-election to the Anaheim City Council: Kris Murray and Gail Eastman in order to elect Republican James Vanderbilt and left-wing Democrat Jose F. Moreno. Murray won while Eastman narrowly lost; Vanderbilt was elected and Moreno was not.
District 3 is in central Anaheim, including the Colony District ad downtown Anaheim. It was supposed to be a majority-Latino district under the map adopted by the city council, but is actually just shy of it. It is 48% Democrat and 25% Republican.
Councilman Brandman has three opponents: Moreno, Linda Lobatos and Jennifer Rivera. Of the three, only Moreno, who raised $63,000 for his 2014 race, has a serious chance of beating the incumbent. Moreno is a leftist supporter of Bernie Sanders’s socialist policies and a practitioner of racial identity politics.
In other words, Ahmanson’s anti-Brandman independent expenditures are ipso facto support for Jose Moreno — creating the truly weird spectacle of a long-time conservative patron using his resources to elect to the city council of Orange County’s largest city a leftist who subscribes to the late Howard Zinn’s Marxist interpretation of American history and believes government should treat citizens differently based on their race or ethnicity.