Anaheim's Latino "Leaders" Continue to Try and Hide Their Role in Creating Curt Pringle's Empire

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Gustavo Arellano
Amin David and Curt Pringle in 2002
Exposing the bowdlerizing of local history by politicians and the lords of OC has been this infernal rag raison d'etre since its founding, and while we've seen some whoppers over the years (discredited blogger Matt Cunningham denying that he ever outed sex-abuse victims despite the fact he did, the county's overall amnesia regarding our Klan days), few efforts are more laughable than what Los Amigos chair/Anaheim City School District trustee/lead plaintiff in the ACLU district-election lawsuit against Anaheim/OC Weekly 2012 Scariest Person Jose Moreno tried to pull yesterday on KPFK-FM 90.7.


He appeared on Strategy Session, hosted by Antonio González of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, to talk about the Anaheim City Council's rejection of putting on the 2014 ballot a measure that would allow city voters to decide whether they wanted district elections or not. Moreno mentioned the city's supposedly "racially polarized" electorate, blaming it on political consultants. Unsurprisingly, he invoked the name of former Anaheim mayor/OC Dark Lord Curt Pringle, bringing up his infamous 1988 poll guard incident when he ran for a State Assembly seat (it wasn't the 69th, Jose: it was the 72nd. Not knowing your history ain't a good trustee example for Anaheim's kiddies!).

"This same person, who uses racially polarized tactics, then goes on to become mayor here in Anaheim and proceeds to build a mini-fiefdom for himself and his corporate entities in a way that left Latinos out of the electoral process," Moreno told González. You can hear the whole interview here, around the eight-minute mark.

But what Moreno doesn't bother mention--and never will--is HOW Pringle actually didn't leave Latinos out of the electoral process, and Los Amigos' role in getting Anaheim into its current mess.

Moreno wasn't around in 2002 when Pringle first ran for office, but I was, and I remember exactly how Pringle became mayor. He decided to support one of the "corporate entities" that Moreno so loves to badmouth: Gigante, a Mexican supermarket chain that was playing the race card to get itself a liquor license in an area that already had too many. Without Pringle's support of Gigante, no way Latino leaders would've lined up to support Pringle. And without the support of Latino leaders, Pringle would've never had his political comeback, and proceed to ruin the very city Moreno claims he's trying to save.

How brazen was this tit-for-tat? Latino leaders in 2002 explicitly decided NOT to bring up Pringle's poll guard incident during his mayoral race, because Moreno's political mentors , former Los Amigos chair Amin David and Nativo Lopez, were claiming to Anaheim Latino voters that their new amigo was a changed man, no longer the devil, and therefore worthy of wab support.

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Gustavo Arellano
Nativo Lopez hanging out with Pringle in 2002, back when Pringle was supposedly no longer the devil
David called Pringle's supposedly changed ways "masterful" ; Lopez told the Los Angeles Times "The Curt Pringle of 2002 is not the Curt Pringle of 1988. I don't think he's the same person ideologically." And David told the Times in 2006, with a straight face, "We certainly don't want to lose him...we're very pleased with him. He listens to a lot of the ideas set forth by the progressives on council...He cares about doing something different and decent for the working class. That's very inclusive thinking"--this, while Pringle was setting up the very mini-fiefdom that Moreno now decries.

The Los Amigos crowd claim that Pringle changed while in office--bullshit. Pringle was, is, and will be a masterful whore who'll do whatever trick is needed to improve himself and his cronies. David, Lopez, et al knew this then--they sold out the city's Latinos just to get into Anaheim a supermarket promising union jobs, a supermarket that only lasted six years. Moreno will never own up to this, because that means the victimization narrative he and his allies have set up for the ACLU lawsuit would be weighed down by Los Amigos' role in this whole sordid affair--and a professed leader who can't tell the truth, let alone own up to it, is no leader at all.

Email: garellano@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @gustavoarellano.

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