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Will Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait Profit if Angels Move to Tustin?

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The underbelly of Orange County politics just got uglier...

...washing out the stain of local politics...
...washing out the stain of local politics...
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The excellent Orange County Politics blog Sterling's Court, published by the inquisitive and trustworthy Daniel Sterling Lamb, has an exciting investigative update on the situation with the Angels and their lease with the City of Anaheim.

Angels owner Arte Moreno recently announced in public that he had broken off lease negotiations with the City of Anaheim on a new stadium lease deal. The Angels have a lease with the city for the Stadium through 2029 but can opt out of it at any time between October of 2016 and October of 2019.

Last year, the city gave Moreno a working plan on a lease renewal that some call generous, others call even too generous. A year came and went with no action on the plan by either side and, as underscored by the Sterling's Court blog, neither side ever complained. At a city council meeting last night the only thing that really came out was that, yes, nobody on either side of the negotiations ever bothered to negotiate.

Read the whole report at the Sterling Court's blog if you choose ...but here is the sickening gist of it: The mayor of Anaheim, Tom Tait, is publicly not in favor of the lease renewal as written. He is leading the call to not work toward any agreement, publicly, as he thinks any deal with Moreno for the land around the stadium should be economically in line with generating the same revenue that would come into city coffers were the land sold on the open market.

Daniel Sterling Lamb, though, makes the connection that Tom Tait has a day job. It is as a real estate developer. Tom Tait the developer is buddy-buddy with the city of Tustin. What city council held a closed-door meeting about building a stadium for the Angels once Moreno announced he had ended negotiations with Anaheim? You guessed it - Tustin, California. And so the man blocking any resolution to Arte working out a deal with Anaheim says he is operating int he best interests of the citizens of Anaheim. But a case is being made that this man is making Anaheim less cooperative solely out of his development greed.

I bet this whole thing gets stickier and stinkier before it gets resolved...