Los Angeles City Hall politics revealed from an insider's point of view.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

LA Mourns Death of Leslie Neilsen

Entertainment Weekly reports that "The world lost a comedy giant today with the passing of Leslie Nielsen, who died of complications from pneumonia at the age of 84."

 There are some great video clips at EW's obituary, but if you don't have time to click the link, here's one we found:

Rumors that AEG are planning to shut down the City of Los Angeles to host a three-day tribute to Leslie Neilsen at the Staples Center cannot be confirmed at this time...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

LA City Council - Next In Line For Investigation?

They're amongst the highest paid city government officials in the nation, the 15 Los Angeles City Council "members" who must be very nervous about what's going on in terms of investigations into the high salaries paid to elected city officials in the City of Bell and other LA County cities.

Today a new voice was added to the many who now question whether councilmen are worth the high salaries they pay themselves. Former Assistant US Attorney Adam Schiff (Rep. D-Pasadena) "called on federal prosecutors to examine political corruption in Los Angeles County" according to the Pasadena News Star.

Schiff's call to arms is intriguing as he wants the US Attorney to conduct the investigation, not LA County District Attorney Steve Cooley, who made international headlines by busting "corruption on steroids" in the City of Bell, as well as prosecuting Los Angeles City Council "member" Richard Alarcon for living outside of his council district.

Perhaps Schiff felt it was incongruous for Cooley to pursue an investigation into the LA City Council's lack of action in the face of very damning evidence against Alarcon? Many are wondering why Alarcon should continue to receive in excess of $170,000 a year while facing charges that appear to be incontestable. Yet the City Council has steadfastly refused to consider suspending Alarcon's "CEO-like" salary while he struggles to find some excuse for not residing in his council district to such an extent that a homeless person was able to move in.

But it is not only Alarcon's pay that Schiff might be concerned about. All 15 Los Angeles council "members" receive over $170,000 a year, but many nevertheless consistently fail to show up for scheduled council meetings. Schiff may be on to something here as there certainly seems to be more than a degree of similarity between the charges in the Bell City case where councilmen received high salaries but rarely showed up for work, and the tardy attitudes of the Los Angeles City 15.

Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich is precluded from investigating and/or prosecuting his clients for taking high salaries and not showing up for work, and perhaps Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley already has enough on his plate. Maybe it's time for the US Attorney to do something to justify his salary and clamp down on the Los Angeles City Council - somebody has to.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Deputy City Attorney Uses Misleading Ballot Designation in Judicial Race

Is Thomas Griego really a "Criminal Prosecutor?"
One man who must be banking on how little voters actually know about them when voters pick judges must be Deputy City Attorney Thomas 'Tom" Griego, who is probably relying on the fact that most voters in the November mid-term election have never heard of him, visited his website, or know the first thing about him.

What Griego is likely gambling on is that voters will just look at his ballot designation, "Criminal Prosecutor," and decide that a person who fights crime and puts bad guys in jail, must be a good choice for Judge.

But in the case of Thomas "Tom" Griego, there's good reason to question whether Griego has ever really "put a bad guy in jail," and it certainly appears that he hasn't done anything like that recently. Sources at the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office say that Griego has spent most of his lackluster career hidden away on the civil side and only recently requested a transfer out of his obscure civil duties to the criminal side. 
Griego is believed to have requested the transfer because it would help him in his bid to become a judge, a role that many do not feel his is qualified for.

The leading Los Angeles legal newspaper, the Metropolitan News-Enterprise, had this to say about Griego's misleading ballot designation:

"TOM GRIEGO is also running for the county’s Superior Court with a vote-attracting ballot designation of “Criminal Prosecutor.” In his case, it’s misleading.
I asked Griego: “Have you prosecuted anyone in the last year?”
His answer: “No, I have not.”
To me, that’s a confession as to the invalidity of the designation. If he has not prosecuted criminals (or alleged criminals), he has not been a criminal prosecutor.
Garcia admits that as of March 8, he in no way even assisted in any prosecution, but had been reading manuals and the like.
His job title is “deputy city attorney.” During the one-year period preceding the filing of his papers—except for some time in recent days in the role of a trainee—he handled civil matters.
The ballot designation he has chosen—which so far has not drawn a challenge—is a falsehood."

Those are strong words indeed from Roger M. Grace at the Met News, and many might well believe that a person like Griego who seeks to mislead voters so blatantly, has no place sitting in judgment of others. Certainly, the Los Angeles County Bar Association wasted no time in declaring Griego "Not Qualified" to be a judge, but in the Primary Election Griego fooled 223,411 voters into putting him into a runoff against a real "Criminal Prosecutor," Alan Schneider.

Schneider, unlike Griego, really does the job of "putting bad guys in jail," and instead of running around campaigning, is actually engaged in a murder trial. According to Schneider's website, he has "tried over 100 jury trials, including 40 homicides, with a 94 percent conviction rate. For the last 7 years, I have specialized in prosecuting complex murder cases against gang member defendants who pose the greatest threat to the public’s safety and the quality of life in our communities."

Schneider has valuable endorsements from all sides of law enforcement, including over 100 Superior Court Judges, as well as Michael P. Judge, Los Angeles County Public Defender and Steve Cooley, Los Angeles County District Attorney.

In a marked contrast, Griego has an endorsement from Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich. It's an endorsement that many find troubling, especially in the light of Griego's "Unqualified" rating, and the controversy over his misleading ballot designation.

It is rare for the City Hall Insider to disagree with Trutanich, but this time we have to say that even if there were internal pressures, it would have been better for Trutanich to only endorse candidates for judicial office who are rated "qualified" or above.

 On November 2, 2010 City Hall Insider urges you to vote for Alan Schneider for Judge.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Venice RV Poop Dumpers Get Slap on Wrist

LA Superior Court Commissioner Mark Zuckman is not related to Groucho Marx
KFI 640AM's Steve Gregory reports that the Venice RV dwelling doodoo dumping duo, who were arrested in August for dumping their feces, urine and shower waste on the streets of Venice, and who were arrested again this past weekend for doing the same thing, have done a sweetheart deal with a Court Commissioner  for a time-served sentence; 2 days in jail and 36 months of probation is all they will serve for their crimes.

According to Steve Gregory, defendant Lindsey Estilette and her companion reportedly appeared in front of LA Superior Court Commissioner Mark Zuckman Wednesday, October 13, 2010, and Zuckerman wasted no time in showing how little he apparently cares about the serious problem of RV operators in Venice who dump toxic waste on the streets, instead of going to a disposal site.

City Attorney Carmen Trutanich had insisted that the doodoo dumpers serve 90 days in jail if they plead guilty, although they faced a potential maximum of three years in jail if convicted after trial.

However, Commissioner Zuckman undercut Trutanich and basically said if they plead no contest to all the charges, he would let them off for the two days that 28 year-old Estilette had already spent in jail, and give them 36 months of probation to pay restitution for the cost of cleaning up their toxic waste. The doodoo dumping duo have also been ordered to stay away from Venice.

Mark Zuckman was appointed as Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner in 2002. He is a former Deputy Public Defender who, some say, bears a passing resemblance to comedian Groucho Marx.

Venice Beach residents concerned about the problems that RV dwellers have caused in their community are unlikely to be pleased with Zuckman's assessment of the seriousness of the problem as it was hoped by many that this case would set an example to others, and deter this disgusting practice.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cooley Catches City Crooks - Ask Not For Whom The Bell Tolls ...

It's the talk of the town, if not the nation, "Corruption on steroids" was how LA's DA Steve Cooley described the culture of corruption that had ruled in the City of Bell. With the story well covered, we feature here a slightly different spin on the story published at Los Angeles Dragnet:
Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley Announces Arrest of Bell City Officials
 While Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley today calmly announced the early morning arrests of those believed to be responsible for theft and misappropriation of $5.5M from the blue collar residents of the City of Bell, his democrat rival for Attorney General, Kamala Harris, used her platform as San Francisco DA to proudly announced that she would be prosecuting two people who illegally sold transfer tickets on San Francisco's mass transit system.“This is not a victimless crime,” Harris said in a statement to the San Francisco Examiner.

The 8 Bell City officials include former City Manager Robert Rizzo
 Harris, who holds the current record for having the lowest conviction rate of any major California city (55%) might have been puzzled at the legal theory used by Cooley's Public Integrity Unit to prosecute the 8 who comprise current and former Bell City officials.

For a legal lightweight like Harris, the notion that "misappropriation of public funds" and "conflict of interest" could be crimes must be both challenging and worrying; Harris still has been unable to satisfactorily explain what happened to $3.7M in Federal grant funds that she  received to prosecute 'border crimes' as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Under Harris, San Francisco has steadfastly maintained a "Sanctuary City" position regarding illegal immigration, so the concept of prosecuting 'border crimes' would appear to be an anathema to Ms. Harris.

Perhaps Ms. Harris should seriously think about repaying that $3.7M before Cooley becomes Attorney General as an investigation might conclude that Harris "misappropriated" that federal grant money. At least she'll now understand the legal theory.

The Bell City officials arrested this morning were former City Manager Robert Rizzo, Mayor Oscar Hernandez, council members Teresa Jacobo, Luis Artiga and George Mirabal; former council members George Cole and Victor Bello; and former Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia. All arrested are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Los Angeles Deputy DAs Lash Out At Union

The fur's flying over at the Griffith Park Wayist, a blog associated with environmental issues but increasingly serving the political apetites of Los Angeles voters.

For the second time in as many days the GPW's daily "Another Terrace Morning" (edited by the eponymous 'Mulholland Terrace') has featured a heated exchange between deputy district attorneys at Steve Cooley's office, and the union that claims to represent them. 

Of course, Steve Cooley is currently running for Attorney General and will face San Francisco DA Kamala Harris in November's general election. Cooley is maintaining his lead in the polls and it that might explain why the left leaning 'Mulholland Terrace' thought a few lines about Cooley being 'anti union' might stir the party faithful to rally around Kamala Harris.

Harris, a liberal democrat, has had a few setbacks recently with reports of her Missing Millions of Federal Dollars, allegations of Hypocrisy over Campaign Donations, and having the lowest conviction rate of any California DA's Office. MT probably didn't think he'd get the reaction from so many deputy DAs who, it seems, do not believe this union is representative of their concerns.

Edited highlights of some of the comments posted at the Griffith Park Wayist include:

12.  September 16, 2010 1:39 PM

"As you know only too well, there really is no "DA's Union" just a bunch of washed-up misfits who don't like the fact that they cannot have an assignment next door to their home…" 

"… when everyone found out about Ipsen being a character witness for a convicted sex offender, most "Union" members resigned."

15.  September 16, 2010 6:49 PM

"1:39 p.m., must be a bureacrat, who too easily dismisses legitimate complaints, because the number is not large enough. The others must have been beaten into submission."

16.  September 16, 2010 6:49 PM

"Hey 6:49pm, you can call 1:39pm a bureaucrat all you like, but you cannot deny the truth about the so-called "DA's Union. It was a disaster, a flop of biblical proportions, and all because it was led by a loser who thinks it's OK to have a convicted sex offender in his home, it's OK to lend the sex offender the keys to his car, it's OK for a prosecutor to become a defense witness and call a convicted sex offender "one of my closest friends" when his closest friend is on trial for his third sex offense. "

"Ipsen and his misfits think they're something special. They're not. They've screwed up just about everything they promised to fix and that's why nobody at the DA's Office wants anything to do with them."

"If 1,000 lawyers really felt there was a problem with the way the DA's Office was run, you would hear it loud and clear - the ACLU would be all over it like a cheap suit. But you don't hear anything like that. You just get Ipsen and his miserable misfits complaining that they have to drive too far to their courthouse. Wah Wah Wah. Get a life."

1. September 18, 2010 11:48 PM

"MT, you are being used by Ipsen, just like he used and abused the trust of so many at the DA's Office who did not realize that all he was doing was promoting his own agenda at their expense."

"Ipsen abused his position of trust to form a union that had only two purposes; a platform to attack Cooley in a futile effort to make himself look like a viable candidate in his run for DA, and when that failed, to attack Cooley at every opportunity as a sore loser."

"The vast majority of deputies now realize that better pay, easy promotion and assignment preference are unrealistic and it was deceptive and dishonest to promise those things amid an economic climate where in the private sector, law firms are firing and not hiring. 

In the public sector, its not much better. We've seen the City Attorney's office "let go" of a lot of good people, and also be forced take a 10% pay cut through enforced furloughs. 

That has not happened at the DA's Office, and that's because of Cooley's relationship with the Board of Supervisors. But Seligman is still selling false hopes of "pay parity" with Orange County or Santa Cruz. Bullshit!"

"Ipsen and the union are basically nothing more than a bunch of self-serving whiners who don't like the fact that they have a long drive to work. They don't like their assignments because they see them as either too far or simply beneath them. They see themselves as better than everyone else in the office, instead of being part of a team that does the job you pay us to do."

2. September 19, 2010 1:19 AM

"In his very slanted defense of Cooley and ad hominem personal attacks on Ipsen, previous commenter lets drop that "Cooley has selected his successor." WAIT, isn't the DA at least NOMINALLY "elected?""

3. September 19, 2010 9:32 AM

"The response belies a lack of knowledge of procedure or a disingenuous attempt to mislead readers. "

" ... as to Cooley's choice of successor, yes, the DA is an elected position. However where the elected DA leaves office before the end of his term, the Board of Supervisors appoints an interim DA."

"What's really telling about the response, is the lack of denial as to the union of 8 being a bunch of whining cry babies who think they are so special that they shouldn't have to drive so far to assignments that aren't very interesting to them. That's at the core of what's wrong with this union. It seems to only exist for the benefit of these malcontents, and not for the 1,000 deputies they claim to represent."

4. September 19, 2010 11:14 AM

"It's amusing that while the DA's union is being dismissed as merely a group of 8 malcontents, Cooley the Compelled felt "compelled" enough to warn Rob Dver not to join…"

5. September 19, 2010 2:37 PM

"You find it 'amusing' that poor Rob Dver was sucked into Ipsen's web of deceit and fabrication? It's not funny."

"Rob is a decent person who thought he could be a calming influence on Ipsen. Had Rob known all about Ipsen I think he would have realized that someone like Ipsen cannot be trusted." 

"Dver may not have know that the Supreme Court described Ipsen as having 'manipulated the evidence "intentionally and without good-faith justification."' That was in 2005 after a death penalty case that Ipsen tried was overturned because of what many consider prosecutorial misconduct by Ipsen. Unfortunately, Dver was manipulated just as the evidence in Ipsen's overturned death penalty case."

6. September 19, 2010 3:13 PM

"2:37pm has it right. This so-called "union" doesn't have anyone on it who doesn't have some personal gripe with their assignment. They are pathetic whiners who think they're something sooooo special, but they're not."

"I'm glad someone has had the guts to stand up to the stream of negative misinformation that this union of misfits keeps on putting out."

7. September 19, 2010 4:16 PM

"Cooley sucks. Kamala Harris, go go, go. Rid California of ugly people."

8. September 19, 2010 4:35 PM

"I agree with 2:37 and 3:13 - nobody voted for Hyatt Seligman. Who the fuck is he to claim to represent anyone but his own self interest. I've been a deputy da for 5 years and I'm glad to work for this office even if we don't make as much money as Orange County or Santa Bumfuck or wherever. That's not why we do this job. If we wanted to make 'big money' we could all become defense attorneys, but we don't."

"There were a few decent people in the union before Ipsen turned it into his personal campaign machine"

"Now all that's left are a bunch of misfits, failure and malcontents who think they're going to throw us under the bus to advance themselves."

"I hope that when the new guy gets in, he fires them all and takes it to court. He'll win. Nobody has any sympathy for these people who complain about the job the rest of us gladly do. I drive 35 miles to work every day, and sure it would be nice to be closer to home, but I'm not complaining. That goes with the territory we have to cover. Good luck to whoever started this discussion, it's time these things were said."

9. September 19, 2010 5:45 PM

"And another thing, here's the 411 on Ipsen's performance as a deputy DA:

Violating Due Process no wonder he made such a mess of his union."

The comments can be read in their entirety by using the following links:

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Zine Tells Mayor to Stick It Where The Sun Don't Shine

Can't do better than link to Los Angeles Dragnet who called Dennis Zine "The People's Hero" for having the guts to say "No" to Mayor Villaraigosa's shameful attempt to solve his fiscal irresponsibility by making the cash-rich DWP raise our rates.

LA Dragnet also had this great pic of Dennis Zine which we hope they don't mind us also using here.  Zine has been the only City Councilman to consistently stand by City Attorney Carmen 'Nuch' Trutanich, and as they say, perhaps a little of the City Attorney's "Do the right thing" mantra is finally making sense to some of the other elected officials in our City.

Zine's consistent stance against the Mayor marks a first for Los Angeles, and let' s hope Zine's example inspires the rest of the Council to marginalize and ignore the Mayor for the remainder of his term, and get to grips with the financial ruin Villariagosa has brought on our City.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Villaraigosa's 'Briefing Paper' Fails To Impress

As the LA Times reported, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's threat that the City of Los Angeles will go bankrupt if the City Council fails to approve his DWP rate hike, failed to impress.

Thanks to an anonymous source, City Hall Insider can reveal the 'Briefing Paper' that was sent to the City Council to try to deter them from standing in the way of the Mayor's rate hike.

Seriously, what is interesting about Villaraigosa tying the DWP rate hike to the City's impending bankruptcy is that it totally validates the Measure B opponents who were, just, able to stop the Mayor and the IBEW from raising a ton of our money for nice, 'Green,' solar power. 

It was the Solar 8 who exposed the Measure B lie, that the money would not be spent on installing solar panels by inexpert DWP (IBEW) workers, but would just be sucked into paying off the City's general fund deficit at our expense.

The latest lie from the Mayor of Failure proves the point. The DWP rate hike was supposed to be yet another 'Green' thing, yet the merest notion that the City Council might stop it, and the Mayor is tying the rate hike to the City's impending bankruptcy.

To add to the lunacy of the arrogant and illogical rate hike, the Mayor of Failure managed to pull off a major political gaffe - Villaraigosa managed to drag the former Vice President of Failure into the argument. Yes, non other than Al Gore weighed in on the Mayor's rate hike. Obviously Gore was unaware of the way that Villaraigosa planned to raid the 'Green' rate hike money and stuff it straight into the City's general fund to stave off bankruptcy. I say 'obviously' because I'll give Gore the benefit of the doubt, and let's face it, Gore has never been one for serious research anyway.

Villaraigosa, the 4 time Bar Exam looser, hasn't realized that the magic of "Green" has worn off, and we're not buying it any more. 

Monday, February 15, 2010

Times Tries To Cover Up Villaraigosa's Failure

As KABC talk show host Doug McIntrye would say, "You can't make this stuff up!"

At 12:18PM today, the LA Times NOW Blog carried a nice little puff piece about the Mayor's impending TV appearance on 'All My Children,' currently scheduled for airing on Wednesday, February 17, 2010.

Less than one and a half hours later, the Times closed comments on their puff piece with the simple statement "The comments to this entry are closed." You can see the puff piece for yourself at:


that is, of course, assuming that the Times hasn't removed it altogether by the time you read this.

Three comments somehow managed to be posted in the 90 minutes that free speech was allowed at the Times, all scathingly negative about the Mayor of Failure's poor choice in taking days off work to make a cameo appearance on TV.

Just in case the Times removes those comments, here they are:
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If you wondered about the Mayor's priorities and focus on crucial city issues, this choice to do this appearance will tell you a lot. Antonio is an absolute Bozo.

Posted by: robert | February 15, 2010 at 01:10 PM

Doesn't he have City of Los Angeles work to do? Is he donating his "salary" for his appearance to the general fund?

Posted by: Margie Ochoa | February 15, 2010 at 01:10 PM

It's nice to see our tax dollars hard at work.

Amazing this city is is the toilet and he is doing this.

What's next?

Posted by: ellesdad1 | February 15, 2010 at 01:46 PM

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Unconfirmed rumors have it that the Times was inundated with so many negative comments about the Mayor's TV soap opera debut, that they felt compelled to shut down comments before they become the source of more embarrassment to Villaraigosa.

More embarrassment? Oh yes. Did you see the Opinion section in yesterday's Sunday LA Times?

Antonio Villaraigosa on L.A.’s budget woes

Villaraigosa spoke to Times reporters Nick Goldberg, David Lauter, Dan Turner, 'Newton,' and someone only identified as "L.A. Times reporter."

There were a couple of interesting things about the report of the interview. First, the Times reported Villariagosa's comments verbatim - complete with poor sentence structure, rambling thoughts, and the usual bagful of catchphrases, cliches and platitudes.

It made one thing very clear; when Villaraigosa goes 'off script,' he stumbles and stammers his way through an answer. We saw all of that and more last week when Villaraigosa spoke to the Council. He was incoherently babbling most of the time.

Second, an unidentified "Aide" interrupted Villaraigosa not less than five times either to correct Villaraigosa's misstatements, or to answer facts and figures that Villaraigosa plainly did not know.

Here's the link to the Opinion Section:

Clearly Goldberg, Lauter, Turner, 'Newton,' and "reporter" could have cleaned up Villaraigosa's poor performance. They chose not to, perhaps because this was supposed to be an opinion written by Villaraigosa, and as he cannot write very well (he failed the California Bar at least 4 times), and was too lazy to even try to put pen to paper, he chose to use his charm and eloquence to win over the Times. It didn't work, did it?

One other thing that the Mayor of Failure stumbled and stammered his way through was a feeble attempt to explain why he screwed up in ordering City Attorney Carmen Trutanich to fire 100 staffers.

According the Times, Villaraigosa said:

"So once it was clear to me that I had the power through my managers -- and all [City Attorney 
Carmen Trutanich] said what that I had overreached. I don't have power over the city attorney 
because he's duly elected, but as you know I wrote him a letter saying I still want you to lay these 
people off, and I said that in public at the City Council meeting."

So Villaraigosa now admits that he doesn't have the power to order lay-offs, but he can write a letter saying "pretty please" fire 100 attorneys.

If the Mayor's performance in Council and in front of the LA Times reporters is anything to go by, his soap opera debut on 'All My Children' will make viewers wonder just how many takes it took to get this one episode in the can?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Message to City Hall - Forget Parcel Tax, We Don't Trust You!

At yesterday's marathon Budget & Finance session Councilmember Bill Rosendahl proposed the idea of a parcel tax to bail the City out of the mess the Mayor and the Council have gotten into. According to Rosendahl, the tax would only last as long as necessary to cure the City's financial woes.

If this were any other city it would not be a bad idea. The problem for Los Angeles is that a parcel tax, in fact any tax, requires a 2/3 majority of voters to vote for the tax. In voting for the tax, voters would implicitly state that they trust their elected leaders to apply the tax fairly and only for as long as necessary.

Hell will freeze over before the residents of Los Angeles trust their elected leaders with a tax designed to cover up their irresponsible spending.

Los Angelenos have not forgotten at least two prior instances of 'taxes' where the City Council cheated, yes cheated, the residents.

First, of course, is the trash tax that was designed to buy us 1,000 cops. That tax had barely passed before reality came home and we found that City Hall's promise was hollow. The trash tax just gave the Council more General Fund money to spend on boondoggles like Mexican Book Fairs, or the Mayor's latest scam, $340,000 for bicycle riding lessons.

Second, there was the Phony Phone Tax, the one that promised to reduce phone taxes from 10% to 9.5%, when the original phone tax was illegally being collected 18 months after the tax had expired. In essence, we voted for a new tax of 9.5% instead of no tax at all, and arguably a refund.

Bill Rosendahl one hell of a nice guy, but Bill, you must be smoking too much of that 'medical' marijuana that you advocate if you seriously think 2/3 of voters will agree to trust you and your colleagues with more of our money.

While the Council claims it's in dire need of more money to avoid layoffs and cuts in basic services, the LA Times just reported that Mayor and the Council is sitting on a secret slush fund of $26.5M plus a further $10M (that's $36.5M) for 'special projects.' How come that money isn't being used to save the precious 1,000 jobs that the CAO says have to go?

Face it. It's over. Call the Bankruptcy attorneys and let's start to really sort your mess out. We don't trust you.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ron Kaye Says It Like It Is - City's Budget in the Hands of Incompetents

Thank you, Ron Kaye, for saying in two minutes, everything that the City Council's Budget and Finance Committee needed to hear - the anger of the residents of Los Angeles at their incompetence and indecision.

Here's a transcript of what you said:

"Thank you for this, and thank you for what you have done, which I think is, fulfilled and impossible dream of mine to ever unite the city. You have brought labor together with the neighborhood activists, you've brought the people with disabilities  and the people who are caring for them, soccer moms and every constituency of this city to the table.

They are all angry. Angry at what I think is really the subtext of the CAO's reports on both parking and the budget, which is a failure of leadership and a failure of management. The proposition that you can possibly fix this city by yourself after years of failure is ridiculous. You need the people, you need all the constituents brought to the table. You need our support, and you have lost the confidence of the people. And that's really the crisis that we're talking about. It's not financial, you can't create jobs in a city that nobody believes in. You can buy jobs, which is what you've been doing, and what is proposed by taking money from the proprietary departments.

These people are just the tip of an iceberg of hundreds of thousands of people who love this city, who want to see it turn around and become a city that respects every element of this city, every type of person, and brings them to the table.

We can't all have everything that we want, but we can sit down at the table and figure out how we really fix this. I have proposed that, if we really got serious, labor might take a step back for two or three years, the public might even agree to a tightly written tax for two or three years just to bail us out of this. You're afraid to tax them because you know that you don't have their trust or faith. You have perpetuated a fiefdom system despite Charter Reform. This is your opportunity to be real leaders and to really save this city, and God willing, you will and the people come together. 

Thank you very much."

I'm also reproducing a comment on your blog this morning, that says what you left unsaid:

"I've never heard so much common sense, so succinctly put, in such little time. Your words are the words of a leader, Ron, and they scare the living daylights out of that bunch of lilly livered, knuckle dragging, hand wringing, indecisive, incompetent, imbecilic, morally and ethically corrupt, unrepresentative, conniving, duplicitous, sanctimonious, self-serving stuffed shirts who have never, ever, held a real job their entire miserable lives. 

You were preaching to a group who have never had to balance a personal household budget, never had to worry about where the next paycheck comes from, or ever, ever, have to make a hard decision. For them there's always a political safe harbor, either as an elected official, or an appointed lackey where they do the devil's work. They bunny-hop between the city and Sacramento, leaving behind them the consequences of their disastrous decisions and move on to con other voters into believing their glossy mailers and special interest paid for baloney."

Says it all, doesn't it?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

CD5 to Recall Paul Koretz?

As news of Koretz's ad hominem attack on District Attorney Steve Cooley and Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich is reaching stakeholders in Council District 5, rumor has it that there is a growing movement to launch a recall campaign to oust the Sacramento liberal from what many see as a carpet-bagged seat that he somehow managed to steal.

Few in CD5 realized exactly how responsible Koretz was for bringing hundreds of pot shops to the streets of Los Angeles while he was a Sacramento liberal democrat. in response to criticism from Melrose residents who have 14 pot shops in their neighborhood, Koretz blasted Cooley and Trutanich for upholding a law that does not allow pot shops to ply their trade on Los Angeles streets.

But Koretz failed to mention that he was the co-author of what legal experts agree was a poorly written and vague law that only allowed communist style 'collectives' to exist, not the main street marijuana shops that resulted from his law.

Instead of "fessing-up" and admitting that he wrote a bad law that has harmed the community, the self-proclaimed 'King of Pot' likened Trutanich and Cooley to George W. Bush rather than admit his close association with Americans for Safe Access, a pot shop funded lobbying group that not only funded Koretz's campaign, but co-opted Council Member Ed Reyes into proposing a law to regulate pot shops written by pot shop owners.

Koretz's remarks are reproduced here:

Koretz is going to have a hard time explaining why he not only caused the explosion of pot shops in Los Angeles, but why he thought that invoking the name of George W. Bush would somehow win him support in a council district that is largely supportive of their City Attorney, Carmen Trutanich, and District Attorney, Steve Cooley.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Mayor Sam Resigns - Will Spend More Time With Family

Political activists in Los Angeles will be lamenting the sudden (although not entirely unexpected) announcement from Michael Higby a.k.a. Mayor Sam, to shut down his Blog. Mayor Sam's Sister City has been, for many, their life-blood daily fix of angst, anger, frustration and retaliation at the elected officials who either don't do the job they promised to do, or become beholden to special interests.

The Mayor Sam Blog was vital to Los Angelenos for the way it regularly shone a 100,000W spotlight on the shenanigans that Los Angeles politicians would otherwise get away with, as, with the exception of LA Weekly and The Times' David Zahniser, local media is too scared or lazy to hold politicians' feet to the fire.

While the news of Mayor Sam's demise will be mourned by many, a select few will rejoice in again having the freedom to play business as usual at our expense. 

Councilwoman Jan Perry is probably top of the list of those popping champagne bottles at the demise of the blog that awarded her Political Ass Clown of the Year 2009 for an Acting Roll, based on her performance on behalf of AEG during the Michael Jackson Memorial in which she personally authorized $3.4M of taxpayer funds to be squandered on bolstering AEG's promotion of the value of their video footage of Jackson's rehearsals at Staples Center. 

Mayor Sam blogger Phil Jennerjahn also made Perry the target of a blistering attack in an interview with former City Attorney candidate David Berger focusing on Perry's special motion to give 18 billboards to, yes you guessed it, AEG. Rumor has it that Perry was furious at having her shenanigans exposed so blatantly.

Others who will be rejoicing at the wake for the Mayor Sam Blog include;
  • Ed 'El Stupido' Reyes (winner, 2009 Mayor Sam Political Ass Clown Award for Density)
  • Richard Alarcon 
  • Carmen Trutanich 
  • Eric Garcetti
  • Wendy Greuel
  • Janice Hahn
And a host of others who will breathe a little easier now that the Mayor Sam 4D Maglite has been removed from so far up their asses it lit up their tonsils.

Mayor Sam announced his departure from the world of Los Angeles politics with the simple word 'Adios' and no real reason for his withdrawal. Bloggers had noticed that Mayor Sam had recently been slow to post comments and sometimes, weekends especially, Friday's topic remained until Monday.

Nevertheless, the loss of Mayor Sam is a serious blow to Los Angelenos and it can only be hoped that other blogs will fill the void.

As for the reason for Mayor Sam's departure, speculation is guaranteed to follow...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Alarcon Says "It's All A Mistake"

Responding to reports that investigators from the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office had searched his house in Panorama City and his wife's house in Sun Valley, Los Angeles City Councilman, Richard Alarcon, made the classic mistake of those accused with criminal conduct; he gave a statement that makes the case against him stronger.

Alarcon is under investigation for voter fraud; being registered to vote at a house in Panorama City, which is in his council district (7), but actually living a house in Sun Valley which is in council district 2.

According to a report in the LA Times, Alarcon admitted living in his wife's house in Sun Valley, but explained his residence there was due to a break in at the Panorama City house.

Alarcon reportedly told the LA Times that 'in late October a mentally ill man broke into his house, changed the locks on at least three doors and destroyed his possessions, including many of his clothes. “We haven’t been there since then, that’s for sure,” he said.' In other words, the mental guy that broke in was a squatter.

The question that the jury will doubtless be faced with, is that if Alarcon was actually living in the Panaorama City house, how could a mentally ill man break in and establish a residence there? Where was Alarcon when that happened?

The LA Times had also reported that;
'Three neighbors, an employee at the school next door and a man who has been living in a motor home next to Alarcon's house said they had not seen anyone living in the home recently.

Steve Folden, who lives across the street and said he is the neighborhood watch block captain, said he had noticed no one living in the house for at least three years. Occasionally, he said, he sees workers mowing the lawn. He said he had seen Alarcon at the home "once in a blue moon" until this week.

"It's been vacant for a long time," Folden said.'

No doubt the DA will have searched both houses to get additional evidence to prove that Alarcon's true domicile, the place he actually lives, is not in his council district. That evidence will be bolstered by Alarcon's statement which proves that he wasn't living there when the mentally ill squatter moved in.

Further evidence that the Sun Valley house was Alarcon's domicile comes from a strange request Alarcon made. According to the LA Times, in 2007, Alarcon tried to get the boundary lines of his council district changed so that the Sun Valley house could be included in his council district.

Another fact that the LA Times uncovered is that Alarcon's wife, who apparently owns both houses, wanted to re-develop and sun-divide the Panorama City house into 'town homes.' Some might say that the Panorama City house was purely an investment property, conveniently within CD7, and never a true residence occupied by anyone.

One thing is for sure, Alarcon's got a lot of trouble on his hands, and his statements might satisfy his partisan voters, but may not impress a jury.

It is unfortunate for Alarcon that Los Angeles District Attorney, Steve Cooley, whose Public Integrity Division is investigating Alarcon, is not the kind of guy to make deals where political corruption is concerned. Equally troubling for Alarcon, is that his friend City Attorney Carmen Trutanich cannot defend him as ethical rules prevent the City Attorney from becoming involved in the case.

Alarcon's woes continue as famed criminal defense attorney Johnnie Cochran has been dead for 5 years, and it looks like Alarcon will have to hire a defense attorney with a comparable record and reputation. That costs a lot of money. Perhaps he'll have to sell the Panorama City house to pay his legal bills. It's not like he needs to live there, so it seems.