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

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?