More Heat in the Hahn Kitchen
So much for a quiet weekend of entertainment and weather gossip. Mayor Hahn's staffers must have been feeling the need for a little more heat in the kitchen and blessed the Daily News with two wonderful headlines: "Hahn staffer facing discipline" and "More city PR bills padded - Account involves Hahn press aide." The LA Times also brings us "As Race Heats Up, Hahn Aims Some Heavy Fire at Hertzberg."
The Daily News "staffer discipline" story occurred Thursday evening at the LA County Young Democrats endorsement meetings. It turns out that Hahn's camp, feeling scorned for his dismal performance at the LA County Democratic Party endorsements earlier in the week, felt the need to stack the meeting and hijack the endorsement. This is nothing new in most political circles. The interesting part is how they went about it.
First, a city hall mayoral staffer sent an e-mail to fellow co-workers asking them to attend the meeting and vote for Hahn. (See Boi From Troy's excellent scoop on details). While she did use a private account, the e-mail was sent at 3:56 PM. Now, either A) she wasn't at work during what most of us would consider normal business hours and was off campaigning for her boss, or B) she used a city hall PC to send the e-mail. Either way, a spade is a spade, and this doesn't look right.
Second, many of these staffers who received the e-mail turned around and drove city vehicles to the event. Another no-no of the city code. (Technical difficulties prevent me from posting the pictures of these cars, but trust me they do exist, as multiple angry LACYD members sent them to us out of anger for Hahn taking them for granted the last four years and then stacking the room to block their endorsement, which was recommended by their endorsement committee to go to both Villaraigosa and Hertzberg as a dual endorsement).
To add a bit of color commentary, I love this quote by Kam Kuwata, Hahn's campaign guru in the Daily News story: "Hahn campaign spokesman Kam Kuwata accused Villaraigosa and Hertzberg of showing a lack of respect for the democratic process. "(Supporters) were not asked by Jim Hahn to go," Kuwata said. "We all have constitutional rights to vote. I'm surprised that Bob Hertzberg and Antonio Villaraigosa would take away people's rights to vote." Funny. That's not how I see it.
The Daily News "padded bills" story stokes more flames on the fire of the Fleishman debacle.
Public relations bills submitted to the Port of Los Angeles by a Fleishman-Hillard executive who is now Mayor James Hahn's press secretary were marked up by more than $1,700 in 2003 without documentation that extra work was done, according to records and interviews.Outrageous is right. Normally, I'd give her the benefit of the doubt, but with indictments swirling and the controversy in the Mayor's office growing larger every day, it's getting tougher to believe a word any of them say.
Shannon Murphy, who left the firm less than two months later to replace Matt Middlebrook, who joined Fleishman-Hillard, declined to be interviewed but said in a statement that the handwritten additions to her billing statements were "outrageous."
The LA Times story re Hahn and Hertzberg shows just how heated this race is becoming. The part that caught my eye was not the main focus of the story, but something I found as a bit of irony. Note the second paragraph:
Hahn and his campaign aides have blamed Hertzberg for the state's crumbling highways, derided him as a "Sacramento politician" and tried to tar him as a consultant to a public relations firm accused of fleecing the city.As the Daily News points out today (Hahn's Traffic Jam), Hahn is hardly the transportation guru. For someone deriding "Sacramento Politicians", why is he bragging about their endorsements (California State Senator Gil Cedillo, California State Senator Jack Scott, California State Assemblymember Betty Karnette, California State Assemblymember Rudy Bermudez)? Wasn't Hahn's administration the one 's actually fleecing the city with the PR help the were provided under the DWP contract?
Just some thoughts for a Sunday morning when I was hoping to see comments on what people were gossiping about.