Whistleblower hotline: (213) 785-6098

Monday, February 28, 2005


Best line so far - KCBS' Paul Magers to Antonio "Mr. Villaraigosa, I am not sure whether you answered the question or not."

Post yours here!

Hertzberg to Butcher - You're out of Here!

ButcherAs posted earlier, Huggy Bear called on five Hahn commissioners to be removed by Poopy in the wake of revelations that they are raising money for Hahn IE campaigns. While still "legal" under Hahn's self professed toughest ethics rules, this is a loop hole big enough to drive a Mac truck through. If the spirit of the law is to be followed, Hahn needs to act. Is there truly a difference between raising dough for the campaign directly or through an IE? Not really. I hate to break it to all of the Hertzberg haters (or Hahn staffers) who posted earlier, but huggy appears to be very much in the right with this accusation.

Tonight's debate should be a lot of fun.

Here is the letter Huggy sent to Hahn today:

February 28, 2005

Mayor Jim Hahn

5518 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA

Mayor Hahn:

Since taking office almost four years ago, your administration has continually been hampered by allegations of corruption. Staff and supporters have been accused of everything from awarding contracts to campaign contributors to allegations of money laundering and misappropriation of public funds. Several members of your staff have been forced to resign over these allegations. There are several ongoing federal and local investigations into the conduct of your administration.

Your initial response to these scandals was to say: “I don't know what the argument for it (banning fundraising by city commissioners) is.” (LA Times, February 21, 2004) You finally heard the persistent outcry from the people of Los Angeles and last year you proposed a small number of reforms to attempt to address these issues. Since introducing those reforms, you have consistently pointed to the City Council for their lack of action. However, while you possess the authority to take several steps to restore the voters’ confidence in local government, you have yet to take action on items directly within your control.

You have appointed, reappointed and oversee a number of city commissioners who, in their other duties, oversee or raise hundreds of thousands of dollars that are being spent to benefit your re-election. As of today, you have nearly $400,000 worth of mail, radio and other election help directly tied to these commissioners.

At a time, when your administration is under such strong suspicion of wrongdoing, and when the people of Los Angeles lack confidence in their city’s elected and appointed leadership, it makes no sense to keep these people onboard as officials in your administration.

You should immediately remove the following commissioners from their duties or ask them resign. It is absolutely inappropriate for them to act as both representatives of the public trust at the same time they are working actively to help you further your personal political goals.

The commissioners are:
• Commissioner Julie Butcher
• Commissioner Miguel Contreras
• Commissioner Tyrone Freeman
• Commissioner Sergio Rascon
• Commissioner Sid Stolper

Commissioner Butcher is the head of SEIU Local 347 and is spending more than $14,000 to help your campaign. Commissioner Contreras is spending nearly $125,000 to help you as the head of the LA County Federation of Labor. Commissioner Freeman is in control of nearly $40,000 as the head of SEUI Local 434B. Commissioner Rascon and his Laborers Local 300 organization are spending more than $45,000 on your behalf. Commissioner Stolper is spending $50,000 to get you re-elected. In addition, current commissioners have given $205,372.42 to help your election and legal defense.

In addition to these commissioners, the brother of your own Chief of Staff is in control of nearly $125,000 that is being spent to get you back into office.

A mayor who was serious about restoring the public’s confidence in City Hall would immediately remove each of these individuals from office. However, after observing this Administration in action over the past four years, I have tempered my expectations.

Demand the resignations of at the least one of these commissioners, to show the people of Los Angeles that you will not tolerate the abuse of political power on the city payroll.

If I were the mayor of Los Angeles, I would immediately fire all of these campaign aides from their responsibilities in city government. All I’m asking you to do is fire a single one of them. If a housecleaning is too much to ask for, even a little dusting might help as a first step toward cleaning up City Hall.

Show the people of Los Angeles that government positions are not the reward for partisan political activity. Show the door to at least one of these campaign aides masquerading as commissioners.

On the first day I take office as Mayor, I will issue a directive to current city commissioners not to engage in city politics through donations, fundraising or participating in independent expenditures for or against candidates running for elected city office. Such participation will result in immediate dismissal. Candidates for commissioner assignments in the Hertzberg Administration will sign a pledge to this effect before their appointment.

The people of Los Angeles deserve a city government that they can be proud of. Take at least these small steps to restore their confidence in their city’s leaders.


Bob Hertzberg


Gossip Site?

The folks at LA Observed have officially named us an "Anti-Villaraigosa" gossip site. This is amusing coming from a pro-Hahn snooty site.

True, we've taken Tony Villar to task and question his soundness to be Mayor. However, we've also posted many of his press releases and given him his due, when due. In regards to Cynthia Ruiz, we posted several articles about her including one in support of her when she was dumped by Mayor Hahn from the Board of Public Works due to her pro-Tony Villar leanings.

LA Observed has tried to hide their bias in favor of Mayor Hahn for some time, and if they wish to support the poopster, more power to them. But honestly, an Anti-Villaraigosa site? Our real target all along has been this. Maybe that is what LA Observed wants you to forget?

We really hate taking shots at LA Observed. Its the sort of website you curl up with on a Sunday morning while sipping a latte. But you got to do what you got to do.

KCBS Mayoral Debate Update

clockThe originally scheduled debate being televised by CBS Channel 2 this evening is being pre-empted for post-oscar coverage. The tape-delayed broadcast will air tomorrow evening. The debate can still be heard live on KFWB 980 AM this evening at the original scheduled time from 6:30 to 8:00.

Hopefully LA Voice will provide live audio blogging as the press will surely print all of their stories in tomorrow's paper ruining the suprise and excitement (or boredom as they currently both printed here and here).


Taking the Fight to the Next Level


From Hertzberg's camp:
February 28, 2005

Hertzberg to Call for Resignation of Hahn Administration Officials TODAY

What: Mayoral candidate Bob Hertzberg will hold a news conference today to
call for the resignation of multiple Hahn administration officials. Hertzberg will provide the media with detailed information and rational for the call
for resignation at the news conference.

Who: Mayoral candidate Bob Hertzberg

When: TODAY Monday, February 28 1:00 p.m.

Where: Hertzberg for Mayor, Eastside Field Office 4448 Eagle Rock Boulevard, Suite G, Eagle Rock
This should be fun. Nice punch right before the debate. Any guesses on who?

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Cynthia Ruiz

ruizBefore the previous post gets overun with gushing love for Cynthia Ruiz, let me provide you the forum to carry on your conversation. To get you started, here's the e-mail from Rick Acosta to Bill Christopher laying out his complaints with Cynthia Ruiz.

From: "rick acosta"
To: "BillC"
Subject: Formal Complaint East La/ South Area Representative
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2005 21:42:19 -0800

Dear Mr. Bill Christopher,
This is a formal request and complaint to remove Cynthia Ruiz as the East LA/ South area representative for the following reasoning.

1. She is a family member of a mayoral candidate Councilmen Antonio Villaraigosa.
2. She is working on his mayoral campaign.
3. She is involved in fund raising for the Villaraigosa mayoral campaign.
4. You have placed Ms. Ruiz in a position that compromises the integrity of the Mayoral debates with her ability to provide insider information to one of the candidates, such as what questions will be asked and to which candidate , which N.C. Representative will be asking the question and to which candidate. This was not the intentions of CBS and the Alliance which would lose all credibility.
5. Ms. Ruiz has set up her own standards as to who will attend the mayoral debate.
6. Ms. Ruiz has not participated in an Alliance meeting.
7. Ms. Ruiz was part of a group of board members of the LA-32 NC that sent a letter to the Alliance criticizing the Alliance on the Mayoral Debates.
8. Ms. Ruiz has shown partiality over candidates, with comments made in reference to Mayor Hahn, (She was glad to leave a sinking ship, after she was dismissed as commissioner.)
9. Ms. Ruiz was not asked to fill in at a meeting by the assigned East LA/South area representative Robert Jimenez as stated by the Alliance.
10. Ms. Ruiz was not asked by the East LA/South area representative to replace him as the current representative.
11. The Current East LA/South area representative Robert Jimenez is supporting me as his replacement.
12. Ms.Ruiz failed to work only with the President of the LA-32 but did notify all other board members via e-mail as to who was on the list. This was not the intention of the alliance in setting up the guest list from each NC.
Richard Acosta
LA-32 NC President
For more commentary, see the comments in this post.

Previous Ruiz comments are here.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

The Money Game

With time running out, let's look at today's reports from the Mayoral six (quickly becoming three)

Villaraigosa: Raised $359,000, for a total of $1.76 million. $1.1 million cash on hand

Hertzberg: Raised
$230,000 for a total of $1.85 million. $780,000 cash on hand

Hahn: Raised
$153,000, for a total of $2.9 million. $1.08 million cash on hand

Raised $104,000 for a total of $549,000 raised, plus $153,000 in city matching funds. $78,000 cash on hand

Parks: Raised
$81,000 for a total of $770,000, plus $365,000 in city matching funds. $337,000 cash on hand

Walter Moore: $94,000 cash on hand (Included because he has more than Alarcon)

Thoughts: Antonio clearly has the momentum. Hertzberg and Hahn both have the cash to bash the hell out of each other, and the other two are just that...others.

And how does Moore have more than Alarcon? sad...

From Our Mailbox

We get letters...

Mayor Sam, here's an excerpt from Betty Pleasants' Soulvine column printed today.

Some more election stuff: Assemblywoman Karen Bass endorsed Villaraigosa for mayor last week. … The three Parks — father, son and holy, er, wife — were denied the opportunity to cast their votes when the New Frontier Democratic Club members voted on which mayoral candidate they would endorse. Rosemary Spriggs, the club’s membership chair, said the dues for Bernard, Bernard Jr. and Bobbie Parks were not current and they were, therefore, ineligible to vote. Even though he wasn’t eligible, Spriggs admitted giving Bernard Sr. a voting card, and not giving one to Bernard Jr. and Bobbie. “I was willing to let him vote because he’s the councilman,” Spriggs said. But she said the elder Parks did not vote either because he arrived at the meeting too late. Those were three votes Parks needed but did not get from the club to try to stop the Mayor Hahn endorsement raid. “I was very sorry about it,” Spriggs said. …

Congrats on reaching the 50K mark.
And then...
Why don't you list the sad endorsement of Antonio by the LA Weekly today. How embarrassing! They make it sound as if it was more work then it was worth.
We like that the LA Weekly has endorsed two candidates for Council - Dennis Zine and Janice Hahn - because they primarily have big mouths. And Jack Weiss because everyone thinks he's jerk. Great! Maybe the Mayor Sam style is coming back.

Finally, our box had at least two spam mails from Wacko Walter today. But no press releases from Tony Villar lately. No more love, Tony?

Church and State Violation?

JaniceThere has always been a debate as to the meaning of the term "seperation of church and state" and as it applies in the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Coming from a history of government intervention into religion, the framers made it very clear that all Americans had a right to worship - or not worship - as they saw fit and that government had no role dictating any religious obligations. The goal of the first amendment was to protect religion from government, not necessarily the other way around.

That is why it is ludicrous that people feel this means that there can not be prayers in public schools or legislative sessions, religious symbols on government property or for public officials to express their faith. As long as no one is forced by the government to participate in any religion, we're kosher (not to make a pun).

More often than not, there is a certain bigotry that is ascribed to Christianity and in particular the Protestant flavor of the religion. More than ever, public expressions of Christian faith are ridiculed, often by liberals and so called "progressives" many of whom don't even know that several Protestant denominations share much of the liberal political ideology.

Here in Los Angeles, it was perfectly okay for city government to participate in the constuction of the downtown cathedral, Our Lady of the Angels. But should a Protestant elected official express their faith, there is hell to pay.

Point in case is that of Councilwoman Janice Hahn, the Mayor's sister. The Hahn Family members are known as one that is religious, indeed Mayor Hahn himself went to Pepperdine, affiliated with the Church of Christ denomination to which his family has long belonged to.

The latest flack is that the Councilwoman is promoting her participation in the recent Billy Graham Crusade and expressing stories of her faith on her website. LA Observed covered it here.

We don't have a problem with the Councilwoman being honest about her religion. Billy Graham ain't our cup of tea, but if she wants to associate with him, that is her right. Like a lot of religious folks, she is politically a liberal. So what? (Except Mayor Sam personally doesn't want a whole lot of liberals on the Council no matter how much they pray, but that's another issue.)

Why are people getting their panties in a bunch?

Seperated at Birth III?


Bob Hertzberg & Jack from Jack-In-The-Box circa 1970-something

Same hair!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


50,000 Hits

Moving on Up


Catching up after last evening's bender, I read the following on El Blogero . Nothing we don't already expect, but funny how they are so resigned to it:
L.A. May be About to Elect a Hispanic Mayor

Political Wire reports on a SurveyUSA poll that gives Antonio Villaraigosa a 17 point lead over the incumbent mayor James K. Hahn in the upcoming mayoral primary in L.A. This is a rematch of the 2001 L.A. mayoral race. Villaraigosa's strength is among Hispanics, young voters and liberals. Former Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg is the choice of Republicans and Conservatives, but in L.A., that does not provide much in terms of ballot box strength.

blah blah blah...

Second, if Villaraigosa wins, he will quickly be crowned as a leading Democrat to run against Governor Schwarzenegger in 2006. This will then test Hispanic political ascendancy statewide (Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamente's silly and somnambulic "vote no on recall, but yes for me" campaign does not count).
I can't wait!

The Newest Poll (For now anyways)

PollBefore you all pounce, I apologize for Yorty and I not posting the "newest poll" info last evening. Yes, LA Voice and Boi From Troy, beat us to the punch. I'm glad to see you all took it upon yourselves to comment all over the NY Times post last evening in our absence. We were tying one on down here in celebration of "the miracle on ice". Vodka is very good. Anyways, moving on -


KABC released their newest poll last evening. As many of you have already commented, the various camps are either
A) touting their success, or
B) Discrediting the hell out of the firm who ran it.

The results are:
Antonio Villaraigosa 36%
James Hahn 19%
Bernard Parks 15%
Bob Hertzberg 14%
Richard Alarcon 6%
Other/Undecided 10%

No matter how you dice it though, it appears Tony is in, Hahn is in deep sh*&%t, and Hertzberg is moving up.

The funniest part as Mack Reed points out is the posturing and sparring between the camps.

Villaraigosa blasts and posts away as if the poll is the holy grail of politics (Note that Hertzberg's camp even got a word in edge wise their as well). Hertzberg blasted discrediting the company and logic behind the poll, and Hahn is MIA. Nothing changes I guess...

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

NY Times Slaps Hahn

Times Header

From the NY Times:
Pete's Café and Bar is an upscale place on a decidedly downscale corner in downtown Los Angeles. It is only four blocks from City Hall, so Mayor James K. Hahn thought it would be a good place to meet one recent afternoon.

This could be the start of a great "guy walks into a bar" story, except it has no punch line. The mayor of the second-largest city in America entered Pete's with two bodyguards and a press aide, and nothing happened. No heads turned, no conversations stopped, no well-wishers or job seekers or gripers walked over to bend his ear.

The midafternoon crowd was fairly sparse, but for a mayor seeking re-election less than three weeks from now, it was not a good sign.

The NY Times on Hertzberg:

"If we had a mayor, I wouldn't be running," Mr. Hertzberg said. "The guy is just invisible."

Mr. Hertzberg, 50, is in many ways the opposite of Mr. Hahn. He is burly and gregarious, famous for hugging strangers. During an interview at Art's Deli in the Studio City neighborhood, he was repeatedly approached by customers and waitresses as he wolfed down a corned beef sandwich, a plate of new pickles and three unneeded cups of coffee.

"Everything in politics is personal," Mr. Hertzberg said. "It's all personal."

On Parks:

Many people, including aides to the mayor, characterize Mr. Parks's campaign as an act of political revenge.

"That's the farthest thing from the truth," Mr. Parks said in an interview at his headquarters. "This is about the mayor's inability to run this city. He has an answer for everything, but he doesn't have a solution for anything."

On Villaraigosa:

Mr. Villaraigosa, slender and impeccably dressed, complained over a cup of coffee at a Starbucks in the Little Tokyo district that Mr. Hahn had sunk to race-baiting in their last contest.

"I believe Jim Hahn will do and say anything to get re-elected, including his efforts to create a climate of fear," Mr. Villaraigosa said. "It will not work a second time. People know me now. I've been councilman for a year and a half."

On Alarcon:

Yet this is just what Mr. Hahn's main challengers, all Democrats, say Los Angeles lacks. His top rivals are Robert M. Hertzberg, a lawyer from the San Fernando Valley and a former speaker of the State Assembly; Bernard C. Parks, a member of the City Council and the former chief of the Police Department whom Mr. Hahn pushed out of office three years ago; and Antonio Villaraigosa, a city councilman and also a former speaker of the Assembly.
Not a typo above re: Alarcon. They didn't even include him...(OUCH!)


boxingBolstered by surging poll results and a steam of momentum, Hertzberg decided yesterday to call Hahn out on the carpet and challenged him to keep the race clean, or at least have the courage to make the attacks directly and not hide behind independent campaigns and the bulldogs of Carrick and Kawata.

From the Daily News:
"James Hahn has demonstrated a pattern and practice of going negative in each (of his) elections," Hertzberg said. "I think Los Angeles deserves better."

On the campaign trail, Hertzberg challenged the mayor to run a clean campaign in the final days before the March 8 primary, as well as to ensure that no negative attacks are made independently on his behalf.

Hertzberg vowed to vigorously respond to any negative attacks, those that are false, engage in the politics of "personal destruction" or involve innuendo.

"I won't stand on the sidelines. I'll hit back as hard as I can in response," he said during a press conference at his campaign office.

From the Times:
Attacking Villaraigosa and Hertzberg in a City Hall interview last week, Hahn appeared to indicate potential lines of attack should he run negative television ads. He renewed criticism of Hertzberg, who was speaker during the state's energy crisis, for taking campaign money from power companies.

And he pounded Villaraigosa for backing legislation that favored campaign donors whom Hahn described as "payday loan companies" that charge "450% interest over the course of the year and put poor people in terrible situations."

But, Hahn said he had no plans to run negative ads, but added, "If I'm put in a position of having to respond, we'll respond."

More from the Times:
"I will be fair and honest with the people, but I will hit back just as hard as I possibly can in response to what he seeks to do," said Hertzberg.

Hahn strategist Bill Carrick, citing a series of Hertzberg mailings attacking the mayor, called the challenge "disingenuous political doubletalk."

"As far as I'm concerned, Bob Hertzberg already started running a negative campaign, and for him to suggest now that he wants to call it off is deceitful," Carrick said.
Any guesses as to who runs the "crack-pipe" ad first?

(Also seen at LAist)

Monday, February 21, 2005

New Meaning To Dump Hahn

trashThe Daily News reports that Sun Valley residents extracted a pledge from James Hahn in 2001 to put an end to their community being the dumping ground of the city but have yet seen little action. With the Mayor running for re-election, residents are hearing the words they want to hear, but are dubious if any action will be taken.

For some decades now, the Sun Valley community has been subject to sort of an environmental holocaust with nearly all the city's dumps, landfills and junkyards located in their midst. Citizens there and in neighboring communities are saying enough is enough.
The issue stirs passions in the North Valley, where residents have long endured the diesel fumes, scarred landscape, odors and blowing trash. But their problems don't inspire much emotion among voters elsewhere in the city who enjoy the benefits of lower-cost urban landfills and who experience none of the disadvantages.
Daily News
As the article says, its not something that is going to stir the passion of the City as a whole, but you have to have some sympathy for these folks' plight and hope that the candidates will addres and deal with the complex issue.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Alarcon Move

DONEThis might not be of much interest outside the north San Fernando Valley, but our tipster tells us Richard Alarcon may be establishing a Neighborhood Council position in his Senate office.

Rumor has it that Alarcon has set up a "Neighborhood Council Liaison" office to be run by Northridge West Neighborhood Council President Jim Alger. Alger came to notice last year when he led a succesful "David vs. Goliath" Neighborhood Council battle to hold off a DWP rate increase. This battle is said to have put the Councils on the map and significantly increase their standing in the city.

Stay tuned.

When is a scoop a scoop?

NewsboyAn interesting little back and forth on the question of who scooped whom in recent stories about the Times dual Hertzberg-Villariagosa endorsement and the internal Villaraigosa poll showing the Mayor in third place behind himself and Bob Hertzberg.

The Sister City was the first of the major political blogs in town to post an article about the impending Times bombshell early Saturday afternoon. As well, Chief Parker posted an edited transcript of the actual editorial and later one of our readers posted the entire text in a comment. Within a few hours, both LA Observed and LA Voice posted the story and promised the text or a link to it later on.

In a second story, we reference the Chief's story as well as the same LA Voice story that detailed the Villaraigosa poll with the damaging results for Hahn. We linked to and credited LA Voice for the news.

As we are prone to doing, we tooted our own horn (if you don't who will?) about our scoop on the Hertzberg-Villaraigosa LA Times dual-endorsement. It wasn't long afterward that Mack Reed of LA Voice posted to our article that we shouldn't have really claimed a scoop because a reader of LA Voice going by the name of "Times Mole" had posted the following Thursday night (Reed also reiterated this in a subsequent article about the endorsement here):

The Los Angeles Times will endorse two candidates again. I know this for sure. But I don't know which o­nes yet, though I predict it will be Hertzberg and Villaraigosa. Is this the deathknell for the mayor?

So we'll give the point to LA Voice on this one, even though it was an actual staff posted article. However, one of our readers makes an interesting point. The story about the Villaraigosa poll - which we credited to LA Voice - first showed up in a reader post on the Sister City Friday morning.

Don't worry, MEAT or some other flack-let will resurface when there are more bogus polls to pitch. Word is they have their own internal (yeah, right) polls now showing ADV at 27-28, Hertzberg at 22-23, and Hahn at 21.

So maybe the point on that one goes to the Sister City. But honestly, who cares? Yes we will promote our blog with the fun and bravada associated with our late, former Mayor and once in a while we'll probably piss someone off. That goes with the territory when you're an alternative to the alternatives. The truth is the blogs are out there and all of them are doing their level best to keep both the traditional press, comment media and the politicians honest. If we have some redundancy, shared credit, stolen credit and some genuine scoops, its all part of the game.

Blog away dum dums!

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Hertzberg-Villaraigosa Race Shaping Up

HertzbergAntonioMore and more the signs are pointing to Jim Hahn not making the runoff (man talk about getting recalled!) and we're headed towards a Hertzberg-Villaraigosa contest in May.

First off - as detailed in Chief Parker's blogosphere scoop - tomorrow the Los Angeles Times will come out and endorse both the Hugman and Tony V. Coupled with the Times non-endorsement of Hahn last week and the Daily News' endorsement of Hertzberg, this has to be devastating for the Mayor. (It should be pointed that here on the Sister City we not only had the item well before any blog reported the Times' endorsement story - but we had the actual endorsement editorial which as I type they do not have and are promising tomorrow.)

Secondly, LA Voice is reporting that an internal Villaraigosa poll puts Antonio at 27%, Hertzberg at 25% and the Mayor at a dismal 20%. LA Voice points out that in the current LA Weekly, Harold Meyerson writes that he thinks the Mayor won't make the runoff.

All in all - there should be lots of screaming in San Pedro tonight, cheering in Sherman Oaks and Mount Washington all weekend and even more yelling on the third floor on Monday. Stay tuned.

LA Times Endorsement - Hertzberg vs. Villaraigosa

Tony and Bob

In what can only be categorized as a huge blow to the Hahn team, the LA Times is endorsing Hertzberg and Villaraigosa in the Sunday edition of the LA Times (Not online, but in Sunday early print edition). Here are some parts of it-

A mano-a-mano confrontation between estranged, onetime roommates insn't something we'd normally want to witness, but the people of Los Angeles would be well served by a runoff election between Bob Hertzberg and Antonio Villaraigosa

It's not just that either would make a more dynamic leader than Hahn, Hertzberg and Villaraigosa offer LA a clear choice in both style and substance. A face-off between these two would prod LA to really think about what it wants of its mayor - and of itself.

The Idea Machine: In this first phase of the election, Hertzberg has been the most dynamic presence. A high-velocity wonk, he loves BIG ideas, and will flesh out every one of them for you if you give him the time. ... Hertzberg all but explodes with plans

The Coalition Builder: Villaraigosa, the runner-up in the 2001 mayoral race and now a city councilman, is more familiar to voters. He got his start as a teachers union organizer, but it would be a mistake to view him solely as the liberal, pro-union candidate. If Hertzberg is analytical, quick to rattle off the names of five big-city mayors he admires or to hand out hick copies of the borough plan he drafted to head of secession, Villaraigosa is intuitive - quick at reading situations and people. He is the anti-wonk who operates from the gut.
I'll let you decide from here - blog away!

Friday, February 18, 2005

Tony Has A Question

The folks at Tony Villar's campaign sent us questions they want Mayor Poopy to answer. Maybe they think Poopy and his staff read the Sister City so Mayor Sam is the best messenger to get a word to them? At any rate, here are Tony's questions:

February 18, 2005 Contact: Ace Smith

For Immediate Release 213-687-7777

An Open Question to Mayor Jim Hahn – Who Is Going to Pay

The Legal Bills for Your Corrupt Appointees?

As the “graft inquiries” into the Hahn administration intensify, important questions remains unanswered:

“Who is going to pay the bills for the legal fees being run up by Troy Edwards, Ted Stein and company? And how much has been spent by the City so far?”

Last April, the Los Angeles Daily News reported that the City could be liable for many of these legal bills:

All the inquiries under way into City Hall's contracting practices have produced an unintended consequence: Full employment for attorneys representing city employees and officials who are being called as witnesses. And some bills that might end up being paid by taxpayers…dozens of officials being called to testify - and all taking the precaution of contacting attorneys for advice.

With the average rate at about $500 an hour these days for white-collar legal advice in criminal proceedings, it won't take long for the bills to soar so the City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo's Office is reviewing the potential impact.

A number of workers asked to testify before the grand juries are hiring their own attorneys, however, and planning to submit those bills to the city for payment. (The Daily News of Los Angeles, April 19, 2004)

Jim Hahn has already answered the question of who will pay his legal bills. He has set up a “Legal Defense Fund II” and filled it with money from special interests.

But what about the legal bills of the former and present city officials and workers who have been drawn into the graft and corruption probes of the Hahn administration?

Mayor Hahn owes the people of Los Angeles a clear answer: Will he allow public funds to be used to cover these legal bills?

So far, the number of cops not hired because of Jim Hanh’s wasteful Fleishman-Hillard contracts is 150. How high will that number climb when the City is done paying millions of dollars in legal bills that could result from defending Hahn appointees?


Blogger Boggler?

BloggerBlogger has had some issues recently with article posting and comment posting, but they seem to have resolved it for now. So blog away!

Shame On You Walter Moore!

ShameMayor Sam said a while back that it wasn't cool to talk about people's kids as part of the political discourse. Walter Moore is certainly under no obligation to us, but he's broken that cardinal rule in a mailing to his "supporters."

We regularly delete postings about the candidates which allege all kinds of things about infidelity, out of wedlock children, etc. These usually seem to be the foray of the anti-Tony Villar crowd, but others have posted such too.

Walter Moore is trying to make Bob Hertzberg's kids an issue in the race. In his recent mailer he referred to the Hugman with the following:

"He wants YOUR kids to go to PUBLIC school, he sends HIS kids to PRIVATE school -- which is where my voucher plan would permit you to send your kids. "
What Walter doesn't tell you is that it was published that Hertzberg did indeed want his boys to attend a local public school. However the boys' mother and his ex-wife wanted them to go to a private institution and Hertzberg was forced to agree with her as terms of a settlement that has recently been written about.

Walter knows he is losing Republican votes to Hertzberg and Parks and I guess at least to not wind up a total fool with only 300-400 votes, he's doing a smear job on Hertzberg.

Republicans need to know that voting for Walter could put Tony Villar into Getty House. If they don't want that, they should consider other options.


Hertzy Goes To the Eastside

HuggyOne of our correspondents tell us that Bob Hertzberg may be sensing blood in the water in the 14th District. This weekend, he will open his third campaign office in Eagle Rock.

Is Tony Villar in trouble? Could very well be and Hertzy is on his way. Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

A Bone For Tony Villar

ChiefBy Chief Parker who was having Blogger challenges
To prove that we don't always slam Villaraigosa, I would like to throw him a bone.

Last night at the Woodland Hills debate he seems to have stolen Alarcon's energy. Last night Alarcon appeared to be the one coasting, while Antonio showed some of the energy from campaigns past. We do have to scold his staff though, as he showed up late due to a scheduling error.

Parks gave his usual monotone performance. Walter Moore provided the entertainment for the evening with his off-beat banter, and Hertzberg was his normal overflowing river of ideas and energy which played well to his audience.

Hahn dodged the festivities yet again, proving his complete incompetence to the very base he needed four years ago, and has written yet another chapter in his novel about how to alienate your friends.

Can Tony repeat his performance? That has yet to be proven, but you can see them all again tonight at the Loyola Marymount debate at 5:00 this evening. (minus Moore and Hahn who is not scheduled to attend)


HamburgularYet another example of Tony Villar stealing ideas as highlighted by the Daily News. He's pushing a health care plan (didn't know that was the province of the City to provide health care) that apparently is similar to ideas expressed before:
Some of Villaraigosa's proposals were similar to those advanced by former Mayor Richard Riordan, such as having the city work with the Los Angeles Unified School District to ensure all eligible children are enrolled in the state's Healthy Families program.
Daily News
Well there you go - the Riordan-Villaraigosa Health Plan. Just don't get sick.

Tony & Friends

Tony & FriendsEnough of Walter for now (and for good), here is some MEAT for all you ABADV fans out there. Turns out that Tony Villar is looking for a few friends to raise his dough, now that the Hahnista attack dog independent expenditure committees have blown the roof off how much Poopy can spend. In order to raise a little more ammunition for the Villar arsenal out there, Parke Skelton is trying something new. Here is a condensed version of an email Parke sent out.
Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2005 23:00:43 GMT
From: "Parke Skelton, Villaraigosa for Mayor
Subject: Become one of Antonio's Friendraisers today!

Dear Friend,

The caps are off. And so are the gloves.

Due to more than $200,000 in planned "independent
expenditures" by groups supporting Jim Hahn, the
$2.251 million spending cap for each candidate in the
mayor's race has been lifted. That means that our
campaign is going to have to raise even more money.

Antonio can raise enough money to compete. But he's
not going to do it from just a handful of large donors
-- he's going to do it in $10, $25, and $50 donations
from friends and supporters all across Los Angeles.

That's where you come in. Today we're pleased to
announce the launch of our new "Friendraisers" program.

Sign up just 10 new supporters and raise just $200
from your friends & family for Antonio's campaign, and
you'll be invited to a special reception for our
successful Friendraisers.

Blog away dums dums.

Sorry, Walter

GOPHeeding calls from Mayor Sam and more logical Republicans elsewhere, the Republican Party of Los Angeles County voted 30-7 not to endorse Walter Moore for Mayor.

There is no doubt that Walter is a nice guy and a registered Republican. Those items alone do not earn you an endorsement nor election. Walter is right on illegal immigration and some other issues. He is deathly wrong on other issues that strike at core Republican values such as private property rights and the rights of free enterprise (such as essentially banning the right of pet shops to sell pets).

To support Walter would have siphoned off Republican votes in the non-partisan race from more viable pro-business candidates such as Bob Hertzberg or even Bernard Parks - and deliver the third floor to Tony Villar.

Boi from Troy has a great blow by blow of the shenanigans along with interesting commments from disgruntled Republicans. LA Voice also has a few thoughts as well.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Republicans: Walter Is Not Your Man

GOPTonight, the Republican Party of Los Angeles County will be meeting, among other things, to consider an endorsement of Walter Moore's candidacy for Mayor.

This would be a mistake. Walter is not a pro-business Republican and he is trying to ride the issue of illegal immigration into the hearts and minds of the last bastions of the "silent majority."

Do not be fooled. Republicans would invite sufficient egg on their face to connect themselves to this guy. I don't think the party can endorse pro-business, moderate candidates like Hertzberg or Parks because they are registered Democrats, but they would do well as Republicans to support either one. They don't need to join the lovable but wacko Hal Netkin if they want to be taken seriously as an alternative political force in Los Angeles. But its likely Moore won't pick up the endorsement because as our tipster has told us, it looks like Moore's supporters goofed the petition request (see below).
Tonight is the regular meeting of the RPLAC at 7-9 PM with Bill Simon and it includes the Agenda Item, "Clarification of Local Endorsement Procedures".

However, per the bylaws, 10 members signed a petition calling for a special meeting at 8 PM tonight under article VII, Section 4 of the RPLAC bylaws with Item 5, "Endorsement of a Republican Candidate for Mayor of the City of Los Angeles"

The meeting is presumably on, as it was signed by 10 RPLAC Executive Committee Members:

James McCutcheon (CD35), Wayne Miller (CD34), Julius Wilson (CD36), Barbara Ferraro (AD 54), Vernon Brown (SD25), John Nunn (CD46), Gladys Miller (AD50), Carl Davis Jr. (AD51), Henry Eicher (AD53) and Cheryl Liddle (SD28).

Undersigned is a petition to endorse Walter Moore signed by 8 County Central Committee members--it requires 10, but lines 1 and 9 were left blank. (oops!)
The Los Angeles County Republican Party would do best to start getting it's act together, educating the public on conservative policies, become more relevant to young people and minorities, and start grooming some candidates to run for school board, City Council, etc. so we can actual have a decent candidate for Mayor down the road. Instead, they play games and sit around waiting for the second coming of Richard Nixon, which isn't going to happen.

Otherwise they can continue to enjoy their minority status within Los Angeles.

Poll Update

Since people want to cheat, we've added some features to keep you from voting more than once (assuming they work) and have reset the poll. We don't care if Tony Villar wins, we just want him to do it honestly (3rd Floor - BACK TO WORK!).

Around Town

LAAll five main Mayoral candidates joined Walter Moore yesterday for a radio debate on KABC. Though most of the hour focused on illegal immigration, a few moments were dedicated to the Mayor's role in opposing San Fernando Valley secession - and where Mayor Hahn's alleged shakedown of city contractors to donate to anti-Valley independence campaigns - led to the current "pay to play" scandal. Rick Orlov covers it here.

Jim Hahn started running ads as we suspected. However, our prediction of anti-Villaraigosa or anti-Hertzberg ads may have been premature, and that the reason that the Mayor did not preview his ads for the press is likely because his ads tout his crushing of Valley independence (and Hollywood too). Its proably risky enough to remind the Valley voters of how the Mayor pissed them off two years ago, he may not have wanted to telegraph that notion prior to starting his air war. The Daily News has more here and the LA Times chimes in here.

Mariel Garza presents Bob Hertzberg as man who is not short on ideas, just not a household name. This may be why he needs to cram several thoughts into one sentence, alternating between candidate and teacher from one word to the next. The Daily News continues it series of profiles of the candidates (you can see the current inventory of Daily News profiles on the right hand side here and Los Angeles Times profiles here)

Steve Lopez says that Bernard Parks is the candidate who has taken him to the best restaurant (Mama's House in the Crenshaw district) in his series of meals with the Mayoral hopefuls. This follows the confusing choice of Antonio Villaraigosa taking him to Beverly Hills for a meal.

It looks like Hahnistas or other sufficiently not busy ABADV® activists have hijacked our dumbest Council member poll to tilt it significantly in favor of Tony Villar. Look left.

Finally, The Daily News opines about the Mayor's spin and flip flops following the defeat of his sales tax increase to fund more police.


Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Mayor Sam's Sham

YortyIt falls to me to point out corruption around this town and here is something - Mayor Sam's Dumbest Council Member poll is a sham because it does not include Councilman Eric Garcetti.

How can one issue a poll asking who is the dumbest member of the City Council and then omit one of the members of the Council? Indeed, It stretches credibility. Yorty's half baked excuse was one of forgetting as he posted in response to a dutiful reader catching the error.

One of our readers posits that Mayor Sam's true identity may be that of one of Mr. Garcetti's own staff, hence his exclusion of Garcetti from the poll. I believe that has some merit to it.

In the meantime, I would caution our gentle readers from presuming any accuracy to this poll, despite that fact that Mr. Antonio Villaraigosa (nee Villar) is leading as the biggest idiot on the Council.

How can you trust such results when the process is so tainted?

Don't Vote For Walter Moore

RhinoFound something interesting on Walter Moore's website today, and that is his TV commercials. No, they don't feature a 70 foot Walter towering over the border, but just Walter in front of some books.

Now we don't know if Walter is actually airing his commercials anywhere but his website, but you can view them here.

And this makes for a good time to speak some hard truth to conservatives supporting Walter Moore - he does not stand for what you believe in. This is probably why the Republican Party has not given him the time of day. The guy is not a real Republican, despite what he says.

In my opinion, Walter is opposed to private property rights - that is if you own a piece of land and want to build a large scale housing development, he doesn't believe you should. Walter also has views on animal rights that sound similar to that of the wacko group PETA - he doesn't even believe that landlords should be able to restrict pets in their building and he wants to put restrictions on circuses. What the hell is this crap?

Moore may have seduced you with his opposition to illegal immigration which is obviously more than the silence that comes from all five of the other candidates on this issue. But don't buy it.

If you are a pro-business conservative who believes in private property rights and isn't an animal rights wacko, Walter Moore is not for you. Don't be fooled. You'd be better off voting for Bob Hertzberg or Bernard Parks.

Preview of Hahn Hertzberg Attack

ShawPoop Here at Mayor Sam, we've got what perhaps is a sneak preview of where Mayor Hahn intends to go with his attack ads against Bob Hertzberg - and - perhaps - like Jack Weiss - he intends to recycle material from another campaign.

In a memo from Hahn's Girl Friday, Julie Wong, they've picked up the the same Vignali brush they used in racist attack ads against Tony Villar and plan to smear Hugs-a-bob. Will they show the big man with a crack pipe? Your guess is as good as mine.

Perhaps Mayor Hahn would do better to explain what he is going to do to clean up the most ethically corrupt administration since Frank Shaw (sorry Frank) but hey, that's not his job. He is now planning an all out attack on Hertzy on his right side and Tony Villar on his left.

(Thanks to our anonymous tipster for the dirt)

From: Hahn for Mayor 2005
Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2005 12:13 PM
Subject: Hertzberg's Vignali connections

February 15, 2005

To: Interested Parties

From: Julie Wong

Re: Hertzberg's Vignali connections

In today's Los Angeles Times, John Shallman, campaign
strategist for former Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg
attacked Mayor Hahn as "an equal opportunity
slanderer" because Mayor Hahn had mentioned that
Hertzberg wrote a letter to the White House seeking a
pardon for convicted drug dealer Carlos Vignali.

There is nothing slanderous about reporting the truth.
As the LA Daily News reported, former Speaker
Hertzberg wrote to President Clinton on Dec. 7, 2000
requesting his "immediate consideration of approval"
of Carlos Vignali's request for his sentence to be
commuted, according to a copy of the letter released
by his office. "It is time to return Carlos Vignali
to his family and again, become a productive member of
society," he wrote. According to the LA Times, "In his
Dec. 7, 2000, letter to Clinton, Hertzberg, an
attorney, pointed out that 'neither guns, drugs nor
drug money was found in Mr. Vignali's possession.'"

According to that same report, former Speaker
Hertzberg knew Carlos Vignali's father, Horacio
Vignali, before he was elected to the Assembly in
1996. Horacio Vignali was an early contributor to
Hertzberg's Assembly campaign in 1995, writing a
$1,000 check on June 28, 1995. And Vignali
contributed to the 1994 Assembly campaign of Antonio
Villaraigosa, co-hosting an April 1994 reception for
him. Former Speaker Hertzberg was Villaraigosa's
campaign treasurer.

Mayor Hahn disagrees with former Speaker Hertzberg's
and former Speaker Villaraigosa's efforts to obtain
clemency for a large-scale drug trafficker who was
convicted for moving 400 kilos of cocaine. He's even
more troubled that they were written as a favor to a
campaign contributor.

The Daily News of Los Angeles February 16, 2001,

Copyright 2001 Tower Media, Inc. The Daily News of Los

February 16, 2001, Friday, VALLEY EDITION


LENGTH: 1195 words


BYLINE: Dominic Berbeo Staff Writer

BODY: State Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg urged
then-President Clinton to grant executive clemency to
a former Encino cocaine dealer, the lawmaker's office
confirmed Thursday.

The disclosure came on the same day that two leading
mayoral candidates came under fire from civil rights
groups for asking Clinton to release Carlos Vignali.

Meanwhile, campaign records reviewed by the Daily News
show that Vignali's father - Horacio Vignali - has
donated at least $ 140,000 to mostly Democratic
politicians and their political organizations since
the arrest and conviction of his son in 1994 for his
role in distributing some 800 pounds of crack cocaine.

''The spirit of executive pardons is to be fairly
applied to all,'' said Dan Macallair, vice president
of the Justice Policy Institute, a San Francisco-based
justice watchdog group. ''It should not be for sale.''

Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, wrote to Clinton on Dec. 7,
recommending ''your immediate consideration of
approval'' of Carlos Vignali's request for his
sentence to be commuted, according to a copy of the
letter released by his office.

''It is time to return Carlos Vignali to his family
and again, become a productive member of society,'' he

Hertzberg declined to comment. His spokesman Paul
Hefner said he did not know who had approached
Hertzberg to petition the president.

Besides Hertzberg, others who sent letters to Clinton
include Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Los Angeles, and former
Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa, the latter two
among the leading candidates for mayor of Los Angeles.

On Jan. 20, his last day in office, Clinton set the
younger Vignali free by commuting his sentence.

''How do you reconcile these actions?'' said Earl
Ofari Hutchinson, president of the National Alliance
for Positive Action, a Los Angeles-based civil rights
group. ''We call on our elected officials to give the
same attention to those who can't afford to make large
political contributions.''

Becerra and a political committee he controls called
Leadership of Today and Tomorrow received some $
15,000 in donations from the elder Vignali, mostly
last year. The congressman took a leading role in
contacting the White House to review the case and
consider a commutation of sentence.

While acknowledging that Vignali family members are
close friends, Becerra insists that he urged Clinton
to review the case for the sake of fairness at the
request of Horacio Vignali.

''I wrote a letter to the president requesting further
investigation of the Vignali case to assure justice
was served and I placed calls to the White House and
U.S. Department of Justice to check on the status of
this request,'' Becerra said.

Villaraigosa, who says he ''regrets'' sending the
letter, received at least $ 275 from Horacio Vignali.

Hertzberg has known the elder Vignali since before
being elected to the Assembly in 1996, and was moved
by the man's belief in the innocence of his son, said

The only record of a Vignali contribution to
Hertzberg, Hefner said, was $ 4,000 in 1995.

While there is nothing illegal with the
communications, some are raising questions of the
appropriateness of large political donors having
access to high-ranking public officials.

''People are outraged by this,'' said Bob Stern,
president of The Center for Governmental Studies, a
Santa Monica-based political watchdog group. ''How
many parents of other convicted criminals have this
kind of access?''

Carlos Vignali had served more than six years of a
15-year sentence after being convicted in Minnesota
for his role in an interstate drug ring. Vignali, a
onetime Encino resident, is still subject to five
years of probation.

Other Los Angeles figures who supported Vignali
include former Democratic Congressman Esteban Torres,
Cardinal Roger Mahony of the Los Angeles Archdiocese
and state Sen. Richard Polanco, D-Los Angeles, who is
running for the City Council seat in the 1st District.
Mahony apologized Monday for his intervention.

Horacio Vignali, a mechanic and owner of a used-auto
shop in downtown Los Angeles, had close ties to many
local Latino politicians and hosted fund-raiser meals
in a parking lot he owned across the street from
Staples Center, with one as recently as last June for
Becerra, said one political insider.

Some other big donations made by Horacio Vignali since
1998 include $ 48,400 to Gov. Gray Davis and $ 35,000
to the Democratic Party and various Democratic
officeholders in California.

Los Angeles Times February 16, 2001 Friday Correction

Copyright 2001 Los Angeles Times All Rights Reserved
Los Angeles Times

February 16, 2001 Friday Correction Appended Home

SECTION: METRO; Part B; Metro Desk; Pg. 1

LENGTH: 973 words




A Los Angeles businessman waging a six-year campaign
to free his drug-dealing son from federal prison
persuaded state Assembly Speaker Robert Hertzberg, Los
Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina and Los
Angeles City Councilman Mike Hernandez to write
President Clinton late last year, urging Clinton to
commute the son's sentence.

The officials joined six other high-profile
politicians with strong ties to the Latino community,
and the cardinal of Los Angeles, who all wrote letters
for Horacio Carlos Vignali, a gregarious downtown
parking lot operator, car dealer and real estate
investor who has been active in recent years as a
political fund-raiser.

On his last day in office, Clinton ordered the release
of Vignali's son, who had been convicted of conspiring
to sell 800 pounds of cocaine.

The commutation drew attention to officials who helped
the father in his quest. Some of them said they had
never written such appeal letters before.

Why they did so this time appears to be, at least in
part, a tribute to the extraordinary persistence and
access of Vignali, who spent years badgering elected
officials to help him spring his son, Carlos. In 1994,
the younger Vignali was convicted in federal court in
Minneapolis and sentenced to 14 years, seven months in
prison. He was 22 at the time.

Since then, the elder Vignali has given about $
152,000 in campaign contributions, including $ 1,000
to Hertzberg, a Sherman Oaks Democrat with strong ties
to Latino politics, public records show. Hertzberg was
the Sacramento roommate of former Assembly Speaker and
current Los Angeles mayoral candidate Antonio
Villaraigosa, who also wrote the White House on behalf
of Vignali.

Hertzberg's spokesman, Paul Hefner, said Thursday that
the speaker met Vignali in the early 1990s at a
community event. Ever since, he said, "Mr. Vignali has
expressed profound love for his son." Hefner said the
letter was not related to any campaign contributions.

In his Dec. 7, 2000, letter to Clinton, Hertzberg, an
attorney, pointed out that "neither guns, drugs nor
drug money was found in Mr. Vignali's possession."
Prosecutors used wiretap recordings and testimony from
informants to win Vignali's conviction.

Hefner said, "the father was just adamant about his
son's innocence." Hertzberg was not available for

Hernandez and Molina addressed their letters to
Clinton too.

Molina said the Vignali family had neither donated to
her campaigns nor raised money for her. She came to
know the elder Vignali in the past two or three years,
Molina said, because he is a friend of her husband,
Ron Martinez, an affirmative action consultant.

She said Vignali made "a constant barrage of requests"
to her to write a letter. She said she had been
approached before by other parents in similar
situations and had declined to write on their behalf.
Vignali finally wore her down. "He kept literally
begging," she said Thursday.

As Christmas approached, she said, she agreed but told
him it would probably do no good.

Vignali had furnished her with information about his
son's prison record, which she cited in the Dec. 20
letter, calling upon Clinton to consider commuting his

Molina, who was vice chairwoman of the Democratic
National Convention, said she would not write any more
such letters because such cases should be evaluated by
judges and prosecutors who know the facts.

Hernandez, who himself pleaded guilty to a cocaine
possession charge in 1997, said Thursday that he wrote
his Dec. 4 letter because "I understood his the elder
Vignali's concern as a father. . . . He the younger
Vignali had already had done time . . . I thought
writing the letter was appropriate.'

Records show the elder Vignali and his family gave $
2,500 to Hernandez during his successful 1993
campaign, before Carlos Vignali was arrested. Vignali
later hosted the councilman and his staff in a retreat
at his Pacific Palisades home.

Hernandez' letter, like Molina's, cites Carlos
Vignalis' good prison record, noting he earned his
high school equivalency degree and was named "student
of the year" while behind bars.

Molina said that, in persuading her to write a letter,
the elder Vignali said he had even talked to the
governor. A Davis spokesman said Thursday: "We have no
requests from Horacio Carlos Vignali to write a letter
and there were no letters written by Gov. Davis."

Campaign finance reports show that Vignali held a
fund-raiser for Davis in June that raised more than $
75,000, including $ 25,900 from Vignali himself.
Vignali had given Davis $ 23,500 before he became

Other previously reported letters came from:

* Democratic U.S. Rep. and Los Angeles mayoral
candidate Xavier Becerra, who wrote Clinton in
November, citing the "personal crusade" of the
imprisoned Vignali's parents, who "are dear friends of
mine." The Vignalis have donated more than $ 5,000 to
Becerra's campaigns.

* Villaraigosa, who wrote the White House pardon
secretary in 1996, and who received more than $ 5,000
from the Vignalis.

* Former U.S. Rep. Esteban E. Torres, who wrote Atty.
Gen Janet Reno in 1996 and Clinton in 1998. No
contributions were reported to Torres.

* State Sen. Richard Polanco, D-Los Angeles, who wrote
the White House pardon secretary in 1996. The Vignalis
have given Polanco more than $ 20,000.

* Former Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alatorre,
who also wrote the pardon secretary in 1996. The
Vignalis had donated $ 1,500 to his campaigns.

* Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, who later expressed
regret, calling his letter "a serious mistake."
Villaraigosa and Becerra have also expressed regret
about their letters.

* Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, who urged only
that prison officials move the younger Vignali to a
prison closer to Los Angeles. Two years after Baca's
letter, Carlos Vignali was moved to Arizona from the

Lonely at the Top?

HuggyDriving around Sherman Oaks, we notice that Bob Hertzberg's home is the only one in his neighborhood displaying Hertzberg yard signs. To be clear, there are no other yard signs for any other candidates.

Sounds like Huggy needs to get to work. Get Szabo and Hay to get off their asses writing on the Hertzablog and get out there with a pick up truck. A little old fashioned campaigning doesn't hurt.

Then again, does Tony Villar even know now to set up a yard sign?

Is Antonio Really This Stupid?

TonyThis morning, Doug McIntyre of KABC Radio hosted all six major candidates for an hour of discussion. McIntyre who is an articulate and thoughtful commentator really pressed the case of the effect unchecked illegal immigration has on the city, to which all of the candidates (except Walter Moore) ducked dealing with the issue.

However, Antonio probably made the dumbest remark when McIntyre was discussing the impact of illegal immigration on crime. Tony Villar said that illegal immigration has nothing to do with gang crime and the 18th street gang (most of whom's members are in the country without documentation). He said to even suggest such is inflammatory.

Incidentally, Tony is way ahead in a recent poll. Of course that poll is our poll asking who the dumbest council member is. He's even putting Tom LaBonge - the George Bush of the LA City Council - to shame.

The Other Races

Turtle vs. Hare
CD 11: The LA Times endorses Flora Gil Krisiloff today, while the Riordan's step up and fund Bill Rosendahl.

West LA Online is a great resource of info for this race.

CD 5: I will start this by admitting these are just rumors, but I have now heard this from multiple sources - Jack Weiss may have to go after Ty Vahedi and has something juicy in order to counter the 12-month color calendar Ty Vahedi is walking door-to-door with and other traction he is starting to gain.

I'd link to Weiss, but as West LA Online will tell you, he still doesn't have a site up.

Monday, February 14, 2005

When it Rains, it Poors

Seems like Hahn can't get this right either (scroll about halfway down to find the following):
Location: Los Angeles
Celebrity: Kenneth Hahn
Restaurant: Nic & Stef's Steakhouse

The mayor of Los Angeles came into the restaurant and got great service. Even shook my hand after the meal and told me what a great job I did. Then he stiffed me. Nice.

Spotted at LA Observed and LA.com

Hahn Begins His Air Assault

TVWe hear word that Mayor Hahn's television commercials start tomorrow. It is common practice that spots are released to reporters ahead of time, but the Mayor's campaign has not done so. This means the spots are most likely negative. Which of course is the only way the Mayor can try to save his rapidly falling ass.

Given that - who do you think he goes after first? Huggy or Tony Villar? My guess is Huggy because Bob's been getting traction and Hahn fears the big man more than the little man. To be sure, we'll probably get some more racist attack ads against Tony at some point, but better to squash Bob while he's on the rise. The feeling on the third floor is they can take out Tony again and he's the desired opponent.

If you know anything about the Mayor's air war and want to spill the beans, we have some MEAT that will go quite well with them.

In other news, the latest indictment rumors filling our mail box this week allege it will be Stein and Wong. We shall see. AND don't forget to vote in our dumbest council member poll. Looks like as of now its a neck and neck battle between Tony Cardenas and Tom LaBonge with Tony Villar not far behind.

Ask And You Shall Receive*

On Friday I posted asking if Hahn was going to pull a Villaraigosa. Turns out he did, just three days later.

The irony of the whole story is Antonio being offended by Hahn doing it. This is a little like the pot calling the kettle black:

"Once again, Jim Hahn is jumping on the caboose as the train leaves the station," said Villaraigosa campaign manager Ace Smith. "While he is unable to do the hard work it takes to craft policy, he is always able to hold a press conference to take credit for it."

At some point someone needs to listen to Bernard Parks - Stop politicizing the police. This is getting beyond ludicrous.

***Hot off the presses of the Antonio spam machine (I guess they didn't delete me):

Dear William,
You may have seen the recent debate about Mayor Hahn's plan to raise the city sales tax to hire more police officers. Last Friday, six members of the City Council, including me, voted against placing Mayor Hahn's proposed sales tax increase on the March 8th ballot.

We all agree that we must do everything we can to make our city safer. But Mayor Hahn's plan was the wrong way to do it. We don't have to raise the city sales tax to hire more cops. And we don't have to wait another month -- or more -- to take action.

You see, Mayor Hahn presented the people of Los Angeles with a false choice. The Mayor would have you believe that unless we increase the city sales tax, we can't hire more police officers. And he thinks that we have to wait until after the March 8th election to do anything.

Neither of those two facts are true. And that's why the City Council refused to support Mayor Hahn's plan.

Fortunately, there is a better solution.

In my Plan for a Safer LA, I have laid out an approach to hire 300 more police officers -- immediately -- by using state and federal funds that have already been approved for Los Angeles, as well as cutting waste and fraud in local government. That will provide some needed help right away.

Then, to keep us safer over the long run, we need to do more. My plan calls for hiring 1,300 more police officers in Los Angeles, and 5,000 additional deputies and officers countywide.

Investing in a larger police force is absolutely necessary to building a safer Los Angeles for years to come. But city residents shouldn't bear this burden alone.

That's why I believe that any plan must also be a county-wide plan, not simply at the city level. Crime does not respect city borders, and we need to coordinate and cooperate with our neighbors if we truly wish to improve our communities.

If you support my plan, I ask you to sign my petition urging Mayor Hahn to act now and hire more police officers. And I encourage you to forward this email to everyone you know, asking them to join with us.

During the 2001 campaign, Mayor Hahn promised to hire 1000 new police officers. Unfortunately, he's fallen more than 800 cops short of that promise.

Now, four long years later, in the eleventh hour of his term, Mayor Hahn has decided that it's time to do something. Unfortunately, his plan was the wrong one. And the City Council wisely rejected it.

We can make Los Angeles safer -- it just takes leadership. It's the kind of leadership I intend to return to City Hall. If you agree that it's time for a change, I hope you'll sign my petition and then invite everyone you know to join my campaign today!

Antonio R. Villaraigosa

How timely...Note the absence of someone's name from "his " plan

We don't need a downtown park

BoondoggleIts terrific that people like the LA Downtown News' Sam Hall Kaplan can sit down there and all day ruminate on how he thinks Downtown LA should look on the public dime.

Back in my day, we designed the Civic Center for utilitarian purposes - get the government agencies all near one another for greatest efficiency.

The City wants to build a new and desperately needed LAPD headquarters on land across the street from City Hall. This is the most cost effective program.

Kaplan wants that land to be a "grand park" in which I guess he can sit and ruminate about things as they should be. We discussed this before and we discussed how we have a grand park in LA already - its called Griffith Park.

The Cultural Affairs Commission (Why do we need this? Yet another waste of taxpayer money that could very easily be handled by the private sector) is begging the City Council to build this monstrosity, but it appears that as the City Council is starting to get it (by voting against unnecessary tax increases), they do not want to build the park. Probably they don't want to take the heat for it, which I agree is a good move on their part - because they would never hear the end of it.

What this city needs is fewer schemes and more getting about the business of efficient, cost effective government. That police headquarters will serve more people from Chatsworth to San Pedro than Kaplan's damn park.

Identify Yourself


Quick technical note...

Blogger just made it easier for all of you to identify yourselves without creating blogger accounts. Since you all keep screaming for it, we should all use it.

Simple instructions:

When you follow the "post a comment" link at the bottom of a post, the new formatted comment window pops up.

Under choose an identity, select other, add you clever nickname, and publish your comment.

Now, back to your regular scheduled blogfest

Can I Get Your Digits?*

polling numbers
Being Valentine's day and all, how could I resist a headline like that. Back to the topic. The art of polling.

Odds are we will be blitzed with 18 different polls which can be disected in just about 100 different ways over the coming three weeks. The spinners wil be dizzy by the end of this, pulling out just the convienent nuggets of info they think project their likelyhood of winning. We already see it in our comments every time someone releases their internal numbers. The newest poll out is released from Hertzberg's camp which came quick on the heals of the Times poll two weeks ago.

Villaraigosa is touting the KABC poll here.*

Make of them what you will, because it sure produces a response from all of you (view comments).

*I would have included this earlier, but I think I was removed from their spam list...


Spongebob Against the LAUSD?

Right on the heels of finding out Spongebob just came out of the closet, I come to find out that now he might be out campaigning with the Governator. I guess it makes sense because the demographics and polling information are probably higher for Spongebob than any of our current crop of electeds. Think I'm nuts? Here's my source -

The LAUSD must prove that it can succeed as the nation's second-largest district, he said. Board member David Tokofsky said he's not surprised that the "Terminator" weighed in on the district's structure. "Next thing, Spongebob will be coming out for the breakup," Tokofsky said.

In all seriousness though, have the winds changed regarding the state of LAUSD? Another quote from the same Daily News article says it just might:

LAUSD board President Jose Huizar said in the same article that the question of breaking up the district will be tied to Hertzberg's candidacy, although it will remain on people's minds until the district develops a solid track record or the political climate shifts.

"I think it will die off if Hertzberg doesn't win," Huizar said. "The momentum will not be as great."

The Daily News writes again today:

Schwarzenegger support improves chances of LAUSD breakup. When he first suggested breaking up the LAUSD, many thought L.A. mayoral candidate Bob Hertzberg had to be dreaming. Not any more. Last week, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that he, too, thinks the district is too large and unresponsive, and he supports a breakup. So now with the most powerful force in California politics on his side, Hertzberg doesn't seem like such a pipe dreamer, does he?

Is it possible?

Thoughts from the Chief

Not this Chief, the other Chief. Bratton speaks up in the Times editorial section:
The people of Los Angeles must make a decision.

Do you want a city that is safe for families and businesses to thrive? Or do you want to rely on hope that the gangs and violence endemic to some neighborhoods won't threaten the places where you live and work?

During the last two years, the Los Angeles Police Department has shown that it has the courage and knowledge to reduce crime and to do it largely in a lawful and accountable way. But to achieve our goals, we need greater resources. Throughout our history, we've been asked to do too much for too long with too little.

If only the Mayor who "had the guts to make the difficult decision" to hire Bratton could lead this city and deliver the goods, we wouldn't have this problem. I think the Chief may need a new horse if he wants to win this race!