Hertzberg to Butcher - You're out of Here!
As 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, 2005Mayor Jim Hahn
5518 Wilshire Blvd.Mayor Hahn:
Los Angeles, CA
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 citys 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 publics 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 Im 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 citys leaders.