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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

For a moment I thought I was at a fundraiser

Missed in yesterday's news was this tidbit from Rick Orlov in the Daily News:

The last City Council meeting of the year was a lobbyist's bonanza, even by City Hall standards.

With measures ranging from Playa Vista and the Los Angeles Theater Center to grocery-store worker retention, the Los Angeles lobbying corps was out in full force.


Standing behind the marble columns or conferring with one another, it was a billable-hours dream as the council droned on and on in a meeting that began shortly after 10 a.m. and lasted past 2 p.m.


The lobbyists' attendance did not go unnoticed.


"For a moment, I thought I was at a fundraiser," joked one council member.


Added another: "Maybe I should hold one."


So much for the "clean-up" at City Hall

25 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Didn't Antonio say he was going to get rid of lobbyists from city hall?

December 27, 2005 10:50 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The mediocrity continues.

December 27, 2005 10:55 AM  

Blogger Archie Bunker said:

What do you get when you elect a man who was endorsed by nothing but Lobbyists?

Sleep with dogs, you'll wake up with fleas.

December 27, 2005 11:33 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This is disturbing

December 27, 2005 12:41 PM  

Anonymous kim thompson said:

Great.

The Sunshine Canyon residential trash contract goes before Council the first week of February.

I bet those lobbyists have the information from the RFP that went out. The community isn't allowed to see or know what the Bureau of Sanitation is doing/thinking/deciding, but I bet the lobbyists know.

December 27, 2005 2:28 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

No big shock. Same crap different day.

December 27, 2005 2:30 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

AV wanted to get rid of th OTHER GUY'S lobbysists (his, he called "different" things).

December 27, 2005 2:51 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

They're freedom fighters.

December 27, 2005 3:23 PM  

Anonymous noel park said:

Even the Port Community Advisory Committee and the Neighborhood Council meetings swarm with lobbyists. God knows why, as the Port and the City don't seem to give a damn what we say.

I guess it's just intelligence gathering for their masters.

We have created whole new profit centers for these guys.

December 27, 2005 4:17 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This is embarrassing! We have a mayor who thinks filling potholes is newsworthy. Yet, you go down Central or Alameda where many city employees use to get on 10 Fwy is filled with potholes that ruin your tires. Where are Antonio's damn priorities?

December 27, 2005 5:12 PM  

Blogger William Mulholland said:

"If you can't drink a lobbyist's whiskey, take his money. . .and still vote against him in the morning, you don't belong in politics." - Assembly Speaker and State Treasurer Jesse Unruh (1922-1987)

December 27, 2005 5:41 PM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

. . . except they never vote against the lobbyists.

December 27, 2005 6:07 PM  

Blogger Jim Alger said:

The answer is clean money or at least the start is clean money. As long as BFI can continue to fill the coffers of the politicians the folks in Granada Hills are going to continue to deal with that dump.

As long as developers are held hostage to the whims of a City Councilman they will continue to feel the need to "grease the wheels".

And as long as the people remain unengaged this kind of activity will continue.

Ironicly it is blogs such as this... the release of this information, that serves two purposes; 1) it educates the public to the indifference of some of our elected leaders and 2) it unfortunately leads to the conclusion all politicians are corupt thereby increasing or justifying apathy.

I think that we can turn this around by making certain that there is a political price to be paid for selling out your constituents.

History has shown that engagement of a few regardless of the risk is what eventually causes the masses to reach a tipping point and revolt. The question merely becomes one of timing.

Blog on.

December 27, 2005 6:58 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Wow its amazing how stupid you all are. Lobbyists are allowed to attend council meetings just like anyone else, there is no way you can restrict them from attending public meetings. And what the mayor said was he would get rid of lobbyists from commissions and other appointed positions. which he did.

and mulholland the quote is
"If you can't drink a lobbyist's whiskey, take his money and fuck his women and still vote against him in the morning, you don't belong in politics." - Assembly Speaker and State Treasurer Jesse Unruh (1922-1987)

December 27, 2005 10:15 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Gee Jim, throwing down the gauntlet for when Greig Smith "loses" the vote over Sunshine Canyon much? Sounds to me like your planning on dicing him up again. Shall we order the popcorn now?

With Englander in that office it is no big secret what is going on. The screwing of the constituents is a daily event at the Smith offices unless you pay.

December 27, 2005 10:15 PM  

Anonymous ex bos employee said:

If Smith or Englander are worth anything at all, they have the votes and the alternatives all lined up by now way before that February vote.

If they don't, then I guess they have no intention of even trying to get the votes. They've had since July to get it done, after all.

December 28, 2005 2:13 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

"Lobbyists are allowed to attend council meetings just like anyone else, there is no way you can restrict them from attending public meetings"

THIS IS TRUE. However, you don't see the public go beyond the point where the Sgt. of Arms is standing or behind the chairs of city council members by the columns. Why are they allowed within the horseshoe? Because council members know they have money and want their asses to be kissed.

December 28, 2005 9:39 AM  

Blogger dgarzila said:

HEy ,

The town crier isn't even allowed beyond where the sergeant at arms stands.

But hey , when the lobbyists from Tim Leiwekes employ show up and 'the CCA'- they are allowed to go into the horseshoe.

Soon I will have a presss badge ánd see if I can't set up my camera back there.

They only know the town crier when it suits them .

Just kidding.

Next year will be different .

Next week JAck's liqour store loses it's liqour license , it is on 5th street between san pedro and crocker, I will be at city hall and will do my happy dance.

December 28, 2005 9:45 AM  

Blogger William Mulholland said:

I know what the quote is, I was trying to keep it PG.

(Actually the quote is "sleep with their women").

Besides, in this modern age, the women legislators can do the sleeping with the male lobbyists too (actually some of the men might too).

December 28, 2005 10:08 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Sunshine Canyon landfill was there before any residents moved into the area. It is the best landfill for the city of LA's trash, and will cost taxpayers less than the alternative.

Get over it. L.A. produces trash and it needs to go somewhere. Blame the people who decided to build near the landfill and those that decided to move into those homes, not the lobbyists who have more power than a series of blogging gadflys.

December 28, 2005 10:09 AM  

Anonymous noel park said:

Former Councilman Bob Farrell said that Neighborhood Council members, elected under the provisions of the City Charter, should demand to sit at the table inside the horseshoe when they go to address the City Council, if the Neighborhood Councils are ever going to actually have any influence.

This has, of course, never happened, maybe because we aren't brave enough to demand that it happens, or maybe because the City Council is never going to recognize Neighborhood Councils at that level.

So Neighborhood Council members get to wait several hours with the rest of the public, and address the empty chairs and schmoozing Council members along with the rest of the public. Maybe that's actually fair, but it sure doesn't help to see the lobbyists wandering in and out like the privileged characters they are.

I guess that tells us something about how much committment actually exists to increase "grassroots" input to governance in Los Angeles.

December 28, 2005 12:38 PM  

Blogger dgarzila said:

NOel you have a god point .

A very good point

December 28, 2005 1:06 PM  

Anonymous noel park said:

dgarzila:

Thanks.

Don't hear that too often in the blogosphere!

December 28, 2005 2:47 PM  

Blogger Jim Alger said:

Noel,

I couldn't agree with you more. I have long held that Neighborhood Council Members should be given more, or at least equal, access at City Hall. You have put some interesting ideas in my head.It is a slow campaign week so I will have to let that perculate.

As for the individual who probably doesn't live anywhere near Sunshine Canyon... that landfill is located dangerously close to the water supply for the ENTIRE CITY. Keep acting like this isn't your problem and one day it will be.

As for Councilman Smith, I am crossing my fingers he has been honest with the community. I know the community plans on holding him to his word to present a realistic plan to close Sunshine Canyon that won't take 20 years. February will mark nearly 3 years since he made that promise, I don't think it is unrealistic to see words turned into action in 3 years. I am however very dissapointed he has chosen to shut out the Neighborhood Councils or even the activists in the area who have been fighting this dump for decades.

I can't help but wonder how this might turn out if the resources of those on the same side as the community were utilized by the council office.

As for the "throwing down the gauntlet" comment, not really. I have no reason whatsoever to believe that Councilman Smith is anything less than sincere in his desires to close Sunshine Canyon. That was a cornerstone of his campaign and I take him at his word that he is doing what he can do for the community he serves.

December 28, 2005 3:15 PM  

Anonymous city hall employee in the know said:

Well Mr. Alger, count the votes at the council meeting when this issue comes up and see if he was able to convince his fellow council members to vote his way on whether or not to renew the contract. That will determine if you are right or wrong about his desire to keep his campaign promise.

December 31, 2005 7:46 PM  

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