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Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Opposite of "Grassroots" is "AstroTurf"

There's nothing I hate more than all those slick, feel good, political brochures that show up at my house around election time. You know the ones- they feature photos of actors posing as concerned citizens perfectly postioned around the candidate , hanging on to their every word as they make some point about jobs , healthcare, etc.
My theory is that the more perfect teeth you see in these photos, the more scandals we'll get if the guy gets elected.
So imagine my surprise when a very similar looking brochure arrives at my house a couple of days ago, complete with lots of smiling teeth, feel good messages, "We Care" slogans, pictures of healthy rainforests, and kids smelling flowers in a beautiful field of green.

Except this brochure is not from a candidate for office looking for my vote!

It's Home Depot trying to soft sell us the Orange Lifestyle. The brochure even comes with a handy detachable response card requesting contact information and a message that they will soon be coming to our town to meet with our residents.

Hmm, that's funny, we've been trying to get them to meet with our community for over a year. Could this be a change of heart? Are they ready to finally address the issues? Why did they spend all this money on a fancy brochure, when they could have just called us?
The answer is very simple, this is a typical technique that Home Depot employs in communities where there is stiff opposition to their project.

They are on a "fishing expedition"...... for any supporters they can find.

They want to try and put together a "Pro Home Depot Campaign".

They need a group of supporters to parade around at City Meetings.

They need to create a rift in the community.

They need to divide and conquer, because what they really want, their singular reason for existence, what they absolutely have to have more than anything else in the world, is..... another Home Depot store just minutes away from their other Home Depot stores!

And then I notice something else on the response card. The return address is to a westside PR company by the name of
Dakota Communications.
The same Dakota Communications that lists many present and former elected members of State & Local government as their clients. ( link; http://www.dakcomm.com )

According to some attorneys we spoke with there is no legal conflict of interest here,
but as my grandfather used to say, "Son, that's one stinky fish! If you eat it, you're on your own!"

Say it ain't so, Sam!

Learn more at;
http://www.no2homedepot.com

44 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Yeah, I got that brochure....what a joke. It is such an obvious ploy to try and rally support where they know there is no support. Do they really think people will believe all that BS? Keep up the good work there at No2HomeDepot! I'll be signing up with you guys!

April 20, 2006 10:30 PM  

Blogger ubrayj02 said:

What that mailer looks like to me is a valid attempt to subvert the power that a vocal minority in a community can exert on a critical business opportunity.

Company A wants to make money that "the community" (really a collection of a few squeaky wheels) think they don't like. The squeaky wheels bug the hell out of enough people (with wild propaganda, typically, that paints Company A as a bunch of baby-eaters). Company A's venture is ended.

That is either the system working, or simply a system being manipulated by people on one side of an issue.

The insane crap that "community activists" pull (sometimes subverting the laws they usually claim to love so much) on a regular basis to get their way is nothing when it comes to the insane crap a growth-hungry corporation will pull.

Hell, a huge corporation doesn't even need to pull the crazy stuff out of the bag until the going gets rough. If they use old fashioned fact-distortion and a communications blitz, they can achieve their goals.

Good luck trying to fight a fat pile of cash and P.R. If Home Depot has a good team, you're in for a hell of a fight.

April 20, 2006 10:42 PM  

Blogger Joe B. said:

Ubrayj02,
Except this is a majority, an overwhelming majority, and what HD and Dakota is trying to do is back door
faux activism.
If it wasn't then why did Home Depot refuse to meet with us if all we are is a few "squeeky wheels"? Why pay a PR firm the big bucks if the opposition is just a few malcontents?
Nice try.

April 20, 2006 10:50 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Audio Clip - Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine
Terrorizes South Central Farmers



http://www.aztlan.net/zine_audio_clip.htm

April 20, 2006 11:12 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

OH MY FUCKING GOD.

I have heard rants before but HOLY SHIT!

I have seen councilmen loose it before but HOLY SHIT!

That audio tape says all that needs to be said. Even if Zine was "fed up" that behavior is COMPLETELY UNNACCEPTABLE DENNIS!!!

April 21, 2006 12:39 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Can someone help me understand this. LA has a $270 million deficit but where is this money coming from?

....The plan also increases spending for the Mayor's Office by 28 percent, from $6.7 million to $8.6 million, and boosts the City Council's budget by nearly 4 percent, from $20.9 million to $22.7 million.....The city council's discretionary fund has also been increased per district by $50,000.

April 21, 2006 7:01 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

(AP) LOS ANGELES Former Los Angeles Councilman Martin Ludlow is scheduled to be sentenced today for campaign violations, including a conspiracy to embezzle union funds...Prosecutors say the 41-year-old is expected to get three years' probation. He won't be able to engage in political fund-raising activities during that time...He'll also likely be banned from seeking public office for four years and will have to pay fines and penalties totaling about $45,000...The sentencing is for state campaign finance violations Ludlow pleaded guilty to last month...He is accused of conspiring to get a service employees union local to pay for workers in his campaign and then trying to cover it up...He also pleaded guilty to federal violations and is set to be sentenced in June on those charges.

April 21, 2006 7:58 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Isn't Fernando Guerra (psuedo LMU professor and lobbyist) their lobbyist?

April 21, 2006 9:13 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Antonio "The Peanut Mayor" Villarigosa.

Love the Daily News Ed. unlike the kiss-asses at the LA Times.

April 21, 2006 9:16 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Those dudes at Dakota Communications are the worst kind of political dirtbags. Kerman Maddox masquerades as a leader in the minority community while taking money from places like Walmart and Home Depot and Rick Taylor is an unethical, drunken sot with the morals of a goat.

No surprise that those two losers are working with Home Depot....

April 21, 2006 9:22 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Ubrayj02
Home Depot running small business out of a small area and putting in their "warehouse" is not productive for the Sunland-Tujunga community. Those of us who do not want Home Depot to take over our main boulevard is of real concern with -- not a vocal minority, but a large number of the community who are willing to roll up their sleeves and preserve our quality of life. I have been a participant in the No2HomeDepot battle for nearly 1 year now and I have no intention of allowing the orange and beige behemoth to define how I live or where I live. My message to Home Depot and its PR folks is -- you cannot sell a rotten piece of meat with expensive perfume. Home Depot stinks for our community.

April 21, 2006 9:33 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Where's the open thread for Friday?

NO TRASH FEE HIKE!!!!

NO TRASH FEE HIKE!!!!

I agree with "longtime City Hall critic" Jim Alger..

April 21, 2006 11:54 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

If the people from Sunland-Tujunga truly do not want Home Depot they will not shop there.

Then they will go out of business.

Obviously Home Depot has done their homework and don't expect this to happen.

Its mainly a chunk of old, retard, fat white people who don't want the Home Depot.

Why? Cause Home Depot brings Mexicans god forbid!

April 21, 2006 3:36 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Home Depot will not benefit Sunland Tujunga; they will put a store in the old K-Mart and let it look like the N. Hollywood store and others “Foothill Blvd. & Glendale”. It will give nothing to the town that the town can already get, with an 8 minute drive. The workers will be brought in from other areas.

As for the PR firm, Legal as for the conflict, maybe or maybe not, but a conflict with respect to the issue in hand, YES with regards to their current clients…

And as for the squeakiest wheel, well a lot of wheels are squeaking, so I guess what your saying is that Sunland and Tujunga is a squeaky town…

The PR firm knows that Home Depot does not belong in Sunland and the City Officials as well, all of them know this, they and all the City Officials don’t have what it takes to do what’s right but rather what’s going to keep their job or get then $$ no matter what the out come is. Rising to the higher calling is for those who can hear, and for all the rest will fall on deaf ears… Lets all think of this next election…

Home Depot needs to be real and find a new site…

I have received that mailer from the PR firm Dakota Communications, and wow only if the stuff was actually what Home Depot wanted to do, rather than what was forced on them. Also, they should spend their hours and hours of volunteer work on their stores, they open a store and within 12 months the store looks like it’s been their for hundreds years and the shelves’ are everything but neat. You know what I am talking about; looking for a part to Electrical, Plumbing and Building materials you have to look all over the shelves because it is never where it should be. And asking for help, well that is like asking for the oil prices to drop below 50.00 a barrel.

What does this mailer have to do with Sunland and the Home Depot, Lies and More Lies. If you have to hire a PR firm and spend the money to mail and talk to people who have shown the disapproval of a Home Depot in this town, well good luck paddling up stream. But it’s not about us; it’s about the city officials… Home Depot is striking a deal with Dakota Comm. To buy their support with Dakota’s clients. We know??? Dakota asked how did they find that out, is it inside info? Wow… $$$$ is the root to all evil, Sensationalism Sells, Sensationalism Sells, Money “ring the bell” Money “buy the sale” on the playground, Sensationalism Sells…

For those who know the licks to the song knows the price to be paid…

April 21, 2006 3:45 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Antonio Villarigosa Mayor - When the voters shout down the extra money (raising taxes) request for the spending, what does this Mayor do, add a tax to something that has nothing to do with funding police, and say’s all that tax money will go there, what kind of F___en idiot does he think we are.

Taking over the schools, wow this is the worst idea ever that a public school system ever seen. This guy can’t even govern the city let a lone the failing school system. The private school system loves this, in fact I heard about several expansion plans for a few schools knowing what this will do.

People now know what a mistake to elect him as Mayor…

April 21, 2006 3:56 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Sunland Tujunga does not need another home improvement store. We have at least 15 local businesses that would be negatively impacted if a Home Depot were to move in here. Foothill Hardware moved from another city where they were run out of business by a Home Depot moving in.

We need a general merchandise store where we can purchase bathroom rugs, school supplies and birthday cards in one stop like we were able to do at K-Mart.

This site is 1 block from an elementary school, surrounded on all three sides by residences and our only main street through town. The traffic will increase tremendously. Home Depot has admitted that they expect a MINIMUM of 18-20 diesel truck deliveries a day. This is only their regular deliveries, not their pro desk deliveries. This will not only destroy Foothill Boulevard, but what about the traffic it will generate. What about the safety of our children and elderly?

We do not need another Home Depot when there is one 7 minutes away. Sunland is the wrong location.

April 21, 2006 4:10 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Where's the council person on the Home Depot issue? Trash fee is going to happen whether the valley kicks it heels.

April 21, 2006 5:10 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

For the Blogger that posted this;
"At April 21, 2006 5:10 PM, Anonymous said...
Where's the council person on the Home Depot issue? Trash fee is going to happen whether the valley kicks it heels."

Finish your statement!!!!

Of coarse it is going to happen, nobody has the balls to stand up against this. What a bunch of Sh_t this is. Home Depot, you are so stupid to think that your store will do good here! The PR firm is taking their money, all the while knows that the store has an up-hill climb that is against them.

Bye PR company and Bye Home Depot, next Bye will go to the Mayor, what a fraud!!!!

April 21, 2006 7:22 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Sunland Tujunga doesn't need another business, in fact it needs no business. Tear them all out. Lets get the funding the Feds have for old, fat, white retards and AV can airlift in supplies with an LAFD helicopter.

April 21, 2006 7:55 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

For the Blogger;
At April 21, 2006 7:55 PM, Anonymous said...
Sunland Tujunga doesn't need another business

Wow, you have issues none that we care about, so make you point with a little clearity and with some subject matter. What does your comment have to do with Home Depot moving their big as_ store in this small town... We don't need this type of business there, we need a K-Mart or Target or something that will supply those needs, this type of store will not put people on the unemployment list but rather keep them working and add jobs to the town. Home Depot will put people out of business, causing a large number of people on unemployment and hire a one diget percent to the ones that will be put on unemployed and pay them a whole lot less. Supply nothing for the twon of Sunland but rather supply the surounding cities and contractors. Nothing for Sunland!!!

April 21, 2006 8:50 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

You squeaky wheels in Sunland need to wake up and take notice that your town is in desparate need of a clean up, and realize that a Home Depot will actually make your town look better and cleaner. There are no other retailers that would want to build there! You should feel lucky that Home Depot would take the time to consider building in Sunland. You guys are in denial..

April 21, 2006 9:18 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I agree with the previous comment, or is it that you are afraid your property value will go down, and you have already maxed out all your equity and your feeling of "false wealth" bubble will burst and you'll be upside down in your house?

April 21, 2006 9:22 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Didn't the Mayor PROMISE that he would eliminate the appearance of impropriety that stems from appointing and hiring Lobbyists to key City positions?
Yes he did!
So why the hell did he hire Cecilia Estolano to head up the CRA?
She is a Real Estate Attorney and a REGISTERED LOBBYIST at the City. Won't she be steering CRA money and projects to her professional buddies and to her former fellow attorneys at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher?
Antonio, you're so hypocritical. How could you hire a lobbyist to such a sensitive position. Ask her to step aside now, before she starts fundraising for you.

April 21, 2006 9:59 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Some of you are so annoying. If you don't understand the issue, then don't chime in. If you resort to insulting the town and the people who live here, you are only showing your own stupidity. Home Depot will NOT help this town one iota. Small hardware stores cannot compete with the big-box and will be forced to close. We'll have more empty storefronts, no place to shop for household goods, and an unbelievable amount of truck traffic. What a waste of a great commercial lot. It could be so much more than a gigantic hardware store. Home Depot does not care about us. They only care about making more money. Get real. Jeez.

April 21, 2006 10:51 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Jim Alger has previously called for a trash fee hike to support his political agenda.

He had proposed a $31 Million dollar a year increase of trash fees to be paid by homeowners.


Vote for anybody but Jim Alger.

April 22, 2006 6:31 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The last thing we need in this town is a HomeDepot. I can get all my hardware needs from the existing hardware stores that are all ready here. I can hear the forklifts loud warning beepers sounding off. BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP. Our community needs to keep HomeDepot out.

April 22, 2006 7:45 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hey guys, I got a great idea, why don't we put all our energy and resources into cleaning up the town, getting rid of all the drug users and homeless people, and work on improving the schools?? Then maybe, just MAYBE, a better retailer like Target will consider building here? We can't expect Target, or any other desent company to build in this town the way it is now. Am I right? Yep, I know I am.

April 22, 2006 8:05 AM  

Anonymous Professor Dollar said:

The reason that the small hardware stores can't compete with Home Depot is that they are inefficient. Home Depot has found a way to sell products people need at a lower cost with more variety and selection. Its the same reason we don't have corner butchers, bakers, produce stores, etc. Supermarkets make more sense.

Home Depot has every right to build their store on their land. And like one of the readers said, the folks in Sunland don't have to shop there.

Its the same issue as Wal-Mart vs. Costco. Some folks say that Coscto is a better choice because they pay their employees more than Wal-Mart. Well, if that's the case, Costco will have an easier time hiring folks than Wal-Mart. They'll have better employees and the organization will perform more succesfully. As long as Costco keeps their prices low and gives the people what they want (which they appear to be doing), Costco will succeed.

And that may be happening. Wal-Mart's sales and stock price is down while Costco's is up.

Its called the free market. Deal with it.

April 22, 2006 8:07 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

yea, let's start a no2drugusersinsunland.com website.

April 22, 2006 8:08 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

how about no2drunkparentsinsunland.com ?

April 22, 2006 8:32 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Relax. These old, fat white retards in Sunland are not reproducing. What they fear most is happening because of their inferior genetics. Mexicans are outbreeding them. And their weak, lazy, racist kids are moving to Santa Clarita, Idaho, Vegas, etc. so they can drink fake espresso and pretend the world is still white. they leave their poor parents behind in their houses, just waiting for the old white lady to die so a latino family can rent it from an armenian.

Then you will have the Home Depot and Wal-mARt and the mexicans willl love it!

April 22, 2006 10:01 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I love the position that the "town" of Sunland-Tujunga doesn't need a Home Depot, therefore, they seemingly have the right to tell the property owner "no."

That's not how it works in America. Property rights are a fundamental right in a democracy.

Home Depot has probably done the research and figured out that they'll make money at that location, which flies in the face of what the "townspeople" say they don't want.

Let the market decide. Boycott them and they'll be gone in 3 months. Then the town can send invites out to their preferred top-notch businesses who can fight each other for the space.

April 22, 2006 11:34 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Actually communities do have the right to say what opens in their town. It is called a "community plan" and it is designed to keep the town healthy, stable, and virbrant.
Home Depot would have a destabilizing effect on this area, and they are outside of the definition of what this community needs on that site.

April 22, 2006 1:15 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

how about
no2fatwhiteretardsinsunland.com ?

April 22, 2006 3:26 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

11:34 and 1:15
You are probably the same people who are spearheading the NO HOME DEPOT movement in Northeast LA.

April 22, 2006 3:39 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

How about 2kickhomedepotoutofourtown.com Ya that's the ticket.

Home Depot is the dirtiest wherehouse company, worst then Costco and Lowe’s. Home Depot opens a store within 12 months it’s disorganized, after 24 months the employees they start rehiring employees, after 28 months more then half the people working there doesn’t know what they are doing and you never find help. The place inside and out looks like hell. Then add the day labors hanging outside and you’ve got one hell of a sight.

So, as for Home Depot cleaning up our town, HA you must not know the history of Home Depot, you like talking out your Ass…

Schools, Apperson is one of the highs rated school all through Sunland, Glendale, Burbank, N. Hollywood, Sun Valley and other areas.

To the Blogger;
Then you will have the Home Depot and Wal-mARt and the mexicans willl love it!
April 22, 2006 10:01 AM
How the place looks after you move in tells the true story, you must know what you claim very well, I mean living it well!!!

I might think about moving to Idaho, Ha Ha!!!!!

April 22, 2006 4:55 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

For the Bloger;
11:34 and 1:15
You are probably the same people who are spearheading the NO HOME DEPOT movement in Northeast LA.

April 22, 2006 3:39 PM

Nice try, but no!!!

April 22, 2006 4:57 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Home Depot worst then Costco, Costco is the cleanest wherehouse around, if target or something else like target does't move in, I'd rather have Costco move in before Home Depot. At least it will be clean... Hell Lowe's is much cleaner that Home Depot.

I stopped shopping at Home Depot many years ago, could stand the dirty, messy and unorginized place, and the help is helpless.

April 23, 2006 5:49 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Here's another conflict of interest;
The owner of Dakota Communications is none other than KERMAN MADDOX, Channel 9 and KCET reporter. So how is this town suppose to get a fair shake in the press when Home Depot hires a reporter to be their PR firm?
This can't be legal!!!!!

April 23, 2006 5:59 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hey 10:01,

LOL!

Don't they call it Sunland-Tujucky?

April 23, 2006 8:41 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Yea, and I think they call the High School Ver"drug"o, not Verdugo. Who would actually send their kids to school there??

April 24, 2006 6:46 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

From today's Daily News.
Will the Mayor move forward with Lisa Sarno?


And there is speculation that the mayor's next appointee could be less of a neighborhood-councils advocate than Greg Nelson, longtime head of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, has been. Tuesday will be Nelson's last official day on the job.

"The perception is that the replacement would be more concerned with the mayor's agenda than the neighborhood councils' agenda," said Ken Draper, who writes CityWatch, a newsletter about neighborhood councils and City Hall politics. "There's an opportunity for the mayor to demonstrate now that that perception is wrong."

Villaraigosa spokesman Darryl Ryan said the mayor wants a partnership with neighborhood councils, with the local panels acting as a bridge between residents and policy makers. However, the mayor is not planning to consult neighborhood councils in the selection of the new DONE chief, as he did about the choice of a new Planning Department director.

April 24, 2006 11:25 AM  

Blogger Archie Bunker said:

Villaraigosa spokesman Darryl Ryan said the mayor wants a partnership with neighborhood councils, with the local panels acting as a bridge between residents and policy makers. However, the mayor is not planning to consult neighborhood councils in the selection of the new DONE chief, as he did about the choice of a new Planning Department director.

That's a lie, Hahn was the one who brought the neighborhood councils involved on this process. Not Pancho Villar-aigosa!

The owner of Dakota Communications is none other than KERMAN MADDOX, Channel 9 and KCET reporter. So how is this town suppose to get a fair shake in the press when Home Depot hires a reporter to be their PR firm?
This can't be legal!!!!!


And another Antonio Villaraigosa groupie and Political Cocksucker.

April 24, 2006 12:25 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

6:46

I am sending my kids to Apperson Elem. after that it's private school. Ho public middle or high school in Los Angeles for my kids.

I'll move first, also that's why people are moving to place's like Idaho not because they want to find white folk. That last statement was for the bloger eailer. Stupid is not a reason, it is lazyness...

April 24, 2006 12:29 PM  

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