Whistleblower hotline: (213) 785-6098

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

If They Were Good Enough For The Citizens Of New Orleans. . . .

Measure H has nothing to do with the homeless, except to invoke their image to manipulate voters' emotions, shut down their brains, and open their wallets -- to rich developers.

How much would it cost to buy a bunch of FEMA-style trailers and park them at that big, unused airport L.A. owns in the middle of nowhere, Palmdale?

A Fox article says FEMA bought 10,770 trailers for $367 million. That's about $34,000 each. The actual count of homeless in L.A. -- conducted by, idiotically enough, homeless people hired by the City -- was around 19,000. This year, the City of L.A. is taking in $717 million more than last year.

Do the math: you could buy every single homeless person his or her own personal FEMA style trailer without raising taxes a dime.

But that would help the homeless, not the millionaire developers backing Measure H. So nothing like that is ever going to happen.

And before you make any cracks about how trailers aren't good enough for people who now live on streets, think again. I know of at least one guy, not born to a wealthy family, who spent part of his childhood living in a trailer and went on to graduate from an Ivy-league school....

"H" Is For "Halloween"

Congratulations to Joseph Mailander for managing to get a word in edgewise against Measure H in the L.A. Times. For this day only, it seems, the press-release reprinting service is masquerading as an actual newspaper! Here's a link to the article:

LA's Affordable Housing Boondoggle

Consider this your open thread. Mayor Sam and yours truly are very very busy these days, so don't expect instant posting, but do submit your comments. And, to save you time, if all you're going to do is throw insults, your post probably won't make it past me. At least attach some attempt, however feeble, at reasoning or stating facts for best results.

Happy Halloween.

Monday, October 30, 2006

VOTER ALERT: Registrar's Office Not Receiving U.S Mail (As In Voter Registration Forms & Ballots)

Thanks for the tip from a ZD viewer regarding problems with the County Registrar's Office not receiving mail from the U.S. Post Office.

I was on the phone with the County Registrar's Office in Norwalk, last Thursday, and was told personally by the clerk that there has been a problem receiving mail from the U.S. Post Office (as in voter registration forms).

Also, problems with people not receiving mail sent from the Registrar's Office to constituents.

I wonder how many thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of people will be showing up at the polls thinking they are registered to vote, only to find out they are not, and their vote won't be counted.

This pertains to voter registration forms, sent in by the Oct. 8th deadline, that are "lost". And, if there is still a "problem", who knows how many absentee ballots may be lost in the mail, never to be found or counted. I'M DISENFRANCHISED, Y'ALL!!!

More on this to come, I'm sure.

CJ's endorsements - AD 38 Cameron Smyth

This was probably one of the easier picks this year. We all watched the AD 38 Primary fight unfold here on the blog so we have a great deal of back-story for this one.

Let's do the rundown of my criteria:

Does this candidate reflect the views and concerns of the district in which they seek to be elected, or rather their own?

Cameron Smyth is a fiscal conservative in a conservative district. While I don't agree with some of his views, they are in line with his district.

Lyn Shaw, whose name seems to change from Lyn Shaw to Lyn Hilfenhaus whenever she sees a benefit, holds a left wing agenda so far askew of the district that she never has been taken seriously as a candidate... Even by herself.

Has the candidate run a clean campaign consistently through the primary and general election?

Cameron Smyth has generally ignored his opponents in both the Primary and General elections. He has not launched a single attack that I could find, and has been running a campaign even though he has been the odds on favorite for some time.

Lyn Shaw's (and her supporters) tactics of gutter politics in the Primary is just the kind of slash and burn politics we need to get rid of, not encourage.

Has the candidate provided clear a vision for the district?

Cameron Smyth has been talking about issues such as transportation, education and fiscal responsibility for some time. He has taken to the airwaves with a positive message of what he will do if elected. He has the experience of City Councilman and former Mayor of Santa Clarita under his belt which shows when compared to his no-experience opponent.

Lyn Shaw-Hilfenhaus has not presented any vision for the district at all. In fact she hasn't run any visible campaign at all except for the last 2 weeks of the Primary. Even then she did 3 mailers (including the 2 hit pieces) and appeared on a few slate mailers. She just barely squeaked past her opponent in the Primary and has no real desire or ability to put any challenge to Smyth.

Does the candidate demonstrate that they have the ability to lead, and fight for, the district which would elect them?

As previously stated, Cameron Smyth has leadership experience that his token opponent does not. He resides squarely in the district and is clearly in touch with his constituency.

Lyn Shaw-Hilfenhaus has not demonstrated any ability to lead or fight for anything. According to voter records she resides barely 2 blocks from the extreme southern tip of the district which normally wouldn't matter to me but her views are so out of step with the conservative leaning district that she would be better suited running for Jester of West Hollywood than for the California State Assembly.

In reviewing this race it became readily apparent that Cameron Smyth has no opponent for the State Assembly seat. Even looking at the "official" photographs Cameron shows he at least can play the part of a statesman and presents the US and California flags. The only way to describe his opponent is to say the photo resembles the north end of a southbound cow. Harsh words? Yes. But after the display shown by Shaw-Hilfenhaus in the Primary I would have at least expected an attempt to make it look as if she gave a damn about the district.

In the end Lyn Shaw-Hilfenhaus wanted the central committee appointments that come with being the Democratic nominee, and the perceived power that came with them. She was willing to knock out, through any means necessary, the only opponent who had the balls to at least put some challenge to Smyth. To what end? Only to deprive her party of any campaign at all and give a seat to the opposing side by default. The irony is that this mentality is why the Demcrats have such a hard time in so many races. Because their State candidates refuse to run any visible campaign they cede ground and hurt their up-ticket chances. So when Angeledis loses bad... blame the people like Lyn Shaw who refused to carry a message to the district after fighting so dirty for the right to do so.

Cameron Smyth shows dignity, and is running a campaign when he really doesn't have to. He has displayed that he is ready, willing and able to take the seat he has earned in the California State Assembly.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Moore vs. Greuel on Measure H: Tune Into Channel 7 NOW!

The Eyewitness Newsmakers show, on Channel 7, ABC, features a far-too-short debate between your favorite blogger and City Council Member Greuel regarding Measure H. The show started at 3:30 p.m., today, now.

Set your Tivo for Channel 5 next Sunday at 6:00 a.m. to see me debate another Measure H proponent.

I should also be on the radio this Friday afternoon. Details to follow.

From ZD's Inbox: Is The Mayor Secretly Backing His Own LAUSD Board Candidates Against Incumbants?

Thanks for the heads up on my cell phone today (4900 minutes last month, y'all), telling me they heard Los Angeles Mayor Antoinio Villagrossa is secretly backing his own candidates for the upcoming LAUSD Board Elections, targeting current incumbants that he SHOULD otherwise be supporting. (But ask Phil Angelides what Mayor V. support means.) In this case it may mean hedging your bet, in case AB 1381 is overturned and thrown out, by trying to infiltrate the LAUSD School Board, with your own (easy to control) homepieces. (Aka: More Monica Garcia's, less everyone else.)

Anyone else hear anything about this? Post comments here. ZD

LAUSD "Partnership Schools" About To Miss Out On State Money Over AB 1381

Although the discussion of AB 1381 last spring and summer was enough to scare me into political activism over the LAUSD Senate approved Bill, it wasn't until I was watching the LAUSD Board Meeting on TV that drove home just how right all the critics of the Bill actually were.

Rick Pratt of the California School Board Association was on hand to give his Adobe presentation of State funds that were going to be dolled out amongst all the schools in California. Lots of money, for lots of great program, teachers and classrooms.

Only problem, every item had a "(AB 1381 conflict)" disclaimer at the bottom of the page. And Rick Pratt had to continually clarify, that under AB 1381, so much bueracracy has been attached to LAUSD "partnership" schools, that the State is actually PROHIBITED from giving money to the Mayor Villagrossa overseen schools, under this Fabian "Nucklehead" Nunez school bill.

Upon discovering of this travesty for the kids and parents of AB 1381 affected schools, LAUSD Boardmember Julie Korenstein called AB 1381, "A Frankenstein that we have created." And went on to say, "AB 1381 is going to continue to shock us time and time and time again. Which is why it needs to be challenged in court."

So basically, it's as bad as we thought. AB 1381 hasn't even started, and the "partnership schools" are already losing out on State money that will now be going to other schools outside the district. (The one's way better off than LAUSD.)

Way to represent for your constituents Fabian Nunez, with your bogus and unconstitutional AB 1381. You suck! Now go take another picture with Arnold Schwartzenegger, take some more corporate money, and turn your back on the community a little more.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Meanwhile, Next Door, In Mexico....

The BBC reports that Presidente Fox has sent hundreds of federal police to a southern city where teachers have been on strike since May, and left-wing groups are trying to oust a governor they accuse of corruption. Six people have been killed so far -- including an American reporter -- and 1.3 million children have been out of school since last May.

Read it for yourself: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6094596.stm

Actual Proof That Mayor Antonio Villagrosa Endorses Phil Angelides, NOT Arnold

Although first he was in London, then China, and now New Mexico this important election campaign season with several important ballot measures and even an election for Governor of The State of California...we have finally located evidence that the Mayor of Los Angeles ENDORSES, "The next Governor of California, Phil Angelides."

Hopefully, this YouTube posting on Angelides' YouTube page will help rally support, even though I think my YouTube page probably gets more hits. Anyway, here's a minutes worth of endorsement from the Mayor, which is good enough to sell me!

How annoying is that San Fran Mayor!?!?

Get Ready LAPD: The Mayor Is Upping The Inspection Ante

This was on Friday's (10/27/06) Council agenda, but the meeting was cancelled, so it will appear for a vote this Tuesday. Looks like the Mayor and City Council are gonna put the Inspector General Doggs on their pal Chief William Bratton and LAPD making their life so much easier, because you know they love each other:

Two (2) Special Investigator II positions will be responsible for planning, researching, examining, and conducting audits related to police matters as well as analyzing Consent Decree data. Other duties include reviewing and auditing crime, arrest,use of force, and other reports used or prepared by LAPD employees to ensure reports are accurate and complete. (Here's some more from the file.)


To: The Honorable Members of the City Council [Must have wrong CC?]
Fr: Antonio R. Villaraigosa, Mayor

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has requested approval for the designation of three (3) exempt positions, for employment of persons "to provide management services or render professional, scientific or expert services of an exceptional character." [Which paves the way for the challenging and fun part...]

The Assistant Inspector General will oversee a newly created Special Projects Unit in the Office of Inspector General (OIG), which consists of six positions that include one Police Performance Auditor IV, two Police Performance Auditor Ill's, two Special Investigator II's and one Senior Clerk Typist.

The Special Projects Unit will review, audit, and evaluate various LAPD functions to assist the Department in establishing a framework of best practices outlined in the Consent Decree.

Read the entire memo:


Maybe some of you behind the scenes and in the know can post some of the underlying politics behind this, if there are any. Specifically, is this something LAPD actually requested approval for, or is this even more of the Mayoral/City Council straight-jacket they are trying to tie around Chief Bratton?

But, I hope the Mayor initiates this same (Inspector General) motion for AB 1381. Because, although that shady, deceptful, up-to-no-good, Nunez got the Senate to remove the mandatory requirement for an Inspector General to oversee AB 1381 for fraud, waste and abuse (Nunez changed it from "shall" hire IG, to "may" hire IG. And there is plenty of money to fraudlently waste and abuse], Antonio and Nunez are still allowed to appoint an Inspector General to oversee the beuracratized and politicized, AB 1381. So as John Belushi once said, "LET'S DO IT!!!"

From Zuma Dogg's Inbox: $1 Million for LAX Personal Cell Phone Calls?

ZD Likes to share the spotlight with other Mayor Sam constituents who have concerns of their own, that ZD would otherwise be un-aware of. So here's one of them, and let the people decide the degree of outrage on this by posting comments below:

"I understand that they've spent over $1,000,000 for personal cell phones and calls at LAX and nobody from the public is even aware or questioning them on it. They also are spending $100 every month for every airport police car to "detail" them. Not wash and vacuum, but detail each car. They have nothing but money to spend and since it's taxpayer money, there is plenty more where that came from." - City TV 35 viewer and Mayor Sam reader (Send your stories to: ZD@ZumaDogg.com).

It's The Pork, Stupid

Who do you think pays for those "Yes on H" and "Yes on R" commercials? The answer, of course, is developers and other special interests that rely on City Clowncil Members to hand over your hard-earned tax money.

The L.A. Times, in a belated attempt to catch up with Kerry Cavanaugh's article in the Daily News, has now published a donor roll call which includes the usual suspects. Here's the URL: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-citymoney28oct28,1,930475,full.story?coll=la-headlines-california

Friday, October 27, 2006

Measure H: Voo Doo Economics For L.A.

Measure H, as you may know, is a proposal to impose a tax for 30 years on L.A.'s property owners so that the City can borrow $1 billion, repay it with interest, and give the proceeds to developers, ostensibly for "affordable housing." ("Affordable housing," by the way, is a term of art that means housing which costs no more than 30% of the occupant's income, whether that income is $50,000 per year, $100,000 per year, or $1 million per year.)

The proponents of Measure H blithely claim that it "will cost the average homeowner less than $50 a year, only about $4 a month."

However, when you ask them how they arrived at that number, you know what they say?

Nothing. They have no idea how that figure was concocted. Nor can one find the math on their "yes on H" website, or anywhere else, for that matter.

Is there any provision in Measure H itself limiting homeowners' liability to $50 per year? Of course not. Is there any provision in Measure H putting a cap on the amount, or even the rate, of interest on the bonds that will be issued during the next 10 years if it passes? Nope.

You should therefore give no weight whatsoever to the "$50 per year per homeowner" claim.

You should, moreover, ask the proponents how much government expenditures will have to rise to accomodate the new occupants of the construction Measure H would fund. For example, how many children do they expect to move into the new units, and how much per year will we taxpayers have to spend to educate them? How many of the new, supposedly low-income occupants will be using local emergency rooms as their "free" health plan? How many, statistically speaking, are likely to fill up our jails and courtrooms?

Nor do the proponents of Measure H ever mention how much the owners of real estate other than houses would have to pay to carry the billion-dollars-plus-interest debt -- or from whom those property owners would get the money. Landlords will presumably "pass along" the cost to tenants, thereby driving up the price of housing. Retailers will try to pass along the price to customers, who will either bear the burden or shop in neighboring cities whose merchants will not have to fund the billion-dollar bond. Query how much the City's sales tax revenues will drop as smart shoppers go to, say, Culver City, to avoid the higher prices.

Increased density has a price. There's no reason to believe that price will be just $50 per year.

CJ's Endorsements - AD 37 - Audra Strickland

Figured I'd start with my own district. Here is the rundown of my criteria:

Does this candidate reflect the views and concerns of the district in which they seek to be elected, or rather their own?

Audra Strickland has been representing her district in the State Assembly since 2004, where her current opponent mounted an impressive write-in campaign against her.

Audra comes across as knowledgeable, and in touch with the voters of her district. Her opponent, Ferial Masry spent virtually all of the Primary and much of the General Election talking about the war in Iraq and her relationship with Condoleeza Rice. It makes one wonder why she isn't running for Congress.

With Audra now a known entity, Ferial has been unable to tap into the same voter base that created all the hoopla around her write-in candidacy of 2 years ago.

Has the candidate run a clean campaign consistently through the primary and general election?

While there have been jabs on both sides, both parties have, for the most part, kept it clean. Audra has pretty much ignored Ferial only occasionally acknowledging her existence.

Has the candidate provided a clear vision for the district?

Audra Strickland has been discussing issues that concern the residents of the 37th AD. Taxes, Education, Traffic and Health Care.

By contrast, Ferial has been discussing national issues such as immigration, and the war in Iraq. On this point, it would seem that only one candidate is even aware what seat she is running for.

Does the candidate demonstrate that they have the ability to lead, and fight for, the district which would elect them?

Audra Strickland has been representing, and fighting for her district. She is a fiscal conservative in a conservative district and has demonstrated the ability to assemble a team to push through an agenda despite the opposition party dominating the legislature.

If her current team is any indication, Ferial Masry is incapable of assembling a team to lead. Her campaign is run by a friend, who frankly has no business running campaigns and ties the hands of those professionals on the campaign that do. Someone needs to tell Ferail to begin listening to the advice she is paying for. The false starts, stops, near non-existence in the media is indicative of a campaign that never really got off of the ground. Ferial's performance at a recent debate was so awful that I will say no more about it.

Add to all of this the massive "red district strategy" of the Democratic Party heralded by Eric Bauman all year that has flatly failed to materialize into anything more than empty talk and you can put the fork in this campaign, it's done.

As with many races this year, there is only one real choice... Audra Strickland.

Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Friday

Buzz continues over an LA Weekly article that alleges that the location that former LA County labor leader Miguel Contreras died at, was later allegedly the subject of a prostitution bust. Questions abound as to an autopsy and if political influence was used with the Cornoer's office as well as the hospital to keep the circumstances surrounding his death quiet.

El Segundo residents are upset that a signficant number of film productions are closing down their streets and limiting parking options. Read about it at El Segundo.net.

Mayor Villaraigosa will travel to New Mexico this weekend to campaign for a Democratic state attorney general, who is locked in a tight congressional race, the mayor's office said today.
Villaraigosa will head to New Mexico mid-day Saturday, and return early Sunday.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Dumbest Political Ad Ever

Cruz Bustamante expects us to vote for him because he lost 70 pounds? Is he kidding, or did a large portion of the weight loss involve gray matter?

If that is our new criterion for public office, here's the dream ticket for governor and lieutenant governor: Kirstie Allie and Anna Nicole Smith.

String Theory And ACLU Hypocrisy

We all know the ACLU has filed lawsuits to prevent the display, on public property, of crosses.

Well, what if there were a city, hypothetically speaking, that allowed a congregation to place small crosses at the top of thousands of street lights, and to run rosary beads between those streetlights?

The ACLU would file a lawsuit to stop it in a New York minute, right? Right.

Why then, have the ACLU's armies of lawyers sat idly by while Orthodox Jews have been using public property in the City of Los Angeles -- including street lamps -- to display icons of their religion?

Specifically, the Orthodox Jews have been stringing fishing wire from streetlight to streetlight, using a bracket they call "the Teichman adapter," and now they want to run it along the beach, too. (The area inside the string is called an "eruv.")

So how about it, ACLU? You say you want the separation of church and state. Do you also want separation of synagogue and state? Or do you have a double standard? If rosary beads, rather than sacred string, spanned the public poles, would you still be sitting in your offices, or would you instead race to the court to file a federal lawsuit for an injunction?

Here's an article on the effort to string the wire at the beach: http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/la-me-venice25oct25,1,1319168,full.story
Here's the website of the people who maintain the string: http://www.laeruv.com/adapter.htm
Here's the current perimeter of the string: http://www.laeruv.com/eruvborders.gif

"Affordable Housing," Free Market Style - Chapter 3

The L.A. Times reports, "The nationwide median price of new homes sold in September fell about 9.7% from the same month last year to $217,100, according to the Commerce Department."

"On a regional basis, new home sales in the West fell 13.6% in September compared to same month last year."

Adam Smith, invisible hand, supply, demand and migration -- need I say more?

Here's the rest of the story: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-102606homes,0,2812005.story?coll=la-home-headlines

Population Boom Means Construction Boom -- And In A Free Market, That Means Luxury Condo Boom


I just heard that over the next ten years (and it already has started) a population the size of Chicago will be moving to the City of Los Angeles. Chicago is already the third largest city in America, with a population of about 3,000,000. So unless everyone moves out of the City (which isn't likely), L.A. will become the world's largest City, alongside New York. [Growing pains, y'all!]

This population boom means Mayor Antonio Villagrossa is in charge of improving and expanding the City's infrastructure: Things like a real subway running from Downtown L.A. to the beaches of Santa Monica, light rail routes all the way to the beaches, more busses, more schools, more everything -- and especially more housing!

And the only way to accommodate these incoming masses from across the globe is to start building up. [Density issues, y'all!] So yes, this means many of the single home residential units that is the heart of a real culturally-strong community will be a luxury we simply can no longer afford from a sheer numbers standpoint.

And in a free market, capitalist society, those who own the land and those who develop it can make more money building new luxury-condos, than single dwelling units -- or affordable housing units.

So for now, unless you have about $400,000-$600,000 for a low-end, luxury condo; start thinking about moving a little further out and hopefully, you'll plan on using the MTA system to get you to your job as a low to middle income worker (service staff, teachers, city workers, middle-class workers, cubicle jockeys...Anyone who cannot and will not be able to pony up a half million for the new "affordable" housing that will be available.

So the steamrollers and cement trucks are ready to roll, and there's little the people being displaced out of their life-long residence can do.

Because even if these displaced tenants get the re-location fees they are entitled to, rents have skyrocketed more in the past six months than they have in the past six years, so hello Ventura County and other outlying areas.

Councilmembers are aware of the problem this rampant City restoration is having on communities throughout Los Angeles. (See ZD story on Mayor Sam "Pesky Little I.C.O.s" under the week of 10/01 archives.)

A few Councilmembers have submitted I.C.O.s (a time-out, preventing further condo conversions until we can evaluate the impact from a community and infrastructure standpoint) -- and Bill Rosendahl has put in for a complete Citywide moratorium on condo conversions. But, let's face it; the City doesn't want to stop upgrading to accommodate the millions of people flocking to L.A.

And for now, there is still obviously plenty of demand for the high-end, luxury-condos, because that's what people want to build. And if there wasn't a demand, they wouldn't be priced in that range.

So until, all the wealthiest of new residence have their piece of the American dream in one of the fifteen districts, the rest of us will either be driven further out of City limits, or into one of the lower class neighborhoods that will be getting lower and more populated. (Aka: lower-income neigborhood population boom, too).

A supporter of the City's position of getting the City ready to accommodate the population boom as mentioned above, mentioned that's why Prop. H is so important. "To provide affordable housing throughout the City, along side the luxury-condos, to maintain the culture of the community."

But Prop. H sucks to begin with, and you should vote "No" on H. But even if it did pass (which it probably won't), the amount of affordable housing it would provide is a mere "drop in the bucket". (The government can't compete with free market capitalism. So let's at least be real about that.)

So that brings me to the point: As long as the "gentrification" (as the harshest critics call it) is happening, and ZD and L.A. City Council can't prevent it;
here are two points I'd like to bring to anyone's attention who may be able to make a difference:

a) Make sure you force developers to follow the Planning and Land Use (PLUM) tenant's rights regarding 180 day notice and actually force them to pay the tenants' re-location fees (by today's market rates, not 1986 Ellis Act rates).

b) Although in the Mayor's heart-of-hearts, I'm sure he would like to maintain the integrity of all the different communities throughout the City, and provide real affordable housing right next to the shiny, new condos (the poor living next to the rich)...ZD says, "It ain't gonna happen and the gentrification will probably be as bad as they say."

A lot of eggs are going to be broken to make this new world class omelet of a City. SO PLEASE...YOU GOTTA BE A LITTLE LESS GREEDY THAN YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE...DON'T MAKE THIS A TOTAL BAMBOOZLE, DAMN IT! MAKE SURE YOU ACTUALLY DO MAINTAIN SOME SEMBLANCE OF COMMUNITY AND CULTURAL INTEGRITY. There are protections in place with the Planning and Land Use Department that insure this integrity. Start factoring them into the equation.

And get ready middle-class/working-class. You are the one's lucky enough to pay for it all. (Don't worry, you're all going to heaven for picking up the tab.)

COMING SOON - CJ's Endorsements

It's that time of year where we here at the Sister City give our final calls on local elections.

My rationale behind endorsing any candidate is simple;

Does this candidate reflect the views and concerns of the district in which they seek to be elected, or rather their own?

Has the candidate run a clean campaign consistently through the primary and general election?

Has the candidate provided a clear vision for the district?

Does the candidate demonstrate that they have the ability to lead, and fight for, the district which would elect them?

Over the next week these questions will be answered as I provide endorsements to the following races:

State Assembly District 37 -- Friday, October 27th
State Assembly District 38 -- Monday, October 30th
State Assembly District 39 -- Tuesday, October 31st
State Assembly District 40 -- Wednesday, November 1st

US Congress District 27 -- Thursday, November 2nd
US Congress District 28 -- Friday, November 3rd

Propositions – Friday, November 3rd

Roundup – Monday November 6th

This is going to be fun!

Blogger going down at 2pm

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Sincere apologies for the short notice but we will take down both blogger.com and blogspot.com at 2 PM PST today to replace the piece of network equipment that was causing the outages in the past couple of weeks. The outage will last 60-90 minutes, we will try to get done as fast as we can. Blogger beta will be not affected nor blogs that are hosted on the beta except for a few static images that we pull from www.blogger.com.

Why can't these guys do this at 3 am???

Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Thursday

Things have been busy with this old, dead Republican Mayor's other actitivities, so haven't been posting as much. Thanks to Zuma Dogg, Walter Moore, Jennifer Solis, Councilman John and our old friend Joe Mailander for keeping our readers informed and entertained.

Mayor Villaraigosa met with the new LAUSD superintendent - Admiral Brewer - Wednesday. We don't know everything that was said, but Jon Regardie at the Downtown News has imagined what the exchange might have been like.

Martini Republic notes that the consent decree that has hamstrung the MTA for ten years is finally dead. Now the MTA can get to business in continuing to build a 21st century public transit system, regardless of what the Bus Riders Union says. For more on why this group should not be listened to, click here.

How do you pronounce the name Los Angeles? Neither Tom LeBong or Mayor Villaraigosa get it right. Check out more at LA City Nerd.

The Engineer and Architects Union announced today that it will strike again without notice, if officials refuse to negotiate a new contract. The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor agreed earlier this month to support a strike by the Engineers and Architects Association, and that clears the way for other municipal unions to join the job action.

The City Council's regular Friday meeting has been canceled because of funeral services for LAPD Officer Landon Dorris, who was killed Sunday as he investigated a traffic accident.

City Council Becomes Mickey Mouse Operation

Thanks to Matt Dowd, we have video of the City Clowncil turning into more of a circus than it usually is. Do we really need to waste our valuable city time - when we have a lot of problems in this city - to celebrate Mickey Mouse and Disneyland? I'm all for fun, but come on.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Happy Birthday to Us

I don't know how I let it pass by, but it completely slipped my mind that on the 21st this plucky little blog celebrated its second birthday. They said we've never last, they've written our obituary again and again, but we go on.

At some point, I'd like to hold a little celebration for y'all (yea, yea) we'll keep you posted when that happens.

If you want to view some of the history of this blog, its all in our archives. Perusing some of it is fun.

Thanks again to everyone for your support.

"No" on 90

People are sneaky.

Case in point: Proposition 90.

We all oppose the use of eminent domain to take property from one person and give it to another. That's what the proponents are counting on.

They are also counting on us to overlook the OTHER provisions in Proposition 90, which would declare that taxpayers -- that's you and I -- must compensate a property owner whenever any "government actions" -- except actions to protect "public health and safety" -- "result in substantial economic loss to private property." (You'll find this in Section 3 of Proposition 90, which would add Section 19(b)(8) of the California Constitution.)

To see what a fiscal nightmare this would be, especially since the City Clowncil would have the power to spend your money to settle lawsuits filed by property owners (aka their campaign contributors), consider the following hypotheticals:

Hypothetical No. 1.
Janice Hahn, et al., succeed in imposing a "living wage" law that applies only to hotels located near the airport. Result? The governmental action, which involves neither public health nor safety, drives down the value of those properties by driving up the price of labor there. Guess who gets to pay for the diminution in property value under Proposition 90?

Hypothetical No. 2.
As a result of massive government subsidies and tax breaks the City gives to select developers for their downtown properties (e.g., the 20-year tax "holiday" for the hotel to be built by the Convention Center), other hotel properties decline in value. After all, the other hotel properties are more costly to operate, and therefore not worth as much as they were. Who will foot the bill for the resulting economic damage to those hotels? Hint: you can see him or her in your nearest mirror.

Hypothetical No. 3.
As a result of new subway lines opening up, existing retail businesses -- especially gas stations -- are no longer as valuable as they once were, because the government action has diverted traffic away from those properties. Guess who gets to make up for the lost profits? That's right: you and I do!

What makes these scenarios particularly frightening is the potential for abuse by the Clowncil. They already do enough damage to our wallets by passing insane laws and giving our money to their millionaire special interest contributors. Can you imagine how much MORE tax money they will give away to settle lawsuits their contributors file for compensation under Prop 90? They would spend enough for the remaining three members of the middle class still living here to say "adios!"

So I say vote "no" on Proposition 90, and, instead, enact separate legislation -- or just elect better people -- to prevent the government from using eminent domain to take property from one person and give it to another.

To read the actual text of Proposition 90 itself -- which is what I read -- rather than someone's "spin" thereon, go to the following URL and scroll to page 7 / page 187: http://www.ss.ca.gov/elections/vig_06/general_06/pdf/proposition_90/entire_prop90.pdf

The picture? It's from a movie called "Take The Money And Run," which Woody Allen made back when he was funny -- hilarious, in fact.

Underdone and Overbuilt

I haven't contributed here in a while, but I still have a skeleton (Skelton?) key to the place, and I can't bear to see a day go by without a post, so Hello Kitty and Hello City.

Chronic charmer Antonio Villaraigosa was charmed himself today, it looks like. Did you read this story on the meeting between the Mayor and the Chief yet? Brewer said "The Mayor and I are joined at the hip." Antonio said the Chief was "the right guy at the right time."

Wouldn't it be great if the Times scribe asked actual questions on substantive issues---like whether or not the School Chief thinks the District is being overbuilt or not? Instead, we got the scoop for the hundredth time on how a newcomer often fumbles with the Mayor's last name, which is also a notorious westside guy's favorite anglo...er, angle.

Hey, and all you fourth floor wackos---I miss your anonymous comments. Grab a fake ID and go for it. Once more into the breach!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

LA Opens Criminal Probe Into Allegation Patients Left on Skid Row

Mayor Sam did a story on dumping of homeless patients at Skid Row last November: http://mayorsam.blogspot.com/2005/11/skid-row-dumping-ground.html

What's an old problem, is new...with stories today locally on KCAL 9/CBS 2 and internationally on CNN:

LA opens criminal probe into allegation patients left on Skid Row
Tuesday October 24, 2006
Associated Press Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) Authorities have launched a criminal investigation into suspected dumping of homeless people on Skid Row after police witnessed ambulances leaving five people on a street there during the weekend.

The city attorney's office is reviewing police videotapes and photographs of the five alleged dumping cases Sunday to determine whether the patients were falsely imprisoned during their transfer and whether the hospital, Los Angeles Metropolitan Medical Center, violated any laws regarding the treatment of patients.

www.zumadogg.blogspot.com for this entire story

LA Daily News...Hoody Hoooo! Very Excellent Election Coverage

Zuma Dogg Westsiiiiiiide shout-outs to all the very excellent reporters at the L.A. Daily News (www.DailyNews.com). Here are a few articles they have done recently on Prop. R and a bunch of other important issues, election-based and otherwise. LA Times has wider distribution, but you gotta go the extra mile to read Daily News each day. (You can always check it out online.)

TODAY'S HEADLINE: "Term-Limits Ad Sparks Outrage" http://dailynews.com/search/ci_4539811 (See Mayor Sam's story below, too.)

http://dailynews.com/search/ci_4508551 (Special Interest Bonanza)
http://dailynews.com/search/ci_4448684 (Special Interests Back R)
http://dailynews.com/search/ci_4478673 (Whose Backing Prop. R)
http://dailynews.com/search/ci_4462195 (R is for Racket/Prop. R)
http://dailynews.com/search/ci_4534500 (Pay Plan Intrusive?)
http://dailynews.com/search/ci_4533469 (Right on R/EAA)
http://dailynews.com/search/ci_4533464 (LAX proposal a job-killer)
http://dailynews.com/search/ci_4527191 (Trash pileup growing)
http://dailynews.com/search/ci_4519481 (Election Endorsements)
http://dailynews.com/search/ci_4519771 (EAA Says "No" to Prop. R)
http://dailynews.com/search/ci_4519771 (Prop. 89/Clean Money)

http://zumadogg.blogspot.com (ZD's Prop. R & other articles.)
www.zumadogg.com for all City Hall Videos (Click myspace link)


Chick Blasts Bogus Term Limits Plan

City Controller Laura Chick isn't too amused that supporters of the term limits extension scam - Proposition R - are using her name to advance the measure in recent campaigning. Trouble is, not only did Chick not authorize this, she actually opposes Measure R. Below is letter from the Controller to the Yes On R campaign, as well as her own statement.

October 23, 2006

Mr. John Shallman
YES on Proposition R

Dear John:

It has come to my attention that you are using my name, and the credibility of the Office of the City Controller, in the campaign for the passage of Proposition R.

The mailers imply that I believe that Proposition R would have prevented the public relations over-billing scandals. Nothing could be further from the truth. Proposition R would have had no preventive effect on that matter. I remind you that the City Council actually voted to turn down my request for them to stop the LADWP from paying millions of dollars more to outside public relations firms.

In fact I adamantly oppose Proposition R, using my name in mailers to voters in support of this measure is duplicitous and intentionally deceiving.

Please cease and desist immediately from using my name, or the Office of the City Controller, in conjunction with the Proposition R campaign.


City Controller


“For the Proposition R campaign to use my name in any way is duplicitous and intentionally deceiving. My work to expose millions of dollars in fraudulent public relations bills has nothing whatsoever to do with Proposition R. The City Council actually voted to turn down my request for them to stop the LADWP from paying millions of dollars more to outside public relations firms.”

“In fact I adamantly oppose Proposition R for many reasons, not the least of which is the disingenuous way with which this measure was placed on the ballot. I urge the voters of the City of Los Angeles to vote no on Proposition R.”


Monday, October 23, 2006

Doesn't Seem Like The Mayor Is Too Concerned About A Possible EAA Strike, But Zuma Dogg Is

Now that The Mayor is back from Asia, besides meeting new LAUSD Superintendant Admiral Brewer, I would think the pending EAA stike that is right beofre us, would be a major concern. After all, an EAA strike would mean the closures of the Ports of Los Angeles (40% of imported goods to the U.S.), LAX closure (EAA oversees the runways), CSI Crime Lab; building construction would come to a halt and accountant, auditors, and many other City departments would shut the City down.

So when I was expressing my concern with another concerned political activist (on the Mayor's side of most issues) the response was, "When you go on strike, it's to rally public support, and I don't think your average person cares about giving the EAA raises."

My response was, "Public support doesn't apply here, because it's the City's decision alone, and it isn't going to a vote of the people. What about the fact that the ports, airports, CSI labs, building construction (the good kind) and many other departments would come to a halt and shut the City down, with the first EAA strike in 120 years?"

The opponents response was, "The ports and airports are TOO IMPORTANT. A Judge would order them back to work in about two hours after a strike."

Yeah, that shows how important these EAA workers are. Plus, that sounds like the EAA is being unfairly penalized to their right to strike, as sanctioned by the LA Labor Federation last week, for being TOO important. (Then they should be treated as such.)

And ZD says the Mayor is playing politics and playing games on this one. See the LA Daily News front-page story (www.DailyNews.com) about the City stepping in on behalf of hotel workers (and that is a private matter), so please settle this 2004 City contract that is almost due to expire and the next one on deck. I don't think the Mayor's homie Arnold would be too happy with this mess falling into the State's (and Nation's) lap a week before the elections.

ZD Welcomes The Mayor Back from Asia (and London)

Zuma Dogg welcomes back Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villagrossa from his whirlwind VP campaign tour of Asia. (Hopefully, he drummed up enough international support between his trips to London and Asia for his Governor bid, and possible "VP of USA" ticket appearance. But, that kinda depends on how LAUSD turns out. Anyway, welcome back Mayor V., and thanks for the appearance with Councilmembers Hahn and LeBong.

BONUS VIDEO: Watch Matt Dowd get "bounced" by Councilmember Lebong during this nauseating infomercial for ABC/Disney during an actual Los Angeles City Council meeting. I'm sure people will post the financial interest(ing) reasons why this presentation is actually so offensive to the Public.

Do you think Council (already referred to by many as "Clowncil") will ever live down turning LA City Council meetings into "The Mickey Mouse Show"? Mayor V's favorite rock group, Asia said it best..."Only Time Will Tell."

P.S.: Watch till the end, because it seems like Jan Perry is boring Greig Smith to sleep, again. Give him a break though, Mr. KABC, this time.

NO on Prop. R Argument (Copy and Send To Others)

Thanks to the consituent who sent me this "'No' on Prop. R" argument that I hope everyone copies and sends out to all their email contacts:


1) Proposition R violates the California State Constitutional requirement that ballot measures be limited to a single item/issue.

2) City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo stated that “Ethics Reform” can be done as a local ordinance and does not need to be put to a vote of the people as a ballot measure/proposition.

3) Proposition R is subject to Judicial ruling on it’s constitutionality on November 28, 2006 and may be overturned, even if passed by voters.


Proposition R (as it reads on the ballot): Councilmember term limits of three terms; City Lobbying, Campaign Finance and Ethics laws. (Charter Amendment and Ordinance Proposition R).

City Council wants to extend/lengthen their own terms from two (2) four year terms to three (3) four year terms. So although they call it “Term Limits” on the ballot, City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo says the ballot language is confusing to voters and should read “Term Lengthening from two terms to three”.

City Council ignored this recommendation and stuck with the confusing “Term Limits” verbage when it is indeed “lengthening” terms from two to three. (So they are “limiting” it, after they extend/lengthen their own terms.)

However, even with the ballot calling it “Term Limits”, Council still felt the voters would never vote “yes” on “Term Limit Extentions” – so they unconstitutionally mingled/attached a second item on this ballot measure: City Lobbying, Campaign Finance and Ethics Law.

City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo said having two items on a single ballot measure is “confusing to voters and opens up the City to possible court challenges.” (Which they got!) Delgadillo added, “All we are saying is be honest with voters and don’t hold ethics reform hostage to another agenda. Plus, it is our (City Attorney’s office) opinion that this may actually weaken ethics reform. And, only the Term Limits portion needs to be put to a vote of the people (Charter Amendment), the ethics portion does not. City Council can pass ethics reform as a local ordinance, before November, without a vote of the people.”

Why is it confusing and unconstitutional to have two separate items on one ballot measure? What if you want to vote “yes” on ethics reform, but want to vote “no” to extending City Council’s own terms from two to three? With this proposition, you can’t!

Additionally, LA Daily News reports that Councilmembers stand to gain over a million dollars in additional financial benefits with an additional term. And, a third term means they also will qualify for lifetime health care benefits.

As predicted by Delgadillo, in a lawsuit to have Prop. R removed from the November ballot, a judge ruled against it, twice: First, for the confusing language (calling it “term limits” instead of “
term lengthening”. Then, in a separate ruling, removed Prop. R from the ballot entirely for mingling/combining two items on one ballot measure.

City Council appealed this decision in higher court and Prop. R was put back on the ballot for a November vote, however, may be overturned on November 28. 2006 after further constitutional review by an appeals judge. (So if it is voted down, the point will be mute -- but if it is passed, then the constitutionality will be judged -- and possibly overturned.)

Plus, the judge added that he didn’t even see how this proposition puts ethics reform into campaign lobbying. Why not? Lobbyists are already required to declare campaign contributions to elected officials.

Prop. R doesn’t put an end to the real source of money flowing to politicians: Rich powerbrokers who hire lobbyists. Developers, contractors and others can still contribute to City Council coffers without declaring the contributions.

And, if this wasn’t inappropriate enough, Mr. City Attorney said this ballot measure should have been vetted through the Ethics Committee for evaluation and input from the public.

However, the day the Ethics Committee was set to review and discuss Proposition R, the meeting was cancelled by Committee Chairman Gil Garcetti (Council President Eric Garcetti’s father) and the proposition was rushed onto the ballot.

Finally, Delgadillo also said something of this importance should be run through Neighborhood Councils. (And it wasn’t run through all the Neighborhood Councils.)

In summary, City Council rushed through a confusing, unethical and unconstitutional proposition that combines two separate items on one ballot measure (when only the “term limit extentions” portion needed to be put to a vote of the people and the “ethics reform/lobby” portion could easily be passed by City Council at any time as a local ordinance). But, they knew the public would most likely say “no” to term limit extentions – so they attached ethics/lobby reform to make the measure look more appealing to voters. And, they failed to run it the Ethics Committee, the public and Neighborhood Councils.

Say “No” to this unethical ethics proposition.

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Why is LA Times Reports Laughing It Up With Garcetti During A Quorum (Where Councilmembers & Public Are Speaking?)

They already say the LA Times is nothing more than a propoganda mouthpiece (and mere press release vehicle) for Mayor Antonio Villagrossa. But it's kinda rude (at best) for the President of Los Angeles City Council to be laughing it up with LA Times reporter Steve Hymon DURING a City Council meeting when Councilmembers and The Public are addressing important City issues. THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME. (Ask Councilmember Zine who had to repeat himself three times to get Eric's attention during another Garcetti/Hymon Coffee Clatch during Zine's and The Public's discussion of an important agenda item. (I'll try and pull the City TV 35 video on that one, too.)

Common guys. At least keep it off camera if you wanna be rude and ignore other Councilmembers and The Public like we already know you do. (See story on Judge's admonishment of City Council for not listening, then having it blow-up in their faces.)



Mayor Sam Prop. 90 Forum...Public Input Needed Here

ZD is putting his "yes" on Prop. 90 position on hold, pending further public vetting here on Mayor Sam's blog.

With politicians denying public input, these days, on important issues like AB 1381 (LAUSD/Mayoral Bill) and Prop. R (City Council Term Extentions), blogs are becoming the forum for such issue oriented debate.

After posting my "Yes" on Prop. 90 position, I read a blogger comment under the story, that caused me to do some further investigation. Bottom line, so far: Neither side has presented the slam dunk I am looking for in response to opposing points.

The "no" people, even those who admit we need Eminant Domain reform, now, bring to my attention that Prop. 90 goes too far. In the example where (due to a recent Supreme Court decision) under Prop. 90, if the City refuses to allow a property owner to build a new condo (or anything else), the property owner could sue the City for denying them the right to do buisness. (I'm paraphrasing, but LA Times did the story on this that the "no" on Prop. 90 people refer to.)

The "yes" people would like to remind you that The State of California and The Mayor of Los Angeles are the biggest abusers of Eminant Domain in the United States of America. It's one thing to make the claim because we need a new school, library, highway, post office or whatever. But it's another thing when you take the land (and business) away from a three generation family to build a "special interest" development project, that has nothing to do with spirit in with ED was created.

So here is the official "'No' on Prop. 90" link and post comments on either side of the issue. http://www.voterguide.ss.ca.gov/props/prop90/argue_rebutt90.html


Phoney Slate Card Election Mailers & Sample Ballots

Full Disclosure Network™ presents an eight-minute Internet video debate from a two-part series covering questionable campaign tactics used to influence voters on issues and candidates. Now available at URL: http://www.fulldisclosure.net/flash/238-9_slatecardmailers.htm “Free” on demand, 24/7 as a public service of the Full Disclosure Network™

Video clips from this two-part cable television series feature Craig Holman, Ph.D, author of Proposition 208, (1996) for the Center for Governmental Studies and former California Senator Dick Mountjoy, who challenge UCLA Law Professor Daniel Lowenstein, a defender of slate card mailers. Lowenstein filed a lawsuit to overturn Prop 208 including the disclosure requirements, on behalf of the slate card mailing operators.

Senator Dick Mountjoy reveals how questionable slate card mailers damaged his 1998 campaign with deceitful tactics and points to examples of the “for profit” slate card campaign mailers that they claim promote phony endorsements that have been bought and paid for by the very people purportedly endorsed.

In part-two Craig Holman exposes how phony sample ballots sent out by California Congresswoman Maxine Waters were prepared by a “for profit” slate card mailing operator, in an attempt to deceive voters. UCLA Law Professor Dan Lowenstein countered, saying that oppressive campaign laws were trying to discredit the mailings. He scoffed that if imitating an Official Sample Ballot is a problem, then it should be made illegal.

“If you take away the deceptiveness of a slate card, you take away the effectiveness of a slate card” said Senator Dick Mountjoy He cited the deceptive mailers targeting senior citizens in his Southern California district. He said the slate card mailings used his image and name to falsely imply he had endorsed those candidates. In fact the candidates had paid for the false endorsements. Click here for transcript of quote.

Over the past fourteen years Full Disclosure™ has produced series of programs involving campaign irregularities, voter registration and election fraud. The programs are featured on 43 cable systems and the Internet. In 2002 the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences presented host Leslie Dutton with a local public affairs Emmy Award for the series entitled “L.A.’s War Against Terrorism.”

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Open Letter From Walter Moore To The New Publisher Of The L.A. Times

Dear Mr. Hiller:

Welcome to Los Angeles, and thank you for inviting comments from your readers in today's paper. Here are mine:

Pravda, The Politburo, And Tammany Hall

You can and should improve your paper's coverage of local government. Right now, the L.A. Times covers City Hall with the same level of scrutiny that Pravda covered the Politburo. Conspicuous by its absence from the Times is even a hint of investigative reporting. Instead, your reporters and editors seem merely to publish the press releases of local career politicians. Maybe it results from "groupthink," maybe just laziness. But whatever the cause, the newspaper you're taking over lacks any credibility when it comes to reporting on politics in the second-biggest city in America. City Hall in L.A. is essentially the Twenty-First Century's version of Tammany Hall, but your readers will never know it unless you "shake things up" at the Times. Here are two examples, which I hope you will research for yourself:

The "Big Lie" Lives: Your Paper's Coverage Of The City Budget

The first example involves the City of L.A.'s budget. Your paper accepted as true, and published without any scrutiny, the Mayor's assertion that he is a "fiscal conservative" who, by adopting a variety of cost-saving measures in the latest budget, managed to overcome a "structural deficit" of $200 million. In fact, however, he did not cut expenditures at all. If your reporters had bothered to look at this year's budget and last, they would have seen that the City's annual revenues skyrocketed by $717 million. They also would have seen that the Mayor's new budget spent all of those revenues. This could have been, and should have been, quite a story -- especially since the Mayor later hiked trash fees, saying he needed to do so to raise money to hire more police.

Potemkin Villages And The Developers Behind Them

In the upcoming election, voters in the City of L.A. will approve or reject Measure H, a billion-dollar bond proposal, ostensibly to build "affordable housing." Your paper devoted perhaps four paragraph to this item, which would impose a tax on L.A.'s homeowners for 30 years. The Daily News, by contrast, published an in-depth article, which included comments from people on both sides of the issue. The Daily News showed that the people advocating Measure H were funded by developers that receive millions of dollars in public funds already -- a connection your paper, and therefore your readers, missed entirely. Helping the homeless is one thing. Adopting a new tax to provide welfare to the rich is quite another.

What You Need To Do

You need new editors and reporters. You need people with the training, attitude and experience to challenge public officials' assertions, rather than accepting them at face value. You need people who can read a budget, people willing to make formal public records requests, people willing and able to get to the proverbial bottom of the story. Right now, you've got cheerleaders and sycophants. You need -- and our city needs -- bulldogs and true investigative reporters. Not only would a new approach serve the public interest, it would win back former subscribers and generate new ones, too. We want to read news in our newspapers, not press releases.

Walter Moore
Teacher, Lawyer and Real Estate Broker
Los Angeles

I Wish The League of Women Voters Were 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea

In other words, F*CK The league of Women Voters. Any group that would support Proposition R (they initiated it) and also says "NO" on Prop 90 (controlling Eminent domain) is one endorsement Zuma Dogg for City Council doesn't ever want, and would categorically reject.

Because anyone who would Vote "for" R and "against" 90 is obviously a real estate, special interest, money-hungry, shady, corrupt, "League of Dumbass Voters". (Or maybe NOT so dumb if they care about their own special interests.)

Zuma Dogg is new to politics, but with a voting endorsement record like that, I'm sure this is old news to most; about these neutered lapdogs who only care about getting invited to some fundraiser where they blast fireworks into City Hall, and they can use the event to suck up to the politicians destroying the cultural, economic and social fabric of our City as they rob the constituents blind and the working class/middle class have to pick up the tab.


Better Get To City Hall Early on Wed Because EAA May Be Talking Up All The Seats!

I've seen some chatter on Mayor Sam comment sections that EAA may be showing up at City Hall on Wednesday to try and raise support with City Council to approve a "cost of living" salary adjustment of 2%-3.5%. The EAA has been working without a contract since '04. It's a three year contract, so it's almost time for a new contract, and they haven't settled the old one yet.

The EAA hasn't called for Strike Sanctions in a 120 year history. Mayor V. takes office, within six months of being in office and you had the first EAA/ZD rallies. (April 4th, 2006: A day that will live in infamy in LA Political history, as ZD showed up at City Hall for the first time ever, and that was the day hundreds of EAA workers also addressed Council.)

Nearly seven months later, ZD still can't sell T-shirts on Venice Beach, and EAA still hasn't settled their contracts or gotten their raises.

Meanwhile, The Mayor and City Council got their raises (making them the highest paid in their position anywhere in the United States). The Mayor had to get a new pair of Nikes to run fast enough to give hotel workers raises. DWP got a raise (and EAA does the same work, hence the EAA chanted slogan, "Equal Pay, Equal Work".)

Meanwhile, Last time around in April, Mayor V's. spokesperson said on TV, "I'm not saying they aren't going to get raises, but this is no way to go about getting them."

What way? Working without a contract for two years into a three year contract (when everyone else got the bump already)?

As discussed in a previous ZD Mayor Sam story below, it ain't easy to do the EAA's work because you had to do really well in math and science (and everything else); in really good colleges; and it's a lot tougher to replace the people responsible for the safety and operation of out Ports, Airports, Water Supply, CSI Crime Labs, Accountants, Auditors, Sewer Departments than grocery store employees.

And let's not forget the most important work in this City...The only work The Mayor and City Council really care about: Tract Maps...that pave the way, to pave the way for all those Condo conversions, y'all!

So seriously, ZD and everyone else already knows this is strictly a political game at this point, and I hope City Hall acts responsibly in the handling of this matter of local, state and national safety. For real, dough! Don't f*ck around on this one please. The Mayor was just in London, then Asia, so he's got months of catching up to do.

Does he really need THIS to deal with, now! Come to think of it, I hope The Mayor does force the EAA to strike: It would be some really swell press for The Mayor, just in time for election season. I'm sure his political homeboy Arnie Schwartzenegger would be thrilled, too. Then Zuma Dogg could easily beat Anotinio for Mayor in '09 and maybe even replace him as Democratic VP hopeful.

Jim Alger OK after health scare

Over the last few weeks we have received several emails regarding various rumors centering around the health of our friend, LANCC Senator and Vice Chair Jim Alger. One even questioning whether or not he died, literally.

Many have noticed Alger's conspicuous absence even when a few dum dum Lyn Shaw supporters decided to attack him for "not offering help" to the Democratic Party (turns out as usual they were speaking out of their ass). Additionally, it had been announced at the last LANC Congress meeting that Alger was ill and he has missed several vital NC related meetings. Turns out ill was an understatement.

Several weeks ago, Alger was rushed to the emergency room after complaining of a severe headache and subsequently collapsing. He was treated for bleeding on the brain apparently brought on by critically high blood pressure. He has been recovering in his Porter Ranch home since.

The irony is that despite his poor health, and contrary to the jack-asses who can't resist kicking a guy when he is down, Jim is helping several local candidates, offering them use of his auto-dialers for outreach efforts. He tells the Sister City in an email today that he has even offered the dialers to the Lyn Shaw campaign. Of course I was going to ask "what campaign?" but figured his blood pressure was high enough.

Alger thanked people for their concern and says that despite the seriousness of everything going on he will be fine. He even brought home his newborn son from the hospital yesterday. 10lb 5oz John Robert is sure to be the newest stakeholder in the Northridge West Neighborhood Council.

"If there is anything I would say it would be take headaches seriously, they can kill you." Alger said.

Get well soon, and Congrats Jim.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

You Know Your Supervisor Hates You If You're The Lawyer Who Gets This Assignment

Remember the dime phone call scene from the Paper Chase?

Professor Kingsfield, the tough and demanding Harvard Law professor, humiliates a student by handing him a dime in the middle of class -- this was before cell phones -- and telling him, "Take this dime, call your mother, and tell her you will never be a lawyer."

Next week, there will probably be a lawyer or two working in the City Attorney's office wishing they had received the dime instead of the diploma. You see, they will have the intellectually rewarding task of drawing up guidelines to determine when an object is merely "trash," and when instead it is the "property of the homeless."

The Daily News reports today that Clowncil Member Jan Perry "asked the City Attorney's Office to prepare new guidelines that will specify what items city crews can remove" from Skid Row. "Under current guidelines, any property that a homeless person can carry with them - even if it takes several trips - cannot be removed as trash."

Anyway, the lucky lawyer will want to start his memo with a thorough discussion of the law of trover. My recommendation would be: if it looks like trash, take it. Even if we get sued for replacement value, we just give the guy more trash.

The rest of the story: http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_4527191
Trover in a nutshell: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trover

County Gives Workers 15% Pay Raise Over Three Years. . .

. . . plus increased benefits.

According to the Daily News, "thousands of county employees make more than $100,000 a year, about 3,000 clerks, nursing attendants, cooks, custodians and laundry workers make less than $30,000 a year and qualify for welfare benefits."

What do you want to bet they're ALL getting a big raise, not just the 3000 clerks, cooks, etc.?

Nurses will get an 18% to 30% pay raise.

Here's the part I love:

"Chief Administrative Officer David Janssen wouldn't say how much the total package would cost until it's ratified.

"But Janssen said the county can afford it because of rising property tax collections and the recent passage of a measure that prevents the state from raiding local coffers."

Yes, why trouble the grubby little taxpayers with unseemly details like HOW MUCH IS THIS GOING TO COST US?! Let's wait until after it's a done deal to present the check. We can afford it. Heck, it probably works out to just a latte every ten minutes. . . .

Daily News: http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_4527204

Police Blotter: Plea Deal For Rogue Ficus Trimmer

Put this one in your "only in L.A." file:

A biologist named "Roy van de Hoek" -- this story had me at "van de Hoek" -- was prosecuted under the "trim a ficus, go to jail" law for a crime he allegedly committed in the so-called "Ballona Wetlands" in the Marina del Rey / Playa del Rey area.

According to the L.A. Times, "was charged with cutting down nonnative invasive plants in the wetlands without permission." (In my day, we would have just called that "trespassing in a swamp," but why use just four words when you can use 10, after all?)

Anyway, this alleged criminal copped a plea. He will not be picking up trash by the highway. He will be giving tours of the very area where he committed his alleged dastardly deed.

You know what that deal reminds me of? Back in the 1988, when Rob Lowe was caught with two teenage girls, his plea agreement, as I recall, involved his doing community service by giving speeches at -- you guessed it -- high schools.

Ficus article: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-cutter21oct21,1,1191170.story?coll=la-headlines-california
Rob Lowe article: http://film.guardian.co.uk/interview/interviewpages/0,6737,518317,00.html

Friday, October 20, 2006

Law And Grammar

You have two children, fraternal twins, whom you have unimaginatively named "John" and "Jane." They are seven years old.

One day at the park, a man and a woman, each wearing a raincoat and shoes, "flash" your children.

A police officer saw the whole thing -- so to speak -- and immediately arrests the flashers, who are charged with indecent exposure.

What happens to them?

Well, if they do it in Riverside, a judge who is apparently unfamiliar with the English language will release the woman but not the man.

Superior Court Judge Armstrong -- "superior" modifies "court," rather than "judge" -- ruled that, because the statute on indecent exposure refers to an individual who exposes "his person," the statute must apply only to men, not women.

This reasoning is flawed not just because of the ordinary rules of the English language, but also because the Legislature has enacted a statute specifically stating that "words used in the masculine gender include the feminine and neuter."

Prosecutor Alison N. Norton plans to appeal. She will definitely prevail. There's just no doubt about it.

Here's the story: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-102006expose,0,7817008.story?coll=la-home-headlines .

As a lawyer teaching English, I think I see a need for English teachers to teach law.

Anyway, here's the funny (funnier?) part of the story: the defendant woman, age 40, was flashing a neighbor boy, age 14, when he played basketball near her apartment, ostensibly because she hated the noise. According to the paper, "'She threatened to do it every time he played basketball,' and the parents called police, Norton said."

Yeah, that ought to stop the neighbor boy from playing basketball. After all, we all know how very much teenage boys HATE seeing naked breasts.

The defendant's name is Alexis Luz Garcia. There was no report on whether she is having her name legally changed to "Mrs. Robinson."

Election Photo ID for Los Angeles?

By Jennifer Solis

Friday morning’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court approving photo identification at election polling places makes one wonder how long it will be before Los Angeles (and California) adopts this sensible approach to reducing voting fraud?

Don’t hold your breath. Our city may be the illegal immigrant capital of the nation, but our politicians will have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, toward such a reform.

The Supremes overturned the 9th Circus (Circuit Court of Appeals) ruling two weeks ago which put Arizona’s Proposition 200, passed by voters in 2004, on hold. There is litigation presently in almost every state that requires positive proof of citizenship in order to vote.

Plaintiffs in the Arizona case were the ACLU, MALDEF (Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund), and Inter-Tribal Council. They claim the law discourages minorities, the poor and elderly from casting ballots.

The House of Representatives passed 228 to 196, a month ago (9/20/06) legislation requiring valid photo identification in federal elections. Congresspersons voting against compared it to disenfranchising Southern Blacks in the last century. The bill faces an uncertain future in the Senate.

The so-called “Voter ID” proposal requires voters to have “picture” identification by 2008, and proof of citizenship by 2010. It was among the recommendations of the bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform, headed by former president Jimmy Carter and secretary of state James Baker. “Effective voter registration and voter identification are bedrocks of a modern election system,” they wrote.

Groups working on behalf of minorities and illegal aliens call it a “poll tax,” claiming it would put an “insurmountable burden on voters and infringe upon their voting rights.” A recent study by Johns Hopkins University showed that 1,500 dead people had voted among a recent sampling of ballots in Ohio.

The controversy over election fraud is as old as the Republic itself. The influx of German and Irish immigrants in the mid-19th century raised concerns that they were incapable of voting honestly, since they were “under the control of the Pope.” The 1886 Committee of One Hundred called the previous election “nothing more than an organized conspiracy to defeat the will of the people … by illegal voting, forgery and fraud.”

A 1906 report showed that a Skid Row homeless shelter population ballooned from 80 to 280 on election day, and that every one of them was registered to vote. Party hacks helped some voters “float” so they could cast multiple ballots. Jail inmates received “pardons,” in exchange for a promise to go straight to the polls and cast a “straight ticket.”

Georgia’s election board, last Tuesday, approved a letter to inform more than 300,000 voters that they can vote, without any identification, since superior court judge T. Jackson Bedford had declared the requirement unconstitutional.

Despite the fact that people need positive identification to drive a car, cash a check or use a credit card, opponents of this reform want to continue the right of headstones and illegals to vote.

Zuma Dogg ELECTION SPECIAL on Public Access TV Saturday

Catch "The Zuma Dogg November Election Special" (Mostly Prop. H & R) on Time Warner Public Access cable today (Saturday).

Time Warner/Santa Monica System (Pali, West Holly, Valley, Bev Hills, Studio City, Eagle Rock, Santa Monica): Saturday at 12:00 noon.

Time Warner/Hollywood System (Hollywood, Culver, Venice, L.A., etc.): Saturday 11:00pm.

And a review of my Mayor Sam Blog stories for the week (and all of them) that I used for TV 35 Public Comment and local and national radio calls on KABC & KFI go to www.zumadogg.blogspot.com. And all City Hall videos on YouTube at www.ZumaDogg.com.


Brad Sherman Ducks Debate

At a Pierce College candidate forum in Woodland Hills last night, Rep. Brad Sherman angrily refused to debate his Republican challenger Peter Hankwitz, claiming that he is more concerned with helping elect Democrats in other districts and other states. In a testy exchange with Hankwitz offstage, Sherman angrily declared, “I’ll debate Doolittle, but I’ll never debate you!” referring to Republican Rep. John Doolittle from northern California.

Peter Hankwitz commented, “I am not surprised that Brad Sherman ducked my challenge for a public debate because he’s been doing that for months. But to tell his own constituents that he didn’t care enough about them or their issues to take the time to debate is shocking. Quite frankly, it is the height of arrogance and a sign that Brad Sherman has been in Washington, D.C. far too long. If I am elected, I will never forget that I work for my neighbors in the 27th District.”

The candidate forum was sponsored by the Women’s Organization Coalition. In addition to speeches by Hankwitz and Sherman, the forum featured discussions on seven statewide ballot initiatives, as well as presentations by Assembly and State Senate Candidates from the San Fernando Valley.

At one point during the program, a frustrated Sherman expressed dismay that Hankwitz was not in lockstep with traditional Republican positions on certain social issues, implying that Hankwitz should switch parties.

Hankwitz stated, “Brad Sherman made it clear last night that he is a politician, not a representative. He has always cared about partisan politics more than he has about the issues facing the San Fernando Valley and that is why he has been so ineffective during his decade in Washington, D.C. I think we can do better and, after last night, I would bet there are about 100 voters in Woodland Hills who think we can do better also.”

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Is The Mayor & City Council Going To Settle With EAA, Or Is A Strike Going to Shut Down The City?

It's "Revenge of The Nerds", y'all!!! Remember when some of us were in college, drinking beer and blowing off classes? Well the people who work for the EAA (Engineers and Architects) were the geeks getting good grades in math and science and got the jobs guys like Zuma Dogg weren't smart enough, or disciplined enough to get.

They have been working without a contract since 2004 and the three year contract is almost up for renewal again (and they haven't even settled the old one yet).

But Mayor Antonio Villagrossa and Los Angeles City Council, are betting on the premise that "Joe Sixpack" -- the people making $8-$10 an hour in this City, are going to be AGAINST giving raises to the pocket protector wearing engineers and architects in this City.

Now, if the money wasn't there, and giving EAA employees raises would hit "Joe Sixpack" in the wallet, I might not be for the raises. But, Inspector Zuma Dogg feels the money IS there, if the Mayor and City Council want it to be there.

After all, the Mayor transfered over $300 million from the reserve fund that will be going to real estate and development interests.

The Mayor gave himself a raise, making him the highest paid Mayor in the United States. City Council gave themselves raises, making them the highest paid Council in the United States. DWP just got raises (the biggest slap in the face to EAA, because both parties do the same work, but DWP employees get paid more than EAA for the same work).

When hotel workers went on strike, the Mayor was quick to step in and give them raises. And ZD is always for the individual getting paid more for all the right reasons.

But, the EAA workers aren't as easy to replace as hotel workers. Or when grocery store workers went on strike, it's a lot easier to find checkers and baggers, than EAA employees.

And here's how it would impact the City and Nation if EAA goes on strike. (And the EAA doesn't want to strike and they hope to settle soon, as negotiations have been underway between EAA and City Hall.

But ZD already knows City Hall doesn't want to give them the raises, because they want to force EAA to strike, so they look like bad people, hurting the City...then the Mayor will give them the raise anyway...but he will at least be looking like he DIDN'T want to give them the raises, and he was forced to give it to them, so "Joe Sixpack" doesn't vote "no" on Mayor V in future elections.

Similarly, City Council doesn't give a hoot if EAA gets raises, but THEY don't want to look like they're giving raises to Ralph and Potsy when they're trying to impress Fonzie. So, it's a standoff...The Mayor hopes City Council approves the rasies (which they EASILY could, because again, Inspector General ZD says the money is there, if they want it to be. But the Mayor and Council would prefer to use it for their own special interest pet projects.

If EAA strikes, it would be the first time they strike in 120 years. So in other words: No strike in 120 years...Mayor V takes office and within six months they already have to start protesting and striking. (Something isn't right here.)

Here's how the City and Nation would be affected if EAA is forced to go on strike to get City Hall's attention for working without a contract or 2%-3.5% inflation/cost of living increase, which is what they are asking for (and I assure you George W. would probaly have to step in after about two or three days):

* Ports of Los Angeles, responsible for 40% of U.S. goods imported into America, could be halted.

* Airport Runway Superintendents could bring the airport to a halt. (No incoming or outgoing flights.)

* CSI people at LAPD would force Grismon-types to shut down the lab. (Sorry Brass...Criminal cases might be lost and the most dangerous criminals could go free.)

* You can give DWP raises, but if the chemists who test the water for dangerous chemicals in our water supply are on strike, hand me an Evian please.

* EAA has employees in about all the departments in the City...accountants, auditors, all the people you used to make fun of on the way home from school who keep this City ticking.

So, you can say, "How dare they threaten the saftey of the City and Nation if they actually strike when they are already making good money?"

Unfortunatley, the fact that it would create such a crisis if they do strike (the whole City shuts down), then maybe that's why the Mayor should give them the cost of living bump/respect they deserve because the money is there if you want it to be, you KNOW that...so a little less greed and give your own employees who keep the City moving the raise and don't hang them out to dry just cause you know people don't feel sympathy for EAA the way they would for the "Dogwalker, Janitor, Little Old Ladies" Union.

Zuma Dogg
Public Advocate of The Community

p.s. Walter, I have a feeling you and others will oppose this argument. So let's hear it, cause time is running out.

"Affordable Housing," Free Market Style - Chapter 2

The California Association of Realtors (CAR) has now officially predicted what yours truly predicted on this blog some time ago: housing prices will decline. CAR guesstimates a two percent decline in 2007.

So before we impose an additional billion-plus-interest tax burden on the backs of existing homeowners to pay Measure H, let's give the free market some time to lower prices.

It's not as though this is a ghost town, after all; we've got 4 million people living here already.

Here's the story: http://www.dailynews.com/business/ci_4513736

Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Thursday

On Warren Olney's "Which Way LA" program, our own Walter Moore went head to head with an exec of a development firm that probably stands to benefit if Prop H - the billon dollar housing boondoggle - passes. Martini Republic gives a good rundown of the segment.

Ed Boks of LA Animal Services gives an interview to an animal publication about the new animal shelters the city is building. You can read about it at Boks' own blog.

If you're interested, Democratic Gubenatorial Candidate Phil Angelides hosts a town hall with Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack (a potential candidate for President in 08). LA Valley College in Van Nuys, 10:45 p.m.

Mayor Villaraigosa has removed Building and Safety Commission President Javier Nuqez. Read and comment about it at We Clean Your Toilets.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Let's Do Something About These Pesky Little ICOs Prohibiting Condo Conversion

In case Office Landry kicks me out of City Hall on Friday for tying my shoelaces or breathing too loud, I better post all this info people have given me about Interim Control Ordinances (ICOs)/Prohibiting Conversion of Existing Units to Condominiums.

There are five Councilmembers who sit on the Housing and Economic committee, and many Councilmembers have initiated these ICOs to help but the brakes on the rampant condo conversions happening all throughout the fifteen districts at such rapid pace, even Councilmembers need a take-five to see what is actually up.

Only problem is, as well written and upstanding as these ICOs actually are, it doesn't do any good if you keep sticking them back to the bottom of your "to do" pile. Here's a compilation on memos, documents and Superior Court Civil Complaints regarding this Citywide epidemic:

For the past few years, the City of Los Angeles has experienced widespread demolition of multi-family residential structures and the replacement of such structures by new condominiums. Consequences of these activities include the loss of thousands of rental units regulated by the City's Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO) and the creation of an extreme shortage of affordable rental housing. [Like Councilmembers care???] (Then a Sept. 12, 2006 motion to the Planning and Land Use management Department to do something about it.)

Here's an excerpt from a couple ICOs someone gave me from various Councilmembers who are being ignored by the Housing Committee: There is an urgent need for protections from displacement until the appropriate course of action Citywide is established, and policies for fair and smooth transitions for affected tenants are implemented.

But they aren't being implemented, hence the Superior Court Complaint (Case No. BC359641): Complaint to enforce tenant mitigation conditions...for unlawful, unfair, or fraudulent business practices; for conspiracy to engage in the foregoing practices...and more bad stuff. [TOTAL VIOLATION, Y'ALL!]

In the meantime, while you're sitting on the ICO's, let's see tenants get the 180 day notice and relocation money (at today's rate, not 1980's rate) ASAP.

And finally, to give equal time, this election season, a quote from Councilmember Eric Garcetti's memo on the matter to a "concerned citizen":

"While I am open to the concept of limiting conversions and demolitions, I am waiting to see to further-developed proposal for such a moratorium before providing my full support." - Eric Garcetti. Thanks, Eric! So keep waiting little old ladies being kicked out of your lifelong units without notice or any relocation fees unless you file a civil complaint in Superior Court. Eric needs some more time to think about it.

And remember, when visiting Los Angeles, stop by Venice Beach and buy a one dollar incense from one of the Eastside stores. They won't let me see them on the beach side anymore. And have a happy day!

I Told All Of Y'all About Prop. H...Now Check This!

They call it Proposition H, but they should have called it Preparation H. Cause that's where you can put it. Here's a transcript from my Public Comment at the City Council meeting. (See replay on TV 35 at 7:30pm & 12 mid.)

You've heard Zuma Dogg speak out against Proposition H & R. Like H & R Block, or H & R Puffinstuff...When you see H & R, you should vote "NO". See today's headline in LA Daily News (www.DailyNews.com -- 10/18/06): "SPECIAL INTEREST BONANZA" -- Developers, banks, real estate investors and insurance companies have contributed more than two million dollars to bankroll Prop. H on the November 7th ballot.

If they it reaches it's goal of three million dollars [why not?], it would be the most expensive ballot measure campaign in City history.

And if Prop. H passes, development interests stand to gain hundreds of millions in government money. (See Mayor Sam story below.)

Wonder why special interests are donating so much money? NOT because they have their own (special) interests at hand??? Many major contributors said on Tuesday that they're donating to Prop. H because they want to help the City, "NOT because we want to benefit from the construction boom." [O.K., I'm sold!]

Common Special Interests...leave the comedy to Zuma Dogg. And thanks to Kerry Cavanaugh from LA Daily News for this fine investigative journalism you won't find in other local newspapers, like the LA Times. www.DailyNews.com

And by the way, nice to see Officer Landry back from vacation and back to his business. We'll miss him come January.


More Reasons We Need To Vote "NO" on Prop. R

First of all, nice to see Officer Landry back from vacation at the City Council meeting today. He's very inspiring. But let's talk about yesterday's articles in the LA Times and LA Daily News on President of LA Ethics Committee, Gil Garcetti and his philanthropic donation to Councilmember Eric Garcetti. [In case you missed my Public Comment this morning on TV 35, here is a transcript. And you can watch the re-run at 7:30pm and 12mid on City TV 35. Nunez hasn't killed that, yet.]

ZD: From yesterday's LA Times article (www.LATimes.com, 10/17/06). "Shouldn't the President of the LA Ethics Commission, of all people, abide by the panel's own rules for campaign giving?" The Los Angeles Ethics Commission President, Gil Garcetti, was fined for making an "improper" political contribution to his son, LA City Council President Eric Garcetti.

"Ethic commission members [especially the President] are prohibited from making contributions in City races."

President Gil Garcetti has a rock-solid alibi, though: " My wife said, 'sign here' and I didn't notice what the check was for." EXCUSE ME!!! That's even worse than admitting you are Eric's dad and simply couldn't resist supporting your son's campaign. However wrong and just as bad a violation, now Inspector General Zuma Dogg has to be concerned that the President of LA's Ethics Commission is signing checks without even knowing what they're for. I'll tell you what, don't look and sign one to "Zuma Dogg". I won't tell the newspaper. Laura Chick: Are you reading this, sweetie?

In case you needed a reason to Vote "NO" on Prop. R, I think this says a lot about the shadiness and corruption running rampant trusted City Council, and when you read my previous articles on how shady the whole Prop. actually is (www.zumadogg.blogspot.com), only a sucker or developer would vote "yes".