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Monday, January 28, 2008

Bratton Prop S Commercial: The Big Lie

It began with Mayor Villaraigosa calling it a "tax reduction." Remember however - you can not reduce a tax that doesn't exist.

The shady ballot designation. The scare tactics about not having money for police officers. All of which has been disproved by folks like Walter Moore and Daily News Editor Ron Kaye.

"Every year, LA's general fund revenues grow at an average rate of 5.7%. The problem is that since 2000 Los Angeles' employee costs have risen 7.5% a year, a 53% increase."
Ron Kaye, Editor, Daily News

The latest and most eggregious of the lies comes from a commercial featuring LAPD Chief Bill Bratton. The pro-Prop S TV spot says that the measure closes "a corporate tax loophole." Absolutely no mention of the fact that the measure IMPOSES A TAX ON LANDLINES, CELLPHONES and INTERNET SERVICE. No mention either that the tax will be on EVERY PHONE LINE YOU HAVE. Most people have a landline, a cell phone and maybe a DSL line. That's three lines at 9% a pop.

As the Daily News reported Sunday, "the measure would allow the city to tax voice mail service, pagers, text or instant messages sent by cell phone or PDA."

The pro-Prop S website - PropSFacts.com - is almost as bad. They at least mention the phone task but they frame Proposition S as "closing a loophole so that corporations and others that are not currently paying the tax pay their fair share."

Those "others" are you.

But you and others like you can fight back. We don't have the big bucks from the developers, public employee unions, etc. but we have the power of the people and the internet. Here's one way to get the word out to your friends.

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Anonymous wally said:

Where is Don Quixiote's comment on Prop S?

I will make my desicions based on what Don Quixote says. I made all my financial moves based on Don Q and Zuma, I will make all my moves badsed on the opinions of Zuma and Don Q. I suggest all of you do the same.

January 28, 2008 2:51 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

L.A. to announce Broadway makeover.



The new gentrification of Los Angeles will do what the police have not been able to do for years. Get rid of all the illegal aliens from Mexico and the crime rate will drop and Los Angels will make some "tax " money.

We just need more more gentrification (anti-ghettoization) of Los Angeles to solve the budget and school crisis. As soon as the illegal aliens leave downtown Los Angeles, the schools will improve and crime rates will drop in the central Los Angeles area.

All the "shady" developers will do what many politicans and police have not been able to do. I look forward to the gentrification of Los Angeles, say bye-bye to the mexicans selling bacon-wrapped hot dogs in downtown Los Angeles. Say bye-bye to all the low life mexican cholos which have ruined much of L.A.

January 28, 2008 3:22 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

How pathetic that the city is suppose to be in a state of emergency and the Mayor is always out of the city with Hillary. No one is campaigning for the BS Prop S but Bratton. He has no choice. When the Mayor said he would cut police and fire it became a no win situation. Where are all the dumb ass politicans who want this to pass and why aren't they speaking out????

January 28, 2008 6:30 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


The article about the makeover of broadway street in downtown has Huizar talking about Los Angeles needing a makeover. How pathetic that Huizar is the one allowing all the illegal vendors to operate in his city council district.

Huizar an Reyes have "Tijuanazed" their districts. Their districts have the most graffiti, gangs, illegal steeet vendors and trash on the streets.

The Los Angeles city council also needs to be gentrified, maybe Eli Broad can bull-doze the existing city council and give us a brand new shiny city council who can manage a budget and not waste money.

Voting yes for Prop. S, says to the local politicians just keep wasting money as usual.

And the city workers and their union are just as guilty as the city council. Too many city workers feel the city can be easily sued to cash in on an early retirement. And the unions have to much power over the city politicians and money. We should hire private companies to do more of the city functions, and sue their ass when they don't deliver.

The city should have mostly attorneys and contract mangers to do to others what has been done to the city for years.

January 28, 2008 8:27 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The fire cheif, the police chief, etc all work for VILLA. I dont believe that the police and firemen believe what the bosses are being made to say. The unions have made agreements with Villa, thats why they support Prop S.

Honest people say NO ON PROP S!

January 28, 2008 9:09 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


We've decided to turn your blog into the ethics commission for all your campaigning against Proposition S. We can not have you campaigning against the Mayor as much as you want. You have to be subject to the same rules as other lobbyists and political candidates. Your opposition work to the Mayor and Proposition S is considered an independent expenditure.

Pay up fatboy!

January 28, 2008 9:26 AM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

9:26 - you have fun too. Don't even entertain the notion that we're going to back off on Proposition Shady.

You ain't seen nothing yet!

January 28, 2008 10:40 AM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

Not lets get back to how the Mayor, Bratton and others have turned the lie of Prop S into an even bigger lie.

January 28, 2008 10:40 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

If the council members would consider changing their pay structure and taking a pay cut, I may consider voting for Measure S. But it has to be starting with them, not the next group of elected council people.

Since that isn't going to happen in the next two weeks, I guess I'll consider this another "measure R" type rip-off..knowing the average stupid taxpayer will see a picture of a cop and vote Yes Yes Yes.

January 28, 2008 11:09 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

In today's LA Slimes by Joseph Mailander

The 'S' stands for sham

The city phone tax proposition is a far cry from honest....Let there be no mistake. The political power elite of the city of Los Angeles is so anxious for you to pass Proposition S that they're willing to ride to victory on bad-faith efforts. Nearly every element of Proposition S, which is on the ballot for the Feb. 5 election, is engineered to baffle a negligent voter. And you can start with the name.

Officially, Proposition S is called by this disingenuous and elliptical mouthful: "Reduction of Tax Rate and Modernization of Communications Users Tax." That sounds confusing, but mostly it sounds like less taxes, doesn't it? Silly you. This "reduction" and "modernization" actually extends and potentially expands the city's tax on communication technologies, mostly with cellphones in mind. It also gives the city the right to collect taxes that two courts have found it couldn't collect without your approval.

In the last two years, courts determined that the way the city was cashing in on your cellphone calls violated Proposition 218, which requires voter approval for new taxes. (In case you're wondering, the city didn't immediately stop collecting any questionable dollars.) Now more court cases are pending about other technicalities related to the tax. If enough of you vote yes, Proposition S will outflank the court cases, establish the requisite voter approval and open the door for taxing more "communication services" in the future. If the city were playing fair, Proposition S would be labeled "Legalizing and Extending the Phone Tax"-- except voters would never go for that. So the proponents included a meaningless 1% drop -- from 10% on various services to 9% -- so they could call the thing a "tax reduction."

The proposition was born in bad faith. In order to get it on the Feb. 5 primary ballot, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the City Council had to declare the city to be facing a fiscal emergency. But what emergency? It's so extreme the $178,000-a-year City Council members voted for a pay raise for 22,000 of the city's workers, just in time for the holidays.

If voters get beyond the hype and the title, they'll see that Proposition S is hardly a reduction in taxes. From the proposition's Section 21.1.3 in the voter information pamphlet:

"(a) There is hereby imposed a tax upon every Person with a billing or service address in the City of Los Angeles who uses Communications Services. ..."

Or how about this one from paragraph (d)?

"Charges subject to the Communications Users Tax include, but are not limited to, the following: connection, reconnection, termination, movement, or change of telecommunications services; late payment fees; detailed billing; voice mail and other messaging services; directory assistance; access and line charges; universal service charges; and regulatory, administrative and other cost recovery charges."

January 28, 2008 11:30 AM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

Bratton talks about S closing a "corporate loophole."

Its such a lie. If you're reading this make sure you let your friends know that the only loophole S closes is the one the Mayor and the Clowncil created for themselves when they illegally taxed your phone bill. That's why the court threw it out.

Avoid the Villaraigosa-Bratton Lie!

January 28, 2008 11:42 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Don't align the Chief with Villaraigosa. He was threatened to campaign or lose more officers. Where the hell is Antonio and the other moron council members campaigning on this? I hope it fails big time.

January 28, 2008 12:38 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

He's right Mayor Sam. Its bad enough everyone knows that Bratton has no choice but to be the Moron Midget Mayor's bitch.

January 28, 2008 1:11 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Bratton's probably counting the days until there's a new president and he can be the new Director of Homeland Security.

January 28, 2008 1:12 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

We've never seen a good financial breakdown on Prop S. If you have several computers in the house and use them all day -- like teenagers do or if you have a home business -- and have DSL and land and cell phones and fax, will you really be paying hundreds more a year? No one knows.

January 28, 2008 2:52 PM  

Anonymous Antonio Supporter said:

Q: "If you have several computers in the house and use them all day...will you really be paying hundreds more a year?"

A: Shut up and pay up. You want fire, police and other services, don't you?

January 28, 2008 3:03 PM  

Anonymous matt dowd's contrary bloggers said:

Bratton strikes me so far as someone who usually gets what he wants.

now get off the phone, get offline, and go to the movies, or socialise in person somewhere with someone.
beat em at their own game, cut down on your own usage and actually save money at the same time.
they're doing you all a favor here.

its not like anyone's crying in pain from paying it already the last two years.
never heard that complaint that it actually hurt someone yet.

January 28, 2008 3:51 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I don't know who Bill H is, but the gig is up. Cut your losses and stick to your own blog. Trust us. You stepped in it this time.

January 28, 2008 5:28 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

3:03/ 3:51: With idiotic "rebuttals" like that, you're ensuring I vote against S and tell everyone else to.

Your clowns couldn't even be honest with people and tell them what's taxed and at how much, and are nasty and lying about it now.

No way should someone with school kids who need the internet to do homework or play games, and has a parent or two working at home, pay hundreds extra -- while the hoods who need and get cops the most won't pay much of anything.

And in principle, taxing the internet for unrelated "services" is a bad policy precedent. Plus the tax goes into the General Fund, so it can be used for that anytime.

You've persuaded me and lots of others to vote against S. Next time try reason instead of nastiness. Desperation is making you dumb.

The city, county and state have to start budgeting in advance next time -- upto 3 years, like many other municipalities. Instead of spending money as it came in with no contingency plan.

January 28, 2008 5:53 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hey Bill,

Don't drag the Sierra Club into your mess here on this blog.

January 28, 2008 6:28 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


You better talk to him!

January 28, 2008 7:54 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Prop S Would Tax Internet And Wireless Services

Set forth below is the actual text of provisions Prop S would add to the Municipal Code. As you can see for yourself, Prop S specifically applies to internet and wireless services, including but not limited to text messaging, instant messaging, and VoIP.

The following words and phrases whenever used in this article shall be construed as defined in this section:
* * *

(b) "Communications Services" shall mean the transmission, conveyance, or routing of voice, audio. video communications, data or any other communications information or signals to a point, or between or among points, whatever the technology used, and whether or not that information is transmitted through interconnected service with the public switched network, or through fiber optic, coaxial cable, power line transmission, broadband, digital subscriber line or other wireless transmission.

The term "Communications Services" includes transmission, conveyance, or routing in which computer processing applications are used to act on the form, code or protocol of the content for purposes of transmission, conveyance or routing without regard to whether those services are referred to as voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services or are classified by the Federal Communications Commission as enhanced or value added, and includes video and/or data services that are functionally integrated with "Communications Services."

"Communications Services" include, but are not limited to the following services, regardless of the manner or basis on which those services are calculated or billed: central office and custom calling features (including but not limited to call waiting, call forwarding, caller identification and three-way calling); local number portability; text messaging; instant messaging; Ancillary Telecommunications Services; prepaid and post-paid telecommunications services (including but not limited to prepaid calling cards); mobile telecommunications services; Private Communications Services; paging services; and 800 services (or any other toll-free numbers designated by the Federal Communications Commission).

Note: “Communications Services” is defined to include ALL voice, audio and data communications, including DSL, wireless, VoIP, text messaging, instant messaging, PCS, etc.

"Communications Services" does not include either digital downloads, such as downloads of books, music, ringtones, games and similar digital products, or that portion of cable or video television services subject to a cable or video television franchise fee.

Note: The only exclusion is downloads (e.g., the 99 cents you pay an iTunes download).

* * *


(a) There is hereby imposed a tax upon every Person with a billing or service address in the City of Los Angeles who uses Communications Services, including services for intrastate, interstate or international Communications Services, to the extent permitted by state and federal law.

The tax imposed by this section shall be at the rate of nine percent of the charges made for those Communications Services and shall be paid by the Person paying for those services. However, as to the charges made for services to any independent telemarketing agency, as defined in Section 21.47(b) of this Code, incurred solely in performing the functions of an independent telemarketing agency, the tax imposed by this section shall be at the rate of five percent of the charges made for those services.

Note: “Communications Services” are taxed. You pay 9% but telemarketers pay just 5%.

Visit link:

January 28, 2008 10:00 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

"City officials today will announce a new campaign to remake downtown Los Angeles' historic Broadway corridor by redesigning the bustling street, fixing up some of the grand movie palaces and restoring the fading facades of buildings.

The city and private developers have earmarked nearly $40 million to begin the effort this year, hoping to pull the gentrification that has swept much of downtown into the district's main commercial area. They envision many of the movie facades giving way to a live "theater district" forming on the street, with a trolley car system running down its center.'


January 28, 2008 10:15 PM  

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