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Monday, January 19, 2009

Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Monday

If as claimed by some supporters of Measure B that the controversial plan would not benefit the politically powerful International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union, then the massive investment in the campaign to pass the measure seems to be a huge waste of money. The last working journo at the LA Times, David "Z-Man" Zahniser reports that nearly 2/3 of the support for the plan - which would requires that all new solar panels in Los Angeles be owned by the DWP and installed by IBEW members - is coming from the union and affiliated groups. In the meantime, No on B leader Jack Humphreville illuminates a little more on the shady plan and it's contributions at MS2.

Whatever happened to Mayoral candidate Walter Moore? I haven't received one of his usual pieces he sends out and his campaign blog hasn't been updated in nearly two weeks. If anyone has seen Walter lately please let us know.

The Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association reports that the results of an online poll show that seven in ten people support leaving Billy the Elephant at the Los Angeles Zoo. However it should be noted online polls are hardly accurate. In the meantime the County of LA warns the City that if construction does not move forward on the controversial exhibit meant to house Billy it would be required to refund $5 million in County money spent on the project.

A piece at Bloomberg details that many of the owners of LA's upper priced homes unable to meet their mortgages due to the slumping economy are working to hard to get their homes rented out as locations for both legit and porno film shoots. One location scouting firm says that "more than a dozen calls are coming in each week, up from about two a week a year ago."

Reports are that Sex In The City star Sarah Jessica Parker would like Britney Spears to star in the sequel to film that follows up the hit cable television series. “It’s time to inject some young blood into the movie,” Parker is reported as saying.

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Blogger Heather said:

The internet is a powerful tool so everyone blast out the corruption about Measure B to all your e-mails. People need to know how shady the Mayor, Greuel and the rest were putting this on the ballot without any community input. Shame on Greuel for being part of it.

Does anyone know if the motion Huizar wanted to pass last week giving people who couldn't afford their mortages a $1.5 MILLION bailout from our tax dollars passed? These people knew they couldn't afford to pay the right way and tried to get to do it anyway and now we're suppose to help them?

January 19, 2009 6:39 AM  

Blogger Jim Alger said:

I am so sick and tired of anyone who wants to score a cheap political point doing on the backs of our cities workers. Of course they don’t call it that, they call it “big labor unions," or “special interests.” The art of dehumanizing a manufactured opponent is is a political trick as old as politics itself.

In this case they are railing against IBEW over the Solar Initiative for doing what a union is supposed to do, protect its workers. Notice they don’t complain about the actual workers, just the “big union” they become when they stand as one.

Who are these "big unions?"

They are the 22 year old single mom who checked your groceries at Ralphs. They are the operator who answered your 911 call for help, and the police, fireman or paramedic who came to help you with little regard for their own safety.

They are the nurse who helped deliver your child, or the teacher who gave that child an education.

They close streets to protect you from downed power lines and yes, they are that crew that put those power lines back up in the howling rain so your family can sleep in a warm home.

The number one threat to our economy right now is jobs. Unions work tirelessly to ensure that those jobs remain. That they pay a fair wage and provide decent benefits. Are their disparities? Of course. But to constantly attack unions to make a cheap point, attacks real people and distracts us from the true arguments and therefore the legitimate debate

You generally don’t hear about huge “golden parachutes” for corporate CEO’s in unionized workplaces because the workers have a large seat at the table.

The demonization of unions by corporate interests is to be expected in the ongoing political fight between the have’s and have not’s. But it has no place in this ongoing discussion of the Solar Initiative.

Debate whether it is going to do what it claims, whether it is good for LA, whether in these financial times do we really want to buy from China and not the US. There is a fair debate to be had, but enough of the cheap-shots at LA’s workforce. We should all be better than that.

And when the LA City Fire Dept goes by, thank the UFLACC. That grocery clerk, say hello to the face of UFCW. Your child’s teacher, greetings UTLA . The Police officer who protects your family, hello LAPPL and that nurse who cared for your parents… say hello to the friendly face of SEIU.

At this rate if Neighborhood Councils actually became successful at standing together for something consistently the attack will be the “big NC special interests.” Kind of ridiculous huh? Then knock it off already.

Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone. Satellite based service provided by GlobalStar.

January 19, 2009 8:50 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

AMEN Jim! Measure B stinks for all sorts of reasons, but the city's workers aren't one of them although I am not sure I feel so strongly about it as to scribe a diatribe on a blackberry.

You did hit on a strong point, while this plan may help local labor in some sectors, it doesn't buy American which is something our government should be doing whenever possible.

January 19, 2009 10:41 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Jim, I think the Washington DC air has frozen your brain. This deal sucks for all of labor except one union that has been the queen bee of this city for far too long.

It is true there are other points to be made against this crappy scheme, but IBEW should stop "looking out for themselves" to the detriment of everyone else.

January 19, 2009 10:46 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Alger paid by the unions to blog. Woo hoo.

January 19, 2009 11:24 AM  

Anonymous Phil Jennerjahn said:

Walter Moore is in hiding and in a deep shame spiral because of two recent fiascos.

First he had the "Jamiels Law" project for which he was shamelessly hogging the spotlight on media coverage for that. For being the "supposed" passionate proponent of the proposed law, he didn't do enough to shepherd the project correctly, and it failed and will NOT be on the ballot. Ooops.

Then he showed off his case of foot-in-mouth disease when he said that the Solar 8 people were wrong and were going to lose their court battle over the disastrous Measure B . With a minor revision of the wording, they won. Oooops. Mighty lawyer Walter Moore was WRONG on a legal issue.

Then add the fact that Walter has blown through a lot of his campaign money long before the election, and his chances keep dwindling. I think his campaign is imploding.

I guess on March 4th it is back to his jobby-job as usual at the law firm.

For a high quality candidate, without all the gaffes.... go to....


January 19, 2009 11:38 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

11:24 AM you are kind of making his point.

January 19, 2009 11:51 AM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

Jim - I don't think any of us would bash the government union workers. Especially the ones who actually work and care.

We're bashing the leadership which is exploiting the workers purely for money and political gain. Most union members aren't happy with their leadership but thanks to the thug tactics of the unions they can't speak out.

January 19, 2009 12:06 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

The greatest thing the new generation of Republicans (led by Bobby Jindal and others) will do in the Obama era is to call for reforms and throw sunshine on greedy corporations, corrupt unions and criminal elected officials. Mark my words.

January 19, 2009 12:08 PM  

Blogger Jim Alger said:


Union leadership is elected by the membership. You can't bash the unions for getting this "exclusive monopoly" and simultaneously bash them for "exploiting their members for money and political gain." Where do you think the "political" power comes from? Th membership who, when asked, will walk precincts, make calls and even donate money. That's how unions, or anyone, gets things done - becoming a force in the political structure.

For all the bashing of D'Arcy & Co. you seem to forget he would be nobody without his members behind him. That is how it is with any leader.

What do you call a leader with no followers? A guy taking a walk.

Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone. Satellite based service provided by GlobalStar.

January 19, 2009 2:47 PM  

Blogger Heather said:

Jim,c'mon you're beginning to sound like someone who is being paid off (not likely) or brainwashed. WE support the hard working people who take care of our city. BUT UNIONS? like the IBEW or the DWP employees who got a 17 1/2% raise thanks to Antonio I have no support for. This Measure is just as shady as the term limits one that city council lied to us about.

January 19, 2009 3:07 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:


The leadership has used their political power to enact a number of laws, regulations, etc. that make it very difficult for rank and file to challenge leadership. Most people are forced to join unions to get a job.

Card check would be the nail in the coffin. I have yet to hear the union or anyone else spin why it's a great idea.

January 19, 2009 3:27 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


Normally I would say that you've lost it, but I realize that you're employed by labor, so this is what you have to do. You're trying to help those who butter your bread. Without you presenting the proper disclaimer, your postings really are a conflict of interest.

The members elect the IBEW leadership. They will continue to elect them if they produce more and more wages, benefits, and job protection. Like so many CEO's and stockholders, the driving force is greed.

Prop. B, and the way it was developed in secrecy, and the way it gives a monopoly to the IBEW, isn't the way good government should do things.

At some point, the interests of the ordinary hard working people who pay the utility bills (the ones who make much less than DWP workers), need to be represented. In this case, their voices were never heard because of the way it was rushed through the process.

How can you sleep at night, continuing to push for more for these union workers who already are among the highest paid, and have the best job protection, in the nation, when so many other ratepayers are losing their homes and are wondering where their next meal is coming from?

This attitude puts the rich unions in the same boat as the greedy corporate giants.

January 19, 2009 3:50 PM  

Blogger Jim Alger said:

"WE support the hard working people who take care of our city. BUT UNIONS? like the IBEW or the DWP employees who got a 17 1/2% raise thanks to Antonio I have no support for."

Heather, you are aware that the IBEW and DWP employees are one in the same? Also, the raise was nowhere near 17% but that is a different story.

"The members elect the IBEW leadership. They will continue to elect them if they produce more and more wages, benefits, and job protection."

So what you are saying is that as long as the Union leadership keeps doing their job effectively the membership will continue to vote for them and this upsets you.

Ummmmmm OK

BTW NONE of this discusses the merits of Measure B for or against but this is an interesting distraction to help keep me warm :)

January 19, 2009 4:28 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

So Alger must be working for IBEW which is why he went after us in Northridge.

Get a real job Jim. You owe it to your family.

January 19, 2009 4:33 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


The point is that with the IBEW leadership trying to get the most they can for their membership without any regard for the people who have to pay the bill, you shouldn't criticize the billpayers who are trying to provide a counterforce. What kind of a world would this be if the city employee unions got everything they wanted, which is very close to the way it has been for a long time.

Regarding Prop. B, there are two main arguments:

1. Monopolies are bad. Competition might produce a better produce at less cost, but we'll never know if Prop. B passes. Read the Times editorial.

2. If this was good proposal, why wasn't it, and the report of the City Council's consultant made public earlier so there could be a public discussion? The answer is that it isn't a good plan, and those who shaped it didn't want a public discussion.

Your relationship with organized labor has put you on the wrong side of this one.

January 19, 2009 4:55 PM  

Blogger Jim Alger said:

If only, just one time someone who posted here anonymously would know what in the HELL they were talking about.

I do NOT work for IBEW and I "went after" you in Northridge George because you were making a laughing stock out of the NC system that I defend every single day.

By now you would think that you would know, that accusing someone else of ulterior motives does not absolve you from your own wrong doing. Fortunately, the council voted unanimously to straighten things out and move on. My understanding is that after discussion with the City Attorney, NWNC is now in complete compliance with the law which is good for everyone. Sorry to hear that you have such a problem with that.

Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone. Satellite based service provided by GlobalStar.

January 19, 2009 6:32 PM  

Blogger Jim Alger said:

4:55 Both those arguments are valid discussions to be had for sure. My point is this, if those against measure B want to go to war with the unions, they do so at their own peril... and they will lose. Especially if your main focus has been to attack the unions because members will be even more motivated to fight back, they are fighting for their livelihood of course. In other words, your valid discussions get hijacked by emotions and positions harden. Not to mention, workers aren't the enemy.

Your point is not a bad one. I have said for some time that unions can be their own worst enemy. Look at Los Lomas. This project is HORRIBLE for the area but that didn't stop a local union from standing in a room full of angry residents supporting what the entire community opposed simply because of the promise of the project being built by union jobs. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. How likely are those residents to honor a picket line if they feel unions work against their community?

Wal-Mart, the poster child of a union target hoodwinked themselves a store by promising the local union to use union labor to build the store. They of course didn't but once against through the trees.

That said, no one is perfect and you can't blame unions for trying to keep their members employed. It just seems like your argument could be better refined so as to deal with the glaring disparities (such as building these things in China... does ANYTHING from China work???)and not making the entire fight about hating unions.

I have supported unions all my life. I do find it amazing though, when I was running for office I supposedly hated unions and now I am "in their pocket." It is possible to have a belief system you know. I believe that given the greed shown by corporations to siphon as much money to the top and squeeze the workers as hard as they can, that the only way to stop that is to organize. It is the only thing that has ever worked whether it is fighting for a community, getting someone elected or fighting for fair pay - if you aren't organized you have no power. No pun intended (although Brian, feel free to use it) :) I am off to bed folks, big day tomorrow.

Great discussion though.

January 19, 2009 8:32 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

It's the 20th of January and not a sliver of Zuma Dogg on Night Line.

Bumped for another year!

January 19, 2009 8:54 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

But Jim, how 'bout addressing how you are selling out all the good people who don't earn anywhere near as much as the DWP workers and don't have a lifetime job guarantee?

January 19, 2009 9:00 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Jim your point is well taken. It is too easy to attack "big unions" or "shady city council" or many of the other claims disguised as legitimate debate on this blog and other places.

I would love to hear a legitimate debate on the merits of measure b. What I have heard so far is "unions are bad so measure b is bad."

January 19, 2009 11:03 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Jim here is what I have to say to you. While you are freezing your ass of in Washington DC, we are here in 80 degree weather in warm sunny LA.

Alger out of town, the clowncil out of town and Zuma mutt canceled - aghhh this is heaven!

January 19, 2009 11:53 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I know billy the elephant is on no one's mind but I just want to make the point that if you follow those who oppose the expansion of the exhibit that they should oppose the entire zoo because ALL of those animals are confined to smaller spaces then they would normally inhabit in their natural habitats. Go check out the pools that those poor seals, sea lions etc swim in. They are a gazillionth of the size of the ocean. CARDENAS take on real issues like all the gang shooting in your district and those of your buddy Alarcons..

Like the one that happened tonight right by Telfair where a 16 year old high school student was shot in the head and killed.

Fight the fight for little Jose in your neighborhood and leave Billy alone.

January 21, 2009 8:25 PM  

Blogger westchesterparents.org said:

IBEW like the UTLA or the CTA is nothing but big business just like the big businesses such as Ford, GM, Boeing, Tutor Saliba.

Unlike the latter four, IBEW and UTLA profit at the expense of the taxpayer and neither provide a better product.

Sure the teachers voted for Duffy and his ilk, all 25% of them but that does not necessarily mean that they support Duffy. In the meantime LAUSD dropout rate continues to wallow at the bottom 10% of the state.

"for doing what a union is supposed to do, protect its workers."

Yeah... and we know who is expendable.

Taxpayers that include families and kids.

January 21, 2009 11:57 PM  

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