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Sunday, November 08, 2009

My Analysis of the Sunland-Tujunga Forum

By Paul Hatfield

Here are my thoughts on yesterday’s Sunland-Tujunga forum with CD2 candidates Krekorian and Essel.

As a late radio commentator once uttered: “You’ve heard the news. Now it’s time for the rest of the story.”

The first heated exchange involved the Fuentes-Krekorian connection. Chris attempted to tie Paul to Fuentes’ pro development views. It was more guilt by association rather than substance. It is very easy to connect anyone with anything in our world of six degrees of separation.

The charge was lame. However, Krekorian left himself open to the attack when he failed to distance himself from Fuentes during the primary. As you recall, Fuentes provided Paul with unsolicited support in the form of an advertisement praising him for his work in the Assembly.

I believe it was Kevin James of KRLA that questioned Paul about the support and whether it was appropriate under campaign contribution rules. Paul’s answer was lukewarm. He claimed that Fuentes was just showing appreciation for his good work, or something along those lines. Paul could have batted the question out of the ballpark by saying he was surprised by it and the timing.

It was a case of Krekorian wanting to have and eat his cake (I really hate that expression, but it is appropriate in this case).

There are times when you need to tell a colleague, “thanks, but no thanks.”

Krekorian should have done so when he got wind of Fuentes’ offer. It is doubful if the ad did much good for Paul’s campaign. If anything, it may have caused him an unnecessary headache.

Lacking even less substance was Essel’s attempt at connecting Krekorian with a bizarre plot by the insurance industry to require the installation of GPS technology in all vehicles as a means of monitoring use. Chris referenced AB2208 as the source; the bill designation was incorrect. The actual bill was AB2800 and the GPS reference was removed from the final version. GPS was never intended as a requirement for motorists. It only permitted insurers to request installation of the device. A dumb idea, but a moot point in the end.

My thanks to Joe Barrett for researching the bill. He runs the CD2 Blogspot.

Paul did not do himself a favor with his reply to the GPS Conspiracy Theory. He started off alright by looking straight at Chris and saying in so many words he had no idea what she was talking about.

Paul should have left it at that and challenged Chris to provide the source. It was apparent that she was unsure of the bill’s designation –not a good debate strategy to cite an uncertain reference. It indicated poor preparation on Chris’ part and deficient research by her staff.

Instead, he claimed to have been involved with around 6,000 bills in his three years as an Assembly Member, mentioning that it was difficult to recall the details of many of them.

Chris jumped on that with an icy but effective response: “You should read the bills you sign.”

I think Paul lost a good opportunity to score a solid knockdown by trying to be clever. It was similar to missing the PAT after a touchdown (a very relevant comparison for me today since that very thing cost my Richmond Spiders an important game on Saturday).

The carpetbagger issue came back from the grave. It was more along the lines of who carried the bigger bag.

To read the rest of this story go to Paul Hatfield's Village To Village Blog.


Blogger Joe B. said:

Just a point of clarification, it was Abby Diamond that actually did the research on AB2800.
I merely passed along her findings.

November 08, 2009 10:25 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Just read that Trutanich and the PPL have endorsed Essel. Krekorian is not happy.

November 08, 2009 11:34 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This GPS thing was just one area that bothered me. Looked it up too and found what I suspected from seeing Chris' face yesterday to be true -- she was not truthful. There was nothing GPS about the bill and she had it all wrong. How embarrassing for her. You could see it in her face. At the end of the debate, she didn't seem happy. Oh well.

Hatfield's recap is great. Thanks for posting. I think Sunland-Tujunga did a great job with this event. Great twist so it wasn't the same ol' same ol' . People can see how these folks would "work" for us when they get to the horsehoe.

Christina Gonzalez was spot on with everything. Thank you Sunland-Tujunga! You are the leaders once again!

November 08, 2009 11:49 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I think Mr. Hatfield should run for CD2. Much better qualified.

Thank you Paul H. for this great analysis.

November 08, 2009 11:54 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This is a great report. Thanks for posting it.

November 09, 2009 12:15 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

So much better than anything that comes out of Phil Jenderjohns mouth!

November 09, 2009 12:46 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

No way 11:34.

I would be ecstatic if I were Krekorian and Lietanich endorsed Essel. Carmen has already proven his ignorance and also the side of the issue he is not on, which is ours.

Chris and Carmen love developers. There is no proof whatsoever that Krekorian loves developers.

November 09, 2009 1:16 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Why does Paul think being "involved with around 6,000 bills in his three years as an Assembly Member" is anything to brag about???

November 09, 2009 6:15 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

You failed to point out that Krekorian didn't at all refute Essel's claim about accepting $15,000 from the insurance companies and then turned around and voted for a bill sponsored by, guess who? The insurance industry!

Consumer watchdogs vehemently opposed this bill to raise car insurance rates and allow insurance companies to play big brother and spy on drivers' every move. It was a horrible bill that consumer protection advocates like myself can't believe Krekorian could "forget".

Check out this: AB 2800, Assembly Floor Vote, 5/22/08)


November 09, 2009 7:35 AM  

Anonymous J. Gellerman said:

Holy shit! Krekorian voted for that AND took fifteen G's from the insurance company assholes? I worked on Prop 103 with Harvey Rosenfield. In fact, yesterday was the 21st anniversary of its historic passage. Legislators like Krekorian are being bought off to take away rights and protections we fought for and voters passed. It's a crime.

November 09, 2009 8:09 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Taking campaign cash and raising rates for consumers. Sounds like PK would fit in well on that City Council. Maybe put him in charge of DWP. He and his buddy Antonio are just waiting for "son of Measure B" on next year's ballot.

November 09, 2009 8:12 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Paul, you need to read the links you provide in your analysis. Check out the 2nd to last graph:

"As amended, AB 2800 removes direct references to GPS monitors, HOWEVER it would allow insurance companies to require drivers to use technological devices in their cars, OR PAY A HIGHER RATE if they refuse. The mileage program is nominally “voluntary,” but its permissive language would result in MANDATORY GPS monitoring, since a driver would be FORCED TO PAY MORE if he or she did not participate. There is no language in the bill limiting the information that an insurer may collect from a GPS device. This raises SIGNIFICANT PRIVACY CONCERNS regarding collection of data on consumers’ driving habits, destinations and other information that is not germane to the objective of verifying the total miles driven"

Krekorian voted for this after taking $15,000 from insurance companies and their lobbyists?

This is a death blow.

November 09, 2009 8:24 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Apparently 11:49pm did NOT look up the bill.

Open letter to Assemblyman Krekorian:

Raising car insurance rates during a recession is a very bad idea.

Installing devices that track a drivers every move is UNAMERICAN.

Being bought off for $15,000 to do all of this? Well, that's criminal.


Consumers of California

November 09, 2009 8:41 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

To Anonymous at 7:35
AB 2800 was amended in 8/08, after the article you quoted, which was published on June 16, 2008. The amendments in the bill leave the mileage estimates to the insured. There is nothing about GPS installation in the bill. I don't see anything unusual or shady about this bill relative to the insurance industry and Paul Krekorian. Both candidates have accepted campaign funds from questionable sources IMHO. Its also understandable that Chris Essel might get the bill number wrong under the heat of the debate. Really not such a big deal there, but the problem is that she did not understand the language of the bill, or she relied on poor research. That's a problem. Should we expect Paul Krekorian to have identified the exact bill Chris Essel was talking about when she had described it wrong on two accounts? Well, that would have been nice.

November 09, 2009 8:43 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

That part was removed. Here's the final bill, from what I can tell.
The insurance companies aren't making any money on this bill.

November 09, 2009 8:46 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Last comments miss the point completely.

How the bill might have ultimately been amended is irrelevant since Krekorian voted FOR the bill with the GPS language and the higher rates language. In fact, it makes him look worse since he didn't vote NO before and work to negotiate more consumer friendly language.

And if you think the insurance companies will spend millions on campaign donations and lobbying fees to get a bill passed for no profit, well then you are terribly naive. They have shareholders that expect and demand profit.

November 09, 2009 9:11 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Here's the thing as I see it. Chris was trying to "get" Paul by proving he was taking money from insurance companies after approving a bill to allow them to violate civil rights and increase fees or something like that. She didn't "get" him. There's nothing wrong with AB2800. He didn't take money from insurance companies any more than she took money from Rick Percell, if we take everyone's word at face value. We should be able to believe these people, but hey, they're politicians. We can't.

November 09, 2009 9:12 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Can someone tell me why, in the current economy, L.A. felt the need to hold this small-potatoes election in December, instead of last week?

Typically, the City tries to piggyback on state and county elections -- to cut costs and produce better turnout, or even just catch people when they're actually thinking "election" when other municipalities are holding theirs.

So why did this runoff need to linger on for an additional 4-5 weeks after the November 3 votes? It's almost as if they want to bury it.

November 09, 2009 10:44 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

1044- excellent point. December is the kiss of death for a meaningful election. Absolutely inexcusable that it could not be held last week.

Paul Hatfield

November 09, 2009 11:05 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Essel is the last person that should be throwing stones about questionable money raised. Specially when she does not even have her facts straight.

She has raised half a million from every developer and lobbyist whore in city hall.

November 09, 2009 11:35 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

PK was KO'd on Saturday:

Loses cops to Essel.
Loses Trutanich to Essel.
Loses debate to Essel.


November 09, 2009 11:47 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Essel like her boss Trutanich totally support ERIP because he's hoping it would force at least 60 lawyers and senior staff to retire from the dept., so he can replace them with rightwingers singing his tune.

He hates the "Rocky scum" as they call them, no matter how qualified and trained - it's about him and consolidating his power whatever the expense to the city. Same as with fighting Chick's lawyer Woocher's $100,000 legal fee until it's doubled and will keep growing with litigation for breach of contract. LieTanich made the council fire him, to leave Wendy vulnerable, while he'd be fine with Wendy starting from scratch at much greater expense with an outside lawyer HE chooses against himself.

The PPL bought him because they want him to fight transparency and against expanding the force. They fought Bratton and tried to denigrate him many times, want to make the position elected so they can throw money at someone weak with no track record or their own and beholden to them and Zine and Cooley, like LieTanich and Essel.

November 09, 2009 12:16 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I have to admit having Trutanich AND Greuel is pretty impressive for Essel. They don't exactly see eye to eye and no one can say Nuch is in the pocket of developers or the Mayor. I've seen Nuch at every Sherman Oaks Homeowner Assoc. meeting and he's fighting the good fight no matter what the Jack Weiss campaign people say on these blogs. Jack had absolute disdain for us.

November 09, 2009 1:12 PM  

Anonymous Lisa Sarkin & Judy Price said:

How can 'Nuch' endorse a candidate as the sitting City Attorney as this could lead to potential conflicts of interests? He is on record stating his opposition of the City Controller endorsing a candidate. Trutanich was supported by the constituents of CD2 as a candidate of the people, not of the downtown lobbyists.

Essel claims to be a business women but her job at Paramount Studios was to smooze the city council and other city officials with free theatre tickets and other perks. She visited other states instructing them how to draw film production away from California.

Now that she is a candidate, Essel has made outlandish claims that she did not support the positions of the groups she chaired such as the Central City Association and State Film Commission. Essel's response as to why she hasn't participated in CD2 is that she didn't get paid to come into CD2. What has Essel ever brought into CD2 such as jobs, charitable contributions or city services?

The last thing we need in CD2 is another downtown insider who will do the mayor's bidding and screw the constituents of Council District 2, as has gone on for far too long.

November 09, 2009 2:25 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


Your friends at IBEW just mailed crap to me in support of Measure B oh I mean Chris Essel What the F?

So she is a Downtown Street Walker for IBEW and Antonio

November 09, 2009 2:42 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Question for Essel:

Who is wright?

New Officials, Old Feud, and No Lawyer

Written by Rick Orlov,
Daily News
Sunday, 08 November 2009

An effort to resolve who will represent Controller Wendy Greuel in her ongoing legal dispute with City Attorney Carmen Trutanich fell apart Friday when the City Council failed to hire an attorney for her.

In fact, the council was unable to act because it lacked a quorum to consider a recommendation that a new contract be issued to the attorney who has become the focal point of the controversy.

"I am not sure where that leaves me," Greuel said. "We have a meeting with the judge on Tuesday, and I'll have no one there to represent my interests."

Greuel has been feuding with Trutanich over whether her office has the right to audit the workers' compensation program in his office.

The fight was launched under both officials' predecessors and was supposed to end after Greuel and Trutanich were sworn in, but it has yet to be resolved.

A key issue was a decision by former City Controller Laura Chick to hire attorney Fred Woocher to represent her rather than relying on the City Attorney's Office itself for legal representation.

November 09, 2009 2:56 PM  

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