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Monday, December 21, 2009

Los Angeles Politics Hotsheet for Monday

 Over at Village to Village Paul Hatfield recounts the tale of how Planning Department head Gail "Can I get one of the new Google phones with the free GPS?" Goldberg is playing games with the stakeholders.  The State Legislature has passed legislation around so-called "Granny Flats" but unlike cities such as Pasadena and others Los Angeles has failed to introduce an implementation ordinance to keep the matter in check.  Goldberg, who is alleged to like a good brew, has a good excuse: too many staffers have retired to even write a bill.  Rich.

Some employees of the Los Angeles Department of World Airports may be in big trouble. A Los Angeles Times investigation alleges that several staffers may have accepted lavish free trips abroad paid for by LAX Terminal Equity Corp., a company that represents various foreign carriers at LAX.  According to an anonymous source the trips were reported by a staffer disgruntled that they were not selected to go on the trips.

Paul Krekorian was elected to the 2nd District Council Seat in a huge landslide nearly three weeks ago but he's going to have to wait until after the Rose Bowl game is played to be sworn in.  The Los Angeles City Council couldn't get around to certifying Krekorian's election before they left town for their annual Christmas break.  Krekorian, trying to get a jump on things and open up for business, found that he couldn't even get his name on the office door until the Clowncil gets back.  Welcome to the dysfunctional world of City Hall, Paul!

Is this a sign of things to come from the administration of City Attorney Carmen Trutanich? Blogger Mulholland Terrace at one of LA's hottest new blogs, Griffith Park Wayist, was threatened by Trutanich pitbull Jane Usher because Mulholland refered to an LA Times commenter who speculated that the City Attorney's recent serious medical troubles were the result of binge drinking.  If Usher and Trutanich are seeking to threaten bloggers they don't like they better guess again.  That will not go down without a fight.  They know better; particularly in light of the fact that the John Shallman run Trutanich campaign was none too happy to use local blogs in their efforts to attack Jack Weiss when he ran against Trutanich.

Some light may be shed on child molestation allegations made against deceased pop star Michael Jackson when over 300 previously classified files on Jackson's cases from 1993 to 2004 will be released Monday.  It is not known if the files contain any evidence previously unknown however some of the material will relate to the case of Jordy Chandler, who Jackson was accused of sleeping with on at least 60 occasions and whom refused to testify in the case against Jackson following a $25 million settlement with the Chandler family.  Then District Attorney Gil Garcetti, not having the participation of the alleged victim, chose not to prosecute but was willing to re-consider had further evidence come forward. 

Some stories you may have missed over the weekend while you were guzzling egg nog or shopping for gifts.  LA's new bike czar may be in trouble for half-assed work but more so for making what some folks perceive to be racially tinged comments.  Council President Eric Garcetti is looking for The Grinch.  And Mayor Sam's own Red Spot is looking to name the Ass Clown of the Year for 2009.

And finally for your consideration please vote for Mayor Sam as the best political blog at the LA Weekly's 2009 Web Awards.  There are other categories you may wish to vote in such as best Twitterer (I voted for LAist's Zach Behrens) or LA's most shameless self promoter (so many choices there!).

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Anonymous Anonymous said:

Seeing Jan Perry's face this morning almost made me lose my breakfast. She has to be the worst of the Trio Of Terrible - Ed Reyes and Paul Koretz being the other to vying for the top spot of most distrusted and inept elected officials.
Perry's threatened shakedown of the fast food industry has all the hallmarks of a Jesse Jackson Rainbow Coalition shakedown. How long will it be before Perry plays the race card to try to secure South LA's voter support for her planned Mayoral campaign?
Speaking of Jackson - what about Perry doing AEG's dirty work in trying to undermine the City's right to recover the expenses from AEG's Dead Michael Jackson Show? Perry must be the person who authorized the use of City personnel to help AEG hype the Show, and in order to deflect public attention from her own cosy relationship with AEG, she's trying to say that the City Attorney's investigation is harming her attempts to get AEG to make a "donation" towards the $3.2M cost of hosting a 90 minute commercial for the Jackson movie.
"Donation?" How about demanding repayment? No, as usual Perry is playing both sides to keep herself out of the frame.

December 21, 2009 8:05 AM  

Blogger Phil Jennerjahn said:

The photo for this story is solid gold.

Where does Higby find these things?

December 21, 2009 8:14 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Higby, when you say:
"the John Shallman run campaign was none too happy to use local blogs against Jack Weiss for Trutanich" you DON'T MEAN "none too happy," you mean WAS MORE THAN HAPPY TO USE LOCAL BLOGS (INCLUDING THIS ONE) TO SLIME AND SLANDER JACK WEISS.

And of course to use certain bloggers who are regular public commenters and foul mouthed, even calling and telling said mutt "you're the best thing that ever happened to me" precisely FOR slandering Jack Weiss, including with personal attacks of a very private nature.

This threat against bloggers, whether known or anon., must be better promoted. His flunkies Jim Newton and Rob Greene at the L A Times would be ALL OVER this threat if anyone working for Jack Weiss had done it.

But as you well know, Weiss ignored the vile attacks on him by Trutanich, Shallman, Dennis Zine and especially David Berger as something that falls under "free speech" in a free society. Even though I think his campaign was wrong to ignore it for so long - it worked better than it should have, so Shallman tried it again TO A LESSER SCALE against Krekorian, but Hacopian didn't sit still for it.

This is in the same vein as his threatening to jail Jan Perry AND the head of Building & Safety AND AEG's own lawyer and top executive just for speaking their minds. Even IF Jan Perry is accepted to be a dingbat, certainly AEG's lawyer and the others aren't, and even if she or ANY of them were wrong you just don't do that in America. Even his "biggest fan" Doug McIntyre who used his show to campaign for Trutanich nonstop just to get at Tony V, says now that Trutanich's idea of democracy is like that of N. Korea.

December 21, 2009 11:07 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

8:05 dummie: "how about demanding payment" is an illegal shakedown! Even "thug and bully" Trutanich has admitted there is NO legal basis for it, and just rambled on to the Daily News reporter about "theories of the law" that he's basing his shakedown and arrests to jail people on. There are NO "criminal aspects" either that he can prove.

You people are dangerously stupid. You think because Trutanich is a rightwing nut, he has the "right" to violate the law and shake down a company "or I'll get you," but if it were a Democrat doing this you'd rightly scream "Communist!" Trutanich is far more the Communist than any of Phil's phantom enemies!

Added to his threatening people who exercise free speech, it's all part of his Dictator Complex fit for Hitler or Stalin: "obey and don't say a bad word against me or I'll use TAXPAYER PUBLIC LAWYERS TO DESTROY YOU."

December 21, 2009 11:11 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

As an attorney, I have to say that Jane Usher is correct. If a blogger slanders someone in their blog, that's an actionable tort. Bloggers are not given any free rights to say whatever they want just because it's their blog.

Opinion is one thing. Stating information as a fact is another.

December 21, 2009 12:02 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

11:07 AM must be Jack Weiss. They whine about the so-called attacks on him, but ignore all the false, gutter attacks that Weiss and AceHole Smith made on Trutanich.

Stop crying over spilled milk Jack and get a job!

You're embarrassing yourself!

December 21, 2009 12:05 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

No Jane is wrong under Section 230 of the CDA. We're not responsible for comments you make (unless we actually edit the content of your contents which we can not do with the Blogger system - we can either reject or approve them and and neither is considered editing). Nor is the Los Angeles Times where the comment was made.

Ditto for MT or us (or anyone) linking to the Times blog. We're not considered a content provider in that realm.

The only one on the hook is the guy who posted on the Times blog. And if he has evidence then Usher and Trutanich are up shit's creek.

December 21, 2009 12:25 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

By the way it's really bad form for City officials to threaten bloggers with lawsuits.

The City of Pomona learned this when they tried to threaten the Foothill Cities Blog.


December 21, 2009 12:30 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

12:05, hardly. It was Shallman and Trutanich and Berger who used THIS blog extensively to slander Weiss (who never bothered with this blog then and I'm sure doesn't now, for that matter) and then Shallman made a big fuss when this same blog ran some critical - not at all slanderous - comments about Essel. His campaign never replied to the Shallman Trutanich smears at all until after the primary while the Trutanich Shallman ploy was all negative from the start. It was ALL about "take down the one with a record" like it was all against Krekorian, using friends at the Times, etc. Same thing but he got caught this time AND it was nowhere near as nasty as his first time. Just the stuff Berger/Rumpole alone said which are pure lies with the clear intent to harm (unlike that commenter just stating an opinion, tying it to Trutanich's war on pot) could fill a volume.

It's Trutanich and Usher who are embarrassing themselves by threatening some blogger just for reprinting a comment. Shows how anxious they are about all the negative publicity he's been getting, which he's brought on himself with his behavior. The character assassinations on Chick, Perry and anyone who's called him out or stood up to him are grounds for THOSE people to take action, if anyone has grounds to.

Threatening to jail and sue people for expressing their opinions and doing their jobs is the sign of a very insecure, petty tyrant who has contempt for the freedoms of this country and the responsibility of his job. I've never seen anything close to this behavior in any elected official.

December 21, 2009 12:47 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

12:25, does the original commenter even know about this fuss and that Trutanich and Usher are threatening him with action? Does the Times?

Clearly this is designed to put the chill on anyone who dares to say anything less than flattering about Trutanich. "Bad form" indeed.

December 21, 2009 12:51 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

On the Ass Clown Awards thread, someone calls Reyes "completely in the pockets of the pot shops," and other comments are that he's duped by an advocate for them and so on.

Unless this is a fact and I'm sure it's not, this is much more reason to get into a snit than for Usher and Trutanich because someone said he might have been binge drinking - and in fact, the comment didn't say that just that such behavior CAN account for such an illness. The fact that they singled out that comment to take so seriously when reprinted, however, is unwise if they wanted to bury it, on top of the issue of threatening bloggers in a way that is not only chilling but seems to misread the law.

December 21, 2009 1:00 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

"Rumpole/Berger" does look like one giant clown after he called into David Hernandez's radio show and fillibustered Higby and Joe B with all kinds of lies about Krekorian's record.

Joe B got the last laugh when he said "Get this moron off the air."

How incredibly stupid that all the blogs and all the activists created immense good will for Nuch and now he, Rumpole and Usher are blowing it.

Nuch may very well be the biggest clown to hit LA City Hall since the real Mayor Sam.

December 21, 2009 1:52 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Not another picture of Hamburger Jan

If you'd led with the story about Usher threatening Griffith Wayist you'd have gotten a lot more heat including from other papers like the Times. This should become citywide news, people need to know they may be in danger when they post comments if Usher and Trutanich have their way

Clearly no penalty for lying to the council though, on a crucial matter, like she did when she claimed that Attorney General Brown agreed totally with Cooley and Trutanich when in fact, she was reading a quote from a rightwing commenter on a radio station that missed the whole nuuance and intent of what Brown REALLY said. He said that many of L A's shops are illegal and the whole situation got out of control NOT that any sale or exchange of money was illegal as they do. But she's slicing hairs about "truth" when it comes to some guy on a blog about something unimportant to the vast majority of people.

December 21, 2009 2:29 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Higby at 12:25 PM says: "No Jane is wrong under Section 230 of the CDA. We're not responsible for comments you make (unless we actually edit the content of your contents which we can not do with the Blogger system - we can either reject or approve them and and neither is considered editing). Nor is the Los Angeles Times where the comment was made."

You are totally right. But did you read the original article by M.T. (at http://tinyurl.com/yf4v3pr ) where M.T. himself wrote: "Trutanich is also widely rumored to drink to excess. A poster named Ronald Austin at the LA Times site snipped on December 2 that "Heavy alcoholism during the holidays can do that to you".

So M.T. wrote a statement about Trutanich, backed it up with a posting in the L.A. Times Blog and and got called on it by Usher.

While true that you cannot be responsible for what we post on your blog, are you responsible for what you yourself write on it?

December 21, 2009 4:06 PM  

Blogger Kim-SubMeter Maid said:

Whoa, I seem to have missed something big. I have no idea who was threatened by Trutanich and/or Jane Usher for anything said in a blog. I'm not sure I have time this week to go look it up, but I will after the holidays.

Can I just ask how long ago this happened?

December 21, 2009 11:46 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

1:52, sounds like Berger committed another blatant case of libel if he was promoting lies about Krekorian, for political purposes. Repeating his role for Trutanich vs. Weiss but this time getting called on as the clown who's making things up.

Thanks to just such behavior the guy's the Deputy for Ethics and Corruption for his master Trutanich, what a self-serving and double standard in their interpretations of the law. Joe B's comment and brushing him off was perfect.

Will this have an impact on how this blog is run? Will Higby be under pressure to censor comments about Trutanich, Usher etc.? While continuing to encourage the Antonio and Jan Perry and Reyes and Huizar etc. etc. comments that make the one about Trutanich (made by someone who seems angry about the pot issue as a throwaway) pale in comparison? Ironically, this blog is a lot MORE civilized since a certain homeless ruff-ruff was booted off to continue his denigratins on his own blog, and since Berger/Rumpole is done spewing the anti-Krekorian rants.

December 22, 2009 12:32 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

12:32 PM is 1:52 PM, agreeing with herself. The sign of a true schizophrenic.

December 22, 2009 5:36 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

5:36, you wish. I never heard Berger on the radio show, can't stand the sound of him and wouldn't sit through it but many people heard him make a total ass of himself.

If he were important enough he'd definitely earn the Ass Clown of the Year award, he's just a vile-mouthed ranter and liar, obsessed with money and power and class envy. And the racism and bigotry and slander about those who don't share his twisted views, which is the flip side of that.

I think it was Joe B who said he was just a wannabe Robin Leach, same cockney shouted voice but Berger is full of too much hate and smugness to realize what a fool he makes of himself every time he opens his mouth.

December 23, 2009 11:24 AM  

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