Sunday, May 31, 2009
USC = "University of Scandalous Conduct" in Sports and City Politics ??
And for many who look to sports as a useful and needed diversion from the realities of life. Jokes (will USC be able to play under the salary cap ??) and more jokes (O.J. slash and cuts across the field and into Brentwood!!), mixed in with possible NCAA Sanctions and a possible revocation of a National Championship, will be the by product of the on-going investigation into USC athletics.
But with the Los Angeles Times decision to assign investigated reporter Paul Pringle (who's investigated reporting exposed the corruption by Tyrone Freeman at SEIU 6434), to the growing controversy in Heritage Hall, the "OLD GRAY HAG ON SPRING STREET" may want to expand their investigated coverage beyond the "field of play" and into the "halls of local government".
With USC expansion plans underway near its main campus, mixed in with their ambitious plans for the area around the Health Science Campus in Lincoln Heights, this is the right moment to thoroughly investigate how the "USC WAY" is forced upon the surrounding communities.
Recently, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa appointed USC Vice President of government and community relations Thomas S. Sayles to the Department of Water and Power Commission.
And who would be the front person for USC in the 'halls of government" ?? None other than USC's registered lobbyist at City Hall, David Galaviz (pictured above with cake).
This is the same David Galaviz who is well known to the populace in Lincoln Heights, where he recently served USC and other Special Interests well, as President of the Lincoln Heights Neighborhood Council.
Whether it was getting the "youth vote", shilling for the "Las Villas Project", steering gang contracts to USC affiliated groups such as V.I.P., giving away public property to bogus non-profits such as Legacy LA, and now fronting USC attempt to subsidizes their Capital Building Program with CRA money, Galaviz is the mouth piece and shill that speaks over community concerns.
These were some of Galaviz past actions as LHNC President.
Earlier in the year, this body voted to support the controversial "Las Villas Project" on the corner of Broadway and Thomas (old Rose Eye Center location). Later on the same night that Councilman Ed Reyes announced the end of the "Las Villas Project", NC members proposed giving money to support a community event for Jenny Krusoe's "Legacy LA Project". Yet at no time did any of the USC employees or Violence Intervention Program staff member Eileen Sanchez recuse themselves from voting, and not cite that their respective employers have a vested interest in the successful completion of the "Legacy LA Project".
Rumor has Galaviz comtemplating some future run for political office (CD-14 ??) with his recent move from Lincoln Heights into El Sereno.
But while Galaviz's political aspirations may take years or never play out, the desires of his employer and ramifications on local communities are playing out now on the "field of play", in the catacombs of the NCAA, and most important, the "halls of governments".
Conquest at any cost ??
Which Charter School Would You Choose ??
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Nominations for the Ass Clown Award, May 2009
Labels: Ass Clown Award
Separated at Birth ??
"Councilman Potato Head"
Friday, May 29, 2009
Link to clip from radio show: http://mayorsam.podOmatic.com/entry/2009-05-30T00_29_00-07_00
Used to be that when a politician was termed, voted out or retired from office they'd take a cushy job in private industry or a lobbyist or once in a while return to a previous or family business. If they were a purist they might go into academics.
That's not necessary anymore when the politicians in office have found all kinds of ways to spend money to appoint former elected officials to cushy government jobs and commission seats that pay wages they could not get in private industry, legally anyway. From Cindy Montanez to Richard Katz to Mike Hernandez out of office politicians can be assured job security by their friends who still control the pursestrings.
The latest, greatest and shadiest of this may be the chatter we're hearing that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is planning to appoint termed out Council Member and defeated City Attorney candidate Jack Weiss to the $200,000 a year position of Deputy Mayor of Homeland Security for the City of Los Angeles. According to our source, the position is a hidden line item in Mayor Villaraigosa's 2009-2010 budget that creates the position with airport funds and houses it at LAX.
Even more disturbing that recycling the most hated and defeated politician in recent Los Angeles history are allegations that the City plans to lay-off 24 existing LAWA employees and replace them with the entire CD5 Jack Weiss staff (assuming that some of them wouldn't rather seek employment with Paul Koretz).
We asked a source in the Mayor's camp to confirm or deny the story but our source claimed ignorance. That's usually spinnish for "We aren't denying it." Our source also noted a number of potential shakeups typical of a Mayor entering his second term, such as the recent departure of Fire Chief Douglas Barry. I was told to expect more "shakeups" including at the Police Commission and "many, many" others.
Assuming the move of Weiss to the Mayor's staff is true - as well as the wholesale firing of LAWA employees to give their jobs to Weiss loyalists - no doubt LA's SLAP-happy pitchfork and torches crowd will be up in arms.
Creation of a "Connected Non-Profit" and the "Pimping" of Public Facilities, Part One
Many activists throughout the city are up in arms over the role of "connected non-profits" in the body politics.
While most private non-profits operate in an positive ethical manner and do good in the communities they serve, there are a "connected few" that are created for benefiting the friends, cronies and the political desires of the local politicos, can one remember Fabian Nunez's favorite, "A Collective SPACE" ??
Above is one of many e-mails that are making the rounds that chronicle the outright giveaway of public property to the latest "connected non-profit", Legacy LA.
In reading the above e-mail, one can see the corporation between Jenny Krusoe and the office of Councilman Jose Huizar as they "push" to get entry to facility.
One would of not want to have been Recreation and Park's Gary Baer as he attempts to state that there were other worthwhile organizations that wanted a chance to tour the facility and give proposals on possible use, while not knowing that Krusoe had the backing of both Mayor Villaraigosa and Councilman Huizar.
.....and in the days ahead more on the creation of the newest "connected non-profit" and the consequences on the community and ethics in City Hall.
****Some recent "contributions" from CD-14 Non-Profit Heads and others.
06/27/08 Maria Lourdes Calanche (Instructor, LA Community College District) Los Angeles, CA 90031 Antonio Villaraigosa Mayor 1305101 - Antonio R. Villaraigosa for Mayor 2009 A - Monetary Contribution Received (IND - Individual) [Period: 01/01/08-06/30/08] $1,000.00
06/27/08 Oswaldo Lopez (Exec. Director, L.A. Youth Opportunity Movement, City of Los Angeles) Los Angeles, CA 90032 Antonio Villaraigosa Mayor 1305101 - Antonio R. Villaraigosa for Mayor 2009 A - Monetary Contribution Received (IND - Individual) [Period: 01/01/08-06/30/08] $1,000.00
06/23/08 Sandra L. Figueroa Villa (Social Services Administrator, El Centro del Pueblo) Los Angeles, CA 90041 Antonio Villaraigosa Mayor 1305101 - Antonio R. Villaraigosa for Mayor 2009 A - Monetary Contribution Received (IND - Individual) [Period: 01/01/08-06/30/08] $1,000.00
Open Thread for Friday
I run into firefighters on duty every now and then in my travels. I've recently noted that LAFD seems to be more like LAPD nowadays. The 'cliquish', 'clanish', and 'spooky' on-the-job behavior that some have used to characterize LAPD is manifesting itself more and more in the City's fire department. I talked myself out of it after the first few odd encounters, but as I've experienced more strange moments with LAFD personnel I cannot talk myself out of it any longer. Seems like there is something definitely major going on within the department, and it is negatively impacting the personnel. It must be big, too, if a mere public person like myself is running into the symptoms.
Chief Barry was hired ostensibly to clean up hazing and discrimination within the department. How did he pursue this in practice? We'd love to hear from any of you in the department. Or from anyone else who has something on their minds.
Take it away, dum dums (typed with the utmost respect for our readers... well, most of you anyway.)
Thursday, May 28, 2009
You could read the full details at Zuma's blog however the most significant item is that Trutanich has designated the Republican-Democratic Armenian- Jewish duality of Roberts featuring former District Attorney Robert Philobosian and former California Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg to head up the transition team and to make all the major hiring decisions.
I can hear the dum dums crying now.
Battle Time Nearing to Protect the Southwest Museum
Let's try "F...ing disgrace!!
Everyone who cares about protecting our civic and cultural history should call Mayor Villaraigosa, Councilman Huizar and the members of the Board of Referred Powers, to demand that a public hearing, with ample public testimony time be schedule so that the concerns of the public are fully vetted.
Mayor Villaraigosa (213) 978-0600
Councilman Jose Huizar (213) 473-7014
Labels: Southwest Museum
Morning Briefs and Outtakes on the Local Political News
The erstwhile protege of Mayor Antonio "Papi" Villaraigosa is embroiled in controversy over funding of a local community center. Community leaders are attacking a plan by Huizar and fellow Council Member Janice "I Love to Park" Hahn to transfer nearly $25,000 in funds earmarked for a CD14 youth technology center to a Boys and Girls Club in San Pedro in Hahn's District.
Boyle Heights residents are confused why funds would be moved from their struggling community to another for the purpose of preventing youth violence in San Pedro when the Eastside community has similar issues of their own. City officials say this is simply an accounting matter yet locals have experienced broken promises, fraud, waste and abuse before so their skepticism is at least justified.
More importantly to note this is yet another example of why funding non-profits with taxpayer dollars leads not to answers to social problems but makes tempting for elected officials and others to engage in shenigans and make politically based decisions and payoffs. The better step would be to cut taxes and allow people to make contributions directly to worth non-profits. Of course, that would eliminate a lot of opportunity for power and jobs for certain people who couldn't get those otherwise.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
City Council, LACERS, and a surprise meeting with Nuch!
Clowncil to Vote on Mayor's Budget Today
Since the Mayor has based his budget on a number of unlikely scenarios, most reasonable humans know that the real deficit is closer to $1 billion. Any bets on when the City runs out of money and reopens the budget issue?
The City Budget hearing is item 20 on today's council agenda in case you are following the meeting this morning.
UPDATE: An excellent public comment on the budget demands a 25% pay cut for Councilmembers and the Mayor, a reduction to 2 staff cars and 5 staffers ea. An excellent suggestion based in a LA Weekly article! Let's have a little 'shared sacrifice' from the Clowncil!
Labels: los angeles city budget
Outtakes from the "Cut and Paste Barrio" of Los Angeles
"It was a harsh, negative race that had plenty of critics, including Councilman Jose Huizar, an attorney himself, who appeared at Weiss' Tuesday gathering at Canter's.
' The public doesn't deserve this,' Huizar told reporters standing on Fairfax Avenue. ' But that's the nature of the game.' "
So who and whom was the "Barrio Pimp, Jose Huizar" refering to with his comments ?
One e-mailer had this comment.
One wonders: Was Mr. Huizar criticizing the nature of a political campaign or was he saying that the Los Angeles public does not deserve to have Carmen Trutanich as City Attorney?
Or was he reflecting on how the results of the City Attorney Race would impact his political career as noted in these comments to Daniel Hernandez in his classic column on "MAPs, Mexican Ammerican Princes".
We did some research, and I am the first Latino immigrant on the City Council,” says Huizar, who was born in Zacatecas. “It encapsulates the growing Latino population in L.A. that someone like me” — his eyes flutter a bit — “can come to this country (Thanks to the Coyote ??), and because of the educational opportunities, represent the community. It’s huge.”
It’s also “huge,” he says, that he sits on the Princeton Board of Trustees, the first and only Latino to do so. He frequently points this out. He also admits that many of his achievements in L.A. politics have been due to his close relationship with Mayor Villaraigosa ("Papi"). Then, without being asked about the topic, Huizar brings up the possibility that he could one day succeed his mentor. “People say, ‘Oh you want to be mayor,’ but I’m happy doing what I do now. I’m very happy being a City Council member,” Huizar insists. “I’ve been dreaming about this since I was a kid. I used to ask myself, why can’t Boyle Heights have the parks, all the infrastructure. Now I can do something about that.”(How about honest government ??)
The whole time, Huizar is fiddling with his cell phone, tearing up a napkin, looking down. Even he seems to hardly believe himself.( A rare moment of truth).
Maybe the "Barrio Pimp, Jose Huizar", should spend more time looking behind, for one may find that some are gathering for a challenge in 2011.
*Adelante and Whiteside Redevelopment Merger Moving Forward.
*Boyle Heights Activists Eyeing Monterey Park Ban on Street Vending.
*State Senator Gil Cedillo Bill on 710 Tunnel Resolution Moving Forward.
*Huizar's Proposal for Broadway Parking Garage Raises Eye Brows.
Early Morning Briefs and Outtakes......
That is what Paul Koretz with verbage crafted by Parke Skelton, wants you to believe, as stated in his "victory declaration".
"Although we have been told that there are still approximately 100 ballots left to count, we can now safely claim victory," the Koretz campaign said. "Once these ballots are counted, and the election is certified, we will update the website."
But leave it to Paul and Parke to have their backup plan in place....
To defend our lead through the vote counting process, we have hired election law expert Stephen Kaufman and his firm. This means we need to raise funds again to pay the cost of this effort, which could go as high as $20,000. This is an extension of the General election campaign so the same contribution limits apply with a maximum $500 per person limit—so if one has already given the maximum ($500 per person) then no more can be contributed to this effort. If someone is a new contributor to the General election, then they can give the full $500. Anyone who has already contributed to the General election, but has not donated the $500 maximum, can contribute the difference up to the $500 limit.
We have to raise this within the next week. Anything anyone can do to contribute or raise funds will be a huge help!
News Galore on Prop 8.
That is if you were reading the LA Times Website "LA Now", as the scribes went on with "post y post y post" on yesterday's California Supreme Court ruling upholding Prop 8.
Then there was this about Billboards.
When things look dicey, politicians at City Hall have a time-tested strategy: punt. So, faced with criticism from business leaders and neighborhood councils, the Los Angeles City Council put off a vote on the complicated overhaul of its sign ordinance, agreeing to wait until after July 1 to make a decision -- after City Atty.-elect Carmen Trutanich is seated.
FREEDOM AND FREE ENTERPRISE!!
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Parke's "bloggin response" to Ron Kaye's CD-5 "Election Irregularities Post"
Ron Kaye's post on the claims of "election irregularities" in CD-5 merit this response from the "Nordic Spin Master" who is also the campaign consultant for Paul Koretz.
By Parke Skelton on May 26, 2009 11:53 AM
Every election produces some "irregularities" or at least claims of them. You know that. And people, voters and election officials, make mistakes.
But don't you think it is a tad irresponsible for you to be undermining the validity election on the basis of no independent investigation, statistical analysis or facts? Simply parroting the complaints of the Vahedi camp is not evidence that "a revote may be necessary." Or that we "may never know who won the election." That's an awfully portentous claim.
Yes, polling places were consolidated. It was a low turnout special election -- and like 10:30 a.m. comment, most voters "looked at their sample ballot and found the correct place." And a relatively small handful of voters in one ballot group did not receive the correct ballot guide with their absentee ballot.
All of these claims are being investigated by the Registrar and a report will be issued. Virtually all remaining ballots will be counted today. We will know who won the race. Just wait a few hours. And be willing to accept the verdict of the electorate.
Can one smell the smoke of a "looming political firestorm" in CD-5 ??
Open Thread for Mond... errr, Tuesday
Locally, we have signs signs everywhere signs on the City Clowncil agenda.
Ron Kaye has the details of serious election irregularities in the CD 5 runoff.
And Matt Dowd is still speaking in public comment this morning.
BREAKING: Looks like Prop 8 stands, but existing marriages remain valid. Nothing too surprising, sadly.
From Mayor Sam via Twitter: Prop 8 Rally in Downtown LA Today 6PM. Meet at Pershing Sq. 532 S. Olive St.
Via Twitter: AWESOME via @johncoulthart Prop 8 decision protest blocking traffic in SF: http://bit.ly/15IWWW
Opine away.... dum dums?
Monday, May 25, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Dear Mr. President
Dear Mr. President,
I am writing to you today because this weekend will mark your first Memorial Day Weekend as President. I would imagine that tomorrow you will be very busy attending ceremonies and giving speeches. I am a bit concerned about this because in the past you have shown a tendency to be critical of the United States of America and the policies that this country has followed for the last few decades. Mr. President, on Memorial Day, this type of attitude will not be acceptable. Not just to me, but to most citizens of our nation.
I can offer you some advice. As a former member of the military myself, I can tell you that leaders like yourself - men who have never worn a uniform or taken that oath - are generally viewed with subtle suspicion by both active and former military members. It is important to overcome this hurdle of trust by letting your service members know exactly where you stand, loyalty-wise. I thought I might include this video of one of your predecessors, former President Ronald Reagan. He was phenomenally popular with the American public for several reasons, but the most important reason was that he didn't let us down. He kept a steady hand while guiding us through difficult times. He looked like a President, he sounded like a President, and most importantly, he acted like a President.
I am not saying you should just copy him or his style...you have your own personal style. But if you can end your term as President being even half as popular as Ronald Reagan, you will be able to call yourself a success.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Caption This for Friday
Besides, next week is gonna be a busy one with the California Supreme Court announcing their Prop 8 verdict on Tuesday, and the LA City Council having to reopen their budget process (says Bitter Bernie).
Besides Arnie continuing to threaten Californians with (fill in the blank), what else is happening next week?
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Morning Briefs, Outtakes and Post Mortems on Election Day (Villar Edition).
David Vahedi came within a few hundred votes of upsetting the campaign of longtime Westside pol Paul Koretz, who had the blessing and backing of heavy political hitters such as Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and Rep. Henry Waxman".
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Attorney and bring honesty, integrity and transparency to City Hall.
It's a new day and I see a brighter tomorrow. I see a Los Angeles where we can measure our progress by the quality of our lives -- the purity of our air and water, the safety of our streets, the quiet enjoyment of our neighborhoods, and the excellence of our schools. As your City Attorney, I will work with every fiber of my being to be the people's lawyer -- a true advocate for a better Los Angeles. Though I do not formally take office until July 1, my work for the people begins today.
Once again, I thank you."
Labels: carmen trutanich
Trutanich, Park, rising stars of L.A. Politics - Governators Props go down in flames
Yesterdays defeat of Jack Weiss was a good thing for the City of Los Angeles. Nuch Trutanich showed that people can make the choice between a good candidate and a bad one, no matter how much money gets thrown into negative TV ads. Most human beings have an instinctive "dishonesty detector" and their alarms were going off full blast when listening to Jack Weiss. Congrats to Nuch. I met him on the campaign trail earlier this year while I was running for Mayor. I came away from our meetings very impressed with his integrity and candor. Like I said in a previous blog, he's a man's man, and I trust him with the keys to the City Attorneys Office. I am quite certain he will do an excellent job as City Attorney.
Notes on the Election Scorecard, with respects to Allan "Mud" Malamud R.I.P.
Vahedi Surges in CD5
CD 5 is "THIS" close...**Final results posted.
Consider the latest at 12:46 AM.
PAUL KORETZ 15,787 50.51
DAVID T VAHEDI 15,471 49.49
This may require a recount............
****Final results with 100% of precincts reporting,
PAUL KORETZ 15,917 50.53
DAVID T VAHEDI 15,582 49.47
Koretz by 335 votes.........
Earlier Tuesday evening (on Twitter) I called the race in the LA Community College Seat 2 contest for Tina Park over incumbent Angela Reddock, it is now certain that Park will win, current returns with 86% of precincts reporting show Park with 54% of the vote over Reddock with 46%. Reddock had the LA Times but looks Park, who was backed by the LA Republican Party, had the voters in an unexpected win.
It had also looked like insider favorite Paul Koretz was handily defeating Neighborhood Council candidate David Vahedi but very recent returns with 82% of the precints show that Vahedi has closed the nearly 6 point gap he had all night and now the race is extremely tight, way too close to call at this point. If Koretz still wins, it won't be a strong victory if this trend holds.
Other than LA Community College Seat 6 candidate Robert Nakahiro losing to incumbent Nancy Pearlman nearly 62% to 38% it looks like overall a smashing defeat for the status quo and political insiders. That just may be the mood of the voters overall these days. Perhaps elected officials may start taking the people seriously now. Or not.
Tina Park Projected as Upset Winner in LACCD Board of Trustee, Area 2
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Carmen Trutanich projected to win City Attorney Race
CARMEN "NUCH" TRUTANICH 98,489 55.12
JACK WEISS 80,180 44.88
Live Bloggin Election Results for Los Angeles County
LACCD Area 6:
NANCY PEARLMAN 57,676 58.7
ROBERT NAKAHIRO 40,574 41.3
% Precincts Reporting 13.05
LACCD Area 2:
TINA PARK 53,715 55.46
ANGELA J REDDOCK 43,144 44.54
% Precincts Reporting 13.05
PAUL KORETZ 6,466 52.98
DAVID T VAHEDI 5,738 47.02
% Precincts Reporting 10.00
C "NUCH" TRUTANICH 43,272 51.88
JACK WEISS 40,133 48.12
% Precincts Reporting 12.01
JUDY CHU DEM 6,388 41.98
GIL CEDILLO DEM 2,628 17.27
BETTY CHU REP 1,938 12.74
EMANUEL PLEITEZ DEM 1,233 8.1
TERESA HERNANDEZ REP 1,202 7.9
DAVID A TRUA REP 1,036 6.81
State Senate, 26th District:
CURREN D PRICE JR DEM 10,507 69
NACHUM SHIFREN REP 3,724 24.45
**The "Ones, A-E" going down big time. "1-F" winning.
Will update numbers at 11:00 PM. ****Here are the updated numbers at 11:00 PM.
LACCD Area 6:
Nancy Pearlman 98,098 59.74
Robert Nakahir0 66,105 40.26
% 0f Precincts 47.03
LACCD Area 2:
Tina Parks 90,456 55.65
Angela J. Reddock 72,097 44.35
% of Precincts 47.03
Carmen Trutanich 72,885 53.97
Jack Weiss 62,163 46.03
% of Precincts 43.23
Paul Koretz 8,105 53.02
David Vahedi 7,183 46.98
% of Precincts 24.38
Judy Chu 12,897 32.84
Gilbert Cedillo 9,508 24.21
Emanuel Pleitez 5,497 14
Betty Chu 3,975 10.12
Teresa Hernandez 3,114 7.93
% of Precincts 75.68
State Senate, District 26
Curren D. Price 15,131 71.62
Nachum Shifren 4,403 20.84
% of Precincts 32.3
****The "Ones" swims with Governor "Kennedy Republican" in "Uncle Teddy's" car.
Labels: May 19 Special Election
Election Day Today!! Tues May 19th. Go Vote!
Make sure you take time out of your busy day to go vote (if you haven't already...you vote-by-mailers).