Whistleblower hotline: (213) 785-6098

Monday, August 31, 2009

Krekorian & Assembly unleash 27,000 prisoners

Was CD 2 candidate Frank Sheftel correct when he suggested at a forum just a few days ago that Paul Krekorian was about to vote with his fellow State Assembly Members to turn loose tens of thousands of prisoners from the overcrowded California prison system?

Newspapers like the New York Times are saying that is exactly what is about to happen.

You can read it here, also in the OC Register , where posters warn that this fact , when combined with budget cuts in law enforcement, could make our streets much more deadly.

Republicans, as usual, had much more common sense than the Democrats and refused to vote for this.
The Democrats, however, had the numbers and simply outvoted them.

(I didn't think it was possible for me to think any less of Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, yet she always somehow manages to surprise me. )

In other news... Phillip Garrido was arraigned on more than two dozen counts of kidnapping, rape, and false imprisonment in the abduction of 11 year old Jaycee Duggard in 1991.

Garrido was free to commit this crime because he had been released from the California Correctional system, even though he had a previous record of kidnapping and rape dating back to the 1970's.

Hidden Springs Cafe Destroyed in Fire

The Hidden Springs Cafe in Angeles National Forest is gone, another victim of the Station Fire. This quaint establishment has been a destination or stop-over point for those traveling through ANF for 38 years, especially the hundreds of motorcycle riders who flood the area on weekends. I have been there more times than I can count and will truly miss this place.

From the son of the owner of Hidden Springs:

Hidden Springs Cafe...on Angeles Forest Hwy.has been taken from us. We have been there for 38 years serving the public and inturn made so many friends. We thank you all the many years of your friendship with us...It is a very sad time.....My brothers made it out within minutes..my mother who lived upstairs, was away on a trip..all of her belongings of our family are gone..everything...all she has is the clothes she took with her. We are all lost at the moment.....The hardest will be when i pick up my mother from the airport..and telling her you have no home.....God bless everyone who is facing this same ordeal as we are.

Also, here is video of the DC-10 dropping flame retardant near Altadena:

Labels: ,

Chris Essel: Fake CD2 Home, Fake CD2 Voters, Fake Candidate

I'm Not an Essel Voter But I Play One On TV

Chris Essel worked for thirty years in the film business and using that experience has sent out a campaign mailer that is a Hollywood production in its own right. Each of the four supporters featured in the piece are not only not voters in CD2 but some of them are not even US citizens according to a records search. We haven't seen such a brilliant charade of a campaign mailer since Laurette Healey sent out a piece featuring photos of her campaign staff portraying medical patients, doctors, parents posing with Healey.

The first testimonial comes from Anthony Wemyss (who's name is misspelled as "Wymess" on the flier), an actor.  His imdb page here: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2121024/ lists his citizenship as Australian.  His personal website can be found here: http://www.anthonywemyss.com/

Another, Cheryl Thomas, is featured in a 2007 newsletter from the Central City Association of L.A. (which Essel chaired at the time) as an employee of Paramount Pictures (on page 7):

The piece is pretty amazing but coming from a candidate who doesn't know her address in CD2 nor can even name a single public school in CD2 its not suprising Essel can't even identify actual CD2 voters.

Labels: ,

Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Monday

Most people who receive automated "robo-calls" will be relieved to hear that new federal regulations going into effect Tuesday will put an end to most of them.  However specifically exempt are banks, phone companies and political candidates. How convenient! Aren't most of the calls from those three groups anyway?

Jason Mandell writing in the LA Weekly analyzes whether or not a "grassroots" candidate can break through and win the special election this fall in CD2, something that has been discussed here at Mayor Sam as of late.  Mandell suggests that the hotbed of activism engendered from the anti-Home Depot fight in Sunland-Tujunga and unbridled Neighborhood Council rallying through the District as a whole creates a unique opportunity for an upset.  Interesting to note that the only comments on the post come from failed City Controller candidate Nick Patsouras throwing his support behind Tamar Galatzan, candidate Zuma Dogg and Carmen Trutanich rainmaker and Valley activist Mort Allen.

Here are more items you may find of interest:

Well connected lobbyists and LA's public employee unions battle over who gets to get run cart concessions at LA's municipal golf courses.

Call Phil Jennerjahn: LAPD cracking down on upscale taco trucks in tony areas of the city.

Tamar Galatzan has doubts about Instant Runoff Voting.

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, August 30, 2009

LA Radio and Television Threatened by Fire

The Station Fire is currently threatening television and radio transmission in Los Angeles as flames approach broadcast transmission facilities located atop Mount Wilson. Among the stations impacted include:

KPFK(FM) 90.7 mhz (110,000 watts)
KBIG(FM) 104.3 mhz (105,000 watts)
KLOS(FM) 95.5 mhz (63,000 watts)
KTWV(FM) 94.7 mhz (58,000 watts)
KRTH(FM) 101.1 mhz (51,000 watts)
KCMG(FM) 92.3 mhz (43,000 watts)
KLVE(FM) 107.5 mhz (29,500 watts)
KCBS(FM) 93.1 mhz (28,500 watts)
KPWR(FM) 105.9 mhz (25,000 watts)
KLSX(FM) 97.1 mhz (20,900 watts)
KZLA(FM) 93.9 mhz (18,700 watts)
KMZT(FM) 105.1 mhz (17,600 watts)
KPCC(FM) 89.3 FM (600 watts)

KCOP(TV) Ch. 13 (162,000 watts)
KTTV(TV) Ch. 11 (166,000 watts)
KCAL(TV) Ch. 9 (141,000 watts)
KABC(TV) Ch. 7 (159,000 watts)
KTLA(TV) Ch. 5 (44,700 watts)
KNBC(TV) Ch. 4 (44,700 watts)
KCBS(TV): Ch. 2 (36,300 watts)

Since most people receive local television broadcasts on cable or satellite TV, which don't rely on the Mount Wilson facilities to acquire or retransmit local television programming, only those who are solely using an antenna will be impacted should transmission atop Mount Wilson be affected. Additionally AM radio stations do not have transmission facilities on Mount Wilson so they are not affected. There may be some impact on cellular phone service as some phone companies maintain relay facilities on Mount Wilson.

KABC's John Phillips will be on the air all Sunday evening starting at 11:00 PM and continuing through to 5:00 AM Monday morning (when Doug McIntyre's regular programming comes on the air). Phillips will carry important news relating to the fires all evening at AM 790 on your radio dial or www.kabc.com.

UPDATE: KLOS-FM has switched transmission to a back-up transmitter on nearby Mount Harvard. For a webcam view of Mt. Wilson click here.

Labels: ,

Mayor Sam's CD2 Ramblings for a Sunday Afternoon

Candidate Chris Essel can't name any public schools in CD2 but Tamar Galtzan is apparently having trouble figuring out what communities are part of the District. Residents in the City of San Fernando - not only not part of CD2 but not even part of the City of Los Angeles - report getting mailers from Tamar's campaign requesting support and donations.

Truly anyone can start a blog. Paul Hatfield whose ownership of homes in Valley Village and Lake Tahoe has insipired yet another. Yet that doesn't mean the blog is accurate when he accuses me of being part of the Paul Krekorian "camp" and participating in a Krekorian ordered attack of controversial candidate Mary Benson. You may remember that Benson made a remark about the homeless at a recent candidate's forum some attendees found "cold" and distasteful. Hatfield's post is inaccurate in that Krekroian's campaign was not involved in the post. I was alerted to Benson's comments by Mayor Sam Blogger Phil Jennerjahn who attended the event. If anyone has read Phil's posts you can be certain Phil is far from being in Krekorian's "camp." Crybaby losers like Hatfield and Benson are so not ready for prime time no matter how much they hate developers.

Chris Essel, the one candidate that most of CD2 seems to be united in opposition to, is apparently doing lousy in capturing much local media attention. Only six results for Chris Essel pop up in Google News Search with the most recent story having run over a week ago. Essel does slightly better with blog coverage but almost all of it is negative and from the usual sources such as here, Ron Kaye, Zuma Dogg's blog, etc. Whoever is getting paid for PR at the Essel campaign may need to give a refund.

Besides serving as a neighborhood prosecutor and school board member Tamar Galatzan fancies herself a mechanic. In a recent interview with Streetsblog Los Angeles Trustee Tamar says her pressing issue for transportation in LA is to repair the "mechanical glitches and late arrivals" or LA's trains.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

URGENT Fire Update

Tomi Lyn Bowling of Sunland Tujunga reports that the recent fires plaguing the Angeles Forest have inched closer to her community as she has witnessed the fire breaching the Tujunga Wash near the Alpine Village area. Local media is not reporting this so if you live in the area or know people there you may want to spread the word.

Attention Mayor Sam Moderators: Please only approve comments on this story that relate specifically to updates or information on the fire and firefighting efforts. No trolls or political comments on this one.

Fire Flare-ups at Riverwood Ranch in Sunland:

Labels: , ,

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Fire updates from Mayor Sam readers?

The fires look to be getting close to residential areas.

Any Mayor Sam folks in Northern CD 2 that can update us?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Mayor Sam profile: Frank Sheftel

by Frank Sheftel- Candy Factory Owner

I am from this community. A LIFE LONG RESIDENT of the
San Fernando Valley and District 2. The schools I went to are in the district. That's what local representation is all about. Someone who has deep roots to this community and wants to make sure we are heard and our needs and the quality of life issues we all face are addressed and represented. It's about getting a return on our investment in our community. I ran during the '02 Valley Independence Movement. I was endorsed by the Daily News at that time as the best candidate to get the job done.

As the owner of the Candy Factory in
North Hollywood, a small business operating since 1978, and my years as a property owner and landlord, I know what its like to deal with this city on business
related items. I share the frustration of the red tape and bureaucracy of
local government. I want to make that process easier and help bring business back to our city. I want to make sure the services we all deserve and pay for are continued. I want to protect the investment we have all made in this District. My B.R.I.C. plan as described in my brochure would encourage and offer incentives to bring business back to the district. Check out my website at www.Sheftel2009.com for more info in the issues and links to my youtube channel.

Other Candidates are career Politicians and currently elected to other positions. Others only moved into the district to take advantage of our community. A vote for either 2 of the elected ones will trigger another special election to fill their vacant seat at a tremendous cost, as much as 2 million dollars. An expense we can not afford in these hard economic times. They both need to do the jobs they were elected to do. Frank Sheftel has the experience, the knowledge, the know how and the passion to stand up and be the voice of CD2. I was incredibly moved the other day when a voter came up to me and said she had been following my campaign. She liked what she was hearing and said I had her vote, she added " Its been a long time since there was someone I wanted to vote FOR " .Please join her and vote for Frank Sheftel on
September 22.

Tomi's Prescription for CD2

Sunland-Tujunga activist and realtor Tomi Bowling is suggesting that all of the "little" seven candidates running for CD2 should choose one amongst themselves to be a united candidate against Paul Krekorian, Tamar Galatzan and Chris Essel. Conceivably once that one "grassroots" candidate was selected the remaining six would withdrawl from the list.  Tomi's essay is below.  Thoughts?

If we really, really, really want a grass roots candidate to win in CD2 and to see that headline. We can do it. Here's how:

You guys that have come to be known as the little 7 need to get together. You all need to realize that this many candidates is spreading the votes too thin and we won't win this way. We need to see a grass roots candidate win. ONE. One grass roots candidate CAN do it. But the rest need to drop out and back that one, now while we have time to build the momentum behind that one candidate. Back that one with all your might. Big splash in the media with ALL of you doing it, all channels will come if you all have a BIG announcement. All media will run the story.

It will be another CD2 first, and another huge victory for the grass roots campaigns we are now getting famous for.

ONE grass roots candidate will be a top runner and will be in the run off. By virtue of making it that far, they will win over the votes from the two big three kids that fall out.

We can do this. We CAN make this happen but you 7 need to show their devotion and dedication so much that they need to be willing to drop out and back the ONE most sensible runner.

We need to really push this to make it happen. Whomever you guys choose we need to stick together and get the votes out for that person.

We need to work together in true CD2 style and make this go the way we want.

If we do not make that happen there will be way too many washed out votes for the 7 and the big two will be in the run off and we'll be STUCK with them. STUCK.

I don't want to be stuck. Help make this happen!!!

Labels: ,

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Does Mary Benson Hate the Homeless?

Don't cry for me Lakeview Terrace...

From Zuma Dogg's blog:

You know, Mary Benson kinda took a jab at me yesterday during her opening statement. She admitted that she may have not been down to city hall as much as Zuma Dogg, because some of us (her) have to earn a living and have jobs and not all of us can live in a cardboard box.

Read the rest here.

Update: It was brought to our attention by someone who attended the VICA "non-forum" that both candidates Frank Sheftel and Tamar Galatzan made personal attacks on Zuma Dogg during that paid event with Galatzan specifically referring to Zuma's homelessness. The video of that is hosted on Facebook which is not compatible with Blogger however if we can get you the actual clip, we will. Interetingly that Paul Krekorian remained a class act and did not drag down to the level of Sheftel and Galatzan.

Labels: , ,

Splitsville for Councilman Jose Huizar and LAUSD School Board President Monica Garcia ??

"Councilman Jose Huizar and LAUSD School Board President Monica Garcia in Better Times ??"
Why don't we call this for what it is ?? An act of political survival, especially for Los Angeles School Board President Monica Garcia.
Consider this tidbit from the Downtown Garment and Citizen Newspaper, in its "Dat, Dat, Dish Column", which will hit the newstands tomorrow.
TEA LEAVES ON MONICA’S TUNE: Is it true that LAUSD board president Monica Garcia is telling federal investigators tales out of school about her old boss, 14th District City Councilmember Jose Huizar? That’s the buzz around the town, and a recent invitation to a grand opening of the Mendez Learning Center near 1st & Mission adds grist to the rumor mill. The new school is located in the 14th District, and Huizar represented the area in his prior gig on the LAUSD board, when Garcia served as his chief of staff. The feds’ investigation into Huizar centers on some consulting fees he collected from a non-profit while serving on the school board. The invitation for the August 29 opening of the Mendez Learning Center gave Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa top billing, followed by Garcia—with no mention of her old mentor Huizar, who has said he will co-operate with investigators…

Reading the above notes from the Garment and Citizen Editor Jerry Sullivan's missives on the political culture downtown, One should not be surprise that someone like Garcia would "sing to the feds", in order to save herself from long term exposure to prison crusine. After all, a "Manuel's Special" beats Salami and Cheese any day. BTW, would they have to reopen Sybil Brand in City Terrace, just to house an incarcerated Monica Garcia ??

But for CD-14 Councilman Jose Huizar, the thought he needs to ponder is this. Will he readily stand by and grab his ankles, in knowing that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa set him up for this fall long ago ?? Maybe Huizar will think back to that faithful day when he casted his lot with the Villaraigosa Machine and abandon any hopes of establishing a political legacy, independent of outside influences. Especially when Huizar's vision butts heads with the "MEchista Agenda" of one Antonio Ramon Villar.

Yet, some in the CD 14 "Cut and Paste Political Culture" will surely deconstruct my notion that Huizar had the "cranial capacity" to conceptualize a vision in the first place. But more important for Huizar at this moment, is not becoming the latest CD-14 Councilman to undertake the mid-life vocation of "license plate maker" in Lompoc.

And just maybe, we will find that Jose Huizar also has the ability to "sing". After all one would want to be around to enjoy his growing kit at home.

Your thoughts..............

Labels: , ,

L.A. Firefighters at Haines Canyon

A great video from Marsha Perloff, as she filmed the La Canada Fire fighting efforts from Sunland-Tujunga today. This is the small water hold where practically everyone's dog swims, including mine.


Mayor Sam profile: David Saltsburg

by David Saltsburg

As someone who has attended as many council meetings as any of the councilmembers themselves, I know what causes have had which (negative) effects in the community and on the city as a whole. I don't think there is any other candidate on the ballot who is more informed on the issues as they fly through the agenda. Secondly, I have spent countless hours listening to the thousands of your neighbors and community members from across the city on all these issues and I have dedicated myself to representing and reflecting this community voice "on the record" before council.

CAREER HISTORY: David Saltsburg ("Zuma Dogg") has over 15 years experience working in the extremely competitive radio and record industry as Program Director, Operations Director and Research Director working for some of the biggest stations in America in Houston, Washington, New York City and Los Angeles. Throughout his career, Dave was known as an innovative trailblazer and left the market a buzz for years after his departure. In his managerial role, he was responsible for the oversight of large staffs with HUGE budgets for hiring, promotion, marketing and research.

If you haven't heard of me, start asking around about, "Zuma Dogg" and what it would mean if I was the next City Councilmember. I hope they will tell you that I have stood up and spoken out against the fraud, waste, abuse and overall anti-community spirit. After attending all the meetings, and speaking to all the people, and as someone who cares enough to have done all of this on my own time, all I have to do is walk a few feet over to the seat itself and continue to reflect and represent the voice of community. If Villaraigosa and a bunch of City Councilmember don't like it...GOOD! They've been winning by default. On September 22nd, you have a real opportunity to vote not only for a grassroots candiate, but someone who actually knows what's going on and a person who thousands of people have rallied behind as a single, concerned citizen speaking up. LET'S DO IT! SEPTEMBER 22nd!

Read much more on the career and activism of Zuma Dogg (expanded version of this bio) at http://electZUMA.com.

Mayor Villaraigosa's Chief of Staff Robin Kramer to Resign this Morning

" Three Decades of Service to Los Angeles Leaders"
Ron Kaye is reporting that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's Chief of Staff Robin Kramer will announce her resignation this morning at a 10:30AM Press Conference.
According to Kaye, Kramer will be replaced by the "General Secretary of Gang Intervention" Rev. Jeff Carr.
Kramer, who has worked the hallways of City Hall for three decades on the behalf of Councilman Richard Alatorre, Mayor Richard Riordan and others, is the latest high profile departure at City Hall. She joins the likes of LAPD Chief Bill Bratton, LAFD Chief Douglas Berry and Mayoral Legal Council Thomas Saenz, who have tendered their resignations in the past couple of months since Mayor Villaraigosa won his second term.
The big question here is why the selection of Rev. Jeff Carr to replace Kramer as Chief of Staff ??
In the past few weeks, local papers, bloggers and community members have question the awarding of contracts, the work performance of GRYD sub contractors, and the general direction of the Mayor's efforts to combat the gang problem in the City of Los Angeles.
Further, is Carr the right person to re focus the Mayor's 90+ staffers on second term goals ??
** The Daily News Veteran Political Writer Rick Orlov, has this observation about Jeff Carr.
Insiders say Carr will likely have a more demanding style than Kramer, who is widely respected and well-liked among City Council members and has been considered a major influence in helping the mayor get his policy initiatives approved.
** The Los Angeles Times adds this regarding Mayor Villaraigosa's staff shake up.
The mayor is also expected to bring on Jay Carson, the spokesman for U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential bid. Two years ago, the New York Observer portrayed Carson as "Hillary's hard-hitting hipster," a political operative in skinny jeans who hung out at Spy bar in New York.
Although the exact duties are still unclear, one possibility is that Carr would be the mayor's chief of staff and Carson would be chief deputy mayor. In that scenario, Carson would look at the mayor's big-picture agenda while Carr would handle day-to-day management.
** Mayor Villaraigosa makes it official. Jeff Carr is new Chief of Staff, Jay Carson is new Deputy Chief of Staff. Thought to ponder, will Carson become the "voice and face" that spins Mayor Villaraigosa's second term objectives ?? Where does the hiring of Carson leave Matt Szabo ??
** LAPD Chief Bill Bratton has this comment about the promotion of Jeff Carr to the Chief of Staff position.
“While Robin Kramer's departure leaves a big void in the Mayor's staffing, Reverend Jeff Carr's appointment to fill that void is an outstanding choice,” said Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton. “His selection clearly demonstrates the Mayor's continued commitment to public safety, and further elevates public safety as an even higher priority.”
** Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Dan Grunfeld is also leaving according to the LA Times.
Rumors swirled after the mayor returned from his vacation to Iceland and his paid-for-by-others vaycay to South Africa, that some top city employees were mortified when Villaraigosa insisted on chatting at length about his sightseeing, yet showed little interest in the massive policy problems awaiting him: City Hall is sinking into a desperate budget crunch and pitched debates rage over who is to blame for approving the $1.4 million to $4 million in taxpayer money spent on the Michael Jackson funeral.
Now, the likable and sharp Mother Superior is leaving?
** Link here to Mayor's Office "rambling press release" as posted by the "WWG".
Your thoughts.....................................

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Gloves Come Off at Valley Village

The race for the open City Council seat in District 2 became a bit heated tonight at a forum sponsored by Neighborhood Council Valley Village. Realizing the shortage of time and the small window of opportunity, some of the candidates went on the attack. Breaking them down, player by player....we will stay in ballot order, as that is how Valley Village felt they should be seated at tonights forum.

Tamar Galatzan started off by saying she was running because she was sick of her DWP bill. Later in the forum she actually said something about reducing the number of city employees! I loved hearing that, but sadly, Tamar is not a Conservative and never will be...so I treated this as a bit of campaign fluff.
Tamar landed a vicious little kidney punch to Christine Essel, when she finished an answer about energy options by saying.." Oh..and by the way...the people who supported Measure B are also supporting Chris Essel." Essel was completely unprepared for this. She looked like she had stepped on an electrical wire. She rocked back in her seat and her eyes popped wide open and her jaw dropped.
Welcome to politics, Chris. Score. Tamar 1, Chris 0.

Joe Essavi had a lot of well thought out answers. He claimed to be different from others seeking office.
"Once the politicians hit the floor downtown, you can't tell them apart," he said.
He promised to be different and be more responsive to the community.

Christine Essel was nice and polite and charming, but she bungled an answer about schools. When asked to name one school in CD 2 she thought could be helped by changing the school system, Essel didn't name one and immediately switched her answer to talking about the the entertainment industry. She also was on the defensive about her carpetbagging image. "I'm a Valley Girl through and through," she said. In defense of her residency, she added "I have my DWP bill if people don't think I live in my apartment." There were some coughs from the audience, and David Saltsburg (Zuma Dogg) shook his head in disgust and disbelief upon hearing this from Essel. Chris had another rough night on the campaign trail, but her overwhelming finances may prove to be the ultimate factor that gets her through to the runoff.

Michael McCue was the surprise of the evening. He had a large number of good, solid answers. In fact, he sounded like the only candidate who had predicted the questions and knew his answers ahead of time. McCue also had one of the most humorous moments of the night, when talking about City Council , he said "The City Council doesn't want to listen to us Neighborhood Council people." He then put his fingers in his ears and loudly sang "la-la la- la - la !" The crowd erupted in laughter.

Pete Sanchez gave a smooth answer to the question Chris Essel stumbled on , as he responded that Burbank Elementary was one school he could see being helped. Pete was on comfortable ground as he was around many supporters in Valley Village. "This is my home turf, " he said.

David Saltsburg (Zuma Dogg) repeated his campaign mantra that he was the only one going to City Council meetings for the last three years as an activist and keeping an eye on public policy issues . "How are we going to fix this pension crisis? How do we keep the firefighters on the job?", he asked the audience. Some sparks flew between Saltsburg and Sheftel when Saltsburg felt Sheftel was stepping on one of his answers a little bit. But nothing much grew out of it.

Frank Sheftel came out with both guns blazing and went after two of the "Big 3" right away. Calling out Paul Krekorian, he said "You were only elected a few months ago, Paul!" Sheftel also unloaded on Tamar Galatzan, although not mentioning her by name when he went off on a tangent about mailers and campaign money. "What about sending out mailers that are not from your campaign account?" , he asked the voters.
There were some Tamar supporters in the crowd...and they definitely got the message. They didn't like it and started booing Sheftel in response.

Paul Krekorian told a real whopper tonight when he said "I am the only one " to do anything about runaway production. This seemed like an indirect slap at Chris Essel to me, but Essel didn't seem to notice it.
Krekorian also defended his status as a carpetbagger by saying that "I'm not parachuting in from West L.A.!" He also stated that he has already represented about 1/3 of the CD 2 voters in the State Assembly.

Mary Benson was focused and cool. Of all the grassroots candidates, I think she is the one who has the fewest enemies. Everyone seems to like her. She had some good responses about "developers who lie" about their projects and intentions. She also didn't like the gerrymandered layout of CD 2, but doesn't want redistricting, out of concern about how much worse it might be made.

Augusto Bisani is always entertaining. Refreshingly bold and honest, he admits to not being a politician and having no further goals beyond this City Council seat. When asked about the other candidates who are carpetbaggers, he said "We know how the 7 or 8 of us feel. When other people decided they wanted to live here."

Good forum ... I thought that McCue was the winner here tonight.

Morning Briefs and Outtakes with Something about Missing Documents

Hey "staffer whats your name", have you seen some missing petitions ??

Memo to Councilman Jose Huizar,

Instead of having your staff role playing "lo jacks" whenever former Deputy Chief of Staff Henry Casas enter CD-14, why don't you maintain your constituent files ??

In this month's The Voice Newspaper, column inches are devoted to the multi-year saga of El Sereno residents who had been seeking help regarding some Caltrans property on Maycrest Avenue which has become a "shooting gallery" for local drug users.

And what help did they get from the El Sereno Office of Councilman Huizar ?? This is not good.

We now fast forward to 2009, three years later and the problem has not been resolved. Enrique Aguilera owner of Aguilera’s Hair Studio one of the businesses that is affected by this on going problem recently met with Councilman Huizar’s District Director, Arturo Gonzalez to get update on the project. Aguilera was shocked and could not believe the update he received at that meeting. Aguilera stated “I found out that the documentation we submitted including the signatures have been lost.” Aguilera said “According to Gonzalez the Councilman office
has lost the documentation during the move to the new El Sereno Constituent Center, the new home of Councilman’s Huizar office on Huntington Drive.

This is after all the work that was accomplish starting in 2006.

The stakeholders met with Councilman Huizar in 2006 to ask him for his assistance in resolving this problem and to take on the communities concerns. Huizar was well aware of this problem and used it as a wedge to gain votes for his re-election campaign and according to the stakeholders, during one of their meetings he promised them that he would take care of this problem if he were to get re-elected. A couple of the stakeholders allowed him to use their names on re-election campaign flyers and re-election website and list them as community
members who supported him. They stated, “We believed him and did vote for him.”

Seems to me that once Huizar won his first full term in 2007, all constituents concerns were put on the back burner of priorities.

Other News:

** The Los Angeles County Democratic Party recently bestowed the "Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Award" on worthy recipients in the respective Assembly Districts within the county.

Some of this year awardees will be familiar to Mayor Sam regulars.

44 AD Dolores Helen Hickambottom and Eliot Sekuler.

45 AD Carol Jacques and Bill Rumble.

46 AD Gloria Gasca and Ulisses Sanchez.

For the likes of Sekuler, Rumble and Jacques, This award is dedicated to their efforts in "sharing the wealth" of the Southwest Museum with the disenfranchised widower Jackie Autry.

** This question for the CD-2 "Cut and Pasters", is this comment in response to a LA Weekly story regarding the Special Election from former City Controller Candidate Nick Patsaouras, a indication of an imminent endorsement ??

From all the candidates Tamara is the only one with a concrete , SPECIFIC commitment; that is to fight for an IG/Ratepayer Advocate at the LADWP. Tired of platitudes such as, I am for efficient government, I have business experience , I will fight for NCs , I have been a Valley resident for most of my adult life etc etc;The scandalous, continually escalating utility rates are unsustainable, unless the waste,fraud and abuse are checked on a day to day basis. I hope the NCs take notice.

Comment by nick patsaouras from tarzana on Aug 26th, 2009, 23:51 pm.

** Former activist blowhard from South-Central Los Angeles Najee Ali, is piping for early release from prison where he is serving four years. Maybe he can serve out the rest of his sentence by working for Congresswomen Maxine Waters ??

** Celeste Fremon reports that Deputy Chief Sergio Diaz wants to be the next LAPD top officer. look for the likes of Councilman Jose Huizar and Ed Reyes to support Diaz.

Your thoughts...................

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Mayor Villaraigosa cannot Blame the Gophers this Time

Where is "A. Mayor Wastewater Villar" ??
Its Two AM and who is conserving your city's precious water supply ??
If it weren't for a KNBC Channel Four News Crew, then a certain mansion in Hancock Park that doubles as the "official love nest", for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Television News Reader Lu Parker, would still be holding secret, late night watering sessions.
What is more befitting the "Reign of Mayor Villaraigosa" than to be expose for living a "political double life", ...... again ??
Today was a great example of that "political double life/ hypocrisy" with our mayor taking credit, and photographs, in touting the recent collaborative efforts of Angelinos to save water and conserve power usage. Then have it disclosed that his official city resident was wasting water in defiance of recent changes in the use of water for lawns.
As Channel Four's Joel Grover highlighted in his video report, the sprinklers at Getty House were operating in the early morning darkness on consecutive days and how does Mayor Villaraigosa spins this disclosure ??
Villaraigosa said he had been unaware of the violations and has since found out that there was a “glitch’’ in a new high-tech landscape irrigation system installed at the Getty House two years ago. He said the problem is being corrected. That Lu Parker must know how to keep her man occupy.
One may remember the last time the Mayor was questioned about water usage at his then home on Mt. Washington and who he blame for these excessive rate of water usage ??
H. David Nahai (DWP General Manager) - 434,220 gallons
Rocky Delgadillo (City attorney) - 423,368 gallons
Mayor Villaraigosa - 386,716 gallons
There was the wife and the gophers who took liberties on his then home irrigation PBC piping as the LA Times reminds us today,
In 2007, The Times reported that Villaraigosa and his family, before moving into the Getty House in late 2005, used almost twice as much water at their Mount Washington home compared to typical property owners with similar-sized lots in that area.
Villaraigosa blamed his comparatively high water use at the Mount Washington residence on gophers that chewed holes through a rubberized drip-irrigation system, and said he did not notice increases in his water bill because his wife handled that chore.
Then there is this chore called being the Mayor of Los Angeles ?? That and his failings can't be blamed on the gophers.
Your thoughts..............

Labels: , ,

District Attorney to seek the Death Penalty in Murder of Jamiel Shaw Jr.

"In memory of Jamiel Shaw Jr."
According to KRLA 870 AM, the Los Angeles County District Attorney will seek the Death Penalty in the murder of Los Angeles High School Student Athlete, Jamiel Shaw Jr.
Pedro Espinosa, a illegal alien gangmember, is being tried in the murder of Shaw Jr. Espinosa's immigration status at the time of the murder, became the catalysis in the efforts of many to place "Jamiel's Law" on the ballot. Jamiel's Law would of overturn LAPD's "Special Order 40" which states that LAPD officers cannot ask for the immigration status in the course of questioning "persons of interest" in criminal investigations.
The cause of Jamiel's Law galvanize local talk radio and spur debate in the political bloggersphere.
Jamiel Shaw Sr. will be appearing on KFI's "John and Ken Show" in the last hour (6:00 PM) and on KRLA's "Kevin James Show" this evening (9:00PM-1:00AM).
Your thoughts...................

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy dead at 77

(CNN) -- Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy, the patriarch of the first family of Democratic politics, died Wednesday at his home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, after a lengthy battle with brain cancer. He was 77.
Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy, known as the "Lion of the Senate," died Wednesday at 77.

"We've lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever," a family statement said. "We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice."

Kennedy, nicknamed "Ted," was the younger brother of slain President John F. Kennedy and New York Sen. Robert Kennedy, who was gunned down while seeking the White House in 1968. However, his own presidential aspirations were hobbled by the controversy around a 1969 auto accident that left a young woman dead, and a 1980 primary challenge to then-President Jimmy Carter that ended in defeat.

But while the White House eluded his grasp, the longtime Massachusetts senator was considered one of the most effective legislators of the past few decades. Kennedy, who became known as the "Lion of the Senate," played major roles in passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act and the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act, and was an outspoken liberal standard-bearer during a conservative-dominated era from the 1980s to the early 2000s.

"Senator Ted Kennedy's legacy in the United States Senate is comparable and consistent with the legacy of his entire family for generations," Kennedy's biographer, Ted Sorensen, said.

Kennedy suffered a seizure in May 2008 at his home on Cape Cod. Shortly after, doctors diagnosed a brain tumor -- a malignant glioma in his left parietal lobe.

Surgeons at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, removed as much of the tumor as possible the following month. Doctors considered the procedure a success, and Kennedy underwent follow-up radiation treatments and chemotherapy.

A few weeks later, he participated in a key vote in the Senate. He also insisted on making a brief but dramatic appearance at the 2008 Democratic convention, a poignant moment that brought the crowd to its feet and tears to many eyes.

"I have come here tonight to stand with you to change America, to restore its future, to rise to our best ideals and to elect Barack Obama president of the United States," Kennedy told fellow Democrats in a strong voice.

Kennedy's early support for Obama was considered a boon for the candidate, then a first-term senator from Illinois locked in a tough primary battle against former first lady Hillary Clinton. Kennedy predicted Obama's victory and pledged to be in Washington in January when Obama assumed office -- and he was, though he was hospitalized briefly after suffering a seizure during a post-inaugural luncheon.

Kennedy was one of only six senators in U.S. history to serve more than 40 years. He was elected to eight full terms to become the second most-senior senator after West Virginia Democrat Robert Byrd.

He launched his political career in 1962, when he was elected to finish the unexpired Senate term of his brother, who became president in 1960. He won his first full term in 1964.

He seemed to have a bright political future, and many Democratic eyes turned to him after the killings of his brothers. But a July 18, 1969, car wreck on Chappaquiddick Island virtually ended his ambitions.

After a party for women who had worked on his brother Robert's presidential campaign, Kennedy drove his car off a bridge on Chappaquiddick, off Cape Cod and across a narrow channel from Martha's Vineyard. While Kennedy managed to escape, his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, drowned.

In a coroner's inquest, he denied having been drunk, and said he made "seven or eight" attempts to save Kopechne before exhaustion forced him to shore. Although he sought help from friends at the party, Kennedy did not report the accident to police until the following morning.

Kennedy eventually pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident. In a televised address to residents of his home state, Kennedy called his conduct in the hours following the accident "inexplicable" and called his failure to report the wreck immediately "indefensible."

Despite the dent in his reputation and career, Kennedy remained in American politics and went on to win seven more terms in the Senate. Kennedy championed social causes and was the author of "In Critical Condition: The Crisis in America's Health Care." He served as chairman of the Judiciary and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committees and was the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary and Armed Services committees during periods when Republicans controlled the chamber.

Obama named Kennedy as one of 16 recipients of the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor. A White House statement explained that the 2009 honorees "were chosen for their work as agents of change."

"Senator Kennedy has dedicated his career to fighting for equal opportunity, fairness and justice for all Americans. He has worked tirelessly to ensure that every American has access to quality and affordable health care, and has succeeded in doing so for countless children, seniors, and Americans with disabilities. He has called health care reform the "cause of his life."

Born in Boston on February 22, 1932, Edward Moore Kennedy was the last of nine children of Joseph P. Kennedy, a prominent businessman and Democrat, and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy. Joseph Kennedy served as ambassador to Britain before World War II and pushed his sons to strive for the presidency, a burden "Teddy" bore for much of his life as the only surviving Kennedy son.

His oldest brother, Joe Jr., died in a plane crash during World War II when Kennedy was 12. John was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, in 1963, and Robert was killed the night of the California primary in 1968.

Ted Kennedy delivered Robert's eulogy, urging mourners to remember him as "a good and decent man who saw wrong and tried to right it; who saw suffering and tried to heal it; who saw war and tried to stop it."

The family was plagued with other tragedies as well. One sister, Kathleen, was killed in a plane crash in 1948. Another sister, Rosemary, was born mildly retarded, but was institutionalized after a botched lobotomy in 1941. She died in 1986 after more than 50 years in mental hospitals.

Joseph Kennedy was incapacitated by a stroke in 1961 and died in November 1969, leaving the youngest son as head of the family. He was 37.

"I can't let go," Kennedy once told an aide. "If I let go, Ethel (Robert's widow) will let go, and my mother will let go, and all my sisters."

Kennedy himself survived a 1964 plane crash that killed an aide, suffering a broken back in the accident. But he recovered to lead the seemingly ill-starred clan through a series of other tragedies: Robert Kennedy's son David died of a drug overdose in a Florida hotel in 1984; another of Robert's sons, Michael, was killed in a skiing accident in Colorado in 1997; and John's son John Jr., his wife Carolyn and sister-in-law Lauren Bessette died in a 1999 plane crash off Martha's Vineyard.

In addition, his son Edward Jr. lost a leg to cancer in the 1970s, and daughter Kara survived a bout with the disease in the early 2000s.

Kennedy was forced to testify about a bar-hopping weekend that led to sexual battery charges against his nephew, William Kennedy Smith. Smith was acquitted in 1991 of charges that he raped a woman he met while at a Florida nightclub with the senator and his son Patrick, now a Rhode Island congressman.

Like brothers John and Robert, Edward Kennedy attended Harvard. He studied in the Netherlands before earning a law degree from the University of Virginia Law School, and worked in the district attorney's office in Boston before entering politics.

Kennedy is survived by his second wife, Victoria Ann Reggie Kennedy, whom he married in 1992; his first wife, Joan Bennett; and five children -- Patrick, Kara and Edward Jr. from his first marriage, and Curran and Caroline Raclin from his second.


Ted Kennedy Passes Away

Fox News and CNN are reporting that Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy (D) Mass. died this evening after a battle with brain cancer. 


State Controller Chiang Endorses Galatzan For CD 2

Tamar at bat.

Los Angeles, CA, August 25, 2009 - California State Controller John Chiang announced today that he is backing Tamar Galatzan in the contest to replace Wendy Greuel on the Los Angeles City Council.

"I am pleased to endorse Tamar Galatzan for the Los Angeles City Council, 2nd District. Having worked with Tamar for many years, I know she will be an outstanding representative for the Valley and Council District 2,” said Chiang, a former Valley

“As your State Controller, I know how important it is in these tough times to have people at all levels of government who understand budgets and can make the choices necessary to continue key services for the community. I know that Tamar has both the qualifications and the heart necessary to be a great councilmember for Los Angeles, and I fully support her,” continued Chiang.

"I am proud to have the support of my good friend, John Chiang," commented Galatzan.
"His courage and perseverance during the state budget crisis has earned him nationwide respect. I look forward to the City of Los Angeles working more closely with the State Controller during this budget crisis."

Galatzan, who has lived with her husband and two young sons in Studio City since 2004,has also received the endorsements of Los Angeles City Councilmember Tom LaBonge, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Los Angeles Airport Police Officers Association.

The special election will be held September 22.

Labels: ,

Big Win for Villaraigosa Pending at LAUSD; All Eyes on Martinez Vote

UPDATE: LA Times: The Los Angeles Board of Education voted today to open up 250 schools, including 50 new multimillion-dollar campuses, to outside charter operators and others. The move came after a nearly four-hour debate on a 6-1 vote, with board member Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte opposing.

You read it hear first at Mayor Sam's Blog where we report the news before it happens.

A potential major win for Mayor Villaraigosa in his efforts to wield influence over the Los Angeles Unified School District and present his vision of school reform is currently in the works as the LAUSD school board is about to vote to pass the controversial School Choice Resolution. While this is a significant victory for the Mayor, it's a devastating setback to the UTLA Teachers Union. UTLA President AJ Duffy has called the plan "the privatization of public education."

The plan will allow private operators to take over about a third of all LAUSD schools. Key to it's feature is a process that allows parents to decide how their campus would be run and who will operate the school including allow private operators to manage the school. Villaraigosa and his supporters feel offering this choice will make schools more competitive and improve performance.

While our sources tell us that the plan will pass later Tuesday afternoon with a solid majority, insiders are saying all eyes are on recently elected board member Nury Martinez. While the plan is popular with parents in her district Martinez is receiving threats from some quarters that UTLA would seek to start a recall attempt against her. As well Martinez is seen to be considering pulling a Tamar Galatzan in two years to run for the 7th District Council seat to be vacated by the termed out Richard Alarcon so certainly she is weighing that in this first major decision of her term.

Labels: , , ,

Mayor Sam profile: City Council Candidate Tamar Galatzan

By Tamar Galatzan

As someone who lives, works, raises kids, and pays taxes in CD2, I know firsthand the city often dismisses the Valley and its concerns. I am running because I have a strong record of fighting and delivering for the residents of CD2, and I will continue that effort at City Hall.

Among my priorities are balancing the city’s budget, making our streets safer, and improving our schools. I will work tirelessly to enhance the quality of life for all residents of this wide and diverse district.
As a criminal prosecutor and a school board member, I relish challenging the status quo, and I derive a guilty pleasure from pushing and prodding bureaucrats to do what's right for our community. Being a good city councilmember is not a popularity contest, it’s doing whatever it takes to make our neighborhoods safer and more livable.

Monday, August 24, 2009

LAFD Chief Officers Association Endorses Essel

Chris Essel pick up another endorsement. From the press release:

Los Angeles, CA – The Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Officers Association announced today that it is supporting Christine Essel for City Council, District 2, in the September 22 special election to fill the seat vacated by City Controller Wendy Greuel. Ten candidates will be on the ballot for the District 2 election, which includes the communities of Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Valley Village, Valley Glen, North Hollywood, and Sunland-Tujunga.

“We are proud to announce that Chris Essel is our choice for City Council,” said John Miller, President of the LAFD Chief Officers Association. “Her 30 years of management experience as a business leader is precisely what the City Council needs right now.”

Essel, a longtime Valley resident and former senior vice president of Paramount Pictures, has served the public sector for over a decade as an appointed state and city commissioner. Essel led the California Film Commission for nine years and is current Vice Chair of the State Workforce Investment Board.

“I am extremely glad to have the support of LAFD Chief Officers as we head towards Election Day,” Essel said. “Providing for the public’s safety is the city’s most important responsibility. I look forward to working the chief officers to ensure that we continue to provide outstanding fire protection services despite difficult economic times.”

Labels: ,

Times Reportedly Investigating Controversial Galatzan Mailer

Following our scoop over the weekend that City Council candidate and School Board Member Tamar Galatzan may have spent LAUSD taxpayer funds on a mailer designed to raise her profile among CD2 voters just as absentee ballots were hitting mailboxes, we hear the LA Times is looking into the matter at the request of an opponent.

Much remains to be known about Tamar's mailer such as did LAUSD pay for it, did it only go to addresses in the CD2 portion of Galatzan's board member district and did the mailer comply with state law as to the use of public official postage requirements around the time of an election.

Sources are telling the Sister City that representatives of Galatzan opponent Chris Essel have allegedly shopped this weekend's revelation here at Mayor Sam to the LA Times and that the paper is currently investigating.  It will be interesting to see what the former fishwrap of record comes up with.  Stay tuned.

Labels: , , ,

CD 2 Race : The Breakdown

We are only a month away from a critical election here in Los Angeles that few people are paying attention to. The special election to replace new City Controller Wendy Gruel in her former position on the Los Angeles City Council has attracted carpetbagging politicians like flies. Council District 2 voters...perhaps a very small number of them... will decide who will hold this seat for the next two...and maybe even 10 or more years...what with the way incumbents here in Los Angeles are rarely ever challenged or threatened by electoral defeat.

There are 10 candidates for CD 2 voters to choose from.

The candidates, as listed in ballot order, with ballot designations....

(Interesting how Tamar doesn't list the LAUSD position she was elected to - and is subsequently abandoning - for her attempt at the City Council position.)

Tamar seems to be doing reasonably well in this campaign, assuming she can withstand the heat from her latest mailing controversy. She has raised the third highest amount of money and has received some endorsements from some important political figures. Tamar is repeatedly referred to as one of the "Big 3" by forum and debate moderators. Once viewed as a Villaraigosa puppet, who relied on his fundraising and support to be elected to her LAUSD position, it is now believed by many that she has had a falling out with the Mayor and that the Mayor is actually working against her in this election by running Chris Essel as his preferred candidate.

Tamar appears to be attracting supporters who are turned off by Paul Krekorian and Chris Essel. This has drawn the attention of some of the other candidates in the crowded field, and as such, Tamar has been been very harshly criticized by other candidates. To her credit, she seems to be quite tough...standing up to these blistering attacks without backing down.

THE LINE: Tamar is likely to finish in the top three, but it is unclear if she has enough support to defeat Krekorian or some of the other candidates -- who have closer ties to the community, and are seen in a far more favorable light than Galatzan, who is trying to leave a job she was elected by the voters to complete. She is also somewhat tainted by her former relationship with Villaraigosa, who is wildly unpopular right now.

I have to admit to being a little biased towards Joe Essavi, who I consider a friend. He is a good Republican...and as far as I am concerned, he is the only Conservative in this election. As such, he is one of the few who could really make a difference. The voters in CD 2 could really use a good guy like Joe Essavi. He is the only candidate who has promised to protect Proposition 13.

THE LINE : Joe has a certain amount of name recognition from having run for office in other election cycles. He has a certain crowd of supporters from the Neighborhood Council community and I have no doubt he will collect thousands of votes. However, I'm not sure if it will be enough to get him into the runoff election. He needs to raise and spend more money to break out of the pack of candidates in the middle.

Christine Essel is the former Paramount Pictures movie executive who has probably been the subject of the most scathing and incendiary attacks of all the candidates. There are several reasons for this. The most important one is that Chris Essel does not live in CD 2 and everyone knows that. It is not even the slightest of secrets ....especially not to Mayor Sam readers. However, we live in a free country, and there are no laws against Chris Essel claiming to live in some ratty little apartment in the Valley rather than her multi-million dollar mansion in Sunset/Doheny Estates. (Who, in their right mind, wouldn't trade those digs?)

One of the other odd curiosities about Essels campaign remains a puzzling enigma. As a multi-millionaire movie executive --doesn't she have anything better to do with her time than blow a quarter million dollars running for City Council?

Essel has offended many community activists with her aggressive move into CD 2 -- along with the fact that her obvious financial clout is coming from donors who are uninvolved parties to CD 2. Essel has a big lead financially and may be the only candidate who can afford to run TV commercials. But money can't buy love and Esssel may find this out the hard way with an election defeat in September.

THE LINE: Essel seems to have offended too many people with her campaign and public opinion seems to be turning against her. She will not win this election. If she somehow earns a runoff with Krekorian, then Paul will win it going away.

McCue is supported by the Green Party of Los Angeles County. Not sure how much that will help, as most people do not identify themselves as "Greens". However, McCue appears to be well-connected through the Studio City Neighborhood Council. If he can get those members out supporting him, he could be a factor.

THE LINE: McCue is not well known enough in other parts of CD 2 to have a realistic chance of winning this election. The fact that he won't accept corporate donations certainly won't help him, either.

I'm not sure if the phrase "Community Organizer" is such a good idea in the political world anymore, but that's just my opinion. Pete Sanchez surprised some of the other candidates at the Valley Village event when he asked the crowd how many people had heard of Pete Sanchez. Nearly everyone raised their hands. There is no doubt that Pete Sanchez has a number of friends and followers in Valley Village. He will get a lot of votes in that area.

THE LINE: Pete Sanchez is not well known enough in other areas of CD 2 to be able to defeat a career politician like Paul Krekorian.

Again, I have to admit to being a little biased towards David. I struck up an unlikely friendship with David as we were both running for Mayor of Los Angeles in March of 2009. Saltsburg has become an unlikely figure in Los Angeles politics, having finished in fourth place in the Mayoral Election in March of 2009. Saltsburg is by far the most colorful and charismatic of all the candidates. Who else could get away with calling themselves "Zuma Dogg" in public forums and not have anyone consider the concept anything out of the ordinary?

He is a tireless Community Advocate who has shed the light on a lot of corruption and "shadiness" (as he likes to put it) at City Hall. Don't underestimate the appeal of "Zuma Dogg". I didn't think he would get over 500 votes for Mayor....he got over 9,000! He has high name recognition from frequently appearing on talk radio stations and being featured in stories in the LA Weekly. And he has been the toughest and most vocal critic, by far, of Essel and Galatzan.

THE LINE : Zuma Dogg will receive thousands of votes in CD 2 , but it will be difficult for him to make a runoff without any campaign budget for mailers and phone calls. Zuma Dogg needs some of his supporters to help him get a 4/4 voter list and a cell phone with unlimited minutes. If he called 100 voters a day...who knows? Councilman Zuma Dogg could be seated next to his buddy, Councilman Zine.

Frank Sheftel is a businessman with long-term ties to CD 2. His website says that he went to elementary school, High School and College all in CD 2. Sheftel owns the Candy Factory on Magnolia Boulevard. I know Frank because he is being managed by David Hernandez, and I consider both of them to be friends of mine.

There are many things to like about Frank as a candidate. He has deep roots in the community. As a businessman, he understands the damage that bad government can do to businesses and to an economy.
Frank is very personable and has been well prepared out on the campaign trail. At one of the forums, he really slammed Paul Krekorian and Tamar Galatzan for walking away from their elected jobs just to seek another elected position. Frank has yard signs and has been actively campaigning at multiple events. Frank also has a team of organized supporters that could possibly get him up near the top in vote totals in September.

THE LINE : Frank Sheftel could be a factor in this race. His team is quite loyal to him and have faith in his campaign. He is a down-to-earth good guy. You don't get many people like him in politics.

(Photo caption: Krekorian announcement ignites crowds in L.A.)

I want to be clear about one thing. I think Paul Krekorian is the worst possible candidate for the City Council seat. Why? Because he's just like all the others downtown. He is a carpetbagging, rubber-stamping, budget-destroying , State-bankrupting, freedom-hating liberal. Paul Krekorian is not the answer for CD 2. However, many voters in Los Angeles are Democrats, and they prefer leadership of this nature.

His list of endorsers reads somewhat like a list of "The Usual Suspects". Paul Koretz, Brad Sherman, Loretta Sanchez, Karen Bass, Kevin De Leon, and the SEIU all feel that Los Angeles is not being destroyed quickly enough, and that the help of Paul Krekorian is needed. Krekorian is also detestable because he started shopping for low-rent apartments in CD 2 minutes after Wendy Gruel won her election as City Controller. The Higby-endorsed Burbank Democrat was thinking three moves ahead of everyone else. Chris Essel still doesn't know her new address, and on her best day, could never even dream of outfoxing a professional politician like Krekorian.

Krekorian will teach L.A. residents his Sacramento motto... "No tax is too high, No fee is too high.."

THE LINE : Because Krekorian is a career politician who understands how to win elections, he is best positioned to win this race. Because of his name recognition, he should get 35-50% of the vote in the primary. This is horrible news for Los Angeles, but hey...this City re-elected Antonio Villaraigosa. Competence in an elected official is clearly not a job requirement here.

Mary Benson is the one true wild card in this race. Her results will be difficult to predict. She is not only well known, but practically beloved by people who have worked with her in different groups and organizations.
The "Big 3" probably worry about her quite a bit because she is honest, open, and has a lot of integrity. She is seen as "the friendly neighbor" by many in CD 2.

THE LINE: Mary Benson could be a factor in this race if she makes a real effort. But the City Ethics website shows she has raised and spent less than $1,000 in her campaign so far. Tough to beat professional politicians with that little. However, she could be the David-vs.-Goliath type of story that people like.

Augusto Bisani is originally from Italy and still has a little bit of an accent when speaking in English. He is a long-term business owner in the Valley. He seems like a nice guy and has been refreshingly honest and unguarded at the debates and forums. However, I think maybe Mr. Bisani hasn't fully thought out his run for office. Sometimes he admits to not knowing anything about some of the important subjects discussed at the forums.

THE LINE: Augusto Bisani has little chance in this election. He is not well known. His performances at the forums have not tended to increase his support.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Is Tamar Galatzan Using LAUSD Taxpayer Money to Campaign for City Council?

Did School Board Member and City Council candidate Tamar Galatzan use taxpayer funds to send out a slick campaign piece touting her efforts as a member of the LAUSD board?

This blog has received a mailer sent to select homes in CD2, that appears to have been paid for and sent by the LAUSD at taxpayer expense. While it does not mention Galatzan's candidacy for Council specifically it claims credit for Galatzan for a number of "achievements" at the school district. Often elected officials may send out mailers that appear to be "official correspondence" but actually has been paid for out of campaign funds. These materials have a clear disclaimer printed on them such as "Not printed at government or taxpayer expense. As far as we can see Galatzan's mailer does not have such a disclaimer.

While the piece avoids mention of Galatzan for Council, if not does violate the letter of the law it certainly violates the spirit of and honest ethics. The point of this mailer is to promote Tamar Galatzan, in the thick of an election cycle, and at a time where she has struggled to raise campaign cash.

If Tamar did indeed send this piece out at taxpayer expense she should be called on by the other candidates to not only withdraw from the race but to resign her school board position as well. Let's hope District Attorney Steve Cooley runs this one through the smell checker.

Labels: , ,