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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Who the Hell is Betty Pleasant?

'Independent Paper May Be Even More Shady Than The LA Times'

Betty Pleasant is a longtime "writer" for the "independent" South Los Angeles based "newspaper" The Wave.  Betty completely aghast that a federal investigation of shady dealings of the campaign of Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas has decided the tack to take is to completely slime Ridley-Thomas' former opponent, Councilmember Bernie Parks.

Rather than honestly report on the serious investigation - which has even potentially extended to include Chief Bratton - as opposed to Patrick Range McDonald in the LA Weekly - Betty decides to go after Parks.  Pleasant calls parks "one of the worst and most vicious officials"  LA has ever had.  She even goes further to call Parks a "sore loser." To continue the looniness Betty even digs up the ghost of long ago LAPD Chief Willie Williams who has never met a free Vegas hotel room or buffet that he didn't like.  Great journalism Betty!

But when you dig deeper you may find the true source of Betty's motivation. First off, county records show that Ridley-Thomas spent extensively on campaign advertising in the paper while Parks spent nothing.  An independent expenditure by an SEIU backed independent expenditure committee placed $180,000 in advertising for Ridley-Thomas in the paper.  Is The Wave pay for play? We don't know but at least one political consultant has confidentially told us Wave management allegedly said that lack of positive coverage was tied to a lack of advertising in the paper.

The bottom line is that Pleasant's screed is a sign that Ridley-Thomas supporters are desperate to deflect attention from a very real federal investigation. But we need not give Pleasant much credit.  This deep thinker has also opined that the recent conversion from analog to digital television was a conspiracy similar to the much ballyhooed but totally false notion the oil companies hunkered down to rid Los Angeles of streetcars.  Looks like we've found another loon.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Whoopi Goldberg Excuses Rapist Roman

Whoopi Goldberg is usually out there.  But this time the View co-host has lost it.  She sees no reason to prosecute Roman Polanski for child-rape and being a fugitive from law.  What she refers to as "statutory rape" is completely inaccurate from the facts in the case.  Even if Polanski's victim was 21 years old this would be rape.

He plied her with liquor.  He drugged her with Quaaludes.  He then raped her vaginally and anally DESPITE HER PLEAS OF NO.  By her own ommission he ruined her life.  Then, rather than be a man and face his mistakes he ran to another country.  What is there not to get? Now the man has finally been captured and some people have lost their mind.

Even goofy Joy Behar gets it.  By the way for those of who are indignant this has nothing to do with LA politics oh indeed it does.  Its a crime that happened in Los Angeles and is now finally being prosecuted by the elected District Attorney of Los Angeles County, as all citizens expect him to prosecute crimes.

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Meltdown At City Hall

Today's City Council session was suddenly interrupted with demands for "Public Comment Now" by attendees protesting the Safe Cities Initiative. A large group of homeless and those that provide services for the homeless had grown weary of a long and depressing discussion by the CC on the loss of revenue to the City and the looming reality of police furloughs.
Check around the 1:56:00 mark HERE to witness the loss of control.

I still can't figure out what Bill Rosendahl may have said to trigger the whole thing. Jan Perry tried to proceed but the shouting was drowning out her calls for order. A recess had to be called, and General Services police were called in. A sign of future days?

Here is the clip (low quality) courtesy of LA Daily Blog...


Yes Some Folks Actually Think Polanski Should Walk Free

  Polanski in court in 1978

"Toward the end it got a little scary, and I realized he had other intentions and I knew I was not where I should be."
Polanski victim Samantha Geimer

Pedophile fugitive filmmaker Roman Polanski was finally captured by law enforcement authorities after 31 years on the run following drugging and raping a 13 year old girl at Jack Nicholson's house in 1977.  Polanski, then 44, was supposed to turn himself over to authorities in 1978 but instead ran to France who would not extradite the award winning director to the US as the frogs view child rape as more of a hobby than a crime.

Wikipedia gives the following description of the crime from the victim's point of view:

In 1977, Polanski, then aged 44, became embroiled in a scandal involving 13-year-old Samantha Gailey (now Samantha Geimer). It ultimately led to Polanski's guilty plea to the charge of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.

According to Geimer, Polanski asked Geimer's mother if he could photograph the girl for the French edition of Vogue, which Polanski had been invited to guest-edit. Her mother allowed a private photo shoot. According to Geimer in a 2003 interview, "Everything was going fine; then he asked me to change, well, in front of him." She added, "It didn't feel right, and I didn't want to go back to the second shoot."

Geimer later agreed to a second session, which took place on March 10, 1977 at the Mulholland area home of actor Jack Nicholson in Los Angeles. "We did photos with me drinking champagne," Geimer says. "Toward the end it got a little scary, and I realized he had other intentions and I knew I was not where I should be. I just didn't quite know how to get myself out of there." She recalled in a 2003 interview that she began to feel uncomfortable after he asked her to lie down on a bed, and how she attempted to resist. "I said, 'No, no. I don't want to go in there. No, I don't want to do this. No!', and then I didn't know what else to do," she stated, adding: "We were alone and I didn’t know what else would happen if I made a scene. So I was just scared, and after giving some resistance, I figured well, I guess I’ll get to come home after this".
Geimer testified that Polanski gave her a combination of champagne and quaaludes, a sedative drug, then kissed her, performed cunnilingus on her, penetrated her vaginally, and then penetrated her anally, each time after being told 'no' and being asked to stop.

Over the weekend Polanski, now 76, was arrested in Switzerland on his way to a film festival; the Swiss do have an extradition treaty with the US.  Despite Polanski's horrific crime, his supporters are pointing to the "Stockholm Syndrome" reaction of his vicitm, now 44.

Polanski "penetrated her anally, each time after being told 'no' and being asked to stop."

Amazingly self proclaimed vicitm's advocate Celeste Fremon is writing off Polanski's crime as no big deal saying that prosecution would bankrupt the LA County DA's office and be an equal injustice to the victim as Polanski's crime.  Stay tuned.

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Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Tuesday

Photo by Ted Soqui, LA Weekly

 Chalk up a victory for the billboard wackos.  A federal judge has upheld for a now the City Council's ban on billboards and supergraphics despite the fact most real people don't care. Despite the setback for Liberty Media Corp. a City Attorney's office official says that the case could eventually go forward.  Additionally another 20 lawsuits against the city are pending.  How much will that cost and are the billboard wackos prepared to pony up?

Tired of illegal dumping and other reportable to 311 woes in your neighborhood? If you have an Apple iPhone, Curbed LA reports you can use the device to snap photos and upload the complaint directly to City computers.  The CitySource app can read your GPS position and easily tag the issue for City action.

Voter turnout in the recent CD2 election was abysmally low as are most City elections. One solution may be to follow the lead of cities like Burbank and states like Oregon who conduct elections by mail only.  Though LA's City Clerk has recomended this move for some time, the Clowncil has been relucatant to consider it.  Always on top of things City Councilman Bill "Open Shirt" Rosendahl told Rick Orlov "I really regret the low turnout, but that's what happens in these elections when there is so little media attention." Yea, it's the media's fault Bill.

As DWP infrastructure continues to crumble, more signs of the coming appocalypse following years of shoddy management and stealing from the utility by the City Council.  A short power outage of unknown origin hit Downtown LA Monday striking many skyscrapers causing stuck elevators and the like. Then, another water main broke, this time in the Miracle Mile discontinuing service to about four dozen homes.

And finally things continue to get curiouser in the recent defacing of a mural of Mayor Villaraigosa in East Hollywood.  As previously noted here on the blog, vandals splashed the face of the Mayor with red paint and scrawled on the sidewalk below the mural "This is Our Town."  LA Weekly photographer Ted Soqui revisited the mural last Friday and see that someone has painted the word vendido on the Mayor's shirt collar, a term that is Spanish for "sell-out" or "Uncle Tom."  The Weekly reports that the red paint and "our town" remain but "vendido" has since been removed.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Walter Moore for City Council!

In the recent special election in CD 2, the eight underfunded grassroots candidates got their collective rear-ends handed to them by the special interest money that flowed freely into the campaigns of Paul Krekorian and Christine Essel. The money worked wonders at spreading their message -- while the candidates who didn't have that type of money didn't even come vaguely close to winning. These results were extremely unpalatable to Neighborhood Council members and local activists, who had warned many voters of the pain of an Essel-Krekorian showdown in December. Even though the other candidates had also warned about this, they didn't effectively get their message out. What many of them had feared eventually became a reality. Essel and Krekorian will chase voters one more time in December. The other eight candidates will watch from the sidelines in despair, thinking about what could have been. This was an election that was clearly up for grabs.

88% of the voters in CD 2 didn't bother to go vote. A mere 5000 votes would have given any one of them first place in the primary and a spot in the runoff. I am quite sure that many of them are regretting their decision not to go door-to-door and seek votes in person. (50 people a day times 100 days equals 5000, right?)

Now...you're probably asking yourself -- what does this have to do with Walter Moore? The answer is that many of the Los Angeles City Council seats are going to be up for grabs in 2011. That might seem like a long time to you, but it really isn't. The City election is on March 8th, 2011. That is only 526 days from now. That might seem like a lot, but it really isn't. About a year and a half. Time for a candidate to start to get to know as many voters as possible in that district. It is time for the activists in this City to start deciding who they can get to replace some of the horrible Council Members in the even numbered Council Districts - all of whom are up for election in 2011. Even the newcomer, whoever it will be..(Essel or Krekorian)...will have to defend their seat.

Voters will finally have a chance to be rid of Council Members like Tom LeBonge, Tony Cardenas, Bernard Parks, Herb Wesson, Greig Smith, and Jose Huizar.

Voters also had this opportunity in March of 2009, but several candidates, including some horrible Council Members -- like Richard Alarcon and Jan Perry -- didn't even have an opponent in the election! Activists need to make sure that this trend comes to an abrupt end. We are clearly seeing now how the bankrupting of the City and the looting of its tax dollars happens when the wrong people are in power. How on earth were the voters in Council District 7 and 9 ever supposed to expect change - when change was not available on the ballot?

Walter Moore ran for Mayor in March. He didn't win, but he spent over $300K on his election efforts and managed to come in second place and draw about 72,000 votes citywide. This earned Moore some political capital. People know who he is and many people voted for him. In fact, in Council District 12, Walter Moore got 40% of the vote. I think that in 2011, it wouldn't be difficult to get 51% of the voters to support him.

I have already communicated with Walter about this. He says he is not interested and he is out of politics. OK. He says that now...but I notice he couldn't help getting involved in the CD 2 election and endorsing Mary Benson. Walter told me he wants to change the City and can only do that as Mayor. I disagree.

Council Member Herb Wesson likes to talk about "the power of eight" .... getting eight Council Members to agree to vote for something to make sure it passes. There is great power in that. Activists need to find eight good people in which they can place their trust for the future of this City.

Is Walter Moore a perfect candidate? Of course not. He is flawed like everyone else. But he is well known for his anti-Villaraigosa message and many people have been willing to vote for him in the past. When we were both running for Mayor in March we took a few jabs at each other...but I regarded this as political campaigning and bear no grudges against Walter. I respect his skills as an attorney and agree with many (but not all) of his political policies.

But Walter doesn't live in CD 12, you say? Who cares? The City has shown that it not only doesn't care about carpetbagging...it actually encourages it! Neither Krekorian nor Essel live in CD2 now, nor did they live there before the election, yet one of them will be the next Council Member for that district. To be honest -- even though I criticize them for it -- I don't think the issue is a big deal. So what if someone has to drive an extra mile or two over a non-existent imaginary line? It is all quite silly, really. I don't have a problem with anyone running for any office that they live within 10 miles of.

Walter Moore needs to start looking for a cheap, phony apartment in CD 12. Mitch Englander isn't much of a candidate. Moore is staring a golden opportunity in the face. Let's hope he changes his mind.

Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Monday

Jason Mandell writing in the LA Weekly asks the question if CD2 run-off candidates Paul Krekorian and Chris Essell will support so-called "clean money" efforts for campaign financing, noting that former candidate Michael McCue has actively been pushing the issue for some time.  Advocates for this scheme however can't explain how campaigns would be publicly funded particularly when the City coffers are emptying fast.  One small error in Mandell's story was that in addition to Essel and Krekorian there were eight "neighborhood candidates" in the race; actually that would be seven.

Another photo-op and 89% time for Mayor Villaraigosa: He was out with a group of celebrity chefs encouraging Angelenos to dine-out more often. Wonder how that extends to the thousands of city workers who will soon be laid off due to the Mayor's overspending in his first term?

Law enforcement authorities recyently raided two homes owned by State Senator Roderick Wright as part of an LA County District Attorney investigation into his legal residency.  However it may not have any impact as experts say that state law does not require state legislators to actually live in their district once they are elected.  Further, even if the District Attorney is able to prosecute Wright it will be up to the Legislature itself to actually remove Wright.

The Latino Politics Blog once again on the story when it comes to controversial Orange County Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez.  This time it concerns the case of a former aide to Sanchez who recently received probation after pleading guilty to theft charges.  Caroline Valdez admitted to stealing office funds as well as forging Sanchez's signature for a bonus.  Interesting however it the blogs take on the position.  Adriana Maestas sees Valdez as a victim of Sanchez who plucked Valdez out of ASU prior to graduation, introducing her into the pressure cooker of Washington, DC on a $30K annual salary.  That may be true but nonetheless Valdez is an adult and should know the difference between right and wrong no matter how grim and unfortuante her circumstances.  Plenty of other young people do.

And finally, a public service note.  The LA Fire Department is encouraging parents to make sure televisions and other appliances are properly secured as to avoid injury to their children. According to the LAFD blog "Thousands of preventable injuries - including more than a dozen deaths, occur each year when children climb, fall against or pull themselves onto "unsecured" furnishings, often in an attempt to access a television or other heavy appliance."

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Breaking News! Zuma Dogg Endorses Chris Essel in CD2 Race

David Saltsburg, aka "Zuma Dogg" has just announced that he is throwing his support behind Chris Essel in the race to fill the CD2 seat vacated by Wendy Greuel.
Here is his statement:

Sorry that Krekorian and Essel made it into the run-off, but those are the two options and I do not agree that you can just sit out and not vote. You have two distinctly different candidates and a decision must be made.

So now we have a fresh slate, and I am not going to take the easy way out and just say, "Forget it...not going to vote/say anything."

And people know I have been kicking the tires on Chris Essel because I wasn't taking a good look at her during the primary because I was supporting another grass roots canidate (me).

And I have already made the decision I am not going to support Paul Krekorian and I have given the reasons why. So for the purpose of this blog post, I am going to focus on reasons why I guess I have to come out and say it...why I am supporting Christine Essel in this run-off.

People tell me I am supposed to "play both sides" and try and set up meetings with both sides; and don't say anything yet; and don't give it away for free; and see what you can maybe negotiate, first and all of that.

And if anything good comes out of my support down the line, then that would be nice and I'm sure a lot of people would be happy for me.

BUT the MAIN thing is...neither canidate, nor any candiate could get me to support them publicly if I didn't feel comfortable.

And Zuma Dogg suffers from "the-clock-is-always-ticking, frenetic energy syndrome."

Kevin James was hammering her in REAL TIME, this week on his radio show.

The other candidates are making their decisions as we speak.

Other opinion leaders in the community are making their decisions as you read this.

And I know it would be easier for me to say nothing, at this point, and see how things play out, and calculate things and not offend people who will be mad at me for being supportive of Ms. Essel because of the Central City board position, the people who donated to her campaign, and her support from Wendy (yes, some of us think that's a negative) and the whole Anti-Essel sentiment out there at the ZD community activist level.

But again, it is surprising to me, as well, that I feel it is important that Chris makes it into the seat over Paul. And I am factoring in all those things that turn off people like ZD in the general election.

So what was it then that has caused me to look at the money and connections of both candidates and go with Essel.

(Gag alert): She just impresses the hell out of me as an outstand career woman and has a good vibe and energy and I admire her as an individual.

And she tells me she wants to do all the good community-based things she said during the campaign and I am just going to have faith that the short year and a half term will cause her to actually take on the challenge of representing the community spirit, at least MUCH MORE than we are used to seeing in the horseshoe.

And again, I wasn't SEEKING out to support anyone, and was maybe not going to get involved, even though I think YOU, as individuals need to make a decision for yourself and vote. I just wasn't going to be public and get involved and go into "Zuma Dogg" mode for either of these two.

But first, Chris was very warm and friendly to ZD during the forums, even though I would hammer her at times. Now the other Big 3 were nice and friendly to ZD, too (Paul and Tamar), but Chris really put out the most "down home" vibe and just that pure joyous personality that people like ZD and Tamar and Wendy have to fake and put on. A lot of times people are nice to ZD but it has a fake, political vibe and you know they would loosen my brakes if they could get away with it.

Here's how I started to get sucked into feeling good about Chris Essel:

Chris was making the rounds calling the other candidates and community opinion leaders and asking for their support in the run-off.

She asked me, flat-out, "Can I count on your support?" I said, "HELL NO, you can't COUNT on it," but since you asked, let's talk and I'll see how you feel.

So I called her later in the evening to set up a time for coffee somewhere...but you know me...I couldn't wait, so I just started firing away questions, asking her what I was curious about.

I ended up typing up highlights from the conversation in my blog post from Friday where I wrote a speech in her voice of the things that impressed me most. Things about her career achievement that didn't come out in the primary.

Chris needs to work on getting fired up and sticking up for herself and selling people on her career path and achivement as a woman rising through the ranks in Hollywood at Paramount.

So later in the evening, after the phone call with Chris that really impressed me, Kevin James was on the air, just before 11pm, and was hammering Chris, once again, for not appearing on his show, and he was hoping she wasn't going to dodge him, this time (in the run-off) -- and it was going south, real quick.

So Zuma Dogg calls Chris at 11pm on her cell phone, and she picks up, and start in, at frenteic Zuma Dogg pace, "Kevin is HAMMERING you on the air...are you going to go on the debates, this time? You HAVE to...if not...(blah, blah, blah)..." And I add, "You gotta call in!"

It didn't occur to me that she might have been sleeping at 11pm the night after the election wrapped up, and she said, "Not right now, I'm sleeping."


So I said, "So what! Call in!" But...I have to remember...not everyone can do interviews in their sleep like Big ZD, so I said, "Well can I call and tell him you'll do it, so he'll stop saying you won't."

She gave me the green light and told me I could call in.

So I called Kevin and they are working it out and Chris says she will be on Kevin's show for the run-off.


I think it's a very good sign that I already like Chris a lot more than I ever liked Wendy and even before Wendy REALLY hated me....she was never warm and nice to me and never would accept feedback, like this.

So I think the fact that Chris is NOT a career politician; and kind of green in some GOOD ways means she may be a little more vulnerable in having to rely on the community and will need to do a lot for the people during this short term. And if she turns out to be insincere, we can vote her out in a year and a half.

AND THE PEOPLE HAVE TO KNOW...Zuma Dogg is always EXTREMELY skeptical listening to ANYTHING a candidate has to say during an election, and I'm pretty harsh in my scrutiny and that's what people LOVE about me.

BUT SOMETIME, that can cause you to throw the baby out with the bathwater, and that is something I am ALWAYS...MOST CAREFUL not to do. And when I see other people doing it, it sometimes makes ME look harder (which I did with Chris, since she asked me to) and I was pleased at what I have seen so far, so the guy who hates to be bamboozled, DOES have to do what he HATES to do in politics....HAVE A LITTLE FAITH that the person before is the sincere, warm person who intends to do what she says.

I always have negative nicknames for other people, and Chris' new on is "Samsonite" cause she's got a lot of baggage. And in the future, I'll address some of the concerns I had that I have to get over in this election, because this is supposed to be about positive things about Chris, in this post, without attacking Paul Krekorian...but again, that factors in. Because if it was Chris Essel versus Pete Sanchez, I would probably be pushing hard for Pete.

But it's Essel vs Krekorian, and Zuma Dogg is supporting the outsider, grass roort candidate in this election: Chris Essel. I hope it doesn't come back to bite me in the butt in two years if she stinks as a CM. But the things I am concerned about with Chris are problems you have to deal with when you have a upscale, classy lady on your hands.

And seriously, Chris IS the outsider, grass roots candidate. She's just sucessful at it because she raised a lot of money and has the endorsement of the previous councilmember. OF COURSE a candidate like Chris is going to go for Wendy's endorsement. I heard Wendy DID wait because Lisa Sarkin and some others were thinking of running. But when some of the others didn't run, Wendy went with Chris. It's not like Wendy called Chris and said, "Chris, Wendy Gruel. I need someone to take over for me and do everything I say and be my puppet and screw the community."

If Zuma Dogg is finally seeing Chris for the outstanding business leader that she is, at least as a career woman...I can't blame Wendy for endorsing her.

Not to say she is going to tell Wendy to go screw herself, either.

But I think with Chris, she's a sincere and nice person who doesn't have that "juice" running through her like Wendy, Garcetti, Zuma, Krekorian, Alarcon.

So in this case all we can do is support her, be all over her the second she walks in the door, she seems to be listening to things I am trying to tell her.

So maybe we have a "Good" Wendy in Chris. And if not, then she get the Academy Award for suckering Zuma Dogg. She can't be THAT good. She may have worked at Paramount, but it was on the financial/business side.

I know a lot of people may be surprised I feel this way, and I was told to wait, but I don't like to hold back and be calculated in this stuff. It's not about YOU and what YOU get out of it. If the position of Councilmember is important to the future and the lives of the people...then the clock is ticking and no time for game playing on my end. And I HATE when people pull certain "cards." And ZD NEVER picks a candidate on if they are a man or woman...but man, this is THE "Girl Power" candidate if I ever saw one. And luckily not JUST because she is the female candidate. What can I tell you, now ZD got way too sensitive and his feminine side came out too much from all of you ladies who made ZD your little "fixer upper project" during the candidate forums. YOU TURNED ME INTO A SENSISTIVE YOU KNOW WHAT!!!! LOOK AT THIS!!! Oh no...where's my AC/DC "Back in Black" LP.

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Friday, September 25, 2009

US Attorney Names Contreras in Voter Fraud Case

An explosive story, just posted at the LA Weekly, quoting the US Attorney, that late labor leader Miguel Contreras masterminded the $50,000 Voter Improvement Program fraud. The story is by freelancer Jason S. Mandel.

Both the L.A. Times and City News Service covered this case, but completely missed the fact that
Contreras was fingered as creating the scheme to defraud his own nonprofit group out of more than $50,000.

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Friday

The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce also known as the Downtown Interest Protection Racket has endorsed Chris Essel for City Council. Yes we know many of you are thinking "What a surprise." Considering Essel's previous positions supporting SB1818 and the Downtown view that Neighborhood Councils are pesky roadblocks to developer happiness, the Chambers nod to the "Queen of SB1818" is clearly consistent with Downtown's animosity towards the rest of the City.

It seems funny but Governor Schwarzenegger has appointed one of Mayor Villaraigosa's more controversial associates to the California Horse Racing  Board. Keith Brackpool - whose Cadiz Inc. wants to build a multi-million dollar water project for several Southern California water agencies opposed by environmentalists - will earn $100 per meeting ruling on the ponies.  Brackpool you may remember was reportedly part of the Mayor's recent retreat to Iceland to ponder what possible future Villaraigosa could have.

Good news for Billy the Elephant and those enlightened folks who believe that storing pachyderms in restrictive zoos is an idea whose time has come and gone.  A judge has ordered that lawsuit filed by opponents of the boondoggle multi-million dollar elephant pen may go forward.  Lets hope that both of the candidates for CD2 come out in favor of halting the project.

The mommies who write at the always excellent Beckford Parents Blog have an observation about the results of the CD2 election Tuesday: They're stuck with Tamar Galatzan as their School Board Member for another two years. Hopeful she'll get a clue they still speculate that Galatzan - who everyone knew would run for Wendy Greuel's open spot before she even got elected to the school  board - may try again for Council in 2011.  That means she'd have to give her school board seat and clear the way for a candidate more acceptable to the residents of her district.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Funny Money

Candidate Votes Expenses Cost Per Vote

Tamar Galatzan 1,871 $73,534 $39.30
Joe Essavi 306 $12,089 $39.50
Chris Essel 4,104 $321,464 $78.32
Michael McCue 339 $166 $0.48
Pete Sanchez 699 $2,698 $3.85
David Saltsburg 410 $0 $0.00
Frank Sheftel 441 $6,943 $15.74
Paul Krekorian 4,929 $225,256 $45.70
Mary Benson 1,198 $3,401 $2.85
Augusto Bisani 158 $3, 178 $20.11

Morning Briefs and Outtakes on Water Wasting Councilman and other Topics

"Councilman Waterwaster with Mayor Waterwaster. BTW, what has Villaraigosa's interest??"

An act of civil disobedience or flat out lawbreaking??
Los Angeles City Councilman Greig Smith or else known as "Mitch Englander's boss", is taking on the DWP's draconian water restrictions as Rick Orlov reports in today's Daily News.
Add City Councilman Greig Smith to the list of scofflaws violating Los Angeles' water conservation restrictions.
In a direct challenge to the Department of Water and Power, Smith announced Wednesday he is violating the twice-weekly watering limitations -- and believes he is saving more water by doing so.
"And my grass is greener than it's ever been, and I bet I'm using less water," Smith said.
Smith said he waters his lawn for eight minutes, three times a week.
He proposed that DWP revise its conservation rules, which allow watering for 15-minute periods before 9 a.m. and after 4 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays only.

My first thought upon reading this was "what is former "Senator Jim Alger's" spin on this blatant act of lawbreaking by Councilman Smith?? But upon finding the website for his e-mail chat, errrrrr, radio talk show "Common Sense with Jim Alger", all I found was this. Maybe the "Do It Center" dropped its advertising??

But the bigger issue here is not whether DWP "blue shirts" will descend upon Smith's residence, but can we believe anything that originates as policy from DWP's General Manager H. David Nahai and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa??

After all, both Nahai and Villaraigosa have less than stellar records of preserving water at their respective residences, but then it was the gophers or faulty timers who were to blame, right Mr. Mayor??

Then there are those like myself who support practices that cut back on water waste, but wonder if the focus on the local drought, takes attention away from the man-made drought in the northern reaches of the state?? Can you say Delta Smelt Fish??


** LA Weekly's Christine Pelisek reports that the Los Angeles County District Attorney Office is mulling over whether to charge former City of LA Building and Safety General Manager Andrew Adelman with sexual assualt.

** The subject is Medical Marijuana and a interview with City Councilman Ed "Density" Reyes who gives his toke , errrr, take, on the issue of medical weed dispensaries, you may want to pass this one around.

** What is going on within the Los Angeles Unified School District Police force?? The "Weekly of Record" Max Taves has the latest in this brewing scandal.

** Can it be?? A proposed new football stadium in the City of Industry area, cleared a major hurdle when the City of Walnut dropped its lawsuit. Just hope that it is anyone but the Raiders that may call Industry their new football home.

** Did your kid learn this new song at school?? Hmmm, Hmmm, Hmmm.

** Why is it that the "Old Gray Westside Hag On Spring Street" and animal rights activists care so much about Elephants at the Zoo??

Your thoughts.........

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

CD 2- The Aftermath : The "Blame Game" begins...

Last night was a stunning rout for the "Big 2" carpetbaggers in the Los Angeles City Council special election for District 2. Burbank Assemblyman Paul Krekorian and former Paramount Pictures movie executive Christine Essel are headed for a dramatic runoff in December. The night was filled with laughter for some, but it was also filled with tears and self-doubt for others. As usual, it didn't take long before angry supporters of the defeated candidates started to play the "blame game"as to why the District will now be subjected to a runoff between two candidates that many neighborhood activists despised. Why did things happen this way? Let's review....

Paul Krekorian - Paul ran the best race. He was organized and his forces worked effectively for him. He made sure to get out the vote... both the mail-in and the polling place votes. However, he had to be disappointed with finishing with less than 40% of the vote. As an Assemblyman, he was the only big name politician in this race and would have preferred winning outright. Now he has to face a dangerous Chris Essel...who may be so overjoyed to have made the runoff that she might go raise a million bucks to take Paul down in December. Paul can blame repeated attacks from the other candidates for lowering his numbers, although, as a serial "Runaway Politician", Krekorian has his own behavior to blame for some of it.

Chris Essel - Many of the other candidates can point the finger of blame at Chris Essel. Although Essel stumbled badly at the forums and debates, most voters never saw those performances. They did, however, see the bright, shiny and happy mailers that arrived in their mailboxes week after week. TV commercials, robocalls from Wendy Gruel...Chris Essel showed that ...yes...quite often elections do come down to money. She had it. She spent it. She got the votes. However, she did get shockingly low results from her cash outlays. Chris Essel spent over 320K on this election...and got 4,104 votes. That works out mathematically to an eye-popping, mind-boggling total of about $80 per vote!! This has to be some type of world record. At least an American political record. If Chris is committed to spending this type of money to win a City Council seat...maybe she should just walk around CD 2 handing out $100 bills. She would definitely get a bigger turnout for that....that's for sure.

Tamar Galatzan - I got a terse email from Tamar Galatzan last night. She wasn't happy. That is easy to understand. She doesn't like to lose. Although I started out as vocal critic of Tamar, I eventually grew to like her and respect her as a candidate. She is tough, she is a fighter and she really wanted to win this election. She kicked some butt at the forums and debates and showed real leadership ability. However, she finished in third and won't be the new CD 2 Council Member. Not for now, at least. Politics is a cyclical game and Tamar has to understand that a defeat isn't the end of the world. I'm sure she'll win an election for something else in the future. Tamar can blame the other candidates for their aggressive attacks and criticisms of her as a runaway politician, but the biggest culprit in her defeat last night was that gigantic pile of Chris Essels money.

Mary Benson - Mary Benson did very well in the election, coming in fourth place. Not bad for a woman who didn't raise or spend a lot of money on her campaign. Mary can point the finger of blame at several things -- some of it just plain bad luck. The Station Fire, which preoccupied a lot of her supporters in the heart of the campaign, cost Mary a lot of time and energy. Mary got an endorsement from Kevin James, but it came very late in the campaign. Walter Moore tried to help her also...but it was a case of too little, too late from Walter.

Joe Essavi - Michael McCue - Pete Sanchez - David Saltsburg - Frank Sheftel - Augusto Bisani

I am lumping these candidates all together because none of them had a decent showing in this election. Pete got about 700 votes, but all the rest got under 500. It took them 500 signatures from District 2 voters just to get them on the ballot. If you can't get 500 votes in the election, then your support actually dropped during the campaign. Voter apathy was terrible. The 14, 525 votes cast was only 11.74 % turnout. Horrific.

Fans and supporters of the 8 who didn't win - There has already been a lot of finger-pointing and acrimony over the results. More people voted AGAINST Krekorian and Essel than voted for them. Unfortunately the vote was too scattered. Fans and supporters of Mary Benson and Tamar Galatzan have been heated on the blogs...saying how all the other candidates should have dropped out and supported one of them. It is an interesting idea. The combined votes of the 8 who didn't win would have totaled 5,422 if added together. Enough to claim first place and a spot in the runoff. Instead, we have 8 upset candidates watching from the sidelines in December as the two most-disliked candidates have a runoff election.

Many have suggested they should have brokered a deal before the election. Unfortunately, politics doesn't work like that. There are egos and emotions involved. The time for discussing that type of grand strategy -- and believe me, it happens -- was the first few days of the campaign. Maybe the candidates should have talked soon after they found out who was going to run from the City Clerk. It is often difficult to get candidates to agree to this type of thing. The last few days of the campaign was not the time to be discussing this, though. The big winner here was Louis Pugliese, who made it on the ballot, but dropped out immediately because he didn't see a way for him to win the election.

Eric Hacopian/John Shallman - The "Black Ops" consultants for each candidate. Hacopian can blame Shallman and Shallman can point the finger back at Hacopian.

Republican Party of Los Angeles County (RPLAC) - Yes, I hate to say it, but my own party shares some of the blame for this outcome. My God... it only would have taken 4,200 votes to get Joe Essavi or Mary Benson into a runoff election for a City Council seat in a District with 123,000 registered voters. RPLAC did send out an email asking people to support both candidates, but if RPLAC had a team of 200 volunteers show up and walk precincts and phone bank ... ohhh. It really hurts to think about it. Especially in this City where we are so outnumbered.

Voters of Council District 2 - Faced with the ballot choices between two horrible carpetbaggers and eight community members, 88% of the voters in CD 2 did not bother to vote for their new City Council Member ... a person that will probably influence their lives for years to come.

Sometimes in politics, you get the government you deserve. (And that's not always a good thing.)

BREAKING NEWS!! KABC Radio "Doug McIntyre in the Morning" Last Show Tomorrow Morning

"Doug, LA morning talk won't be the same without you"
Shocking news this afternoon from the world of local, intellegent talk radio.
KABC 790 AM popular talk show host Doug McIntyre will do his 5 AM-10 AM morning stint for the last time Thursday morning.
From KABC boss David Hall.
From: "David G Hall"
Date: September 23, 2009 11:16:36 AM PDT
To: "All_Los_Angeles"
Subject: KABC Morning Drive
Doug McIntyre’s last morning show on KABC will be tomorrow morning.
Doug has been a huge part of KABC for nearly a decade. He will still be involved with both this radio station and Citadel in general, doing some work for WABC in New York in the short term, and working on a very exciting future project on KABC.
Peter Tilden will take over the KABC morning show starting Friday. Peter has been involved with this station in many different ways for the last 20 years, and has always had great ratings success and popularity with the KABC audience.
Award winning news anchor Dave Williams will continue to do KABC’s morning news in the Peter Tilden show, and of course Capt. Jorge will do traffic and sports.
Please join me in thanking Doug for his effort and success in morning drive, and wishing Peter all the best as he starts his new role at TalkRadio 790 KABC!
This blogger for one, will miss Doug's wit, comedic genius, but most important, his dedication to informing the audience about the local political issues of the day. The one issue that stands out for me, was Doug's reporting on the Academia Semillas del Pueblo Charter School and its controversial principal Marcos Aguilar, in CD 14's El Sereno community. A close second would be his comedic approach in reporting the latest on Cardinal Roger Mahony.
Here's to wishing Doug the best and return to KABC soon with something that will stir the masses on Spring Street and beyond.
Details here from Gary Lycan at the Orange County Register.
Your thoughts........................................


Parsing the Vote

The folks at the Foothills Forum site have done an excellent job, using data from the City Clerk's office integrated with Google Maps to show how the candidates performed across CD2 yesterday.

Judging from the per precinct performance Essel captured most of Studio City and Sherman Oaks and split Sunland-Tujunga with Krekorian. Krekorian, as expected, captured the heart of the district in North Hollywood, Valley Glen, Valley Village, etc.

Most remarkable to this old, dead Republican Mayor is how well Essel performed in Sunland-Tujunga.

Galatzan took three precincts in Sherman Oaks, and one in her own Studio City but couldn't expand north of Magnolia Boulevard. Similiarly Krekorian did not do well in Studio City, something his team will need to address for the run-off.

Mary Benson was able to take two precincts in Sunland-Tujunga and one (preumably her own) in Sun Valley. Pete Sanchez as expected performed well in his native Valley Village capturing two precints there.

Get ready to rumble!

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Morning Briefs and Outtakes on Possible Replacements for "Governor Kennedy Republican" and other Topics

Who wants to replace "Governor Kennedy Republican" in 2010??
These Californians want your consideration to be "Governor Arnold "Kennedy Republican" Schwarzenegger replacement in 2010 and one "ex. candidate" is reduce to shilling for the current governor in New Jersey.
The race to replace the "Kennedy Republican" is picking up steam with the potential candidates making their intentions official, or will shortly.
On the Republican side, former E-Bay executive Meg Whitman "re-announced" her candidacy in a Fullerton rally. Whitman has also used her considerable financial resources to make major ad buys on local talk radio stations such as KFI, KABC, and KRLA.
State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner for his part chose the KFI "John and Ken Show" to sign a "No New Taxes Pledge", Poizner or the "Poizninator" in the words of Downtown News Editor Jon Regardie, rolled out his four-point plan to enhance business and create jobs, at a September 15 presentation to the LA Chamber of Commerce.
On the Democratic side, former governor and current Attorney General Jerry Brown, made the rounds of the Spring Street City Council Chambers with Council President Eric Garcetti acting as escort.
San Fransisco Mayor Gavin Newsom who has the endorsement of former President Bill Clinton, was given the same City Hall treatment by supporter, former City Council President Alex Padilla in the recent past.
Then there is Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who many thought would have been the front-runner for governor in the "pre-Mirthala" period. Now he is relegated to being the "special guest" at a Beverly Hills fundraiser for New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, who is in major trouble in his re election campaign back home.
** The Los Angeles City Council voted on these issues of "importance".
First, cut down a tree, including a sacred oak, and face the wrath of your local government. The "Fifteen Group" who owns the oak-filled Wyvernwood Apartment Complex in CD 14 might want to host Councilman Jose Huizar for another Super Bowl trip, to get an variance.
Second, they voted 12-0 to limit the amount of roosters or, errrrrrr, COCKS!!, to one per household. This comment from measure author Councilwoman Janice Hahn will be highlighted in bold for history. “Roosters have their place in this city, but we think having more than one per property causes problems,” she said.
** LA Times columnist Steve Lopez latest missive "Dark charges from Mohony's inner circle" has and is sure to reinvigorate discussion about the role of Cardinal Roger Mahony in the church abuse scandals.
** Shades of the days of late Los Angeles County Sheriff Sherman Block as current Sheriff Lee Baca, announces no closures of county jail spaces.
** LA Weekly's Christine Pelisek has more on the "gruesome details" regarding the cold-blooded murder of LA Sheriff Deputy Juan Escalante by the Avenues Gang. Details includes some comments by gang members about using the resources of Homeboy Industries to provide cover for their activities.
Your thoughts...............

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Final Results of CD 2 Special Election

"The new official symbol of CD 2"

It's Final....

TAMAR GALATZAN 1,871 12.94 (3)
** CHRISTINE ESSEL 4,104 28.39 (2)
MICHAEL MC CUE 339 2.35 (8)
PETE SANCHEZ 699 4.84 (5)
FRANK SHEFTEL 441 3.05 (6)
** PAUL KREKORIAN 4,929 34.10 (1)
MARY BENSON 1,198 8.29 (4)
AUGUSTO BISANI 158 1.09 (10)

** denotes runoff candidates.

We now return you to your regular programming.
** The "Westside White Guy" states this in his rant about the CD 2 results. "The so-called community candidates? Couldn't break three figures". Hmmm., how many many numbers/figures are in Mary Benson's vote total?? 1-1-9-8 = four numbers/figures. Maybe his eyes are still adjusting after viewing "these"??

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


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Live Election Coverage

Live streaming Mayor Sam coverage of the election returns (don't cry if we aren't running something every second)

Live election returns from the City Clerk.


Greuel and Essel Make a Funny

From the City Ethics Site; Chris Essel robocall script for today:

"Hi! This is City Controller Wendy Greuel your former city council woman.

Turnout in this election is historically low. Don't let the special interests buy this election. Vote for Chris Essel"

Thanks Shallman we all needed a good joke about now!
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Bong the Vote

One of our readers says that the medical marijuana community is coming out strong for candidate Frank Sheftel.  We've found at least some evidence of that at 420 Magazine where a commenter says the following:

"What really catches my fancy is that Frank Sheftel has been a strong voice for services for the valley that benefit the people who live there AND he’s nbeen an educated  advocate on the medical marijuana issues that LA County has faced for the past several years.  We need someone who has this experience and viewpoint on the City Council.  Because heck, as far as I can see, the City Council is slowly but surely eroding and crushing all the rights voters have endorsed to have safe access to medical marijuana dispensaries."

No stems or seeds!

I predict that Sheftel will be very strong in Valley Village and should hit 4th - 6th place depending how the rest of the chips fall.

But again, I could be wrong. 

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Election Day Blog Attack

Post your election day analyses, spin, rumors, complaints, voter intimidation reports, jokes and more complaints here.

Mayor Sam will provide continuing coverage on the election tonight including a live video cast. Stay tuned for more details.

Blog away dum dums!

City Clerk Election Results - Starts after the polls close

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Measure of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's Support from East Hollywood

"Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa before.............."
"Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa after..................."

LA Weekly photographer Ted Soqui snapped these photographs of a mural in East Hollywood with the image of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, two days apart.
Soqui had notice the mural during his routine of driving LA in search of one-of -the-kind images that define the "LA scene".
He posted the initial Villaraigosa image on his blog tedsoqui.blogspot.com Then upon driving by the same location two days later, found that the mural had become the setting for an act of civil disobedience. One can notice at the lower end of the "after" picture, the words "This Is Our Town" are spray painted on the ground below the mural.
Thanks to LA Weekly's Patrick Range McDonald for posting this at the Weekly's "LA Daily"
Your thoughts.................................

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Morning Briefs and Outtakes as a Major Gang Sweep Commences

LASD Deputy Juan Abel Escalante, 1981-2008
What started as the mission to find the murders of a fallen comrade has turn into a quest to reclaim a neighborhood.
As night gives away to a Tuesday dawn, LA Times Reporter Joel Rubin gives the details on the pre-dawn raids now underway to round up members of the notorious "Avenues" Gang.
Hundreds of police officers and federal law enforcement agents launched a major assault on the Avenues gang this morning, hoping to deal a blow to an elusive gang responsible for some of Los Angeles' most notorious street crime.
Under the cover of darkness around 3 a.m., roughly 1,200 heavily-armed officers from the Los Angeles Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration and several other agencies dispersed from a command post near the LAPD’s training academy in Elysian Park.
Warrants in hand, they descended on dozens of homes in search of 53 alleged members or associates of the Avenues gang wanted on an array of federal charges related to the gang's extensive drug dealing, unsolved murders and other crimes.
With 43 suspects already in custody on unrelated charges, the operation aimed to bring new charges against 88 Avenues members or associates, a significant share of a gang that is believed to have about 400 members.
Some suspects were sought elsewhere in the city, but the sweep focused on Glassell Park and other neighborhoods in the northeastern reaches of Los Angeles -- the center of Avenues territory since the gang first surfaced in the 1950s.
The ambush murder of Los Angeles County Sheriff Deputy Juan Abel Escalante, brought renew scrutiny on the Avenues Gang who also had been convicted of hate crimes, in targeting blacks within Highland Park for attacks as a part of a campaign to rid the neighborhood of African Americans.
Rubin reports that the motivation for this morning's raids were made clear during a planning meeting last week.
With the auditorium at LAPD headquarters filled with a few hundred officers, a recording was played of the phone call Escalante’s hysterical wife made to a 911 dispatcher after discovering him in the street. “If anyone has any doubt about the rationale or reason behind this operation, it was this,” a detective said.
** Los Angeles Times reports that Los Angeles officials may abandon the highly-controversial "Green Path North" transmission line.
The Department of Water and Power's proposed 85-mile-long Green Path North transmission line has faced fierce opposition from more than a dozen community and environmental groups, creating a political chink in Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's efforts to cast himself as the leader of the "cleanest, greenest big city in America."
Once again, the Oak Glen based "Wildlands Conservancy" stands fast in preserving open space from encroachment for dubious efforts.
** The "Old Gray Westside Hag On Spring Street" reminds us at 6:00 AM, that there is a Special Election in CD 2 today. But they do provide us with this info.
The city plans to spend as much as $1.8 million on the election. If no candidate wins a majority of the vote, the top two candidates will face a runoff election Dec. 8. The winner will finish Greuel’s term, which ends in June 2011.
Officials at the Los Angeles city clerk’s office plan to begin posting results by 8:30 p.m. here. The first tallies will be from vote-by-mail ballots. As of Monday afternoon, the clerk’s office had received just 7,386 ballots by mail – a fraction of the 124,955 voters who live in the 2nd Council District.
No need to remind you what fellow Westside native they are endorsing in this election.
** The Daily News expects many to shine on today's CD 2 Special Election.
** Former Mayor Villaraigosa deputy chief of staff Dan Grunfeld has found new employment.
The mayor's former deputy chief of staff Dan Grunfeld stepped down from his post Friday. Today, the law firm of Kaye Scholer announced that Grunfeld, 49, will work in its Los Angeles office representing clients in such fields as green technology, alternative energy and compliance with environmental laws.
** Financial times must be bad when the Los Angeles Unified School District and its bus drivers have to agree on taking six furlough days.
** Los Angeles City Board of Harbor Commissioners "are considering a new plan for improving the San Pedro port, including revitalizing the once-thriving Port O'Call village shopping and dining area".
** Where will State Senator Roderick "Burke" Wright wake up this morning? It seems that the District Attorney is taking a interest on the subject as the Times reports.
The Los Angeles County district attorney's office has searched two homes in a probe of whether Democratic state Sen. Roderick Wright lives in the district he represents, officials confirmed today.
David Demerjian, who heads the DA's Public Integrity Division, told The Times that investigators searched two residences early Wednesday morning but he would not divulge exact addresses. One of the homes was in Wright's 25th District and the other was in the neighboring 26th District.
This reminds me of a certain ex CD 14 councilman who had a house, once upon a time, in the hamlet of Hermon.
Your thoughts.................................

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CD2 Bloggy Stories Recap

Mrs. Home Depot for CD2. Not.
Interesting Financial Data from "Californians for Krekorian in 2010" 
KPCC violates FCC "equal time" rule to promote "Big 3" Machine Candidates in CD 2 race 

Villaraigosa-Galatzan: Thick As Thieves Villaraigosa-Galatzan: Thick As Thieves Part Two 
Chris Essel goes "Wild" on Paul Krekorian in CD 2 Special Election
Supporters of Chris Essel make Big TV AD Buy in CD 2 Council Race

Feel free to make this an open thread.


Election Day in CD 2! And the "Little 7" would appreciate your support!

Well...it's finally here...Election Day in the City Council Special Election. The "Little 7" candidates...the ones who didn't spend a quarter million dollars on their campaigns...they would appreciate your vote today.

If you vote for the "Big 3" candidates -- (two of them carpetbaggers) then nothing is going to change at City Council. More 15-0 votes. More bankruptcy talk. More slashing of crucial services to pay for ridiculous social programs and experiments...like Villaraigosa's failed attempt to hand your tax money to gang members to encourage them not to commit crimes anymore. (Hard to believe that government program didn't work!)

PAUL KREKORIAN - The Higby-endorsed Burbank Democrat has been leading this race from the start. He was crafty enough to rent his apartment in CD 2 before the final election totals were in on Wendy Gruels race for Controller. He has finely-tuned political instincts, and will probably get 30-40% of the vote today. However, you should avoid voting for him. His performances at the debates and forums exposed him as being arrogant and selfish. His election to CD 2 would cost voters another million dollars for the special election to replace him in the State Assembly. And if he is willing to turn around and abandon his voters in Burbank and Glendale after only six months...how much do you really think voters in LA can trust him? There is also the issue of him being a budget-destroying Socialist. He helped vote his way through the entire State budget -- and then some -- and he helped put California on the brink of bankruptcy. No excuses. Do not vote for Paul.

CHRISTINE ESSEL - Chris Essel has seen some of her best moments in this campaign met with the sound of crickets at forums and debates. She may be wealthy, but she is not deeply connected to the community. There seems to be no love for her. However, her endorsement from the LA Times may carry some weight with certain voters. Her carpet-bombing media campaign has left her quite famous and well known...but not necessarily well liked. Essel is in danger today of being surpassed by some of the other candidates because voters aren't "feeling" her. There is a danger Chris could crash out today and not make the runoff. If she does, it would be a costly misfire. I wonder if on Wednesday morning - should she lose - if Essel will go out in her front yard, fall to her knees, throw her hands to the heavens and scream (like George Costanza ) "SHALLMAN!!!"
Because of all her failings in the campaign (see multiple Mayor Sam stories) she is not the choice.

TAMAR GALATZAN - I had originally labelled Tamar Galatzan one of the "Axis of Evil candidates" for her ties to the politically poisonous Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. However, I may have been too quick to judge her... she says she is on the outs with the Mayor and her lack of labor endorsements or positive words from Antonio seem to back this up. Tamar has proven to me in the forums that she is a fighter...that she is very well prepared...and that she wants this job more than anyone. I have come to gradually respect her and her efforts.
She is the least offensive of the Big 3 candidates, and of the three, I could only see her having the ability to beat the other two. However, Tamar made a promise to voters to serve as a member of LAUSD Board. For reasons of personal integrity, she needs to keep that promise.

Now...here are the 7 candidates that you should consider...

FRANK SHEFTEL - Frank has been making positive moves for his whole campaign and has organized and run a real campaign with a headquarters and volunteers. I think he has done a better job than most of the grassroots candidates and will probably surprise a lot of people today with his good showing in the election. Frank has stayed out of the crossfire of the Big 3 candidates and has spent his time seeking votes and meeting voters. That will show up in results today.

DAVID SALTSBURG/ZUMA DOGG - David has been fighting for the community for three years now, trying to stop shady behavior at City Hall. He surprised many media members by finishing in fourth place in the Mayoral election just a few months ago in March. His showing will probably surprise many again today. Tomorrow morning he will still be "Zuma Dogg"...but will he also still be a Council Candidate?

MARY BENSON - Mary got the last-minute endorsement of KRLA Radio Show Host Kevin James. She also had former Mayoral candidate Walter Moore support her by dropping a ton of emails on his former supporters. One of the Sunland-Tujunga area supporters of Mary that I talked to described her actions during the Station Fire as "heroic". That is a word you don't hear attached to politicians too often. Will it be enough? We will know later tonight.

JOE ESSAVI - Joe is a friend of mine and I hope he does well today. He is unselfish and committed to doing the job. He also made Paul Krekorian look like a complete jerk at one of the forums. Something for which the voters in CD 2 should be thankful. He took some collateral damage that night, but in doing so -- he may have saved the whole district from the wrath of Krekorian.

MICHAEL MCCUE - McCue consistently gave stellar performances at the forums and debates. He also has the support of the Green Party. Not sure if that will be enough today, but he would not disappoint voters if he were elected to City Council.

PETE SANCHEZ - Deeply admired in Valley Village, Pete impressed many with his calm, cool, collected and analytical behavior on the campaign trail. He didn't seem to burn any bridges, and his endorsement will be sought by others if he doesn't make the runoff tonight.

AUGUSTO BISANI - Augusto is a nice guy with some good ideas...but I don't think he is cut out to be a politician.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mary Benson Live Now on Kevin James

Click here to listen or tune to AM 870.

Mary Benson is currently talking about preserving both the Verdugo Hills Golf Course and the Studio City Golf Course.

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Mrs. Home Depot for CD2. Not.

Given the volume of pro-Mary Benson comments from residents of Sunland-Tujunga I'm getting both in email and here on the blog I'm not sure that Tamar Galatzan will do well in that part of CD2.

And if anything it may be that you can put lipstick on a pig but in the end its still not kosher.

Residents of Sunland-Tujunga remember too well their valiant and succesful effort to block a behemoth, The Home Depot, from invading their valley. Too, they'll remember that a corporate lobbyist hack attempted to shove the big orange down their throats in a "bizarre" manner as described by the LA Weekly.

That would be Brendan Huffman - the husband of Tamar Galatzan. Upon Tamar's entry into the Council race one Mayor Sam blogger wrote the following:

Brendan, as you may recall from past Mayor Sam stories, is the outspoken and uninformed shill who showed up at several hearings pleading on Home Depot's behalf. At these hearings, Brendan predicted City wide meltdown if Home Depot was not allowed to open in Sunland-Tujunga. He wrote an article in the San Fernando Valley Business Journal where he mistakenly claimed that Home Depot owned the property, mislabeled the community fight as a fight by a competitor, blamed it all on day laborers (never an issue), and failed to understand that just because you are Home Depot, you can't open where you damn well please.

That writer was none other than (now) Galatzan supporter Joe Barrett. To be fair Joe expressed an open mind given Tamar's willingness to meet with him and other ST activists and her spin on the matter at an early forum. However Joe wisely pointed out that Galatzan didn't need "to have to drag around the baggage of a spouse that's never seen a proposed development that he didn't love."

Hometown candidate Mary Benson has street cred when it comes to Home Depot. So does Zuma Dogg. They may not have put in the hours of folks like Joe Barrett, Abby Diamond, Nina Royal, Lydia Grant but they were passionate advocates at many levels to stand up to the Georgia based monster that eventually left town with its tail between its legs leaving Huffman to say "I don't get it?"

On the other hand where was Tamar? Did she attend meetings? Did she speak to the City Council did she once speak out about the project's impact on neighboring Apperson Elementary School where small children would be subject to choking on diesel fumes and potentially getting run over by frequent delivery trucks rolling over the neighborhood's small streets? As an advocate for the community did she attempt to rein in her husband in uplifting a potential violent assault on a community? Not that I can find any evidence of.

Now Valley Doll tells me that she wouldn't want to be blamed for anything her husband does. Fair enough. But I also know that Valley Doll would speak up if her husband was doing something shady. So what did Tamar know, when did she know it and what did she do about it? Nada.

It seems to me if one is there with you in a fight you owe your allegiance to them more than someone who is a johnny-come-lately no matter how much you think its going to make one person win or another lose. I have tremendous personal respect for Joe but I can't agree with him here.

In my own personal, slightly uninformed, humble view, residents of Sunland-Tujunga would be better off voting for Mary Benson or Zuma Dogg (or any of the other candidates) than Tamar. If anything, based on experience.

Your thoughts?

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Interesting Financial Data from "Californians for Krekorian in 2010"

"I was hoping to speak from here more in the future"
CD 2 City Council Candidate Chris Essel, with John Shallman's "talking points" next to her, gave it her best shot in the KPCC "Air Talk" CD 2 Special Election Debate with the "Big Three Candidates", moderated by host Larry Mantle.
Essel for the most part, was the decisively lesser candidate in this three-way exchange. But she did awkwardly hit Paul Krekorian with the accusation that Krekorian had made payments to Campaign Consultant Eric Hacopian from his 2010 Assembly Campaign Fund, and guess what?? He did.
The payments listed below were made to Hacopian between January 1, 2009 and September 16, 2009 from the "Californians for Krekorian in 2010" account on file with the Secretary of State. One wonders if these are the debt payments Krekorian alluded to in the debate?? Yeah right!!
In retrospect, it is no wonder that Krekorian was befuddle and halting in responding to Essel's "desperation round house punch", attacking his use of campaign funds.
But this disclosure coming on the back of the "$15,000 Televised Appreciation Spot" courtesy of fellow Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes-Handel, makes you wonder if Krekorian and Hacopian are playing "games" with campaign finance laws.
** One can review Krekorian's 460 forms and try to find where the word "loan" is use in describing the above payments.
Your thoughts.....................................

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KPCC violates FCC "equal time" rule to promote "Big 3" Machine Candidates in CD 2 race

Radio station KPCC 89.3 FM might be the subject of an FCC complaint or investigation in the near future. Just minutes ago, host Larry Mantle and KPCC decided to violate the FCC regulations regarding "equal time" for all candidates involved in an election. Only the "Big 3" big money Machine Candidates for the City Council seat in CD 2 were allowed to go on the air with Larry.

Larry Mantle did a good job, regardless of the poor choice to only speak to these three candidates.
The first few minutes were the standard self-congratulatory speeches and boilerplate campaign jibber-jabber.

Things got spicy when Larry Mantle pointed out some dicey subject areas and let the Big 3 candidates go at each other.

Paul and Tamar started bashing Chris for her big money donations from outside CD 2.
Tamar also went off on Chris about her support for SB 1818 while involved with the CCA, yet flip-flopping on the campaign trail and saying she never supported it.

Essel was not good with her response, brushing them both off by saying "I find the whole attack on me disingenuous."

Mantle started to ruin Tamars day by bringing up the LAUSD flier controversy and asking her if she didn't do it to "enhance her candidacy."

"The Ethics Commission told us we couldn't use it on anything other than LAUSD things," she responded. Tamar kind of stumbled around on this answer, but generally denied any wrong doing. Paul and Chris were clearly not convinced.

Essel slammed into Paul for paying for his hack political consultants for this CD 2 race out of his State Assembly money funds. Krekorian was stunned by this accusation.

"I have no idea what she is talking about!, " he said in disbelief.

Essel hit harder. "It is on your disclosure form, Paul! Eric Hacopian and others are being paid!!"

Paul was blindsided by this attack. "I would like to respond to this bizarre statement about 'slush funds' by Miss Essel. She shows a reckless disregard for the truth," he added, in lawyer-like escapist talk.

Krekorian stumbled and bumbled around, unable to deny the payments ...but eventually excused himself by saying they were payments for "old debts." Terrible response by Paul. Best thing about this show was that all three of them eventually looked bad. Their rivals pointed out their flaws for all to see.

HIGHLIGHT OF THE SHOW: Michael McCue called into the show! I was ready for him to unload on Larry, but unfortunately it sounded like Michael was driving and his cell phone connection wasn't very good and you couldn't hear him too well. He did get out the phrase " Excluding the grassroots candidates.." quite clearly.

Mantle made some pathetic excuse about "reaching critical mass" with other candidates.

Here's a hot Mayor Sam tip for Larry Mantle....

Larry, you might want to walk down the hall and have a chat with a very classy lady named Patt Morrison who works the at KPCC. (She's kind of famous...I think you might already know her.)

WAY, way back in March 2009 - when TEN Candidates were running for the office of Mayor of Los Angeles, Patt set aside a separate day for each candidate and interviewed them each for about 15 minutes.

I know it's complicated. Ask Patt to explain it to you. She is a sweet lady and has a lot of patience.
I'm sure she will help you out.