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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Los Angeles Politics Hotsheet for Wednesday

City Controller Wendy Greuel has released a report criticizing the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment's oversight of Neighborhood Council spending.  While there have been some well publicized cases of misappropriation of funds by a few NC treasurers for the overwhelming number of Councils they have been far more efficient than the City Council.  When will the Controller criticize their wasteful spending?

Speaking to whether or not Greuel is making a good use of her time she's promoting her first "Women's Dialogue," an event at City Hall featuring a panel of female speakers on "Women and the Environment." This may be a worthy topic and the speakers may be distinguished but can someone please tell me what this has to do with the Controller's Office? And who is paying for it? Please provide us with answers.

Funniest line in a blog post all year (okay I know it's January 13th) comes from Ron Kaye: "Can the Wizard of LA find a brain for Scarecrow Tom LaBonge (who wants to be mayor), a heart for Tin Man Dennis Zine (Controller) and courage for Cowardly Lion Bill Rosendahl (US Senator)?"

Paul Krekorian may have been onto something when he blocked a street widening no one wanted.  The Narrow Streets Los Angeles blog posits that the City could be better off with narrower street.

Congresswoman Grace Napolitano - who has had all kinds of problems of her own - is poking her nose where she really ought not to be.  She is in up in arms over a recent experiment by the Union Pacific Railroad that ran a three and half mile long train.  The point of the test is to see how more efficiently American goods can be shipped to ports in LA without having to use multiple trains or trucks.  All good for the economy and environment.  But blowhards like Grace don't get that.

And finally Phil Jennerjahn's blog officially jumps the shark.  In a recent posting, the former last place Mayoral contender and leader of the Recall Villaraigosa effort seems to think that Paul Krekorian's efforts to block a wasteful and unnecessary taxpayer funded public works program is "socialist." Phil continues to demonstrate that he is, well, special.

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Anonymous Anonymous said:

Oops, Wendy got another headline, beating up the little guy, again. Somehow, she seems to enjoy it.

January 13, 2010 2:41 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Of course this blog jumped the shark quite a while ago, too.

January 13, 2010 3:23 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Well let's see. Phil posts some whack job video claiming that Detroit's terrible economic condition is ENTIRELY because of "leftist policies."

mmmm. I suppose the capitalist impact of Detroit's predominantly Republican managers of the auto industry continuing to build shitty tank-like cars that no one wanted to buy had nothing to to do with it. These same Republican management types to this day continue to resist building fuel efficient cars and faster and better competitors in other countries are producing cars Americans want to buy. More fuel efficient, reliable, well-constructed autos that have eaten Detroit alive. And what trickled down from these Republican managers? Certainly not wealth and prosperity for the hard working workers in Detroit, Flint and other auto assembly towns. Layoffs, mass foreclosures, crime, abandonment of the City. That's the reality of a truly competitive market Phil.

But Phil is probably entranced with some moron video claiming merely that the City of Detroit sucks because of leftist policies.

I really think this is a form of mental derangement.

January 13, 2010 5:39 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Grace Napolitano- shows how you can be an elected representative and an entrepenuer as part of that job by lending yourself campaign money and collecting hefty repayments of the interest that loan generates as if it were a mortgage. That’s in the similar if not same category of the guy who applied for and received unemployment benefits after being ousted in a losing re-election bid.

If these people were able to work FOR the public’s interest first and not take a turn at feeding at the public trough for another payday that is all for personal gain, we might be getting ahead with real government business instead of adding to the list of ethically-challenged past and present office holders.

And this is just a sample of “discovered” actions, with lots more happening to “push the envelope” or go beyond that.

January 13, 2010 7:24 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Glad you're shining the light on sexist female politicians. These "women-in-this" and "women-in-that" programs not only a waste of taxpayer dollars (by the Controller no less), they're probably illegal now that the feminist revolution is over. BTW, ever worked in an organization now run by women that used to be run by men? The old girls' network is far worse than the old boys' one. We're doing "honey do's" all day long now, not just at home.

January 13, 2010 7:30 AM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

Idiot at 730. Play the gender card if you must but I stated it had nothing to do with the subject or the panelists. Wendy could be doing a panel on the muscle cars of the 60s with Carroll Shelby and Motorman Leon Kaplan.

The point is the role of the City Controller is not to play college dean in chief but to watch the City's money.

In these times, this type of grandstanding is a distraction. We have plenty of great organizations and institutions in this city that could host these types of panels. It is not the City's job.

January 13, 2010 8:00 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

As someone who has been a boardmember of two Neighborhood Councils and have been attending NC Meetings for four years, I can say Wendy has a point. We spent thousands of taxpayer dollars on Outreach and increased attendence by 10 people. Go to any NC meeting and count how many folks, not including paid council, mayor staff, City Attorney and Rec & Parks and you will see why the clock is ticking on this experiment in local governance.

Add to that, the stelth like efforts of politicans from Sacramento and Los Angeles in getting their Reps or supporters onto the NC Boards to do their bidding.

As community activist call for a
%15 pay cut for all city employees, why not a %15 cut in the current NC Budget?

January 13, 2010 8:43 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

What a complete waste of resources and time!!! From the secuity after hours to lights, etc. Wendy should be auditing DWP as many NC's have asked her to. She is becoming more like Antonio and the other clowns on city council wanting photo ops. Speaking of the clown Antonio and wasting resources tonight at 5p city hall he's wasting money hosting the LAPD cpab's. Only a handful actually do anything the rest are nothing more then social clubs. Another desperate attempt to get attention

January 13, 2010 8:49 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


Phil's blog this morning says that Jan Perry's constituents are "Fat, dumb and lazy."

January 13, 2010 8:59 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Regarding the 3.5 mile long train.. you try waiting for 3 hours to cross a street level grade train crossing...

January 13, 2010 9:12 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Regarding WG's "Women's Diaglogue", I too question the appropriateness for the Controller to sponsor this.
"Who's paying?", indeed! Not only is this being held afterhours in Council Chambers, but the RSVP contact on the invite is her staffer, at the City email address.

January 13, 2010 10:35 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

can someone please explain why Maxine Waters, whose district is experiencing something like 30% unemployment to go along with the highest foreclosure rate in the nation, is wasting time talking to CNN about Haiti? Which one of her constituents actually cares about Haiti at this point????

January 13, 2010 11:00 AM  

Blogger Joseph Mailander said:

What happens when a guy asks to attend the woman's dialogue? If the contact is a staffer, it can't be exclusive to women, can it? The city doesn't discriminate by sex, right?

January 13, 2010 11:02 AM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

Interesting question Joseph but to be fair I received an invitation so I am assuming men are welcome.

January 13, 2010 11:04 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hey Higby did you see the formerly homeless economist from Venice's rant to President Obama that was filled with vularities?

January 13, 2010 11:07 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Speaking of gender- there's an agenda item for the creation of "lactation rooms" in city buildings with occupancy of 250 or more persons that CM Tony Cardenas proposed late last year.

The idea is apparently to give breat-feeding women a place in city buildings to feed or otherwise attend to breast-feeding activity.

Cardenas must be among the hopefuls in the next mayor's race and this is his way to begin to show his compassion.

He's also ignoring the worsening budget condition of the city to spend time now on this niche group that would create more costs to all in the city. Is this the right time for looking for more ways to create expenses? And as to the persons benefitted- they would be in that class for a matter of months, and a few possibly nursing for a year- (or two?) So this is another nanny-state idea that digs the deficit hole deeper with thinking of the level of CM Cardenas.

No one wants to be the bad guy so this may have a good chance to pass, regardless of what it represents from a financial viewpoint to a city on the edge of bankruptcy. The CMs will now spend time with this when they really need to be working on the big picture, thanks to CM Cardenas and his idealistic views that are blind to a reality that becomes more bleak each passing day.

Where is this money supposed to come from? Oh, where else? Us. Put back term limits, experience has not made any of them better at any job other than wasting money.

In L.A. 90041

January 13, 2010 11:14 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I wonder if those men in suits who work for the federal govt, the ones who wear the dark sunglasses, are wondering who mr. dogg is.

Perhaps not good to rant about the president when your own apartment is paid for by it.

January 13, 2010 11:20 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

8:49AM, don`t you think "Wendy/DWP Audit" is an oxymoron?

January 13, 2010 11:20 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Phil's latest

"Michael Higby , Joe B., Paul Krekorian and some of the other eco-warriors up in Sunland-Tujunga seem to prefer that we get around using a horse and buggy. They don't want trees cut down, or roads widened."

January 13, 2010 11:37 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Laura Chick had the Women's Dialogue forever. This isn't something new that Wendy made up. She is just continuing Laura's successful program.

Men can go if they want to listen in on women's issues. They usually don't but they can.

Her officeholder account pays for it although there is nothing to pay for. Water or some light snack food perhaps.

January 13, 2010 12:34 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

NC's shouldn't have to have rooms full of people in attendance in order to function.

Much like City Council, they will pull people out when there is something on their agenda that the community is interested in.

They need to stop wasting their money on other city departments and LAUSD and LAPD. If they were outreaching properly, they would send a newsletter every month to all of their stakeholders informing them of everything that is going on in the neighborhood.

That does not mean the neighborhood people are going to flood the monthly meetings though, anymore than the meetings at City Hall are jam packed three times a week. Nor should the City Council expect them to since they themselves can't do it.

January 13, 2010 12:38 PM  

Anonymous Paul Hatfield said:

I would also like to know who is paying for Wendy's forum. Also, it should not be organized using her office resources even if the event is funded from a private source.

Do you think this could be posturing for the Mayoral campaign????????

January 13, 2010 12:58 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Jumping the shark would imply that Phil was once something good.

He never reached greatness, no place to fall from.

January 13, 2010 1:37 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

Again even if Wendy's forums cost $10 its not part of her job. Nor was it part of Chick's.

I believe these events are televised on TV35. Obviously that's a huge expense.

January 13, 2010 2:42 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Paul Hatfield, what do you think of Dennis Zine's qualifications for Controller, from the Janice Hahn running for Lt Gov thread?

If you think Wendy's unqualified despite a business background, because you think the job requires a CPA, what about him just because he says "I challenge everything?" Sure he and Trutanich are all over AEG like a cheap suit, but they have no legal basis for it as Nuch admits when pressed, they're just grandstanding.

So Zine got into that mess because he wants to run for Controller!

January 13, 2010 2:49 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

WTF??? Tony Cardenas HELPS A MS13 GANG BANGER GET OUT OF JAIL ON BAIL. Fact is this gang banger Alex Sanchez was arrested on a wiretap to have someone killed by the Feds. Then he's also arrested for abusing millions in city funds given to his Homies Unidos nonprofit. read it on witnessla.com
Charlie "Farmer John" Beck's best friend Tom Hayden has put up his house for this loser. Guilt by association.

""""The bail amount is set at $2 million. It is to be divided into $1 million in properties, $1 million in surities. I have heard floating rumors that the City Hall someone inside the closed courtroom may possibly have been City Council Member Tony Cardenas.


January 13, 2010 3:58 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

If Tony Cardenas really is the thug, slug and criminal who we all know he is, WHY DO YOU KEEP ELECTING HIM?

Elect a jackass like Cardenas or Alarcon, and you reap what you sow!

I laugh every time I heer aboutone of these complaints because you idiots keep putting em back into office! STOP THE FUCKING COMPLAINING YOU ASSHOLES AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT HIM BEING IN OFFICE! GET OFF YOUR FUCKING COUCH AND FIND A BETTER CANDIDATE OR RUN YOURSELF!


January 13, 2010 4:14 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Tony Cardenas like Father Gang Banger Boyle protects thugs and gang bangers. Alex Sanchez MS 13 was the executive director of a gang program Homies Unidos where our tax dollars were given to him. August 2009 Homies Unidos, for federal racketeering and conspiracy charges. Dumb Ass Tony Cardenas can kiss his political loser career goodbye for this bullshit. IDIOT!!! Where is the damn MEDIA ON THIS ONE?????

January 13, 2010 4:26 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Why pick on Greuel for holding Womens Dialog events when everyone was silent when Chick did the same thing? Hypocrites!

And while we're on the subject of hypocrites, there are non bigger then neighborhood councils. Some have taken to serving free dinners in order to get people to attend meetings which drone on endlessly. They are the same hacks who ran the homeowner groups or the wantabees. This has got to be the biggest waste of money ever conceived in the city. A budget of $10,000 a year would be sufficient but $50,000, that can be rolled, over is obscene in this budgetary environment.

January 13, 2010 6:45 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Why pick on Greuel for holding Womens Dialog events when everyone was silent when Chick did the same thing? Hypocrites!

And while we're on the subject of hypocrites, there are non bigger then neighborhood councils. Some have taken to serving free dinners in order to get people to attend meetings which drone on endlessly. They are the same hacks who ran the homeowner groups or the wantabees. This has got to be the biggest waste of money ever conceived in the city. A budget of $10,000 a year would be sufficient but $50,000, that can be rolled, over is obscene in this budgetary environment.

January 13, 2010 6:45 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Important stuff, Michael. I agree that Wendy should concentrate on the bigger picture. DONE is small potatoes compared to the City Departments, City Council, and other City run programs. The City Controller should audit where you have the potential to find tens of millions of dollars of abuses, not chump change like with the DONE audit - several hundred thousand dollars is a joke. Hell, the entire funding for NCs is under $5 million. What percentage of that has been misused? And how much did we spend on this audit?? Although, DONE has recognized some shortcomings and abuses with a few neighborhood councils, they've performed as good as can be expected with their budget cuts and limited staffing. In fact, the biggest complaint I hear fron neighborhood councils is how hard it is to get things paid. That the level of proof for expenditures is excessive.

Why aren't we looking at the City Council members individual budgets and staffing? How about an audit there? Or Wendy's buddies, the DWP?

If Wendy's serious about a run for Mayor, she'd better start aligning herself with the community leaders (like those who rejected her endorsed candidate and elected Paul Krekorian) and challenge the status quo. But don't hold your breath, folks, Wendy's the L.A. version of Sarah Palin.

As far as the "Women's Dialogue" programs. They were indeed started by Laura Chick and not questioned at the time but with our fiscal crisis, if any taxpayer dollars are going toward them, they should cease immediately. We can't afford these vanity events.

January 13, 2010 6:58 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Should NC expect people to flood the rooms? Well YES!. If the Stateholders saw any value in having these ego driven neighborhood NIMBYS represent their communities, they would be breaking down the doors to get in. But the constant nit picking and in fighting among boardmembers is a turn off.

The NC's can not even get the City to give them a heads up on important issues.

They have just become a Tool of the Tools on City Council.
They are just another road block for folks who want to invest in their community.

Get the numbers up or get your budget cut.

January 13, 2010 8:43 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

3:58PM etc "WTF??? Tony Cardenas HELPS A MS13 GANG BANGER GET OUT OF JAIL ON BAIL" The rumor about Cardenas started on Celeste's Blog, and it's unfortunately completely untrue that Cardenas was the person from City Hall who helped to bail out Alex Sanchez.

Cardenas was over in City Hall participating in the marijuana madness debate while Sanchez was getting sprung from the slammer.

Besides, Alex Sanchez is from MS13 - a Salvadorian gang, whereas Cardenas is Mexican and if he were to run with any gang, it would be SanFer - a Valley Mexican gang.

The Mexican gangs hate MS13 even more than the Black gangs, so Cardenas is not the guy.

January 13, 2010 8:50 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

"Wendy's the L.A. version of Sarah Palin."

Please, Palin may be as dumb as a brick, but there's no way that Wendy comes close to being as attractive.

Palin gets a pass because of her looks, her savy in getting out of the governor's office in Alaska, and landing a job with Fox.

Wendy is still whining like a loser over being dumped on by Laura Chick and being left to pick up the tab, and her only achievements in 6 months are carping about the cost of sandwiches at the AEG-Jackson show, and taking a swipe at Neighborhood Councils.

Wendy has as much of a chance at becoming Mayor as Jan Perry - Zero.

If anyone cares, the next Mayor of LA is going to be Eric Garcetti. He handled todays medical marijuana debate like a true statesman, building bridges, cajoling compromises, and OMG actually making some progress.

When Janice Hahn loses her bid for Lt. Governor and tries a late run for Mayor, the three empty vessels of LA politics will really have a taste of defeat.

January 13, 2010 9:03 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

What a stupid idea to narrow streets. This will only serve to congest and gridlock the streets. Los Angeles needs wider streets not narrower ones. It takes me 20 minutes to get from Van Nuys and Victory to Ventura and Van Nuys in the evening going home. So what I do is take Hazeltine instead, but more people are starting to use this route and it starting to no longer work as a shortcut. If you narrow Van Nuys like the blog shows it would cause traffic to come to an absolute standstill. You know some people still live in the real world were they have to drive, and even if I were to take the bus it would take even longer.

January 13, 2010 9:48 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Phil has crossed over into the twilight zone

January 13, 2010 10:14 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Wendy's audit of NC's just means that she is mad that all of the CD 2 NC's didn't endorse her candidate.

January 14, 2010 1:53 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

OMG Everyone is sending emails saying it was Tony Cardenas supporting the MS 13 gang banger to get out of jail. For all those Reyes haters here's even more stuff to be on him about. The city gave this gang banger Alex Sanchez $3.5 million and he gets arrested by feds. Tom Hayden the idiot he is puts his house up for bail, when Sanchez was deported dumb ass Hayden got him back. And now look who has a photo with him!!


January 14, 2010 10:26 AM  

Anonymous Paul Hatfield said:

I don't think Zine is qualified either. Eeven if he had a related background, his comments on the DWP contract during his Kevin James interview would be enough to not support him.

By the way, Wendy does not have a business background. She was in government relations.

January 14, 2010 11:23 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

8:43, grow some balls. Go to the NC meetings and call out the board members who are fighting amongst themselves. Complain about the NIMBYISM. Elect new people. Choose the people you want to represent you on your NC board and knock on doors for them. Tell your friends and neighbors about them.

In the meantime, sitting around blogging about your distaste for them while insisting they "get their numbers up" or lose their money is ridiculous.

I can see you're a whiner, not a doer. Most NC's probably don't want people like you on their board. Or you are a developer whose project was denied and now all NC's are NIMBY'S. Whatever.

NC's should keep their money and use it wisely - piddly amount that it is. None of them drive Exempt cars. Look at the bright side.

They're volunteers. Go volunteer and stop trying to profit from the NC's. You'll like them better.

January 14, 2010 11:33 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


January 16, 2010 4:26 PM  

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