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Friday, July 16, 2010

Grab a Broom


"...governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government..."

The Declaration of Independence

More than 15 years ago I decided to get involved in my community to make it a better place. It became a hodgepodge of activities starting with the Coro Neighborhood Leaders program, training with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, starting a community economic development organization, getting involved with the Chamber of Commerce, starting the Jaycees chapter in North Hollywood and eventually winding up as that organization's State President. 

Through all that time I learned a lot. 

It didn't take long for me to figure out that these "great" politicians I used to admire turned out to be a bunch of slugs. If they weren't fradulent, they were incompetent. I found out that most employees of government officials or agencies charged to help our community were more concerned with self-preservation and avoid any work that might be "too hard."  Many of them not only didn't live in our community, they didn't even live in our city!

I found a system horribly broken and that most didn't care.  Los Angeles was such a mess that it seemed it could not be untangled.  Indeed my friend Stu remarked to me "the city's best days are behind it."  

However as time went on I saw little pockets of hope here and there.  Neighbors who banded together to preserve what they felt their community should be. Organizations who worked hard to bring some change even if it was small.  In some cases I might have completely disagreed with the objectives of these groups but I had to, even if grudgingly, admire their tenacity.

I found myself supporting a string of grass roots and sometime gadfly candidates with a naive hope that right could make might.  And I was foolishly shocked when these good people often came within miles of beating the entrenched, corrupt incumbents or political machine handpicked "newcomers."  I soon became a critic of most of those "alternative" candidates finding many of them were just as self-serving as the big names they seeked to knock out.

In the meantime an avuncular figure was toiling in the woods, an accidental anarchist or reluctant rabblerouser who knew something was wrong, that something had to be done, but was also realistic that revolution had to be methodical.  That was former Daily News editor Ron Kaye.

Over time and maybe some fumbles here and there Kaye pulled together a diverse collection of folks from around Los Angeles. Most of them were pissed.  Few of them were political experts.  Still they gathered consistently, working hard, meeting in community centers and the back room of a Dennys, giving their time, their money and their dreams to an effort to perhaps, finally, change Los Angeles.

The Clean Sweep Campaign launches tomorrow at a meeting house in North Hollywood.  The effort will draw all types.  But Kaye and his followers including veterans of community service such as David Hernandez, Nina Royal, Jack Humphreville and others have methodically crafted a program,  not around ideology or narrow issues, but behind guiding principles that seek to fundamentally change the way Los Angeles government does business.  They have developed resources, processes and plans to find, develop, train and fund solid candidates for office in Los Angeles.  The effort has attracted the attention of media figures such as radio talk show host Kevin James who is putting his microphone behind the cause.  Professional political consultants are donating their time.  Expert fundraisers are joining to raise the cash necessary to bootstrap grassroots campaign.  The effort may not be pretty.  It will still be rag tag.  But there's gas in the engine and the car is ready to run all the laps.

Back during the LA Riots in 1992 actor Edward James Olmos grabbed a push broom and walked alone into the streets and just started cleaning up the mess.  No pointing fingers, no waiting for anyone else, just doing what he thought he could do to help.

Los Angeles, it's time to once again grab a broom.  

The Clean Sweep Movement Launch Party is this Saturday, July 17th from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Mayflower Club, 11110 Victory Blvd in North Hollywood.  There is a $20 donation at the door; refreshments will be served.

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55 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said:

yawn.

July 16, 2010 12:05 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Oh great, the LA Tea Bag Party is born!

July 16, 2010 12:10 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

LA politicians are bad.

But gasbag Republican white racist NIMBYs are even worse.

I look forward to voting for Tom LaBonge in advance of a March 2011 trip to Sizzler.

July 16, 2010 6:23 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Typical - fist 2 comments are naysayers. They are first people to complain about LA politics, and the first to complain about anyone who tries to do something to change things.

July 16, 2010 6:56 AM  

Blogger Phil Jennerjahn said:

Tom La Bonge is the "Al Bundy" of local politics.

He needs to be replaced.

July 16, 2010 7:27 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I WOULD attend this meeting EXCEPT that I'm certain it's going to be populated with:

1. A stalker like Scott "Red Spot" Johnson

2. A neighborhood bully like Michael "Mayor Sam" Higby

3. A neighborhood bully like Joe B.

4. Annoying women who think they're interesting like Valley Doll

5. Annoying poseurs like Joseph Mailander.

THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE A "CLEAN" SWEEP, NOT THE SAME OL' RETREADS WHO ATTEND A MEETING, AND THEN RUN HOME TO THEIR COMPUTERS AFTER A FEW BELTS TO ALLOW VICIOUS POSTS AND COMMENTS THAT ULTIMATELY STUNT PROGRESS.

AND WHEN THE AFOREMENTIONED ATTEND, IT MEANS THAT MEN/CHILDREN LIKE PHIL JENNERJAHN AND FRANK SHEFTEL CAN'T BE TOO FAR BEHIND.

YEAH, THAT'S ALL I NEED, PHIL COMING OVER TO MAYOR SAM'S AGAIN TO DESCRIBE THE FOOD & BEVERAGES BEING SERVED. "THEY HAD A NICE FRESH FRUIT TRAY, ASSORTED COOKIES AND AN ARRAY OF SOFT DRINKS, INCLUDING COFFEE, BOTTLED WATER, SODAS AND JUICES."

ALL OF YOU MIGHT NOT ATTEND, BUT IT'S ALMOST GUARANTEED THAT A FEW WILL. I'LL PASS AND I THINK MANY OTHERS WILL ALSO PASS FOR THE SAME REASONS.

IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE A "CLEAN" SWEEP, NOT THE SAME OL' NEIGHBORHOOD BULLIES AND DOOFUSES.

July 16, 2010 7:31 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

It was posted on Ron's site yesterday that Riordan was a guest speaker. Is it true because then why isn't it on the flyer so people who don't want to hear another politician can decide whether to go or not?

July 16, 2010 7:51 AM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

Some of you are letting your personal issues with some of the folks involved here get in your way. Trust me, there are people involved I've been vocally critical of and would likely not support for office. You know I dismiss much of what passes for grassroots efforts in LA as not being strong enough or too focused on one-issue campaigns like billboards or golf courses or bicycles or pot to be successful.

That being said this project has the potential for legs based on Ron Kaye's integrity and the guiding principles the working group have come up with. They already have well known political consultants donating time to help fundraise and coach the candidates. Business and community leaders with money, resources and credibility are interested.

So this is not the Phil Jennerjahn Recall or the Augusto Bisani for Council Campaign. This is far bigger.

July 16, 2010 8:29 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Let's call this for what it is, a REPUBLICAN attempt to take over City Hall. Dick Riordan? Ron Kaye? Walter Moore? Mike Higby?

July 16, 2010 8:55 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I appreciate your clarification, Higby.

When you wrote, "So this is not the Phil Jennerjahn Recall or the Augusto Bisani for Council Campaign." that is exactly what I'm concerned about. Because even IF it's being run by legitimate leaders like Ron and Walter, and others, I'm concerned that your cast of fools will hijack it and put out real misinformation that will ultimately make it all moot.

The problem is, you don't see yourself as part of that childish game playing over the years. In fact, you further the problem when you give fools like Phil a platform. You discovered him, and allowed him to run rough-shod over the blog even when it was obvious he is a man-child.

And I have seen the comments about your relationship with Phil that you refuse to address, but that worsen the problem. You have posted several commentaries stating that phil is smart or that he has a lot to offer. And when you do that, and you can't demonstrate how, you only exacerbate the problem.

If you're willing to drop to provocation, more people like me would be willing to see what it's about. But so long as you allow the idiot brigade, which includes red spot and bullies like Joe B., you're only discouraging us "regular folk" from participating.

Now go put on your dunce cap and think about your own personal contribution to the craziness. I may just go if I had a sense that your cast won't ruin it for everyone else.

July 16, 2010 9:09 AM  

Anonymous trojan2002 said:

Good post Michael. I agree with you and have similar experiences and thoughts on the politicians in city hall, their successors, and the poor showing of outsiders I thought would've done better.
I don't have problem with who is behind clean sweep. I just don't know who there candidates are.
In 10 years of being supportive of outsiders, I'm burned out. The outsiders never seem to have a fit brain, tenacity and preparation to win.
I don't think clean sweep will be any different. The idea is great. The platform is ok... but who are the candidates?
Shouldn't we know before paying $20?

July 16, 2010 9:22 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

How is JoeB a bully? I see him at events and fighting for communities.
You must be a developer that lost to him.

July 16, 2010 9:38 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Glad to see Mike Trujillo posting anonymous comments again.

July 16, 2010 9:57 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

No 938, Joe B is a bully on THIS blog.

You obviously don't read it every day or follow the comments. I had nothing to do with Home Depot or other similar projects.

I call it as I see it.

A case in point is his bashing anyone who didn't agree with voting for Obama and his socialist tendencies. Joe couldn't accept that others have different opinions and, you'll notice, he has shut the fuck up since Obama has tanked. He is purely intolerant of others.

So much for your theory that I "must" be a developer who lost to him. Idiot.

July 16, 2010 9:58 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I'm still waiting for Higby to tell us HOW Phil is smart. He threw out that gem a few weeks ago, and has dodged answering the challenge to give examples of HOW.

July 16, 2010 10:00 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I think it's phil being a provocateur in order to remain "semi known."

I still can't believe that Phil wrote on his blog that Zuma Dogg, who is penniless, hungry and depressed, is "living the good life" just because he has free government housing courtesy of his boyfriend Bill Rosendahl.

July 16, 2010 10:00 AM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

Our dum dums in the Blog-LA-sphere continue to delight.

While we have 3rd and 4th floor spinners here complaining Clean Sweep is a Republican effort over at RonKayeLA they're complaining Clean Sweep has leftist Latino and union radicals on their agenda.

Ron Kaye truly is a genius! Dum dums of both wingnuts beware!

July 16, 2010 10:02 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Phil,

You're the Al Bundy of the whole city.

You got thousands of votes LESS THAN A HOMELESS MAN GOT!!!

Then you got whipped in the council race.

Then you unethically seized James Andion's URL, thought you made a "brilliant" move by commenting as if he endorsed you, and HE STILL BEAT YOU!

And you dropped outta college. And you quit on your own recall. And you refuse to prove how many isgnatures you got.

Now you think you'll do anything in cd4? People vote for winners. You can't see that the whole city sees you as a consistently last place finisher and quitter.

You don't need to be replaced. You are well suited to being a court jester of this blog.

Now go to the Ron Kaye event and tell us what was served.

July 16, 2010 10:21 AM  

Anonymous Paul Hatfield said:

I'm going, and I'm not a Republican.

I don't like Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity on the right. I don't like Keith Olberman and Chris Matthews on the left. I don't like idealogues in general.

Phil Jennerjahn and Augusto Bisani, along with the other usual suspects, are empty suits.

I'm going because the alternative is doing nothing.

If the Clean Sweep can focus on one or two seats with single candidates in each, there is a slight chance for an upset.

Clean Sweep must not only focus on a single candidate in a race, it must do what it can to convince fringe candidates to drop out. That includes people such as Phil. He and a few others will only distract from legitimate efforts, making it even tougher to elect an alternative candidate.

Ron Kaye is planning for a level of outreach no grassroots candidate ever had. Money will always be a problem, but as the CD2race proved, money isn't the ultimate trump card.

If nothing else, the experience gained by Clean Sweep in this round of elections will pay dividends in the next one.
It's worth a try and it beats sitting on your hands as some of the commenters here are content to do.

July 16, 2010 10:50 AM  

Blogger Red Spot in CD 14 said:

1. A stalker like Scott "Red Spot" Johnson

Hmmm. I seem to remember a certain CD 14 Councilman who ask his staff to investigate the Hazard Park Advisory Board, over some supposed remarks about a "connected non-profit".

As much you like to cowardly atttack from the cyber shadows of anounymous postings, why don't you reach between your legs, grab that little package and attack/slander in your real name?

Might help with your "issues"?

Scott Johnson in CD 14

July 16, 2010 10:56 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

To everyone who is supporting the clean sweep campaign please do not engaged the silly comments. Our work will speak volume come election time, so until then please focus on our goal of changing L.A. Every great organization had growing pains and ours will not be expemted, however if we stick to the issues and not the various individuals we will be much better. So, please when the haters attack its because their worry, or they would not be wasting their time.

July 16, 2010 10:56 AM  

Anonymous Phil Jennerjahn's Mini Johnson said:

Paul Hatfield is a freedom hating socialist!

July 16, 2010 10:59 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Red Spot,

That claim about you IS true.

And you're extra creepy because you're a middle aged man who lives in his parents' basement.

That, plus the fact that you're virtually illiterate, makes you just about the last person to complain about anyone else.

You're on the same plane as Zuma Dogg and Phil Jennerjahn. And they're both FAR more articulate than you are. Yep, a homeless man and a lifelong failure are more literate than you. You're a long, long, long way away from being Higby or Joe B.

Now go upstairs so mommy can cook you some breakfast.

July 16, 2010 11:06 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I was going to go, wanted to see what this thing had to offer, but seriously? 20 bucks? pass.

July 16, 2010 11:41 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

20 bucks is based on the expectation that big eaters like higbie will attend

July 16, 2010 11:48 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Or, as the old commercials said, "Get a rope!"

July 16, 2010 12:08 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Amazing how Red Spot can post vile, sexist comments like, Ana sure knows how to "Hava the Chorizo". (referring to Councilman Jose Huizar's Chief of Staff, Ana Cubas), and then cry "slander" when someone gives his punk ass a taste.

http://griffithparkwayist.blogspot.com/2010/07/outtakes-of-more-outtakes-by-rioja-spot.html

July 16, 2010 12:15 PM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

Paul said it exactly right.

Also, for what it's worth, I'm not a Republican, and the issues confronting the city aren't Republican vs. Democrat anyway.

For example, neither party, as far as I know, openly supports taxing working people to fund subsidies for billionaires. Yet that is EXACTLY what City Hall does through the CRA. Can we all agree that's wrong? Si, se puede.

July 16, 2010 12:19 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Walter I will only go if the bloggin idiots (Higby, Joe B, Red Spot, Valley Dope, and Zuma Dogg) stay away. And then there's that moron and chronic last place finisher, drop-out and quitter, Phil Jennerjoke.

These hungry-for-attention losers are bullies who will twist the project to make it either about them, or to fight against it.

That's why only "The Big Three" in the CD2 race were invited to speak at VICA. Morons are not admitted.

July 16, 2010 12:24 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

uh-oh.Someone woke up Walter Moore.

July 16, 2010 1:11 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

So the Clean Sweep committee is Ron Kaye, Walter Moore, David Hernandez, Nina Royal, Kevin James, & who else?

July 16, 2010 1:18 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

According to people in AV's office, the "Clean Sweep Campaign" is actually controlled and manipulated from behind the scenes by the likes of Eric Hacopian.

Looks like Ron Kaye has just become another blogger on Hacopian's payroll.

July 16, 2010 1:25 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

You knew it would eventually come around to Hacopian.

I still haven't got my check by the way.

July 16, 2010 1:48 PM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

L.A. Clean Sweep is "controlled and manipulated?" In the words of Mr. T, I pity the fool who tries to control or manipulate this group! The phrase "herding cats" comes to mind.

July 16, 2010 2:35 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Walter, are you going to ruin the Clean Sweep Campaign like you ruined the Recall City Hall Campaign?

July 16, 2010 2:39 PM  

Blogger Red Spot in CD 14 said:

No pay check from Eric? He owes us...., naught!

July 16, 2010 3:01 PM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

Yes.

July 16, 2010 3:05 PM  

Blogger Joe B. said:

You guys didn't get your paychecks yet? Mine starting rolling in months ago.

July 16, 2010 3:25 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Coming Soon:

An LA Times expose of the "Clean Sweep Campaign" Hacopian relationship.

July 16, 2010 3:50 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

You might want to get the Burbank Blogger on that expose.

Unless she's working on her tan this weekend.

July 16, 2010 4:18 PM  

Blogger Red Spot in CD 14 said:

Joe,

Obama is giving you money for positive comments?

July 16, 2010 4:49 PM  

Blogger Joe B. said:

Positive comments about what?

July 16, 2010 4:52 PM  

Blogger Red Spot in CD 14 said:

From LA Now with leaks to the "WWG".

LA Times Exclusive: Campaign Consultant Eric Hacopian to manage Clean Sweep LA crusade.

Hires Mayor Sam bloggers for media outreach.

Gatto Truthers are quoted, "We told you so".

Dario Frommer to write missive on the Majority Report, "Hacopian, Mayor Sam Blog and Ron Kaye ti initiate Scorched Earth Campaign against 200 Spring Street".

Burbank Blogger is speculated to be source of hateful blog attacking Ron Kaye.

Does Clean Sweep LA hates those Gays? A post by Joe B. and Valley Doll.

July 16, 2010 4:58 PM  

Blogger Red Spot in CD 14 said:

Joe, exactly my point.

July 16, 2010 5:00 PM  

Blogger Joe B. said:

This is an LA Political Blog, Red. You know that.

July 16, 2010 5:09 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

HONESTLY YOU KEEP ATTACKING PHIL. HE DOESN'T LIKE THE LA MACHINE ANYMORE THAN YOU. HE MAY NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT BUT YOU DON'T EITHER. I SUPORT WHAT RON KAYE AND THE OTHERS ARE TRING TO DO. WE NEED MORE MEDIA AND NEWS COVERAGE AND THE PEOPLE WHO DON'T HAVE INTERNET ACCESS NEED ANOTHER MEANS TO GET THE MESSAGE. THIS ALL INCLUDES BOTH FINANCIAL AND PEOPLE SUPPORT. TO GET THIS YOU MUST BE CREDITABLE AND CONSISTANT WITH YOUR PLANS OTHERWISE THERE WILL BE NO GROWTH FOR THIS CAUSE. THE SAME DIVISIONS YOU EXPRESS ONLY WEAKEN THIS CAUSE.

July 16, 2010 5:12 PM  

Anonymous I'm Just A Girl said:

What the fuck is Red Spot talking about? Oh wait... was he trying to be funny? FAIL.

Oh, I'd better be careful... Red Spot might make a sexist pig joke about me and chorizo.

Yeah, I saw those comments at GPWist, and the folks commenting about them and Red Spot were right... Red Spots comments were disgusting.

Glad you have a misogynist on staff Mayor Sam!

(red spot: misogynist means you hate and harbor anger towards women. oh you'll say that's not true... but your comments and Mel Gibson's recent vile tirades seem to have a lot in common in the way you two speak about women)

July 16, 2010 5:36 PM  

Blogger Red Spot in CD 14 said:

I love the response to political satire.

July 16, 2010 6:02 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

"Hava Cubanos" was way more sexually explicit than "Ana Chorizo" but I guess it was more subtle too, so it passed.

July 16, 2010 6:02 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Dumb site with mostly idiotic comments.

July 16, 2010 7:53 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The idea of Clean Sweep is to get out the incumbents in the next city elections coming in March 2011.

These posts (now as in the past) ineveitably turn to personal attacks that miss the point. The assorted power plays, squabbles and in-fighting that challengers have experienced in thte past is a testament to how well the distractions from the job of unseating the incompetents.

The incumbents depend on that to do a lot of the work that helps them win elections. Low voter turnout, a symptom of voter indifference, lack of true information, hostility to the system or any other thing that will save one a trip to the polling place is part of the result.

Those who do turnout may rely on the glossy mailers and slogans and last minute communtiy expenditures of the CMs in this case, and vote for them.

The comments here seem more like an IM transcript or chat room exchange that just amuses the posters as they bait their targets to respond and the cycle repeats.

The complaints about the shape of city government will be guaranteed to continue with the same crew in charge in City Hall. Maybe working together to force a change would overshadow the value of being part of the problem.

Creating insults and calling names seems to be the priority and for the city hall posters, their jobs are on the line- you know the CMs can't spend 9 more months shifting jobs and using phony math if they can't stay in office.

So de-railing any threats to job-security becomes their "Job #1." Can't blame you but they stil need to go- CMs are beyond rehabilition.

And on the $20 for the event- it's not representing the entertainment or information you get, but to put into the pot to get things moving and that's what fundraising is all about.

That's why you have Villar spending so much time rasing funds when he could have used the time to be a competent mayor, maybe even solving problems instead of whoring himself out and building alliances with costly deals that cut you and me and the rest of the city out of the benefit-side of what happens, much like the union deals and the raises that make no sense when they were negotiated and certainly, not when they were approved.

Clean Sweep, a balancing test, like the optometrist asks with each new lens put before the eyes, "Better or worse?" And for nearly all incumbents, the challengers are probably "better."

eagle rock resident, & not "Republcan" either.

July 16, 2010 8:03 PM  

Blogger Phil Jennerjahn said:

Sad to see Paul Hatfield joining the gang of Freedom-Hating Liberals and deciding who can and cannot run for office.

I only wish Hatfield had been on Obamas staff in 2007. He could have told Obama in advance that "he can't win."

July 16, 2010 8:18 PM  

Blogger Joe B. said:

Anyone that disagrees with the dimwit is a "freedom hating liberal". ho-hum.

July 16, 2010 8:29 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Phil is the last person to be criticizing anyone. Look, all I know is I give Clean Sweep a hell of a lot of credit for at least attempting to change Los Angeles politics. I don't support some of the people they like but that doesn't mean I will not attend this launch party where many people will get a lot of info the media won't cover. We can't all just whine and complain and not do anything. Sure this blog has many immature, juvenile crybabies that personally attack people instead of the issue. I will bet that the immature people posting haven't done anything to try and make a difference. They love to just complain. See you there!!!

July 17, 2010 7:21 AM  

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November 07, 2014 11:01 PM  

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