Tom LaBonge (CD-4) and the Los Angeles City Council have launched their latest obstructionist stunt.
David Weiss is a former Marine and represents a coalition of prominent LA veterans group. Weiss submitted a routine community plan on the veterans’ behalf to commemorate Veterans Day by draping the Hollywood Sign in Labonge’s district with a yellow “Support Our Troops” ribbon.
Weiss says his proposal has received support across the board because it is a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate nonpartisan support for our troops at a time of war with zero cost to the City.
The Hollywood Sign Trust and the Chamber of Commerce both enthusiastically approved Weiss’s proposal and his group’s agreement to self-fund the project, but Tom LaBonge and the rest of the Council are determined to prove that getting things done in LA isn’t about process or what’s fair and appropriate or even how many reputable organizations have lined up behind you.
In this Council it’s about who you know, and LaBonge doesn’t seem to know our veterans.
LaBonge was Weiss’s last stop in a months-long approval process, and Weiss says when he met with Councilman LaBonge, he received approval quickly.
The meeting ended with a handshake; yet ever since, Labonge has been hiding behind bureaucracy and red tape. LaBonge has refused to bring the veterans’ proposal before the Council for consideration. Instead, Weiss says LaBonge opted to “run out the clock” and hasn’t even dignified the veterans with a workable response.
This morning, Weiss and some of his backers gathered on the steps of City Hall and expressed frustration with their biggest obstacle: Councilman Tom LaBonge and his failure of leadership.Weiss has redoubled his efforts to see the proposal through by Christmastime.
His group has also vowed to unseat Tom LaBonge in the March 2011. They’ve thrown their support behind Tomas O’Grady’s bid to represent CD-4.
According to O’Grady, red tape doesn’t stop with the community’s commemoration proposals – he’s seen community members in Weiss’s position too often slapped down by a system they don’t understand, and their representatives in the Council are at best silent on where they should turn. In Weiss’s case, LaBonge seems to be actively obstructing the process.
A website produced by the O’Grady camp says, “Every single day in Los Angeles home builders, small businesspeople, and restaurateurs run up against a system which has no system…This is something else again. In a time of two wars, it feels downright unpatriotic and mean-spirited not to acknowledge our troops in every way possible.”
Watch for David Weiss and Tomas O’Grady tonight (Nov. 10) on KTLA, NBC, and ABC local evening news.
Tune into The Kevin James Show on KRLA 870 at midnight for interviews and further coverage.
Labels: CD4, david weiss, hollywood sign, tomas o'grady, tom labonge