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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

KRLA 870 AM's Kevin James moving to 12-3 AM Time Slot on July 6

"Late night radio again for Kevin James"
KRLA 870 AM Talk Radio Host Kevin James, just announced that his show will begin at midnight, instead of 11:00 PM, as previously noted.
While this may cause consternation to those who religiously tune in James for their fix of local political news, KRLA added a third hour.
James reiterated that his tour of the Neighborhood Council System is still paramount and listeners will benefited from an expanded pod cast availability.
Let me be the first to invite James to a new and vastly improved LA 32 Neighborhood Council, which I was just elected Recording Secretary. See you soon Kevin!!
Your thoughts..............
Scott Johnson in CD 14

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Los Angeles Politics Hotsheet for Wednesday

The examination of Ticketgate continues.  The LA Times asks even if there is some civic significance to the Mayor and LuParker sitting courtside at  Staples isn't there some conflict of interest when those who give the Mayor tickets have business before the City?  Not just major venue operators such as Staples Center operators AEG or the owner of the Dodgers Frank McCourt but even the folks behind the Oscars who are interested in the outcome of some City parking facility contracts.  In contrast to the Mayor, Councilman Bill Rosendahl pays his own way to any events he attends just to be sure to avoid the appearance of impropriety. Too bad the Mayor didn't get that memo.

We noted last week that Councilman Tom LaBonge is behind an effort to take money from Neighborhood Councils to pay for junket bus trips Councilmembers give out.  Now joining the effort is one of the usual suspects, Richard Alarcon.

You would think they would have learned by now.  The City Council voted Tuesday to instruct it's lawyers to draft a ballot measure to place a parcel tax on property purportedly to provide funding for libraries.  While most of the debate centered around placing the measure on this November's ballot, which would cost the City $4 million in special election fees or on the City's March ballot which would be free, at least Dennis Zine was the voice of reason, voting no and making the "don't ya think" argument that this is no time to raise taxes.

South Bay Congresswoman Jane Harman likes to paint herself as the most "Republican" of Democratic elected officials.  But the Washington Post notes that she may be one of the most corrupt of Members of Congress as she has vast financial holdings in companies and industries she is charged with regulating.  Can you say conflict of interest?

Mulholland Terrace makes a good point. While veteran, controversial campaign consultant John Shallman says he is suing Councilmember Bernard Parks for unpaid bills from his last campaign, the lawsuit may shed sunshine on how Shallman operates.  Oops.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Los Angeles Politics Hotsheet for Tuesday

Party time at Getty House!
Ron Kaye notes that the Mayor may have figured out a way to lay low while Ticketgate blows over.  Instead of making the rounds of glittering events and parties, he's brought the party to his crib, Getty House which is actually your house to the tune of at least $125k per year.  Monday evening the Mayor hosted a party for the cast of the musical The Heights.  Among the gliterrati in attendance were That 70s Show star Wilmer Valderama, legendary actor Edward James Olmos and pop star LaLa (Tweeting away about the event) who caught the eye of former Mayor Sam Blogger Michael Trujillo who wrote on Facebook that the musical diva was "his date."

Dueling posts at Griffith Park Wayist about the possibility of a potential run by City Attorney staffer Jane Usher for the 4th Council District seat held by Tom LaBonge.  First off veteran blogger Mulholland Terrace quotes a Rick Orlov piece quoting Usher that she has no plans to run.  MT, who has been a persistent Usher critic, is pleased not such much to the chagrin of many CD4 denizens who feel Usher is simpatico with their anti-development leanings and that replacing LaBonge is critical.  MT however has been critical of Usher for her association with "Republican" policies of her boss City Attorney Carmen Trutanich as well as efforts by Usher that many viewed as an attempt to intimidate MT away from criticizing her boss.  On the other hand MT's blogging partner Petra Fried in the City is coming down hard in favor of an Usher run.  Citing Usher's opposition to the controversial state planning law SB1818 and her experience on development issues, Petra makes the point that Usher has endeared herself to many community activist types.  Stay tuned.

Speaking of next year's races the LA Times reports on efforts to gear up for the spring's City Clowncil elections.  Two candidates are set to oppose Jose Huizar; non-profit worker Arnulfo Yanez and, as reported last week by Red Spot, businessman and reality TV star Rudy Martinez.  While various community organizations seek to recruit others to run against incumbents and/or anointed ones, another candidate gearing up is West Valley activist Armineh Chelebian who will seek the 12th Council District seat being vacated by Greig Smith.

One of the few but consistent media outlets covering local Los Angeles politics has been radio talk show host Kevin James of KRLA.  Due to some recent schedule shuffling, James' 9:00 p.m. show is being pushed back to an 11:00 p.m. start time.  However, as Paul Hatfield reports and as James told me over the weekend, the broadcaster intends to use his evenings visiting Neighborhood Council and other community meetings across Los Angeles and to report on his findings on his show the same evening.  Sounds like an excellent way to get good on the ground reporting of what is happening in LA's neighborhoods.

Hope you caught our story on the LA Business Journal's interview with Chris Essel.  We learn that the former CD2 candidate was once a hippie traveling Europe with a guitar.  Who knew?

And finally speaking of Chris Essel, her number one fan Phil Jennerjahn plans a few days of blog down as he drives a rented Mustang to Las Vegas to seek entry into the World Series of Poker.

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Chris Essel: 60s Troubadour turned Political Hack

Good fluff interview piece on former CD2 candidate Chris Essel as she takes over as Antonio Villaraigosa's pick to head the LA Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA).

In the LA Business Journal we learn that Essel ran away from Cal State Northridge in the early 70s to head to Europe with a boyfriend to become a songwriter. Essel eventually found some success contributing to an album by Spanish pop band Los Pop Tops which had somewhat of a hit with the tune Mamy Blue.

Despite some songwriting achievement, Essel figured out she would better off to come back to the US and become an accountant, a career path that eventually led her to her role as chief lobbyist for Paramount Pictures. Later, she became BFFs with Wendy Greuel and decided that if Wendy could turn a studio government affairs position into a Council post well Chris could too. And the rest is history.

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Lopez Canyon Appeal Goes to City Council on Wednesday

This Wednesday, the Los Angeles City Council will vote to approve or deny an Appeal filed by the Community Alliance for Open Space (CAfOS) in opposition to a truck driving school favored by Councilman Alarcon and the Mayor. The Lopez Truck Driving Academy has been granted a Use Variance to operate on land designated as Open Space at the closed Lopez Canyon Landfill. The Planning and Land Use Committee (PLUM) has no recommendation on the matter after a split vote (Krekorian-Yes to Appeal, Huizar-No).

If you don't already know the backstory on this ridiculous project, take the time to read this excellent and comprehensive report from Petra Fried in the City.

In a nutshell, if the City Council votes to deny the Appeal, Open Space Zoning throughout the City will now be up for grabs for uses outside of what is allowed by right.

Open Space Zoning is so precious in Los Angeles, a city with the lowest Open Space zoning per capita among major U.S. cities, that once land receives this designation it becomes sacred land to local denizens. Richard Alarcon's attempts to force this project onto Open Space land is practically considered sacrilegious and as a dangerous precedent by land use activists.

Alarcon defends the zoning variance by constantly pointing out that he was involved in getting the old landfill declared Open Space in the first place. So apparently, in his view, that entitles him to decide when and if the land actually can't be used for projects that are not allowed by Open Space zoning.

The Sierra Club, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, the entire L.A. County Board of Supervisors, Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, numerous Neighborhood Councils and community groups throughout L.A. have urged Richard Alarcon to find a more suitable location for his pet project, but their pleas have been to no avail.

At a recent Planning and Land Use Management hearing on the matter, Councilman Paul Krekorian (who voted to uphold the Appeal) urged Deputy Mayor Larry Frank, Councilman Alarcon, and CAfOS to work together to find an alternative location. CAfOS, after numerous attempts to contact Deputy Mayor Frank, was told by staff that Mr. Frank was "too busy" to meet and discuss other options.

Alarcon has not responded publicly to Krekorian's request, nor has he returned phone calls to CAfOS.

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Los Angeles Politics Hotsheet for Monday

The talk continues around the Mayor's Ticketgate scandal.  While more facts come out and promised records from the Mayor are a jumbled mess Villaraigosa still has a lot of fans out there.  Those attempting to draw the nexus between the Mayor's active social life and bad policy making may have more work to do to educate the masses.

Besides Ticketgate the Mayor is facing questions over his $120K trip to Europe last December.  But not so much over the receipts and the five star hotels but more so as to who was included in meetings most notably possibly a Southern California businessman who may need help from the Mayor to get approval for a project in the Mojave Desert.  Read more at Eric Spillman's blog.

Paul Hatfield reports that Council Member Tom LaBonge may be up to no good.  According to the report LaBonge is prepping a motion to raid Neighborhood Council Funds to pay for the free charter buses Councilmembers use to curry favor with community groups such as sending senior citizen groups to Pechanga or children to tour Griffith Park with Tom, etc.  While we certainly want to provide options for the community to get out that's not the purpose of Neighborhood Council funds.

And finally Walter Moore's favorite economist (perhaps next to Zuma Dogg) is retiring.  Jack Kyser, the Chief Economist for the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation is frustrated however LA's economy isn't where it should be.  Shouldn't be surprising though when Kyser's current and past employer, the LA Chamber of Commerce supports just about every downtown tax and spend scheme that comes down the pike.

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday Afternoon Ticketgate Discussion

Steve Lopez of the former fishwrap of record thought it would be cute to take Mayor Villaraigosa to a Dodger game in the cheap seats.  Still Lopez paid for the $12 ticket though apparently the Mayor paid for the nuts.

After that Lopez muses that if it weren't for all the pesky laws that the Mayor may have broken in his misadventures that he likes the idea of Villaraigosa dressing up, grabbing LuParker and heading off to the Grammys, Oscars and Beyonce concerts.  Damn those laws!

Meanwhile Walter Moore for the prosecution continues the case against the Mayor tearing apart the calligraphy defense.  The Mayor says he has to show up to events that he need not disclose so that he may hand out one of those handy certificates of commendation to those involved.  But insead, as Moore asks, is the Mayor passing out certificates to go to events?

In the meantime something to think about for those who are of the mind that the Mayor has done wrong and that everyone hates him make sure you're not in a bubble.  While the usual suspects comment on blogs slamming the mayor don't let that fool you into thinking it's what the masses think.  Lots of comments on Facebook that people want their mayor to be out and about as well as the reception the Mayor got in the cheap seats with Lopez remind us not everyone gets it.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Son of SEIU 721's Julie Butcher killed in Medical Marijuana Shop Robbery

SEIU 721 Regional Director Julie Butcher
The LA Weekly is reporting that the 27 year old son of SEIU 721 Labor Leader and City Hall regular Julie Butcher, was killed in an apparent robbery.
Matthew Butcher, the oldest son of Julie and Don Butcher, was fatally shot inside the Higher Path Holistic dispensary on June 24 around 4:10 p.m. in the 1300 block of Sunset Blvd. A co-worker at the Higher Path Holistic shop was also shot and was in critical condition at a nearby hospital.
Julie Butcher posted these comments on her Facebook Page.
Matt Butcher was shot & killed yesterday, when armed robbers brokeinto the Echo Park medical marijuana shop in which he was working.
Matt was a kind, decent, quiet young man, who was extraordinarily loved by his parents Don & Julie Butcher & his younger brother Steven.
All abhor the senseless violence. RIP
Our Prayers go out to the Butcher Family.
Your thoughts..............
Scott Johnson in CD 14


Los Angeles Politics Hotsheet for Friday

Can I get some of those Paramount Pictures movie tickets?

Here's your daily update on Ticketgate.  First off Mayor Villaraigosa declared he's going to release boxes and boxes of records detailing why getting free pricey tickets to Beyonce concerts and the Grammy Awards were official city business.  In the meantime Walter Moore draws the lines between the free tickets and specific giveaways of your tax dollars to corporate interests.  Ron Kaye makes the point that District Attorney Steve Cooley, whose office is currently conducting an investigtion of the Mayor, might want to distance himself a bit as he's running for Attorney General.  So why not appoint Walter Moore as a special prosecutor? And it wouldn't be complete without checking in with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who according to the LA Weekly, fives a big neener neener to his former rival in nothing that his staff has kept full records and disclosed every free ticket he's ever got.

The Christian Science Monitor reports that many of the local cities that are boycotting the state of Arizona are finding their boycotts going nowhere one way or another.  Not only did the City of LA have to dial back their boycott to allow for money losing red light cameras to continue but other cities have found that the boycotts are more hurtful to individual businesses and employees - many of them of Latino - than Arizona as a hole.  Meanwhile, a County Supervisor in Milwuakee, Wisconsin claims that she might support Arizona's SB 1070 were it a border state like Texas is.

Pot shops chased out of LA due to legislation that just recently went into effect have tried to stay alive by moving into West Hollywood.  No dice as the City Council there passed an emergency law putting the brakes on more dispensaries.

Completely broke the eastern Los Angeles County City of Maywood has voted to shut itself down, outsourcing its functions to the neighboring City of Bell and police duties to the LA County Sheriff.  The Eastern Group Publications wonders if the long corrupt little duchy should even remain an actual city.

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

A & E Channel's "Flip This House" Team Member and CD 14 Businessman Rudy Martinez running for City Council in CD 14

A & E's "Flip This House" Los Angeles Team Member Rudy Martinez

Los Angeles Garment and Citizen Newspaper Editor Jerry Sullivan is reporting in his newspaper's latest edition, that CD 14 Businessman and A & E Channel's "Flip This House" Team Member Rudy Martinez, will challenge City Councilman Jose Huizar for the CD 14 Council seat in 2011.
FLIP THIS DISTRICT: That’s what Rudy Martinez—star of the L.A. edition of Flip This House on the A&E cable channel—is setting out to do with a run against Jose Huizar in next year’s race for the City Council seat representing the 14th District, which takes in a portion of Downtown along with much of the Eastside. Martinez comes to the contest from Eagle Rock, where he owns a real estate firm and Mia Sushi, a popular restaurant. He’s familiar with Downtown, too—he owned a restaurant in the city’s center for several years, and has no shortage of personal connections in the area. Martinez is a local guy from modest circumstances who served in the U.S. Army Reserve before working his way into real estate, expanding into restaurants, and then landing the gig with A&E. He says he’s done well and wants to see the 14th District do just as well. “The 14th District needs a worker on the City Council—someone who will focus on solving immediate problems and bring the energy to pursue the full potential of the long term,” Martinez says. “What other district has so many hardworking and talented residents and business owners who create tens of thousands of jobs in the industries and trades of Downtown? I’m willing to lead by working just as hard as residents and business owners do every day. It’s not a matter of business versus neighborhoods, or vice versa. It’s a matter of realizing how much potential comes from having strengths in both areas.” Huizar could not be reached for comment…
The rumor of a "prominent business person" running against the incumbent Huizar, has been speculated for weeks within CD 14. But with Sullivan's report, speculation is reality and has been verify by this blog.
The first challenge for the Martinez Campaign will be fundraising, which should be a good gauge on how serious of a threat the Martinez Campaign, will be to a second full term for Councilman Huizar.
But while money will be important for the Martinez Campaign, there is a ready source of disenchanted constituents within the district, who are willing to support "anybody but Huizar".
Your thoughts................
Scott Johnson in CD 14.

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Los Angeles Politics Hotsheet for Thursday

Next time instead of tickets can I just get your ex-wife?
The Ticketgate scandal continues for Mayor Villaraigosa.  While Walter Moore details a laundry list of laws that the Mayor have broken by allegedly taking tickets to many events and failing to disclose them, the normally very left of center Latino Politics Blog takes aim at Villaraigosa saying that when the City is laying off working class folks it may not sit very well for the Mayor to be camped out in corporate suites ingesting foie gras and Veuve Clicquot.  Rounding out the pack Phil Jennerjahn isn't thrilled,  but will take, that perhaps it will be easier to recall the Mayor over a ticket scandal than Villaraigosa's budget destroying socialist ways.  If you're really interested in the potential depth of this mess, Mulholland Terrace at Griffith Park Wayist has posted a list of all the tickets at least that it is known that the Mayor allegedly accepted.

It gets more fun.  The City Council voted to override their boycott of Arizona to allow a contract with a Grand Canyon State based company for red light cameras to continue unabated while learning the City is actually losing money on the cameras.  Boycott leader Councilwoman Janice Hahn was clearly frustrated saying "It just seems to me it's wrong when the state is making money, the county is making money and it's costing us money."

Paul Hatfield reports the LA Board of Education voted to boycott non-union car washes. The sole vote against such silliness was Valley rep Tamar Galatzan who does not take a district car nor charge her car washes to LAUSD considering that perhaps in times like these those funds are better served paying teachers or buying books.  Imagine that! Though a registered Democrat Galatzan continues to make common sense votes that make us think she's slowly moving to join us on the dark side.  Given that she is in her early 30s; she's right on schedule.

While the Board of Education is voting on car washes, including member Nury Martinez, the area around Pacoima based Maclay Middle School (in the heart of  Martinez's district) is in a war zone of gang violence. 13 people have been murdered within a one mile radius of the school since 2007.  14 year old student Francisco Valles says he plans to leave the community as soon as he can saying the gangs are "Pure violence, pure shooting, pure drugs. Pure hurtful stuff."

Technology has allowed welfare recipients to receive their cash via debit cards cutting out the need for them to cash checks and carry cash and cut administrative costs for social service agencies.  However the LA Times has discovered that the welfare EBT cards are accepted in ATMs in more than half the casinos and card rooms in the state. What about strip clubs?

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ticketgate Law: No Loopholes For Tony

By Walter Moore - Attorney - http://WalterMooreSays.com
Special to Mayor Sam's Sister City

Mayor Villaraigosa may wind up being the first inmate in the City’s shiny new jail.

And if you don’t think Villaraigosa’s worried, you haven’t seen the video of him running AWAY from TV cameras -- a first -- when Fox 11‘s John Schwada confronted him with the fact that Villaraigosa’s own calendars and itineraries completely undermine his “ceremonial function” defense.

In any event, the media have so far failed to lay out the relevant ethics laws for you, so allow me to use my lawyer super powers to do that for you here:

1. Villaraigosa Must Comply With Local Ethics Laws, Not Just State Laws

Villaraigosa and his spin team are trying to confuse the press and the authorities by mixing up two completely different sets of laws. State ethics laws use one set of definitions, exceptions and requirements. Local ethics laws use another. The Mayor of Los Angeles must comply with both. That an official has complied with state law does not mean he has also complied with local law.

The state law is called the Political Reform Act of 1974. The local law is called the Governmental Ethics Ordinance, and was adopted in 1990. One of the stated purposes of the local law is “[t]o require elected City officers and key City officials to disclose all . . .income in order to prevent conflicts of interest.“

The local law imposes additional requirements on our local officials here in Los Angeles -- above and beyond the bare minimum needed to comply with state law.

For example, the local law specifically states, “In addition to statements of economic interests filed pursuant to the Political Reform Act of 1974, as amended, high-level filers shall file financial disclosure statements disclosing” various items not required under the state law. Those items include “[a]ny income (including . . . gifts . . .) regardless of whether the source of income . . .does . . . business in the City of Los Angeles.”

Hence, Villaraigosa must show that he complied both with state and local law, not “either / or.”

2. Villaraigosa Cannot Hide Behind The “Ceremonial Role Or Function” Exception

The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), which enforces state law, has adopted a regulation declaring that, for purposes of state law, "A ticket or pass provided to an official for his or her admission to an event at which the official performs a ceremonial role or function on behalf of the agency is not a gift to the official." Cal. Code Regs. Title 2, Div. 6, § 18944.1.

Villaraigosa and his spin team argue that this state regulation not only allowed him to keep the tickets, but also relieved him of any duty to disclose his receipt of same. That argument is unconvincing for three reasons:

First of all, Villaraigosa and his staff apparently have no evidence that Villaraigosa actually “perform[ed] a ceremonial role or function on behalf of” the City,” within the meaning of the state regulation, at 81 events for which he received tickets.

Second, the mere act of attending a concert, sporting event or stand-up does not constitute performing “ceremonial role or function” under the FPCC regulation. More is required. This is illustrated by an opinion letter the FPPC issued to a City Council Member in Berkeley,explaining why her attending the grand opening of a theater qualified for the “ceremonial role or function” exception:

"We conclude that this exception applies to your facts. Instead of conducting regular business, the city council canceled a regularly scheduled meeting so that you and the other members could attend the grand opening of the theater. As an official act, the city council contributed millions of dollars toward the construction of the theater. Public funding for the theater is presumably a permissible effort by the city to promote artistic performances. At the event, you attended in your official capacity as a member of the city council and as a city council district representative. In addition, the directors of the event publicly introduced you and publicly thanked the city and the individual city council members for the public funding."

That is a very far cry indeed from, “You attended Beyonce’s late show. Wherever you go and whatever you do constitutes official business, because you are special. ‘Nough said.”

Villaraigosa needs to prove he attended an event to conduct a ceremony -- not that he conducted a ceremony so he could attend an event. “Here honey, take this nice calligraphy certificate and get lost so Lu and I can see the show.”

Third, and most importantly, there is no “ceremonial role or function” exception in the local law. The FPPC regulation only applies to state law, the Political Reform Act of 1974. The FPPC has no jurisdiction to pass regulations pursuant to the City’s Governmental EthicsOrdinance. Nor does the local ethics law adopt or incorporate the definitions or exceptions from the state law.

On the contrary, the local law recognizes that local officials may attend ceremonial events, but rather than exempting tickets to thoseevents entirely, the local law imposes a $100 limit on such tickets. LAMC § 49.5.2 (definition of "gift," exception no. 8) (excluding "Gifts valued at no more than $100 . . . in connection with a non-recurring ceremonial occasion").

Hence, Villaraigosa cannot hide behind the state law’s “ceremonial role or function” exception.

3. Villaraigosa Violated The Local Law’s Disclosure Requirements

Villaraigosa knows full well that local law requires him to must disclose, in writing, all gifts he receives from the public, regardless of their value. That is why his most recent disclosure filing with the City Ethics Commission included a $15 hat, a $50 clock, $75 worth of tequila, and $150 “event ticket.” He therefore should have included the 81 tickets in issue along with all the other gifts on his local disclosure forms over the years.

4. Villaraigosa Violated The Local Law’s $100 “Restricted Source” Limit

Villaraigosa violated the local ethics laws not just by failing to disclose the tickets he received, but also by accepting tickets worth more than $100 per year from companies like AEG that are actively involved in seeking permits, subsidies, tax breaks and other concessions from the City.

The local ethics laws prohibit officials from accepting over $100 per year limit on gifts from restricted sources like AEG. LAMC § This is a lower dollar limit than state law imposes, namely, $420 per year. Cal. Gov. Code §§ 89503(a) ($250 limit) and 89503(f) (directing FPPC to adjust figure every two years for inflation). As noted above, however, Villaraigosa must comply with both state and local law.

Bottom line: Villaraigosa’s acceptance of tickets worth tens of thousands of dollars, and his failure to disclose those tickets on his disclosure forms, constitutes a serious breach of ethics laws. Don’t be fooled by professional “spinners” who want you to think there’s some loophole that authorizes this type of corruption. There is not.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Los Angeles Politics Hotsheet for Tuesday

Some of the math around Ticketgate and AEG ponying up some funds for the Michael Jackson Memorial are not penciling out for Walter Moore.  Moore notes that while Mayor Villaraigosa recently announced that AEG, the promoters of the memorial service and owner of the Staples Center would pony up $1.3 million to cover the City's expenses actual expenses according to records are closer to $3.2 million.  So, Moore asks, did the number of free tickets that the Mayor received to Staples Center events "cost" taxpayers just shy of $2 million?

Some activists who have been supportive of Council Member Paul Krekorian's yeoman efforts to date to represent the concerns of his district are now a bit upset with the Second District rep given reports that he may not be in Council the day a vote on an appeal of a controversial trucking school in Lopez Canyon.  Krekorian has supported the appeal to date and the activists feel his presence is necessary for their success.  The activists should consider this though - Krekorian has already bucked the system and while we all like that, as one man there is only so much he can do.  Krekorian's one vote is not enough to make the difference (as it wasn't with the DWP, the Arizona boycott and friend of the court filing).  They need to do as I suggested and that is 1) Hammer Alarcon, 2) Hammer whoever their CM is and 3) Most importantly get as many NCs to pass resolutions in support with those in Lopez Canyon and to make phone calls, write letters and show up.  Use that power and don't count on just one friendly voice in the woods to do it all for you.

We continue to learn in new ways every day how the City Council's boycott of Arizona continues to screw the pooch. This time we find out the City's lucrative red light cameras are contracted out to an Arizona firm.  Yes, the Council will make an exception unlike with the anti-terrorist training for the LAPD. Your Clowncil in action!

Lots of fun at Monday's Laker Day Parade in Downtown LA.  Not enough porta-potties and a mobile medical marijuana vendor truck selling pot lollipops. The suckers were available in your choice of orange or blue. Welcome to LA!

City Council President Eric Garcetti is known for being one of the more technological members of the City Council and now he recalls his first tweet.  Coming so far from those halcyon days Garcetti has become of the first elected officials in the US to issue an iPhone app.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Congratulations to the Newlyweds!

The Achermans

We don't normally function as a society column nor do I often use the blog to extend personal greetings to those close to me but in this case I'd like to wish heartfelt congratulations to former Neigborhood Council of Westchester/Playa member Robert Acherman who married the former Christine d'Autremont this Saturday in Palos Verdes. Robert is a longtime activist in the Westchester LAX area, working on airport expansion issues, serving the FlightPath Learning Center as a board member and is a former State Assembly candidate. Robert works with Boeing Corporation and is a graduate of UCLA. Christine has a long experience of volunteer service in Torrance and the South Bay, is a Loyola Marymount Graduate and works in the entertainment industry.

In addition to family and friends, the many guests included Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, former Vice Chair of the State Board of Equalization Claude Parrish and longtime Westchester activist Denny Schneider.

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Acherman!

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Don't Leave Your Dog in Your Car!

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Los Angeles Politics Hotsheet for Monday

Hundreds of thousands of fans are expected to line the streets in Downtown LA Monday morning for the parade celebrating the Lakers win last week of the NBA Championships.  Considering controversy in the past over public funding of such events the Lakers organization has stated they will cover all costs of the parade. In a related story Staples Center operators AEG have finally agreed, in partnership with the Jackson Family, to pay for the City's expenses for last year's Michael Jackson public memorial.  Which is good because even though the King of Pop's post death income has provide sufficient funds to pay off most of his debt, that which remains includes past due DWP bills at the family compound in Encino.

Fox11 reports that the City Ethics Commission is formally investigating Mayor Villaraigosa's acceptance of tens of thousands of dollars of tickets to sporting and entertainment events in Los Angeles, of which he did not disclose.  The Ethics Commission is mum on the investigation but the LA Weekly notes that former candidate Walter Moore filed a formal complaint with the Commission while at the same time the Mayor asked the Commission for an opinion on the validity of his claims that we did not need disclose the tickets because he was acting in an "official" capacity at the events.

The word in Arizona is that the City of Los Angeles looks pretty silly with it's boycott of the Grand Canyon State over it's popular immigration reform law, particularly when the LAPD won't send officers to homeland security training in Tuscon to "respect" the boycott.  When the grandstanding agenda driven William Bratton finally left the seat many thought the LAPD would now be back to business under the control of an LAPD career man like Chief Charlie Beck.  Sadly following this turn of events Beck is quickly being seen as a lap dog for politically correct politicians by the public, press and LAPD troops.

Speaking of Arizona local activist David Hernandez has decided to start an LA based blog supporting Arizona housed on the Arizona Republic's website. In his first blog post Hernandez tells his Arizona readers "We stand with Arizona and against our elected officials."

And finally in case you missed it over the weekend we had a post featuring politicians dressing up to pander to special interest groups and then showed you even more examples just for fun.

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

More Politicians in Costume

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Carmen Goes Butch

Carmen rides in the LA Pride Parade while Bill Rosendahl can't figure out how to button up his shirt.
 Okay this blog has long been supportive of equality for gays and lesbians and was a member of Republicans Against 8 and strong advocate of marriage rights for same sex couples.   But do we really need hack politicians pandering to these people and quite frankly showing up in stereotypes that only depict a small percentage of actual gays and lesbians? The sad truth is that most of these LBGT organizations are positioned severely to the left and work to keep the community on the Democratic party plantation.  Despite the reality that many gays are quite conservative on fiscal and government matters.

I don't know if the Log Cabin Republican Club was part of this parade but assuming they were Carmen could have made a bolder statement to ditch the butch outfit and ride with them.  This would not only stand in opposition to the pervasive left wing dominance of so called LBGT civil rights organizations but a sure signal to troglodyte Republicans who must simply give up their hatred toward the Gay community, at least in California, in order to win and release us from the yoke of socialistic government policies.  Moderate Republicans in office such as Trutanich, Cooley, Smith, Zine, Baca, etc. should be speaking out louder for gay rights within the GOP and stop pandering to the liberals.

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Gloria Romero: Another Camera Happy Politican Dishing Up Fluff

Senator Romero Congratulates the Lakers on their Championship Win

LOS ANGELES, CA— Senator Gloria Romero (D – East Los Angeles) released the following statement on the Los Angeles Lakers’ victory over the Boston Celtics last night in the NBA championships:

“Congratulations to the Lakers for winning their 16th NBA title! East Los Angeles was in the house last night, cheering on our all-star team, and the Lakers did not disappoint with an incredible showing of not only athletic prowess, but a lot of ganas to win a tough match. From the eastside to the westside, there's a lot to love about LA this week and we Angelenos are incredibly proud of our NBA champions. Go Lakers!”

How about a shout out to the hundreds of Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputies who had to be deployed to East LA to hold back the hooliganry and thuggery we saw last night.  When is an elected official going to speak out on just how inappropriate this behavior is - whether its scores of perpetrator or hundreds or thousands.

Memo to GloRo - sports fans generally don't care what elected officials (particularly State Senators) think of sports teams and quite frankly resent their showing up and horning in.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

WE WIN (Again)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Your Los Angeles Lakers
2010 NBA World Champions

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Is It Mayor V's Ticket?

It's not too late if you want a pair of great front row seats to tonight's game four of the NBA finals. Of course it will set you back the same amount of money it cost to buy our family home in 1976.  One wonders however who is selling the ticket?

Also at Griffith Park Wayist

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Los Angeles Politics Hotsheet for Thursday

The vote to move forward a controversial plan to build a trucking school in Lopez Canyon was more like World Cup result as the City Council's Planning and Land Use Management Committee went 1-1 (Krekorian-no, Huizar-yes).  While Council Member Richard Alarcon, Mayor Villaraigosa and city unions want to slap the northeast Valley with this environment destroying stupidity community activists have been joined by adjacent Council Member Paul Krekorian in opposing the school.  One can be certain that if anyone was proposing to build a trucking school say, in Fryman Canyon, instead of Lopez Canyon the howls of protest would be so much louder.  But environmental injustice and racism from the City marches on.  In the meantime while maintaining he is no fan of Alarcon or anything LA's Zorro Marxist cooks up, local gadfly Phil Jennerjahn's take is to blame the victim.

Nice to see the professionals are back in charge at the LAPD.  You may remember that when hooligans rioted following the LA Lakers NBA finals win last year then Chief William Bratton's move was to disengage and let the rioters riot.  This year Chief Charlie Beck has prepped an actual plan, including busting heads where necessary,  but doing everything possible ahead of time to prevent unruly crowds from going apeshit. Oh, go Lakers!

Walter Moore uncovers something very few know but might be outraged otherwise. In a time of budget crunches the City has alloted nearly $125K to cover maid service and other incidentals at Mayor Villaraigosa's home, Getty House. Can't he just call Merry Maids and pull out his own credit card? Or he is pretty good at cleaning toilets, he can do it himself.

In the meantime while the Mayor is getting housekeeping services the dunderhands at the LAUSD are getting rid of school plant managers at local campuses as a cost-cutting move.  Our friend Debbie Lopez writing at the Beckford Parents blog notes that Plant Managers such as Beckford's Henry will be laid off.  If you're an LAUSD parent you may want to take note that your local school will be more likely to have backed up toilets, no one checking furnaces, water heaters let alone fixing broken things quickly. LAUSD will assign the duties to regional managers who will now have the responsibility for several schools.  You may want to call LA's school board members; Beckford Parents has all the details.

Guess what! Two weeks ago LA's law severely limiting medical marijuana shops and crackdowns were in the works yet most of the shops continue to operate.  A significant number of the "illegal" shops are apparently staying open in an act of civil disobedience with their lawyers on hold to battle the City in court.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

No Hotsheet Today

Go read http://griffithparkwayist.blogspot.com/

Or blog away here dum dums...


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Los Angeles Politics Hotsheet for Tuesday

I'm shocked, shocked that the DWP lied!!
Mayor Villaraigosa has secured a restraining order against a man who had according to police threatened to "take him out." According to reports Daniel John Molnar was arrested hours after allegedly making a call to the Mayor's office saying that the Mayor was talking a lot of "shit." Though police have yet to charge Molnar who, according to an LAPD detective claimed to be an CIA operative who the Mayor wants to kill.  No word if Molnar is a regular participant in City Hall public comment.

Don't forget! The hearing considering a plan to turn Lopez Canyon into a truck driving school is today at 2:30 p.m.  If you can, show up and speak out!

Doug McIntyre posits that like the Vichy French Officer who were surprised to find gambling in Humphrey Bogart's nightclub in Casablanca, Wendy Greuel was shocked that the DWP lied! It's true Madam Controller, the DWP has gone rogue.

Speaking of the DWP unexplained power outages and dips Monday temporarily knocked a couple of TV stations off the air and shut down my computer in the middle of some important work.  As I have been told by a DWP employee if one were to ever visit the DWP offices and look around you're be surprised that the lights are on and the water runs as much as it does.  Have there ever been as many power outages and water main breaks during the many decade history of the DWP as there have been in the last year?

Are top cops feigning a more liberal point of view? The LA Weekly reports that an anonymous writer who goes by the pen name Jack Dunphy and claims to be a cop is not certain that LAPD Chief Charlie Beck personally opposes Arizona's controversial immigration reform law.  Dunphy says that while most police officers lean to the right, those who wish to be upwardly mobile in their careers must mock the left wing point of views espoused by elected officials.  He's also dubious of Beck's claim that not one LAPD rank and file member supports AB 1070 even though the LA Police Protective League recently published a statement on it's blog saying "We think that everyone agrees that removing illegal aliens, who perpetrate crimes in our country, will make us all safer."

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Monday, June 14, 2010

CITIZEN's ALERT! Lopez Canyon Hearing Tuesday!

Just a pleasant reminder. Tomorrow, Tuesday, June 15, 2010 is the LA City Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee hearing regarding the Lopez Canyon Zone Variance Approval Appeal and the proposed trucking school at Lopez Canyon.


WHAT TIME: 2:30pm

WHERE: Board of Public Works
Edward R. Roybal Hearing Room 350
LA City Hall
200 N. Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Please attend if you can and if you are planning on speaking PLEASE WRITE OR TYPE your 2 minute statement beforehand and BRING TWO (2) COPIES. Attach one to your speaker card and retain the other one for use while you're speaking. Kindly include your name & address on your statement and the speaker card, for the record.

If you are just attending and do not wish to speak fill out a speaker card and state you support the appeal.

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Betty Pleasant Fibs?

We reported Thursday that always classy "journalist" Betty Pleasant is still continuing her jihad against Council Member Bernard Parks.  What Parks did or didn't do that has Betty with her panties in a bunch I have no idea.

Betty "reported" in her "newspaper," The Wave that District Attorney Steve Cooley was investigating the residence of Parks and claiming that the Councilman does not live in the District he represents.

We did a little digging of our own and found the following.  First off Pleasant's report sounds an awful lot like this press release from Parks' former County Supervisor race opponent Mark Ridley Thomas, right down to the phrase that Parks voted last June despite allegedly not being eligible to vote at his address "presumably for himself."

Next we spoke to insiders who have told us that the District Attorney's Public Corruption Division is conducting no investigation and that only the DA is reviewing a letter of complaint that was submitted (presumably from Pleasant or an associate) as is their practice with all complaints.

The complainant has received an acknowledgement letter from the DA's office; apparently these are the "documents" Pleasant claims to have in her possession.

If anything changes at the DA's office but it looks like Betty once again was, well, wrong.

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Los Angeles Politics Hotsheet for Friday

Remember when the LA City Council refused to raise DWP rates and then General Manager sat there in front of them, wearing his cowboy hat and telling the Council if they didn't get the rate increase they could not make a $73 million transfer to the City.  Turns out that wasn't true according to an audit conducted by City Controller Wendy Greuel.  Current General Manager, DWP hatchet man and possible Mayoral candidate Austin Beutner is poo pooing Greuel's report saying  it contains "several errors of fact."

The City of LA may be boycotting Arizona but Nevada is asking California businesses to consider a boycott of their own of the Golden State.  The Silver State is running an ad campaign that is encouraging enterprises to take advantage of their friendlier business climate including a lack of corporate and business taxes.

He's back! Fresh off yet another last place win perennial candidate Phil Jennerjahn has announced his next run for office.  Phil plans to move into the 4th Council District and challenge current member Tom LaBonge.  The erstwhile blogger and goofy recall leader calls LaBonge the "Al Bundy" of LA politics and has to be stopped. No doubt about it, Jennerjahn vs LaBonge will indeed be the battle of the half-wits.

As a kid I used to love reading the TV Times in my Dad's Sunday LA Times.  Particularly the column in the back where viewers wrote in to get their questions about television shows and TV in general.  Sometime back, the TV Times was cancelled.  Now it's back, but quite sadly as a way for the Former Fishwrap of Record to earn some much needed shekels: if you want the listings it will set you back $2.99 a month.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Afternoon Revelations on Corrupt Public Private Institutions and their "Political Connection"

"Leave No Doubt, USC cheated!!
"The Beacon of Corruption on Hope Street"
From the halls of government to the fields of athletics, two stories are dominating the local news cycle this afternoon in Los Angeles.
First, City of Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel announced in a news conference/photo op./rear end covering exercise, that the DWP Commission had misled the mayor, city council and public during the recent 2010-2011 budget crisis.
Executives at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power misled the public when they threatened to withhold $73.5 million from the city’s budget two months ago as part of their demand for a hike in electricity rates, City Controller Wendy Greuel said Thursday.
Wendy pontificated further for the gathered media.
“The DWP’s actions unnecessarily plunged the city into a fiscal crisis”, no kidding. “We never should have been held hostage” by the DWP, I agree. “It’s hard to look at these numbers and not say that the DWP was trying to extort the City Council into passing its proposed [rate] increase,” We knew that, but why did you wait for your latest audit to state the obvious?
That is because in the depths of my cynical political cranium, Controller Greuel's press conference today was the latest act in her political dodge and duck, the mounting backlash over the nefarious dealings at the DWP.
Forgive me naught, for taking Greuel to task for comments that Mayor Antonio Parkervillar, was misled by his appointed DWP commissioners. The comment should clearly show to all erudite observers of the DWP, that Greuel's comments today, was nothing more than a act in political self-preservation. Nothing more, nothing less. Plus, did she call out her major political financier IBEW's Brian D'Arcy? Crickets lloud and clear.
Meanwhile south on Figueroa, that "bastion of ethics in sports", known as the University of Southern California, faced the judgment of its "sporting creator" the NCAA. (link to read the full report on USC).
The City of Pasadena should take notice that the "trust fund student body of Troy", will not be dispensing any of their parents investment portfolios, within Old Town for the next couple of years. This because former football player Reggie Bush, former basketball O.J. Mayo and some female tennis player, exceeded the salary caps for financial benefits to "USC student athletics", sounds so oxymoronic.
But in reading the facts of today's stories above, what stands out is the institutional arrogance of these public-private behemoths. For the DWP, the rule of law is secondary to the public interest. Meanwhile, USC's disregard for the tenets of amateurism in athletics, is match by the likes of their lobbyist David Galaviz, who uses all the backdoors of various politicos, to advance the USC agenda, in the areas of the main campus and their health sciences campus near the County USC Medical Center.
Maybe it should not be surprising that the DWP and USC political agendas, have became inter quine, when Mayor Parkervillar named USC Vice-President Thomas Sayles to the DWP Commission. Sayles becomes a rubber stamp for Mayor Parkervillar's "Green Energy Scheme", which will loot the green cash from the average Angelino, and line the pockets green, of the likes of Ari Swiller, Keith Brackpool, IBEW, and the exclusive few.
In return, the city and its CRA flunkies will greenlight all of USC Capital Projects, which include thier biotech corridor plans. and major projects around the main Figueroa campus.
Nothing like a couple arrogant public-private connected entities, with local bought politicos, doing their biddings on the field and in the hallways.
Your thoughts...............
Scott Johnson in CD 14

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Los Angeles Politics Hotsheet for Thursday

The Los Angeles City Council has taken the next step in their efforts to oppose Arizona's immigration reform law.  They have voted to join in a lawsuit against the Grand Canyon State along with the SEIU, UFCW and all the usual suspects.  But there's a wrinkle - former Mayoral candidate Walter Moore points out that the Clowncil voting to have the City join the lawsuit is actually a violation of the City Charter; as well, even voting to boycott Arizona is outside the Council's charter authority.  Moore has sent a letter to City Attorney Carmen Trutanich urging his office not to get involved and noting that a resident of the City could turn around and sue the City over the issue.  In the meantime Paul Hatfield reports that the Valley Glen Neighborhood Council is the very first in the City to have gone on record opposing the City's boycott.

Always classy Betty Pleasant is peeing her pants in joy.  Betty, who never misses the opportunity to take potshots at Councilman Bernard Parks, is "reporting" that District Attorney and newly minted Attorney General candidate Steve Cooley is investigating Parks' residence status.  Betty also claims "friends" in the DA's office have sent her documents from the investigation.  That might be illegal Betty, you better call an attorney soon.  In a related note the Sister City learned today that Cooley is investigating yet another elected who does not live in the District they represent.  We can't say who but when it comes out it will be a doozy.

You may remember that several journalists, including several Spanish language television reporters and crews,  were roughed up by LAPD officers following the May Day Immigration melee in 2007.  Wednesday the City Council voted to approve a total of $450,000 in settlement payouts to some of those journalists.  More lawsuits are still pending.

The always interesting Here in Van Nuys blog has a thoughtful post.  On Van Nuys Blvd, several major car dealerships have moved and the old facilities are being razed and the asphalt being pulled up.  This gives one the rare opportunity to see a wide swath of empty Valley land.  It also gives pause as to what could be done with such.  For example, a shopping and dining experience built around an urban farm.  Sadly, there are no intelligent developers in the Valley who can't see beyond frozen yogurt and nail shops but wouldn't it be cool if there was one who could figure out how to make money building a restaurant that grows some of it's own food right outside the window?

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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Late Night Fun

Anyone remember Dr. George? A class act.


Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Live Blogging the Election

Live blogging the results here; numbers, observations, etc. and no nonsense or Nutty Mary comments.

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Election Results Center

Don't expect results at least until 8:30 - more like 9 or later. Then refresh this page for the latest results.

County of LA Election Results - covers results of local races in LA County and statewide tallies of statewide races / state legislature races conducted in LA County only

Statewide Races and all state legislature races


Los Angeles Politics Hotsheet for Election Day

Mayor Villaraigosa took time to praise LAUSD School Board Member Yolie Flores Aguilar who is leaving office when her term is up to take a position with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  Whats more interesting is the set of comments from the readers of the Daily News' story.  Most particularly is one reader opines that the Gates' job is Aguilar's "payoff" for being a dutiful soldier for the Mayor.  Interesting.

Pot activists are saying that LA's move to close down most of the medical marijuana shops in the City will cause a significant loss of jobs and tax revenue across town.  They also claim the regulations adopted for the remaining shops are stricter than those on gun stores or adult entertainment venues.

CurbedLA notes that City Council President Eric Garcetti lists bringing Jimmy Kimmel to Hollywood, the return of the Oscars and housing for low income gay and lesbian seniors are among Tinseltown's biggest achievements. He also says he is currently not planning to consider running for Mayor in 2013.

The City of Ontario wants to be able to have the opportunity to buy the airport in their community from it's current owners, the City of Los Angeles.  Ontario leaders feel that LA's mis-management including excessive regulation and fees have led to the airport's recent loss of some airlines. Indeed LA/Ontario Airport was once a cash cow for LA World Airports but in recent times it's had to take drastic steps to keep the airport from bleeding LA's general fund.  At a time the Mayor is looking under the couch cushions for spare change to address the City's budget deficit it makes sense for Los Angeles to benefit from the sale of an asset it has no business managing.  However the fly in the ointment is Councilman Bill "Open Shirt" Rosendahl is opposed to it because he feels LA should rule the "megalopolis" that runs from San Diego to Santa Barbara.

And finally in case you missed them here are two Mayor Sam items from Monday for your election day reading: the Mayor Sam bloggers' picks for the state ballot measures and a report that the California Fair Political Practices Commission is investigating former 43rd Assembly District candidate Chahe Keuroghelian.

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Monday, June 07, 2010

Mayor Sam Blogger Ballot Picks

In case you were wondering how the Mayor Sam Bloggers are voting on the California Ballot Measures in Tuesday's election here you go.

Proposition 13

JoeB - Yes
Michael Higby - Yes
Red Spot in CD14 - Yes

Proposition 14

JoeB - Yes
Michael Higby - Yes
Red Spot in CD14 - No

Proposition 15

JoeB - Yes
Michael Higby - No
Red Spot in CD14 - No

Proposition 16

JoeB - No
Michael Higby - Yes
Red Spot in CD14 - Yes

Proposition 17

JoeB - No
Michael Higby - Yes
Red Spot in CD14 - Yes


Will Democratic Voters in the 50th Assembly District Say No to Legally Questionable Backroom Political Dealmaking?

"Unionize, Democratic Carpetbag Hauler overladen with $400,000+ of Special Interest cash for Ricardo Lara"

"Former Boyle Heights resident, now 50th Assembly District Candidate Ricardo Lara"

"Convict felon and former South Gate Treasurer Albert Robles"

Long-time South Gate City Councilman Henry Gonzalez is the point person within the working class city, for any young aspiring politico, who seeks his blessing for any future political endeavors. But leave it to Councilman Gonzalez to be "straight forward" in his assessment of your political attributes as the likes of 50th Assembly District Candidate Ricardo Lara and convicted ex South Gate Treasurer Albert Robles found out in the recent past.
In a extensive article in the LA Weekly, regarding the 50th Assembly Race to replace Gonzalez former City Council colleague and current Assemblyman Hector De La Torre, Gonzalez takes a dim view of the likes of Robles and Lara, who thinks that dubious backroom deal making is the only prerequisite for political office.
Gonzales is well known in the Southeast Los Angeles County Community, for his stance against the political corruption that was the M.O. of the Robles Machine's "reign of political terror" in South Gate during the early part of the 21st Century. For Gonzalez, the price he paid in standing up to the Robles Machine, was almost fatal, in a physical sense, as he nearly lost his life in a unsolved shooting, where he was shot in the head.
But while Robles sits in the federal prison somewhere, the likes of Gonzalez, De La Torre and numerous political activists in the Southeast, are concern about a new machine that seeks to impose its wills upon the small cities that comprise the 50th Assembly District. And if you look closely, you will find the same cast of political insiders, that enable the likes of Albert Robles to loot the city coffers of South Gate.
The 50th Assembly District has become ground zero in a political power play that could have statewide implications, but most important to ethical political observers, are the possible legal ramifications on how Ricardo Lara came to become the "chosen one" of the Latino/ Labor Coalition., that doubles as a potent political machine.
If we go back in recent political time to the 2007 46th Assembly District Race to replace former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, the likes of State Senator Gil Cedillo Staffer Auturo Chavez, Mayor Antonio Parkervillar Cousin John Perez, and Lara, all were ready to compete for the Assembly seat.
But "political divine intervention", in the form of County Labor Federation Leader Maria Elena Durazo and her longtime political soul mate Mayor Parkervillar, gave their blessing to John Perez as the anointed candidate in the 46th. But the "political consolation prize" for Ricardo Lara (Chavez has the misfortune of working for Mayor Parkervillar political nemesis Cedillo, thus no political capital to parley at the Getty House gathering noted in the Weekly article.), is causing some to question whether federal laws were violated, with Lara's appointment to a paid position on the City of Los Angeles Planning Commission.
KRLA 870 AM Talk Show Host Kevin James and other local political observers, have speculated whether Mayor Parkervillar had committed a federal crime under United States Code Title 18 Section 600 and Section 210, by giving Lara the LA City Planning Commission appointment, in return for droping out of the 46th Assembly District Race.
Now in 2010, is Lara asking the voters in the 50th Assembly District, to endorse the "LA Latino/Labor Coalition Way", of selecting the best candidate to represent the interests of Southeast LA County voters? How will the voters of the 50th respond to the looming machine on its borders?
Current Assemblyman Hector De La Torre, has endorsed Downey City Councilman Luis Marquez to him replace in Sacramento. Meanwhile Henry Gonzalez is supporting South Gate City Treasurer Carmen Avalos. This split may make it easier for Lara to divide and conquer his way to Sacramento.
But for the voters in the 50th who fight so hard to reject the Robles Machine, they may want to consider these facts. One of Lara's endorsers is Montebello School Board Member Hector Chacon, who ran against Hector De La Torre in 2004. During that campaign, the LA Times reported that Chacon hired an indicted associate of the Robles Machine Ricardo Hernandez, to help with his campaign. Further, it was a open secret that Chacon half-brother Commerce City Councilman Hugo Argumedo and another council ally Ray "Gordy" Cisneros, wanted to hire Albert Robles as the City Administrator in Commerce. They went as far to promote this at the Grand Opening of the Paseo Shopping Center in South Gate. A story that Henry Gonzalez told to me.
Then lets remember who was the "political mentor" of Albert Robles. That would be none other than former Assemblyman and Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alatorre confidant Lou Moret, who was sued by the City of South Gate, for his dubious dealings with Robles. Alatorre and the usual associates like Richard Polanco, LA City Councilman Jose Huizar, LAUSD School Board President Monica Garcia and Alatorre, are all united in supporting Lara for the 5oth.
But in ending, Henry Gonzalez may speak for the majority of the 50th Assembly District voters, when he recounts what he told Lara, in response to his feelers regarding running for office in South Gate as a pit stop, on the way to Sacramento.
Gonzalez, who still serves on the council, says that about four years ago, he was paid a visit from another young man interested in running for South Gate City Council: Lara.
At the time, Lara's goal was to establish himself on the local level before running for the Assembly.
"I said you ought to stay in your own district and run there," Gonzalez says. "He's a carpetbagger. Everything that man's doing reminds me of Albert (Robles)."
Some may agree with Gonzalez on this assessment of Lara, after all if Lara will take money to stay out of a race for office. How much will he take to get elected?
** BTW, where is Ricardo Lara having his "victory celebration"? Try the J Lounge in Downtown LA, ........... within the 46th Assembly District.
Your thoughts..............
Scott Johnson in CD 14.

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