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Monday, October 31, 2011

Afternoon Briefs on the Los Angeles Political Machine for Monday

The Joe Buscaino Campaign is claiming that an internal poll of absentee voters, shows Buscaino getting 40% plus of the early vote. this number is plausible considering 63 % of the early votes are from his San Pedro stronghold. Meanwhile, the City Maven took the time to compile the latest financial data which shows money galore, as we enter the last week before election day on November 8.
The Roosevelt High School parent group of the Southern California Ya Basta Committee are garnering attention in their quest to oust Mayor Antonio Villar's "Partnership with Los Angeles Schools" from the Boyle heights campus. As the LA Weekly reports, test scores don't lie. And there's more. Academic Performance Index scores (at least at the two small schools we can find them for) are similarly dismal: between 500 and 575. Those make Compton Unified look like district of the freaking month. And embarrassingly, the Los Angeles Times recently discovered that the rest of the mayor's precious Partnership schools arealso doing worse than untouched district-run schools.
You'd think, with the amount of time Villaraigosa spends on campus, some progress might have been made. But that's the problem with Sir Vanishing Veracity -- he's great at flashing pearly whites and shaking constituent hands and Tweeting about it, but when it comes to nitty-gritty policy and pedagogy, he hasn't got a clue. And instead of appointing underlings who do, he keeps it in the family with more flimsy, substance-less pols in training.
Los Angeles Wave Newspaper Columnist Betty Pleasant has the scoop on a District Attorney Candidate forum on Wednesday. THIS AND THAT — A Los Angeles County District Attorney candidates forum will be held next Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Japanese American National Museum, 369 E. First St. It is sponsored by the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of L.A. County and co-sponsored by 12 other multi-racial organizations. In addition to Deputy D.A. Danette Meyers, the forum will feature the other candidates seeking to replace the beast D.A. Steve Cooley — Deputy DAs Bobby Grace, Steve Ipsen,Alan Jackson, Mario Trujillo and, oh, Jackie Lacey. The event is free and you’re asked to RSVP by Halloween to contactapaba@gmail.com (subject line: “DA Forum”). I wouldn’t miss it for the world!

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LACCD Trustee Scott Svonkin subject of police report after confrontation

Stay upwind from LACCD Board of Trustee Member Scott Svonkin when he speaks. Graphic via LA Weekly.
Newly elected LACCD Board of Trustee Member Scott Svonkin's uber-bullying ways are making news again with the filing of a police report on Svonkin after a confrontation with a candidate for the San Gabriel Board of Education. Read the story after the jump.
Read more »

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Downtown News Jon Regardie's Fourth Annual City Hall Halloween Parody

Is that the "Valley Greuel" in the moon light? Graphics via Downtown News.
Its Year Four of Downtown News Editor and "Scribe of Wit" Jon Regardie's City Hall Halloween musings and this years edition will treat you to a chuckle at the expense of the politicos at 200 Spring Street. We bring you two excerpts below.
If the Suit Fits: You turn a corner. You're out of breath. You see a male figure far down the hall, just outside the mayoral suite. The figure senses you and turns, and even at this distance you can tell it's wearing a fantastic dark suit. You relax and the utterly gorgeous suit floats forward. Floats? A moment later you see a huge toothy grin. But where's the rest of the face? And why does it suddenly smell like Listerine Breath Strips? You hear a moaning "Ohhhhhhhh." The resplendent suit floats closer in a billowing manner. Billowing? When it's five feet away it stops. "Ohhhhhhhh." Suddenly you realize the truth: The suit is billowing because it's empty! "Ohhhhhhhh," moans the empty suit with the pretty teeth and the nice breath. "Ohhhhhh-bama is my friennnnnnnd." You flee. 
Female staffers and lobbyists beware ........
Z Marks the Spot: You're woken by a rumbling sound. Down the hall is a man on a Harley Davidson with a big Z on his chest. He rides up to you. "How you doin'?" he says in a tone that sounds like a pick-up line, which is strange, because you know City Hall is a place where people work solely to make the city better, and definitely not for dating. "Wanna see my third district?" he intones over the rumble. "That doesn't make any sense," you respond. "I'm running for Controller, and I'll show you an audit," he says. "That doesn't make any sense either," you say. Suddenly the reason for the comments dawns on you - it's Dennis Zine, and he thinks you're single! Run away! Run away! 
Happy Halloween!!
Scott Johnson in CD 14

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Saturday Political Sightings in the Grass Roots Community

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca was the guest of the "Southern California Ya Basta Committee" in Boyle Heights. In the picture with Sheriff Baca is long time political activist Art Pulido, who organize today's conclave, attracting dozens of community activists.
Your thoughts...............
Scott Johnson in CD 14 

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"Chief of Staff for Mayoral Fence Building" Jeff Carr? ** Plus, tales of Third Floor Infighting

Job Discription: Chief of Staff to oversee wall construction at Getty House
File this under creative job creation (or hush money) via Mayor Antonio Villar. Los Angeles Times City Hall Scribe David Zahniser uncovers the latest recipient of Mayor Villar's expensive "golden parachute" for those who's services are no longer needed or a political liability. 
Former Mayor Villar's Chief of Staff and "General Secretary of Gang Intervention" Jeff Carr is still getting full pay some months after getting shone the Third Floor door. Carr who wanted the General Manager position at Recreation and Park, instead was retain at his same level of pay to oversee the moat, whoops security wall construction at Getty House. In addition, Carr was to advise the city on 21st Century innovations for its golf courses but as Rec. and Parks GM Jon Kirk Mukri noted in the Times, he was unclear on how much time Carr had devoted to the golf course issue since announcing he was stepping aside. Over the past four months, Carr asked three times about the completion of a consulting report on the topic. "I only received two emails and a phone call," Mukri said.
"The Ant-Jeff Carr Fan Club Janelle Erickson and Matt Szabo".
Jeff Carr, who had a reputation as a bully, was forced out after Erickson and Szabo went to Mayor Villar. As reported in the Times, Erickson, with the mayor's blessing, met personally with Carr on July 1 to tell him that it was time to go, said four people familiar with the situation, all of whom sought anonymity either because they were not authorized to speak or feared retaliation. That meeting was also attended by one of the mayor's lawyers.

After Erickson left, those sources said, Carr began calling Villaraigosa to demand a one-on-one meeting. The mayor could not immediately provide one because he was at the Aspen Institute's Ideas Festival in Colorado. Villar out of town and away from reality as usual ...........

Your thoughts ..............
Scott Johnson in CD 14

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Zuma Dogg's Free Speech Rights assailed by Occupy LA Mob

Zuma Dogg with CD 11 City Councilman Bill Rosendahl.
From Zuma Dogg at Occupy LA today ** We will post video shortly---Scott Johnson.

VIDEO: Zuma Dogg is "attacked" by ANGRY OCCUPY LA crowd, as they try to prevent his free speech in a public park.

In this video from 10/28/11, Zuma Dogg set up his amp, to sing and deliver his political message (as protected by the U.S. Constitution). As soon as he began, he was quickly surrounded by an angry mob, who tried to prevent him from expressing his own message. The attempts to prevent the "Jackie Robinson" of Free Speech exercise (@ZumaDogg) included encroachment; shoving; pushing; shouting in close proximity/blocking my camera and movement; continually shutting off my amp; screaming at me what I was allowed to do -- and how I was allowed to do it; stealing the power cord to my amp, at which time I was told I could have it back "IF" certain conditions were met; and you can hear, when I am allowed a moment to start speaking, I do so in a regular/non-shouting tone...then the crowd further harasses and I have to try to get on top of the mob that is directly in front of me. It is a big park. No reason my movements and expression had to be limited/impinged.

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LIVE!! from Occupy LA, its City Hall Public Comment "Hall of Famer" Zuma Dogg

Via the LA Weekly's "Snarky One in Solidarity" with the "Red Rabble on the South Lawn", we bring you this latest from City Hall's Public Comment "Hall of Famer" and 2013 Mayoral Candidate David "Zuma Dogg" Saltzburg.
From the "Snarky one in Solidarity" with the "Flee Party,
"Awww yeah, Zuma Dogg!" he shouted into the faces of half-lidded campers through his megaphone this morning. "I'm here to occupy Occupy, y'all!" (... and was this blogger to witness Classic Zuma?)
..... more from the Snarky One.
Basically, ZD is super pissed because Occupy L.A. hasn't gone through proper procedure to obtain a special permit (including fee) for their daily audio setup on City Hall steps. Turns out he's a stickler for permits. Also, park preservation: "Oh my god, the grass is totally dead," he said earlier today, filming the ground. (The only thing thing he and Mayor Villaraigosa have ever agreed on.) "Wow, the grass finally reflects the city economy itself -- dead as dirt."
 ..... and last seen via the Snarky One.
Wow. Now he's just getting in a bunch of shouting matches and causing general mayhem at the mini-city. We'll let you know if he gets arrested or anything. Just another day on the nasty front lawn of 200 North Spring Street! (TGIF.)
Your thoughts ..............
Scott Johnson in CD 14

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Legacy LA's Lou Calanche's "$5 Million Dollar Public Comment" to the Vernon City Council

Did former CD 14 City Councilman and Legacy LA Executive Director Lou Calanche boss Richard Alatorre's lobbying on the behalf of the City of Vernon Power Plant proposal, help with expediting the $5 Million Dollar gift to Legacy LA?
As more becomes known about State Senator Kevin De Leon's "City of Vernon Payoff, errrr, Reform Package" it becomes more apparent that Vernon's late-hour approval of Senator's De Leon's shakedown, whoops, proposals may have some legal consequences for one 'connected non-profit". IRS statues state that a 501-C3 cannot advocate for a political position or cause. Thus, the comments below by Legacy LA's Lou Calanche and a youth associate may have some repercussions. Further, we have learned that Senator De Leon's Vernon proposals, garnered a negative response at Resurrection Parish in Boyle Heights, with chants of "you can't buy our dirty lungs". But apparently, Calanche and her associates operate under a different mindset, which should not be surprising, considering that Legacy LA was created by the politico community. 
Maria Lou Calanche of Legacy LA, advised that she supports the new reforms proposed by Senator de Leon. She described the reforms as good for Vernon and a benefit to surrounding communities. Marlene Arazo, a youth at Legacy La echoed Calanche's support. As a youth who has experienced the air quality issues, she supports Senator de Leon's proposals.

It would not be a surprise if the likes of Assembly Speaker and AB 46 Author John Perez's office, might find some interest in Calanche's comments and others may see the Legacy payoff as just a "continuation of business as usual in Vernon", with new puppet masters.

Your thoughts..............
Scott Johnson in CD 14

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Herman Cain Winning the Tchotchkes War

"Rock You Like a Herman Cain"
Republican Presidential candidate Herman Cain may be outdoing his GOP rivals in current polls, but he's achieved another dubious distinction.

He is besting not only all the Republican hopefuls but President Obama as well when it comes to sales of thongs, mugs and ballcaps emblazoned with his name on the do-it-yourself crap website, CafePress.

With 58% of political sales, Cain is outselling his nearest rival, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, more than two-to-one; Paul is capturing 27%. The remainder of his fellow Rs are in low single digits with some such as former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum selling nothing.

Since his arrival on the scene in 2008, President Obama has dominated CafePress sales, however, Chris Harlhar, a marketing consultant in New York, reports that in October Cain overtook the President who had been hovering around 33% of sales.

If umbrellas, golf towels and baby doll tees are any indication of the voters' mood, Cain could find himself in the White House.

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Boulevard Sentinel on Councilman Huizar/ Colombo's Steakhouse Controversy

Blogger notes: Memo to the likes of the Historic Downtown BID, "Anthony and Val" of the LA-32 Neighborhood Council and any other organizations that chooses to bow before the "Huizar Way", there is a way to stand up for your integrity when a certain Princeton Grad seeks to retaliate against some perceived slight of loyalty. As Tom Topping reports in the October issue of the Boulevard Sentinel, Vic Parrino, the Gereral Manager of the Colombo's Steakhouse, did not back down when Councilman Huizar sought to use his power in lashing back at Parrino and Colombo's for their support of Rudy Martinez in last Spring's CD 14 Elections. The results are telling and a wake-up call for the vindictive politico as he stumbles into his second term---Scott Johnson in CD 14
 Colombo's Steakhouse in Eagle Rock.
From the Boulevard Sentinel ......
Colombo's manager Vic Parrino had applied for the ABC (alcoholic beverage control) permit on time, but was told by ABC officials that the Council office was opposing it. He then talked with Huizar's deputy, Zenay Loera, who told him it was being opposed for "Public Safety" reasons. Not being one to give up easily, he contacted L.A.P.D. and the Fire Department to see what kind of "Public Safety" problems they had. They said it was not a problem.

Read more »

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LA's Chamber of Commerce's Best and Worse Council Districts for doing Business

Los Angeles Business Journal Editor Charles Crumpley has the glowing results and painful realities on a LA Chamber of Commerce endeavor to foster business competition in the respective fifteen fiefdoms of the City of Los Angeles, as he reports in the Fox and Hounds Blog.
The chamber hired Beacon Economics to make a report showing how businesses are faring in each of the city’s 15 council districts. (The report, presented to the City Council early this month, was underwritten by Southern California Gas Co.) Beacon looked at such things as building permits, business revenues, sales taxes and job growth in each district. And then it lined up the results side by side.
Thus, we present the winners and losers with commentary after the jump.

Read more »

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Roosevelt High School parents rebelling against Mayor Villar's Education Partnership

 A Mayor Villar "Double-Speak Moment": “I’m being honest and telling it to your face”.
The photo above of a "rotund" Mayor Antonio Villar was taken in the recent past at a Boyle Heights Townhall that became a tense "give and take" between Mayor Villar and teachers from Roosevelt High School, who had voted 93-7% to express no confidence in the Mayor's "Partnership in Education Initiative" at the Boyle Heights campus. Last Saturday, parents from Roosevelt convene a meeting to discuss the facts about the progress of Mayor Villar's "Partnership in Education" and by judging from RPI scores and other benchmarks, progress is anemic at best. After the jump, you can read a fact sheet on the state of education at Roosevelt under Mayor and former student, Villar.
Read more »


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Rudy Svorinich goes negative on Joe Buscaino in CD 15

We have on good source today, that the first negative hit piece of the CD 15 Special Election proceedings targeted Joe Buscaino's alleged lack of voting in previous elections. The Busicaino Campaign was quick to answer this attack with the facts.Meanwhile, Buscaino picked up the endorsement today of United Teachers of Los Angeles. 
The source of the hit on Buscaino is Rudy Svorinich, who needs desperately somehow to blunt the momentum of Buscaino if he is to entertain a chance of a third term at City Hall. 
But the risk to Svorinich in going negative is to reopen wounds of political associates like Tom Shortridge, who's "pleading no contest to charges that he knowingly took semi-nude photographs of two under-aged girls" some years back may attract unwanted attention.
Your thoughts..............
Scott Johnson in CD 14

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

City of Vernon's $5 Million "gift" to Senator De Leon's connected-non-profit Legacy LA

Blogger notes: The Eastern Group Publications along with City of Vernon officials confirm that State Senator Kevin De Leon extracted a "steep tribute" for his support of maintaining the City of Vernon's "Incorporation status". Thus, beating back Assembly Speaker John Perez's AB 46 which would have dissolved the small business-friendly fiefdom. We had noted here earlier the speculation behind the cost for Senator De Leon support of Vernon Cityhood---Scott Johnson.   
City of Vernon's $10 Million "Reparation Payments" to State Senator Kevin De Leon's pet projects is part of the price for remaining an "Incorporated City".
Somewhere near a bottle of wine, former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez must be toasting his San Diego friend State Senator Kevin De Leon who pulled a "Collective SPACE" on the City of Vernon as the cost for his non-support of Assembly Speaker John Perez AB 46 efforts to vanish the tiny fiefdom.

"Collective SPACE" was the small Pico-Union connected non-profit once run by current Mayor Villar staffer Rafa Gonzalez, that was recipient of hundreds of thousands of Special Interest dollars. Money that could not be donated to Nunez's campaign accounts went to pay for events such as "Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez's Toy Drive," "Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez's Soccerfest 2006," "Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez's Inaugural Legislative Youth Conference" and airplane flights for 50 children from Nunez's district for "Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez's Sacramento Student Summit," according to state documents. 

Some years later, Senator De Leon is replicating Nunez's "Collective SPACE" dubious dealings for his favorite connected non-profit Legacy LA, as part of the price in retaining his support against Speaker Perez AB 46.

The EGP reported that The city council late last week unanimously approved the reform package that includes increasing accountability and transparency, doubling the size of the city's electorate, and reparation payments to surrounding communities that have "born the brunt" of "Vernon's shortsightedness." They agreed to give $5 million each to the Hazard Park Youth Armory in Boyle Heights and to renovate Salt Lake Park in the city of Huntington Park. Another $50 million will be spent over the next ten years on services for the surrounding community as part of a "good neighbors program." (** $60 Million Dollar Shakedown by Senator De Leon?)

Read more »

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Morning Briefs on the Los Angeles Political Machine for Monday

Sunrise in Anza-Borrego State Park 10-23-11.
Great morning to all in the political bloggersphere. Just returned home from a brief desert weekend as the "Latino Chairman Mao" prepares for "Mayor Villar's Excellent Asian Adventures, Part Two". In the original, Mayor Villar and his entourage activities were closely chronicled by the "Old Gray Hag on Spring Street', who sent along then City Hall PR Scribe Duke Helfand to regale us, on all the major accomplishments. Now a second term failure in the future, will the Times send along David Zahniser to provide 11 days of fact-checking hell for the City Terrace native? 
** Daily News Rick Orlov touches on the "Latino Chairman Mao" future travels, Dennis Zine, Berman vs. Sherman and yet another study on the Los angeles econmoy in his "Tipoff column".
** The highest paid LA Times Columnist Steve Lopez finds interest in the $2.6 Million dollar loan to a friend of Councilman Herb Wesson, to purchase the Harold & Belle High End Eatery.
** The land that once housed the fabled collective garden known as the "South-Central Farm" (anybody remember LAPD Reservist Dennis Zine's actions at the site?) is up for discussion and resolution tomorrow at the Horseshoe on Spring Street.
Your thoughts...............
Scott Johnson in CD 14


Friday, October 21, 2011

TGIF Afternoon Political News Dump 10-21-11: Tales of Retribution and Shakedowns from CD 14

The "Huizar Way" in CD 14.
Happy TGIF from the Fiefdom of CD 14 where your local council person finds refuge from the inquiring scribes (Zahniser and Regardie via Vaillancourt) and blogs by sipping the morning decaffeinated (nothing strong about the Maven's brand of "press release journalism") brew of the "City Maven". No wonder the Princeton grad twits of 
I just had my morning coffee
..... especially after her writing this in Thursday morning's "decaffeinated edition".
L.A. City Councilman Jose Huizar allegedly (nothing alleged about this black balling) used his influence to bar an adversary from running the Historic Downtown Los Angeles Business Improvement District, according to the Los Angeles Times. The executive director position was expected to go to Roberto Saldaña until the councilman got involved and pushed him out. Huizar told The Times he was not involved in the decision regarding Saldaña.(... and I have a Rudy Martinez "Peace and Love" email by the "Maven" and "Ed 121's" buddy Michael "MEAT" Trujillo).
That is why the "Maven" is the press release journalist of choice for the likes of Michael Trujillo and Parke Skelton.
Meanwhile, back in the CD 14 Fiefdom, we bring you another story of alleged "strong arm pay to showcase" from the staff of Councilman Huizar's Eagle Rock Field Office. The Highland Park/Mt. Washington Patch reported a couple of weeks back that the popular MorYork Gallery was discontinuing its part in the popular NELA's "Second Saturday Artwalk Gallery Night" along York Boulevard. The reason as sighted in the story by Josef Bray-Ali were .......
Read more »

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Los Angeles Wave "Soulvine Columnist" Betty Pleasant comments on the termination of Anti-Semetic Occupy LA Supporter

Blogger notes: As many media outlets chime in on the Anti-Semetic comments of former LAUSD Teacher and Occupy LA supporter Patrica McAllister, the likes of the LA Times and LA Weekly must make way for these "rich comments" of LA Wave Newspaper "Soulvine Columnist" Betty Pleasant. Enjoy this enlightening commentary on the state of race relations as seen through "the improved vision" of South LA's longtime news commentator---Scott Johnson. 
LA Wave Newspaper "Soulvine Columnist" Betty Pleasant.
Former LAUSD Substitute Teacher Patrica McAllister at Occupy LA.
HYPOCRITES, ALL OF THEM — LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy summarily fired substitute teacher Patricia McAllister Tuesday afternoon for a bigoted, disrespectful remark she made about Jews when interviewed by a news reporter while she was participating in the Occupy L.A. protests at City Hall on her own time. I watched her say it on TV, and believe me, she could have righteously assailed corporate entities all day long without reverting to the Nazi-era sentiment of attacking the Jews for the bad economy. But my concern is this: People in high places, in low places and in places in between have been attacking, slurring and vilifying African-Americans ever since there were African-Americans and they all went merrily along their way.

Read more »

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Coucilman Huizar responds to Historic Downtown BID's "Black Balling Claims" via the Downtown News

Blogger notes:One day after the Historic Downtown BID exposed Councilman Jose Huizar for being the thin-skin, insecure, vindictive and petulant politico that many in CD 14 have come to dread, the Princeton grad responds to Downtown News reporter Ryan Vaillancourt, in its online incarnation of the weekly paper (** we provide excerpts, pictures and commentary below). The dust up with the BID is the latest in a series of acts of retributions against perceived political enemies that have touched all areas of Councilman Huizar's Fiefdom. Whether its Colombo's Steakhouse in Eagle Rock, the Boyle Heights and LA 32 Neighborhood Councils and an elderly nominee to HACLA, Councilman Huizar has shown that he doesn't know how to win or is mad about some pending issues. Regardless, the abusive acts of the "Huizar Way", are paving the way for a political slap back---Scott Johnson 
Tom Gilmore calling out the Historic Downtown BID.
"I think that you have to be really careful that when someone in the council office implies to you that somehow permits are going to be harder to get, that liquor licenses are gong to be harder to get, you no longer have autonomy, nor do you have control over your own future," said Gilmore.
Huizar called Gilmore's notion "ridiculous." (ie. so true)
"What Tom Gilmore is alleging is absurd," Huizar said. "My office has never in any way implied someone's project will be held up [if they vote for] Roberto.... I wouldn't do that and I did not direct my staff to do it." (I remember o certain council office who secretly investigated a Park Advisory Board)

Huizar, whose office is hosting a Nov. 9 forum at the Orpheum Theater entitled "The Future of Your Downtown," said that he intends to reach out to the BID to clarify his office's position: He would have worked with whomever they selected. (.... and I have a updated CLARTS Fund report to share with you)
Huizar acknowledged that his office would have been "cautious" about working with an individual who didn't fully buy in to Bringing Back Broadway, but "even if they had selected him," Huizar said, "it would have been OK, water under the bridge."( But what if the river of friendship and trust, has run dry like these former two friends pictured below?

Your thoughts..............
Scott Johnson in CD 14

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"The Great Mayor Tovy Villar Shakeout" via KFI

Blogger notes: California experience a major (stimulated) earthquake today and we have photos! One can surmise from the photos that the crush of photographers added a tenth or two to the magnitude which only broaden the Chiclets smile of Mayor Villar. But in the City of Berkeley, a real 3.9 earthquake hit at about 2:40 P.M.---Scott Johnson   
 Mayor Tony Villar and photo ops stunt people.
Guess in which direction the cameras are located?
Your thoughts..............
Scott Johnson in CD 14


LA Times's David Zahniser: "L.A. Councilman office accused of blackballing appointment"

We noted yesterday in our post regarding the controversy at the Historic Downtown BID over Councilman Huizar's strong arm tactics in blackballing Roberto Saldana as a candidate for the Executive Director position, that more news would be forthcoming. This morning the LA Time's David Zahniser has this report ..... and a certain councilman is not looking good. Excerpts with pictures and video below.
  Attorney Roberto Saldana.
"I think there's no question that Roberto would have made the ideal candidate in a vacuum, where we weren't being pressured by Huizar's office," board member Josh Gray-Emmer told the audience. "Huizar's office blackballed Roberto, plain and simple. And we decided that we wanted to move forward."
CD 14 City Councilman Jose Huizar
Not long after they made their decision, however, Councilman Jose Huizar got involved, board members and business leaders said. What followed, critics assert, was an unusually public and petty use of City Hall power to punish an adversary's ally.
Video of Downtown Developer Tom Gilmore calling out the Historic Downtown BID for selling their soul to Councilman Huizar.
Wednesday's vote also infuriated prominent downtown developer and former board member Tom Gilmore, who said afterward that he would pull five buildings out of the business improvement district and join another, adjacent organization. Gilmore accused board members of dropping Saldaña to avoid angering an elected official with influence over beer and wine permits and other decisions that could affect their bottom lines. "This happened for one reason and one reason only: fear," he told the board.
Read more »

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Downtown Historic BID: "Councilman Huizar's Office Black Ball Roberto Saldana"

Former counsel to Broadway Property Owner Joseph Hellen Roberto Saldana found out today that comments like these below get you "black ball" in Councilman Huizar's CD 14 Fiefdom. Especially if you are seeking a Executive Director position to the Historic Downtown BID. 
"In the years José Huizar has been in office, there have been no improvements along Broadway," Saldaña says. "He has done nothing. Just because he says he's 'bringing back Broadway' doesn't mean he's accomplishing it." "You could get hurt walking or lose a transmission in some of the potholes," Saldaña says. Large sections of sidewalk between Fifth and Sixth streets have been patched with 4-by-8-foot pieces of plywood so the mostly Latino shoppers don't fall 20 feet to a subterranean parking lot. Saldaña says Mideb was forced to do that because the city permitting process got gummed up, and Huizar has been no help.
As we reported yesterday, the Historic Downtown BID convene today to select a new Executive Director from among three finalist that did not include Saldana (to Huizar's blessing). The finalists were Richard Garcia, Tara Jones-Hamacher and Blair Beston. Beston was selected for the position after close session, some sharp exchanges among board members and comments from the audience. It was made clear by a board member during the meeting, that Saldana was not a finalist because Councilman Huizar's Office "Black Ball" him.

Below we have uploaded videos which include Developer Tom Gilmore, the candidate' presentations and the final selection announcement. Rest assure, that you will be reading more about this latest episode of another community organization, bowing to the "Huizar Way".
 Downtown Icon Brady Westwater talking to Developer Tom Gilmore.
Members of the Historic Downtown BID listening to a business presentation. Heavy decision making regarding new Executive Director (that has Councilman Huizar's blessing) pending.
Downtown developer Tom Gilmore calling out the BID for 'selling their soul to Councilman Huizar.
Read more »

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LACCD says goodbye to Art Gastelum and FTR International over Shoddy and Fraudulent work at Mission College

Art Gastelum's political friends can help only so much when the smell of corruption becomes too toxic
For months since the LA Times series of exposes on the massive problems within the $5.6 Billion dollars LACCD Construction Program, the issues surrounding the construction of the Allied Health Building at Mission College, has been the poster child for what happens when you mixed political connections and construction. 
But as LACCD moves to disassociate itself from toxic political smell of Art Gastelum, the connected contractor is not going out quietly as noted by the times.Gastelum strongly criticized Marez's role in the recommendation to terminate his contract, saying she was "running around wild trying to protect her job.".
Marez is the same Christine Marez who worked for Gastelum and was hired by LACCD as its Inspector General, overseeing the construction program.
One can smell major CYA here and we should add this from the Van de Kamp Coalition as posted in the comment section of the times story.
Can Christine Marez be trusted with the records confiscated today?  Can District headquarters personnel be trusted with access to these confiscated records?  Is there a risk the Marez's real job is to sanitize the record before someone shows the connection between wrongful acts by LACCD Board members or LACCD Central Office administrators?  The Van de Kamps Coalition has seen thus far, only Inspector General reports where contrators are revealed as acting unlawfully and LACCD staff are shown as being ethical.  Are all of the IG's reports going to sanitize the personal involvement of Board members and high administrators?
Stay tuned but do not hold your breath.
Your thoughts..............
Scott Johnson in CD 14   .

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Anti-Semetic Occupy LA Supporter Terminated by LAUSD

19 seconds of Jew-bashing gets Patricia McAllister terminated from LAUSD.
We here at Mayor Sam chanced upon this video of now ex. LAUSD substitute teacher Patricia McAllister on Saturday and posted it on the blog at that time.
Two work days later, McAllister was let go by LAUSD Supt. John Deasy as reported in the Los Angeles Times.
Deasy, in a statement released Tuesday, acknowledged that McAllister was offering her "private opinions" and said the district recognizes "the law is very protective of the freedom of speech rights of public employees when they are speaking as private citizens during non-working time."
However, Deasy said McAllister, as a day-to-day substitute teacher, was an at-will employee, and as of Tuesday she was no longer employed by the district.
Deasy said that district officials would "never stand for behavior that is disrespectful, intolerant or discriminatory."
Your thoughts..............
Scott Johnson in CD 14


Will the "Huizar Way" neuter the Historic Downtown Business Improvement District (BID)?

Adherence to the "Huizar Way" is paramount if one wants to taste the spoils of government (or get basic constituent services).
There are numerous ways of getting notice that you or your organization, are not operating within the parameters of the "Huizar Way" in CD 14. No turkey vouchers for your community group, Chief of Staff Ana Cubas shows up at your community group meeting to recite false information, withdrawal of commission nomination, eviction from office space, withdrawn ABC Special Permit support and the dreaded no "Huevos with Huizzy" are some that come to mind (and have happen). 
But one would think that the First Amendment right to freedom of expression and dissent would be protected, after all, elections are exercises in disagreements and debate of policy issues, that result most time in the betterment of the community. Yet in the current incarnation of CD 14, the mere act of speaking against the sitting office holder is grounds for retribution, as witness with the saga of Roberto Saldana, former Counsel to Broadway property owner Joseph Hellen.
Roberto Saldana via Gary Leonard. Link here for brief DN report on tomorrow's meeting. 
"In the years José Huizar has been in office, there have been no improvements along Broadway," Saldaña says. "He has done nothing. Just because he says he's 'bringing back Broadway' doesn't mean he's accomplishing it.""You could get hurt walking or lose a transmission in some of the potholes," Saldaña says. Large sections of sidewalk between Fifth and Sixth streets have been patched with 4-by-8-foot pieces of plywood so the mostly Latino shoppers don't fall 20 feet to a subterranean parking lot. Saldaña says Mideb was forced to do that because the city permitting process got gummed up, and Huizar has been no help.

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Mid-Day Briefs on the Los Angeles Political Machine for Tuesday

In the words of LA Weekly's Editor Jill Stewart, we have another City Controller Wendy "Valley Greuel" " Pul-eeze Moment" as the aspiring candidate for mayor, feigns another moment of civic shock regarding the latest bribery expose to hit the City of Los Angeles.
Responding to a Sunday LA Times story on a LA Housing Department employee who was soliciting bribes for approvals on residential projects, the "Valley Greuel" and others among the City Council expressed concern about the lack of disclosure on the latest bribery scandal. But its the "Valley Greuel's" comments that wins the first prize for "over the top pandering"."In order for my staff to guard taxpayer dollars, departments must be required to report any and all instances of fraud, waste and abuse so that I can closely monitor the city's resources to stop these egregious acts," wrote Greuel, who is running for mayor.
In the spirit of guarding tax dollars, we present these recent questionable city financial deals for review by the "Valley Greuel".
** Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy "Discount Purchase" of 25% of the $9 Million dollars Elephant Hill Property for $500,000.
** CRA/LA "Outreach Contract" with CASA 0101.
Surely, we will see the "Valley Greuel" reporting on these transactions in the near future.
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An Update from Sunland-Tujunga on Councilman Krekorian's response to community concerns on the Samoa Project

The current facts from Sunland-Tujunga on the Samoa Project via "The Mop and Bucket Blog".
Samoa Project Update-CD2 Planning Director Karo Torossian paid a visit to last night's Land Use Committee meeting to try and clear up some misconceptions and to address the perceived lack of communication coming from the office of Councilman Paul Krekorian. First off, there is no $13 million in funds being handed over to the developer today as we've heard for the last week. The funding date is Oct 28th, but even then this project won't get a dime because it is not fully entitled yet. The developer will have to ask for an extension that will take him through February of 2012. In addition, this project can be appealed by anyone or any group, not just adjacent residents ** as reported by another blog. There were calls for more frequent communication from CD2 regarding this project and hopes that doing so will help clarify the info that the community receives (the Oct 18th funding date had been discussed as a deadline in several emails between LA City Planning and LAHD). The LUC expressed their appreciation to Mr. Torossian for attending the meeting.

...... ** and for facts on the blog that reported false information? Link here.
Your thoughts..............
Scott Johnson in CD 14 

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Monday, October 17, 2011

City Attorney Carmen Trutanich "won't tip hat" on possible race for District Attorney

Downtown News Editor, "Scribe of Wit" and noted gym rat, "took an in-bound chance on scoring a scoop" today regarding City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's possible run to replace Steve Cooley as Los Angeles County District Attorney ..... and his shot, well think the  NUMBER 31 WEARING BIG SCOOP" on the free-throw line ....... and BRICK!

"I don't know," Trutanich told a Downtown meeting of the Los Angeles Current Affairs Forum this afternoon...

....... and still mulling the previous question, Nuch exposes his inner thoughts.
"I want to serve. I've not been a politician all my life," he told the crowd with a heavy contingent of Downtown business leaders. "Like every other person in this room there's a useful shelf life. I have a useful shelf life. I've taken this on after 30 years of practicing law. I want to do the best job I can do for the city and the county of Los Angeles and the people in this city."
OK Nuch, which comes first, city or county since you have this ........?
Trutanich formed an exploratory committee for the D.A.'s race in April and by July had reportedly raised more than $500,000. Sheriff Lee Baca has been among the figures urging him to get into the race. Others who have filed papers and raised funds include prosecutors Alan Jackson, Jackie Lacey (who secured Cooley's endorsement), Danette Meyers and Mario Trujillo.
Your thoughts...............
Scott Johnson in CD 14

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Daily News Rick Orlov: "Joe Buscaino could provide an upset" in CD 15

Is Joe Buscaino building the bridge to an upset in CD 15?
Absentee ballots for the 15th Council District election are trickling in, and observers say it is looking more likely that an underdog candidate could provide an upset. (Surprise? Naught!) 

LAPD Officer Joe Buscaino, who got his campaign mailers to voters earlier than any of his opponents, is said to be leading in polls conducted by his campaign and by others who are watching the race. (Buscaino did not have to wait for instructions from Special Interests)

Buscaino is competing against some political heavyweights -- Assemblyman Warren Furutani, former Councilman Rudy Svorinich and Firefighter Pat McOsker -- in the 11-candidate race to fill out the term of Janice Hahn, who was elected to Congress. (Heavy with Special Interest baggage)

Buscaino is a senior lead officer with numerous contacts in the community, and has become a proficient fundraiser. The latest campaign reports show him with more than $103,000, second only to Furutani, who reported more than $132,000. Both Buscaino and Furutani have received $100,000 in matching funds.(Most of Buscaino's money came from within the community)

McOsker, however, has been helped by more than $200,000 in independent expenditures, primarily from unions.(Boss D'Arcy of IBEW and SEIU 721)

Because of the size of the field, no one expects any of the candidates to get more than 50 percent of the vote in the Nov. 8 election, which would put the top two finishers in a Jan. 17 runoff.(With Buscaino being the truly home grown choice of the community) 

Your thoughts..............
Scott Johnson in CD 14

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