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Monday, November 12, 2012

Krekorian's Biden/Kinnock Moment

It was a seminal moment of the 1988 Presidential campaign when now Vice President and then Democratic Senator Joe Biden plagiarized a speech originally given by Neil Kinnock, a member of the British Labour Party. Biden was later discovered to have "borrowed" from speeches by Robert Kennedy and others. Needless to say, Biden was forced to abandon his campaign for the Democratic nomination that year.

Since politicians are always spinning, it's not unexpected that we find them re-inventing portions of their personal narrative. Both President Obama and Governor Romney were accused of such during the now shuttered 2012 campaign. 

How interesting it is though, when we find an elected official creating out of whole cloth, letters and comments from "constituents," when often these very communications are used quite frequently to document or gauge where stakeholders' views are on a certain pressing issue.

Which brings us to Los Angeles City Council Member Paul Krekorian.

PURE IMAGINATION:
City Council Member Paul Krekorian
The latest kerfuffle to hit the Second District rep involves his monthly column "Ask Paul" which runs in  various editions of Patch, an online newspaper of sorts that targets hyper-local news and issues.

Krekorian was recently using his latest column to gin up support for a controversial plan addressing billboards in Los Angeles - and to deflect criticism from billboard critics of Krekorian's plan away from the Council Member himself. 

Cupcakes, anyone?
Jeremy Oberstein,
Krekorian Spin-meister
According to a story by Dakota Smith in the Los Angeles Daily News, Krekorian's column (actually written by longtime communications director and former journalist, Jeremy Oberstein) referred to a Studio City resident who questioned the plan but praised Krekorian's "integrity."  Turns out, not only the question but the "resident" was a fabrication created by Oberstein.

Krekorian's office had claimed that the voter in question is a "composite" of the many types of comments they receive. 

Following the discovery, the editors of Patch removed the original story with an explanation and allowed the Krekorian team to publish raw comments they claim their office has received on the billboards plan.

In the meantime, Krekorian has found himself coming under fire from many sources, including long-time anti-billboard activist Dennis Hathaway who was dubious of Krekorian's plan to begin with and was of the mind that Krekorian was shilling for the billboard industry, not really responding to his constituents' concerns on how to address the problem.

The Council Member's misstep even caught the attention of famed blogger and gadfly, John Walsh, who offered to stage a "Fake Letters to Paul" contest, offering, in his usual flamboyant fashion, the winner "First Booby Prize is Breakfast with Paul Krekorian. Second Booby Prize is Breakfast and Lunch with Paul Krekorian and Third Booby Prize is Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner with Paul Krekorian."

Los Angeles continues to remain fun!


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20 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Mike Gatto has to be peeing his pants about this moment.

November 12, 2012 1:59 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

Why would that be?

November 12, 2012 3:47 PM  

Blogger Phil Jennerjahn said:

Your blog post is a fail. You forgot to use the words "The Dark Lord" when referring to the malevolent one who represents CD 2.

November 12, 2012 6:42 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

While this is an important story, I am shocked there was also not a story about the 131 individuals who filed to run fo mayor, city council, city attorney, controller, school board and community college board of trustees. 20 people alone are running to replace Garcetti in district 13. Also, that Jeff Bornstein dude is again running against Dennis Zine, but this time for city controller.

November 12, 2012 10:20 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Why isn't Phil Jennerjahn running for Mayor?

November 12, 2012 10:28 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

It is unfortunate that Mr. Krekorian has taken the stand that he can bypass the voice of the people he's to represent. This is an unethical event on his staff's part to "create" a person that doesn't exist and then have a conversation. We don't need anymore stinking billboards, digital or otherwise. His communications deputy messed up. He lost his chief of staff 2 years ago (campaigning for State Assembly). As the leader of his office, he should "clean house" now and turn this situation around. Haven't seen Mr. Krekorian "stand up" for the people yet. Waiting

November 13, 2012 9:28 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Completely NOT important. No one cares what's in Patch. It's stupid. Nothing illegal what Paul did. It's called a composite; a method to communicate a message. You fellas over there really need to get some kind of a life. This is absolutely meaningless. Paul is very powerful and has control of this issue. Nothing you say will change that.

November 13, 2012 2:02 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

correct me if I am wrong, but didn't Higby say that Krekorian was going to be all the things City Council needs, and then some?

November 13, 2012 2:03 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

Yea, why isn't Phil Jennerjahn running for Mayor?

November 13, 2012 5:49 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

2:03 - I think we said the same thing about Antonio Villaraigosa too. I guess you just can't believe what these guys say to get elected!

November 13, 2012 5:50 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Who is phil jennerjohn?

November 13, 2012 6:02 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Michael H, 2:03 here. No, I was a Hertzberg supporter. Don't go laying Villainretardo on those who saw him coming from a mile away. by the by, you should take comment moderation away from Scott; he doesn't post most comments, let alone constructive criticism about his points of view. this site would go back to being more fun if you were more involved in it.

November 13, 2012 6:04 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

Good question 6:02!

November 13, 2012 10:24 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I'm with 604 re stopping scott's control over the comments, or higby retaking control of the site content. Honestly, I am tired of this being a cd14 all the time blog. those of us who live elsewhere are interested in scott's vendetta against the admittedly corrupt councilmen from that area.

But between scott's illiteracy, and unwillingness to allow fair minded comments, it's time for you to return Higby, and not allow scott any control over comments, assuming you actually want a discussion on these subjects.

as for your supporting krekorian higby, you are absolved of the sin, but do try to look more closely at these idiots before you support them or make them seem like a near perfect solution

November 14, 2012 7:52 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

752 is MEAT

November 14, 2012 1:42 PM  

Anonymous trojan2002 said:

Sadly... I kind of agree with MEAT.
There's so much backdoor dealing going on in LA right now. with various SACtowners and COFs running for city council, not to mention the other backdoor dealing going on, we need more on the other CLOWNCIL districts back in the fold.

November 14, 2012 5:00 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Why are you idiots complaining to Higby about coverage of CD14 on a story about CD2? Trying to spin away from your boy, Paul and his huge fuck-up?

November 14, 2012 5:03 PM  

Blogger g said:

THIS COUNTRY NEEDS TO GET BACK TO ELECTING PEOPLE WHO WRITE THEIR OWN SPEECHES AND COMMENTS. WE AS A COUNTRY HAVE ALLOWED THESE PEOPLE A WAY OF PASSING RESPONSIBLITY TO SOMEONE ELSE, BIG MISTAKE. IN LINCOLN'S TIME YOU KNEW WHAT HE FELT HE DIDN'T HAVE SPEECH WRITERS OR A PRESS KIT TO HANDLE THE PUBLIC.

November 14, 2012 5:37 PM  

Anonymous trojan2002 said:

5:03... guess what we are NOT talking about: Paul and digital billboards.
We are talking about Paul and a some BS online letter and response.

I think Paul's crew totally changed the conversation and he's in the clear.
Which is probably why he hasn't fired or reprimanded Jeremy.

November 14, 2012 9:52 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

anyone know what G is saying?

By the way Fatso, Phil J is running for CD5

November 15, 2012 12:14 AM  

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