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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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Anonymous Anonymous said:

Phil Jennerjahn is out of state to PLAY POKER? What happened to the "focus on the recall?"

Even though he had zero chance of winning any of his last-place campaigns, this disregard is how he'd treat any job if he ever got one.

And it's further proof that if he has $10,000 to squander on the World Series of Poker, he isn't making it as a birthday party clown. He is supported by his family, and the family business.

Nice life if you can get it. I just hope he's not "borrowing" Recall funds to pay for his buy in.

June 29, 2010 6:20 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

While Jane has been an advocate for a number of important protective neighborhood policies, at heart she is a denizen of old LA politics: deferral to the Councilmember in whose district a project lies (and expecting the same if she were Councilmember). This is the kind of "conventional wisdom" that needs to be tossed out the window at City Hall.

June 29, 2010 6:22 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Tony Villar ran for Mayor to surround himself with fame and wealth and he makes no bones about it.

June 29, 2010 6:55 AM  

Blogger Joseph Mailander said:

My main opposition to Jane Usher is not as you state. My main opposition to Jane Usher is that in twenty-five years of civic service she has done little other than to complain as loudly as she can that she doesn't have enough power to do anything.

As Planning Commission president, she was expected to be a rubber stamp, and she was. Only when writers such as myself and Patrick Range McDonald began to file pieces making the Planning Commission look foolish did she decide, again, that she didn't have any power to do anything.

That she threatened me with libel for quoting a comment at the Times and never apologized for doing so definitely did not impress me with her any further. But make it clear: I've been unimpressed for over 25 years.

June 29, 2010 7:16 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Mayor Sam you better not make fun of our Mayor you are racist. The Mayor is promoting our arts and our Latino children. The movie stars support him. It is his house he can have any fucken party he wants you white bastard.

June 29, 2010 8:25 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I'm with 8:25.

I've been warning Higby for years about his pseudo racist-race baiting.

It erodes one's credibility, to the point where Higby's only reply is "OH YEAH? I HAVE A BLACK IN MY FAMILY, SO SHUT THE FUCK UP!"

Higby thinks that having a black in his family is a positive reflection on HIM. And that's bullshit. If a relative marries or adopts a black, it's a reflection on the relative, not Higby.

That's why all of his race taunting in earlier years comes back to bite ya later.

At least this commentary shows that Higby is an equal opportunity hater. Blackies=Brownies in his book.

June 29, 2010 8:32 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Anyone wonder if Jane Usher gives much thought to what the "scribe" Joseph Mailander thinks?

June 29, 2010 8:37 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Anyone wonder if Jane Usher gives much thought to what the "scribe" Joseph Mailander thinks?

I think the question might answer itself. Usher gave Mailander an interview for an op-ed of his in the Daily News in 2008--which wasn't critical of her at all--and a year later Usher turned around and threatened Mailander with a libel suit for quoting something off the Times site about Trutanich. Either Usher or lackeys of hers troll Mailander everywhere he writes.

June 29, 2010 8:50 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Who cares about Usher? The bigger story is the Mayor' excesses. He is becoming the next Elvis.

June 29, 2010 9:15 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Mailander is spinning here. He claims that Usher "threatened me with libel for quoting a comment at the Times".

What Mailander wrote was: "Trutanich is also widely rumored to drink to excess", and then backed up his statement by quoting a commenter in the Times blog who had speculated about Trutanich's illness: "Heavy alcohol consumption during the holiday season can do that to you.. ('Another Terrace Morning', 12/14/2009 and 12/15/2009).

Mailander can call what HE wrote 'responsible' if he wants. I disagree.

June 29, 2010 10:10 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

If you were Michael Trujillo besides a date with Lady Gaga what would you want?

To keep dum dums blogging about Nuch and Mailandler and off topic on Villar.

June 29, 2010 10:20 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

WTF? Anyone say a negative word about the Failure of a Mayor and they're called a racist. Give me a f--king break. I'm a Latino and I say he's a loser from the hood who wears a suit. Or better yet, a gangster in a suit. He's an embarrassement like most Latino politicians who never mature and lack ethics. They continue to try and get away with whatever they can just like living in the barrio. Michael isn't a racist. He's only telling the truth and you losers can't take it.

June 29, 2010 6:39 PM  

Blogger Joseph Mailander said:

What Mailander wrote was: "Trutanich is also widely rumored to drink to excess", and then backed up his statement by quoting a commenter in the Times blog who had speculated about Trutanich's illness: "Heavy alcohol consumption during the holiday season can do that to you.. ('Another Terrace Morning', 12/14/2009 and 12/15/2009).

Trutanich was at that time widely rumored to drink to excess. I have emails documenting these rumors, so there's nothing erroneous about that statement as far as I can tell.

I did quote someone at the Times. There's nothing erroneous about this statement either.

Jane Usher did threaten me with libel. Nothing erroneous here either.

I don't experience the ceaseless trolling a commenter claims, however. Nobody gives a damn about my Weekly pieces on the city, for instance. I think the pieces I write on classical music at LA Opus get more traffic.

Jane Usher is far from the top of LA's problems, I agree. At the top of the list is Austin Beutner, then Antonio Villaraigosa, then Carmen Trutanich, then Eric Garcetti, then Gail Goldberg, then Richard Alarcon, then Wendy Greuel. After this heroically malfunctioning septet, the City is simply an ordinary declining burg.

June 29, 2010 7:20 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Breaking News: Phil Jennerjahn just lost the entire $300.00 left in the Recall City Hall Campaign coffers in a hand of poker in Vegas!

June 29, 2010 8:11 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Cooley is going to ride this case right into an AG victory. Villar has always gotten a free pass, since his childhood days. Well it's time to pay the piper, what he did is clearly illegal. Watch Cooley convene a Grand Jury forthis one.

June 29, 2010 9:29 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

9:29PM - you have no idea just how close to the truth you are. Cooley already has a former top aide from the City of LA working on Ticketgate. This guy knows where all the skeletons in Villar's closet are, and knows who to subpoena for the Grand Jury. Villar is in big trouble now that the FPPC have launched their inquiry (the 3rd one) and rumor is that the Franchise Tax Board is also investigating Villar for failing to declare the value of the gift tickets he received. Let's not forget that gang member Al Capone was never convicted of his gang crimes, but only for failing to pay taxes, the irony is that Villar could end up in jail the same way.

June 29, 2010 11:39 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I guess this means that Villaraigosa is now the most investigated Mayor in LA history.

June 30, 2010 1:12 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Let’s not forget ANTONIO RAMON VILLARAIGOSA mislead his constituents when he ran for CD 14, saying he would serve his full term. Villaraigosa was a Councilmember for only 1 ½ years.

It appears that some career politicians have a history of attempting to mislead their constituents, but eventually the truth should prevail (read Patrick McGreevey’s LA Times article dated Nov. 8, 2005 prior to paper being censored more).

As MAYOR ANTONIO RAMON VILLARAIGOSA is his own misleading critic, “Let’s be clear about one thing: HONESTY and ETHICS in CITY GOVERNMENT start at the top. They START WITH THE MAYOR. The MAYOR SETS the TONE at CITY HALL THROUGH HIS OWN CONDUCT.”

According to the LA Times, Mayor Villaraigosa has more staff on his payroll than former Mayors Riordian and Hahn which does not make any sense as it appears his operators are incompetent. The lay off should start at the mayor’s office.

Mayor Is Criticized for Jet Use
McGreevy, Patrick. "Mayor Is Criticized for Jet Use" Los Angeles Times, 8 November 2005

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa faced criticism Monday for requesting the use of a jet owned by Ameriquest, a mortgage firm that has a City Hall lobbyist assigned to press its interests with the mayor.
The mayor has long-standing ties to the company.

Ameriquest gave $75,000 to a political committee that Villaraigosa controlled while he was speaker of the Assembly from 1998 to 2000.

When Villaraigosa left the Legislature, Ameriquest paid him more than $10,000 in 2001 and again in 2002 to serve as a consultant for the firm. At the time, Ameriquest was trying to blunt proposed consumer legislation in Sacramento and at City Hall.

Villaraigosa has said he did not advise Ameriquest on lobbying politicians but on "strategic thinking and problem solving."
Ameriquest and its employees have contributed more than $21,000 to
Villaraigosa's 2001 and 2005 mayoral campaigns.

Villaraigosa was elected on a campaign to bring ethics to City Hall, saying, "Let's be clear about one thing: Honesty and ethics in city government start at the top. They start with the mayor. The mayor sets the tone at City Hall through his own conduct."

June 30, 2010 6:53 PM  

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