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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Flu Report

http://blogs.nature.com/news/thegreatbeyond/pig.JPGPhil Jennerjahn and Zuma Dogg support taco trucks but that's not enough to help them in Mexico City.  Officials have closed down the popular wagons in the Mexican capitol as one method of halting the spread of swine flu.  Another potential victim of the flu: pro-illegal immigration rallies planned for today.

The flu has had an impact on the Obama Administration following the President's visit to Mexico.  A White House staffer who traveled with the President as well as his family have contracted swine flu.  Additionally, Gateway Pundit reports that the White House may have been briefed about the flu outbreak in Mexico a full two weeks before an official announcement came from the World Health Organization, which brought the illness the current round of media attention it's received.

Political correctness once again trumps health concerns at the border.  Border crossing officers would like to wear face masks to avoid catching the flu but Obama Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has nixed the request because of concerns that it may offend some folks

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Tony and "Comadre Maria" raise the financial stakes in City Attorney Race

Are Antonio Ramon Villar and his "comadre" Maria Elena Durazo getting nervous that their "westside political guy" Jack Weiss, will not bring home the "political bacon", err City Attorney office to the left wing of the machine they led??

Witness the outlay of cash from the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor as reported tonight on the Los Angeles Times Web Site.

The political action committee of the powerful Los Angeles County Federation of Labor -- closely allied with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who is the chairman of the election committee of City Councilman and candidate Jack Weiss -- notified the city Ethics Commission this week that it was spending $335,309 on media spots to oppose Weiss' foe, Carmen "Nuch" Trutanich.

One must wonder if Villar and Durazo are concern about what a Trutanich victory would mean to their machine as it gears up for a possible march towards Sacramento in 2010.

****By the way, whatever happen to the guy on the left????

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Former Laker Shaq O'Neil endorses Nuch for City Attorney

Some would say that sports and politics should not mix, but what if a former local sports icon is also a Sworn Peace Officer??

Many in the sports world may not know that former Laker great Shaq O'Neal is a Sworn Peace Officer who has arrested criminials in the field.

Lets hope that Shaq's aim with a firearm is not on par with his free throw shooting for the sake of liability.

But now Shaq the Citizen has come out with his thoughts on who would should be the next City Attorney.

Daily News Rick Orlov provides the details

The big guns came out Thursday in the Los Angeles City Attorney's race.In the May 19 election between Carmen Trutanich and Councilman Jack Weiss, it was Trutanich who scored big when he announced he was being supported by basketball superstar Shaquille O'Neal.

Less supportive, in a city where gun control is widely backed, was the backing of the California Rifle and Pistol Association for Trutanich.

Weiss called an event to criticize the NRA backing of his opponent _ whose law firm has represented the organization _ but also to remind voters he had the supprt of another basketball superstar, Magic Johnson."I would much rather have a shooting guard backing me," Weiss joked. (Jack, for us who can remember the glory days of the "SHOWTIME" in the eighties, Magic was the "point guard").

O'Neal, who played for the Lakers from 1996-2004, helped win three world championships, released a statement saying he was impressed with Trutanich's proposals to increase gang prevention, after school and job training programs.

"I don't get involved in politics very often," O'Neal said in his statement. "But, as a father and police officer, when it comes to our kids, I'm going to get involved. (Carmen) is the only man I trust to work with our kids to keep them safe at school and away from gangs."

Basketball fans would note that centers win championships not puny point guards, but then this is a political blog.

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17 Years Ago

I watched the City burn from an apartment building rooftop in Hollywood while sipping tequila. Transformers exploding, fire, gun shots, looting, and once in a lifetime mayhem. "Oh look, there goes an entire power grid", "Is that on Crenshaw?". We came up with "bug-out" plans, and arranged discreet meeting places to pick up friends if needed. Los Angeles fell completely apart for 5 days. I had to pay a cabbie $50 (in advance) to drive me from Hollywood to my loft in downtown during curfew. What I remember most about the whole 5 days is the surprising number of friends who suddenly produced guns out of thin air. Good times, indeed.




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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"Weekly of Record" takes aim at City Hall

If one could read the thoughts behind the eye lids of one Antonio Ramon Villar, one may find a few choice words directed towards LA Weekly News Editor Jill Stewart, broken into verbal fragments that begin with AHHH.

Once again Stewart and her current group of scribes dare to go where the sadly- missed Herald Examiner would once venture and the "OLD GRAY HAG ON SPRING STREET" only viewed from across the intersection with cocktails.

Whether it is the DWP, Chief Bill Bratton, the density fantasies of Councilman Ed Reyes, Planning Director Gail "Suds" Goldberg or "Friends of Numero Uno Markets Founder George Torres", they all are fair game for the scribes at the "Weekly of Record".

Scribe Daniel Heimpel gets double byline honors with his stories on the DWP's lawsuit and smack down by a judge regarding transfer of money to the City of Los Angeles's General Fund, and another judge hitting the city with an adverse ruling regarding its "Density Bonus Program".

Scribe Patrick Range McDonald deconstructs LAPD Chief Bill Bratton's premise that the City of Angels crime stats are on par with the mid-1950ies.

Scribe Steven Leigh Morris guides us through former City of Los Angeles Planning Commissioner Jane Usher's missive on the follies on one Gail "Suds" Goldberg.

Lastly, Jeffery Anderson, who has made many "ports of call in the world of free press", gives us his retrospective on the guilty verdict of Numero Uno Market Founder George Torres and his possible ties to the cities political community.http://www.laweekly.com/2009-04-30/columns/george-torres-numero-uno-no-more-but-even-after-his-racketeering-conviction-questions-remain-about-which-l-a-political-and-business-figures-were-influenced-by-his-money/

This passage should provoke some thought.....

Yet the jury heard enough to reach a speedy decision: Torres was convicted on almost every count, including his attempt to bribe former L.A. City planning commissioners Steven Carmona and George Luk to secure a zoning permit.

Still, the question remains, how many other public officials were influenced by Torres’ money? How many other L.A.P.D. officers got close enough to Torres to arouse suspicion? The indictment states that an L.A. City Councilman appeared to be waiting in the wings to receive bag money from Torres, via Carmona and Luk.

Who could that have been? Is that person still in office?

Hint, was this possibly current city office holder councilman in 2004??

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Hair Cut of a Serial Killer ??


One is still recovering from the "Villar/McIntyre Love fest" this morning on what is normally the domain for anti-City Hall...and Villar rants that are the reason for my diligent listenership.

One comment that got me laughing was the comment from Mayor Villar that Doug has the hair cut of a Serial Killer.

Thus the seed was planted for an interactive, bloggin survey.

Simply "yes" or "no" to the Mayor's comments which gives you a fifty, fifty chance of actually agreeing with the Mayor on one of his public utterances.

Follow up comments also appreciated.........

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What has become of one Henry Casas??


........... or as some have speculated, maybe the headline should be "What does Henry Casas have on Jose Huizar??"

Henry Casas (on the left in picture) is a Deputy Chief of Staff for Councilman Jose Huizar.

Casas is currently on "paid administrated leave" pending resolution of his trial for domestic violence.

Yet what drives speculation in CD 14 (which has the potential to become a growth industry with the antics of Councilman Jose Huizar), is why Casas is still collecting a pay check.

As with past episodes concerning staffing issues in Councilman Jose Huizar's Office, the rumor mill is moving into hyper drive on what is really taking place within the staffing environment of CD 14.

With the number of staffers and a greater number of ex. staffers, surely someone can elaborate further on the Casas saga......????

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The First 100 Days of "TOTUS"



Good collective morning to all in the people's bloggersphere!

In case if you were in some cave where the ACORN activists could not force you to face Washington D.C. or not expose to column inches of "scribegasms" penned by some graying hack at the "OLD GRAY HAG ON SPRING STREET", today marks the first 100 days of your children and future generations of debt courtesy of one Barack Hussein Obama.

As a public service, (the only growth industry in the "TOTUS" economy), we provide you with this "free before taxation" space to opine on the impact of President Obama on the local and national political landscape.

So in the theme of our current "TOTUS", BLOG AWAY CONRADES!!!

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Swine Flu Hysteria Goes Global

The AP is reporting that the country of Egypt is getting rid of its Swine Flu risk by killing every pig in the country.

Raising pigs is not illegal in Egypt as it is in a number of other countries with significant Muslim populations. The estimated number of animals who will be slaughtered based solely on an overreaction to a virus that to date has infected a minute fraction of the average number of people who actually die from regular flu annually in the US is ... 300,000 to 350,000.


And you thought your local TV station had taken the Swine Flu thing too far.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My other social networking: The TV.

Okay, the last time I recommended a show to Mayor Sam, Life on Mars, that episode was so preachy! I apologize for their bad writing. But things are different now. Life on Mars is dead and buried. Prison Break has been pronounced dead by Fox for 3 months now, with just a few shows left, moved to the always dead Friday.

But Reaper, the rare comedy-drama that works both ways, and is totally, always compelling has just recently been pronounced dead by Hollywood Reporter. I think it's a premature burial, and still very much alive. Do you remember the Bee Gees song? I forget it, but it's something about staying alive.

If you liked The Screwtape Letters, (yes, the same C. S. Lewis who wrote the Narnia books, which are much better books than movies) you'll love Reaper. Basically, it's letters from Uncle Screwtape, a demon, to his demon nephew, on how to do it better: that is, how to tempt man and womankind, and what evil is, and how to make it.

I don't know if the extremely clever writers of Reaper actually read this book, but I read that Ray Wise, the only actor in Reaper I already knew, saw a lot of films with a devil to design his portrayal. And boy, does he knock it out of the park. He is the perfect devil. And Sam is his perfect victim.

The series begins with Sam, a slacker who works at a Home Depot type place because "college made him sleepy" waking up on his 21st birthday, ready for a normal day at his boring job. Then he meets the devil. Turns out his father, an attractive advertising exec, promised Sam's soul to the devil when he turned 21, in exchange for keeping his mother alive during some illness. (I think, the deal isn't quite clear.) Sam has 2 jobs now: his job at The Bench, and his work for the devil to find different souls who have escaped from hell and bring them back. He's allowed to let Sock and Ben, co-workers at The Bench, in on his secret, and they help him out in the chase.

One of the most beautiful things in this show is that even with the setup of a different soul (scary bad people of all types) to send back to hell every week, EACH EPISODE IS ALMOST TOTALLY SURPRISING! This is just not a predictable show. How rare is that! And thank Gah!

Other things I love:

* The casting is impeccable. Give the Casting Director an Emmy!!! Sam, Sock, especially Ben, Andi, of course the Devil, and even the supporting characters, like Ted, the funniest boss ever, Gladys at the DMV (because souls have to be handed back at hell on earth: the DMV. Hee!), Nina, who I'm very sorry to read is leaving - bad, Nina, bad-, Sam's parents, and even Morgan. I also especially liked Andi's ex, Greg - bring him back, brilliant!

* Locations. I know it's filmed in Canada, and I'm a union person - hate runaway production. But I like it when they go to various outdoor lakes, forests, houses, that are NOT LA. And I have to add that since I've been watching this, I've had to go to the DMV twice, and I didn't mind!! And to Home Depot. They weren't as bad or boring after this show.

* The first season, Reaper had a makeout session (and more) between Gladys (who happens to be a demon) and Sock. A twenty-something guy and 50-something woman get it on. On the CW. Is this not scream-worthy? In a good way? The brilliant part is they made it work. Sock was sexier in that scene than when he did his step-sister. (oops, hope I didn't spoil anything.)

* You might imagine that as a cartoonist I laugh a lot. Unfortunately for me, that is not the case. Yes, I often laugh at my own cartoons - at least the first few times - but I don't think a lot of other people are as funny as they think they are. TV hardly ever is. But I laugh a lot, and loudly, at this show. And the writing is so tight that I can watch it again, several times, and find even more cleverness in it.

* It's not just the funny. There are a lot of interesting iffy situations with good and bad, and constant choices. Is Sam really Satan's son? Ray Wise constantly tempts him and goads him. And who hasn't done more bad things than the latest soul, a young man who was a virgin, and coveted a woman? He went to hell for that! That wasn't fair! The Devil pointed up to the sky and said "His rules, not mine." Still not fair!

And just to prove my love, now look what I did. I wrote my latest Slate cartoon, above, to incorporate both Obama, his first 100 days, and Reaper. (You can also see it here on Gocomics, with comments - and add your own.) No, I don't really think Obama signed any deal, but he certainly isn't the angel some people think he is. I particularly disagree with some of his Cabinet appointees, and most of his economic decisions.

You can read more about this in my blog, Why I Did It.

Who isn't terrified of being buried alive? Don't do it to Reaper! It's on tonight at 8 PM on Channel 5.

Caption: About Barack Obama: "I can't believe it's been 100 days and he's still standing. Do you think it's like Reaper, and he made a deal with the Devil?" © D. Barstow 2009, All rights reserved.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Koretz Goes Dirty


I've been receiving a lot of political fliers in the mail lately, as I am a resident of the Fifth Council District and there is a hotly contested runoff election underway between Paul Koretz and David Vahedi. Paul Koretz has been going after David Vahedi in a way that I feel is more than a bit underhanded and rather low class. Koretz's latest barrage of mailings features him in a photo working with Zev Yaroslavsky in Zev's City Council Office. The photo was clearly taken back in the 1970's.

His attack ad against David Vahedi makes a lot of nonsensical claims that Vahedi is in bed with advertisers and is responsible for bus bench advertising all over the city. It is simply ridiculous.

Who do you think has the bigger chance of having been corrupted by big money donors?
The career politician Koretz.... or the first time candidate Vahedi?

Koretz also has a lot of negative history that he isn't coming clean about.
Koretz was a member of the State Legislature for the 42nd Assembly District from 2000-2006.
Yes, that State Legislature... the one where Assembly members were handing out money like candy and voting yes on massive deficits without any concern for their citizens.

Koretz bothers me because he is a typical liberal. He wants to control the lives of others.
He voted for gun-banning ordinances.. which is something I always hate in a politician.

He also voted to make smoking illegal for people under 21.
So..you can get married, and serve in the military at 18, but a cigarette is too much responsibilty for you to handle. That is Paul Koretz thinking for you. And deciding just exactly how he wants you to live your life.

Paul Koretz also has a Jerry Brown problem.

Do we really need to send him back to an office that he worked in 33 years ago..??

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Apple Computer

The Last Word on Gordon Turner

I started this idea a few weeks ago to do an in-depth analysis of everyone who ran for Mayor of Los Angeles.
I started with the first-place finisher and the recently re-elected Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa.
Then, I moved on to Walter Moore. In the interest of logic and predictability, I will now offer my opinions on third place finisher Gordon Turner.

I did a decent amount of research into all my opponents who were running for Mayor, as I wanted to be prepared in case there were debates. Gordon Turner was the most frustrating and puzzling of them all. Most of the other candidates had extensive videos or news coverage in the media. Gordon Turner was a total phantom. Very few people had heard of him. As of about 80 days before the election, he had almost no web presence!!

Google searches returned very little information. I actually had to call the City Clerk and ask them what his story was...why he didn't appear at any events... did he seem serious in his attempt at office..etc...etc..?
Aside from a physical description of what he looked like, they told me they didn't know much about him, either.

From information available on the internet, it seems that Gordon Turner spends a lot of his time on the issues confronting homeless people in Downtown Los Angeles.

Turner eventually got a halfway decent website up and running, but it was really late in the campaign. He failed to show up at dozens and dozens of events that all candidates were invited to attend. The only time I ever saw him was at the Senior Center event on La Cienega... the one where Zuma Dogg was taken away by police after a complaint from Craig Rubin.

I was actually somewhat impressed by Gordon Turner. He did a pretty good job of speaking at the forum.
I realized that if he had had raised more money, he could have been quite a competitive candidate.

One of the things I liked about him was that he was really well spoken and it seemed like he had rehearsed his answers for the forum. Almost no verbal stumbles or slip ups. He seemed to have very well thought out and crafted stands on the issues. He was respectful when addressing the Mayor and the lack of satisfactory progress on various issues by the Mayors Office. He offered some plausible alternatives.

He evidently impressed Walter Moore also, because when asked later in the forum about who they could support if not choosing themselves, Walter chose Gordon Turner. Even though Walter hadn't met Gordon Turner hardly at all before this forum and didn't know him very well, he still gave a ringing endorsement. I guess it was just the lawyer in Walter that couldn't resist supporting another lawyer. (By the way, I didn't like this answer from Walter, as just a week or two before he had chosen David Hernandez when asked the same question at the CBS Radford Studios forum held by the Daily News and Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils. It showed inconsistency in Walter.)

There were several things to like about Gordon Turner, but one thing I really didn't like. Turner seemed to be a bit of a bandwagon jumper. At the start of the forum, the LAPD had arrived and taken Zuma Dogg away because Craig Rubin had filed a complaint stating that Zuma Dogg had threatened him.

(I have stated before that I don't know what was said between the two parties, but I don't think Craig Rubin handled it very professionally. All the candidates except for the Mayor had participated in several forums already, and it seemed unlikely to me that Zuma Dogg -- after being perfectly civil and sociable at the other forums -- was suddenly going to go crazy and attack anyone. However, Craig Rubin has the right to protect himself if he felt his personal safety was threatened. I just didn't think it was.)

It was a very odd event at a political function to have one candidate for Mayor to call the police and have one of the other candidates taken away. It kind of rattled the room and started the function off on a very poor note. I was upset about it because I felt it made all the candidates look bad, and I was certain that it would be one of the top stories on the news that night...and sure enough, it was.

Near the end of the forum, some of the candidates started launching into what sounded to me like a scolding session. Many of them criticized Zuma Dogg and characterized his comments as "threats" ...even though none of them except for Craig Rubin had actually heard them. Gordon Turner seemed to jump on the bandwagon and make some general comments about the situation. I really didn't like that about him. Here he was choosing sides with one man against another when he didn't know either of them and didn't know if the stated facts were actually correct. One would think as a lawyer he would have shown better judgement. ( I declined to make any comment on the situation or to choose sides.)

However, overall I would give Gordon Turner pretty high marks as a political candidate. He seems to have the skills to be competitive as a politician, but not the organization. I still wonder why he skipped so many scheduled events.

It didn't seem to hurt him in the election, though. He finished in third place and got over 17,000 people to vote for him . I knew that he would do well in the election. In my pre-race analysis of the election, I looked at the ballot and realized that Gordon Turner, who was listed as "Deputy City Attorney", was the only one besides Villaraigosa who could say that he already worked for the City. Being that he held this position, many voters could assume that he could be trusted, and voted for him as an alternative to Mayor Villaraigosa. I am pretty sure that at least half of the people who voted for Turner didn't even know who he was and didn't know anything about him.

I honestly felt that with his occupational listing, Gordon Turner didn't have to campaign one bit and would automatically finish near the top of the pack. A great advantage for him. He got the most amount of votes for a candidate that spent almost no money on his campaign. Third place in the Mayoral election for a man who was previously unknown? Not a bad result.

I think he positioned himself well for a future run at political office.

I congratulate him and wish him well in his future attempts.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Pit Stop: Lost Hills, CA

Friday, April 24, 2009

Հայոց Ցեղասպանություն

On this date in 1915, the Ottoman Gov't rounded up around 300 Armenian leaders, teachers, and intellectuals in what is now present day Istanbul. This is the day that is recognized as the beginning of a genocide that grew to claim over 1.5 million Armenian citizens. This Armenian holocaust is known as "The Great Calamity".

In many ways, today is what defines being an Armenian. Unity & resolve in the face of great adversity, not forgetting the past, and making dreams come true in honor of the many that died.

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Boks Resigns After NY Ruling Surfaces

Zach B at LAist.com called it first. (well, maybe second. Or third.) Poor Ed Boks has finally given up the ghost. The General Manager of the Department of Animal Services resigned today, effective July 1.


Boks has been under fire almost the entire time he was GM of LA's Animal Services department, and not without good reason. Remember "Hooters for Neuters"? Or the ever-popular pit-bull academy run by gang bangers and ex-cons? How about his questionable Match.Com entries?

Besides these gems, Boks dodged another bullet in February. The City Council had a vote of "no confidence" in front of them that they didn't act on when word got out that it was SEIU who was really after Boks. (Still wondering what exactly set this feeding frenzy off.)

However, Boks couldn't dodge all the shots. According to an article yesterday on Indy Bay, (moved - here's the new link) last month Boks was formally found guilty of racial discrimination at his job with New York City Animal Care and Control prior to being hired by Villaraigosa as LA Animal Services GM.

Adios, Ed.



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Additional: one commenter said this:

"The councilmembers and employees saw the article yesterday and demanded that Boks be gone immediately. Boks was trying to get a golden handshake. He ended up getting $30,000 to leave. That is two months of salary plus vacations and medical leave.

Boks resignation letter to councilmembers and the Mayor stated he had a "medical condition." His letter to employees stated he was leaving because he'd done "such a great job!" It's all bullshit. It was either resign or be fired and get nothing."

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Additional: here's the pertinent portion of the text from yesterday's Indy Bay article which seems to have conveniently disappeared in the last few hours:

In an opinion and order dated March 27, 2009 Judge Wood stated that "Viewing the available evidence as a whole, the Court finds that a reasonable jury could conclude that Defendants terminated Plaintiff because of his race." Since the judge's ruling, the City of New York has decided to settle with the plaintiff Wesley Artope. The exact amount is unknown at this time.

November 1, 2005 Wesley Artope filed a lawsuit against Ed Boks and New York City Animal Care and Control for racial discrimination and unlawful termination. African American Artope claimed that he was fired so that Boks could hire a personal friend, Richard Gentles who was white and had no experience. On top of this Gentles had recently been fired from the Parks and Recreation Department after being arrested and charged with a felony work-related crime.

To make things even more awkward Gentles was a friend of the woman Boks was "seeing" who sat on the board that over saw his Department. As per the lawsuit Artope had been with the Department for many years and was better qualified than his replacement. "Plaintiff was promoted regularly to positions of increasing responsibility. Plaintiff has an Associates Degree in Veterinary Technology and a Bachelors Degree in Psychology. Plaintiff also has licenses and certifications as a veterinary technician, animal handler, and animal rehabilitator, and work experience in animal training, handling, and treatment." Gentles who replaced him on the other hand had no animal-related experience at all. In deposition Gentles admits that his “only experience with veterinary personnel was when he took his pets to the veterinarian.”

Boks initially told Artope that he was fired for "budgetary and restructuring reasons." After Artope filed suit Boks changed his story and stated he was fired because of "poor performance." Oddly enough Artope had never been told his performance was lacking. In fact he was told his performance was "great." The Judge did not believe Boks' claim that he fired him because of poor performance. Boks tried to make the case that he did not discriminate based on race because he also fired two white people and demoted another. The records show that he only demoted one white person. Boks also failed to state that the white person was offered to be demoted instead of fired, and they accepted. Boks did not make this same offer to Artope. The Judge did not believe Boks' argument. Artope claimed that when he was fired he was not given the chance to apply for the new position which replaced his. In fact Boks gave the job to his friend Gentles without making it available to anyone which is against City policy.

Boks had no explanation for this action at all. A source close to Boks said Boks gave them this explanation for why he fired Artope and hired his friend Gentles. Boks stated that Artope was "just a lazy black employee." He wanted to fire him but couldn't because of the union. He decided to get rid of his position, then recreate his position with a new title. He wanted his personal friend to have the job because he was "like-minded" and needed a job.

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The Mayor in the Valley

I was running an errand in the Valley yesterday when I was contacted by my fellow former Mayoral candidate, David "Zuma Dogg" Saltsburg. Zuma Dogg informed me that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was having a special invitation-only event in Tarzana in an hour and he told me that he could use his contacts to get us into the event. I thought "Why not? I'm nearby anyway" and Zuma Dogg arranged it with a few phone calls. We arrived at Providence Tarzana Medical Center and found that it was a very small event. A few media people were there, but there were fewer than 150 people present.

Most of the attendees had been at an awards luncheon earlier that day hosted by Council Member Dennis Zine, who was also in attendance. As we waited for the Mayor to arrive (about 15 minutes late) I scanned the room and saw that there were several political powerbrokers there, along with three former Mayoral candidates, (myself, Zuma Dogg, and David Hernandez) and several other VIPs including former Daily News editor Ron Kaye.

When the Mayor arrived he worked the back of the room, shaking hands and greeting others. Dennis Zine was on the microphone at the front of the room getting ready to introduce him when a surreal event took place. Mayor Villaraigosa snuck up behind Ron Kaye and gave him a huge bear hug. It shocked me, as Mayor Villaraigosa had recently been dealt a serious political blow by losing on Measure B in the March election -- a campaign that had been highly driven and motivated by the work of Ron Kaye and the various neighborhood councils. Most people didn't know what to think of this scene. Even Dennis Zine said something on the microphone about it, commenting that "See...the Mayor doesn't hold grudges..!". That was exactly the opposite of what some people in the room had expected.

The Mayor went on to give about an hour long presentation, complete with picture graphs and pie charts. He was actually somewhat impressive in front of a crowd that wasn't exactly buying what he was selling. I personally had to grit my teeth several times to avoid saying anything during his presentation. He gave sad, emotion-filled reasons for City employees to "share the sacrifice" of the pain coming in with the new budget. "We don't want to put these people out on the streets!", he said. To me, it was just pure Socialism headed towards the dangerous area of Communism. So...he doesn't want 2800 City employees to lose their jobs? Boo hoo. What about the thousands of people in the private sector who are losing their jobs also? All of this due to a meddling government that crippled the economy with pure nonsense ideas about interfering in the mortgage industry and forcing banks to loan money to people who couldn't pay. If the government had stayed out of it, the banks never would have given those loans and we wouldn't be in this economic meltdown right now.

Now, the Mayors answer is to jack up the tax rates and service fees on everything and give the government an even bigger slice of your paycheck. I think this is the 100% wrong answer. The Mayor did his little song and dance act and tried to explain things in a convincing manner, but for me....no sale. The Mayor talked about his staff deciding to forgo scheduled raises... but he didn't mention that he has 93 personal staff members and 16 Deputy Mayors, every one of whom takes their paycheck directly out of YOUR pocket. There is a lot of deadwood in this city that needs to be cut. I don't care how many jobs need to go...if those people are ineffective and their presence hurts taxpayers more than helps them, then they need to go. Simply put, less government is better government. But government employees always say they are "crucial". Baloney. Always ask yourself the question.."Would the private sector hire this person to do this job?" Most of the time the answer will be "No." Police and firefighters...yes, they are crucial. Other positions...not so much.

The Mayor took written questions , I assume in an effort to avoid someone grandstanding with verbal questions. He answered them one by one, including two from me, as I had handed them to different aides. I asked him to name one person he had ever fired. He said he had fired 13 General managers. Ok...so he says.
I also asked if he was running for Governor in 2010. He has been asked this before and has always danced around the question indirectly, and he did the same yesterday. One small surprise was how he talked about loving his job here and saying "it would take a lot" to get him to run. I was a bit surprised because he sounded more inclined to not run, but he also says it would be "a great honor" if he was chosen to be the party candidate. So, the door is still open there.

Although I have been highly critical of the Mayor in the past, I did see several things yesterday that pleasantly surprised me.

1) The bear hug he gave Ron Kaye sent the message that he sees their battles as political, not personal. It was nice to see that he can still be friends with Ron even after Ron helped to hand him an expensive defeat with Measure B in March.

2) He was facing a somewhat hostile crowd, West Valley residents and property owners, yet he managed to be charming and polite to everyone and kind of excuse himself out of trouble and issues again and again. He paced the floor with the wireless microphone and even leaned in close to people in the first rows. He called people by name and quoted them and praised them. He happily posed for photos with many of the VIPs on the way out of the meeting.

3) He made the comment that "You never see me on TV trashing my opponents, making comments about them. I don't do that." I thought about it and realized that he was right. He doesn't bash anyone. But...after all is said and done, politics is a rough and tumble sport and people get their feelings hurt. It is unavoidable. I couldn't help but think that maybe that comment had been directed at Zuma Dogg or maybe even myself.

4) He acknowledged his lack of popularity. Talking about the election he said "I won re-election. Maybe I wasn't so popular with some people..." then he gave kind of a half laugh. But it made you realize that the election results had hurt him politically and personally - that he had been rejected by 45% of the voters.

Overall, I think the Mayor did a decent job in front of a crowd that weren't his biggest fans. But I still disagree with him politically on where the City is heading. Far too many Socialistic tendencies are coming out of the Democrats in power in City Hall. They are harming the economy and job growth with their excessive regulations and excessive taxation. They are causing productive people and industries to flee the State.

When the Mayor was leaving the event, Zuma Dogg shouted to me "Phil, did you get to talk to the Mayor?"
"No," I said. Zuma Dogg seemed surprised by my answer. "Why not? He's here..", he said.

"I am ideologically opposed to everything this man does and everything he stands for. What would I possibly have to say to him?," I responded. Zuma didn't answer, but tried to catch up to the Mayor, along with a crowd of handlers and press people.

To this day, I have never formally met the Mayor or spoken to him.

And I'm fine with that.

Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Friday

Getting down to the wire in the 5th Council District race. Candidate David Vahedi is accusing his opponent Paul Koretz of ethics violations and has filed a complaint against Koretz with City and State officials. Vahedi claims that Koretz has violated borrowing and expenditure limits and is co-mingling campaign funds with other monies. Vahedi campaign consultant Phil Giarrizzo accused Koretz of being a career politician "who will do anything to get elected." In the meantime, Koretz picked up the endorsement of a past CD5 Councilman, County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.

A sign that Mayor Villaraigosa may not be running for Governor of California? The Mayor is ditching this weekend's California Democratic State Convention in Sacramento, citing needing to deal with budget issues at home. Since we've never known Antonio Villaraigosa to miss a photo op and chance to gladhand - even when there's work to be done (remember his attending a Dodger game in the luxury box with owner Frank McCourt when the Valley was on fire last year?) - something must be up. Steve Maviglio of the California Majority Report suspects that Villaraigosa "couldn't compete in the convention buzz with the other major candidates gunning for gubernatorial prize," and that the Mayor fears "a cold shoulder from organized labor" over his recent budget policies and job cuts.

The new Metro Gold Line light rail route will be the first transit line to have a name in both Spanish and English following a recent MTA vote. CurbedLA thinks that Bill O'Reilly will have a fit over it; I suspect Walter Moore would be much angrier.

Friday is City Controller Laura Chick's last day in office as she heads to Sacramento Monday to hopefully keep Arnold from cooking the books. For those of Mayor Sam readers working in City Hall, stop by Chick's office for coffee and cookies. Now with Chick gone and Wendy Greuel not stepping in until July 1; who signs the checks? Not the Mayor I hope!

And finally, big congratulations to long-time purveryor of press releases to Mayor Sam, publicist extraordinaire Ginny-Marie Case who will wed her fiance Alexander on Saturday. Best wishes to the happy couple!

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Laura Chick's Last Day

From Rob Wilcox, Spokesman for Laura Chick:

Tomorrow will be Laura Chick's last day as City Controller (and my last day in the office as well ) before she starts her new job as California Inspector General on Monday. Laura will be serving coffee and cookies Friday from 10 am to Noon in her Office. We hope you can come by!

We thank Ms. Chick for her service and will deeply miss her as the last person in City Hall who looks out for the taxpayer.  We dread the future without her.

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Open Thread for Thursday

Gil Cedillo isn't too happy that Mayor Villaraigosa threw him under the bus and is endorsing Judy Chu for the Congressional seat vacated by Hilda Solis who went on to become President Obama's Labor Secretary.  Cedillo issued a press release implying the Mayor is part of the "entrenched political interests" that Chu is "cozying" up to.

As part of his mad, Cedillo is trying to stir up bad feelings over the shady Measure R, playing his San Gabriel Valley base against the fashionable Westside of LA and the Westside folks aren't too happy about it.

It's fun to see these clowns go up against one another. Of course you don't need to go down that road; there is a far more thoughtful, professional and mature alternative in Teresa Hernandez.

Blog away dum dums.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

More Endorsments for Trutanich

Numerous Southern California District Attorneys and other elected officials will appear Thursday on the steps of City Hall to endorse Carmen Trutanich to become the next City Attorney of Los Angeles.

Steve Cooley, LA County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, Orange County District Attorney
Greg Totten, Ventura County District Attorney
Rod Pacheco, Riverside County District Attorney
Michael A. Ramos, San Bernardino County District Attorney
Gerald T. Shea, San Luis Obispo County District Attorney
Bonnie M. Dumanis, San Diego County District Attorney
Edward R. Jagels, Kern County District Attorney
Grover Trask, Former Riverside County District Attorney

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Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Wednesday

The City Council votes on Bernard Parks motion to name the new LAPD headquarters, Parker Center, after former LAPD Chief William Parker, namesake of the previous facility.  Parks' efforts have enraged some in the African American community who hold that Parker was a racist who oppressed minorites during his reign as Chief.  Blogger Jasmyne Cannick - who previously bestowed her "Negro Please" award on Parks - will be on hand to oppose the motion and perhaps support a suggestion by Council Member Richard Alarcon to name the building after former Mayor Tom Bradley.  No matter what the name ultimately turns out to be Mayor V wants to have a big party to celebrate and you know what that involves!

Another endorsment for Carmen Trutanich as the Metropolitan News-Enterprise throws it's support behind him for City Attorney.  The MNE says LA hasn't had a decent City Attorney since the days of Burt Pines who helmed the office during the first two terms of Mayor Bradley, going back nearly 30 years.  The paper posits that if Jack Weiss were elected "it is unlikely there would be a change in the office for the better," and that Trutanich would perform "the job with distinction."

Here's an idea that will make the anti-billboard wackos toss their cookies: State Senator Roderick Wright wants to turn over electric signage on California's freeways to private companies who would display Amber Alerts, traffic notices and advertisements.  In my view this is a dumb and potentially dangerous idea - and the signs are on public property hence it is up to government to dedcide.  Speaking of billboard wackos, chief wacko himself Dennis Hathaway - who apparently sees the signs as a greater  threat than gang violence, fast food or plastic shopping bags - wants you to decide on the billboard issue.  He's asked me to post one of his most recent screeds for your perusal.  And to be fair here is a pro-signage analysis by an architect as well as poll results that show that most average folks don't give two twits about billboards.

The state is broke and Arnold has shady tax increases on the ballot but that doesn't stop Assembly Speaker Karen Bass from offering pay raises to her staff.  Capitol Weekly notes that Bass' chief of staff Nolice Edwards who was making $140,000 a year is now earning nearly $200,000 annually.  How many of you pull down that kind of dough?

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Gavin's In!


Oh great. Gavin's in, Antonio's cooked. At least if AV went to Sacramento, he wouldn't be here.
Open speculation for the masses!

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Did LAWA Move to Wyoming?

 
Apportioned
Photo: Winds of Change Blog
According to the windsochange.net blog, some LAX Flyaway buses are registered in Wyoming.  Why is that do you ask?
The buses are not owned by the City but according to an inside source at LAWA by a private contractor the City has an agreement with to offer the service (quick - check the ethics commission website).
Winds of Change probably has the right answer:
Now it makes a lot of sense to register a commercial vehicle in Wyoming...which costs a flat $60/yr. In California the CVRA fee (assuming a 48,000 pound GVWR) would be $1,161 plus license and registration.

Commercial vehicles with appropriate permits are allowed to operate in California. So I'll wager that we get a few dollars extra; but right now a City-sponsored transit agency is skirting state taxes in a way that would doubtless get a private bus line in trouble.

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Alan Keyes video

Alan Keyes is a Conservative activist who ran against Barack Obama in the Illinois campaign for US Senate in 2004. Keyes didn't have much of a chance, as he was a last minute replacement for Jack Ryan, who dropped out when some rather spicy details about his divorce from Star Trek actress Jeri Ryan hit the front pages of newspapers. Keyes was accused of being a carpetbagger because he didn't even live in Illinois. He lost badly in the election and Obama was on his way to Washington.

Keyes obviously has no love lost for Obama, referring to him as "the person you call 'President Obama' ".

Watch this video and see if you can dispute many of the things he says. People tend to write him off as being crazy, but he speaks his mind on many important subjects in this video. Because he has no chance of being elected to anything in the future, he is free to say many things other politicians are afraid to say.

No Hotsheet for Tuesday

Sorry kids. Computer is having too many issues and I'm not staying up late. You can blog your own here.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Monday

Excellent piece over the weekend by Phil Jennerjahn, The Last Word on Walter Moore.  Jennerjahn notes many of the feelings that a number of Moore's former supporters had about how his personal failings led him to squander the opportunity he had in the 2009 Mayoral Election.  Moore's former fellow Mayoral candidate goes on to say "The way Walter approached some very complicated and emotional subjects wasn't a positive thing for his campaign."

Say what you will about Eric Garcetti but at least he has a handle on using 21st century tools to important information about street closures to his constituents.  An almost identical situation in CD4 was more than lacking in communication not only web 2.0 but even hard copy 1.0.

Mayor Villaraigosa wants to support the census and encourage folks to be counted (because it means more $$ to the City) but a Hispanic advocacy group is urging illegal immigrants to refuse to be counted. The National Coalition of Latino Clergy & Christian Leaders is urging undocumented immigrants not to fill out Census forms unless Congress passes "genuine immigration reform."

One of the best pieces I've seen by Jasmyne Cannick takes local African American leaders to task for not speaking up on black-on-black crime in Los Angeles. In "Michelle, Malia, and Sasha Cannot Be the Only Black Women Whose Lives Matter to Us in 2009," Cannick cites the lack of attention to the recent murder of a teen-aged African American female as "business as usual."

Blogger Debbie Schlussel isn't going to shop at Whole Foods anymore. Schulseel claims the upscale store  sells products it knows are funding scholarships to alleged HAMAS-controlled An-Najah University.  You're better off shopping at Ralphs anyway; you save 40 to 50% easy.

The Disneyland to Vegas bullet train boondoggle is looking more and more like a candidate for the list of "things that were never here." Money just isn't there for it and it's not likely to fall on any of President Obama's spend-a-lus lists.

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Last Word on Walter Moore

Well, it looks like we won't have Walter Moore to kick around anymore. This word comes straight from his own blog, where he says he won't run for public office again. This is disappointing behavior from Walter. I had always viewed Walter Moore as being slightly "Nixon-like" to begin with... angry, bitter, paranoid, thin-skinned... but this just completes the picture for me. Walter is now officially going to "take his ball and go home."

It is a stunning turnaround for a man who had accomplished quite a bit with very limited resources.
Moore spent less than $300K on his campaign, a very meager sum for such an important election. His total was less than 10% of what rival Antonio Villaraigosa raised and spent on his campaign. Yet Walter Moore did perform reasonably well in the election, getting over 72,000 voters to support him and finishing in second place in the election. However, as Josh Brolin (as the title character in the movie "W") reminds us, that, in an election, "First is first and second is nothin'!"

Walter Moore and I have always had a very prickly relationship from the start. Before I even filed my papers, I contacted Walter and told him I was considering running for Mayor. I told him that I was aware of who he was from his repeated appearances on Conservative talk radio stations. I admitted that he was the candidate most likely to earn a runoff with Villaraigosa, and as such, probably had the best chance of defeating him. I explained to Walter that I was running in order to build myself a name for future success and that I realistically didn't expect to do well in the election, having very little money and no name recognition. Walter suggested that I run for City Council instead. I rejected that idea. However, I did tell Walter that if he was the one to earn a runoff with Villaraigosa, that I would support him and work for his campaign and even donate money. (I have emails to prove this conversation if anyone wishes to question my truthfulness). I meant this when I said it, but later on in the campaign, as I saw more and more of what Walter was really like as a person, I started to have less and less faith in him as a person and as a viable candidate.

I emailed Walter to congratulate him on drawing a low number in the City Clerks ballot draw, which meant that his name would be one of the first ones on the ballot. Later on, I emailed him again to suggest that we talk to all the opponents to Villaraigosa in the Mayors race and "get on the same page". I wanted to suggest that maybe we could agree to concentrate and focus our criticisms only on Villaraigosa and not on each other. I was completely stunned by Walters response. He emailed me and said "please stop emailing me" and added, "we are not on the same team". I was so blown away by his response that I showed it to Zuma Dogg and to Michael Higby, who can back up my statement on this. If Walter could act this way towards a person who, if defeated in the primary, was willing to support him, how in the world was he going to conduct himself in a professional manner and win over voters who didn't initially support him at all?

If Walter had agreed to discuss this subject with me, I never would have said a negative word about him... not now, not ever. A true leader understands the concept of team building. A leader also understands the concept that you sometimes win when someone else wins. In politics, it is not always only about you. In politics, you are often forced to work with others who don't agree with you. With Walter, that clearly wasn't the case. This was just one of many troubling signs about him in this recent campaign. As an elementary school teacher might put it.."Walter does not play well with others."

Walter whined loudly and repeatedly in public during the campaign about Villaraigosas refusal to debate him. He even went so far as to make a commercial showing a chicken clucking, in reference to Villaraigosas cold-shoulder attitude and refusal to have any contact or debates with him. Walter didn't like being shunned and ignored, yet it was perfectly acceptable for him to do the exact same thing to others, as evidenced by his behavior towards me and towards Zuma Dogg when Zuma was involved in a personality dispute with Craig Rubin, and both Walter and Craig threatened to boycott a Hollywood event if Zuma Dogg showed up. This, to me, showed me that Walter Moore is a hypocrite and the very epitome of a liberal: he believes that there is one set of rules for him, and a very different set of rules for everybody else. I, on the other hand, always fought for the inclusion of all candidates on the ballot to appear at all forums. I even fought for Socialist Carlos Alvarez to be included, a man whose politics I really couldn't stand.

Although I agree with Walter Moore on many political philosophies, including taking a hard stance against illegal immigration, I think the way Walter approached some very complicated and emotional subjects like this wasn't a positive thing for his campaign. He seemed to have a sneering, condescending attitude towards Spanish speakers. Videos like this only helped critics paint him as a racist and a fearmonger. Even if Walter had earned a runoff with Villaraigosa, Moores own statements on YouTube would have been used as ammunition by Villaraigosas campaign to portray Moore as an unstable nutjob who was completely unsuited to be Mayor.

Walter Moore was a flawed candidate in many ways. I think he bungled the whole "Jamiels Law" issue, and with a little more attention to detail, it might have been on the ballot, and that resulting publicity might have put him over the top in earning a runoff in the primary election. I think Moore also bungled his campaign spending by focusing too much on Conservative talk radio ads. Those listeners weren't voting for Villaraigosa, anyway. He should have concentrated more on direct-mailing and phone banking activities with the funds he had.

For all my criticisms of Moore, this is not to say he didn't have some positives. I honestly think that he is worried about the future of the city. He has courage and he believed in himself enough to run for Mayor a second time, even though he didn't do well the first time around. I think he would have been a better option as Mayor than Villaraigosa because Moore hates government overspending. I think he also would have taken action to limit or control the illegal immigration problem. Villaraigosa, on the other hand, watches the city burn and laughs about it.

Walter Moore could probably have a future in Los Angeles politics if he really wanted. I think if he moved into a different district, he has enough name recognition that he could crush one of the current City Councilmembers in an upcoming election. Or he could wait and run for City Attorney in a few years. Or...as I predict...he could wait until Antonio Villaraigosa quits the job when he wins the Democratic Primary for Governor in 2010. Who knows? If he doesn't move to France, maybe Walter Moore actually could end up being Mayor of Los Angeles. Or not. Right now he is looking very Nixon-like. A mercurial, thin-skinned quitter.

But, who knows? History is a funny thing. Richard Nixon angrily quit politics forever after losing the election for Governor of California in 1962. In 1968, he was elected President of The United States. In 1972 he won re-election in one of the biggest landslides ever, winning 49 of 50 states.




Janeane Garofalo: Deep Thinker


Janeane Garofalo on Dissent from therightscoop on Vimeo.

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Open Thread for Saturday

Create your best Jack Weiss or Carmen Trutanich campaign commercial.  Be as creative or as sleazy as you want.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Open Thread for Friday

Rick Orlov: Chick goes with Trutanich: City Controller Laura Chick, who has battled City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo over her authority to audit his office, said Wednesday she is throwing her support to a city attorney candidate who would side with her position.

LA Weekly: Jan Perry's Grand Avenue Conflict: An L.A. politician votes for public subsidies that boost her home's value.

LA Weekly: Should LA City Council Agree to Slash It's $178,789 Salaries?: 15 richly paid politicians are happy to cut their pay — by 2.5 percent?

Curbed LA: WeHo Taxi Rates Set to Raise: Hey, drunkies, soon you'll have to pay more to come home from a West Hollywood bar.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Joe Biden Commemorative Plate

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Open Thread: Discuss the Water Shortage

From USC News 21: Big news for California and its water supply --- Interior Secretary Ken Salazar pledged $260 million in federal stimulus money to help California modernize its outdated water system and ease its water problems.

Zuma Dogg's Citizens Alert

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tea Baggers Get Played!



C'mon people, know what and who you are fighting before you revolt.


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Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Wednesday

When you're the incoming Controller and de facto fiscal watchdog for the City of Los Angeles is it concerning that said individual has a campaign that is in debt? Wendy Greuel is asking you for a donation to help pay off her unpaid campaign bills.

The DWP plans to mount a major campaign to encourage Angelenos to reduce water use in advance of the pending water shortage.  Why not hire Zuma Dogg as a spokesman?

If you missed the Mayor's State of the City speech, you can read the prepared text here as well as Solomon's excellent Tweets 


City Attorney candidate Carmen Trutanich has issued a plan for increased security at the Port of Los Angeles.  Trutanich has called for a number of reforms saying, “As Los Angeles City Attorney, I will have a responsibility to see that everything that can be done is being done to protect this critically important resource to our regional and national economy."

Further in-depth reporting of School Board Member Tamar Galatzan's train wreck of a "town hall meeting" in Northridge Monday night via the Beckford Parents Blog.


If you thought the Clowncil's steps to put Measure B on the ballot was a rushed, under the radar, shady effort, here's another one worthy of a citizens' alert: The Mayor is quietly planning to outsource LA's parking meters in exchange for a big upfront payoff. 
 
If you're looking to attend a tax day Tea Party protest, here's a list of several in and around Los Angeles County.


Despite the hooting and hollering from the billboard wackos who think that supergraphics and vinyl are the biggest threat since Osama Bin Laden, a poll by a group of USC students finds that Fifth District voters - considered to be ground zero for billboard-wack-aphobia - do not consider signage to be a major issue.  Reacting to the poll, candidate David Vahedi said “I’m actually shocked by that."  Get outside the bubble folks and you won't be shocked.  Most folks in LA are concerned about crime and jobs.

Big debate amongst readers at CurbedLA over whether or not it makes sense to buy a condo in a bankrupt development.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

List of Local Tax Day Tea Parties

Glendale

When: April 15, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Where: 613 East Broadway
Map: Click Here
Contact: EMAIL
Phone: 818-497-4901

Lancaster

When: April 15, 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Where: Senator George Runner’s Office, Antelope Valley, 848 W. Lancaster Blvd., Suite 101
Contact: EMAIL

Los Angeles - San Fernando / Santa Clarita Valley

When: April 15, 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Where: Van Nuys Civic Center Plaza - 6200 Van Nuys Blvd
Map: Click Here
Contact: EMAIL
Phone: 818-277-1563
Facebook Group: Los Angeles - San Fernando / Santa Clarita Valley Tea Party Tax Day Protest

Los Angeles - South Bay

When: April 15, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Where: Dockweiler State Beach in El Segundo off of Imperial Highway
Map: Click Here
Contact: EMAIL
Phone: 619-857-4047
Facebook Group: Los Angeles Tea Party– Freedomworks Los Angeles

Santa Clarita Valley (Valencia)

When: April 15, 4:00pm - 7:00pm
Where: Santa Clarita City Hall, Valencia Blvd.
Map: Click Here
Contact: EMAIL
Website: www.teapartyscv.com
Facebook Page:

Santa Monica

When: April 15, 3:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Where: Santa Monica Pier, 100 Colorado Ave
Map: Click Here
Phone: 818-309-7197
Contact: EMAIL
Website: www.meetup.com/santamonicateaparty


Simi Valley

When: April 15, 3:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Where: Reagan Library, 40 Presidential Drive
Map: Click Here
Contact: EMAIL




Thousand Oaks

When: April 15, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Where: Main P.O., 3435 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. (at Duesenberg Dr.)
Map: Click Here
Contact: EMAIL

Ventura

When: April 15, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Where: Sidewalks adjacent to Ventura County Government Center
Map: Click Here
Contact: EMAIL (Carla Bonney) 805-652-0667
Contact: EMAIL (Dale DeHart) 805-312-2800
Website: www.teapartyteams.com
Facebook Group: Ventura County TEA

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Zuma Dogg + Dennis Zine = B.F.F. ???

Are City Council activist Zuma Dogg and Council Member Dennis Zine best friends forever?? One would certainly start to think so after some recent events at City Hall. 

I was at City Council on Wednesday, April 8th for what seemed like an eternity as the Council meeting went for almost four hours. Near the end, as Council Members were getting restless to get out of City Hall, Zuma Dogg had a  comment card filled out for discussion of special event fees. He started getting off topic and talking about the LACERS issue and various other things. The City Attorney interjected and Councilman Zine started to warn Zuma he was off topic. Zine eventually cut Zuma off.

"You're finished Mr. Dogg...you're done!" Zine said.

Zuma got hot about that and shouted out "Civil lawsuit on Dennis Zine!!"

But don't listen to me...you can see it here..  3hrs 38min...

http://lacity.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=130&clip_id=5544

Later on, I went to lunch at Sbarros with Zuma Dogg , and who should show up by total coincidence? Zine.

Zuma proceeded to kind of chew Zines ear off about various things, but eventually they both calmed down and started talking about other things. Say what you want about Zuma Dogg, he has an uncanny knack for getting officials to give up and disclose information to him. I thinks he just wears them out.... I've seen Zuma chase people down hallways, into elevators, across parking lots...etc...etc...

Here's a video of Zuma and Zine in happier times....





Later that afternoon, we ran into Paul Koretz, who is in a hot contest for the CD 5 seat. Zuma asked Koretz a bunch of questions and I was kind of surprised at some of the answers. Koretz seemed overly confident about winning his runoff election in May against David Vahedi. Koretz said "All my opponents who lost in the primary are getting behind me". 

Oh...really? I thought about it and I wondered  how legitimate that statement was.

Koretz went on to say "It might not even be that close". A bit arrogant, I thought...but who knows?

Later at home I checked out Koretz's website.    http://paulkoretz.com/

I saw he had listed his endorsements from other political figures.

Among them? Ed Reyes and Jan Perry.

Yep, that's all I needed to know. 

I emailed David Vahedi and told him he has my endorsement and my support.

Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Tuesday

Mayor Villaraigosa will deliver his "State of the City" speech at a time most folks won't watch, 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.  Theme of the address? Instead of "Dream with Me" it will now be "Sacrifice with Me."


Zuma Dogg, in his public comment addresses to the City Council, has been sounding a warning about the potential of a significant water shortage in Los Angeles, aggravated by over development and seemingly ignored by the Mayor and City Council. The Dogg had a one on one conversation with DWP General Manager H. David Nahai who told Zuma that those who do not waste water will not see raises in their rates. In calling for a new awareness on water conservation Zuma declares "that wasting water will have to be almost as socially unacceptable as wearing fur, or not using Facebook."


City Attorney candidate Jack Weiss has some trouble on his hands. The La Brea Willoughby Coalition has filed a Public Records Act request with Weiss’ office after learning that he has missed over one third of all Council meetings and 1,500 votes. The document requests immediate access to inspect Weiss’ calendar, correspondences and all other documents that may explain his whereabouts during those important votes.

More trouble for Jack Weiss.  An Asian American advocacy organization has endorsed Weiss' opponent, Carmen Trutanich.  The Asian American Action Fund credits their support to Trutanich's promises for electoral reform such as instant runoff voting and ending gerrymandering that has diluted Asian American voting strength in Los Angeles in recent years. 

Debbie Lopez and the always organized web 2.0 parents of Beckford Elementary School in the San Fernando Valley are making effective use of the internet to organize themselves for effective advocacy for their children and school and fighting the shady LAUSD. Lopez Twittered the play by play from a town hall meeting in Northridge featuring controversial School Board Member Tamar Galatzan. Among the gems, "Teacher from Darby talking; crying now," and "Kelly Mattinson just gave Tamar Galatzan what for. Girlfriend is on fire."

Over at WitnessLA a report on what LAUSD Superintendent Ray Cortines wants to do to teens who engage in "sexting" that is sending porno pictures of themselves via cell phone.  Cortines wants to arrest them.  While the prospect of young people participating in this type of behaivor is disturbing Cortines' response is typical of the heavy handed zero-tolerance approach to issues school administrators are apparently now incapable of using good judgment to handle.  The right step here is to first work with the parents before turning over the kids to the LAPD. 

Westside White Guy and other nanny-poos up in arms over another LA Times advetorial stunt, this time for a Paramount Pictures film.  I have two better questions, one from Eric Longabardi who asks what WWG will do when there is no more OLD GRAY HAG ON SPRING STREET; the other is shouldn't we be more up in arms about Roderick's Pulitzer Prize claims.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Voters Call Jack Weiss on Missing 33% of Council Meetings and 1500 Votes


Jack Weiss' poor attendance at Council Meetings was reported months ago by Zuma Dogg.  But now it's gathering steam as a respected group of his constituents call him on the carpet.

The La Brea Willoughby Coalition has filed a Public Records Act request with Councilmember Jack Weiss’ office after learning that he has missed over one third of all Council meetings and 1,500 votes. The document requests immediate access to inspect Weiss’ calendar, correspondences and all other documents that may explain his whereabouts during those important votes.

Leader of the La Brea Willoughby Coalition, Lucille Saunders, states, “I am deeply disturbed to learn that you have neglected your role as a Councilmember in keeping our community safe by missing nearly one third of your council meetings and skipping 1,500 votes…[and] you have canceled an astonishing total of 43 Public Safety Committee hearings.”

Saunders, questions Weiss’ commitment to public safety by asking, “What possibly could you be doing that is more important than the public safety of the citizens of Los Angeles?”

Jack Weiss was nearly recalled last year when over twenty thousand residents of his district signed a petition and complained that his neglect of his duties and his support for developers had led to traffic and overcrowding. Weiss received hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from lobbyists and developers — and then voted for their projects. Weiss was fined by the Los Angeles Ethics Commission for past campaigns and has refused to return illegal, laundered campaign contributions from a major developer.

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The Worse TV Show Ever?

Franklin Avenue's always fun Retro Friday marked that the NBC television network is going through it's once-a-generation visit to the toilet as America's fourth place web.

The Peacock however has been there before and as the Franklins note it was the early 80s that they served up delightful trash such Harper Valley PTA, Nero Wolfe and The Brady Brides.

Yet FA forgot what is the defininitive worst ever NBC show, if not the worst show of any network.

Supertrain.



Supertrain, which was really nothing more than The Love Boat on rails, lasted barely two months and only 9 episodes.  As the most expensive television show to produce up that point, the program nearly bankrupted NBC and as Wikipedia notes the show is considered "one of the greatest television flops."

Supertrain featured a super-speed, extra-wide train that ran from New York to Los Angeles in 36 hours.

However, NBC need not worry.  History shows things will get better.  For every Supertrain, Sheriff Lobo, etc. there's a Cheers, Cosby, Seinfeld, ER and Friends.

And what of the then fantastical train itself? California may very well be getting something very similar.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/9/99/Supertrain.jpg/220px-Supertrain.jpg
 http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/img/logo.gif

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Guilty

By BLOOMBERG NEWS: Music producer Phil Spector was found guilty of second-degree murder in the 2003 shooting of actress Lana Clarkson, who was found dead at Spector's mansion a few hours after they met at a nightclub

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Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Monday

Former Assemblyman Lloyd Levine is looking for a job.  At least that's what an email he sent out to several supporters stated. In the email Levine writes "I recognize that this might be the worst time to find employment since the Great Depression (editor's note: clearly not true), which is why I am reaching out to you, hoping to learn about the best possible opportunities as they arise."  According to one rumor that lit up the State Capitol gossip wires on Friday, Levine has found employment at a Sacramento store that sells runners' shoes. If you have a more rewarding opportunity for Lloyd you can send it him at levine4assembly@hotmail.com.

Isn't "Two Bill" Gil Cedillo's time up? God forbid this shady race baiter gets elected to Congress when there is a dynamic, thoughtful Mexican-American mom and self-made business sucess story in the person of Teresa Hernandez running for the 32nd Congressional seat vacated by Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.  Lets hope the voters get it this time.

Bernie Parks gets Jasmyne Cannick's "Negro Please" Award for wanting to keep the Parker Center name for LAPD's new headquarters; in honor of former LAPD Chief William Parker.  Wonder what Mike Trujillo thinks the name should be?

Though it may seem like the usual feel good holiday photo op, there is nothing more truly Christian than volunteers washing the feet of the homeless over Easter Weekend in Skid Row.  But, as blogger Don Garza correctly notes, it also serves a purpose: health workers can inspect the homeless individuals' feet for signs of illness and serious medical conditions and provide them treatment.

With declining enrollment in Los Angeles' schools should the LAUSD be spending billions on a full bore ahead program of building new schools? KCET (hat tip to CurbedLA) is asking that question in a new report, "Blackboard Bungle."

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