If the power structure of Los Angeles had not foisted Measure R on gullible voters, these six City Council members — Zine, Alarcon, Garcetti, Weiss, Perry and Hahn — would be termed out of office and we would be having a real election next March.
The same powerful, self-serving interests that have been running the city badly for too long preserved their control of City Hall by spending millions to sell as ethics reform extending from two to three terms the limits on council service. They will spend whatever it takes to keep these political hacks in office and to bamboozle you into paying higher taxes for worse public services.
Against all odds, David Hernandez and other opponents of Measure R have kept alive a legal challenge and are scheduled for an appeals court hearing in August that could find it unconstitutional. This would open the possibility of restoring a measure of democracy to L.A. by throwing open the March elections to all challengers.
I support what Hernandez is doing and am speaking tonight at a fund-raiser for the legal challenge (information about the event is on my calendar and information about how to contribute after the jump).
Win or lose in court, those who care about democracy and good government need to mount a political campaign that will challenge these wannabe third-termers, which five of them are. The sixth, Jack Weiss, far and away the least popular in his own district, hopes to ride the coattails of the mayor into the City Attorney’s Office — a prospect that many people find frightening given his lackluster record.
These people know how to charm and song-and-dance many activists within their own communities, to hold out hope for them of some progress on their narrow agenda.
But their collective efforts in leading the city are disastrous. Taxes, fees and rates of every type have soared in the last eight years. Poverty has risen dramatically. Gangs still terrorize many neighborhoods and City Hall lacks the will to get tough even with illegal immigrant criminals. Desperate for cash to feed the sweetheart contracts they approved with unions and contractors, city leaders will do anything for money and that’s why the L.A. is being overdeveloped without the roads, public transit, parks, water or other needed infrastructure.
For the lack of any other alternative, I floated the idea of the Saving L.A. Project (SLAP) as an umbrella coalition of community groups of all types. Activists from all over the city have joined in and are trying to turn the idea into an organization that can challenge City Hall, fight for local issues, develop a citywide agenda and back candidates for city offices who will turn L.A. around.
We staged a rally on Bastille Day at City Hall and we’re holding an organizing Town Hall meeting Saturday in Glassell Park. Don’t accept failure. Don’t hide behind apathy and defeatism. Stand up and be counted. Get involved in your neighborhood council, residents group, service clubs, schools or wherever you can make a difference. Join SLAP and fight back.
any of you recall the classic 1974 movie about the back room deals and
shady politicians in Los Angeles of the 1930s? It was such a classic
that the phrase Chinatown became a generic buzzword for questionable political dealings.
saga of Proposition R is a classic example of what the phrase has come
to represent. From its inception as a measure written by lobbyists for
lobbyists and its immediate and direct benefit to the politicians who
were elected to represent the people, shades of the Jack Nicholson
movie are daunting.
As we move forward, it is good to reflect on the genesis of Prop R.
Lobbyist doing business at LA City Hall (approx 200) formed a group
titled “Los Angeles Lobbyist and Public Affairs Assn.” The group hired
Sutton & Partners to lobby government officials on the industry’s
behalf. The Sutton is attorney James Sutton.
March of 2006 attorney James Sutton formed “Citizens for Reform,” ID #
1284556, with James Sutton listed as the Treasurer. Sutton wrote
> In July of 2006 Sutton changed Citizens for Reform to “Committee to Reform LA-Yes on Prop R.” They kept the same ID number. This was to be a sponsored committee and to add creditability he had the League of Women Voters and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce sign on as sponsors. The Treasurer was changed to Kaufman & Associates.
the legal challenge heads back to open court in August of 2008 the fate
of six Los Angeles City Council members and their third term in office
hangs precariously in the balance and the smell of backroom smoke fills
weeks ago the two organizations that the lobbyist enlisted to sponsor
the original measure resurfaced and became part of the legal process on
behalf of the City Council and City of Los Angeles. Here is a link to the documents filed.
It is no surprise the League of Women Voters
What is giving me that Chinatown feeling is the attorney representing them. As you can see from the documents filed, their attorney is Stephen J. Kaufman of Kaufman & Associates.
Does that name look familiar?
Treasurer: Stephen J. Kaufman
777 S. Figueroa Street, Suite 4050
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Telephone: (213) 452-6565
Fax: (213) 452-6575
do not know what to make of this, but one thing is for sure. If there
ever was a David vs. Goliath battle it pales in comparison to what is
taking place in Los Angeles.
will a media outlet (be it print, radio or television) with enough
courage step forward and engage in real investigative reporting?
Prop R Legal Challenge