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URGENT UPDATE: Appeals Court upholds Prop. R as legal

There’s only one way to go now: Ask the Supreme Court to hold an emergency session to rule before the November candidates deadline on whether the fundamental constitutional protection against deceit in state legislation and ballot initiatives applies to the City of Los Angeles.

The court likely would refuse to hear the question of whether the public was deceived by slipping a third term for City Council members into a so-called ethics reform measure that targeted those evil-doing lobbyists. Of course, lobbyists are the symbol — not the source — of City Hall’s corruption.

That dishonor belongs to politicians who beg special interests for campaign money and then do their bidding — and give unlimited access to the lobbyists, lawyers and PR flacks who get rich representing them. All Prop. R did was save lobbyists from writing personal checks to the politicians anymore.

If the court did hear the appeal  and extended the constitutional ban on such multiple issue measures, we would have wide open elections for the council in March.

If, in the end, it upheld the city’s right to such a license to deceive, two can play that game.

What would stop community activists from putting together an initiative that cut council salaries in half, limited the number of take-home cars for political staff, required complete disclosure of campaign contributions and interests in real time, mandated a fixed percentage of city money to police and fire, moved city elections to general election days and so on.

Call it the Clean L.A. Plan or CLAP. Think about it.

Here’s what the State Court of Appeals ruled today:

“Appellants point to nowhere in the California Constitution, or elsewhere in state

law, expressly imposing a single subject restriction on ballot measures sponsored by the

governing body of a charter city such as Los Angeles.

The Constitution must be interpreted by the language in which it is written, since

“‘courts are no more at liberty to add provisions to what is therein declared in definite

language than they are to disregard any of its express provisions.’” (Delaney v. Superior

Court (1990)

50 Cal.3d 785, 799.) We conclude the single subject rule does not apply to

a city council sponsored ballot measure such as Measure R.”

The full opinion is at:


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14 Responses to URGENT UPDATE: Appeals Court upholds Prop. R as legal

  1. Anonymous says:

    Holy Crap! The entire world wants to run for office! The judiciary is compromised. First thing: Kill all the lawyers.

  2. Anonymous says:

    A miscarriage of justice. Now we need a law that limits each proposition to a single subject so that voters are not purposely confused. It probably should be a state law since it would be impossible (probably) to get the Council to put one together – the status quo gives them so much unintended power. Who thought we would have to deal with a lack of ethics in our city – none of us.
    Isuppose it would be asking too much to ask the City Council to discuss how unethical they look in the present situation – getting an extra term of office when the voters had previously given their opinion on the issue – by the ruse of getting Prop R on the ballot.

  3. Walter Moore says:

    Actually, Judge Yaffee and the Justices read the Constitution correctly. Don’t blame the messenger for the bad news.
    The good news is, we can fire eight of the 15 City Council Members and the Mayor on March 3, 2009.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Angelenos need to start following the money trail. City Council needs to demonstrate leadership and make a motion mandating full disclosure of all monetary contributions made by lobbyists in Council Files. This will be a best practice approach while supporting “transparency”.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Are these clueless commenters serious?
    Do they realize the power of incumbency?
    These councilmembers are going nowhere without term limits.
    And this loss is a reflection of the crappy legal team and crappy plaintiff and crappy sponsors. A good lawyer could have won this case on public policy grounds alone! (Forget the constitutional claims!)
    Do you really think these yahoos will prevail before the Supremes? Or that they have enough stick-to-itiveness to keep going???

  6. davidr2b says:

    Mr. Moore: maybe “all” the Judges did read the Constitution correctly in relationship to the general legal mumble jumble that Lawyers have created to maintain employment. You are an Attorney yourself and you rely on the fact that the general public needs someone to decipher legal jargon. However, the real hook here is “intent”. The intent of the City Council was to confuse the voters and that is the wrong here. The folks that initated this request (or maybe at the request of the soon to be termed out Council members), the LA Chamber of Commerce and the League of Women Voters hired Lawyers to write this stuff to confuse. “The” City Attorney…Rocky…in his staff’s first submission to the Council, on this subject, stated that a Citizen vote was not required to pass the ethics measures, that the Council or the Ethics Commission could approve the ethics changes themselves, yet still the Council requested the two items bundled together, WITH THE INTENT TO CONFUSE. That’s the crime here, the intent. Will the Citizens of LA now be confronted with the fact that the bundling of subjects, on a voting item, is now legal? Now there’s precedent.
    Where do the Citizens go from here? The Judges don’t protect us. Do we try to change the City Charter to address this subject and maybe others that are not well defined? Or maybe the Sports Arena will give a discount on a Freeway visual electronic ad? OH, that’s right, we’re taking away from our twenty year $250 Million bed tax discount, we gave away to developers. Good job Attorneys, in writing that one. Thank God I received a 10% discount on my phone tax.
    I keep forgetting, I’m only a Plumber, not a Lawyer. Seems to me that the whole system needs a good flushing. That I could help with, I’d gladly pull the chain!

  7. Sandy Sand says:

    We’re not clueless and we recognize the power of the incumbency.
    We are also aware of the power of the people.
    When enough people speak out against what “them” want to do, there’s usually a reversal, but not always. The current incumbency including the Feds, also use the power of fear. Everything is DIRE! with DIRE consequences. Usually a big lie.
    If we give in to the ‘incumbency’ and no one ever challenges the ins, then certainly nothing will change.
    Just look to Walter Moore who’s challenging Villaraigosa. He’s raised the required amount ,$150K, to receive City matching funds, and if V. wants to get matching, funds, too, he must debate Moore.
    As Moore says, now the LA Times and Daily News will have to take him seriously and spread lies about him. Now that’s progress!

  8. Walter Moore says:

    Don’t get me wrong: Measure R was as dirty as they get. Ditto for Prop S.
    But don’t blame the Judge and the Justices for upholding the law. Blame the City Council, the City Attorney and the Mayor for putting Measure R on the ballot. Blame the L.A. Times for failing to alert voters to the sneakiness.
    Actually, forget blaming anyone. TAKE ACTION. We can REPLACE the crooked career politicians by voting them out.
    We do NOT want or need judges who disregard the law and substitute their own ideas of the “public interest.” That’s not rule of law any more. If we want to change the law, we can. If we want to replace these crooks, we can.
    But it takes ACTION, like, say, people willing to run for local office, and people willing to contribute to their campaigns. If you’re unwilling to do either, well, next time you want to blame someone, just look above the sink in your bathroom.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Well, count me in the C.L.A.P. effort.
    I hope we are getting on a few nerves ala Jimmy Hahn! T

  10. In L.A. says:

    3:17 pm said, “Who thought we would have to deal with a lack of ethics in our city – none of us.”
    Response: This council has a history that is revealed in the press (but not much in the L.A. TIMES) and on local blogs. Lack of ethics is their creed.
    3:17 pm continued, “I suppose it would be asking too much to ask the City Council to discuss how unethical they look in the present situation – getting an extra term of office when the voters had previously given their opinion on the issue – by the ruse of getting Prop R on the ballot.”
    Response: Yes, it would be asking too much. They probably wouldn’t be able to hear you now anyway with all the special interests rushing in to consult with them now that the council seats are assured for another term, securing their investments and inviting even more.
    They are politicians who live to stay in office and will hang onto their offices with a death grip- look at old Rocky Delgadillo. Is there any shame displayed by him- or even simple accountability- for his personal demonstrations of unfitness for office? Hint: He’s still there. Then let’s throw in his professional performance and you should see the time for a new City Attorney has arrived and then some.
    That environment extends to the rest of the elected and appointed officials in Los Angeles city government to varying degrees, often proportionately to their power. So 3:17, nothing is new, maybe it took this to convince you it was there. More people need to come to this realistic awareness of what this city is doing that is affecting our lives more drastically each day.

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  13. Esta Keszler says:

    Beginning to dislike this spam from writing here someones on the blogs… Your journal looks as free without… Would You like to serve me and point to all the know-how you are using when You’re fighting against the spamers? TX

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