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100 Days to Change L.A. — The Jack Weiss Story

March 3 City Primary

100  Days and Counting

You got to feel for poor Jack Weiss. He gave up an undistinguished career as a government lawyer and somehow beat the famous carpetbagger ex-radical Tom Hayden in a race for the City Council.

And barely a week after being sworn into 656456456.jpgpublic office as one of the lucky 15 highest paid city council members in all of America, he admitted he didn’t really know why he was there, saying, “Ron, I have to tell you how happy I am just to be sitting around the horseshoe.”

Trouble was he often found himself not sitting around the horseshoe when city business was being and chalked up what must be a record for missed votes. To his credit, he hasn’t just skipped out on controversial votes that might upset his constituents, he missed hundreds of routine and insignificant ones as well.

Given the advantage of incumbency — the odds of unseating a sitting member are something like 50 to 1 — he easily won re-election four years ago.

But he was smart. He jumped aboard Antonio Villaraigosa’s bandwagon early on and curried favor that now has him the front-runner to become the City Attorney with a handsome campaign warchest of more than $1.5 million donated by the many friends of City Hall politics.

Of course, his constituents took a shot at recalling him from office for his many failures to serve them or look after their interests and it’s likely that voters in Fifth District on the Westside and Sherman Oaks would make him the 1 in 50 if he tried to seek a third term in office.

The reasons for constituency discontent are many: Neglect of his duties, staff arrogance, developer interests ahead of neighborhood interests.

Right now, they’re furious.over Weiss’ plan to raid $250,000 from their street furniture fund to pay for DNA rape testing kits. This is money that’s supposed to go for neighborhood improvements to compensate for the annoyance of all that advertising but Weiss desperately needs the money to cover up the fact that he hasn’t been able to get city funds for something this important despite years of trying.

Still, you got to give hm credit. Weiss is right about this issue and some others and probably should make that his campaign slogan: Weiss Is Right.

Weiss is the only council member to stand up to the billboard companies and their dirty deal with the city that let’s put up 1,000 digital monstrosities all over town and he’s stood alone week after week holding hearings to get money for DNA testing of rape samples.

Trouble is Weiss doesn’t get anything done even when he’s right. He’s got no clout with his colleagues and even his sucking up the mayor doesn’t help.

So his well-qualified challengers Carmen Trutanich and Michael Amerian might come up with the slogan: Jack Can’t Hack It .

Still, nothing is going to stop Weiss from pursuing his ambition. He took his campaign on the road Wednesday for his annual visit with his constituents in the San Fernando Valley.

Here’s a report on evening with the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association by Ellen Vukovich, a writer and leader of SOHA:

“My City Council Member, Jack Weiss, made his yearly visit to the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association.  Anticipating a briefing on all things Sherman Oaks from our Council Member, the large room was filled with interested community members and various candidates running for city offices.

“Weiss opened with a quick stump speech subtly reminding us that he is running for City Attorney.

“Figuring this was just the warm-up, I was stunned when Weiss then asked for questions.  Why didn’t he have more to say? 

“Then my “a ha” moment came.  Weiss couldn’t say more because he realized the level of hostility in the room was so high there was no point in continuing.  Now, the audience wasn’t shouting, heckling or booing. They communicated by nodding their heads in disagreement, by crossing their arms at their chests, and by looking over to others with a look in their eyes that said: “Is this guy kidding or what?”

“And the funny thing is no matter what he had to say in response to the questions (and some of it was okay), the people were conveying the same message.  “You represent a failed local government and we no longer believe what you say.”

“Today, I have chatted with a few fellow activists about last night’s interesting meeting, Turns out we think this meeting really wasn’t about Jack Weiss. It was about sitting in a room with a bunch of people who are clearly tired of business as usual downtown and let their feelings be known to their elected official.

“I must confess this has stirred a dormant hope.  Dare I believe that people will hold on to that anger and vote out all incumbents in March’s city election?

“Clearly, we have work ahead by spreading the word and making sure our friends, neighbors  understand what’s at stake next March – the City Attorney, Controller and eight City Council seats. eight makes a quorum in City Council. And with eight new Council Members we will have hope again in Los Angeles, not just in Washington D.C.”

Personally, I love Ellen’s enthusiasm and we do need hope. We need to change L.A. I don’t honestly know if we can win eight seats on the council.

But I do know if we let Antonio’s political machine control the offices of Mayor, City Attorney and Controller and the City Council we might as well turn out the lights and start packing.

Vote for Change. Just Say No to Antonio’s political machine on March 3.

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13 Responses to 100 Days to Change L.A. — The Jack Weiss Story

  1. In Eagle Rock says:

    Weiss isn’t my CM in CD-14-Jose is. Wow, big improvement, huh?
    Well, Weiss seems to continue his quest knowing that the majority of voters don’t appear to do much more than read a few campaign brochures sent in the last week before election day and add that to the t.v. ads to size up the situation.
    Since those sources are examples of the best quality of deception that money can buy, having a big war chest is a scale-tipper. People in the know HAVE to show up at the polls, and button-hole their friends and neighbors with FACTS in black and white- and they may come out with justice on their side, for a change.
    Weiss has so many negatives, with associating with Tony being the most repulsive one, and really having no personality or charisma. City Attorney- fool me once (Rocky D.), fool me twice? (Jack Weiss?). Aside from that too little, too late rape kit backlog budget fiasco, there’s nothing he’s known for, other than gaining disfavor of his constituents as their CM.
    Weiss conveniently ducked out on the Jamiel’s Law protest a few months ago to go with Tony V. to Westwood where they dedicated the city “first diagonal crosswalk” – and this was a priority over dealing with a number of persons from city wide sources, not just his own CD-5; He was Chair of the Public Safety Committee, supposedly a leadership role to play. Apparently he tried to play it safe and make himself scarce that day, caring not one bit about snubbing the public.
    Oh, and that “diagonal crosswalk” revolutionary idea they tried to showcase was applied years ago in Old Town Pasadena to alleviate foot and auto traffic congestion. New? A little driving would have given that “innovative” idea to them a couple of mayors ago. Was that a City pride thing they had to do with making it look brand new? I know Tony had to be there; you couldn’t pry him away from a camera lens with a crow bar. (What did you say, “A perfumed hankie might do it,”?)
    One thing the City Council members appear to have is a denial of their own shortcomings and an ability to reject any feelings of shame or obligation to their constituents.
    You know that with Tony as Jack’s campaign manager, Jack has that brazen role model to follow as a guide in not throwing in the towel. No matter how evil or devoid of merit, not to mention truth, everything has been that Tony has done, it still is treated by him as just a minor glitch. So what does Jack know? It’s worked for Tony, so far- sell yourself, get some campaign money and hope enough of the P.T. Barnum observation rings true for you: “There’s a sucker born every minute.”
    But here, it’s not so much “born” as it is “captured” by the campaign glitz. Informed voters staying home don’t matter quite as much as a couple or more “believers in false gods” hitting the polling place; if it happens with enough frequency, you have a win. A dirty win, but look who’s getting it.
    Truth and justice always will be the underdog in any L.A. city election.

  2. Walter Moore says:

    If you want a City Attorney who will wipe out the gangs, support David Berger. I do. His website is
    We don’t have to settle for Weiss or Trutanich. We can get a real “gang buster” in office.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’ve already started packing. I’ve bought a ranch. I’m moving to Oregon.

  4. Anonymous says:

    A few of the many “cut and paste” reporters in LA say that Raigo “likely will lay off workers and reduce or eliminate services outright in an emergency series of midyear budget cuts, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Friday.”
    … and I’ve got land on the Moon for sale.
    Yes, he’ll likely cut City services. No, he won’t lay off any City workers, his babies.
    Take that to the bank (ie. Citibank)

  5. Anonymous says:

    Negatives, negatives, negatives. I am so impressed with your story and Ellen V’s summary of the SHNC. The hole in the LACity Dike is getting larger and larger as people are beginning to realize that this is OUR CITY AND WE DON’T HAVE TO TAKE IT ANYMORE. 99 DAYS. Plenty of time to make enough difference that the old ways will no longer be acceptable to the men and women who have made their homes here.
    Each area has its own special needs and now we are all lumped together as “those people”.
    We deserve better. Remember, the Lord helps those who help themselves. Do not stay home, vote! And vote NO when there is no opposition.
    The tally will show the NO votes as well as the yes vites, That figure will encourage us. We will not be defeated – we want change.
    And let us do this for all of us. TH

  6. Anonymous says:

    Let’s not forget Antonio 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. During this time, former Mayor James Hahn had the decency to come before the City Council asking for a ballot measure to be brought forth for more police. Chief William Bratton also supported Hahn. Councilmember Villaraigosa voted against such a measure not once, but three times. After Antonio Villaraigosa was sworn in as Mayor on July 1, 2005, Villaraigosa took it upon himself to increase the trash fees for more police.
    City Controller Review of Trash Fee Revenues

  7. Anonymous says:


  8. anon says:

    I remember you Ron Kaye also jumped on the Antonio bandwagon in 2005. A little hypocritical now…

  9. Bill Holland says:

    I have a cute “poster” that Ron would enjoy.
    Where can I send it to?

  10. Kristin Sabo says:

    6:24, these election things are not just outright selections, but choices between A & B. Usually the lesser of two evils. I also picked Tony V over James H, and I still would. Doesn’t stop me from slamming our Mayor when deserved, like right now.
    What the hell, I’ll admit it publicly – I actually voted for Edwin Edwards for gov once! (look him up.) I needed a shower afterward, it was so disgusting and sordid. But the alternative was, believe it or not, >>> David Duke.

  11. In Eagle Rock says:

    In Ron’s defense, or maybe more accurately, an “explanation,” of support for Antonio in 2005, I offer this- The true version of Antonio was just making itself visible at that time. Tony had just reneged on his “serving a full-term” promise to CD-14 constituents in order to try a second shot against Hahn. Tony was the winner of that race, and it was just the beginning of our woes, as a city, becoming the actual loser there, vastly more so than Jim Hahn.
    The “new and improved” character of Antonio was just beginning to emerge. The milestone was reached when the true-Antonio banner was unfurled during the May 1, 2006 protests supporting illegal immigration, with his unequivocal declaration of, “We clean your toilets.”
    Before that time, when Tony was in the Assembly, he still maintained his liberal leanings, typical of Democrats who were finding it helped their upward mobility. The L.A. Mayor’s race in June 2001 was between James Hahn and a Pre-”We Clean Your Toilets” Villaraigosa. He still appeared to be a liberal of an ethnic background more so than the self-centered political figure overcome with his own ego and separatist agenda that later became clear.
    I DID support him very completely myself UNTIL he ran for the CD-14 seat, when things began to smell. My support before that time for Tony, as a fellow Latino, (and ironically, as a person I knew years ago personally) was not BECAUSE he was Latino, but because he promised representation to ALL of our residents. I was impressed that he appeared to follow that theme for the FIRST campaign. That theme and my support soon ended.
    It turns out that Tony developed this obsession with doing away with enforcement of laws applicable to illegal aliens and illegal immigration, and putting our citizens’ needs, AND rights, in a subordinate position to his chosen minions.
    There should be a distinction made between changing one’s mind and doing a flip-flop. The first case would reflect a re-assessment based on changed circumstances, which certainly is what we have here between 2005 and 2008. A flip-flop on positions applies more aptly to cases where circumstances may be unchanged while external forces have been applied to cause the position-change, like bribes, sheer confusion in judgment, threats of harm or something of that sort which leaves the underlying facts pretty much as the were at the time that the initial opinion was made.
    Here, Ron’s changed his mind. Changing one’s mind is a rationale act. Clinging tenaciously to a proven catastrophe is not. If people here still support Tony V., given his actual track record since 2005- when the thoughts and doubts about Tony in 2005 WERE just suspicions- then what’s operating on you externally? Job security, financial payoffs, a new job with the campaign’s travel agent?
    I change that old thought, “Everyone thought he was a fool until he spoke- and then he proved it,” to “People were suspicious of Tony having a counter-culture agenda for the City, until he began making speeches- and then he proved it.”
    Tony-aligned politicians in the LAUSD School Board, principally Monica Garcia, to the City Council, as well as State Assembly figures, all of them- need to be given an extra measure of scrutiny in their actions, since they, like Tony, will follow paths and implement actions to cause further crumbling of our social and financial structure.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Latino Pols Stump for Clinton in New Hampshire
    January 7, 2007
    Paco G. Paz –EFE
    To help stop the momentum Obama has built up following his victory last week in the Iowa caucuses, Villaraigosa has stumped associations, churches and businesses to try and raise awareness among the tiny immigrant population of the need to vote in the primaries.
    “In California as in New Hampshire and in other states, Hillary Clinton is very well known. She’s known to have the strength and leadership to be president of this country,” Villaraigosa told Efe.
    “My message is clear. If you’re not going to vote, no one can respect you. You should also go vote for those who can’t because they’re illegals,” he said.

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