For months now the people behind Antonio Villaraigosa — men like Ari Swiller and Keith Brackpool who have huge investments in water and power development companies — have been raising millions in campaign funds for the mayor and the political machine he heads.
They are part of the inner circle of strategists and operatives who see themselves on the brink of controlling every city office, every city department, every aspect of the political machinery of power in Los Angeles — Mayor Villaraigosa, City Attorney Jack Weiss, Controller Wendy Greuel and an obedient City Council and bureaucracy..
And are drooling at the prospect of looting the city treasury, the sales taxes targeted for transportation projects and the Department of Water and Power with all its billions of dollars in ratepayer money
They have shed themselves of obstacles like Nick Patsaouras, the head of the DWP Commission who got so fed up with what he saw he decided to run for City Controller to be the watchdog on the public’s money. And Jane Usher, the head of the Planning Commission who tried to stop billboard blight and densification without a plan or the infrastructure to support more people without making the nation’s worst traffic congession worse and running out of water and power without massive new investments funded by even higher rates and taxes. Even MTA head Roger Snoble has seen enough of this and is moving on.
All that’s left in the way of the dictatorship of special interests is you the people. And most of you act like it’s somebody else problem so you don’t have to pay attention, as if you can.trust your elected leaders and the civic leadership to look after their interests and the well-being of the city as a whole.
But there are thousands of ordinary citizens who volunteered their time and energy for years for no other reaason than a sense of public service and they are under attack, their very right to speak out against the government at stake.
The petition filed in Superior Court by the lawyer for the mayor, a
majority of the City Council, the Democratic Party establishment and
union leaders seeks to intimidate the community’s right to even have a
voice by sticking them with huge court and attorney fees — their own
and the power structure’s — over a couple of words in dispute in a
The plaintiff against the people is Barack
Obama’s California campaign manager, lobbyist Mitchell Schwartz who has
no hesitation working for environmental causes good and bad, or
corporations that want a piece of the City Hall pie.
like City Hall isn’t already almost completely under the control of
special interests. It has been for a long time but not like this, not
without even the pretense of public interest, or public debate.
council is so docile its votes are almost always unanimous and they
admit over and over they pay little attention to the details of even
major issues like whether the exorbitant trash fee hikes they impose
actually go for hiring more cops or whether $42 million should be spend
for an elephant exhibit at the zoo or whether they can afford
sweetheart union contracts or blighting the city with digital
When the mayor and the powerful DWP union boss Brian
D’Arcy say jump aboard an ill-conceived and unplanned solar energy
scheme, they snap to attention — not questions asked, no curiousity
about how a plan that comes out of the IBEW at the last-minute without
study, without going through neighborhood councils or the DWP
commission. jump aboard.
Even when when they are showed a list
of things wrong with it, they take no notice or in the case of Council
President Eric Garcetti conceal it from the public and fail to read the
26-page report documenting why it’s a terrible plan, a report prepared
for the DWP by the consulting firm that has looked over all its
operations for many months and found them wanting.
does not have the managerial skill to put in a solar energy
installation program that nearly doubles the U.S. electricity
production from the sun. The solar plan is “extremely risky” and likely
to require sharply higher electricity rates and fall far short of its
goals. That’s what the consultant reported among many other problems.
himself admits that rather than being a $3.6 billion boost to the
sagging L.A. economy, most of the money will go to China because that’s
only place we can buy all those solar panels.
In fact, the
claims made by the mayor and those supporting this measure are far more
false and misleading than anything opponents have proposed for the
ballot. Of course, you would have to know the facts which for the most
part are still secret know only to the insiders.
This will not
clean the air and save lives. This will not make a significant boost to
the economy. It will not achieve the goal it has set for solar energy
– in fact, it’s the DWP that has prevented L.A. from embracing solar
technology for a decade. And importing solar panels from China and
giving their ownership and maintenance to the DWP and all the jobs
created to the highly paid DWP union will not put L.A. on the map as a
solar technology research, development and manufacturing center for
It’s all lies. It’s all a ripoff for narrow special
interests. It’s all about getting absolute control over this city and
getting rich doing it, and if it destroys the city, tough luck.