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Measure B: Lies, Subterfuges and Obfuscations

More than 10 weeks ago, the City Council approved putting Measure B on the March 3 ballot just three weeks after it was introduced — a process that even its most ardent supporters admit was seriously flawed.

Just how flawed becomes more obvious day by day as critics uncover a complex web of lies, subterfuges and obfuscations that make a farce of the whole idea of putting such an ill-defined and unstudied proposal before voters — a measure that profoundly changes the City Charter and puts ratepayers on the hook for billions of dollars and potential liability for anything that goes wrong.

The City Hall political machine likes it just fine that way. They are tapping into millions of dollars in special interest money to sell this to the uninformed, orchestrating a campaign using the full power and staff of the DWP, intimidating opponents and squelching Neighborhood Councils from taking a position and framing the debate so that they can carry out the exact same scheme even if voters reject Measure B.

Politics doesn’t get any dirtier than that — unless the door they have opened to massive graft and corruption with this measure actually occurs.

Just last week after one Neighborhood Council after another came out against Measure B, City Hall issued an edict barring them from taking a position unless the DWP was notified at least 14 days in advance, which makes it almost impossible for them to act in a meaningful way with less than two weeks left before the absentee ballots start rolling in. (More than 60 percent of the votes in this election are expected to come from mail-in voting).

Meanwhile, the DWP is sending out staff to community groups all over the city in a coordinated effort to falsely frame the issue solely as this: Are you for or against solar energy?

And even if Measure B is defeated, DWP General Manager David Nahai made it clear last week that it’s a win-win situation since it would be a repudiation of the back room dirty deals, secrecy and haste with which this was rushed to the ballot.

Just look at the long list of changes that City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo said on Nov. 4 — just three days before it was unanimously passed by the council — had to be made to this measuresolarmeasure.pdf

Does anybody in their right mind or with an ounce of integrity actually think that council members who claim they didn’t understand what they were doing two years ago when they agreed to a deal for 900 digital billboards in the city or a $42 million cage for Billy the Elephant knew what they were doing when they voted for a measure this large and complex?

“Neighborhood Councils are all for solar, they’re not against solar,” Nahai said in respond to Dr. Dan Wiseman’s question about what would happen if Measure B loses.

“Part of the concern that is expressed is with the process…if the electorate voices an objection to the process that has been undertaken to lead to the ballot box, I think that’s one message and that would again be a vote not against solar but against the process that was involved.”

It’s noteworthy that Nahai wasn’t even listening to the esteemed doctor who is secretary of the L.A. Neighborhood Council Coalition among many other roles he has taken on make this a better city.

Of course, the Yes on B campaign dismisses Dr Wiseman and all other opponents as “fringe activists” — a McCarthyist tactic similar to the suggestion in the 1950s that anyone with a different point of view was a pinko commie. So much for the honest public discussion the council called for.

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14 Responses to Measure B: Lies, Subterfuges and Obfuscations

  1. Anonymous says:

    Ron, I think we have a poor representative in “the esteemed Dr. Wiseman” when it comes to speaking for all of our neighborhood councils, homeowner groups and so on. He’s often snide and berating to the councilmembers in public comment, calling them out for not stopping dead in their tracks to focus their eyes directly on him, says he’ll stop talking til they do and so on. Well, we may think that is generally a good way to have communication and it is, but talking down to them like that even if some like the Council President are half his age (some are near his age), hardly endears him to them. You have to show respect if you want to get it. Since zooma dogg and his sidekicks started showing up and being as openly rude as possible to see how far they can push the envelope, I notice there is much more distance of necessity between the council and people appearing before them.
    You can make fun of them all you want in blogs like this and you sure do, but doing it to their faces is just not smart politics and “the esteemed doctor” needs sharper political skills himself. I notice he wasn’t quite as rude to Nahai and the DWP commissioners, and I’d like to see him try that at a BOS meeting with Zev, Don Knabe, Molina and Mike giving them that look. Maybe we need someone with a fresher attitude, more in tune with the “positive hope and change” era we’ve entered into, at least in the minds of the general public. The condescending, combative tone of the oldtimers and the kooky gadflies is passe and just not delivering us the results we need.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I read the post and watched the video twice, then I reviewed the first comment.
    Good job, folks, you have them on the ropes.
    My take on Wiseman’s appearance before the commission was, “Thank God! There are intelligent, articulate citizens in the opposition taking the lead to defeat this terrible proposal. He’s anything but ‘fringe.’”
    Then I read the comment, which was clearly posted by someone in the cabal to get this thing passed. With all do respect to the other leaders of the anti-B forces, Wiseman is obviously their worst nightmare: he reeks of credibility and civility.
    If you haven’t already, watch to video to the very end, which I think is perhaps the most interesting couple minutes. If Nahai’s waiting to get the facts on Measure B, we’re in big trouble. He runs the bloody DWP!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I watched and read your expose item, Ron, and I agree, this is not a tea party, it is not business as usual. March 3 is right around the corner and the City Council is treating this as if we were butting in on “their” business. I beg tp differ. They are wrong. They are not
    paying attention to the people’s business which is what we pay them for. Dr. Wiseman, they do not know any better.

  4. meterman says:

    General Manager H.David Nahai at the end says wait and see what the Huron Report has to say. Easy for him to say because the report is planned to come out after the March 3rd ballot. The plan is stacked against the ratepayers.
    Today Sunday at 3:45pm I received a phone call from an IBEW union employee asking me to vote Yes on Measure B. The city unions are already busy calling voters to vote yes. I proceeded to explain my position and at the end of the conversation she said that I know more about measure B than she knows and would personally learn more before she votes yes herself. I asked how the percentage of the voters she has talked to today are voting and she said in favor of Measure B. If this is true then it underlines the ignorance of some of our city taxpayers. We must find a better way real fast to get the NO on Measure B message out to the voters.

  5. Anonymous says:

    To Anonymous 3:05 PM. Nice of you to pick on the messenger, not the message. Feel free to attend Council and DWP meetings and speak for yourself. So, what’s your message?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Maybe we need someone with a fresher attitude, more in tune with the “positive hope and change” era we’ve entered into, at least in the minds of the general public. The condescending, combative tone of the oldtimers and the kooky gadflies is passe and just not delivering us the results we need.
    I wonder who this person is that can read the one mind of the “general public.” And no, you do not want to be combative in any way, shape or form. You should be very polite as the city council opens the roll, closes the roll and tabulates the vote.
    After all, they are very dignified in their fraud and wrecklesness.
    If only a couple people were a little more polite, maybe they wouldn’t have tripled the trash collection fees, quadrupled parking meter rates, wouldn’t have added the phone and internet tax and maybe, just maybe, if they were just a little more submissive council wouldn’t have put Measure B on the ballot and all fifteen councilmembers would be in their seats listening attentively and taking swift action.

  7. spiffy says:

    I would dearly like to see the City of Los Angeles and all our other local cities STOP futzing around with elephants and get-rich-quick schemes for hallowed institutions like the DWP and start creating JOBS.
    Somehow I think the local governments have the idea that President Superman Obama is going to swoop in and save L.A. County from its 10% unemployment rate. He isn’t.
    Can there be any more proof that the city council, the county supervisors and the mayor are out of touch with the people of L.A. than this Measure B that they have cooked up for this election?
    Rome is burning. They fiddle songs for the elephant at the zoo.
    Result: one happy elephant. Citizens and their tax dollars MOVE AWAY and find jobs elsewhere.

  8. PissedOffLady says:

    Daily News, Sunday Jan. 25, Opinionated Section, their version of a Sunday opinion section.
    “Sun can offer L.A. a World of benefit” by Dave Freeman, who’s joined at the hip to Tony V. who appointed him to the Harbor Commission.
    A fluff piece that oozes with such sugary words in favor of Measure B, you could get diabetes just from reading it.
    http://www.dailynews.com/opinionated/ci_11546684
    Here’s one line from the piece:
    “Measure B, on the March 3 ballot is a splendid example of how to put thousands of Angelenos to work…”
    * * * * *
    The only people who will get work are already working. They’re the people in China who are making the solar panels for slave wages, and DWP union employees.
    There were no bids for the panels, nor were there any bids for who is to install them. Making the matter worse is a council that didn’t bother to read the measure or investigate it before voting to put it on the ballot.
    As bad as Measure R and the phony phone tax were, this is worse.
    One can only wonder whose payroll Freeman is on. The Chinese government? The DWP? Or both?

  9. David in Tarzan says:

    I think Dr. Wiseman is an excellent voice for the Measure B group. Screw the city council. They are a bunch of crooks. They need to be treated as such. Why would Dr. Wiseman even need to address the BOS on this? It’s DWP/LA city council issue. If you are not spinning for DWP or the mayor, then I feel sorry for your naive point of view.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Good Job Dr. Wisemman! Thank you and everyone who is taking the time and effort to fight for the rights of our citizens. We need more people like you.
    There is nothing more maddening than to take the time to trek to public hearings downtown, only to be treated with indifference. During most City of L.A. meetings, the councilmembers are either out of their seats talking with each other, or out roaming around the floor, particulary during public comment. We even have councilmembers sleeping during their hearings.
    If they want respect, they need to respect their constituents and pay attention to their issues during public comments. Come to think of it they do the same to each other when they are not interested in a colleques presentation or motion. Yet, when it comes time to vote, their name appears on the screen. How do they do that?!
    Burbank and Glendale City Council and Committee meetings are an excellent example on how we deserve to treated. I recommend that everyone attend one of their meetings and then demand the same respect from the City of L.A.

  11. XRumerTest says:

    Hello. And Bye.

  12. XRumerTest says:

    Hello. And Bye.

  13. Ovevioutton says:

    Todd Cowle Municipal Bond Credit Report synthesizes, analyzes and presents aggregate credit information and trends in the municipal bond market. The report includes municipal bond rating information from the three major rating agencies – Moody’s Investor Services, Standard and Poor’s and Fitch Ratings.

  14. grerryCanione says:

    Todd Cowle Municipal Bond Credit Report synthesizes, analyzes and presents aggregate credit information and trends in the municipal bond market. The report includes municipal bond rating information from the three major rating agencies – Moody’s Investor Services, Standard and Poor’s and Fitch Ratings.

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