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.