The word leaking out of City Hall is that poor Jack Weiss has awakened from his long smug slumber and is having a panic attack at the very real possibility of finishing out of the money in the City Attorney’s race.
Nobody inside the leaky City Hall political machine actually likes or respects Jackie Boy — except maybe Chief Bratton who enjoys sending him out for coffee and other errands — so the news that Carmen “Nuch” Trutanich and Michael Amerian might make the May runoff and not Jack is getting more laughs than tears.
Tears are, however, being shed over the prospects that Measure B — the ultimate pay-to-play money machine — will fail.
Let me repeat that a little louder: MEASURE B IS NOW A TOSSUP, TOO CLOSE TO CALL, 50-50!
That’s right, your vote on Tuesday could change the whole political dynamic in LA, send City Hall the message that the people are fed up with failure and self-service and will no longer tolerate a government of, by and for special interests.
Make no mistake: Clean energy and green jobs is something that has support from everyone — something that everyone has wanted for a decade or longer. But Measure B is on the verge of being rejected by a majority of voters on Tuesday because it is so bad, because it doesn’t do anything to create clean energy or green jobs as it claims. Because we want clean government, too.
Millions of dollars being spent to con the public are being beaten by a grassroots citizens campaign that has nothing but the truth on its side and the energy of hundreds of community activists who care about the future of LA when all their elected officials care about is themselves and the special interests that keep them in office as the nation’s highest paid municipal officials in America.
Virtually everyone who has listened to both sides of the Measure B debate or read what both sides of the debate have to say have come to the same conclusion: Measure B is a fraud.
That’s the conclusion reached by the LA TImes, Daily News and the Breeze; by labor organizations like the Carpenters Union and Laborers Union; business groups like the LA Chamber, Apartment Owners association, United Chambers of the Valley, VICA, by every homeowner and resident group and Neighborhood Council and NC coalition that put it to a vote, which is most of them.
There’s a lot reasons why Controller Laura Chick says Measure B “stinks.”
It’s a boondoggle that was put together in back room deals. Critical information was kept secret from the City Council and the public. It was ramrodded through the council in three weeks without any meaningful debate, without ever being brought before Neighborhood Councils or the DWP Commission as required by the City Charter. The DWP management has done no analysis, planning or studies of its feasibility, costs or financing.
As if those are not enough reasons to vote against Measure B, try this: It’s a Charter Amendment that undermines every safeguard against graft and waste with the exception of annual unfunded audits by the City Controller and oversight by a hand-picked commission appointed by the mayor and council who can’t wait to get their hands on the billions of dollars in public money Measure B would authorize.
The trouble with that oversight is if Wendy Greuel beats NIck Patsaouras for City Controller, the watchdog will be a lapdog. Greuel is an author of Measure B and if she wins she will owe her election to the IBEW, the union that represents 95 percent of DWP workers, and has lavished a fortune on her campaign.
But as the special interests who are funding the Yes campaign like to argue: Solar power is an idea whose time has come. Actually, it’s long past that time but who’s quibbling.
So D’Arcy’s play is to get a DWP monopoly on the $3.6 billion Measure B so only his union gets the jobs and to have a shot at getting any other jobs that might flow out of the other solar programs the DWP has suddenly slapped together to try to get this passed.
We can do so much better than Measure B.
Environmentalists, the solar industry, experts in technology and finance, the DWP, the public and others could sit down on March 4 and develop a plan that gets us clean energy faster and cheaper than Measure B and actually brings solar manufacturing and research facilities to our region.
The choice is clear. The outcome depends on who shows up to vote. There’s no excuses in this election. You can put Jack Weiss on the scrap heap of the city’s political history. You can trash Measure B and join the rest of the world by joining the clean energy movement. You can even keep Wendy Greuel in her place on the City Council and put someone into the Controller’s office who will carry on the tradition of Laura Chick.