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Selling LA: The Pitchman, The Promotion and The Profiteering

What’s happening to LA is a crimeThumbnail image for avbillboard1.jpg but don’t count on anybody go to jail. The game is fixed.

The street furniture deal is one of the scandals that goes back a few years when they let a greedy private company assault our eyes with commercial messages — Consume!  Consume! Consume! — at the ground level.

Since then we’ve seen how our city leaders have sold us out to giant flashing billboards and 15-story-high hangings that have only one purpose: Sell! Sell! Sell!

They thrive off of the pennies on the ground from the profiteers in hyper-consumerism and yet they dare call themselves environmentalists.

They are our leaders, sworn to serve us, yet they are the betrayers of all that is good for us.

They tried to get a blank check for billions of dollars in the name of solar energy and yet the people saw through their lies and refused to give them what they wanted in Measure B.

They don’t care. They are going right ahead and prepared to spend as much as it costs — $10 billion or more — and stick us with the bill.

On that scandal-tainted street furniture downtown and perhaps all acrossThumbnail image for antonio-failure.jpg the city, you can see the mayor’s answer to LA Magazine’s declaration a month ago  that Antonio Villaraigosa is a failure..

“Successful,” it declares for all eyes to see, “Thanks, Mr Mayor For Fighting Against Dirty Energy. Coal gone by 2020. Successful.”

For a man whose whole life is filled with a trail of tears over all his broken promises to be declared “successful” for promising to get rid of LA’s putrid reliance on coal-powering power plants is laughable.

One can only ask who would have the shameless audacity to put up such a sign.

The answer is something called REAP. No, not the program the city uses to punish small landlords while bearing direct responsibility through its own Housing Authority for the worst slum conditions that demean and demoralize the neediest among us.

This is the Renewable Energy Accountability Project, chair and principal Jim Gonzalez who led the campaign last November for Prop. 7 the Solar and Clean Energy Act rejected by nearly two-thirds of Californians.

Its website lists none other than S. David Freeman as Principal Emeritus. Yes, the same David Freeman who once headed the DWP when it squandered millions of dollars promoting solar energy but failed to deliver any. Yes, the same David Freeman who is now Villaraigosa’s deputy mayor for the environment, LA’s Environmental Czar.

Quite a trick having your environmental czar able to get signs put up around town on a lot of that street furniture hailing your hollow clean energy promise — a political slogan that has no cost estimates or plan associated with it — and already declare you a success 11 years before anything has been done.

All we know is that the DWP, under the leadership of the mayor’s dutiful servant David Nahai, is overpaying for as much as 30 percent to mask its long-term failure to go green and is prepared to spend whatever you’ll pay to try to catch up with all the cities in California that are so far ahead in the clean energy transition.

This is about Money! Money! Money!

It’s about who gets it and who will pay the clique of politicians, consultants, contractors, lobbyists, unions and hangers-on who will profit.

The campaign is under way and, at this point, we can only wonder who supplied the money to REAP to pay for these street furniture signs declaring the mayor so successful in delivering on his clean energy promise.

Or did they even have to pay at all.

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10 Responses to Selling LA: The Pitchman, The Promotion and The Profiteering

  1. Anonymous says:

    It was only a matter of time before that crazy old egomaniac Freeman screwed up as a deputy mayor. Maybe his Teflon coating has a crack.

  2. Anonymous says:

    You might want to take a closer look at the ‘street furniture’ ordinance that allows these monstrosities. The first phase are these triangular kiosks many of which are now being installed. The second phase has 100 pillars; larger, higher and certainly more akin to billboards. The City’s share of the advertising revenue from all these kiosks and pillars is to be divided equally among at 15 CDs, however, in the case of the pillars, the vast majority of them are to be placed in CD5.

  3. Anonymous says:

    How appropriate that the Mayor’s image appears on a “triangular kiosk” at the Civic Center subway with City Hall in the background. Now if we can get another one with DWP in the background we’ll have the symbolic link of how politicians and profiteers continue to pillage DWP and its ratepayers.

  4. Charlie says:

    The Mayor, like George W Bush, and now President Obama is mortgaging our childrens future with these self-praising actions that aren’t thought out nor analyzed.
    The real costs have NOT been revealed to the public.
    How soon we forget the California Energy supply crisis (partially caused by manipulation and deregulation). There are also new regulations in the pipeline that reduce Los Angeles and California’s existing power capacity and will make the Power/Energy crisis of the Gov. Davis administration look like a walk in the park.

  5. Kate says:

    The Deputy Mayor, David Freeman, is on the Board of REAP and then REAP places adds which in part attempt to restore the Mayor’s image. Obviously this seems very corrupt. Does this violate any laws including State and City Ethics laws?

  6. Johnny Jones says:

    Isn’t it premature to declare victory for a future event in 2020? Are the Mayor’s goals of 20% Renewables by 2010 even going to be met? What about the brownouts and promises of upgrades for the Infrastructure – Is that on track?

  7. Anonymous says:

    The mayor and his cronies don’t get it! How can a mayor allow someone to say his is “successful’ when the majority of Angelenos differ.
    The city has 1,596,165 registered voters in a city with a population of over 3.8 million.
    Here are the votes Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa, a CAREER POLITICIAN and CA House Speaker, managed to obtain from the eligible registered voters.
    Population: 3.8 million
    City Registered Voters: 1,596,165
    Villaraigosa: Votes 152,613 (9%)

  8. Anonymous says:

    12:25, What does the CA energy crisis have to do with anything? That crisis was perpetuated by out of state companies like Enron and affected mostly private utilities like Edison and PG&E. It was also financial manipulation and had nothing to do with generation capacity. And what pipeline are you talking about? The DC intertie?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Our hardworking Mayor is now vacationing in Iceland. Can his salary also be reduced by half.

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