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Laundering Broidy’s Dirty Money, Looking for Political Cover

There is an elegance to a completely corrupt political system that anyone with an artistic sensibility has to admire.

The case in point is disgraced LA venture capitalist Elliott Broidy and the nearly $1 million he used to buy influence and access so he could get his hands on hundreds of millions of dollars in public pension fund money.

That’s quite a return on his investment, something made easier by Broidy’s own role as an appointee of both Mayors Hahn and Villaraigosa to the Fire and Police Pension Fund board where he could influence decisions directly.

While Villaraigosa is busy in Copenhagen with his entourage of pals and bodyguards cleaning up the global environment, his staff back home was busy doing damage control by announcing he was giving the $2,000 Broidy gave him to an unspecified charity.

So are a lot of other politicians, none of whom, you can sure, had a clue about what Broidy or any of the others like him were up as they spread around political contributions and used the access they got in return to enrich themselves — roughly a 1,000 % return, showing just how cheap a buy the pols are, the WalMart’s of political corruption.

Not that any of them could possibly have known what was going on. That would make them criminals just like Broidy who is singing to prosecutors as loudly as he can to reduce or even avoid the four-year sentence he faces for outright bribery.

Like Villaraigosa, most of the others identified by the LA Times as recipients of Broidy money have found generosity in their hearts appropriate to this season of giving.

Here’s the list: Insurance Commissioner and GOP gubernatorial hopeful Steve Poizner,  $22,000 to Toys for the Troops’ Kids, $12,000 back to Broidy and his wife; Board of Equalization member Michelle Steel, $6,000 to charity; Attorney General candidate Rocky Delgadillo, the former LA City Attorney, $3,000 to charity; Assemblyman Van Tran (R-Garden Grove) $1,800 to charity.

There was no comment from state Republican Party ($79,000), state Sen. Tony Strickland
(R-Thousand Oaks) and Assemblywoman Audra Strickland (R-Thousand Oaks) ($8,500 combined) and LA City Attorney
Carmen Trutanich ($2,000).

 ”Because there is that level of impropriety with that donor, it’s important we not spend that money on the campaign,” said Steel spokesman Tim Clark.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ($86,000) and Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles) ($3,200) were more sanguine, saying the money was already spent.

It’s clear Broidy, a billionaire and finance chairman of the Republican National Committee in 2008, displayed no partisanship when it came to buying favors from politicians.

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who has spearheaded the pension fund scandal investigation, laid out in detail how Broidy bribed officials and manipulated the system to win $250 million in investments for his firm, Markstone Capital.

What isn’t clear is how Broidy got investments from CalPERS or the Fire and Police fund or whether authorities in LA or California are actually doing much to find out. All the action so far has come from Cuomo and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Politicians in California have to be really stupid to actually violate the laws they have written on public corruption which require a confession or at least a recording that shows they were directly giving favors for cash.

Perhaps Broidy or the others who have pleaded guilty will shed some light on what went on.

But don’t hold your breath. Attorney General Jerry Brown and District Attorney Steve Cooley have done nothing but acknowledge they are “reviewing” developments in the unfolding scandal.

That leaves it to the Feds. So the question is just how far will the Obama Administration go to find out the truth about what is largely a Democratic scandal in New York, New Mexico and California.

Don’t hold your breath. What usually happens is they find some fall guys in the private sector and close the case against public officials because of insufficient evidence.

The evidence of mismanagement of public employee pension funds is quite sufficient.

As Jack Humphreville reports on City Watch LA, the Fire and Police Fund — the one Broidy was part of — has seen its unfunded liability triple to $5.9 billion.

That will require up to 80 cents in pension payments by taxpayers for every dollar of payroll. The same is true of the two other city pension funds and CalPERS as well.

The politicians have given sweetheart deals to public employees that are not affordable. They took campaign contributions from the investment industry in exchange for investments of huge sums of public pension fund money.

That’s a crime that must be prosecuted if we are to restore public trust in our government.

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16 Responses to Laundering Broidy’s Dirty Money, Looking for Political Cover

  1. Anonymous says:

    Elliott Broidy, Board Director of Los Angeles Police Foundation, should persuade all directors to donate 2 or 4 million to cover the costs incurred for the Michael Jackson’s funeral service in July 7, 2009.
    Council File 09-2616
    A donation in the amount of $900,000 from the Los Angeles Police Foundation to help cover costs incurred for the Los Angeles Lakers Celebration Parade in June 23, 2009.
    Council File 09-2566

  2. Anonymous says:

    How did Broidy get connected to Hahn and Villaraigosa? They are both pay to play Mayors. Who was paid off? Maybe this finally brings down the Mayor and his merry band of thieves.

  3. Anonymous says:

    For something dubious on a smaller scale: what are the Ethics filings of this Political ActionLA Committee which appears in Google ads on THIS page as elsewhere – touting “zuma dogg” endorses Christine Essel, and as here, Trutanich/Berger/Kevin James doing the same? And now that Trutanich has joined Delgadillo as a Broidy beneficiary, if there’s any justice for Shallman, master of “dirt” as even Daily News has realized in its editorial (while the Times ludicrously attacks Krekorian as too inexperienced vs. the one who never held office!) he gets hit with screaming “Corruption! Corruption!” charges should he run for anything else, like for DA as his benefactor Cooley had in mind for him all along.
    Shallman having tried the same thing against Krekorian because it worked so well several times before, has now been exposed all over – you can only do the same thing so many times before people wake up, even in these sadly low participation elections.
    As of 2 days ago, the Daily News reported almost 10,000 absentee ballots had been returned of 28,000 requested. So the race is probably already decided. John Thomas was on Kevin James a night or two ago and predicted it could be as close as 200 votes, because if the polls had been decisive one way or the other, that side would have released the figures. Essel’s team is making the usual last-minute Shallman push. No time for complacency now!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Villaraigosa is his own critic, “Let’s be clear about one thing: HONESTY and ETHICS in city government start at the top. They start with the mayor. The mayor sets the tone at City Hall trough his own conduct.”
    Noam N. Levey. Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, Calif.: Jul 25, 2005.
    Three and a half weeks into his administration, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has started to put his stamp on City Hall by shaking up the citizen boards and commissions that oversee much of what the city of Los Angeles does.
    The unique system Villaraigosa presides over was designed to take the politics out of city government. But more recently, it has come to symbolize a City Hall beset by corruption and insider influence.
    Villaraigosa’s victory over former Mayor James K. Hahn came amid allegations that several Hahn commissioners had improperly mixed city business with political fundraising.
    The new mayor has indicated he wants to set a different standard, announcing within days of taking office that his commissioners would have to sign ethics pledges. But several political observers say Villaraigosa could do even more to rejuvenate the ailing commission system. Among their suggestions:
    * Appoint commissioners who bring more expertise to their roles overseeing major city functions, including the airports, the municipal utility and the port.
    * End the practice of rewarding political supporters with seats on the most powerful boards and commissions.
    * Allow boards and commissions to work as independent oversight bodies, rather than as extensions of the mayor’s administration.
    That was the vision that drove good-government reformers who campaigned to create citizen commissions nearly a century ago.
    Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa’s Executive Directive 1 “Ethics in Government”

  5. Anonymous says:

    “Don’t hold your breath. What usually happens is they find some fall guys in the private sector and close the case against public officials because of insufficient evidence”.
    I hope you are wrong this time Ron. I may just throw in the towel, and not even bother again, if there are no indictments of our local politicians. People in private sector have only one God-money and greed, but we expect higher standards from the public sector. Broidy is of interest only in his relationship to the politicians. The giver of bribes is as harmful to society as the takers. Returning the ill-gotten wealth is not enough. It does not absolve them. Only when some of them go to jail, will they start checking the source of the money they accept left and right.

  6. Not Broidy says:

    Anonymous at 5:02PM bloviates: And now that Trutanich has joined Delgadillo as a Broidy beneficiary …“.
    If you try to paint Trutanich some dirty color because of who donated to his campaign, lets look at the whole record of donations by Broidy in the 2009 Municipal election:
    City Attorney:
    Jack Weiss $2,000
    Carmen Trutanich $1,500 ($2,000 donated, $500 returned on 5/19/2009)
    Antonio Villaraigosa $1,000
    Wendy Greuel $1,000
    City Council:
    CD3 Dennis Zine $500
    CD5 Robert Schwartz $500
    CD5 Robyn Ritter Simon $500
    CD5 Adeena Bleich $500
    CD13 Eric Garcetti $500
    Broidy liked to hedge his bets.

  7. Anonymous says:

    “If you try to paint Trutanich some dirty color because of who donated to his campaign…” That’s the entire Trutanich/ Shallman MO in a nutshell.
    Trying that with Essel this time backfired coming on top of all the nonsense about misogyny and anti-semitism (that only riled up the Jewish community against them) as a phony self-victimizing ploy, while grandstanding that she’ll “demand ethics” by insisting the candidate is obligated out of pocket even if the Ethics Commission deems otherwise. This is a cheap ploy that only works when someone new to politics runs against an incumbent, ANY incumbent, because as soon as anyone runs for anything, it’s almost impossible to never get one questionable donation from someone somewhere, sometime – no one culls a CIA dossier on every small donation.
    This cheapens the meaning of the word “corruption” and “ethics reform” becomes another meaningless soundbite. And if you hurl out those charges with so much noise they’re flying back at ya bigtime, hypocrisy only works once.
    And how are they paying his mouthpiece “homeless impoverished hit me up on Pay Pal so I can buy a sandwich” Zdogg, to advertise with them for Essel for that political action committee paid for by — ???? Any connection between this, Zdogg’s lawsuit against the city and Trutanich’s office and his getting a free place to stay all of a sudden? With Zdogg having been so upset that Nuch promised him a job then telling him he was too coarse to be seen with, and now he and Nuch and Zine and Berger being all lovey-dovey…kinda makes you wonder. But just for a minute – there are bigger issues to worry about,
    and in a matter of hours we’ll know who won, can put this ENDLESS election behind us.
    Like our gang problems and our budget crisis, attention to which is being hijacked by his confusing vigilantism and unfounded criminal threats for populist appeal with a legal foundation for his demands on AEG, and guaranteeing lawsuits in his one-sided “advice” to the City Council on the medical cannabis issue. (For the record, I’d be fine with all of them shut down IF it didn’t put the trade back into the hands of the cartel and guarantee lawsuits due to his twisting of the law to suit Cooley’s partisan purposes.)
    I genuinely hope that whoever wins, will be sobered by the depths of nastiness of this campaign, the “dirt” being slung mostly by Essel’s Shallman team as the Daily News and others have noted. Neither of them seem are bad people at heart, and I hope that win or lose, will vow to put all this behind and remember the job of uniting the city.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Amazing, 8:22 p.m. that wherever you look, all you see is Trutanich. What a weird obsession. You are seriously paranoid and in need of medical help.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully Krekorian will win and teach the thugs Greuel, Shallman and D`Arcy, there are still decent people living in LA, who will not tolerate deception and corruption.

  10. Anonymous says:

    So far with the absentees all counted, it’s 58-42 Krekorian, so it’s Greuel + Trutanich + Zine + Berger + Rosendahl + PPL + IBEW + Hahn + Perry + LA Times + Riordan + Kevin James + ? = so far Sunken VeSSel. Definite losers: the rank & file cops, again. Son of Measure B. Riordan and cronies. Shallman + Nasty campaigning. Wendy Greuel and her holdover staff.

  11. Anonymous says:

    If Greuel is smart, and I doubt it, she should stay as Controller. Otherwise she`ll end up at her old job, as a lobbyist for Dreamworks.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Riordan/Greuel/Antonio/D`Arcy got trounced. What an embarrassement. No, humiliation is more accurate description

  13. Anonymous says:

    Whatever side you were on you have to admit it’s something: the three top city officials, the Mayor (I hear crashing blue china in Copenhagen), controller and city attorney plus the L A Times and a ton of money from the Police Political League, D’Arcy, most of the Council and together, their combined weight only managed to sink the Ve$$el.

  14. Anonymous says:

    10:45 you pointedly omit the City Attorney Carmen Trutanich who endorsed Essel strongly and early and she vowed to support him, while Antonio didn’t or stayed in the background. Trutanich in his one and only big endorsement and Greuel together, the kiss of Death.

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