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Gadflies vs. LA: Dowd and Zuma Dogg Beat the City in Federal Court

You can laugh all you want at Matt Dowd and Zuma Dogg, otherwise known as David Saltsburg.

You can look down your nose at them. You can let them get under your skin and be annoyed by them.

But for the second time in recent years — with Dowd as their lawyer — they outsmarted all the lawyers and politicians in City Hall and won a federal court case against the City of Los Angeles.

On Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Dean Pregerson ruled that two key elements of the city’s oft-rewritten ordinance intended to crack down on the vendors and street performers at Venice Beach is unconstitutional on their face (Venice Beach.rtf).

A couple of years ago, Dowd won a $500,000 judgment against the city on behalf of himself and Michael Hunt over similar issues involving the city’s efforts to control the antics that make Venice Beach what it is.

It was this case that prompted Zuma Dogg and Dowd to become regulars in Public Comment at City Council meetings. The city keeps stalling on the humiliating act of paying them the money by appealing the case although a more recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in a Seattle case has weakened the city’s claims.

The core issue then, as now, was freedom of speech, the First Amendment.

Pregerson ruled in this new case that he will issue an injunction against the city’s ban on the use of amplified sound speakers on the Venice Boardwalk and on the permitting system used by the city to limit the number of vendors and performers and contain them to about one-third of the Boardwalk.

“The Court concludes that the permit requirement is likely to violate the First Amendment and that, as a result, Plaintiffs are entitled to a preliminary injunction enjoining the permit requirement. The Court therefore need not address Plaintiffs’ alternative argument, that the permitting scheme grants unbridled discretion to licensing officials,” Pregerson wrote in his detailed 27-page opinion.
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“Because Plaintiffs are likely to succeed on their claim that the amplified sound ban is facially overbroad (and because, as mentioned earlier, the balance of hardships and the public interest weigh in favor of enjoining regulations that violate the First Amendment), the Court GRANTS Plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction …”

The judge did agree to the city’s request to dismiss the claim the entire vending ordinance is unconstitutional on the narrow grounds that Dowd and Zuma Dogg did not have standing.

He also ducked ruling on their challenge to the Council’s broad Rule 12 that has been used to cut of public comment and expel and ban Dowd and Zuma Dogg.

“The Court expresses no opinion on the merits of those claims,” the judge said.


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68 Responses to Gadflies vs. LA: Dowd and Zuma Dogg Beat the City in Federal Court

  1. stzlyee says:

    All of the folks over at Venice Beach are very, very thankful for this ruling and for the two men who brought this lawsuit.
    The City has been making rules up on the Gad”fly” snubbing all things their pompous asses DON’T LIKE.
    Here’s another one: A Motion by LaBonge and Hahn to prevent auto owners from posting 4-SALE signs in their AUTOMOBILES. Another first amendment rights violation; but I digress,
    Thank you Zumadogg and Matt Dowd, for your patients and courage.
    We’re not done with LA CITY HALL: LAHD and CRA Hello! And WE have the support of ALL CONSTITUENTS.
    WE ARE GOING TO GET RID OF SO MANY LA CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS. ((I HOPE))

  2. Anonymous says:

    They are the biggest losers in the city. Everyone makes fun of them because they behave like a bunch of weirdos who grew up in a cave. They don’t believe in hygeine, beg for money all the time and speak like they were raised in a cave. It doesn’t matter whether they won a lawsuit against the city. They are not respected nor do they have friends. Everyone I know speaks negatively about these clowns who because of their wanting fame and fortune have ruined public comment for many at city council. What woman in their right mind would want to waste a minute with them? I take that back even Richard Ramirez Nightstalker got girls.

  3. Scott Zwartz says:

    The 1st Amendment does not require a person to have a haircut. Zuma Dogg and Matt Dowd are holding a mirror up to City Council. If the councilmembers do not like what they see in the mirror, too bad. ni modo, goniffs mugrosos
    Suppose someone had stopped Tricky Dicky at the beginning. Garcetti is being groomed by the Dems just the way the GOP groomed Pete Wilson in San Diego.

  4. Bob says:

    TO: October 22, 2010 11:28 AM
    I guess you live in an Orwellian World. Zumma Dogg and Matt Dowd are WINNERS – That’s what they call it when you win a case, especially in LA County when they tend to side with the government.
    Re-read the story. They don’t just talk the talk, they are men of action.
    As a side note, this is the first time I heard that Matt Dowd was his own lawyer. That is beyond any imaginable win.

  5. Bob says:

    From the article:
    “The city keeps stalling on the humiliating act of paying them the money by appealing the case although a more recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in a Seattle case has weakened the city’s claims.”
    My Comment:
    But they are willing to give away millions to welathy developers.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I have more respect for Zuma Dogg & Matt Dowd than any of the elected scumbags in City Hall.

  7. Sandy Sand says:

    Eye blight/sound blight. Remind me to never go to Venice Beach.
    Amplified sound at the beach is as annoying and slumming-up of the city as billboards. Both are a blight.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Ron, Thanks again! Matt and I are STOKED we made it to the BIG TIME mover & shakers blog on this issue. (What a nightmare it’s been.)

  9. Anonymous says:

    1:01=ZD. By the way…RON, WHAT??? Are people really laughing, looking down their nose and being annoyed by us? (That’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said! THANKS. ZD.)

  10. Bob says:

    To Sandy Sand,
    Their is a big difference between load sound and billboards especially in the political corruption.
    And the issue related to this goes beyond load sounds at the beach, it is also about preferential treatment for some (favoritism) that happens all the time in LA.
    If you are connected, have big finanicial resources, the City Commissions and City Council members will rubber stamp your items – Pay to play.
    That is why it is very refreshing to see this ruling in light of Zuma Dogg and Matt Dowd representing themselves.
    I for one will celebrate this.

  11. Walter Moore says:

    Venice Beach — where I used to live, by the way — could and should be the most valuable real estate in the City. It is RIGHT BY THE OCEAN. Instead, it’s a post-apocalyptic dump, where hoboes poop and pee in the alleys. Now, “thanks” to these two, even a modest attempt to control amplified noise will not be enforced.
    Combine this with the “settlement” between the City and the ACLU allowing camping on sidewalks, and this city is just a giant wilderness, where crazy feral people wander around, living like animals in bus shelters, under subways, in alleys and, of course, on some of the most spectacular beach front property in the world.
    This is what happens when over a million registered voters, who show up for national elections, pay no attention to mere “local politics.”

  12. Anonymous says:

    Walter, where you USED to live…have you been there lately? To say post-apocalyptic dump…pee in alleys is why so many people are repelled and driven away by you. Because that is way over-the-top. And it is not “thanks” to those two. But “thanks” to the city for failing to put together a reasonable ordinance for the past decade. Sorry you weren’t litigating.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I don’t see the problem. This is the Venice Boardwalk. Other than one senior covering his ears, most passerby’s didn’t seemed bothered: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCKLCj4_NxQ

  14. Anonymous says:

    Yeah. I noticed that wacky lady who just had to stop and stand right there. So she had to cover her ears. Too bad she was shackled to that spot and had to stand there suffering.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Good for Zuma Dogg/ Dowd!!!
    They won against the city and against Trutanich, who used the Zdogg to campaign while using him as an attack dogg to get out his venomous “message” as he did David Berger. But because ZDogg is uneducated he had no standing to get the job promised by nuch so he did ThiS. Unfortunately it’s us the taxpayers who are left holding the bag for the expenses. Backstabbing pays in politics, or does it? Ask ZDogg on his blog.

  16. Walter Moore says:

    Yes, by all means, the woman who goes to the beach and does NOT want to hear some asshole with an amplifier is the real villan. She should just move along, because everyone knows the sound of the waves crashing, or seagulls is unimportant. Instead, we need more crazy people not just yelling, but yelling with megaphones and amplifiers because, after all, they need attention, and if no one else can have a normal conversation in a normal voice, well that’s just too bad, because the noise terrorists are the only people who get to be heard, whether you want to hear them or not.
    You know, this is such a very wonderful thing, let’s buy a bunch of those megaphones — the ones with built-in amplifier — and give one to every homeless person in the city. Let’s encourage them to go everywhere, begging for money, and always to use their megaphones when they do.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Oh my goodness Walter. You are truly revealing your nature. You are not even rational. That part where the lady is covering her ears is like standing in the middle of Times Square. That’s not the birds and waves part. But there a bigger story here on what I am seeing about you. You are a bitter, bitter, hostile, angry, man who’s objectivity is clouded by it all. Quite frankly sir, you are King of All Wackos. Take off that suit.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Walter,
    The homeless people aren’t asking to use a megaphone everywhere. Only on the beach walk at Venice as it has been for quite some time. And of course the way the United States designed it or the city would have been able to keep enforcing it. If you don’t like it, leave the city.

  19. Anonymous says:

    The more I read Walter’s rant, I think he’s pulling an Andy Kaufman thing. Does he realize we are talking about the Venice beach boardwalk? Does he realize it’s the State’s biggest tourist attraction besides Disneyland? Do you think all the people flocking to this single narrow strip are coming for the mean old Walter Moore vision? Whether Walter Moore is just going for negative attention like Andy Kaufman or not…it’s been comically entertaining. And at that, you are a genius.

  20. Walter Mitty says:

    but yelling with megaphones and amplifiers because, after all, they need attention, and if no one else can have a normal conversation in a normal voice, well that’s just too bad, because the noise terrorists are the only people who get to be heard, whether you want to hear them or not.
    And Here’s what I’m saying about that, look at City Council, its not about Walter the pussy who use to live at Venice.
    Its about sticking up for Artist. The rights to express, not repress. Looks like City Hall picked a list of ordinances to make money by supressing freedom of speech. I for one want to hear Walter too, but come on its NOT about him after all is it.
    The question is: Whats next. Write the ordinance zumadogg and Dowd. Write it for City of LA since they can’t without violating basic human decency.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I agree with Walter. You guys have no idea what a slum Venice Beach has become. Tourists from all over the world visit and all they see is a bunch of homeless people, gangsters hanging out, too many vendors fighting for spaces. Residents on the backside complain about the noise from those loud speakers and the mess with parking and breaking into their cars by criminals. Its not the once vibrant boardwalk it use to be. It has more then 7 marijuana shops, solitictations of illegal goods, conterfeit and piracy dvds’ and is basically a haven for illegal activity. The clowns of Zuma and Dowd now will only make it easier for gangsters who fight with the other vendors to go there and sell their CD’s and start more fights like they did with the characters in Hollywood. Zuma and Dowd are morons who need a class in cleanieness, style and speech. They think they’re rock stars now. They are hostile and threatening to a lot of people who don’t agree with their stance and act like a bunch of crybabies in city council when they don’t get their way. What grown adult men behave like this? NONE

  22. Adult Men says:

    Matt dowd is a rock star and zumadogg is whitney houston.
    http://youtu.be/xCKLCj4_NxQ

  23. Walter Moore says:

    Nor is this an important First Amendment issue. It’s not as though any purpose is served by letting any idiot with an amplifier assault the eardrum of hapless pedestrians.
    This is at most an issue of MAYBE poor drafting by City attorneys.The Supreme Court has long upheld reasonable restrictions on time, place and matter of speech. Perhaps the City ordinance needs to just have an objective limit on decibels.
    How sad that we actually have to have a law for this at all. Good manners, basic civility, self-respect and common sense would in the past have prevented people from amplified obnoxiousness. Now we have to have a law. Too bad, because the talent and resources spent dealing with “look at me, look at me” morons could be spent instead on something productive.

  24. Walter Moore says:

    Nor is this an important First Amendment issue. It’s not as though any purpose is served by letting any idiot with an amplifier assault the eardrums of hapless pedestrians.
    This is at most an issue of MAYBE poor drafting by City attorneys.The Supreme Court has long upheld reasonable restrictions on time, place and matter of speech. Perhaps the City ordinance needs to just have an objective limit on decibels.
    How sad that we actually have to have a law for this at all. Good manners, basic civility, self-respect and common sense would in the past have prevented people from amplified obnoxiousness. Now we have to have a law. Too bad, because the talent and resources spent dealing with “look at me, look at me” morons could be spent instead on something productive.

  25. Crybaby says:

    Walter point well understood and zumadogg understands his role in the entire process. I love Tom Jones more than Whitney Houston, but in the Nick of Time Lord Behold, what stands before me Two Wise Men. The Jews did not accept Jesus. Jesus took the whip to the money changers and the Jews kick Jesus out. Lord Behold the Kingdom is Comming.
    To stand before the MIC in city hall, to say with a degree of Certainty, In the beginning HE spoke with kind warm, common value sentiment and asked Politely, may I please have my right to access my way of living. Do you take this away form me lord? Lord, but I am a servant. What is you’re name, Is it David? Tell Us you name You mean they Dont have to tell us their Names.
    Name, ID please. Stay on topic. stay in-line. Next please. Stop, Screatch. To some degree, Zumadogg, is on topic. The topic is transparency and accountability. If you give out money, give it out to people you don’t know and to all that you dont know. Don’t bad mouth City Hall, then when ZD wins fair and square You cry like a bitch.

  26. Walter Moore says:

    So Zuma is Jesus? I don’t get it.
    And you do understand that it is not City Council Members who pick up the tab for these lawsuits, right? They’re not the ones paying lawyers to draft, litigate, re-draft, and re-litigate these ordinances. We taxpayers are. This crap doesn’t hurt the City Council.
    Litigation like this just eats up money that could be spent on, for example, librarians so kids could have a decent place to hang out after school. Take THAT, children and librarians — that will teach YOU to try to cut down on noise pollution.
    I’ve read the opinion, and the good point in it is that the City ordinance limited amplifiers only from selected spots. Meanwhile, stores and cafes could blast away — which they did when I lived there. It does little good to ban noise on one side of the boardwalk if you don’t ban it on the other. The City should go with a straightforward decibel “speed limit,” and, say, a $500 fine.
    Man, that, plus the bongo drums. . . crazy. But I still loved living there. You could walk to the beach early in the morning, and often you’d see dolphins — dolphins! — jumping out of the water as they swam along the coast. It was cool.

  27. Jesus says:

    zumadogg starting to look like… its crazy the bongos at Night on Hot venice beach. Of the entire Coast of California Venice is … Love it or Leave It.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Walter, better shut up before every reader of this blog realizes what many of the rest of us knew about you years ago. You have really outdone yourself on this one.

  29. Anonymous says:

    A federal judge finds that l.a. was violating free speech…the most basic u.s. right and here is what mr. walter moore says. “It’s not as though any purpose is served by letting any idiot with an amplifier assault the eardrums of hapless pedestrians.” So i guess that means no free speech in america anymore in the world according to walter moore. nice. I guess we need to throw out the constitution because walter is jealous he didn’t win this one himself. for once walter is in favor of letting the city break the law. a federal law. wonder what is up with walter?

  30. Anonymous says:

    Is Walter Moore part of the L.A. Clean Sweep movement? And if so, to what degree.

  31. James McCuen says:

    So are we all focusing on attacking the “little guy.” Just look at the praise and glory given to wealthy developers. Or even celebrities paid homage by the star-struck City Council.
    There are many things important about Zuma Dogg and Matt Dowd. When they challenged Richard Alaron last Friday, they were shut down by Dennis Zine.
    I think Dowd and Dogg were on topic last Friday and Paul Koretz was off topic when he discussed public speaking.
    I will give Walter Moore the benefit of the doubt and say that he supports Zuma Dogg and Matt Dowd when Dennis Zine, Paul Koretz, and Tom La Bonge tried to shut them down on Oct 15, 2010.
    Mr. Moore, let me know if my assumption about you is correct.

  32. Anonymous says:

    As an attorney myself, I think Walter Moore is off the deep end on this issue.

  33. Walter Moore says:

    I’m not familiar with what happened Friday, but based on past experience I would always side with Zuma Dogg and Matt Dowd against the City Council.
    THAT is where ZD has done some real good. THAT is where he should, in my opinion, focus his public speaking ability and brain-power. Going after those crooks in the Spring Street Gang, instead of some hapless pedestrians, can produce some positive results for the City. In particular, his unorthodox style can get the media attention necessary to get some coverage on important issues. The media ignore people who just show up in work clothes and speak normally.
    And, come on, ONE MINUTE of public comment? THAT, to me, is an important free speech, First Amendment, right to petition issue. What good is one’s right to freedom of speech and to petition the government if your government gives you only get ONE MINUTE to address decisions regarding millions — in some cases billions — of dollars, and millions of lives?
    I gather one commenter thinks all First Amendment issues are created equal. In my opinion, they are not. A reasonable, if somewhat clumsy attempt to curb noise pollution at the beach is one thing. But when the government limits public comment to ONE MINUTE, at a public HEARING, the ostensible purpose of which is to gather important information on important decisions, well THAT is some serious s-h-i-t. THAT’s your first amendment issue, in my bitter opinion! : )

  34. Anonymous says:

    Who really cares what Walter Moore says? I don’t get it? He appears to be a megalomaniac from these comments.

  35. James McCuen says:

    By the way, if you don’t know what happened last Friday, Oct. 15, just scroll down and read about it on Ron Kaye’s blog. Also you can checkout the streaming coverage of this on Kevin James – He discussed it on two segments of his show.
    The First Amendment really should protect unpopular speech. I see this at both the City Council and at Neighborhood Councils. They want to shut down someone they don’t like.
    In terms of loudness, that is one of the rules of decorum at City Council. About one year ago, I remember a lady discussing animal rights issues. She was much louder than Zuma Dogg, but she wasn’t interrupted because her issue was popular and she was a personal “friend of Bill” (Rosendahl that is).
    It’s almost like a popularity contest. Of course as you well know, that is precisely where the First Amendment should kick in. Even Zuma Dogg and Matt Dowd are unpopular, that is irrelevent.
    Also as we lead up to the March 2011 “Clean Sweep” election, we need to be especially vigilent about any attempt to silence criticism of Council members. That is what I am focused on.
    I believe one of the rules of decorum is that you can’t say a Council members name. That is ridiculous.
    I think the even-numbered Districts are concerned. And we also have an issue with Political speech being protected.
    So I am focused on these issues.
    And to the extent that Dowd and Dogg bring these issues to the public, I thank them. And I don’t have an issue with amplified sound when you look at the bigger picture in Venice.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Walter,
    Sorry you don’t like homeless people doing what people do at Venice Beach.
    What if wanted to show up to notify the wave of masses that passes through to vote NO on Measure B, or something?
    How would you like it if you had to pay money for a permit fist, then go on Tuesday morning to put your name in a lottery (if you want to speak on the weekend), of which you are not assured a spot in the oversold/under-spaced system. So you have to pay money, give the City of L.A. your name, show up on Tuesday, for a space you may not get if you want to say, “No on Measure B” on Saturday.
    And it is all illegal according to the Government. I hope you run for office again, so I can vote for you. You seem to be stable and a fair and impartial evaluator. Making a lot of sense, these days.

  37. Decorum says:

    I’m not worried about any attempt to silence the criticism of City Council. Naturally, if Roberto Aldape or Richard Alarcon are being bullies and doing it their way, well as an American I have the right to put two and two together and have it called like an UMPIRE calling the YANKEE game.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Walter, the problem with the city’s amplification policy was that after selling unlimited number of permits to public speakers and performers, they banned amps all along the boardwalk except for one small patch of spaces. They are all next to each other. So you have a small area for all the people with amps to set up. Kind of doesn’t work. Since you can’t have five people next to each other playing amps. And maybe it would all be fine. But unfortunatley, our founding forefathers seems to disagree with you on this one. It is a problem with the system that it has to be a little bit wider than we would all like, in order to protect the rights of all. I guess we can’t shut down 99 people because one person doesn’t like it.

  39. Take Issue says:

    Who cares about Venice. People focus. We don’t trust each other. We always think Night and Day something negative 24-7.
    Walter shut the fuck up. See, thats my first admendment right (amp it up) to hurt your feelings.
    I’ll turn it down to a level I can peice to 30 feet and I’ll bring my decible reader and the ticket is .25 cents per decible over a normal range if Peeps move forward to listen to the Show.
    We don’t charge more than gasoline or the oil industry. What do people look like on Venice Beach? Rich motherfuckers like … like, do you know anyone?

  40. shay-butter says:

    When you make such an ordinance, keep in mind everyone and all rights. Under the Constitution you much protect,the Oath to Protect.
    LA has this habit, a disease to Squash the meek; or at least try and the meek have the right to fight back.
    This time the big guy didn’t win. The people won JUST like on November 2 the Dems must grow their body for the People.

  41. Bob G says:

    Well, at the risk of agreeing with Walter, I would point out that the government is allowed to place reasonable limits on time, place, and manner of public communication. This means, for example, that members of the public and students can walk onto the campus of any University of California and engage in political speech, without censorship by the administration as to the political content. The authorities can limit the ability to use electronic amplification, as this would interfere with the normal operations of teaching in the surrounding classrooms. It would obviously be reasonable to prohibit use of amplification in the area surrounding the sleep apnea lab at the medical campus, or next to the hospital. Governments can place restrictions on selling things, either in stores or in public. I think that was one of ZD’s original issues.
    The City Council can enact rules on the use of electronic amplification in Venice too. They just can’t use the rules to discriminate against one form of communication over another. I suspect that they can pass a rule that restricts how shops use music or voice to lure customers — they can put restrictions on the sound volume and the distance that the sound carries. I suspect that the city council can also make a distinction between shops and the boardwalk, and between the boardwalk and the sand, and create different limits for each. This is, after all, just a micro version of the sorts of land use decisions we argue over in neighborhood councils. The only difference is that in the neighborhood councils, we usually take the side of limits rather than unlimited exploitation of the public space.
    There is a practical issue that the city of Los Angeles has not dealt with. It is true that holding a public hearing on some important issue should provide for those with something to say to have a chance to say it. And one minute is hardly adequate most of the time. At the same time, a city of 4 million people includes a lot of gadflies who are more fly than gad. It is not reasonable to argue that the city council as a whole should have to listen to hundreds of people at 3 minutes apiece on every issue. The way around this is to have committee meetings which involve the public hearings. The problem with this is that the committees often meet an hour before the city council meets, they limit the total time available for speakers, and they limit speaking time to 3 minutes. Expanding the way public hearings are held, so that there are at least a couple of hearings, that one is held in the evening to allow people with a day job to participate, and increasing the allowed time to speak, would improve the situation.
    Of course a better approach would be to revamp city government into some sort of borough system, so that no single city council member can have near-dictatorial powers over his/her district. That’s how the smaller cities around LA County operate — they usually have a city council of 5 members, and it requires a quorum to act on any matter.
    Let me repeat what I typed earlier. The City Council exists to administer and oversee the operations of the city. It is required to pass budgets and to pass spending appropriations, and it is empowered to ratify mayoral appointments and to pass laws regarding things like parking meter fines, zoning changes, ballot measures, and a myriad of other things. The Brown Act was passed almost 2 centuries after the founding of the city of Los Angeles, and it was never meant to require that the city council function as a public debating chamber. It simply requires that public comment be allowed, under reasonable restrictions which may include a time limit on the total as well as individual time limits. This can be frustrating when Tom Labonge gets to give a lengthy speech and I don’t get to comment at all at a committee hearing, which happened one time when the subject of location filming was a hot topic.
    City Council members are not required to be superhuman, and they have an all too human frustration when somebody signs up to speak on every single item on the agenda. If the idea is to help ZD to expose scandals, the way to do so is to follow up using journalistic methods — collect the facts and put them into a cogent message. That’s why the internet and blogs like this one are starting to be a powerful force in local politics. I notice, for example, that the CRA action in Hollywood has been held back by the writings of Jack Humphreville and Ron Kaye. If it dies in the city council, this will be a significant victory. If it passes, the message should be kept alive. I would suggest that some reporter take a tape recorder and attempt to interview each and every city council member regarding their intent to vote yes or no on this issue. Perhaps the OurLA group could do this.
    Then print out that list, including the as-yet-on-the-fence members, and make it a big public issue. Force the council members to make a choice — either take a position or run away from taking a public position. The idea is to raise the level of political discomfort. I suspect that this will cause the item to go away.

  42. Anonymous says:

    the way to do so is to follow up using journalistic methods…
    So public comment on tv isn’t a medium to be used? Do you KNOW the difference in audience reach between journalistic methods, that for ZD is a blog, as compared to television. No wonder you are frustrated with your results. Politeness and decorum while they hand the general fund off to themselves, relative, cronies. Good strategy. Stick with it!

  43. Anonymous says:

    Time to talk a stroll down Venice Beach Ocean Front Walk…FOUR AND A HALF YEARS IN THE MAKING: The, “You’re Welcome, America,” walk on Venice…Saturday, October 23, 2010. Free speech activists who have been there since the 70′s & 80′s quite pleased the paid permit lottery witch is dead. Uncle MC “Whitney” Big ZD of the 424!
    Ron, thanks again for the awareness raising and some interesting points in the comment section.
    And sorry to disappoint Walter, again. DEMING RULES! 14 PTS, FOREVER!

  44. the-end says:

    Did Matt Dowd keep it in line?
    The End: zuma matt
    http://t.co/lhrCXyE via @youtube

  45. Anonymous says:

    “Combine this with the “settlement” between the City and the ACLU allowing camping on sidewalks, and this city is just a giant wilderness, where crazy feral people wander around, living like animals in bus shelters, under subways, in alleys and, of course, on some of the most spectacular beach front property in the world.
    This is what happens when over a million registered voters, who show up for national elections, pay no attention to mere “local politics.”
    Walter, what does this have to do with elections. If 50,000 more voted, what difference would it make to the socio-economic conditions in the city. Unless you are implying that all councilmembers elected would be like you; racist and white, and all non-whites, the homeless and other undesirables based on your criteria could be dumped into the ocean so you could have unobstructed views of the blue waters and seagulls in the blue sky. They can be noisy too, so you could shoot them next.

  46. In Eagle Rock says:

    I have to give ZD and Matt a lot of credit. The City Council members- some more than others- DO try to manipulate the public comment impact.
    Sympathetic speakers get the enforcement of time limits eased but critical speakers who hit home on the corruption and special interest issues get flak. And LaBonge shouldn’t make outlandish statements when he’s up for re-election, but then Tom’s not getting the UCLA Legislator of the Year Award for nothing; Ed Reyes got that award last year.
    Dennis Zine’s simply a bully and it’s irritating to see his handling of conflicts with speakers. The City Atty, Dion O’Connel?, seems to be there for window dressing with any opinions not suiting the council members simply ignored.
    If the City Council can’t put together an ordinance that passes muster on constitutional issues, that seems like it’s rightfully the city as the villain, not the plaintiffs, Dowd and ZD.
    Walter Moore, I thought, was simply uncharismatic and annoyed his detractors, but nevertheless was still a smart guy. But now he seems to be showing a vastly more dark side that he’s been holding back from the public. Not good.
    AND he’s not been around L.A. Clean Sweep meetings for way before the candidate forum. So whoever (city staffer?) is trying to tarnish Clean Sweep by associating it with Walter’s actions is just showing some wishful bad thinking.

  47. Anonymous says:

    “Walter Moore, I thought, was simply uncharismatic and annoyed his detractors, but nevertheless was still a smart guy. But now he seems to be showing a vastly more dark side that he’s been holding back from the public. Not good.”
    I second that motion.

  48. Anonymous says:

    Please grow up and stop attacking Walter. Everyone agrees about our 1st ammendment rights and Freedom of Speech. The problem is because of Zuma Dogg and Matt Dowd they’ve ruined it for so many others at public comment in city council. Public Comment was always 2 mins. but as soon as the crazy, insane antics of the immature Matt and Zuma show started public comment was cut to 1 mins. When council sees them in chambers the people who are there to speak out on issues sometimes have to wait for hours because Garcetti or whoever push it back to the end of the meeting. When you have idiots talking to Channel 35 and saying stupid things like, “To all our fans on Channel 35 etc” that’s bullshit, immature, insecure crap and shows they are more in it for themselves then for the people. Ask the residents in Venice if THEY THINK what Zuma and Matt did was good for their community. They will say NO. Zuma and Matt have no self respect going around begging for money instead of getting a job and pretending they are celebrities. Meetings I attend the dialogue is they are clowns. If they are as great as they think they are where are the huge numbers of their followers? They have none.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Mary, what took you so long to comment?

  50. Anonymous says:

    She already did on October 22, 2010 11:37 PM.

  51. Anonymous says:

    8:28 am- You really are yourself attacking Zuma Dogg and Matt Dowd as you defend Moore.
    You miss seeing what you point out in your comment, that the whole public comment 2min/1min changes and “general” public comment is shifted around because of ZD and Matt.
    If what you say is correct on the ability of the CMs, led by Garcetti, to change things to affect public speakers, THAT is an example in itself of how CMs abuse the public. It should not happen regardless of WHO is coming to speak.
    The CMs are slugs and need people like ZD and Dowd to put things in their face so they can’t deny them anymore. Before all this commotion from ZD appearing at City Hall, the whole business in chambers went on in a closed environment but now attention has been drawn their, exposing the reality of the corruption and waste really going on for years.
    THAT alone is a tangible change that’s happened at city hall that can be attributable to ZD and Dowd. Of course, these 15 CM mini-dictators, the mayor and the others running around in the background don’t like it. Too bad, they brought it on themselves.

  52. Anonymous says:

    “Zuma and Matt have no self respect going around begging for money instead of getting a job and pretending they are celebrities”.
    8:28 a.m., the real beggars in this city wear expensive suits, live in multi-million dollar mansions and represent organizations such as AEG, CIM, Broad and the like. The robbers/enablers of looting the public treasury and making the beggars even richer have fancy titles such as Mayor, Councilmembers and Supervisors. Their unethical puppets are the Department Managers like Chris Essel and LoGrande and Commissioners who give professional legitimacy to this corrupt process that ruins everyone’s quality of life.
    What we are celebrating is that two unknown individuals with little means and no support had the guts and tenacity to fight the city and win. Instead, of whining about your two minutes being cut to one, learn something from these two and show some courage and backbone to fight for your rights & sue the city, if necessary, for those rights.

  53. Anonymous says:

    Zuma and Matt win isn’t necessarily good for the overall residents who live in the Venice area and beach. Emails are flying saying because of their suit the Venice Boardwalk is going back to the chaos and violence before they sued. At least it was controlled and there was order. Now, everyone will be fighting for spots and even Matt said his friend at one time was stabbed because of the chaos. Its always the people who don’t live in the area like Zuma and Matt who are clueless what its really like in that area because they go for a couple of hours, cause havoc and take video of everyone and everything and then sue acting as if they did all of us a favor. NOT!!! I’m sure there will be a lot of community meetings from the residents pissed off the vendors will infiltrate again now.

  54. Anonymous says:

    446 PM, where do I begin?
    Matt said his friend at one time was stabbed because of the chaos.
    - That is when the city reduced the number of performer spaces and this injunction overturns that, so the performers may be dispersed throughout the entire boardwalk, instead of limited to a few spaces, next to each other, making it impossible for more than one performer to perform at the same time. Regarding sound limits, disturbing the peace is still disturbing the peace. This just allows them to spread out. AND IT’S THE U.S. CONSTITUTION you need to take issue with if you have any further complaints on the issue.
    “Its always the people who don’t live in the area like Zuma and Matt who are clueless what its really like in that area because they go for a couple of hours.
    - Now, I KNOW you are just throwing stuff out there. Matt and Zuma both live in Venice. Both live less than a block from the boarwalk. And neither rarely leave Venice, except to go to city hall.
    AND, you should blame the city for any other complaints, because had they followed the FEDERAL JUDGES ORDERS over these past several years and put together a SOMEWHAT reasonable ordinance, the performers would have lost in court and the city would have been able to keep something in order.
    You must understand, the city, as usual, had to reach so far — and be so shady — A FEDERAL JUDGE ACTUALLY PLACED AN INJUNCTION. He didn’t even wait for the ruling in whole.
    TALK TO THE CITY ATTORNEY’S OFFICE. THEY ARE THE ONES WHO CRAFTED THE ORDINANCE IN THE FACE OF ALL WARNINGS FROM THE VENICE PERFORMERS THAT IT WOULD BE THROWN OUT. It was…easily!

  55. Hats off to Zuma Dogg (David Saltsburg) and Matt Dowd for having the personal fortitude and conviction to continue their ongoing struggle to defend all of our personal liberties within the City of Los Angeles. It would be easy to dismiss some of Zuma and Matt’s antics as “disruptive” as taken in part, as we all have our good and bad days. However, it is clear that the efforts of these two brave souls, their ongoing day-after-day-after-month-after-year appearances at LA City Hall exercising their God-given, US Constitution protected First Amendment rights cannot simply be chalked up to self-interest, not a one-off publicity stunt. These guys are in for the long haul and in it for all of our GREATER GOOD.
    The dedication of these two men, to stand up in the middle of duly elected officials and tell them the honest truth, raw and as un “PC” as it comes, takes courage most of us will never be able to muster our entire lives, and for that, shame on us!
    If you believe Zuma and Matt can be making their respective cases in a better “manner”, a different tact or tone of voice, by all means please “ATTEND AND PARTICIPATE IN PUBLIC COMMENT”. Show us all how it us done. Only don’t just go for that, go to do what they do: Stand for what is right no matter what the consequences.
    I do believe that it is the genius of Zuma and Matt to make these comments that make all of us want to march down to City Hall and make our own comments, Zuma and Matt DARING ALL OF US TO TOP THEIR COMMENTS, STAND UP FOR OURSELVES SO THAT THEY DON’T HAVE TO ANYMORE! And I believe that everyone commenting on this story, including yours truly, owe it to themselves, owe it to our home of City of Los Angeles, and our rights as a US citizen under our Constitution and First Amendment, to take this story and our activism to the next level and make our voices heard at as many public comments as we are able to.
    Don’t like Zuma and Matt and their style? They dare you to meet them at City Hall for public comment and express yourself.
    Better yet, they DOUBLE-DOGG dare you!
    The microphone is yours…

  56. Anonymous says:

    Thanks, 10/24 3:41 & 10/24 7:20PM. Common down to City Hall! The councilmembers always like to hear from their constituents.

  57. Nancy says:

    Sit down You’re done for the Day.Zine is going to send you home next week. Guranteed.
    Zumadogg go Home to your blog. Call them everyname in the book. Face to face Zuma is a
    a punk ass bitch.
    At least Matt has common sense to back away from Zumadogg, just in the nick of time when zuma start with the name calling and blasing you’re name over the internet; Careful ZD you may not like it When You get money How the law suits shall fly, and you’ll have your’re money taken away for SLANDER, Matt stay clear of this ass clown. Don’t defend him. Not on a Zig zag match book.
    What happen to ZD? He use to look like a Man, but today, now he looks like a crackhead. Look in the mirror ZD. The man in the mirror is shallow. #shithead

  58. Anonymous says:

    What a coincidence that now that Zuma Dogg is attacking Trutanich for using him to do his dirty work during the election at public comment, now that Zuma’s calling him out for reneging on his solemn vow to him made when he needed him. Sound familiar about Trutanich?
    Ask Laura Chick and the silly duped dopers he got to raise money for him and get out the vote, for a start. Like Zuma’s finally admitting, he was used by the campaign in public and on his blog, while Zine and the others sat there and took it all in, even seemed to relish the embarrassment of Weiss who unlike them faced a very activist district. Which CD5 has always been, unique in the city.
    All of a sudden public comment is shut down to one minute. The stuff he’s saying is nowhere near as nasty as what he said before when Rocky was City Attorney and Trutanich and company used him to say vile and slanderous things about Weiss – in fact, Zine participated in a featured video that Zuma made.
    NOW Zine’s shutting Zuma and Dowd down because they’re aiming at Trutanich. Who won’t stop ligigating against them even though every time he loses in court, the fees mount. AS with Chick’s lawyer and the far more important right to audit by the City Controller issue, Trutanich went back on his word for them and then went for their blood after using them to campaign. Even though the cost to us taxpayers is unjustified. It’s ego, “I’m going to win no matter what, no matter how long, no matter what it takes.”
    For his efforts at being nasty and behaving in a manner unworthy of any public official, Zine is allegedly the “annointed” successor to Greuel as Controller should she run for Mayor. (Where’s Garcetti in that bargain?) He doesn’t need Zuma and Dowd calling out the losing streak of his BFF Carmen the Clown or how Zine himself has tossed Zuma into the trash after using him. Suddenly “realizing” Zuma is too uneducated and uncouth to hire – like, they didn’t see that at first glance, and it’s not why they used him? Hypocrites is just a nice word for them.

  59. Anonymous says:

    ZD doesn’t look like a crackhead, he looks like a poor man’s Ali G

  60. Anonymous says:

    To Nancy on October 25, 2010 12:12 AM,
    As a reader commented earlier, Zuma Dogg is a mirror for the lack of leadership in the Council Chambers and for the voters who re-elect them.
    And to you who are wasting your time in the minutiae of attacking the little guy while millions are being given away to wealthy developers.
    Zuma sometimes quotes W. Edwards Deming and in that spirit you need to focus your time most effectively and efficently on the “big stuff.” Don’t sweat the small stuff.

  61. Anonymous says:

    People like Nancy are the problem in this city, not ZD. Nancy, make sure you kiss all the CM’s feet next time you are in CH, and give us an update on your accomplishments through them.

  62. Anonymous says:

    It’s not Nancy…it’s Mary.

  63. Anonymous says:

    Mary is also Oct. 25th 8:47 a.m.

  64. Anonymous says:

    5:30pm…no, that’s not Mary. I know that.

  65. BSR says:

    This is a great story and the video is priceless. I particularly like when Zuma Dawg calls out that one shop owner and promises to be singing AC/DC at her storefront. I would give my left arm to have an opportunity to address a court in that manner. (Does LA allow the press to film inside the court rooms?)

  66. SOV says:

    FYI -
    1) It’s true that this is Dowd’s 2nd lawsuit against the City but in the 1st lawsuit (2006) he and Michael Hunt were represented by a good attorney, Steven Rhode. The case is still pending in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and a ruling is expected sometime in November. However, in this current case Dowd is representing himself and others.
    BTW – technically he’s not allowed to rep. others and if it was ever discovered or proven that he is doing so – the case would be thrown out. Only qualified attorneys are allowed to represent other people in the courts.
    2) This is Zuma Dogg’s 1st lawsuit because Hunt and Dowd did not include him in their 2006 suit, much to his disappointment.
    3) The only reason there was a large settlement (under appeal) In the 2006 Hunt & Dowd v. City of L.A. suit was because Hunt got himself arrested 24 or more times by LAPD. The jury decided on the sum after Hunt convinced them that he had suffered extreme mental/emotional stress. It was not for violation of his First Amendment rights. In fact, Judge Pregerson asserted, in that case, that both Hunt and Dowd’s activities in the Free Speech Zone on Venice Boardwalk were NOT protected by the First Amendment. It was the jury that had the final say on the Damages aspect of the case which landed them a princely sum. The 9th Circuit could overturn this decision but we shall have to wait and see.

  67. I’d be inclined to allow with you on this. Which is not something I typically do! I really like reading a post that will make people think. Also, thanks for allowing me to speak my mind!

  68. WH says:

    MERCEDES MARQUEZ+ROBERTO ALDAPE=CORRUPTION

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