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Real L.A. News from the Virtual World

Gov. Brown Hangs Tough on CRAs After Meeting Antonio, Other Big City Mayors

Citing a poll showing two-thirds of voters back him, Gov. Jerry Brown
had this to say after hearing how the mayors can’t live without their
redevelopment slush funds:

“The hallways are going to be crowded in the coming months with people
who say, ‘Please keep the money coming.’ And my message is, ‘The money
is not there.’”

“My hunch is that redevelopment is a somewhat mysterious process to the
average voter. If you’re saying you’re going to close the
county hospital or lay off firefighters or you’re going to eliminate
something called redevelopment, I think more people are going to say, ‘I
think we can do without redevelopment. We can’t do without public
safety or schoolteachers.’ “

“The defenders of redevelopment have a hard sell.”

“An economist would be hard-pressed to show me that continuing
redevelopment and laying off the equivalent of $1.7 billion worth of
employees is not an equal job loss. I think they’re pretty even.”

You can email your support for the governor’s plan to abolish all CRAs to balance the state budget by using the form on his website. You can FAX Attorney General Kamala Harris at 916-323-5341 if you want her to take legal action to stop the LA CRA and others from locking up redevelopment funding before the legislature acts.

Golden Key Gives Black Eye to Wannabe LA Mayor Rick Caruso

Billionaire developer isn’t helping his campaign to be mayor of Los Angeles with his heavy-handed attempt to get the Glendale City Council to confiscate Ray Patel’s Golden Key Hotel adjacent to the Americana at Brand development.

The widely-publicized case involves Glendale threatening to use its power of eminent domain to seize Patel’s hotel and turn over the property to Caruso so he can make it part of his Americana development, which is built on land given him by the local redevelopment agency.

KRLA 870 talk show host Kevin James interviewed Patel for an hour today about how Caruso has offered $6 million for his property — what he paid for it in 2002. Patel doesn’t want to sell and today is filing his own plans to redevelop the hotel — plans he says that have been thwarted by Glendale officials after years of assurances his business wouldn’t be jeopardized by the Americana project.

You can listen to the interview here: Part1, Part 2, Part 3 or go to Kevin James podcast site.

Redevelopment Agencies’ Filings Contradict Jobs Claims

By Jim Miller, Riverside Press-Enterprise

SACRAMENTO – Many redevelopment
agencies’ recent reports to the state list few, if any, jobs created and
little in the way of new construction or building
rehabilitation, according to state data..

Local officials have attacked the idea, saying the elimination
of California’s more than 400 redevelopment agencies would
cripple efforts to create jobs and revitalize blighted blocks in a
struggling economy.

But many of the agencies’
own filings with the state controller’s office failed to show
such achievements, at the same time the agencies collected
billions of dollars’ worth of property tax revenue that otherwise
would have gone to schools, cities and counties.

(Read full story and search CRA database of projects filed with State Controller)

What happened to the rule of Law in LA County?

By Bob Blue, via email

In their haste, Los Angeles rushes with 24-hour notice, to shield their funds through convenance.

Instead of acting in their best behavior, Redevelopment Agencies are spending like drunken sailers (Eli Broad, $52 million), while at the same time furloughing employees, closing libraries, and “brown-outing” Fire Stations.

In Los Angeles, they are rushing so fast, that the ante has been increased.

Let’s give $52 million to a Billionaire Eli Broad. And yet that money could keep libraries and Fire Stations open.

And as CRA/LA Vice Madeline Janice said, 1601 N Vine is the poster child for abolishing CRAs. LA overpaid (discovery of a hidden appraisal) by $1.4 million for a total of $5.45 million to a developer who’s “star projects” are going bankrupt. Now the City is proposing to sell it back to the same developer for $825,000.

And in Glendale, another Billionaire, Rick Caruso, whose Americana Brand Development is under performing and whose Condos won’t sell, runs to the little Glendale Council and asks them to bully an hard working immigrant whose family came to this Country legally and run a nice hotel, Mr. Ray Patel and the Golden Key Hotel.

Caruso and the Glendale City Council, under Caruso’s control are telling Mr. Patel either sell or be condemned.

What did Mr. Patel do to have the City of Glendale use its Eminent Domain power against him to force him to give up his property? – Nothing. He is small hard working businessman.

Why isn’t this type of story being reported?

Because Redevelopment Agencies are truly – The Unknown Government (for the very Rich and Well Connected).

And Los Angeles and Glendale Politicians are in the thick of it and will get away with the theft of public funds and the abuse of Eminent Domain while the press, with its great responsibility to shine a light on government activities, instead reports on the Cities of California “outrage” of their Redevelopment Funds for the Rich and Connected.

But there is apparently no concern or rule of law in LA County.

Because all there is no accountability when all of this going.

At the very least, why don’t we here a statement from the Board of Supervisors?

At the State Level, why isn’t our new Attorney General, Ms. Harris speaking up for these abuse – We need an injunction and we need open and public debate?

And what about those of us who support Gov. Brown, are we being heard?

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11 Responses to Real L.A. News from the Virtual World

  1. Scott Zwartz says:

    It is vital that we all support and re-support Gov Brown. This is a make or break it moment for California

  2. Anonymous says:

    There have been too many make or break it opportunities in LA. Antonio being convicted on Ticketgate would have been one. It is gone from the radar. I’ve no idea why. If the Mayor or any of the Councilmembers never get caught on any issue, then we must have the cleanest local government in the country. Maybe, we should be celebrating.

  3. Anonymous says:

    No wonder Rick is supporting Krekorian for LA City Council Dist.2
    It is not personal, just business. Business as usual that is.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Who is Rick?

  5. James says:

    Rick is probably the Coward of County, Billionaire Rick Caruso.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Agreed, the activists who read this website should take Bob Blue’s letter to the Governor and Attorney General and PLEASE PLEASE forward it to all of your email lists! The more emails, phone calls and faxes to the Governor and Attorney General on this issue, the more likely that the spineless Eric Garcetti and the other supporters of WELFARE FOR THE RICH will back down from their plan to legally commit nearly a billion dollars of CRA tax increment in a cynical scheme to prevent the state from balancing its budget.
    There are students risking their lives in the streets of Cairo in rebellion against their horrible government. We can do the same online.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I’m glad KFI did a show on the CRA corruption and outlined all the hundred thousand $$$$ salaries which is outrageous. I emailed Gov Brown letting him know there are many of us here in Los Angeles supporting and will do anything to abolish the corrupt CRA. The Failure of a Mayor was at a mtg where only his loyal dumb ass supporters were asked to attend. He was lying and saying if CRA $$$ is taken we will lose 50,000 jobs. I think with the salaries of CRA employees alone we would be able to get more jobs. I’m always amazed at how much the Failure of a Mayor, or should I say the Mexican Mafia gangster in a suit can stand and blatantly LIE to people. I agree WHY isn’t the media jumping on this issues showing the PEOPLE OF LA Support the Gov. Now, that’s a story to be told.

  8. Anonymous says:

    This is the email address to push for the City of Los Angeles to be audited by State Controller John Chiang. They are keeping logs of all the emails requesting an audit.
    cgraves@sco.ca.gov

  9. Matt Middlebrook says:

    Redevelopment has provided great benefit to Glendale where Caruso Affiliated built The Americana at Brand. It’s generating millions of dollars in new revenue for a city that like all cities id struggling financially. But how much worse off would Glendale be if they had not had the foresight to redevelop their downtown?
    The owner of The Golden Key Hotel bought his property knowing full well that it was in a redevelopment area and knowing full well of the City’s efforts to improve the area. Instead of trying to improve his property, he let it deteriorate to the point that he lost his Best Western accreditation for the poor shape in which he kept his property. Now he’s submitted a new plan to the City, but how can anyone be assured he’ll deliver on his plans given his track record?
    We have tried to be very fair with Mr. Patel, responding to his expressed interest to sell the property with a $6 million offer, more than 22 percent above appraised value, and still hope we can reach a positive resolution with him.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Thank you 9:43 for giving the email add: You made it so easy for all of us to do our part. Hope there are no more excuses now from anyone.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Middlebrook, being in a CRA area does not give you the right to take someone’s property through eminent domain. If you were trying to make a case for CRA, you’ve done the opposite. It is exactly yor mind set that typfies most CRA employees and the reason why most people are jubiliant at the prospective CRA demise. That you’d even come here trying to defend eminent domain with flimsy excuses that the hotel was not cared of just adds to the disgust. Please don’t insult our intelligence and we hope that your powers to screw anyone’s property to benefit the wealthy are soon gone.

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