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Desperate Tom LaBonge Dirties Himself with Last-Minute Smear Campaign

I was going to let this go because last-minute smear tactics on the weekend before voters go to the polls is distasteful, a violation of journalistic ethics that I’ve only seen violated once in the mainstream media when the LA Times exposed Arnold Schwarzenegger’s sex life at the end of the Gray David recall campaign.

But Tom LaBonge, who has been whining to everybody in City Hall for weeks about how he might lose Tuesday, has gone too far. No more Mr. Nice Guy, he’s that desperate.

He’s resorted on the campaign’s final weekend to robo-calls to thousands of his constituents using Gov. Jerry Brown and former Mayor Richard Riordan to falsely defame challenger Stephen Box.

There is no tax lien against Box and LaBonge is not the only Democrat involved in the campaigns by Box and Tomas O’Grady. Besides, it’s a non-partisan race.

Now I find in my email a blast from Carolyn Ramsay, LaBonge’s deputy chief of staff, who without identifying her role on the city payroll, is urging voters to re-elect her boss (Ramsay-LaBonge.rtf).

I can’t help but wonder how many of the email addresses she sent this to were acquired in her official capacity.

She argues that her boss isn’t responsible for public services being slashed and the city being broke, which may have a small amount of truth in it since he rarely understands what he’s voting on.

She ends her email by saying, “Vote for Tom LaBonge because Tom LaBonge works for us” — actually she works for Tom LaBonge is more like it.

If you want to know who to vote for, you just need to watch this short video clip of the single best moment of the seven races for City Council seats, Stephen Box’s great “Titanic” closing statement at a forum last week.:.

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26 Responses to Desperate Tom LaBonge Dirties Himself with Last-Minute Smear Campaign

  1. Anonymous says:

    So typical of the sneaky, lying, corrupt assholes we now have in office. But thanks to this post I am going to blast out emails letting my email groups how desperate and despicable LaBonge is. Its made my blood boil when I saw LaBonge using LAPD officers who have no idea they are on his campaign mailer. This is outright bullshit. The Police Commission needs to step in and demand that no politicans can use the image or likeness of any LAPD officers on mailers because its against State Law. Huizar has been lying for months on his mailers. These incumbents are desperate and now outright lying from LaBonge needs to be dealt with. Everyone needs to email this post to all their groups citywide and let people know the dirty crap people like LaBonge are up to.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hope LaBonge loses. Should have retired with respect and dignity with 35 years worth of pension that would keep him very comfortable for the rest of his life. Instead, he wants four more years to screw the city. Don’t give him that. We can’t afford it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Ramsey may be required to disclose her role and have the usual statement that follows official campaign mailings.
    Also she is repeating a lie about Labonge saving the Hollywood Sign. It was never in any danger of being covered up.

  4. Kim Cooper says:

    Thank you, Ron, for covering this.
    I received Carolyn’s email on Friday, too. I did not realize she was working for Tom LaBonge, and just assumed she was a dimwitted supporter who didn’t know how to properly use a BCC field. When I emailed and politely asked her to take me off her list, as I do not appreciate being spammed or having my email address circulated, she replied “Sorry. I’m very sensitive to your concerns. You were bcc’d so no one saw your address.” Uhm, no, ma’am, you’re wrong there. But as long as I do have access to some of the emails she spammed, I just hit “reply-all” and sent the following. I only wish I could “reply-all” to all the thousands of citizens not in my part of the email address alphabet!
    *
    Dear Carolyn,
    Is it true that you WORK for Tom LaBonge as his Acting Chief of Staff? That is what your LinkedIn page states.
    http://www.linkedin.com/pub/carolyn-ramsay/4/4b5/b4
    Did you send a mass, unsolicited email asking people to vote for your boss when you were at WORK on Friday?
    I don’t think that’s at all appropriate, but I would like to thank you for including me and all the other people on this cc list, so I can share with the other unsolicited recipients of your spam the link to Ron Kaye’s blog post from yesterday regarding your email and other dirty election tricks coming out of your office:
    http://ronkayela.com/2011/03/desperate-tom-labonge-dirties-.html
    I am very disappointed by your deliberate attempt to mislead me and others into thinking you are simply a concerned fellow citizen sharing an opinion on the City Council race. I know who I would NOT vote for if I were a resident of CD 4.
    yours sincerely,
    Kim Cooper
    one of the recipients of your spam email of Friday morning

  5. Anonymous says:

    I saw comments on other websites about how Tom LaBonge cannot be blamed for some of these City-wide issues and that can’t be further from the truth.
    LaBonge and his 14 colleagues are to blame. And all 15 Coucilmembers have staff members such as Ms. Ramsey. When they vote in unison all must take 99.9% responsibility. You can’t run from that record Mr. Labonge, no matter what happens on Tuesday.
    Yes LA has been impacted by the National economy, but the City Council dragged their feet too long and now LA is having a much more difficult time coming out of the Great Recession compared to comparable Cities.

  6. Rick Abrams says:

    When the councilman’s own deputy chief of staff, Ms. Carolyn Ramsay, makes statements, she is held to a high standard than when some community member makes an opinion which may be incorrect.
    Tom LaBonge is responsible for the City deficit. $1.5 Billion property tax dollars have gone to CRA/LA while LaBonge has been on the council, but he has never complained. All this time, the City Council made the final decisions on the CRA/LA. Thus, LaBonge and others could have used those tax dollars to support the City. Instead, LaBonge chose to let $1.5 Billion to the CRA/LA. That is why we are broke!
    When people started to complain that the CRA/LA was hording tax dollars, LaBonge and other council memebrs supported Prop 22 — Prop 22 gave the CRA’s an additional $1 Billion per year and made it unconstitutional to use the money for anything other than the CRA slush funds for real estate speculators. Thus, after we were broke, LaBonge increased the tax dollars to the CRA by 20% and then stripped the City Council of its power to use the money to stop bankruptcy.
    Labonge never demanded that the city make its required contributions to the Pension Funds. We wre short on cash as so many tax dollars were going to the CRA/LA. The reason we have a huge Pension Problem is that the city (i.e. LaBonge) would negotiate generous union contracts and then immediately break their word and not make the annual contributions. Now they blame the retiring workers for being greedy. If LaBonge and the others had made the pension contributions rather than giving billions to real estate speculators, we would have no problem with the Pension Funds.
    Even in 2010, after years of deficits, LaBonge gives $52 Million to billionaire Eli Broad so he can have his own parking lot next to his art museum.
    Eli likes to play Mr. Charity. If that is true, why doesn’t Eli give that $52 Million to Garfield Park with its memorial to the Armenian Genocide? Oh, that’s right. LaBonge opposes the park! Millions for a private garage but not a cent for a Genocide Memorial.

  7. Chris Potter says:

    Smear Campaigns? – Mud Slinging? – Don’t these two things always go together when it comes to election in Los Angeles, especially when an incumbent is feeling the heat?
    Looks like that LaBonge has realized that his days in public office are counted.
    How low of him to have his city staff, which btw is paid for with OUR tax dollars, write e-mails on tax payer’s dime … even it was written from her personal e-mail address.
    I didn’t like his office antics for a long time, but this now has reached the lowest low.

  8. Informant says:

    Someone mentioned the Hollywood Sign Fraud. This matter has been turned over to the authorities. Labonge knows it was a fraud, but he continues to make it. LaBonge is a fool hardy person indeed.
    This story is so long — I will try to be brief.
    Until LaBonge came into the picture in 2002, the Cahuenga Peak (which is northwest of Mt Lee where the H Sign is located) was unsaleable. After 9-11, Mt. Lee with the H Sign and with the sensitive telecommunications on top became matters of national security. Cahuenga Peak is 140 feet higher than Mt. Lee so a rocket launcher could easily cripple LA’s telecommunications, e.g. the LAPD. That was a good reason to not sell Cahuenga Peak.
    Nonetheless, in 2002 LaBonge allowed the Cahuenga Peak to be sold to a Chicago real estate speculator for $1.6 M who was free to sell to anyone in the world.
    Yes, we were fortunate that the land was not resold. In 2010, LaBonge proposed to buy the Chauenga Peak for $12.5 M. The peak still was of national security interest, but that never bothered LaBonge. The only possible buyers were the City, the County, the state, or the feds. No one in their right mind would allow the land to be sold to just anyone. That strict national security limitation on the land surely held down the price. But no, not for LaBonge. None of the appraisals mentioned national security. Thus, LaBonge agreed to pay the developer $12.5 M.
    Here comes the fraud. LaBonge could not find enough dupes to pay $12.5 M for land that was basically worthless. Then the Bait and Switch Scam. They draped huge SAVE the PEAK cloths over the Hollywood Sign and starting a world wide fraud that the Hollywood Sign was in danger of being torn down or and/or having a large development around it. That was fraud upon fraud upon fraud.
    Cahuenga Peak is an entirely different mountain. There was ZERO danger to the Hollywood Sign in any way. To the extent any homes could be built on the peak to the northwest of Mt. Lee, one might see one or two homes on the ridge. Of course, one can see huge telecommunications towers right above the H Sign.
    LaBonge then involved school children in the Bait and Switch scam by having nearby elementary schools support the SAVE the PEAK Bait and Switch Scam. Most the kids knew that Cahuenga Peak is one mountain and that Mt. Lee is another place altogether. It was like telling people they are buying a Cadillac and delivering Pinto.
    But the developer, Fox River Financial, made out like a bandit.
    For a while, LaBonge had taken down his postings about the SAVE the PEAK. Now he is desperately trying to have 15 years in office, his lie about Saving the Hollywood Sign comes out again. The truth is that the Hollywood Sign was never in any danger whatsoever. LaBonge could not raise the money to buy an additional 140 acres so he perpetrated a worldwide fraud to raise the money from people who did not know the difference between the Cahuenga Peak and Mt. Lee.
    People have known about LaBonge’s Bait and Switch scam for almost one year, but his opponents did not use it in their campaigns. Now, LaBonge himself is promoting his fraud as a reason to re-elect him. Since LaBonge has introduced his Bait and Switch scam into the campaign, people have the right to present the truth

  9. Anonymous says:

    Time for LaBonge to go. How come he is not telling us that Antonio has also endorsed him?

  10. Tom pledged not to go negative. But in the last two days, I have received robocalls aleging Box is Republican (he is not), that Box has tax liens(he does not), and that O’Grady’s former campaign manager worked for George Bush.
    Tom never met a DWP rate increase or wage hike he did not like. He was not an enthusiatic of the Ratepayers Advocate. He supported Measure B without doing any analysis of the RATE SHOCK.
    It is time for a change.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Unions` polling have LaBonge coming second. A run off is a sure thing now. Desperation time!

  12. Anonymous says:

    LaBonge supported the CPIO Ordinance, which deprives residents of any meaningful say in land use matters and has been legally challenged by neighborhood groups. There are numerous other occasions where Labonge has dropped the ball on serious land use issues to the detriment of communities.

  13. Anonymous says:

    All of the sudden LaBonge is becoming partisan saying how we got to support the Democrats in Washington and then cites Jimmy Carter for solar, etc. It’s all lame, but make sense in the robo calling mentioned by Jack.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Brad Smith likes Road Diets and he wants to put Topange Cyn on a Road Diet. Everyone I know hates the Wilbur Road Diet. So why should I vote for Brad Smith? Which candidate for CD12 will oppose Road Diets and give us our 4 lanes back on Wilbur?

  15. OT-Ballot Measures says:

    Hey all,
    I made a couple of calls on the pension reform measures. I failed to ask the experts if I could quote them, so I won’t.
    Their take is that the amount to pay into their package is not enough to cover the cost. Since it mentions “reform” it’s likely to pass, at which point the benefiting parties can dodge future criticisms by saying the voters passed it.
    Politically smart-fiscally foolish-so what’s new?

  16. It seems as if Riordan has endorsed incumbents in almost every race. Yet, he appeared at the Clean Sweep rally last summer.

  17. Anonymous says:

    A great move by LA Clean Sweep today is to have a press conference and lay it out how these incumbents from LaBonge, to Englander to Huizar all have been deceiving the people something their good at. The negative publicity will hurt them even further in the polls

  18. Anonymous says:

    Working on the city payroll and their bosses elections? Really? Like Bernard Park’s staff who have been arranging his campaign schedule during city time. But I mean of of the workers is his son, so that’s ok right? Oh, paying your son over $100,000 a year from your city job isn’t ok? How strange. All of these incumbents are entrenched so deep in city perks and slush funds it is pathetic as they leave their town cars all over the city and slash our services. Stephen Box is a real chance for a positive future for our city. I hope more incumbents topple down.

  19. Anonymous says:

    The City Hall machinery got LA Times to repeat the smears. Vote for Box and get rid of corrupt Labonge.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Ridiculous smear on Box. Kinda weak play, don’tcha think?

  21. Anonymous says:

    Labonge, whom I’d called a nice guy earlier in my comments, will pay for this. He is a corrupt creep wanting to cling to power and money, when he deserves none. He has ruined our city. Get rid of him.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Box supporters spread fliers last night claiming O’Grady is banned from Marshall High (where he participated in the forum just last week) and are now standing outside polling places calling O’Grady a child abuser and a Tea Partier. The smear tactics are coming FROM the Box camp as well.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    “Box supporters spread fliers last night claiming O’Grady is banned from Marshall High (where he participated in the forum just last week) and are now standing outside polling places calling O’Grady a child abuser and a Tea Partier. The smear tactics are coming FROM the Box camp as well.”
    This is where it gets interesting. Coincidentally, he flyers smearing Tomas OGrady use the same language as the LaBonge robo call. Hmmm.. Then, a whisper campaign is started to hang the flyer on Stephen Box.
    Not least, on election day a woman with a teenager was tampering with voters on their way to vote. She was loudly parroting the flyer text, shoving flyers at voters, falsely claiming that OGrady assaulted her teen and shouting to people not to vote for him – and all of this occurred within the 100 ‘ of the booth.
    Voter irregularities such as tampering, electioneering and bullying cannot be tolerated. Making slanderous false claims in robo calls and flyers crosses the line and should be investigated.
    The Neighborhood Council should call for an investigation to see if rules were broken. If so, this is criminal and those responsible should be held accountable.

  25. Torrent says:

    All of the sudden LaBonge is becoming partisan saying how we got to support the Democrats in Washington and then cites Jimmy Carter for solar, etc. It’s all lame, but make sense in the robo calling mentioned by Jack.

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