If you don’t understand yet just how corrupt to the core City Hall is, you are beyond the reach of reason.
a new provision
which would prohibit campaign contributions from entities bidding on City contracts.”
officials have no greater obligation than that of honoring the trust placed in
the voters. By oath and by Law,elected officiaLs must act solely in the best
interests of those
they represent,” they declared.
City of Los Angeles has long recognized that transparency and openness
allows the public to verify the integrity of its government. Our democracy promises a government of the
people, by the people, and for the people. Keeping this promise requires an environment
that prevents even the perception that individuals have the ability to unduly sway an elected
You can be sure they snickered at the audacity of their lies back then even as they plotted to kill much more significant reforms that would have given honest citizens a fighting chance to win an election.
Tonight, you can be sure they are laughing their heads off, laughing at the gullibility of you and me, laughing at how easily they cowed honorable bureaucrats trying to do the right thing, laughing all the way to the bank to cash more checks from contractors, bidders, developers whose inalienable to buy politicians they protected.
After more than an hour of debate well into mid-afternoon Wednesday, they voted to scrap indefinitely the enabling ordinance that would have implemented Charter Amendment H that was approved by 75 percent of voters in March.
One after another, they stood up and found fault with the enabling ordinance, even the watered-down version put forward by the increasingly accommodating City Attorney Carmen Trutanich.
Here’s what the ballot measure said:
“Measure H: Shall the Charter be amended to (1) restrict campaign contributions and fundraising by bidders on certain City contracts; require increased disclosure for bidders; and provide for bans on future contracts for violators; and (2) build upon the city’s voter-approved campaign trust fund, which provides limited public matching funds for qualified City candidates who agree to spending limits, by lifting the maximum balance in the fund while allowing the City Council by a two-thirds vote to not make the annual appropriation and temporarily transfer funds to meet City budgetary obligations in certain emergency conditions?”
It has taken five months for the Council to act on implementing Measure H, just as it took five months for them to even name the five members of the committee that will pick a DWP Rate Payer Advocate.
Weakened measure loaded with a time bomb, then stalled for nearly half a year, only to finally brought up two days before the Council takes a three-week vacation — it’s business as usual.
The Council today was faced with Choice A (Trutanich’s narrow version) and Choice B (Ethics version) and one after another, Council members stood up to denounce one provision or another. Some were nakedly contemptuous like Parks and Perry, some were piously concerned like Krekorian and Koretz but none were more despicable than the rookie Englander who is rapidly showing he has found the rock that longtime Northwest Valley Councilman Hal Bernson lived under.
You can read what the City Attorney put before the Council more than three weeks ago as well as the Ethics staff arguments submitted Aug. 2, a document that suddenly caught the Council by surprise even now a week after they first considered the ordinance.
“Charter Amendment H restricts both contributions and fundraising activities, and (as we communicated last October when the decision was made to place the amendment on the ballot) we believe this is the proper approach,” the Ethics staff argued..
“Protecting against actual or perceived corruption related to the dollars that bidders infuse into the political system requires limitations on both activities. A person’s fundraising efforts have the potential to far surpass the amount of dollars that can be infused into the political process through the person’s direct contributions. For that reason, the Ethics Commission’s recommendation both last fall and in 2005 was to ban both contributions and fundraising
“The City Attorney’s office is concerned about prohibiting
bidder fundraising activities that are directed at someone who is not specifically
involved in or affected by the contract. The concern is based on case law, most notably a decision by
the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, in which the court struck down part of a Connecticut law
that prohibited state contractors from soliciting contributions on behalf of candidates for
state office. Green Party of Connecticut v.Garfield, 616 F.3d 189 (2nd Cir. 2010). The court applied
strict scrutiny to the fundraising ban, which meant that, to be constitutional, the ban had to
further a compelling government interest and be narrowly tailored to achieve that interest. 616
F.3d at 208. The court struck down the fundraising ban because it found that the ban was not
“From a policy perspective, the Ethics Commission
continues to believe that a ban on bidders raising political funds from any person is an
important aspect of preventing corruption and the appearance of corruption in the City’s
contracting processes. The Charter states explicitly that “the financial strength of certain
individuals or organizations should not permit them to exercise a disproportionate or controlling
influence on the election of candidates.” Los Angeles City Charter (Charter) § 471 (a)(1). The
potential to corrupt or create the appearance of corruption is magnified when large amounts of
contributions are given or generated particularly when those giving or
generating contributions are also benefitting from sizeable City contracts.”
Let me repeat myself: If you don’t understand yet just how corrupt to the core City Hall is, you are beyond the reach of reason.