Here’s a few items you should pay attention to today:
2JobBob Blumenfield: Unethical & Illegal
2JobBob Blumenfield is the subject today of a formal complaint to the city Ethics Commission about using his huge war chest for his Assembly re-election campaign to support his meager war chest for his simultaneous campaign for the LA City Council in the West San Fernando Valley’s CD3.
The complaint came in a letter (Presberg–ethics letter) from one of his eight opponents, Steve Presberg, who wrote in part:
As you know, I am a candidate for the City Council, 3rd District. You may recall my testimony at your August meeting in which I urged you to audit and investigate the fundraising and expenditures of another candidate in this race, Bob Blumenfield. I said then that Mr. Blumenfield’s running for two offices at the same time (re-election to the State Assembly and election to the City Council) raised very serious questions as to whether our City’s laws and your Department’s regulations were being flouted.
While your Honorable Board and Department certainly cannot regulate a state campaign, I believe you must act to prevent a complete mockery being made of your own regulations. If you do not act, then Mr. Blumenfield will have established the blueprint for how to run for City office while ignoring our regulations: simply set up a committee as a candidate for state office and collect much larger contributions, and make expenditures, that would be impermissible in a City election.
As an example, Mr. Blumenfield’s filing with your office indicates that he has spent only $1,302 in his City Council race. However, in his State Assembly filing, running against an opponent who has spent almost nothing, he has spent over $450,000 – and please note: these expenditures are being made in virtually the same precincts that are contained in both districts. An obvious question is whether his state committee is pre-paying consultants and vendors for services to benefit his City Council race.
In his State filing as well, note that he has received numerous contributions in amounts that far exceed the City contribution limits. Note also his numerous “gifts” to a long list of other campaign committees and candidates, in the amounts of $3,900 each, something that our City rules forbid.
Don’t Trust MTA with $90 Billion More
By JACK HUMPHREVILLE, LA WATCHDOG
“Would it be a good idea to see how Metro handles the first $40 billion of sales tax revenue before we give them an additional $90 billion?”
You bet it is.
This is reason enough to vote NO on Measure J, the November ballot measure that proposes to extend the life of the “one-half cent traffic relief sales tax” for an additional thirty years to 2069.
If passed by two-thirds of the voters, this extension would provide the politically controlled Metropolitan Transit Authority (“Metro”) with an additional $90 billion, resulting in a 60 year total of $130 billion.
While we have questioned Metro’s management capability and organizational resources to control so many complex, capital intensive highway and mass transit construction projects that will burden our grandchildren with tens and tens of billions in debt and interest payments, we have not focused on …
Riordan to Put Real Pension Reform on Ballot
By PATRICK RANGE McDONALD, LA Weekly
Long sounding the alarm for city employee pension reform, former LA Mayor Richard Riordan is no longer waiting for the City Council and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to come up with the big fix.
On Friday morning, Riordan will file papers with the City Clerk so he can start a signature-gathering campaign and ultimately place a pension reform initiative on the May 2013 ballot. The former mayor says that if voters approve the measure, the city will save “hundreds of millions of dollars” every year by 2017 and an upwards of a billion dollars by 2020.
In an exclusive interview with L.A. Weekly, Riordan explains that his dramatic move, which will pit his campaign against powerful city employee unions and City Hall politicians, is to “prevent the city of Los Angeles from going bankrupt, and preventing the closing of our parks and severe damages to services. In short, it’s to stop us from becoming a third-world city.”
Riordan calls his plan the “Fair Share Pension Reform Act of 2013.” Friend and billionaire Eli Broad and attorney David Fleming are helping with the effort.
Riordan’s plan will have current city employees contribute a “small and fair amount” to their pension benefits and will enroll new workers in a 401k system with a maximum 10 percent contribution from the city. It also promises to end employee “double-dipping.”