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The Art of the Political Holdup: Raising Taxes to Fix Street and Storm Water Systems without Fixing the Corruption of Power

Tracy Rafter, founder of BizFed representing tens of thousands of businesses in LA County, and Jack Humphreville, community leader and LA watchdog, laid out a long series of questions to the Board of Supervisors Monday.


Supervisor Gloria Molina eloquently exposed all that is wrong in the proposed storm water runoff property tax increase.


It was like enduring a colonoscopy, two of them actually.

First, the deadbeats of the City Council on Tuesday killed — but only for the moment — the insulting proposal handed to its most junior and obedient members to carry: An ill-conceived and unstudied plan to soak property owners in an iniquitous manner to the tune of $3 billion or $4 billion or $5 billion (who knows?) to fix the streets neglected for nearly 60 years.

Then, the County Board of Supervisors allowed, reluctantly, a couple of hundred angry citizens to speak for five  or six hours, a minute at a time, about the insulting, ill-conceived and unstudied plan to soak property owners in an iniquitous manner to the tune of $9 billion (or is it $15 billion) to finally fix the storm water runoff problem after decades of neglect so the pollutants don’t reach the sea and ruin our beaches.

Anybody who doesn’t think those are worthy goals are not worth listening to — a point so clear and obvious nobody among all those opposed to either or both taxes ever questioned the goals.

What they questioned is in the integrity and competence of their government officials — a point of view that was only opposed by those who supported the taxes because they benefited financially, ideologically or in other ways personally, like environmentalists, hillside homeowners and other rich people, S-M Conservancy King Joe Edmiston, unions and  trade associations that would get all the billions of dollars in work.

The politicians have not offered a single justification, accepted an iota of responsibility or a word of apology for letting these and other vital problems get so out of hand for so long.

All they wanted was your money, specifically your money if you happen to own property — something that means to them you must be rich so it’s fair to stick a gun in your face and hold you up.

It’s like the Sheriff of Nottingham robbing Robin of Sherwood Forest at sword point, which is what drove him to made adopt the revolutionary posture in the first place.

The revolutionaries in these cases were homeowners, railroad executives, small business owner, school districts and nearly every city in the county except the City of Los Angeles that has never seen a tax it doesn’t love, never seen a tax it wouldn’t kill for, never seen a tax it wouldn’t foreclose your home for, never seen a tax it didn’t desperately need to pay employee salaries and provide the grease that feeds a corrupt system of contractors, consultants, lobbyists, lawyers, P.R. execs and other selfish special interests.

What’s telling is that both the city and county backed away from putting the tax hikes before voters because they couldn’t answer the most basic questions about the proposals: How they came to decide on the amount of the taxes, what projects would be funded, what protections would be put in place to protect the taxpayers’ money from being stolen.

Worst of all, they had to admit in both cases that amount of increased taxes they sought were picked because they thought it was as much as the public would bear. Incredibly, the money would be insufficient to the city’s streets and do nothing to fix the sidewalks and in the county’s case only solve part of the storm water runoff problem.





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9 Responses to The Art of the Political Holdup: Raising Taxes to Fix Street and Storm Water Systems without Fixing the Corruption of Power

  1. ex valley says:

    Ron, the amount of the tax is always arbitrary and is just driven by how much they think you, suckers, will eat it up. Remember the phony phone tax Prop S of 9%. Why 9? Because the going-away tax was 10 and even LAUSd graduates can figure out that 9 is less than 10. The fact that the tax was going away required some comprehension and that skill is beyond these “voters”. Why did Prop 30 tax go for 6 bil and not 5 or 10? And why conveniently the state budget increased spending by just over 6 bil?

    But don’t worry. Pretty soon there won’t be enough taxpayers to soak so they can raise taxes as high as the blue sky and it won’t matter.

  2. anonymous says:

    Ron, more disturbing than the failed initiatives is the fact that Boss D`Arcy made it public very early that he has bought that fraud , hypocrite Greuel and the clown Zine. He made sure no checks and balances, The $500,000 he spent on Villar , will be peanuts to the millions of ratepayers money he`ll spent for Greuel. Where is the outrage of the press. Ron, as former paper man , can you tell us? Corruption out in the open and we all are asleep.

  3. Wayne the soon-to-be EMANCIPATED EX-ANGELINO being held economically hostage in Vichy-IBEW Controlled Koretz Encino, whose comments await moderation says:

    Koretz and his communist junta and the Board of Communist Stupidvisors table tax increases on the same day? HA HA HA!!!! I got my offer for Ventura Co. ACCEPTED today and the facists and local communists understand what that means—I’m the L.A. City version of D’Jaingo Unchained!!! A freed L.A. tax slave is a free man, a human being that can drive down roads, not pothole-filled dirt-like roads they call roads in L.A. City, a place where you have REPRESENTATION in your local and state, and national delegations. In L.A. we have one representative–the IBEW’s and the Billionaires ONLY GET HEARD, the rest of us peasants just PAY PAY PAY and PAY MORE AND MORE AND MORE and get LESS AND LESS AND LESS of a City to dwell in.
    The Communists in Sacramento of course will do all they can to destroy life in Ventura, Santa Barbara, and other places left in California. But cutting out L.A. COUNTY AND L.A. CITY out of this is 2/3 a step in the right direction!
    Thus. the local scum had to back off our wallets yesterday, because the paying customers HAVE ABSOLUTELY HAD IT! Cities in L.A. County, such as Santa Clarita, Burbank, and Glendale were IN ARMS over the Gloria Molina-led Communist property tax scheme! No one in L.A. County is SAFE—something that these very fine cities and communities now got a real dose of reality of. Ridley-Scumbag, Gloria, and the Jew vs. Antonovich and Knabe–it’s always 3 to 2 in favor of rip offs, scams, and skullduggery over there at the Board of Stupidvisors! You all know the populace itself is 80% AGAINST the 3 communists—but like the Clowncil of L.A. the game is rigged to screw the productive and pick their pockets of more and more hard earned money to give to their union buddies and other crooks.
    L.A. County will become the largest UNINHABITABLE county in WORLD HISTORY if this crap isn’t seriously corrected. Yesterday, we saw a small sample of the 99% of the IRATE voters and taxpayers who have truly had it with all this.

  4. anonymous says:

    A DWP truck was parked on my street recently. The guys in the truck just sat there. My employee went out at 10 AM and asked if they needed something and they said they couldn’t perform the service until tomorrow because they needed more bodies to help. Okay, fine, so why were they parked and doing nothing? Really, I don’t know. I asked my employee if he checked to see how long they remained parked there. He said he kept checking throughout the day. That truck and those workers sat there for over six hours. Can anyone tell me what they do in their trucks for six hours? I’m just trying to give the benefit of the doubt here. Maybe they have laptops and have to write reports. But, my employee said they didn’t seem to be doing any writing or typing, just sitting there.

  5. anonymous says:

    Anonymous Jan 16, 10;32 ; They were planning Greuel`s campaign. Orders from Boss D`Arcy

  6. Wayne paying tribute to Dr. King in Vichy-IBEW Controlled Koretz Encino, whose comments await moderation says:

    I had a dream (2013 style):
    I HAD a dream of a City of Los Angeles with streets fully maintained with trees all trimmed and sidewalks nicely lain;
    I HAD a dream of a City Attorney Trutanich turning over all the subpoenaed archives of the last 20 years from each of the 15 Clownmember’s office accounts;
    I HAD a dream of a mayor Moore
    I HAD a dream of a double decked set of freeways cutting down drive time holdups
    I HAD a dream of a sales tax CUT and a property tax REFUND for all those decades of City Collected ILLEGAL taxes;
    I HAD a dream of CD5 having a Councilman Vahedi;
    I HAD a dream of the Alarcon’s sharing a jail cell on this holiday weekend (and the next 20 of them);
    I HAD a dream of Monday swearing in President Romney.
    Free at last? Not exactly but at least one day FREE OF L.A. and it’s crooked crooks!

  7. Stacey says:

    Politics these days are all about only doing something that would benefit the powerful people themselves and not about resolving the important issues that we are all facing. It’s pretty disappointing.

  8. YJ Draiman says:

    The city of LA will do anything to justify a tax increase.
    The truth is; in order to bring new business to LA and create more permanent jobs we have to reduce taxes and bureaucracy. The city has to go aggressively after new business and help struggling business survive. Increased employment brings revenues to the government and takes the unemployed off government subsidy.
    We must also develop LA’s natural resources, which will create tens of thousands of permanent good paying jobs.

    YJ Draiman

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