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L.A.’s Committee of 12½: The Fate of Your City Is in Their Hands — The Election Runoff Outcomes Mean Nothing

Back in they heyday of L.A., the Chandler family ruled the city in collaboration with other while male racist, anti-Semitic and Commie-hating oligarchs led by insurance tycoon Asa Call. They were  the Committee of 25.

They profited  handsomely from every deal: stealing the water from the desert, stealing the land in the San Fernando Valley, destroying the red car public transit system while building highways and selling cars. They owned it all, used their newspapers to control the politicians and enforced their rule with a paramilitary police force led by a drunken chief who shared their values.

Those were the bad old days that sometimes don’t look quite some bad these days. People from all over the world flocked to Los Angeles where the living was easy and there were plenty of good jobs, the Chandler family’s newspapers were ridiculed and the cops were hated.

It all began to change with the election of Tom Bradley in 1973 with the help of a new generation of civic and business leaders who were liberal and open-minded. Public employee unions were legalized; barriers to blacks outside the ghetto and Jews outside of Hollywood fell away; the middle class flourished.

Twenty years later, the glow had begun to fade, bringing one of the new oligarchs, Richard Riordan into the mayor’s office with the promise “to turn L.A. around.”

Yet it more than a decade after the Rodney King beating and a second riot to begin to reform the LAPD under federal court control. By then the defense and aerospace industries with their good-paying jobs were largely gone and much of the middle class with them, replaced by immigrants, legal and illegal, competing for low-wage service jobs.

And the power of unions had grown so enormous that they funded and controlled nearly every elected official, helping them get one sweetheart contract after another and to parlay their power into collaborations with developers through politically-mandated project labor agreements.

So it should come as no surprise that with the economy shattered and the city’s finances in tatters that the new oligarchs would step up and try to salvage the situation.

Call them the Committee of 12½, though it’s far from clear at this point that have even half the power or clarity of purpose than the Committee of 25 once did.

Led by long-time power player and former Clinton Administration Cabinet member Mickey Kantor, the Los Angeles 2020 Commission as it prefers to be known, has brought together 12 top business, civic and labor leaders plus the one-half in alternate member George Pla, head of Cordoba Corp. and one of the richest and most influential players to rise out of Eastside politics in the last 40 years.

The commission idea was engineered by Austin Beutner, the former first deputy mayor and retired equity fund operator who took a brief shot at running for mayor before realizing an outsider had no chance of arousing a disengaged electorate to overthrow the power of unions, developers and others buy the politicians.

The Chamber of Commerce has three board members on the commission; labor unions three including the police, DWP and construction union heads; the political arena three including recalled Gov. Grey Davis; USC has a seat so does Maldef and Common Cause.

With a six-month timeline to develop in private a plan to revive the economy and fix the city budget, this elitist group intends to balance the interests of those who have power and influence to one degree or another without regard to everybody else, which is the vast majority.

It is clear to everyone involved, this is as elitist as it gets — a virtual coup d’etat hanging over the two frightened little people competing for the mayor’s office and a City Council totally under the control of the forces that have pushed the city to ruin, waiting to give them orders on what to do.

If the Committee of 12½ actually proposed the sharp pay cuts and other reforms needed to bring City Hall’s spending under control — inconceivable given the greed shown for decades by city unions — it is hard to see the new mayor or the Council toadies going along even if a tax increase were part of the package.

It is equally inconceivable that this crowd can understand that economic revival cannot take place in a city that is dispirited and disconnected without dramatically changing the political culture by eliminating the full-time Council and expanding its seat from 15 to 35 or more to bring government to the local communities.

So all they can be expected is a mix of rehashed proposals to cut business taxes, have workers pay a little more for health care, slug the public with higher taxes, and count of the Democrat-controlled legislature to gut Proposition 13 and CEQA so L.A. can speed up the destruction of its neighborhoods.

Despite the odds against achieving much, the Committee of 12½ has raised expectations be leaping into the vacuum of power and asserting it can actually do something to save L.A.

For better or worse, it is the only play in town — surely no one holds out any hope that the mayoral candidate who is easiest to manipulate or the candidate who is easiest to intimidate are going to make the slightest difference at all.

This entry was posted in 2013 Election, 2013 LA Elections, City Hall, Hot Topics, Los Angeles and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to L.A.’s Committee of 12½: The Fate of Your City Is in Their Hands — The Election Runoff Outcomes Mean Nothing

  1. teddy says:

    To Ron and Friends: I am having a problem with my computer (still).

    If you got this message from me, please let me know (I mean “blind”).
    It might help me change what I am doing with the program I am using.

    If you have a question or comment, I know you will respond to Ron.

    The column is interesting and way before my time.

  2. teddy says:

    I just checked and some how you folks on my list did get this important
    message. Hurrah! My pc is fixed. I tell you these new inventions are

  3. Anonymous says:

    The LA Chamber of Commerce and VICA led by mediocre people are institutions that vote against their own interests. They feel important to be invited to the ante- chambers which they can use as a selling point to retain these positions. Their members need to wake up and challenge these fools from harming them. They will agree to higher taxes and removal of Prop 13 tax protections before their membership realizes that they have been sold by these faux-photo-op leaders.

  4. The LA 2020 Commission of Omission has no credibility other than with the rest of the DTLA hoods and needs to earn our trust. And without real reform, kiss increased tax goodbye.

  5. anonymous says:

    I`ll be so happy when May 21 comes. I won`t have to see that slimy Liar Villar Greuel anymore.

  6. anonymous says:

    If anyone has doubts that Liar Villar Greuel is slimy read in the DN about her anonymous slimy attack on Garcetti. We can call her now COWARD too.But, this is what to come and engineered by the crook tax dodger and her Chief adviser Shallman. I hope the cheerleaders of DN who endorsed her are proud!

  7. Scott Zwartz says:

    Very well stated!!!!

    My approach is a little different, but I describe the same thing, but I frame the issues as Corruption and Incompetence. In this mayoral election, Garcetti is the Corrupt and Windy is the airhead Incompetent.

    It was not coincidence that leaves us to select between the terminally corrupt Garcetti and the fatally Incompetence Greuel. Of all the terrible things Garcetti has done, elect himself over and over again to city council for the past 12 years is NOT one of them. We, the idiotic voters, elected him.

    People who live in the Hills above Hollywood say traffic congestion is their #1 problem and yet they voted over 52% in favor of Garcetti who is the # 1 culprit in bring nightmare traffic to Hollywood. The City has become functionally bankrupt while Garcetti was on the city council and he was Council President from 2006 to 2012.

    I walk the streets of Hollywood Grove HPOZ and see all these law signs for Garcetti and listen to all these same people complaint about bad paramedic response times, about terrible traffic, and the destruction of Hollywood Boulevard and projects like The Millennium — each one championed and imposed upon us by Garcetti.

    People who live on Van Ness north of Franklin can wait 20 minutes for paramedics because Garcetti downsized FS 82 by 75% and then stole $200 Million from the paramedics and firefighters. Although, FS 82 is one block away from Franklin, these homes in the HPOZ often have to wait for FS 35 from Hillhurst to come over to our area as FS 82 has already been called to an out of area call 50% of the time since the entire city has been deprived of paramedic services.

    We are truly a dumb, uneducated citizenry which deserves what it gets — a functionally bankrupt city hall in a declining city filled with corruption and incompetence abounding.

  8. anonymous says:

    all those powerful political and union endorsements are for Greuel
    because she is simply “the airhead Incompetent” but not corrupt?
    Whereas Garcetti , who has some political and union endorsements,
    is “the Corrupt” but, by omission implied, not a shallow incompetent?
    Greuel is the ideal candidate for the ruling political and union
    powers because she is both an incompetent and corruptible.
    the situation could be framed as
    Shallow, incompetent corrupt mayor
    Intelligent, competent corrupt mayor

  9. Anonymous says:

    Wendy is LA’s Sarah Palin–grasping for a job she is unqualified for. If not for the support of self-interested public unions and self-destructive business organizations like LA Chamber of Commerce and VICA, where would she be. In fact, she has nowhere to go if she loses this one.

  10. You should have heard Mitch Englander last night. His hearings on the street bond measure are a charade to make it appear as if he is listening to the public.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Mitch Englander is the spawn–blood wise anyway—of a lobbyist who got him this job. He is playing like he was supposed to. Too bad, we have disinterested voters in the city who don’t seem to understand that these politicians care only about depriving them of their money to support a city force that makes three or four times than they do in pay and benefits.

    • scott zwartz says:

      The first job of a city government is to maintain the roads — as mundane as that sounds. With no roads, there can be no community.

      Thus, the idea that we have to raise MORE TAXES to pay for roads shows that Englander has it backwards — roads are not an after-thought for which we need to raise EXTRA TAXES.

      While Garcetti was on the Council, over $1.5 Billion tax dollars went to the corrupt CRA, and Garcetti then passed that money on to his developer friends. The CRA also leveraged their tax dollars on behalf of the developers to put the city on the hook for additional billions. Yes, BILLIONS!

      Due to massive Accounting Control Fraud, which has been rampant at City Hall since Riordan launched us into our modern era of never-ending corruption, we cannot exactly calculate the overall cost of Garcetti’s CRA to Los Angeles, but $11 BILLION is reasonable estimate. One reason the union pensions are underfunded is that Garcetti gave the money that should have gone to make the city’s contributions to the union pension to his buddies like CIM Group.

      When Garcetti ran out of tax dollars, he used the fraudulent 1-12-2011 LAFD Deployment report to deprive the paramedics and firemen of an additional $200 Million. At the same time, he gave $52 Million to billionaire Eli Broad.

      He’s a better approach than raising– Claw Back Lawsuits! When the billionaires still have assets, the city may file Claw Back lawsuits. That’s what they did to Bernie Madoff, and I suggest that is what the City should do to Eli Broad, CIM GROUP, Hall Katersky, etc. Garcetti’s City Council charges Eli Broad only $1 per year rent for his land next to Disney. Since Garcetti’s City Council does charge that $1/yr rent, Eli clearly does not have to pay any property tax as he technically doesn’t “own” it. Instead you and I have to bear the burden of that piece of land not contributing to the property taxes.

      BTW, you do know that the CRA projects on Bunker Hill do not pay one cent in incremental property taxes? What do you think would be a reasonable property tax per year on all those gigantic towers on Bunker Hill? $50 M? $100 M?

  12. anonymous says:

    Slimy Villar Greuel wants us to vote for her because the socialist Boxer and the buffoon Riordan are supporting her. Oh, I forgot the crook M.Walters . Boxer/Walters .I wonder how it is going to play in the Valley. That shows you how stupid she is.

    • ex valley says:

      Whoa, and why do you think the valley voters are less brainwashed, clueless or just plain stupid than any other in LA? You people re- elected that good for nothing (actually she is good for special interests) senator boxer. And the valley has Cardenas and berman/sherman as representatives. Are they any better than waters? Same mindless tools of your ruling party. Get it through your thick sculp– it does NOt really matter whether it’s greuel or garcetti. Wayne here is exactly right– 2009 was your last chance to break the machine. But noooo, Villar’s opponent was not as cute and cuddly as Villar , was telling you some uncomfortable truths, did not have a million dollar smile. So now you got a lousy choice and you deserve it.

  13. Wayne from Encino whose getting deleted posts again by the ex-newspaper man who can't deal with it says:

    LANLT—what is it? Is someone’s WIFE a member of it running for mayor? See, Ron, what happens when my posts get wiped out—I go back to some history on those who complain about the run-off. Try reading the 2006 article entitled “OASIS” which is the publication of the LANLT. Most won’t get it. But those that do—please don’t on a full stomach. What are we all supposed to do–be a bunch of Dumbocrats and go get drunk or take out a Medi-Pot card and smoke away life? Christ, Ron, get with it. Zahnheiser is a fucking wash-out. I said he’s a nice guy–and that’s true. But his days as a Woodward or Bernstein are like 15 years in the past. So my comment will first await “moderation” then hit ‘delete’ and we all can pretend that the L.A. Slimes has a single credible reporter left WHICH IT DOESN’T. And your former paper makes the
    Slimes look like the Wall St. Journal! All these hacks abdicated this City to the sleeze balls long long ago. It just took a long long time to believe they’d do it. But they did, and we just have to live with it, or move to Oregon and Washington State like 2/3 of the people I grew up with already have.

  14. teddy says:

    It is so good to be back. I still am unable to break my decision on the mayoral
    race. I shall write in Kevin James. Can you imagine five more years\of eithr
    Garcetti or Greuel? brrrrrrrrr

  15. Anonymous says:

    To paraphrase Lord Tennyson into the current Mayoral march by both Garcetti & Gruel, the victims are LA citizens who, however, fit the lines of “Theirs not to reason why,
    Theirs but to do and die:”

    The results will be evident not today but a few years hence of following dumb leaders

    “Forward, the Light Brigade!”
    Was there a man dismay’d?
    Not tho’ the soldier knew
    Someone had blunder’d:
    Theirs not to make reply,
    Theirs not to reason why,
    Theirs but to do and die:
    Into the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred.

    Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon in front of them
    Volley’d and thunder’d;
    Storm’d at with shot and shell,
    Boldly they rode and well,
    Into the jaws of Death,
    Into the mouth of Hell
    Rode the six hundred”.

  16. Wayne from Encino makes his last post here says:

    It’s been fun, but crybaby Ron has to delete all my posts. Work on one goal—to get out of this City or manage to become a LANDLORD and make profit from this City that owes you way more than you’ll ever get possibly out of it. Ron has shown why he failed at the Daily News to help this City when it had a possible chance for reform. Ron deep down really likes L.A. City the way it is right now—a Liberal Sanctuary City “Paradise.” That’s the whole story. Peace Out!

    • ex valley says:

      Exacto, my friend. Ron could not bring himself to support Walter Moore because Villar is exactly his type of a politician – a liberal dumbocrat. And Ron gave lukewarm support to Kevin James. Again because deep down he is exactly liberal, white guilt wretched, politically correct. And don’t forget his infatuation with the ows la crowd.

    • anonymous says:

      “team players”, “community activists-leaders”,
      “appointees”, “commission-committee members”
      “council office representatives” of elected gang(sters) etc;
      all enable-empower the corrupt LA government racket
      and things are far worse than they appear to be.

  17. teddy says:

    Hey, people, we were warned that it is not easy to win from an organized gang.
    Ron is a reporter who tells it like it is. His effort is to let us know what is happening
    And he has succeeded. – We have a lot to do. How many doorbells have you rung
    reminding the people about election day? And the people – do they care enough to vote? Calling him names is, in my opinion, incredibly stupid. Oh, well. Life is
    not easy.

  18. The runoff does mean something. If anything, Garcetti has learned an important lesson about the selfishness of the public unions. They will turn on anyone who supports even a veneer of reform.

    While he may not go far enough in securing concessions, Garcetti will not fear their wrath either – especially if he wins in May without any support from them.

    He will eventually have to draw a line in the sand with labor negotiations if he ever wants his vision for the city to reach fruition. Greuel, on the other hand, could give a damn about anything as long as she gets a paycheck.

    • ex valley says:

      Wishful thinking. But dream on.

    • scott zwartz says:

      People who do not know history are doomed to repeat it. Learn Garcetti’s history — he says whatever sounds best at that instant and apparently never hesitates to do the very opposite.

      What has Garcetti learned? That voters are fools and they will believe anything he says.

      This anti-Gay, anti-Women, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, anti-Gypsy, anti-union garbage has to stop. Bigotry is bigotry and there is really no difference between being prejudiced against Jews as being prejudiced against Gay or against Union members. Prejudiced bigotry harms society no matter who is being scapegoated.

      And what individual benefits most from this anti-union scapegoating? Garcetti.

      Who is most harmed by this anti-union scapegoating? Angelenos!

      If you believe that union benefit packages are harmful to the city, then blame the individual person who is more responsible than another elected official for the city’s being functionally bankrupt — Garcetti.

      • It is not anti-union. It is about unsustainable benefits costs. That would be true for non union employees as well if they were receiving overly generous perks paid by the residents. As far as politicians who say whatever sounds best at the moment, you have obviously not been listening to the river of BS that flows from Greuel’s mouth.

      • Kristin Sabo says:

        I like both Wendy and Eric personally. Both will support most issues I find important. So my choice came down to who has done the worst deal with the devil.

        Unfortunately, Wendy did – with the devil himself: Brian D’Arcy.

        I will be voting for Eric.

        • ex valley says:

          Care to enlighten us? What issues do you find important?
          Very interesting to hear from one of so enthusiastic LA voters.

          • Kristin Sabo says:

            I think the ultimate rationale for my decision is enough personal information for this forum.

          • Kristin Sabo says:

            I will say that I am very sad about Wendy. I really do like her personally. D’Arcy is that bad. So it’s the principle of the thing.

      • anonymous says:

        Is being anti-Mobster permissible…
        or would that be too insensitive ?
        Is being anti-Gangster acceptable…
        of would that be too intolerant ?

      • Rita-of-Sunland says:

        Who said anything “anti-GYPSY?” Is there somebody on this forum who’s got a grudge against people wearing peasant blouses, beads and dangle-y earrings? I’m not anti-union but I AM anti-union GOON. Goons like Brian D’Arcy. That cold-blooded thug’s got big plans to grow his IBEW army, which will consequently expand his control over local elections. How? By spear-heading the hiring of hundreds of new GREEN TECHNICIANS (aka unskilled laborers) thru the ridiculous and costly “Get L.A. off Coal” program. Approved by the council last week, it’s a gargantuan feel-good boondoggle that will make our energy rates sky-rocket. I’ve speaking about this down at council during the last coupla weeks. Also, check out my article in “The Foothills Paper” under my “Wally Wharton” nom de plume.

  19. Wayne from Encino who amends his last post says:

    I sign off with ex-valley’s 2 last posts as amendments to the final post. Also Doesn’t the Boston Marathon Masacre prove that we need this retarded Amnesty Bill? To a Dumbocrat and the Gang of 4 Republi-Dumbocrats Graham, the 2 Arizona Senators, and the Cuban-American Fool Rubio it surely does. To the rest of the world—WTF? We gave these two Muslim/Russian TERRORISTS a green card after 9/11 and let them do this in the same CITY THE PLANES WERE HIJACKED FOR 9/11? Yes, congradulations for giving Obama another 4 years to run Homeland Stupidity! Liberalism is a disease, and this proves it. The Cure for it—LITERACY!

    • Rita-of-Sunland says:

      Wayne– “Literacy” as we know it is on the endangered species list in Los Angeles. Thanks to the LAUSD, the UTLA, Tony Villar and Jerry Brown, public schools have devolved into mere cafeterias for illegal aliens.

  20. Wayne from Encino who amends his last post again to Congradulate the Trutanich campaign on the recent poll says:

    Wendy Cruela-Gruela is now 9 points down in the race. Carmen Dumbtanich according to a poll yesterday, is an amazing 24% to Evil-Feuer 39%. 37% of the voters are going Teddy’s way and writing in “Kevin James for City Attorney.” Zine’s retirement party is set for July 1rst, according to sources. But don’t fret—the 24% poll rating for Dumbtanich is IMPRESSIVE. With only 10 people voting next month, My 1 vote can win it all for his 2nd term.
    Shout out to Sultan Bighead—he’s repaving 6 more streets tonight in Encino!

  21. anonymous says:

    Women are very intuitive. They have determined that Wendy is a hypocritical fraud ,who has made a deal with a thug. A vote for Wendy is a vote for increased DWP rates. After all, D`Arcy has to recoup the $4mm he has invested in Wendy so far. And to think of it. Why is she refusing to open up her e mails with D`Arcy for the public to see?

    • Kristin Sabo says:

      “Women are very intuitive. They have determined… ” WTF? Do you always stereotype women that way? Do you actually talk about women as a nebulous group that thinks alike?

      Do not attempt to co-opt and permute my comment.

  22. anonymous says:

    Have you noticed Wendy is trying to ride into the Mayor`s office just on endorsements? She will not tell us her vision other the 2000 more policemen crap.I can imagine the deals she has made with every endorser and hack around her. We will know eventually how much she paid for M. Waters endorsement. We just have to read how much she paid to Waters` daughter for “consulting services”.

  23. anonymous says:

    Desperation time has arrived early for the fraud. Let`s see what garbage the tax dodger will manufacture to throw at Garcetti.

  24. scott zwartz says:

    One way to reform the L.A. City Council is for the County to have a District Attorney — a very novel idea for Los Angeles. No doubt the reason the LA Times reported last summer that the LA area is the second most Crimeogenic part of the nation is due to our having no District Attorney to prosecute criminals inhabiting city hall.

    Key to the criminal enterprise which Garcetti ran while Council President was the agreement among councilmembers to always vote YES so that every council member would automatically support whatever motion another councilmember wanted. The agreement is the selling and trading of votes which is expressly criminalized by Penal Code 86.

    Thousands of council votes are unanimous and at the last session of 2011, Garcetti bragged about his track record of criminality by proclaiming how great it was that the council voted unanimously over 99% of the time. The criminal agreement was so institutionalized that the Council vote tabulator automatically votes YES even if a councilmember has left the council chamber.

    If LA County had a District Attorney, then the council would have been warned and then prosecuted for criminal conspiracy. The agreement for unanimous votes also violates The Brown Act as well as P.C. 86. If the prison sentences for violating PC 86 ran consecutively, Garcetti is due more than 4,000 years in prison.

    Perhaps it is this type of rampant criminality which has brought Los Angeles to functional bankruptcy. Too bad, LA County doesn’t have a District Attorney.

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