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Happy Days Are Here Again in This Temple of Democracy

Sunshine peeks through the clouds, the cynics with all their money and power vanish to their private enclaves, double-dipping Dennis Zine roars off on his Harley to his posh desert hideaway never to be seen again — the costliest, most tediously painful, anti-climactic city election is finally over.

Happy days are here again in this wonderland called L.A.

Enjoy it while you can because come July 1 order will have been restored, Garcetti will be BFF with everyone from Bill Clinton to Brian D’Arcy, Galperin will have his marching orders from labor and the party, and Feuer will posture and preen to the same political pretenses without even being told.

All’s well that ends well. Nothing really changes.

L.A. — you got to love it, the light and dark, the creative genius of it so visible in a new generation of artists, chefs, entrepreneurs and gangsters, so fading in an old guard that sees itself as so much better than the millions of minions so far below, the poor, the immigrant, and most of all the bourgeoisie they despise as nothing more than cash cows.

It has always been that way in L.A.

Nothing that happened Tuesday is going to change that unless you believe in miracles, believe that a man who has known privilege all his life, who believes that City Hall is “a temple of democracy,” a man who has trouble keeping his word will “rise to the occasion,” as editorial fantasists put it, and find strength and courage to stand up with love and respect for all for the greater good.

Unknown to world of self service that clothes itself in the noble language of public service, something great and wonderful is happening, mainly among the young in all their diversity filled with hope and mutual respect.

A new culture filled with promise is being born.  Like everyone who has ever been drawn to the place where dreams are manufactured and sold, their imaginations are lit by the myths of unlimited freedom and endless possibility.

It is not the discontent of the alienated, apathetic and defeated that needs to be tapped but the dreams of something better of those who seek their destinies without access or control by the world where all that talks is power and money.

It’s the beauty of the existential dilemma of living in L.A. now that the Grand Coalition of business, labor and civic elites that bet on a loser who, like them, was incapable of articulating a single idea, not even a single phrase, that contained a word of truth, of real hope.

Garcetti has barely a month to put an agenda on the table that sends the unions, the developers, the political apparatchiks, the big shots reeling back on their heels and inspires the forgotten and ignored.

We don’t need sound bites and pieties. We need leadership, bold and courageous.

If Garcetti wants to be President like most politicians, he needs to make his mark now or he will find he won’t even be mayor all that long.

Democracy isn’t about voting, especially when the system is so closed that it’s always a choice between the lesser of two evils.

It’s about empowering people to feel they matter and that they can be effective at achieving their goals individually and collectively to create a community that reflects their values, meets their needs and serves their interests.

This is L.A. and nothing can stop any of us in our pursuit of private dreams and personal lives wherever that journey may lead us. It’s our collective lives that are lacking.

Maybe that’s why we have been so indifferent, so myopic and self-absorbed, so disengaged that we let the forces of greed and selfishness in all their forms operate without impunity for the last three decades.

Personally, I set out five years ago this month to do what I could to make a difference.

I posted 1,910 blog items, drafted 161 others and killed 3. I started protests and activists groups, went to hundreds of meetings, created an online citizen journalism project. It was all for nought except to know in my heart that I did what I could.

Now, it’s time to get on my shiny new bike and start riding down the billion-dollar bikeway in the L.A. river channel from Winnetka to Long Beach even if it takes me five more years.

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

43 Responses to Happy Days Are Here Again in This Temple of Democracy

  1. Kristin says:

    It’s not all for naught, Ron.

    You are my hero. Betcha others feel the same way.

  2. teddy says:

    Goodbye, Good Luck, God Bless you and your family.

    Thank you for what is a personal sacrifice of five years.

  3. MissAnthrope says:

    I know Ron’s last paragraph sounds like a farewell, but I think, I hope, it’s a metaphor
    for continuing the struggle.

    We’re not going to change 30+ years of City Hall immorality and dishonesty in one or even ten elections. This is a war between “us” and “them”, and “them” have been winning so far. Change isn’t going to happen over night, so we have to keep slogging along and fighting until we’ve won.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Gee, why do I keep missing the French Revolution in such times. Off with their heads was so much easier.

  5. Please clarify – is this the end of your blog? It sure sounds like that.

    If so, I’ll miss it. You were an inspiration for my blog.

    • LA Moderator says:

      I’d like to think not…he’s dropping hints about the watershed of blog-worthy investigation and journaling of the silent river of funding being channeled into this feel-good portfolio of projects.

      Living a block from the confluence of culverts and contracts, I’ve learned it’s not just LA City (B of E, DOT, R&P), not just LA County (Public Works, Flood Control), but the State, Federal funding, special districts, COG’s and SCAG, AQMD…and once the hydra is parched, stormwater assesments and parcel based rain taxes will keep its heads above water.

      I hope he’s peddling prospective prognistications of possible prose….

  6. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think it is the end of his blog. He inspired even the LA Times, LA Weekly & the Daily News who covered local issues far more in the last 5 years than seen before. Ron is just weary just like most of us who have to struggle for positive change in this city that is in the stranglehold of developers, public unions and other debilitating special interests. Change will happen, sooner than later. This can’t go on forever. And, more than ever we need Ron with his guts to call a spade a spade.

  7. teddy says:

    Got my fingers crossed that you are right. We don’t give up, we just
    keep going and working harder, But he might enjoy a holiday.
    We are not ready to give up – the reason crime does not pay is
    that we do not quit. Right?

  8. yeah! that’s what I say, too! Good one, Ron. My fave of yours. Me, I’m off to Corky & Lenny’s in my mind. Adios.

  9. Rita-of-Sunland says:

    Ron, DON’T get on a bike! DON’T join the fascist bicycle fanatics in their hideous blue and black spandex “bike-wear,” and their IDIOTIC woodpecker helmets. Get a car w/ a V-8 engine, fill it w/ Premium and drive it with PRIDE, like me.

    • anonymous says:

      Get a truck. The road ragers are less likely to mess with a one ton pick up.
      And the dumb drivers, those ones that just drift into other lanes, won’t be as much of a threat either.

      • Rita-of-Sunland says:

        Yeah– the ones TOO busy considering ‘ALL Things’ and Map Questing the nearest Starbucks to pay attention…

  10. THANK YOU ALL FOR THE VOTES FOR GALPERIN AND ERIC!!! We have a talent base now in City Hall, thus this time if the corruption wins, then this time it’s WILLFUL CORRUPTION not corruption behind a blind puppet idiot like Villar and Cruela Greuela who only ran for Controller to become mayor (and failed!)
    The tragedy of this election is the Nuch—I met his parents and the whole family in 2009 and he has a family that would make anyone wish they were name Trutanich! They are honest, hardworking, and smart people. I had no doubts in 2009 that Nuch would keep his word, since I was sure the family would keep him in line if it came to that. Problem is, his family isn’t engaged like that. They allowed Nuch to become a baffoon then become a liar, then a loser, then the “come back kid.”
    Nuch was a very good City Attorney and was getting it right. That run for D.A. derailed the whole show, though. Like the same forces that got Kevin James off the air and into a hopeless run for Mayor, there are campaign donors and other evil forces that fool the good guys into doing the wrong things.
    Kevin learned the hard way. I hope Nuch did. I say this for Nuch….
    MOVE TO CD 4, BUY A NICE LITTLE HOUSE AND RUN FOR THE CLOWNCIL IN 2015!!!!! L.A. needs the guy. We all will pay the price with City Attorney Feuer!
    The sight of La Wendy having her ass handed to her—great.
    THE SIGHT OF THE CD3 TYRANT BEING DEFEATED—TOO PRICELESS TO EXPLAIN IN WORDS!!!!!!!
    I end this post with 4 simple words to the Mayor-Elect:
    DEPUTY MAYOR KEVIN JAMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • El Quixotian says:

      Gatto versus Krekorian in CD4, since Paul will now have to compete with Sheila Keuhl and Villaraigosa for Zev’s seat….

      • El Quixotian says:

        arrghh…duh, couldn’t cancel in time…Krekorian (already in CD2)for Supe clears the path for Gatto…

    • anonymous says:

      Wayne, great idea….yes, Trutanich should move…
      but into CD #6 ! As Laura Chick opined on election evening with
      an assessment of the two sanctified CD #6 Latina candidates,
      not verbatim, but essentially: she is not impressed with the
      “skirts for the good-old-boy-political-machine”…
      or, as we would say, political whores and their pimps.

  11. teddy says:

    Kevin would be excellent if he decides to stay in politics. He was
    definitely instrumental in the outcome. Big contrast in attitudes.
    We need citizen not union participants.

    • anonymous says:

      from the link: “His friends are so concerned because he’s lived so flamboyantly and spent basically so much of other people’s money on a very, very costly lifestyle,” Stewart said, adding that Villaraigosa has lived “far better than Gov. Jerry Brown and far more flamboyantly than actual multi-millionaire mayor Richard Riordan.”

      His friends are concerned? What, they want him to continue to run flamboyantly off of other people’s money?

      I am so glad this mayor is finally what he called insultingly others: Dead Wood!!!!!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Jack Humphreville openly questioned the Mayor’s lifestyle as many of us did on this blog about how he could afford the fine wines, dinners & expensive suits on his pay. LA Weekly has a passing line that it was funded by his friends who had business at the city over which he had major influence. Why is this man not being prosecuted & his ass thrown in jail. Instead, this corrupt baggage is being promoted for higher jobs. If this is the trend, fine, but quit filling the jails with people taking a few thousands like the City’s building inspectors while city managers are never touched.

    • anonymous says:

      If City building inspectors and other City officials
      are taking “a few thousand” then they deserve jail.

    • scott zwartz says:

      Corruption is a way of life in LA. Garcetti CRA projects were mired in corruption, yet he was elected mayor. Do you really think Garcetti and his Daddy Gil are going to allow the DA to set a precedent of indicting a mayor for corruption when sonny boy has just bee elected mayor? Get real.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Same as the Mayor.

  14. I’m going to have to visit City Hall and beg the Clowncil for donations to the “Mayor Antonio Moving Fund.” I have one of those miniature Blue Trash cans that were given out to promote recycling. I’ll have people put the $$$ in the little blue trash can. Then
    (after deducting gas money, lunch, and parking fees) total the remainder and on July 1rst present the check to the Mayor on behalf of the People! If Doug and Tilden, as well as the Fools on KFI weren’t such cowardly pusses, then they’d have a call in telethon and make this one international incident to remember! I’m sure one of those moving trucks at Home Depot could be rented from donations from the day laborers who got those work centers courtesy of his Lord Mayor Villar!
    The problem with L.A is the MEDIA! I have to listen to a station 400 miles away to get the Michael Savage Show, which Cumulus owns (which owns KABC radio in L.A. and won’t let the man’s show be heard at all!) Hope the Times get bought by some right wingers then we can counterbalance the crap we have for media a little bit.
    CD3 is preparing for the arrival of 2JobBob who will do the bidding of the Downtown Gang without reservation. Thank the voters for this fiasco…

    • anonymous says:

      I think the money should only go towards emptying his belongings (if any are really his–did anyone take a pre-Tony move in inventory?) into a truck. Then, just dump him and his “stuff” in another district–much like they did with the homeless once upon a time.

      Then again, maybe a tally should be done on the cost of maid service, wine and other household expenses. Maybe his “stuff” should be seized and auctioned off to pay off those services and goodies (including utilities if that applies) that were not paid for out of pocket (ie his salary).

  15. Amazed at the Corruption says:

    A building inspector can only influence at most a dozen or so projects a year and most of those small projects. The Mayor can influence the biggest projects to get built and if that Mayor is wined and dined and travelled to the hilt it is not a crime. The crime is that it took a progressive weekly in Los Angeles that many people only read to find out which club to go to or where to find a date to point this out. What type of newspaper of record do we have who sees nothing wrong with this and wouldn’t of told us that this was taking place. The LATIMES is just as responsible for this pay to play situation as the interested parties. What happened to objective Journalism? If this is what passes for it in Los Angeles then maybe the Koch brothers need to buy this newspaper and throw the bums out and start anew. How could it possible be worse than the journalism that we have right now?

    • scott zwartz says:

      The City Council president is far more powerful than the mayor when it comes to getting corrupt projects approved. The Mayor has no “vote” — only a “veto.” Similar spelling different meanings.

      A mayor can arrange for corrupt projects behind the scenes, but from what we’ve seen here in Hollywood, Garcetti didn’t need any help. He found Juri Ripinksy, Hal Katersky, CIM Group, Eli Broad all by himself.

      It appears that Wesson has dismantled Garcetti’s criminal voting scam in violation of Penal Code 86.

      Here’s he irony: While Gaarcetti was responsible for far more corruption than Tony V and Garcetti was more responsible for bringing LA to functional bankruptcy, Tony V took at the blame because he was a highly visible smuck.

      Now that Eric is mayor, all the rotten things he has done will come home to roost on his watch. Eric has to abandon his fetish for tall skyscrapers like the Millennium Towers in order to protect his future political ambitions. Unless Garcetti can jump ship in only 4 years, he’ll be here in 2017, when the effects of his horrible policies boomerang on him.

      • Amazed at the Corruption says:

        I hate to disagree with you but in matters of development the Mayor is the second most powerful politician. The first is the councilmember in whose district the development is taking place the second is the mayor because he appoints all of the people who sit on the Area Planning Commissions and the City Planning Commissions. These are the people who either make the decision to approve projects that need planning approval or make a recommendation to Council for approval. Along with this the Mayor has set up a case management group within the department of building and safety to move projects through quickly. The Planning director and the Director of Building and Safety, both are very influential in all development and serve at the pleasure of the Mayor. He can remove them and replace them at will. The Council president has relatively little power in the development process, all he does is conduct the council hearing for those cases that need council approval and most of the time the tone of the hearing is set by the affected councilmember not the president of the council.

        I know all of this because I used to be on a neighborhood council and I had to find out about the process in order to know what I was talking about.

        • Anonymous says:

          “The Planning director and the Director of Building and Safety, both are very influential in all development and serve at the pleasure of the Mayor.”

          The Mayor is combining the positions with the Planning Director, Logrande getting it. The corruption will be unbelievable. Neighborhood Councils should not allow this to happen.

          • Amazed at the Corruption says:

            I agree, I no longer live in Los Angeles so I don’t have a dog in this fight, but Neighborhood Councils need to stop this merger or else it will create a super department that will run roughshod over development laws, rules and procedures. The Mayor or the Council will only have to call one Director to get their pet projects greased for an easy approval, and since the Mayor appoints this director and they (directors) no longer have civil service protection, guess what? What daddy wants, daddy gets.

  16. Carl Olson says:

    We got three “less worse” candidates.

    Let’s see if the will go for these reforms:

    1. A written complaint process against any of the 45,000 city employees for abusive, illegal, or incompetent misbehaviors. There is one department that has such a procedure–the LAPD. It could be a model for all the other departments.

    2. Fix the potholes. Right now the only potholes that are filled come only from complaints that someone in the public reports. The pothole fillers themselves don’t even report potholes. They also don’t fill potholes easily visible (maybe 20 to 50 feet away) from where they are working. There are only 2 pothole crews per council district. Should be at least 4.

    3. Sue the financial fiasco companies and their auditors for bringing on the vast losses in the city’s 3 pension funds. Start with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers, Countrywide, etc. who issued grossly fraudulent financial statements. This could be worth billions.

  17. teddy says:

    These are well done and I just made a copy to mail to Mitch Englander 12CD.

  18. JEAN FLEMING says:

    RON, I HOPE YOU ARE NOT GIVING UP. WE NEED YOU. YOU REALLY HAVE A GIFT FOR POINTING OUT THE PROBLEMS IN OUR FAIR CITY. YOU ALWAYS MAKE ME LAUGH. AS I WAS READING YOUR COLUMN THIS MORNING I THOUGHT ABOUT “CHINA TOWN”…JACK NICHOLSON AND FAYE DUNAWAY. IF YOU DO GIVE UP ON YOUR COLUMN YOU SHOULD WRITE THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL

  19. Anonymous says:

    “There is one department that has such a procedure–the LAPD. It could be a model for all the other departments”. LAPD a model for anything? Be serious Carl Olson.

    “The FBI is investigating whether members of the Los Angeles Police Department’s elite SWAT and Special Investigations Section units violated the law by purchasing large numbers of custom-made handguns and reselling them for profit, according to interviews.”

    • scott zwartz says:

      The LAPD greatly benefited from operating under the Consent Decree, but on-going training is required to stop corruption of all types from infecting the LAPD.

      “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely.” Lord Acton

      Because the LAPD is a daily exercise of power, every day the corruption that comes with power creeps back into the organization. The LAPD, however, lacks the funds to fight against this natural phenomenon. Why? Because Garcetti as council president diverted over $1.5 BILLION tax dollars to his developer buddies.

      Any police department deprived of the funds to combat the corrosive impact of power will deteriorate into a myriad forms of corruption. If you want to maintain LAPD as a professional police force, then you’ve got to stop Garcetti from diverting billions of dollars to his developer buddies.

  20. Wayne from Encino on the Move the Mayor Fundraiser says:

    So far only $2.10 raised! (I put in the $2 bucks as seed money.) I’m going to have to go to Clowncil meetings and DEMAND the City help Move The Mayor out of the Getty Mansion so that the Garcettis can move in July 1rst. Otherwise, the new Mayor might have an unwelcome house guest for, like the next 4 or 8 years!!! Brings back memories of Kato Kaylin! I wonder if Villar takes all the furniture and silverware with him when he moves out? Ha Ha Ha—-I can see a story brewing here!!!! Ha Ha Ha!!!
    I’d love a few pieces of that Furniture myself, wouldn’t you?

    • anonymous says:

      Keep the mansion empty. Chances are Garcetti and his wife won’t separate, so no need for him moving in there. Besides, Getty house non-profit raised money after it was trashed by Bradley to fix it and spruce it up for tours, dignitaries (are there any left?) and the like. Two bucks could cover Villar’s taxi tip. That’s two buck in a day–good start Wayne. Maybe by June 30 we’ll be able to cover the taxi tab too. County could seize unclaimed personal effects and auction them off.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Ron has to stick around..the Core of the Cancerous City Council CORRUPTION just got elected Mayor!

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