October 11, 2015
. Like the weather, everybody talks about City Hall corruption, but no one does anything about it — until now! A group calling itself Save Valley Village has launched what may turn out to be a fatal attack on the corruption which has been rotting Los Angeles City Hall for years. As Save Valley Village alleged in its lawsuit, the heart of Los Angeles corruption is the criminal voting scam which rules our lives.
. We all complain about it. Even those who have supported and encouraged the corruption complain. A prime example is Mickey Kantor’s and Austin Beutner’s 2020 Commission Time for Truth — It set forth Los Angeles’ serious decline, deferring for another day any solutions. Their opening line declared:
“Los Angeles is barely treading water while the rest of the world is moving forward. We risk falling further behind in adapting to the realities of the 21st century and becoming a City in decline.”
. All the ills which Kantor and Beutner set forth stem from the criminal voting pact which they and virtually every other city leader cherish. One has to wonder, what were they thinking? Are they so deluded that they don’t realize that THEY are the cause? A few months later, Angelenos had their answer. The 2020 Commission inhabits a world of make-believe where they are blind to the causal connection between corruption and a seriously ailing city.
2020 Commission A-Time-For-Action was a citizen’s worst nightmare. Mickey Kantor’s main solution was for the city to funnel gigantic profits to Mickey Kantor’s client, BNSF Railway by Los Angeles’ taking over the Long Beach port. A corrupt city council where no opposition is allowed would be ideal to funneling hundreds of millions more dollars to Mr. Kantor’s client. Ironically, Mr. Kantor, who failed to disclose his huge financial stake in one of the reports major points, also called for an Office of Transparency.
“The onus is on City Hall to foster a culture of transparency and accountability that will lead to more efficient delivery of services and an increase in public participation in government.”
. That’s right, while calling for Transparency, Kantor and Beutner were concealing Mickey Kantor’s huge financial stake in the “raid” on the Long Beach port. Needless to say, no where did Kantor nor Beutner mention the corrupt core of Los Angeles decision-making process, that is, the criminal voting scam which guarantees that the City will approve each and every hideous project any councilmember desires.
. Los Angeles City Council habitually violates two major California laws.
. (1) The Brown Act: This Act is part of California’s Government Code (Gov’t Code 54950-54963) and it requires that all City Council deliberations be held in public. There can be no behind the scenes deals. The City Council cannot conduct their deliberations in secret and then merely hold a public vote which reflects the secret negotiations. As one will see, Los Angeles City Council engages in secret deliberations over 99% of the time. That makes any public comment to the City Council a sham.
. (2) Penal Code 86: Starting in 2006, California Penal Code 86 made any type of deal for vote trading to be a criminal act punishable with up to four years in prison for each violation. Penal Code 86 expressly forbids any and all voting agreements between two or more city councilmembers. The City Attorney for San Francisco explained the criminal nature of any voting agreement in his 2006 memo. 2006 San Francisco City Attorney Memo on Penal Code 86
. Los Angeles City Council requires all councilmembers to adhere to a criminal voting pact which we term, “I’ll Scratch Your Back and You’ll Scratch My Back.”
. Each councilmember is required to vote YES for each and every project which any other councilmember wants in his/her district. This type of voting pact erases any public deliberation since everyone knows in advance that each and every project will receive unanimous approval. One does not find 15 people in unanimous agreement 5,000 times in a row unless there is an agreement to vote YES. This criminal voting pact is the key element in Garcettism.
. The likelihood of The City Council’s passing every project by unanimous vote is less than 1 in 20 Billion. Council President Garcetti himself bragged about how under his leadership, Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously over 99% of the time. In 2010, The Center for Governmental Studies placed the unanimity rate at 99.996%. Councilmembers have said that they defer to the councilmember in whose district a project is located. They do not realize that by admitting to a custom and practice of deferring to the councilmember with the project, they are admitting to participating in a criminal voting conspiracy.
. A spokesperson for the current President of the Los Angeles City Council, Herb Wesson, said there is nothing wrong with “listening” to the councilmember in whose district a project is located. When “listening to” means “voting unanimously over 99% of the time,” there is something seriously wrong. That type of “listening to” is like a 7/11 theft’s helping lessen the burden on the 7/11 clerk by “relieving” him of all the cash in the register.
Now we come to Save Valley Village . . .
. In its October 2, 2015 story, L.A. Faces Lawsuit over Demolition of Former Marilyn Monroe Home, The Los Angeles Times’s reporter Emily Alpert-Ryes has told the story how Councilmember Korekorian wantonly had Marilyn Monroe’s home destroyed. Just three days before the cultural heritage commission meeting, Councilmember Krekorian let Marilyn Monroe’s home be demolished. The Councilmember knew that the demolition was unlawful since Councilmember Krekorian himself was the person who pulled the strings to block the required CEQA Study of Alternatives.
. CEQA stands for California Environmental Quality Act, and its requirement in the case of Marilyn’s home was simple — study the alternatives to tearing it down. When CEQA studies the Alternatives, the entire City is provided notice and a forum is created where people from all over the City can comment. One Alternative which would have been studied was to relocate the modest structures to another parcel of land. In fact, if the home were moved, it would have saved the developer the cost of demolition.
. For reasons which Councilmember Krekorian has never explained, he preferred violating the law in a mean-spirited way to needlessly tear down Marilyn’s home. What did it benefit the developer? Nothing! What did it benefit history? Nothing! What did it benefit “Hollywood.” Nothing. In a city with the Walk of Fame and where tourists spend hundreds of millions of every year, destroying Marilyn’s home was both a PR and a financial blunder.
. Who might have had an interest in preserving this part of Marilyn’s and Hollywood’s legacy? How about Hugh Heffner. Marilyn Monroe graced the the cover of the first Playboy! What about Marilyn fan clubs? What about the various historical and cultural groups in L.A.?
. While Councilmember Krekorian was laughing at the folks who had wanted to save Marilyn’s home, SaveValleyVillage launched a frontal attack at the criminal voting pact which allowed Krekorian to trample on history, on his constituents and on the law. See SaveValleyVilllage v City of Los Angeles
. SaveValleyVillage’s Petition-Complaint is filled with legalese — the law requires them to be written that way. When one looks at what is called the Third Cause of Action, one sees that SaveValleyVillage has zeroed in on the essence of Los Angeles’s corruption — the City Council’s criminal voting conspiracy to approve each and every project no matter how bad and no matter how illegal. Very often, The City Council will unanimously agree to subsidize the developer with millions of tax dollars. CIM Group, for example, got $17.Million for its Sunset-Gordon Project. CityWatchLA, Big Developer Looking for Another Handout from LA Taxpayers, by Ziggy Kruse http://bit.ly/1N1Jx4U This corrupt voting pact is the reason that Los Angeles is in steep decline. While power tends to corrupt, corruption destroys.
. The criminal voting pact is how the City diverted well over $2 BILLION to developers and away from needed city services such as street, sidewalks, pension fund contributions, water mains, sewers, parks, adequate training for the LAPD, paramedics. In fact, in June 2013, the County Grand Jury found that in 2012, Garcetti as Council President had used the illegal voting pact to take $200 Million away from paramedics and firefighters. The Grand Jury funds that when the City Council unanimously approved depriving the paramedics of funding, Garcetti and the other councilmembers knew that people would needlessly die. In fact, The Grand Jury found that people did needlessly die. Read the report from the June 2013 Grand Jury
. As one can see, this criminal voting pact has had far more lethal impact than the “death” of one historic home. And, where did the City Council spend its money if not on paramedics. The City managed to support Eli Broad’s garage to the tune of $52 Million. His museum sits on land owned by the City and for which Eli pays $1 per year in rent. Yes, this is the same Eli Broad who is trying to take over the LA schools for fun and profit and who’s also trying to buy the LA Times to make certain no dissenting media voice is ever heard.
. And who is Eli’s good pal? Austin Buetner who co-authored The 2020 Commission A-Time-For-Action which sought to consolidate power in the hands of the corrupt city council and the mega downtown law firms.
. So here we have a tiny band of community members battling the Billionaire Horde who run City Hall.
. Since the facts and law are not in doubt, I guess the question boils down to whether the Billionaires can buy themselves a judge.