by Scott Zwartz
Sunday, November 1, 2015
. Everything you learned about voting is wrong — if you live in the City of Los Angeles. In L.A., “one man, one vote” means “Only one man’s vote counts and you’re not that man.”
. OK, we’ll back up a little. Most Angelenos do not know that under the voting system employed by former City Council President and now mayor Eric Garcetti, it takes only one vote for the city council to adopt a measure unanimously. Yes, the word “unanimous” used to mean that everyone voted for the measure, but not under the bizarre Garcetti voting pact which has been in control since he was Council President (2006). This corrupt voting pact is another facet of Garcettism.
. For example, if a councilman wants to tear down a historic home for a developer to build some condos, the city councilman gets to ignore all the laws in order to pave the way for the project. When the law says that the City has to study some alternatives to tearing down a historic structure, let’s say Marilyn Monroe’s old home where Ronald Reagan plucked her from complete obscurity and launched her international career, the councilman can have some flunky in the planning department declare that Marilyn Monroe isn’t famous enough, or she had too many homes, or that she did not win an award while living at that address. The councilman unlawfully substitutes this one employee’s off-the-wall opinion rather follow the law to conduct a public study to see if there is some alternative to demolition, such as moving the home to another place. Under the California government code section called The Brown Act and under the Pub. Res. Code called California Environmental Quality Act, the city has a duty to let everyone in the community know that a possible historic home is in danger of being destroyed. The decision may not be made in secret without providing the proper public forum.
. When there is a public forum to discuss the history of the home, there is a way for people who know about Hollywood’s history in general and Marilyn Monroe in particular, to meet with other people who may have ideas how to save the home. The most obvious alternative was to move the small home elsewhere. They might even find someone who would pay to move the home and save the developer the cost of demolition. That is the process which the law requires so that people may cooperatively reach decisions. In Los Angeles, however, individual councilmen are petty tyrants over their fiefdom and they actually how the power to compel the entire city council to approve their wrongdoing.
. Let’s be clear — all the law said to Councilman Krekorian, “Slow down there buckaroo. Take some time to see if the home can be saved and the condos can also be built. How about moving the small home?”
. “NO! I want my way, and I want my way NOW!!!” screams the impetuous councilman. “Tear it Down and tear it down NOW!”
. Let’s see what was the developer himself doing? Was he going to Planning Department and demanding a bogus statement that Marilyn was not famous enough? No. He was doing what any prudent businessman would do. He was making nice with the councilman. Of course, developers and councilmen do fall into a type of Foile de Deux (shared psychotic disorder) where the facts and law transform themselves into whatever they wish them to do.
. Was the developer opposed to someone else paying to move the home? No. Was the developer opposed to receive community accolades for saving Marilyn home? No. Did the developer want to be vilified and made persona no grata? No! Did the developer want to become embroiled needless litigation, when he literally could have had his cake and eaten it too? No. The developer and everyone else was held hostage to the hubris of councilman Krekorian.
. QUESTION: Why did councilman Krekorian behave in such a bad fashion?
. ANSWER: Councilman Krekorian knows that his one vote at city council will count as UNANIMOUS approval of the destruction of the home and allow for the building of the new condo project.
. At the Los Angeles City Council, any councilmember who does not vote “No” is counted as if he/she had voted “YES.” Under the voting pact, No votes are not permitted against a fellow councilmember’s project. Thus, when the only councilman to vote YES is Councilman Krekorian, and the others follow the mandate of the voting pact and do nothing, the city council falsely reports that the matter passed unanimously. Thus, a vote of one is reported as unanimous approval.
Everyone is Held Hostage
. Everyone is held hostage to this bizarre and illegal Garcetti Voting Machine. The developer has no control over what the councilman does and no developer wants to offend the all powerful councilmember. To tell the truth, almost all the developers love this system which allows them to ignore each and every ordinance, zoning requirement or statute that irks them. Nor are community residents’ opinions worth diddly. All that matters in Los Angeles is what the councilmember wants — and the law means nothing.
. And why is this? Under the voting system which Eric Garcetti bequeathed to his successors, councilmembers are not permitted to vote against a project in another district. But wait — there is more to this illegal system.
. All non-voters are counted as YES votes. Thus, all councilman Krekorian has to do is vote YES and the others walk away from their desks and not vote, and the city council will record all non-votes as Yes Votes. Thus, councilman Krekorian’s sole vote will be reported as a unanimous approval.
Great Evils Have Befallen Los Angeles
Due To This Voting Scam
. Under this corrupt voting system, which was honed and hewed by former Council President and now Mayor, Garcetti, each councilmember gets anything he wants in his fiefdom. Perhaps, the most important thing for Angelenos to realize is the horrendous law breaking which flows from this voting system.
. Councilman Krekorian knew he could have the Planning Department issue nonsense statements bashing Marilyn Monroe in order to evade the CEQA requirement to conduct a study because all he needed to have his law breaking validated was his own vote.
. This same system is why Hollywood has no Target Store. Then Councilmember Garcetti insisted that the Target build a store which was intentionally illegal because Garceti wanted to “bust” the specific plan for that area. Garcetti’s Yes Vote for The Target Plan ended up being unanimous as no one was allowed to Vote No, and all non-votes are counted as Yes Votes. This way Garcetti’s open and notorious disregard for the Specific Plan gets unanimous approval even when the only person who votes Yes is Garcetti.
Great and Recurring Harm To The City of Los Angeles
. This same corrupt mechanism where one vote = unanimous voting is how Garcetti got the city Council to approve the Paseo Project in Hollywood for his own fundraiser and federal felon, Juri Ripinksy. How many councilmembers thought that it was a good idea to give this mega project to felon who had done hard time at Leavenworth for real estate fraud and bank fraud? It did not matter. All Garcetti needed to pass The Paseo Project through the council unanimously was Garcetti’s one vote. With one vote, the city council then pretends all the others voted YES.
. Hollywood now has neither a Target nor a Sears (where the Paseo Project was to be located) and the cause is corruption. [It is about ten years after the approval of Paseo Project and nothing has been built, which has lost a significant amount of tax income for the city of Los Angeles. Sears Hollywood generated significant sales tax revenue and there were several other thriving business on the same block. Everyone in the City suffers when the city’s tax income is diminished and all councilmembers should have been able to express their skepticism of awarding this huge project to a a felon who had been convicted of real estate fraud.] Garcettism is the proper word for the type of corruption which afflicts Los Angeles. The corrupt voting mechanism which was crafted with care and love by City Council President and now Mayor Eric Garcetti is the root cause. That’s how councilman Krekorian knew that his law breaking to needlessly destroy Marilyn’s former home would be approved. No matter what law is broken in order to get what a councilmember wants, his one vote is all that is necessary in order to have the city council “unanimously” cleanse the illegality.
. This corrupt voting scam is how Garcetti got the Hollywood Community Plan passed on June 19, 2012; it is why the council unanimously approved the Millennium Earthquake Towers.
. This corrupt voting procedure is how Eric Garcetti, while he was City council President, took millions of dollars away from the paramedics based on the false report that the paramedics did not need the funding. The June 2013 County Grand Jury found that when the paramedics were deprived of their funding, Garcetti and the other councilmembers “knew” that loss of funds would result in needless loss of life and that in fact people did needlessly die. Without the corrupt voting pact, councilmembers could have voted No. People should study the Grand Jury Report very carefully and see how found that the city council KNEW that people would die. This corrupt voting pact is truly lethal. June 2013 Grand Jury
. Zwartz Talk could literally recite thousands upon thousands of measures, which were unanimously approved under this illegal voting process. Because about 99% of all votes since 2006 were unanimous and there is no way to know whether more than one councilmember ever voted for any of the unanimous items, virtually every single project in the city of Los Angeles is tainted with criminal fraud.
. There are a couple variations in this illegal voting scam.
Here’s version #1:
. A council item calls for 150 unit mixed-use project, which the residents oppose, but it is being built by the councilman’s fundraiser. If only one Yes Vote is cast, the city council reports that one vote as if every other councilmember had also voted YES.
. That is why the Los Angeles City Council’s passes about 99% of all measures unanimously — all it takes to be unanimous is ONE VOTE.
Here is Version #2:
. If any project has had public comment during the administrative phase, when it comes to the City Council for the council’s deliberation and vote, it can be placed on what is called “the consent calendar.” This is what councilman Krekorian did to obtain approval of the demolition of Marilyn Monroe’s home.
. When an item goes on the Consent Calendar, there is no discussion at all in the city council. Every item on the Consent Calendar is adopted en mass.
. This procedure is also illegal under The Brown Act and under CEQA when the City Council is the “lead agency.” The law requires that the city council itself deliberate in public on each and every item. Nothing on the Consent Calendar receives public deliberation.
. When the city council passes a CEQA item on the consent calendar not only is there no public deliberation, but there is no independent determination that the CEQA decisions are correct. Under CEQA the City Council as lead agency may not delegate its duty of a public review and its own certification of the CEQA decisions. Rather it adopts whatever is on the Consent Calendar, often with no idea what items are on the Consent Calendar. The use of the Consent Calendar means that the City Council has committed fraud by attesting to its having exercised its independent discretion in a public session.
. Councilmember Ryu explained that the word which he uses for his participation in this illegal voting pact is “deference.” Councilmember Ryu shows deference to the councilmember who proposes a project. The current city council president, Herb Wesson’s Office uses the word, “listen.” They say it is appropriate to “listen” to the councilman who wants a project in his district.
Penal Code means Criminal Code
. Let’s be clear — The Penal Code is the State of California’s Criminal Code. When any city councilmember “defers” or “listens to” or allows his/her non-vote to be counted as a YES vote, he/she has committed a criminal act which is punished with a maximum of four years in state prison.
How the Los Angeles City Council’s Criminal Voting Procedure
Corrupts Los Angeles to its Core
. This pattern has been repeated thousands of times since 2006. As we saw with councilman Krekorian, during the planning phase, he bushes aside law with full knowledge that his lone vote will be sufficient to sweep his wrongdoing under the rug. Without the corrupt voting mechanism, Krekorian might have to worry that councilmember Football Tommy would pipe up in council and complain, “Hey pass that wonderful old home over to us here in Hollywood. I’ll make a place for it in Griffith Park.” With an over 99% assurance that there won’t be a single No vote, councilmembers are encouraged to break break any law they desire. The city council has no mechanism to prevent the complete disregard of the law. Every violation gets unanimous approval.
. Without the corrupt voting mechanism, councilmembers might actually complain about criminal behavior. We really did not need Judge Goodman to tell us that Garcetti’s Hollywood Community Plan was based on fatal flawed and bogus data. The City Attorney and the planning department and other councilmembers knew that. But all Garcetti needed was his ONE Vote to make certain the Hollywood Community Plan, which everyone knew was based on fraudulent data, would pass unanimously.
. Because councilmembers know that no matter how outrageously a project violates the law the councilmember can immune him/herself from all his/her wrongdoing simply by his/her lone YES vote, lawlessness is rampant at the Los Angeles City Council.
. The courts need to enjoin the Los Angeles City Council from continuing its criminal voting pact. Until the courts order the City to cease and desist, each councilmember will know that no matter how many laws are broken to get what he wants, his lone vote will immunize him.
. By the way, Mayor Garcetti is preparing to ask the court to turn a blind eye to his corrupt voting scam. Instead, the City wants the courts to engage in the absurd fiction that everything was done letter perfect in connection with the law. In brief, the city will be asking the courts to play the role of Sgt. Schultz in Hogan’s Heroes.
edits: 11-8-15, 2-15-2016 [2-15-2016 update: It seems that if No Votes are cast in favor of a project, it still passes unanimously.]