Category Archives: Featured

Probably On Basis Of Our Complaint, Scofflaw Lobbyist Marie Rumsey Has Been Nailed By Ethics Commission For Violating Post-Employment Restrictions, Provides Pathetically Implausible Excuse, Enforcement Staff Recommends She Be Let Off With Wrist Slap

Marie Rumsey in happier days at CD13 before she got hired on at the Central City Association and turned to a life of crime, infamy, and outlawry.
Marie Rumsey in happier days at CD13 before she got hired on at the Central City Association and turned to a life of crime, infamy, and outlawry.
My colleagues and I reported in January 2016 that former Mitch O’Farrell aide Marie Rumsey appeared to be in violation of Los Angeles Municipal Code §49.5.13.C.1. A few weeks later I submitted a report on the matter to the City Ethics Commission. Well, last night the CEC published its agenda for the December 6 meeting and, lo! A stipulation in the matter of Marie Rumsey is Item 5!

I submitted evidence of three violations, although there were clearly many others. They tagged her for two of them. She admitted that she’d broken the law, but gave as an exceedingly lame excuse that… well, let the CEC tell it:

Rumsey received inaccurate legal advice from CCA’s former legal counsel and mistakenly believed that she could attempt to influence any City agency except Councilmember O’Farrell’s office.

Because of this and because of her cooperation, CEC staff is recommending leniency:

The maximum administrative penalty for a violation of the City’s post-employment laws is the greater of $5,000 or three times the amount of compensation that was improperly received. Los Angeles City Charter § 706(c)(3). In this case, the two counts against Rumsey result in a maximum penalty of $14,250. We recommend a penalty of $7,125, which is equal to 50 percent of the maximum in this case. We believe the recommended penalty is appropriate, because it takes into consideration the serious nature of the violations while also encouraging cooperation with Ethics Commission investigations and the early resolution of violations.

These offers of 50% of the fine seem to be standard for people who cooperate with the CEC. And the $7,125 isn’t pocket change, even if the CCA ends up paying it for her.1 In this case, though, I think such a low offer is a mistake, not least because on analysis her excuse turns out to be unsupportable. For details on this, and some other interesting matters regarding this case, read on!
Continue reading Probably On Basis Of Our Complaint, Scofflaw Lobbyist Marie Rumsey Has Been Nailed By Ethics Commission For Violating Post-Employment Restrictions, Provides Pathetically Implausible Excuse, Enforcement Staff Recommends She Be Let Off With Wrist Slap

VICTORY!! All Los Angeles BID Security Patrols To Register With Police Commission Per City Attorney, BID Patrol Excessive Force Complaint Under Investigation By LAPD; Direct Result of MK.Org Reporting!

Earlier this afternoon I spoke with Ernesto Vicencio, who is an LAPD investigator assigned to the Police Commission. He told me that the City Attorney either has sent or will soon send a letter to all Los Angeles Business Improvement Districts informing them that their security patrols are required to register with the Los Angeles Police Commission per LAMC 52.34.

This incredibly welcome development is a direct result of my discovery in the Summer of 2016 that it was likely that BID security registration had inadvertently ceased in 2000 due to an oversight. I don’t believe I mentioned it at the time, but in addition to writing a number of posts on the subject, I also sent a petition to the Police Commission asking them to look into the matter and to conclude that BID security ought in fact to register with them.

According to Officer Vicencio the City Attorney has decided to implement this request.1 This development is hugely important, not least because LAMC 52.34 requires private patrol services to have a procedure for investigating citizen complaints. It also grants the Police Commission a great deal of regulatory power over the activities of security patrols who are required to register.

Which brings us to the second stunning and absolutely unexpected thing that Officer Vicencio told me. You may recall that I recently reported on what seemed like a clear use of excessive force by members of the Andrews International Hollywood BID Patrol. Well, about three weeks ago I submitted a report on this matter to Kerry Morrison of the HPOA and also to the Police Commission, as instructed by the Commission’s executive director, Richard Tefank.

Today Vicencio told me that he is handling this matter. He has tried, without success so far, to locate the victim, and he is going to investigate further. Obviously there’s no guarantee that any of these officers will suffer any consequences,2 but again, the larger implications of the fact that they’re being investigated by the City are huge. This means that the Police Commission agrees that they have jurisdiction over citizen complaints against BID security. This changes everything.
Continue reading VICTORY!! All Los Angeles BID Security Patrols To Register With Police Commission Per City Attorney, BID Patrol Excessive Force Complaint Under Investigation By LAPD; Direct Result of MK.Org Reporting!

Business Improvement Districts As A Force For White Supremacy in Twenty-First Century Los Angeles

This is the most obvious and least dangerous form in which white supremacy expresses itself.
This is the most obvious and least dangerous form in which white supremacy expresses itself.
My colleagues and I spill a lot of metaphorical ink referring to business improvement districts and their Boards of Directors as white supremacists, and we certainly stand by that position. However, it’s recently come to my attention that not everyone in our audience is familiar with the literal meaning of the phrase. Evidently it strikes some people as a generic, semantically empty insult, or else they’re confused by the fact that the phrase refers to at least two fairly distinct ideologies. Thus I thought it would be useful to explain in detail why BIDs are in a very literal sense white supremacist organizations.

First let’s get the definitions straight. As always, our friends at Wikipedia give us a good starting place. Their article on white supremacy tells us that the phrase has two principal meanings. The salient one for our purposes is that white supremacy is:

…a political ideology that perpetuates and maintains the social, political, historical and/or industrial domination by white people

It’s crucial to note that there’s nothing inherently racist about this kind of white supremacy.1 Now, the history of the racial segregation of real estate in Los Angeles is well-known, and Hollywood was at the forefront of it from the early years of the last century. What’s not so well understood is how racially segregated the commercial real estate market was. In fact2 it was certainly more segregated than residential real estate, since white people owned much of the commercial real estate even in areas of the City where nonwhites were allowed to own houses.3
Continue reading Business Improvement Districts As A Force For White Supremacy in Twenty-First Century Los Angeles

How is this Even Legal? BID Patrol Attacks a Sitting Man, Forcibly Handcuffs Him, and Then, With Full Cooperation of LAPD, Arrests Him for Kicking one of Them During Putative “Arrest”

Stop resisting!  Stop resisting, dude.
Stop resisting! Stop resisting, dude.
This would be unbelievable if the whole thing weren’t captured on video. On November 23, 2015, at least four BID Patrol security guards (Mike Coogle, along with Wissman, Tizano, and Cox) confronted a man who was sitting on the sidewalk in front of the Metro Red Line station at Hollywood and Vine. They talked to him for almost four minutes, during which time he didn’t answer their questions and mostly ignored them. At 3:55 in the video one officer says to another “you want him?” The other says yes, so they grab him and push him over.
BID_patrol_attacks_02
Soon all four of them are piled on top of him and trying to put handcuffs on him. Coogle claimed that the man kicked him during this episode, and ultimately they didn’t even arrest him for violating LAMC 41.18(d). Instead they arrested him for battery for kicking Coogle. When LAPD officers Adams (#34837) and Galicia (#41404) showed up and accepted the man into custody with the approval of their supervisor, LAPD Sgt. Chuck Slater. You can read the full story in the arrest report, although it doesn’t answer the main question I have about this incident: How did the LAPD decide to arrest Jones for battery rather than the BID Patrol officers?

Now, I have heard repeatedly that these BID Patrol officers have no arrest powers beyond those that every private citizen has. Kerry Morrison has even said this to me in person while schoolmarmishly waggling her finger in my face. If this is true, and I think it probably is, then there are two possibilities. Either these BID Patrol officers are breaking the law on camera here or else it’s actually legal in the City of Los Angeles for private citizens to form up into gangs of four people, physically jump on top of anyone they see sitting on the sidewalk, and force them into handcuffs. In fact, Ms. Kerry Morrison has confessed in print to violating LAMC 41.18(d) but neither got arrested by her own BID patrol nor got jumped on and handcuffed by a gang of vigilantes.
Continue reading How is this Even Legal? BID Patrol Attacks a Sitting Man, Forcibly Handcuffs Him, and Then, With Full Cooperation of LAPD, Arrests Him for Kicking one of Them During Putative “Arrest”

How to Destroy a Business Improvement District in California: A Theory

This would be an effective, emotionally satisfying, and poetically just way to get rid of business improvement districts, but I'm hoping for something a little more environmentally friendly.
This would be an effective, emotionally satisfying, and poetically just way to get rid of business improvement districts, but I’m hoping for something a little more environmentally friendly.
DISCLAIMER: I’m not a lawyer. But I’m friends with some lawyers. More than zero of them did not laugh out loud at the idea you’re about to read. That’s all I got.

Business improvement districts in California are made possible by the Property & Business Improvement District Law of 1994.1 It’s worth reading, or at least skimming through, because there’s gold in them thar hills! For instance, consider Section 36670(a)(1), which states:

36670.(a) Any district established or extended pursuant to the provisions of this part … may be disestablished by resolution by the city council in either of the following circumstances:

(1) If the city council finds there has been misappropriation of funds, malfeasance, or a violation of law in connection with the management of the district, it shall notice a hearing on disestablishment.

Do you see the potential in that statement? The fact that it’s a tool for laying waste the BIDs of Los Angeles like so many Philistines? It’s a little hard to understand statutes, but here’s a clue: when they say “shall” they mean “must,” not “can.” Now turn the page to find out why this little statute, if not more powerful than Doug Henning and his sparkly rainbow suspenders as pictured above, is possibly as effective a BID repellent but much, much more emotionally satisfying than mere poofsly-woofsly magical annihilation.
Continue reading How to Destroy a Business Improvement District in California: A Theory

Hollywood BID Patrol Arrest Rate Continues to Plummet in 2016: by Week 12 there were 23% Fewer Arrests than in 2015 and more than 50% Fewer than in 2014

Steve Seyler in 2014, one day before he told Kerry Morrison that he was going to "have the Officers slow down a little more..." The effects of that statement continue to be felt in Hollywood.
Steve Seyler in 2014, one day before he told Kerry Morrison that he was going to “have the Officers slow down a little more…” The effects of that statement continue to be felt in Hollywood.
Recall that the Andrews International Hollywood BID Patrol arrested more than 40% fewer people in 2015 than they did in 2014, and that this precipitous drop was almost certainly due to our scrutiny. Well, newly obtained figures show that as of Week 12 of 20161 the BID Patrol had arrested only 130 people. This is an annualized rate of

\frac{130}{12}\frac{arrests}{week}\times 52\frac{weeks}{year}=564\frac{arrests}{year}

Recall that in 2015 the BID Patrol arrested 606 people, so this projected figure represents a projected 7% decrease from last year’s already strikingly attenuated figures.

Furthermore, by week 12 of 2015 the BID Patrol had arrested 169 people, compared to only 130 this year. This represents a stunning 23% reduction from 2015’s level. For the sake of comparison, note that by week 12 of 2014 the BID Patrol had already arrested 261 people. Thus 2016’s week 12 total is less than half of the 2014 figure from the same week.

Read on for a little bit of editorial speculation.
Continue reading Hollywood BID Patrol Arrest Rate Continues to Plummet in 2016: by Week 12 there were 23% Fewer Arrests than in 2015 and more than 50% Fewer than in 2014

In 2013 The Andrews International BID Patrol Arrested Homeless People at More than 57 Times the Rate that the LAPD Did and were Responsible for 1 in 14 Homeless Arrests in Entire City of Los Angeles

The BID Patrol can't make its numbers just arresting one homeless person at a time.
The BID Patrol can’t make its numbers just arresting one homeless person at a time.
(I apologize in advance for this necessarily data-heavy post, but it’s essential information).

In 20131 the BID Patrol arrested homeless people at more than 57 times the rate that the LAPD did. Furthermore, they were responsible for more than 1% of all arrests made in the entire City of Los Angeles that year even while working only 0.13% of the hours that the LAPD did. Approximately one in fourteen arrests of homeless people in the entire city of Los Angeles that year was made by the BID Patrol.

Here’s how I calculated these figures: That year the LAPD made 14,838 arrests of homeless people2 whereas the Andrews International BID Patrol made 1,096 arrests.3 Reading through A/I’s 2013 arrest reports and examining A/I’s 2013 arrest photos I see no reason to believe that the BID Patrol arrested non-homeless people in 2013 in any significant number.4
Continue reading In 2013 The Andrews International BID Patrol Arrested Homeless People at More than 57 Times the Rate that the LAPD Did and were Responsible for 1 in 14 Homeless Arrests in Entire City of Los Angeles

Selma Park Once Again Free and Open to the Public After Seven Long Years!! How Will Hollywood Ever Be Made Whole?

The open gates of Selma Park once again welcome all people into their loving embrace as God and the Department of Recreation and Parks intended.
The open gates of Selma Park, shimmering in the miraculous light of the golden hour in lovely Los Angeles, once again welcome all people into their loving embrace as God and the Department of Recreation and Parks intended.
A little more than two weeks ago, we reported that, despite the fact that someone, probably the HPOA, had posted a bunch of signs to the contrary, Selma Park, at the corner of Selma Avenue and Schrader Blvd., was, according to the LA City Recreation and Parks Commission, actually open to all people, including adults without children in their care. At the time he received this information from RAP, our correspondent told the commission about the signs and the arrests and asked if they could remove the signs. He never heard back, but when walking by this afternoon, he was pleased to note that the signs were gone. So, he tells us, he sat in the park for an hour reading and also took some pictures!
Before and after picture of the area to the right of gate.  Note unfaded paint beneath former location of sign in most recent (right-hand) picture.
Before and after picture of the area to the right of gate. Note unfaded paint beneath former location of sign in most recent (right-hand) picture. Click to enlarge.
Now, this is a very good thing. And we look forward to many fine hours eating lunch in the park and playing checkers on the super-cool built-in tile boards on the picnic tables.

“But,” as the man said, “let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.” There are four issues left unresolved here:
Continue reading Selma Park Once Again Free and Open to the Public After Seven Long Years!! How Will Hollywood Ever Be Made Whole?

Why We Think it is Fitting to Compare BIDs to Nazis

An essential book for understanding what it felt like to be a Nazi before everyone hated the Nazis.  Click on image for detailed information.
An essential book for understanding what it felt like to be a Nazi before everyone hated the Nazis. Click on image for detailed information.
This blog has two essential purposes: first, to publish public records obtained from the three Hollywood area BIDs we cover and their collaborators and second, to needle employees and supporters of those BIDs. Neither educating nor convincing anyone of anything are huge priorities of ours, and even the public revelation of our two purposes cuts against the grain somewhat. However, it’s recently come to our attention that some of our readers who, so to speak, come upon our work innocently, not involved with the BIDs but just having a general interest in the political life of Los Angeles, may consider our constant comparisons of BIDs with Nazis to be glib, puerile, shallow, offensive, trivializing, and/or so on. Some of the objections expressed have come to seem, after much consideration, to have merit and to deserve a serious response.
The Olympic Games were held in Berlin in 1936, three years after the Nazis came to power.  Adolf Hitler, still seen by the world as a plausible member of the international community, led the opening ceremony.
The Olympic Games were held in Berlin in 1936, three years after the Nazis came to power (and, coincidentally, four years after they were held in Los Angeles for the first time). Adolf Hitler, still seen by the world as a plausible member of the international community, led the opening ceremony.

To understand our position, it’s essential to imagine what it felt like to inhabit the Third Reich as a non-Jew in the early 1930s, before Nazism was a universal symbol of pure and essential evil. Germany wasn’t yet an international outcast, and non-Jewish Germans, for the most part, didn’t feel like a nation of demons. In many ways they were not. Concentration camps, now considered primarily sites of genocide, were opened by the Nazis in March 1933 immediately after their accession to power. At first they were used for holding political prisoners and criminals and people were actually released from them on occasion. There’s also no particular reason to think that the Nazi government had any concrete plans to exterminate Jews from the earth when they took power in 1933.
Continue reading Why We Think it is Fitting to Compare BIDs to Nazis

Protect Your Family From the Despoliation of “Metropolitan Development.” Move to Racially Restricted Hollywoodland!

Ad for Hollywoodland development from the L.A. Times, September 7, 1924, page D2, fearmongering about minorities in Hollywood, just like now, 90 years later.
Ad for Hollywoodland development from the L.A. Times, September 7, 1924, page D2, fearmongering about minorities in Hollywood, just like now, 90 years later.
While flipping about in old issues of the L.A. Times, we came upon the enlightening 1924 advert you see to the right, luring buyers for the famous Hollywoodland development, from which we inherited not only the iconic sign but the famous racist attitudes, it seems. See what it says?

…to the “Old Timer” of Los Angeles! You…..who have seen the fine residential districts of Los Angeles despoiled by metropolitan development—must realize now that Los Angeles is destined soon to be a city of millons.

Protect your family by procuring at today’s prices a home place in the Hills of Hollywoodland—secured by fixed and natural restrictions against the inroads of metropolitanism and yet within twenty-five minutes of Seventh & Broadway.

Today is Your best opportunity. Are you going to sit idly by and let the March of Progress pass unheeded?

Continue reading Protect Your Family From the Despoliation of “Metropolitan Development.” Move to Racially Restricted Hollywoodland!