Tag Archives: Astroturfing

How José Huizar Was Desperate In 2017 — Gil Cedillo Too — For Anyone — Anyone At All — To Support Demolishing Parker Center Cause Everyone — Like Everyone! — Wanted To Preserve It — So Huizar Flunkies Megan Teramoto And Ari Simon — Who Used A Secret Email Address By The Way — And Cedillo Flunky Gerald Gubatan — Ginned Up Support From A Bunch Of Little Tokyo Business And Property Owners — Coached Them In How To Comment — And The Little Tokyo-Ites Did It To Gain Huizar’s Support For Their Favored Projects — And That Is How Community Buy-In Is Bought And Sold At 200 N. Spring Street


To get some context for the events discussed herein, take a look at this excellent preservation-minded timeline.

In late 2016 the erstwhile LAPD headquarters known as Parker Center was yet again threatened with demolition.1 CD14 repster José Huizar made some pretty noises about preserving it, but really, there’s no money in that for anyone, and by January of 2017, when a crucial series of hearings began, he had thrown the full weight of his councilmanic power behind the wrecking ball.

And even though the decision on Parker Center was strictly up to the City Council, which can unilaterally override every City commission or board, and that means that the decision was strictly up to Huizar alone,2 for whatever reason Huizar apparently was reluctant to tear the building down based on nothing more than his raw desire and power to do so.

It’s hard to say why this was the case. Possibly because the Cultural Heritage Commission had taken the fairly unprecedented step of recommending Historic-Cultural Monument status on their own motion, or maybe because the mostly reliably subservient Los Angeles Times had editorialized against demolition, or possibly because phone calls to his office were disproportionately in favor of not tearing the damn building down.

In fact, according to Kristin Fukushima of the Little Tokyo Community Council quoting an unnamed Huizar staffer, CD14 had “gotten like 20 calls this am telling us to preserve it and none to demo it. Also extremely expecting like 40 ppl tomorrow to show up supporting preservation.” In a city with a functioning representative democracy we might at this point expect Huizar to change his position given that no one seemed to support him.3 But this is Los Angeles, friends, which is why instead of changing his position he did what Councilmembers always do when faced with this dilemma.

That is, he ordered his staff to go out and gin up some supporters to come give favorable comment at some meetings in favor of his already-determined position. Comments from the public in favor of whatever a given CM has already decided to do are pearls of great price at 200 N. Spring Street, the preferred medium of exchange, the Fort Knox gold that backs the currency in which political capital is measured.4 Such comments, along with letters to council files, and similar things, are collectively known as community buy-in. A Los Angeles City Councilmember can generally do whatever they want to do, but with community buy-in they can do it with impunity.5

So Huizar’s aides set out to buy some buy-in. They hit up people from business improvement districts and like-minded nonprofits, e.g. the Little Tokyo BID, the Downtown Center BID, the Little Tokyo Service Center, and the Little Tokyo Community Council. And these paid commenters6 showed up in force and did what they were expected to do. And I’ve obtained dozens of emails showing the coordination,7 the use of Gmail addresses by at least one Huizar staffer, the unexplained participation of Gil Cedillo’s planning deputy Gerald Gubatan, and the expected quid pro quo in the form of Huizar’s anticipated support for various Little-Tokyo-centric pet projects. Turn the page for links to and transcriptions of selections from these emails, arranged into an epistolary narrative!
Continue reading How José Huizar Was Desperate In 2017 — Gil Cedillo Too — For Anyone — Anyone At All — To Support Demolishing Parker Center Cause Everyone — Like Everyone! — Wanted To Preserve It — So Huizar Flunkies Megan Teramoto And Ari Simon — Who Used A Secret Email Address By The Way — And Cedillo Flunky Gerald Gubatan — Ginned Up Support From A Bunch Of Little Tokyo Business And Property Owners — Coached Them In How To Comment — And The Little Tokyo-Ites Did It To Gain Huizar’s Support For Their Favored Projects — And That Is How Community Buy-In Is Bought And Sold At 200 N. Spring Street

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Jocelyn Duarte Wrote A Letter To Mitch O’Farrell Supporting Herb Wesson’s Anti-Gadfly Motion — In Fact It Was Her Kid Whose Ears Famously Got Covered Due To Armando Herman’s Foul Mouth — Duarte Is The Interim Executive Director Of The Salvadoran-American Leadership And Educational Fund — O’Farrell Staffie David Giron Is SALEF’s Vice President — Who Presumably Will Decide If Her Position Is Made Permanent — Astroturfing Much? — Daily Irony Supplement: A Bunch Of Angry Rich White People Disrupt Public Meeting — Scream At David Ryu About Homeless Shelters — Don’t Get Banned From Future Meetings — Let Alone Ejected From That One — Or Even Arrested For Violating §403 PC

Oh man, the whole damn city is buzzing over Herb Wesson’s latest attempt to use the U.S. and the California Constitutions as so much toilet paper just in order to score an ephemeral point or two against his nemeses Armando Herman and Wayne Spindler. Noted civil rights lawyer Stephen Rohde, who’s grown rich and fat from our City Council’s previous transgressions against freedom and decency, even had a piece in City Watch about it.

Kerry Morrison of the Hollywood Property Owners’ Alliance, who never met a fascist she didn’t worship the walking-on-ground of,1 predictably wrote an intensely stupid letter to the Times supporting Wesson. And the interim executive of the Salvadoran-American Leadership and Educational Fund, Jocelyn Duarte, famously had to cover her kid’s ears to keep out Armando Herman’s admittedly foul language and then she wrote this letter to Mitch O’Farrell begging him to think of the damn children.2

Herb Wesson famously solicited the letter from Duarte, just as this master of astroturfing famously solicits letters of support for all manner of his crackpot ideas.3 But this letter from Jocelyn Duarte is astroturfed in a whole different dimension. Take another look at the actual letter. See the board of directors on the left. Notice Mitch O’Freaking Farrell’s legislative director David Giron listed there. Note that Jocelyn Duarte is the interim executive director. And who else but David Giron and his board cronies is going to be filling the permanent position? Oh, of course, Mitch O’Farrell, who also never met a fascist he didn’t adore, seconded Wesson’s motion.

In one sense there’s nothing that shocking here. Our City’s council files are, it turns out, just full to the very rim with this kind of stage-managed illusion of popular support for every random whim of every random Council repster, submitted on demand in the hope of currying favor for God knows what sinister purposes. In another sense, it really is shocking, or at least interesting enough for me to keep writing about! Of course there’s a transcription of the letter after the break.

Before that, though, watch this video of a bunch of angry rich white anti-homeless people screaming at David Ryu last night to the point where he could no longer speak. See the cops standing around watching? No one’s getting clubbed, tased, banned from future meetings, arrested, or even ejected, which is amazing because, unlike saying “fuck” at a Council meeting, this kind of thing is actually a freaking crime.4 But of course these rich angry white people don’t bother Herb Wesson and the rest of them at all. No need to pass new laws against them or even to enforce existing ones. These angry rich white people make freaking campaign contributions!
Continue reading Jocelyn Duarte Wrote A Letter To Mitch O’Farrell Supporting Herb Wesson’s Anti-Gadfly Motion — In Fact It Was Her Kid Whose Ears Famously Got Covered Due To Armando Herman’s Foul Mouth — Duarte Is The Interim Executive Director Of The Salvadoran-American Leadership And Educational Fund — O’Farrell Staffie David Giron Is SALEF’s Vice President — Who Presumably Will Decide If Her Position Is Made Permanent — Astroturfing Much? — Daily Irony Supplement: A Bunch Of Angry Rich White People Disrupt Public Meeting — Scream At David Ryu About Homeless Shelters — Don’t Get Banned From Future Meetings — Let Alone Ejected From That One — Or Even Arrested For Violating §403 PC

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Music, Freedom, Sharing, Love, Humanity: All Flourish Unhindered by Creepy Zillionaire Social Engineers in Not-So-Rare BID-Free Zone in the Valley; Contradictions Regarding Street Vending Heightened Beyond Sane Believability

A sign showing the way to an underground, illegal concert in a home in the Valley that's not in any BID.  We can only imagine the hissing, spitting, convulsive fit that BIDs would throw if this kind of thing were discovered on their territory.
A sign showing the way to an underground, surely illegal concert in a home in the Valley that’s not in any BID. We can only imagine the hissing, spitting, convulsive fit that BIDs would throw if this kind of thing were discovered to exist, let alone to be flourishing, on their territory.
Last night a few of us MK.org staffies were blessed to attend something called a house concert at someone’s home in Van Nuys. This is, as you might guess, a concert in someone’s house. The audience donates money to get in and the money all goes to the musicians. There was food at the break for free, but with donations accepted. We found out about this by chance, and soon discovered that it’s not a one-off thing or even just some local eccentricity, but part of a full-blown fricking nationwide movement! Also, these people in Van Nuys have been doing this about once a week for, we believe, more than twenty years. We’re going to be vague about the details because the whole thing is certainly illegal and we don’t want to be the ones to tip off the heat, but nevertheless it’s all operating suprisingly openly.
Instruments on the floor of the garage/performance space in the back yard of a house in Van Nuys before the music began.  Look, it's someone's freaking garage!
Instruments on the floor of the garage/performance space in the back yard of a house in Van Nuys before the music began. Look, it’s someone’s freaking garage!
Here’s the deal. Some people we met at a show in Silver Lake1 the other day told us that this thing was happening and where to find contact info on the web. We looked it up, emailed the contact, phoned the contact, were told the address, took the Red Line to North Hollywood and the Orange Line to Van Nuys and then walked over to an actual normal house on a normal street in the Valley. You can see from the images what we found there, and the music was fabulous, and we met a bunch of very interesting people. I mean, we’re as opposed in theory to vicious criminal conspiracies as the next folks, but this one had really positive results! We’re as in favor in theory of governments of laws rather than of men as the next folks, but damn it, this whole thing was just too wonderful to seriously be illegal. And what does this have to do with the BIDs? Why, we’re glad you asked! Turn the page to find out.
Continue reading Music, Freedom, Sharing, Love, Humanity: All Flourish Unhindered by Creepy Zillionaire Social Engineers in Not-So-Rare BID-Free Zone in the Valley; Contradictions Regarding Street Vending Heightened Beyond Sane Believability

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Kerry Morrison Accuses Street Vending Proponents Collectively of “Almost Resembl[ing] a Circus,” Being “Completely Dysfunctional [and] Disrespectful,” and “Being Bused in,” Elides True Nature of Putative Coalition

Kerry Morrison at the July 9, 2015 meeting of the Joint Security Committee being the opposite of dysfunctional, disrespectful, and circus-like.
Kerry Morrison at the July 9, 2015 meeting of the Joint Security Committee looking mighty fed up with something while at the same time, of course, being nondysfunctional, nondisrespectful, and in no way resembling a circus.
We’ve written before about the HPOA’s crazed-and-at-the-mouth-foaming opposition to Councilmembers Huizar’s and Price’s proposed ordinance legalizing street vending in the city of Los Angeles. We’ve written about the HPOA’s scheme to send its agents to public meetings in the ill-concealed guise of concerned citizens opposing the ordinance. Today we report on Kerry Morrison’s recent discussion of her experience orchestrating that whole fiasco. We’ll analyze it line by line, and you can watch the whole thing here and/or read a transcription after the break.

there were a series of four hearings that the chief administrative office staff held on the… the sidewalk vending ordinance. … It’s just this kind of amorphous set of hearings, which were completely dysfunctional, disrespectful, and almost, um, resembled a circus.

This painting by Georges Seurat almost resembles a circus also, but, and this is a subtle point but sound, Cela ne veut pas un cirque.
This painting by Georges Seurat almost resembles a circus also, but, and this is a subtle point but sound, cela ne veut pas un cirque.

Kerry’s been on before about this issue, people not treating her agents provocateurs to what she delusorily imagines to be the duly appropriate level of forelock-tugging, although she hits a new high note1 here. We mean, we weren’t at the hearings, but it’s hard to imagine that they were dysfunctional. It’s easier to imagine that perhaps Kerry’s mistaken the purpose. It’s hard to see how a public hearing can be disrespectful without being told towards what or whom it’s disrespectful. Does she mean the hearing was disrespectful towards her minions? What is it that they’ve done to earn anyone’s respect? Perhaps she means something else. And as for the hearings “almost…resembl[ing] a circus,” well, we imagine that’s nothing more than the reaction of someone who has done her illegal best to make sure that the public doesn’t feel welcome at the meetings she’s the boss of to finding out that she’s not the boss of every meeting in Los Angeles and, just possibly, maybe not so welcome at all of them her own self.
Continue reading Kerry Morrison Accuses Street Vending Proponents Collectively of “Almost Resembl[ing] a Circus,” Being “Completely Dysfunctional [and] Disrespectful,” and “Being Bused in,” Elides True Nature of Putative Coalition

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HPOA-Backed Anti-Street-Vending Agents Provocateurs Exposed, Mocked in Boyle Heights; Kerry Morrison Characteristically Misses Point, Whines About Incivility

Kerry Morrison, who uses gun-wielding thugs as tools to terrorize, kidnap, torment, and ridicule people but nevertheless expects herself and her henchmen to be treated with politesse on all occasions
Kerry Morrison, who uses gun-wielding thugs as tools to terrorize, kidnap, torment, and ridicule people but nevertheless expects herself and her henchmen to be treated with politesse on all occasions
The release of the HPOA’s quarterly newsletter is always an interesting time here at MK.org secret headquarters. On the one hand we’re always aghast at the latest stupidity, cupidity, mental rigidity, and white privilegidity on display. On the other hand, we always end up with a bunch of topics about which to write. The Summer 2015 issue is no exception.

As every regular reader of this blog knows by now, the HPOA is hysterically opposed to the legalization of street vending in Los Angeles. They’ve entered into conspiracies with the abhorrent Central City Association to subvert the democratic process through astroturfing and mendacity. And, according to Kerry Morrison, writing in the newsletter:

Devin Strecker, Alyssa Van Breene, Kerry Morrison, and a bunch of unindicted co-conspirators
Devin Strecker, Alyssa Van Breene, Kerry Morrison, and a bunch of unindicted co-conspirators


Before an ordinance is drafted, the CLA [Chief Legislative Analyst] staff presided over a series of public hearings to gain input from the community. Staff representing both BIDs, along with board members, attended each of these hearings and expressed the concerns of the business community. However, members of the business community were outnumbered easily 10:1 at these hearings.

Hollywood board member Alyssa Van Breene and staffer Devin Strecker attended the first meeting on May 28 in Boyle Heights. When they tried to share their concerns the audience booed. Though there were no boos or hissing at the second hearing on June 11 in Van Nuys, the audience was unruly and disrespectful to those testifying against the ordinance or speaking on behalf of small business.

Now, Kerry is well-known for her bluenosed Mrs. Grundyism, and we’ve grown somewhat accustomed to it, but this is really over the top, even for her. Let’s restate this in human language, shall we?
Continue reading HPOA-Backed Anti-Street-Vending Agents Provocateurs Exposed, Mocked in Boyle Heights; Kerry Morrison Characteristically Misses Point, Whines About Incivility

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