Tag Archives: City Charter

Why Carl Lambert’s Contributions To The Re-Election Campaigns Of Mike Bonin And Eric Garcetti Were Probably Illegal and Should Be Refunded Immediately

Mike Bonin on August 23, 2016, earning his salary, which should be sufficient.
Mike Bonin on August 23, 2016, earning his salary, which should be sufficient.
As I reported the other day, Venice Beach BID proponent and shady illegal hotelier Carl Lambert donated $1400 to Eric Garcetti and $700 to Mike Bonin in 2015. Here is an argument that they ought to give that money back to Lambert immediately.

Not just because it’s the right thing to do. We’re all grownups here, and that’s not so much why things get done. But because it’s probably illegal for them to have accepted the money, or at least for Lambert to have contributed it. To explain why this is the case I have to talk about the campaign finance laws of the City of Los Angeles, which can make anybody’s poor head spin. So forgive me, but perhaps you’ll find it worth the trouble. The whole law is at LAMC Article 9.7, but it’s not necessary to read the whole thing.1 The section we are interested in today is LAMC 49.7.35, which covers Bidder Contribution and Fundraising Restrictions. This muni code section2 implements Section 470 of the City Charter, which covers Limitations on Campaign Contributions in City Elections.3 At Charter Section 470(a) we find this noble statement of the purpose of the whole thing:

The purpose of this section is to encourage a broader participation in the political process and to avoid corruption or the appearance of corruption in city decision making, and protect the integrity of the City’s procurement and contract processes by placing limits on the amount any person may contribute or otherwise cause to be available to candidates for election to the offices of Mayor, City Attorney, Controller and City Council and promote accountability to the public by requiring disclosure of campaign activities and imposing other campaign restrictions.

Now, it is a fundamental principle in the American legal system that actions can only be illegal if there is an explicit statutory statement that they are illegal. Otherwise they’re legal. So while this statement of purpose has some force, mostly as a guide to interpreting the salient laws, it doesn’t in itself make anything illegal. Obviously Carl Lambert’s contributions to Garcetti and Bonin create the appearance of corruption in city decision making, but if that were sufficient to trigger a criminal prosecution then pretty much every donor to every incumbent candidate would have to be locked up.4 Thus we have to look to the parts of the law that implement this statement of purpose.

The Charter Section that we are interested in here is 470(c)(12)(B), which states in pertinent part5 that:

The following persons shall not make a campaign contribution to the Mayor, the City Attorney, the Controller, a City Council member, a candidate for any of those elected City offices, or a City committee controlled by a person who holds or seeks any of those elected City offices … A person who bids on or submits a proposal or other response to a contract solicitation that has an anticipated value of at least $100,000 and requires approval by the elected City office that is held or sought by the person to whom the contribution would be given…

Let’s run through the elements of the law here to see why it’s highly plausible that it forbids Carl Lambert from making contributions to either Eric Garcetti or Mike Bonin:
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Daniel Halden, Speaking On Behalf Of Mitch O’Farrell, Explains Why The Rusty Mullet Must Die

Dan Halden at the August 2015 HPOA All Property Owners Meeting.
CD13 Hollywood Field Deputy Dan Halden at the August 2015 HPOA All Property Owners Meeting.
(Hitherto we have sought to understand O’Farrell’s anti-nightclub campaign; the point, however, is to change it)

The other day we wrote about the Rusty Mullet conditional use permit revocation hearing, but didn’t get around to covering CD13 Hollywood Field Deputy Dan Halden’s testimony, which you can listen to here, and as always there’s a transcript after the break, and we’ll just take it line by line, also as always.

My name is Daniel Halden. H-A-L-D-E-N. Good afternoon, I guess. I was going to say good morning, but good afternoon. I serve Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell of the Thirteenth District. I’m his Hollywood Field Deputy, which is a position I’ve had since May 2014.

It is editorial policy here at MK.org to showcase anything true that our guests say. Unfortunately all too often that’s no more than their name, rank, and serial number.

It’s the top priority of the Councilman [unintelligible] to ensure public safety and a high quality of life, whether it’s in Hollywood or anywhere in the Thirteenth District.

Not really. In fact it is the top priority of the Councilman to hire private security forces who are not subject to democratic control so that they can physically attack homeless people who have not yet been targeted by one of his on-demand forcible encampment cleanups or attempts to deny them food and in the spare time left to him after these efforts, to destroy nightclubs in Hollywood solely because Kerry Morrison and Peter Zarcone are unable to tell the difference between groups of nonwhite people having fun and freaking civil insurrections or something. Anyway, that’s what the evidence shows is the top priority of the Councilman. We guess you could call that a high quality of life, but really, whose life?
Continue reading Daniel Halden, Speaking On Behalf Of Mitch O’Farrell, Explains Why The Rusty Mullet Must Die

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Since 2008 Hollywood BID Patrol Has Used Arrests, Move-Along Orders to Enforce Strict Children-Only Rule at Hollywood’s Selma Park in Direct Contradiction to Explicitly Stated LA Rec and Parks Policy

One of three mysterious signs at Selma Park which appear to restrict the park's use to children and caregivers only, even though the LA Recreation and Parks Department has stated explicitly that Selma Park is open to the general public except for the playground.
One of three mysterious signs at Selma Park which appear to restrict the park’s use to children and caregivers only, even though the LA Recreation and Parks Department has stated explicitly that Selma Park is open to the general public except for the playground.
The Andrews International BID Patrol has been arresting people without children and ordering people without children out of Selma Park in Hollywood at least since 2008, as shown by their very own reports to the Joint Security Committee. They justify these actions by claiming that Selma Park is “for children and parents only.” And indeed, there are three signs in the general park area which state this as policy.1 We wondered how this park had come to be off-limits to all the citizens of Hollywood and so directed our faithful correspondent to find out. His first stop was the May 2008 BID Patrol Report, wherein it is stated that:

On 05-31-08, we participated in ‘Family Day at Selma Park’. The park had been a hostile environment for children as certain people used the space for sleeping, urinating in public, and drug and alcohol abuse. We attempted to address this problem along with Kerry Morrison and her staff, Council 13 staff, LAPD, and the City Attorney’s Office. As a result, signs were made signifying that the park would now be only available for people with children. We hung the signs and began enforcement. For several months we have been advising violators and asking them to leave the park.

One of the legitimate, Recreation and Parks Commission approved, signs at Selma Park stating that use of the playground is restricted to children and caregivers.
One of the legitimate, Recreation and Parks Commission approved, signs at Selma Park stating that use of the playground is restricted to children and caregivers.

This, of course, is a typical destroy-the-village-in-order-to-save-it tactic of the HPOA. They can’t just kick homeless people out of the park, so they kick everyone out of the park except people with children. Christ, they’d probably privatize the entire city if they could, just so they could arrest homeless people for being in it. Anyway, we thought we’d find out what the Department of Recreation and Parks had to say about this. Imagine our surprise when our correspondent received a letter from the RAP Commissioners stating explicitly that

“Selma Park is a pocket park that is open to the general public, and is not limited exclusively to only children. The existing signage at Selma Park which indicates that adults without children are prohibited from the restricted area was installed for the designated children’s play area only.”

Well, our first thought was that maybe RAP didn’t control every aspect of the park. Perhaps the other agencies mentioned in the BID Patrol report also had the power to exclude all but children and caregivers from Selma Park. However, on turning to the City Charter, we find, right there in §590(a)(1), that: The Department of Recreation and Parks shall have the power and duty to establish, construct, maintain, operate and control, wherever located all parks of the City of Los Angeles. That’s pretty unequivocal. RAP is the boss of the parks and if they say a park is open to the general public then it’s open to the general public.
Continue reading Since 2008 Hollywood BID Patrol Has Used Arrests, Move-Along Orders to Enforce Strict Children-Only Rule at Hollywood’s Selma Park in Direct Contradiction to Explicitly Stated LA Rec and Parks Policy

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