Tag Archives: John Tronson

Carl Lambert Donated The Legal Maximum of $1400 To Eric Garcetti Just One Week After Feuer Filed Complaint Against Him For Running An Illegal Hotel and Legal Max of $700 to Mike Bonin in the Midst of a Flurry of Pro-BID Activity By City Staff

At all times relevant hereto, Lambert was acting as the agent, assignee, partner, joint venturer, alter ego, representative, co-schemer, co-conspirator...and in committing the wrongful acts and omissions allege, was acting within the course and scope of that agency, assignment, partnership, joint venture, alter ego relationship, representation, scheme, conspiracy, or employment.
At all times relevant hereto, Lambert was acting as the agent, assignee, partner, joint venturer, alter ego, representative, co-schemer, co-conspirator…and in committing the wrongful acts and omissions allege, was acting within the course and scope of that agency, assignment, partnership, joint venture, alter ego relationship, representation, scheme, conspiracy, or employment.

CORRECTION: Carl Lambert’s donation to Garcetti was in June 2015 whereas the lawsuit was filed in June 2016. I’ve struck through any claims that relied on my inadvertent misreading of the relevant document and added a few words, which are underlined. We stand by our claims about the timing of Lambert’s donations to Bonin. Thanks to Gonzo Rock for pointing this out.

Carl Lambert is presently famous for two main reasons. First that Mike Feuer is suing the shit out of him because he’s a sneaky lying illegal hotel proprietor and second that he’s a vocal proponent of the Venice Beach Business Improvement District, which was approved in Council last week during a chaotic and emotional process, itself of dubious legality. Newly discovered evidence1 shows that Lambert has tried to ease his strait and narrow path through some of these thorny matters by…wait for it…giving money to politicians.

First of all, see the City Ethics Commission’s donation records for Lambert. Note that on June 24, 2015 he donated $1,400 to Eric Garcetti’s reelection campaign, which is the maximum donation allowed. Does the date sound familiar? It ought to. It was exactly one week before, on June 17, 2015, that Mike Feuer filed a complaint against Lambert for running an illegal hotel. It goes to show that good old F. Scott was on to something when he wrote about zillionaires that “They are different from you and me.” I don’t think that most non-zillionaires, on finding out that the City Attorney has just filed a damning complaint against them, would turn around and give $1,400 to the Mayor.

And it’s not just like Lambert did this all the time and the timing was coincidental. First of all, he also gave Garcetti money in 2013, when he was actually running, but he only gave him $200. Secondly, Lambert has only ever given $3,500 total to Los Angeles politicians in his life.2 This one-time, week-after-the-complaint-got-filed donation of $1,400 represents 40% of Lambert’s life-time donation total. Also note that Garcetti isn’t running for election again until 2017, so it’s not like he was actively fundraising in June of 2015.

And as if that wasn’t enough, on December 8, 2015, he turned around and gave $700 to Mike Bonin, also the legal maximum. That’s 20% of Lambert’s lifetime total right there, and Bonin also isn’t running until 2017. And as I’ve demonstrated recently, this was right in the midst of a flurry of VBBID activity, when having inspired $700 worth of warm fuzzies in Bonin’s heart couldn’t have hurt anything:
Continue reading Carl Lambert Donated The Legal Maximum of $1400 To Eric Garcetti Just One Week After Feuer Filed Complaint Against Him For Running An Illegal Hotel and Legal Max of $700 to Mike Bonin in the Midst of a Flurry of Pro-BID Activity By City Staff

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Kerry Morrison on Rusty Mullet CUP Revocation Hearing: We’re Down To Less Than Five Nightclubs In Hollywood. It’s Really Completely Changed. John Tronson: Great! Random Cop: Rusty Mullet … Got Looked At A Lot. [We] Check All The Time.

Kerry Morrison at the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance Joint Security Meeting counting nightclubs in Hollywood that she and her coconspirators haven't destroyed yet.
Kerry Morrison at the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance Joint Security Meeting counting nightclubs in Hollywood that she and her coconspirators haven’t destroyed yet.
Maybe you remember our semi-recent post about the July 28 meeting of the Joint Security Committee, in which some genius of a Sheriff’s deputy poured forth a never-ending stream of genius-level similes, including a comparison of sidewalk vendors at MacArthur Park with “too many animals in one cage.” Well, with all the furor over Hollywood nightclub totalitarianism, we’ve been too busy to get back to that video until this morning. Take a look here as our friends on the committee and some random cop discuss the Rusty Mullet. As always, a complete transcription may be found at the end of this post, but here is essentially what was discussed in this metaphorically smoke-filled back room.

Fred Rosenthal, of friendly neighborhood electronics retailer Ametron, who’s evidently the chair of this committee, noted that there was no one there from the City Attorney’s office to make a report. Kerry Morrison, who’s keeping track of the progress of the BID’s ongoing conspiracy against Hollywood bars and nightclubs whose patrons don’t match her favored color scheme, announced that they were busy downtown at the Rusty Mullet CUP revocation hearing.

Some random cop from the Hollywood Division then proceeded to ramble on about how the LAPD is targeting the Rusty Mullet, complete with can-I-get-a-witness hallelujah-interjections in four part harmony by John Tronson. After that, Kerry Morrison, as pictured above, actually giggled and counted down the remaining Hollywood nightclubs on her fingers. Of course, those aren’t all targeted for destruction by her and her cronies. Some, after all, cater to white people and are owned by former HPOA Board Member John Lyons, so those can stay. Read on for details!
Continue reading Kerry Morrison on Rusty Mullet CUP Revocation Hearing: We’re Down To Less Than Five Nightclubs In Hollywood. It’s Really Completely Changed. John Tronson: Great! Random Cop: Rusty Mullet … Got Looked At A Lot. [We] Check All The Time.

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City Ethics Commission Prepares to Revamp Lobbying Laws; Proposal Builds, Improves on Version Torpedoed in 2010 by Unholy Threesome Consisting of Kerry Morrison, Carol Schatz, and Eric Garcetti

Jessica Levinson, president of the City Ethics Commission, star Lawprof at Loyola, and righteous local media darling.
Jessica Levinson, president of the City Ethics Commission, star Lawprof at Loyola, and righteous local media darling.
If you’ve read the Municipal Lobbying Ordinance of the City of Los Angeles, you will have noted that it’s a bitch to enforce. It defines a lobbyist to be someone who is compensated to influence City action on behalf of a third party for 30 or more hours in any consecutive three months, and then requires lobbyists so-defined to register with the City. Imagine trying to use CPRA and other methods available to the public to pin that beef on some BID employee… I can tell you it’s not an easy task.

You may recall that between 2008 and 2010 the CEC tried to get this unwieldy definition changed to one whose details I won’t go into here, but which would have been far easier to enforce. For whatever reason, Carol Schatz, Kerry Morrison, and a few less luminous lights of the BID world including the perennially mockable Downtown Russell Brown decided for reasons known only to them and their therapists that this was going to destroy the very foundations of Los Angeles. As is their wont, they proceeded to get really fussy and scratch at their own faces till mom made them put their mittens on soon Eric Garcetti, at that time chair of the Rules and Elections Committee, smothered the whole baby in its bed for no discernible reason other than to please his darling BID-babes Kerry and Carol.

Eric Garcetti to Kerry Morrison in 2010: "You don't want to have to register as a lobbyist?  Whatever baby wants, baby gets."  Except, of course, baby still has to register, it's just next to impossible to prove it.
Eric Garcetti to Kerry Morrison in 2010: “You don’t want to have to register as a lobbyist? Whatever baby wants, baby gets.” Except, of course, baby still has to register, it’s just next to impossible to prove it.

So now the staff of the CEC, whose Executive Director is the same Heather Holt who got tarred, feathered, and mocked by Garcetti over this very same issue in 2010, has prepared a new proposed revision of the definition of lobbyist. The Commissioners will be discussing it at their upcoming meeting on August 9, 2016. The new proposal owes some debts to the last proposal, but its central point is quite different. It’s a change to a compensation-based rather than a time-based definition, which is fairly standard around the rest of the country:

We recommend returning to a compensation-based definition and that “lobbyist” be defined as an individual who is entitled to receive $2,000 or more in a calendar year for attempting to influence a City matter on behalf of another person. The attempt to influence would include a direct communication with a City official or employee, and compensation could be either monetary or non-monetary.

Continue reading City Ethics Commission Prepares to Revamp Lobbying Laws; Proposal Builds, Improves on Version Torpedoed in 2010 by Unholy Threesome Consisting of Kerry Morrison, Carol Schatz, and Eric Garcetti

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What Else Are They Hiding? Hollywood Property Owners Alliance Completely Rewrites BID Patrol Contract to Thwart Public Records Act Requests

Selma Park was the scene of the BID Patrol's greatest crimes, or at least the greatest which have come to light.  What else is there that they're trying so very hard to keep secret?
Selma Park was the scene of the BID Patrol’s greatest crimes, or at least the greatest which have come to light. What else is there that they’re trying so very hard to keep secret?
You can watch here as the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance at its June 16, 2016 Board meeting, approves a completely rewritten contract with Andrews International, its security subcontractor, which runs the BID Patrol in Hollywood. I’m not going to bother to transcribe it, but you should take a look. It features John Tronson talking for approximately 90 seconds about changes in the HPOA’s contract with A/I. He mentions logos on cars, logos on uniforms, and if you blinked, you’d miss the ten seconds where he talks about ownership of work product, but that’s the key thing.

The new contract gives A/I ownership of ALL of its BID Patrol work product. The old contract, superseded by this one, gave the HPOA ownership of every record that A/I produced. The point, clearly, is to keep the material away from public scrutiny. If you’ve been following this blog for a while you’ll know that we have used BID Patrol arrest reports, daily logs, and photographs to expose serial civil rights violations, to analyze BID Patrol arrest rates, to mock the moronic Steve Seyler, and for many other things as well. If the whole Selma Park thing is already out, I can’t help but wonder what else they’re trying to hide by trying to make all their future records unavailable.
Continue reading What Else Are They Hiding? Hollywood Property Owners Alliance Completely Rewrites BID Patrol Contract to Thwart Public Records Act Requests

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HPOA to Oppose O’Farrell/Ryu Motion on Tree-Trimming. Kerry Morrison: This is Overkill. John Tronson: I’m Having a Fundraiser for Mitch; I will Talk to Him. Mark Echevarria: What the Fuck is a Tree Surgeon?! Hurr Hurr Hurr

The Hollywood Property Owners Alliance supports laws that prioritize the view on the right over the view on the left.
The Hollywood Property Owners Alliance supports laws that prioritize the view on the right over the view on the left.
Maybe you remember in January when Outfront Media illegally, immorally, and with reckless disregard, vandalized a bunch of trees in Silver Lake. Well, that’s smack in the heartland of Mitch O’Farrell world, so the CM and his compatriot David Ryu introduced a motion directing the Bureau of Street Services to figure out how to prevent this kind of horror in the future (the full council file CF 15-0467-S4 is here). It’s a little off-topic, but nevertheless interesting, to note that Outfront is a client of megalobbyist Veronica Perez, at whom Silver Lake residents directed a lot of justified rage on Facebook and elsewhere about this issue in March.

Well, in April, BSS came back with a list of proposed amendments to the City tree-trimming ordinance, and they mean to put some teeth into it, and as we know, our old friends the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance just hate to have to follow any laws at all since, they think, laws are what criminals break and we’re not criminals.

HPOA staffies Kerry Morrison and Matthew Severson, who propound the views of their masters with a level of passion that only the paid flunkies of zillionaires seem to be able to muster, frame it as a matter of more misdirected and incompetent government regulation. Real-estate zillionaire, BFF of Kerry Morrison, and revealed plagiarist John Tronson is gonna talk to Mitch about it at the fundraiser next week. Mark Echevarria, boss of Los Angeles spiritual/cultural nexus Musso & Frank, proves that you don’t have to be a genius to run a holy site by chuckling over the fact that he’s never heard of tree surgeons. It’s just yet another display of ignorance, privilege, and conspiracy to bribe public officials; business as usual at the HPOA. You can watch the whole thing here, see a complete transcription after the break, and turn the page for line-by-line commentary.
Continue reading HPOA to Oppose O’Farrell/Ryu Motion on Tree-Trimming. Kerry Morrison: This is Overkill. John Tronson: I’m Having a Fundraiser for Mitch; I will Talk to Him. Mark Echevarria: What the Fuck is a Tree Surgeon?! Hurr Hurr Hurr

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How to Call Someone an Asshole in Kerrymorrisonese

Kerry Morrison on Vine Street.
Ms. Kerry Morrison on Vine Street.
One of the pleasures, one of the pains, of intensively researching the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance is that I have to read hundreds upon hundreds of pages of HPOA Exec. Direc. Ms. Kerry Morrison’s smug, privileged prose. It’s painful not just due to her smugness, but to her tacit insistence that she’s an expert on homelessness and everything else, her hypocritical alternation between whining about government and soliciting special favors from the government, her advocacy of arresting homeless people over and over and over again for breaking even the most inconsequential of laws while she herself masterminds ongoing criminal conspiracies, and so on.

The pleasure comes from the same source that mastery of any complex esoteric field of knowledge brings pleasure. From intense close reading and rereading of the complete works of Ms. Kerry Morrison, I’ve not only realized that she speaks a separate, unique language (which we affectionately refer to as Kerrymorrisonese),1 in which the syntax and the vocabulary are identical to Standard American English, but the semantics is wildly divergent, but I’ve begun to master this idiolect and I’m here to share my knowledge with you. Tonight’s post is meant to be the first installment of a translation rubric. A phrasebook, if you will. I hope it will be useful to you, intrepid student of the fascinating subject that is Ms. Kerry Morrison!
Continue reading How to Call Someone an Asshole in Kerrymorrisonese

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That Time in 2014 When Kerry Morrison Helped John Tronson Cheat on his Homework and then Went and Spilled the Beans to the Cops that He Had Plagiarized his Work

John Tronson's body double posing for a headshot in 2014.
John Tronson’s body double posing for a headshot in 2014.
If you want to read it, here is the “President’s Message”, originally published over then-HPOA-president John Tronson’s name in the Summer 2014 issue of the HPOA’s quarterly newsletter, HEDLines.1Let’s examine some of the highlights! First about the street characters:

LAPD has been quite proactive in their efforts to address lawbreakers amongst the cast of characters and vendors that populate the sidewalks in front of the Dolby Theatre. There has been an improvement over last summer, possibly due to the commitment of two undercover task forces doing surprise enforcement every month. Though this represents a huge devotion of resources by the department to this effort, it helps to reinforce that laws must been
[sic] adhered to and weeds out the trouble-makers. We are very appreciative of this strategy.

Oh wait!!! That’s not actually from John Tronson’s essay. What he wrote was:

Zarcone and Palka heard loud and clear the community’s frustration with the bad behaviors of the cast of characters and vendors that populate the sidewalks in front of the Dolby Theatre. The summer of 2014 is shaping up to be much calmer likely due to the commitment of an undercover task force doing surprise enforcement twice a month. Though this represents a huge devotion of resources by the department to this effort, it helps to reinforce that laws must be adhered to and it weeds out the trouble-makers. We are very appreciative of this strategy.

The first passage was written by Kerry Morrison in an email exchange with LAPD-ites Mark Dibell, Cory Palka, and Richard Gabaldon. And there’s more after the break.
Continue reading That Time in 2014 When Kerry Morrison Helped John Tronson Cheat on his Homework and then Went and Spilled the Beans to the Cops that He Had Plagiarized his Work

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Kerry Morrison Declares that Hollywood Street Performers Must Be Unmasked Because of Terrorism While All the While Taking Financial Advantage of Masked KKK Terrorism In Hancock Park

Terrorism according to Kerry Morrison: This is acceptable.
Terrorism according to Kerry Morrison: This is acceptable (and very, very good for business).
We have written many a post about Kerry Morrison’s weirdly obsessive hatred of the street characters at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue and how she uses the power of her BID to attack them at every turn. Her surreality-based antipathy has at various times inspired her co-conspirators at the LAPD to crack down heavily on these performers, even to the point where Carol Sobel had to sue the cops in Federal Court to stop the neurotic vendetta.

She’s spent at least a decade railing against these characters and working with the City Attorney, the City Council, private attorneys, everyone in sight, without notable success, to ban their activities, to stop them wearing masks, to require them to wear identity badges, to conflate them with terrorists, and so on. Well, we’ve been looking into the matter a little more deeply, and today we’re here to tell you a story about street characters, the KKK, domestic terrorism, anti-mask laws, and property values in Hancock Park.1 First let’s take a little trip through 7 years worth of the minutes of the Board of Directors of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance, concentrating on the street characters of Hollywood and Kerry Morrison’s efforts to thwart them by any means necessary:

Terrorism according to Kerry Morrison: This is unacceptable.
Terrorism according to Kerry Morrison: This is unacceptable.

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A Trip to City Archives Yields Fascinating Historical Material Including 2003 HPOA Stakeholder Rebellion Over Shady and Neurotic Behavior by Tronson and Morrison During Security Provider Bidding Process

The view from Ramirez Street.  The entrance to the Archives is by the loading dock in the mid-right area of the image.
The view from Ramirez Street. The entrance to the Archives is by the loading dock in the mid-right area of the image.
A recent trip to the lovely City Archives on Ramirez Street, my absolute favorite of all city agencies,1 yielded up a bunch of really interesting stuff from 2001–2003. So much so that I started a new page for it. It took me three hours to look through two boxes of BID records (out of more than 400), so I’m sure there will be much more of this stuff to come. There’s a list of some highlights after the break, but check it!

In 2003 the BID’s expiring security contract with Burke Security, the predecessor of Andrews International, was put out for bids. Aaron Epstein, yes, the same one whose nuclear bomb of a lawsuit established the subjection of BIDs to both the Brown Act and the California Public Records Act, thereby making this blog possible, and a large group of his fellow Hollywood BID stakeholders2 sent a letter to then-mayor James Hahn complaining that they:

believe[d] that the District’s board of directors and executive director have not conducted a fully open and competitive process to ensure that property owners receive the finest security service for the lowest competitive price (the current two year contract exceeds $2 million). Moreover, we believe that the board and executive director have failed to be objective in the process and have allowed the contractor, Burke Security, to function in ways that do not provide the maximum benefits to the property owners and merchants.

Even in 2003 the BIDs had captured the regulatory function of the City Clerk's office to the point where they were warning Kerry Morrison that people were scrutinizing her sketchy behavior rather than using the power of the purse to make her be not so shady.  The fox wasn't guarding the henhouse--the lunatics were (and are) running the asylum.
Even in 2003 the BIDs had captured the regulatory function of the City Clerk’s office to the point where they were warning Kerry Morrison that people were scrutinizing her sketchy behavior rather than using the power of the purse to make her be not so shady. The fox wasn’t guarding the henhouse–the lunatics were (and are) running the asylum.

If you read the letter you’ll see that they’re talking about practices that are still retained by the current BID Patrol: custodial arrests rather than observe-and-report, unseeming over-coziness with the staff of the HPOA, and so on.3 The copy I obtained came with a couple of handwritten notes4 from a Clerk’s office employee suggesting that they warn Kerry Morrison that people were watching so she should follow the rules. This, obviously, is not the kind of behavior one would expect from a regulatory agency. Why didn’t they tell Kerry Morrison to follow the rules because the law required her to?
Continue reading A Trip to City Archives Yields Fascinating Historical Material Including 2003 HPOA Stakeholder Rebellion Over Shady and Neurotic Behavior by Tronson and Morrison During Security Provider Bidding Process

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