Yesterday I reported on a story, broken by Laist.com, about CD1 candidate Joe Bray-Ali’s nasty comment history on racist Reddit clone Voat.Com. Of course, CD13 councilboy Mitch O’Farrell famously endorsed Joe Bray-Ali over O’Farrell’s incumbent Gil Cedillo. As of last night, according to the L.A. Times article on the matter, councilboy Mitch … well, let’s let the incomparable Dakota Smith tell it:
Councilman Mitch O’Farrell endorsed Bray-Ali earlier this month. A spokesman for O’Farrell said the councilman stands by his endorsement, noting that Bray-Ali has apologized for the online comments.
So, this morning at 10:47 a.m., just 22 minutes before I am writing these words, in another of the complete and utter about-faces for which he is known, Mitch O’Farrell sent out an email to his campaign mailing list withdrawing his support of Bray-Ali. This confirms a prediction the staff of this blog made yesterday.
And as much as it pains me to say so, this is the right thing for Mitch O’Farrell to have done. Furthermore, it sure is nice to see Mr. Mitch dancing to the tune we’re calling. And we didn’t even have to pay the damned piper….yet!
Today Laist.com revealed that Council District 1 candidate Joe Bray-Ali has a history of posting weirdly offensive pernicious nonsense on exceedingly disgusting alt-right website Voat.Com, which seems to be some kind of refuge for people who manage to pull off the unexpectedly possible trick of getting kicked off Reddit for being too despicable.1 You should read the article for the details, and I’ve summarized them in the picture that appears somewhere near this sentence. The guy says nasty racist, fat-shaming, transphobic, sexist, stuff, although the bare fact that he’s participating in forums called things like /v/Niggers as if they were somehow normal, somehow mainstream, is in many ways worse than anything he says there. I I speculated last month that this campaign was only going to get weirder, but I had no idea how right I would turn out to be.
Of course, from that minute at 5:00 a.m. on February 6, 2017, that the Los Angeles Times, house organ of this city’s zillionaire political elite, endorsed his opponent, damn hippy upstart bike rider Joe Bray-Ali, Council District 1 incumbent Gil Cedillo was effectively thrown under the bus. But just like in every western movie ever made, it’s not the shot that knocks the hero off his horse that hurts,2 but rather the subsequent nibblings of a thousand attack-ducks that really ends the guy’s career.3
Which is why it’s so interesting to note that on the very same day that the Times announced that incumbent Cedillo no longer enjoyed the support of L.A.’s zillionaires and was thus fair game for the death by a thousand nibbles, Mr. Attack Duck himself, CD13 scheduler Dave Cano, smelt the way the wind blew, jumped on the anti-Gil train and donated $125 to Joe Bray-Ali. And does any one at all think that council staff donate money to non-incumbents without the permission of their bosses? It’s never going to happen in a zillion years.
I don’t usually report on local politics unless there’s some kind of connection to business improvement districts, but the incomparable David Zahniser’s article in this morning’s Times announcing that the CD1 election appears more strongly than ever to be heading to a runoff was much too much for me to let pass uncommented. In particular, this little piece of characteristically Zahniserian deadpannitude must be quoted and quoted over again:
The campaign between Cedillo and Bray-Ali has been tense at times. On election night, Cedillo said his lead showed that voters were rejecting his rival’s “trendy, hippy, hipster proposal and agenda.”
On Friday, Cedillo said he regrets making those remarks. “I should not have referred to his campaign … as a hipster campaign or candidacy,” he said.
Well, I don’t know how I missed it, but in January of this year, notre principale raison d’écrire, the famous Ms. Kerry Morrison, in response to this now also-famous L.A. Times editorial, penned a characteristically mendacious little missive to the local paper in support of anti-creep-crusading Councildude Mitch O’Farrell’s universally reviled initiative to ban adults in playgrounds in the City of Los Angeles.
Amazingly, every sentence in this letter is a lie. Here it is, see if you can spot them all. And after the break, I’ll deconstruct this peculiar little symptom of the acute Morrisonitis now endemic in what Ms. Kerry and her weirdo minions are pleased, for reasons known only to them, to refer to as “our little hamlet.”
To the editor: Constituents have contacted O’Farrell regarding the downward spiral of the only pocket park and playground in the heart of Hollywood. Families who live in our densely populated neighborhood used to enjoy the space. Now this tiny park has become a permanent encampment during the hours it is open.
Going there one day last week, I counted more than 20 people lying around the park. The grassy area was covered with sleeping bags and all the benches were taken. The adjacent playground was empty, despite being separated by a fence. This tiny park can no longer be used by families and organizations that could benefit from open space.
I applaud O’Farrell’s efforts to meet the needs of the neighborhood. This is what leaders do.
There are two main reasons why I am not a professional journalist. The first is that on career day at Venice High way back in the 1970s, those of us who ventured east to the venerated southwest corner of First and Spring found, well…never mind what we found,5 discretion prevents me from discussing it, but it sure didn’t make me want to join the ranks despite the fact that the paper was more than a decade into its renaissance under the sainted guidance of Otis Chandler himself. And the second reason is that I have never, ever, in my entire life been able to understand the inverted pyramid — or maybe I understand it and I just have no freaking idea what’s most newsworthy in any given story. This interpretation is borne out by the fact that I’m starting this evening’s tale off with a bunch of half-invented, half-remembered, half-plagiarized, nonsense about my high school career day.6
For instance, does the inverted pyramid suggest that we next analyze the founding principles of BIDs? I have no idea. But the locus classicus of BIDs, their founding text, which is to say the California Streets and Highways Code at §36601(e), tells us that amongst the benefits provided by BIDs are crime reduction, business attraction, business retention, economic growth, and new investments. Note the conspicuous absence from this list of parking ticket fixing for zillionaire BID stakeholders. However, despite the fact that parking violation fines are a major social justice issue in Los Angeles and yet another example of covert regressive taxation, apparently a major use that zillionaires, that is to say those for whom the fine attached to a parking violation is not a significant fraction of their annual income, have found for their BIDs is to serve as a vehicle for interfering on their behalf with the normal statutory operation of the City’s parking enforcement apparatus.
We saw this, e.g., last year when Ms. Kerry Morrison, outraged7 by the fact that her good friend and stakeholder, zillionaire white real estate capitalist running dog lackey Evan Kaizer, was ticketed on Hollywood Boulevard for meter-feeding, fired off an email to LADOT honcho-ette Seleta Reynolds, putatively asking for an explanation but really, as everyone could see, providing an opening for the whole thing to go away. It doesn’t seem to have happened that the ticket got fixed, but that particular toys-from-pram episode ended up interbreeding with a sort of free-floating generalized zillionaire rage over vibrant urban spaces,8 eventually begetting a conceptual exploration, fueled by outraged privilege, of the possibility of using this state-law-mandated meter-feeding prohibition to attack the very existence of food trucks.
This is just a quick announcement of some interesting new collections of records, with minimal commentary. First of all, there’s a collection of emails between City Attorney spokesman10 Rob Wilcox and various L.A. Times Reporters. You can get the whole batch here:
Also I have a full set of reports11 from the Bureau of Sanitation on the cleanups of three homeless encampments on March 22, 2016. It took almost three months for them to hand over this material, which won’t surprise anyone who’s been following my recent interactions with them. This is likewise available from:
I don’t presently have much to say about the sanitation reports. At this point I’m collecting as much material as possible in order to (a) figure out what kind of material is available so that I’ll be able to make focused, effective requests in the future, (b) learn what kinds of arguments they make against handing over records so that I can make focused, effective counterarguments against them, and (c) understand all the players in the HE12 game and the roles they’re playing. I hope to be able to synthesize all of this at some point, but meanwhile I want to make the records available because I know smarter people than I are also reading them.
This morning’s L.A. Times features an excellent story about how CIM Group defrauds its tenants in poverty-stricken but gentrifying areas of the City, telling them that they’re about to be evicted and offering them small amounts of money to sign releases. Of course, in Los Angeles, most low-cost rental units are covered by rent control laws which give these tenants significant protections which they don’t know about. CIM Group takes significant and soon-to-be-illegal advantage of this ignorance.
Remember this editorial in the L.A. Times about the Venice Beach BID? I posted on it a couple weeks ago because whoever wrote it3 took City Attorney spokesman Rob Wilcox at his unsupported and unsupportable word that BID security somehow wasn’t allowed to arrest people for sitting on the sidewalk in violation of the despicable LAMC 41.18(d). Well, anyway, evidently “Two-gun” Kerry Morrison of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance read an editorial with the same title but, perhaps because her copy of the paper comes from Bizarro World, radically different content. The one I read said, quite sensibly:
We’re glad that property owners around Venice Beach care about their community and that they’re willing to pay extra to improve the neighborhood. But when it comes to the homeless, they must decide whether they want to be part of the solution or part of the problem. If the ambassadors are going to constitute a de facto private security force, their job should not be to hassle the homeless in an effort to move them pointlessly from corner to corner or to push them out of the neighborhood so that they become another jurisdiction’s problem.
So watch and listen here to HPOA Executive Director Ms. Kerry Morrison’s cri de coeur about how UNFAIR this is to her and her heavily armed BID Patrol buddies!! Or if you prefer, as always, there’s a transcription after the break. And she said: