Tag Archives: Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Police Protective League Anti-SB1421 Case — Judge Chalfant Accepts 170.6 Motion By First Amendment Coalition And Los Angeles Times To Disqualify Him — All Scheduled Hearings Are Cancelled — Case Transferred To Judge Mitchell Beckloff

A couple weeks ago Superior Court Judge James Chalfant ruled that the ACLU, the First Amendment Coalition, the Los Angeles Times, and some other parties could join the case of the appalling petition brought by the Los Angeles Police Protective League seeking to prevent the City of Los Angeles from complying with SB1421 by releasing records relating to police misconduct occurring before January first of this year.

On January 23, 2019 these new parties, not counting the ACLU, filed a so-called 170.6 motion, asking Chalfant to disqualify himself. This is a standard move in California civil trials, authorized by the California Code of Civil Procedure at §170.6, which allows any party to move to disqualify a judge on the grounds of bias, although they don’t have to explain what bias they perceive. As long as the motion is filed on time it must be accepted and the case must be transferred.

For whatever reason the LAPPL wasn’t happy with this motion and they filed an opposition to it on January 25, essentially arguing that the deadline had passed and that the motion should be rejected because the so-called media intervenors1 already knew that Chalfant was handling the case when they asked to join, that Chalfant had already made rulings in the case, that switching judges now would mess up the case for everyone else, and so on.

The media intervenors filed a response to that opposition on January 28, basically stating that the Police Protective League’s position was full of crap and they can’t read the law or, if they can, then they didn’t summarize it correctly in their opposition. There was a hearing on this stuff on Friday2 and Chalfant accepted the motion to disqualify himself and reassigned the case to Judge Mitchell Beckloff.

His order accepting the motion is here, and the notice of reassignment is here. The most immediate effect of this is that all pending hearings are cancelled, including the one upcoming on Tuesday, February 5. I’ll let you know when and if Beckloff schedules anything. Meanwhile, if you want to browse through (most of) the paper filed already in this case you can find it here on Archive.Org.
Continue reading Los Angeles Police Protective League Anti-SB1421 Case — Judge Chalfant Accepts 170.6 Motion By First Amendment Coalition And Los Angeles Times To Disqualify Him — All Scheduled Hearings Are Cancelled — Case Transferred To Judge Mitchell Beckloff

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Not Only Did CD1 Senior Planning Deputy Gerald Gubatan Organize Little Tokyo Business Interests To Attend Council Meetings And Give Public Comment In Favor Of Parker Center Demolition But He Also Told Them They Ought To Place An Op-Ed In The Times As Part Of The Campaign — Of Course As A Member Of Gil Cedillo’s Senior Staff He Could Write An Op-Ed Himself — Or For That Matter Cedillo Could Write One — He’s Done It Before — But That Wouldn’t Contribute To The Illusion Of Community Buy-In — Hints Of The Connection Between Gubatan And Little Tokyo — A Preschool Couldn’t Pass Fire Inspection — Gubatan Helped Fix It

I recently wrote about the process whereby in 2017 José Huizar’s staff arranged for an ersatz show of community buy-in with respect to the demolition of Parker Center in what the putative buyers-in at least saw as a quid pro quo deal. And for reasons that remain unclear Gerald Gubatan, who is Gil Cedillo’s senior planning deputy, also participated in the ginning-up-of-support process, advising the astroturfers in embarrassingly painstaking detail on the ways and means of astroturfing.

Some newly obtained emails between Gubatan and various people in the Little Tokyo business community show that his advice extended further than previously known, to the point where he was suggesting that they write an op-ed for the L.A. Times pushing Cedillo’s view of Parker Center demolition and that they coordinate its appearance with Council hearings on the matter.

Certainly Gubatan or even Cedillo could write their own op-eds for the L.A. Times. A search in Proquest’s LA Times database shows that Cedillo’s published nine over the years.1 But of course, that wouldn’t have had the desired effect, not least because it would require Cedillo to reveal that he’d already made up his mind before the vote. It certainly wouldn’t have created and maintained the illusion of community buy-in on the creation of which CD1 was working so hard. Thus, if op-eds were to be written, it was imperative to find authors apparently independent of Cedillo’s office.

As this February 2017 email conversation shows, Gubatan chose his friends in Little Tokyo, Dean Matsubayashi of the Little Tokyo Service Center and Joanne Kumamoto of the Little Tokyo Business Improvement District to hit up for an op-ed. And Gubatan didn’t just tell them to write an op-ed, he told them that “ideally [it should] be timed with the City Council vote.”

Here’s that entire email. After the break find transcriptions of the rest of the conversation, along with more emails about an interesting 2016 episode involving the Little Tokyo Service Center a preschool that couldn’t get a fire permit and how Gerald Gubatan interceded with the Fire Department on behalf of the LTSC.

Gerald Gubatan <gerald.gubatan@lacity.org> Wed, Feb 8, 2017 at 3:47 PM

To: Dean Matsubayashi <DMatsubayashi@ltsc.org>, Joanne Kumamoto <jkumamoto@aol.com>

Dean, Joanne,

When one Googles “Parker Center,” the narratives which appear are mainly by the LA Times, JD Waldie, the LA Conservancy.

One does not find the perspectives articulated at the recent PLUM Committee hearing.

If there is a good, knowledgeable and articulate writer who has the time and energy to author such a perspective and forward the LA Times for publication, ideally to be timed with the City Council vote, I believe the narrative could fill an informational gap in the larger civic engagement.

Just a thought,

Gerald

Gerald G. Gubatan
Senior Planning Deputy
Office of Council Member Gilbert Cedillo
Council District 1
City Hall, Room 460
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tel: 213.473.7001
gerald.gubatan@lacity.org
http://cd1.lacity.org/

Continue reading Not Only Did CD1 Senior Planning Deputy Gerald Gubatan Organize Little Tokyo Business Interests To Attend Council Meetings And Give Public Comment In Favor Of Parker Center Demolition But He Also Told Them They Ought To Place An Op-Ed In The Times As Part Of The Campaign — Of Course As A Member Of Gil Cedillo’s Senior Staff He Could Write An Op-Ed Himself — Or For That Matter Cedillo Could Write One — He’s Done It Before — But That Wouldn’t Contribute To The Illusion Of Community Buy-In — Hints Of The Connection Between Gubatan And Little Tokyo — A Preschool Couldn’t Pass Fire Inspection — Gubatan Helped Fix It

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This Morning In The Anti-SB1421 Petition Case Brought By The Los Angeles Police Protective League — Judge James Chalfant Ruled That The ACLU Of Southern California — Representing Valerie Rivera — Could Intervene — And So Can The First Amendment Coalition And Various Newspapers — Although In A More Limited Way — Oh, And The City Of Los Angeles Did Actually File An Opposition To The LAPPL’s Position — So That’s Good

Yesterday the First Amendment Coalition filed a request to be allowed to intervene in the reprehensible petition filed on December 31 by the reprehensible Los Angeles Police Protective League seeking to bar retroactive enforcement of the monumental SB1421, which took effect on January 1 and is meant to require the release of records relating to serious cases of police misconduct.

It turns out that, unknown to me before this morning’s hearing, the ACLU of Southern California also filed a request to be allowed to intervene. They’re representing Valerie Rivera, mother of Eric Rivera, killed by the LAPD in 2017. She requested records relating to the investigation of the officer who killed her son and was denied on the basis of the LAPPL’s restraining order.

And there was a hearing this morning on these requests before James Chalfant, so off I went downtown to the good old Stanley Mosk Courthouse to see and hear what went on. Before the hearing really got going, by the way, it came out that the City of Los Angeles has actually filed an opposition to the LAPPL’s petition, although I don’t yet have a copy. This is news because in other cases like this one the governmental agencies have not all opposed the suits. I also learned that the LAPPL’s lawyer, Richard Levine, is filing scads of these cases, county by county by county. Which is interesting and, I’m sure, worth a lot of money to him.

Anyway, after a lot of discussion Chalfant decided that the ACLU could intervene in the case but that the FAC and its gaggle of newspapers could only intervene in a limited way. This is because he found that Ms. Rivera had a more compelling interest in the outcome than did the media. The FAC and the newspapers are required to file their opposition brief jointly with the ACLU so that Chalfant doesn’t have to read too much stuff,1 and they’re not allowed to seek attorney’s fees from the LAPPL. The ACLU will be allowed to seek fees.

At first Chalfant seemed inclined to postpone the upcoming February 5 hearing,2 but ultimately he did not. And here’s a copy of the minute order detailing what went on. Turn the page for a transcription.
Continue reading This Morning In The Anti-SB1421 Petition Case Brought By The Los Angeles Police Protective League — Judge James Chalfant Ruled That The ACLU Of Southern California — Representing Valerie Rivera — Could Intervene — And So Can The First Amendment Coalition And Various Newspapers — Although In A More Limited Way — Oh, And The City Of Los Angeles Did Actually File An Opposition To The LAPPL’s Position — So That’s Good

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First Amendment Coalition Files Ex Parte Application For Leave To Intervene In Los Angeles Police Protective League Anti-SB1421 Case — Joined By The L.A. Times, The California Newspaper Publishers’ Association, And Many Other Esteemed Journalistic Groups — Hearing On This Application Tomorrow Morning At 8:30 A.M. In Dept. 85 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

Today the First Amendment Coalition and a bunch of newspapers and newspaper-adjacent organizations filed an ex parte application for leave to intervene in the appalling case initiated by the Los Angeles Police Protective League seeking to prevent California’s new police transparency law, SB1421, from applying retroactively to records of police misconduct prior to 2019. This same crapola was already tried elsewhere and decisively shot down by the California Supreme Court, but, for whatever reason, in Los Angeles County the case must go on.

FAC is seeking to intervene in the case, even though they’re not parties to it. This is evidently sometimes allowed, according to the Wiki, when “a judgment in a particular case may affect the rights of nonparties, who ideally should have the right to be heard.” Here’s the pleading filed by the FAC. It’s called an ex parte application because they’re asking the judge to decide whether they should be allowed into the case without requiring the other parties to be present at the hearing, which is tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m. in Department 85 of the Stanley Mosk Courthouse.

Because they aren’t parties to the case, they have to convince the judge that the interests of justice are served by allowing them to become parties. This argument is a huge part of their filing. They also argue that neither of the actual parties to the case, the PPL and the City, have any interest in ensuring that the public has access to records. In fact, they argue, it’s possible that the City may not file a response to the petition. Also, I guess to save time, they include the briefing that they’re proposing to file if the judge allows them to. It’s a powerful piece of writing, and you can find transcribed selections after the break.
Continue reading First Amendment Coalition Files Ex Parte Application For Leave To Intervene In Los Angeles Police Protective League Anti-SB1421 Case — Joined By The L.A. Times, The California Newspaper Publishers’ Association, And Many Other Esteemed Journalistic Groups — Hearing On This Application Tomorrow Morning At 8:30 A.M. In Dept. 85 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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L.A. Times 2018 Move To El Segundo Left Reporters With Insufficient Office Space Downtown — Reduced Them To Begging City Departments For Places To Work — Perhaps It’s Not So Easy To Maintain Journalistic Independence When You Have To Ask The LAPD For Permission To Charge Your Phone In Their Building — And They Tell You “Sure But Not Every Day, K?”

Remember in April 2018 when Patrick Soon-Shiong bought the L.A. Times and promptly announced that he was moving the headquarters from the historic building at First and Spring, which Tribune Media sold to Canadian real estate developers Onni Group in 2016, to El Freaking Segundo because Onni had proposed to jack up their rent by one million dollars per month? And soon thereafter Executive Editor Norman Pearlstine attempted to assuage everyone’s fears by telling the Columbia Journalism Review stuff like this:

… we are keeping a presence downtown. We will have an office with several dozen seats in it, and I would expect we’d probably have a pretty senior editor here responsible for it. Secondly, without taking away from the importance of physical location of where your desk is, it’s more important to talk about where your reporters are.

But recently I laid my hands on a big pile of emails between Times reporters and the LAPD’s Media Relations Division. You can browse these here on Archive.Org, and there is a ton of interesting stuff in there, although it’s mostly if not wholly off-topic for this blog. And there is also this email conversation from July 2018 between LA Times police reporter Cindy Chang and Media Relations commander in chief Patricia Sandoval. And this tells a slightly different story than Norman Pearlstine’s Pollyannaistic whiggery!1

From: Chang, Cindy
Sent: Monday, July 02, 2018 10:36 AM
To: Patricia Sandoval <25981@lapd.online>
Cc: Joshua Rubenstein <n5373@lapd.online>
Subject: press office at LAPD

Hi Trish,

There’s a press office on the first floor of PAB, correct? As we’re moving to El Segundo, we’re trying to tabulate the office space available in the agencies we cover. Our downtown bureau won’t have many seats, so other options will be helpful.

I’m off the early part of this week. Would it be possible to see the space later this week or next week?

Cindy Chang

Staff writer, Los Angeles Times
cindv.chanq@latimes.com

213.237.7016

And turn the page for the rest of the story!
Continue reading L.A. Times 2018 Move To El Segundo Left Reporters With Insufficient Office Space Downtown — Reduced Them To Begging City Departments For Places To Work — Perhaps It’s Not So Easy To Maintain Journalistic Independence When You Have To Ask The LAPD For Permission To Charge Your Phone In Their Building — And They Tell You “Sure But Not Every Day, K?”

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Who Do We Speak To When We Speak Truth To Power?

Last week USC hosted a celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti was invited to speak, but his speech was repeatedly interrupted by protesters from LA CAN, from the Skid Row Neighborhood Council Formation Committee, from NOlympics LA, and others.

This prompted an editorial from the L.A. Times entitled Shouting down Mayor Garcetti isn’t ‘speaking truth to power,’ the theme of which is well summarized by this excerpt:

But protesters can overplay their hands. These days, tolerance of other people’s views seems low, and there’s an unhealthy willingness to silence one’s opponents rather than engage them, debate them and out-argue them. That’s a shame.

Protesters who shout down a speaker — or shut down a public meeting — aren’t just expressing their own views; they’re making it impossible for others to share theirs.

It’s silly almost beyond comprehension to believe that Eric Garcetti can be silenced by protesters, that anyone interrupting him can make it impossible for him to share his views. Every word the man says is reported on extensively. His press releases are reprinted or recited verbatim by major news outlets. His press conferences are attended by reporters from all over the state, even the nation. A few people interrupting a speech isn’t making it impossible for Eric Garcetti to share his views.

And why in the world does the Times think there’s something wrong with protesters being unwilling to debate or out-argue Eric Garcetti? Do they really believe that if Eric Garcetti just hears the right argument he’ll stop allowing his LAPD thugs to kill young men for no good reason, stop sending them out to arrest homeless people and incinerate their belongings, that he’ll stop accepting campaign money from real estate developers in exchange for enabling them to destroy neighborhoods and cause more homelessness, that he’ll suddenly see the light and stop being evil?

It’s not going to happen like that. He’s heard the arguments already. If he hasn’t seen the damage he’s doing, the pain he’s causing, the killings he enables, all for the sake of his campaign coffers and his career, it’s because he doesn’t want to see. He knows his constituency and he’s giving them exactly what they want from him. No reasoned analysis is going to change that. These kind of repeated demands for civil discourse in the face of racist police murders, genocidal policies on homelessness, gentrification by force of arms, are incredibly disingenuous.

And strangely, it doesn’t seem to have occurred to the LA Times that the protesters already know they’re not going to change Eric Garcetti’s mind about anything. These protesters are accomplished, able, serious people, the value of whose contributions to civil society in Los Angeles is incomparable. None of them have done what they’ve been able to do by wasting their time trying to debate LA politicians into being nice. What, the LA Times pointedly did not even consider, might such protests actually accomplish?
Continue reading Who Do We Speak To When We Speak Truth To Power?

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Oh Man! — The LA Times Sure Left A Lotta Tea Unspilled On Mayra Alvarez’s Allegations Against Rapiest Councilboy Of ‘Em All — Her Former Boss, José Huizar — Facebook And Instagram Stalker — Notebook Thrower — Whiny-Baby Tea Drinker — Hypocritically Jealous Adulterer — Subordinate Intimidator With A Butt-Grabbing Brother — Read All About It Right Here Cause We Finally Got A Copy Of The Actual Complaint As Filed!

Everybody who’s reading this blog by now knows that Mayra Alvarez, who is José Huizar’s former scheduler, is suing him for harassment, retaliation, and various other important matters. David Zahniser had an excellent story about it in the Times a few weeks ago when the suit was filed. And David Zahniser covered some important allegations. For instance, Huizar ordered Alvarez to alter his calendars in front of public records act requests and when she objected he took away her responsible position as scheduler and made her into his receptionist. And to work on the 2020 election campaign of Mrs. José Huizar on City time. And so on.

But the Times, for whatever reason, journalistic integrity, admirable prudence, pure good sense, lack of space, an instinct for dignity, didn’t provide a copy of the complaint and also didn’t reveal many of the most lurid and yet entirely believable allegations against José Huizar who, it turns out, is even rapier than we thought, and that was already pretty damn rapey. Fortunately we here at MK.Org suffer from not one of those impediments! The purpose of tonight’s post is to fill both of the gaps left by David Zahniser’s reporting. The second comes first. Here’s the initial complaint filed by Mayra Alvarez in Los Angeles County Superior Court on October 22, 2018.

And what kind of creepy crapola did José Huizar get up to? All kinds of stuff, from repeatedly texting the word “tea” to her from his office in response to her putatively slow tea service to obsessively stalking her Facebook and her Instagram and emailing her with extra work every time she posted a picture of her with her husband.

Huizar’s extramarital affairs have been widely reported, but this is the first time we learn that he, evidently out of wildly hypocritical jealousy, forbade some of his own male staffers from working closely with his paramours. And his brother, it seems, is a butt-grabber, and José Huizar in response is an intimidator of women whose butts are grabbed, cause it’s going to make him look bad if they complain. And, because why not, he also evidently threw stuff at Mayra Alvarez during his tea tantrums. All in all he’s bad news indeed. Turn the page for transcribed selections from the complaint.
Continue reading Oh Man! — The LA Times Sure Left A Lotta Tea Unspilled On Mayra Alvarez’s Allegations Against Rapiest Councilboy Of ‘Em All — Her Former Boss, José Huizar — Facebook And Instagram Stalker — Notebook Thrower — Whiny-Baby Tea Drinker — Hypocritically Jealous Adulterer — Subordinate Intimidator With A Butt-Grabbing Brother — Read All About It Right Here Cause We Finally Got A Copy Of The Actual Complaint As Filed!

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O’Farrell Withdraws Support From Joe Bray-Ali Over Creepy Racist Internet Comments Just Like We Predicted Last Night That He Would!!


UPDATE: ON APRIL 27 AT 3:10 PM THE LOS ANGELES TIMES RESCINDED ITS ENDORSEMENT OF JOE BRAY-ALI.

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!

Turn the page for a complete transcription of Mitch’s dear Joe letter.
Continue reading O’Farrell Withdraws Support From Joe Bray-Ali Over Creepy Racist Internet Comments Just Like We Predicted Last Night That He Would!!

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How Surreal Can LA Politics Get?! Joe Bray-Ali, Favored Candidate Of Councilboy Mitch O’Farrell, Himself Working Feverishly To Outlaw Racism And Stuff In Los Angeles, Is Exposed As A Crypto-Racist Fat-Shaming Homo-Transo-Phobo-Creep On The Internet!

NOTE: YOU READ IT HERE FIRST — I PREDICT THAT EITHER BRAY-ALI WILL WITHDRAW FROM THE RACE OR ELSE MITCH AND THE LA TIMES WILL WITHDRAW THEIR ENDORSEMENTS OF JOE BRAY-ALI OVER THIS ISSUE.

UPDATE: AT 10:47 A.M. ON APRIL 27, MITCH O’FARRELL WITHDREW HIS ENDORSEMENT!
UPDATE 2: ON APRIL 27 AT 3:10 PM THE LOS ANGELES TIMES RESCINDED ITS ENDORSEMENT OF JOE BRAY-ALI.

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.

This is a really bad turn of events for fecklessly idiotic Councilboy Mitch O’Farrell who famously endorsed Bray-Ali over his colleague Gil Cedillo. He also, for whatever reason, has allowed his staff to give money to Bray-Ali. O’Farrell, of course, is famous for having introduced a Council motion seeking essentially to outlaw racism, homophobia, transphobia, and so on in Los Angeles. His motion states, in pertinent part, that:
Continue reading How Surreal Can LA Politics Get?! Joe Bray-Ali, Favored Candidate Of Councilboy Mitch O’Farrell, Himself Working Feverishly To Outlaw Racism And Stuff In Los Angeles, Is Exposed As A Crypto-Racist Fat-Shaming Homo-Transo-Phobo-Creep On The Internet!

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Further Proof That The Political Elite Of Los Angeles Have Thrown Gil Cedillo Under The Bus: Mitch O’Farrell’s Scheduler, David Cano, Contributed $125 to Joe Bray-Ali’s Campaign, Which Is Effectively An Endorsement Of The Damn Hippy Bike Rider By Mr. CD13 Himself!

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,1 but rather the subsequent nibblings of a thousand attack-ducks that really ends the guy’s career.2

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.

The incumbent is almost always reelected, and the Councilmembers all badly need one another’s good will in order to maintain their patronage system. Thus Dave Cano’s donation was effectively an endorsement of Joe Bray-Ali by Mr. Mitch himself. If you don’t believe me that this is an incredibly rare event, turn the page for some half-assed perfunctory comparative analysis which, as half-assed as it might be, as perfunctory as it certainly is, is nevertheless pretty darn illuminating.
Continue reading Further Proof That The Political Elite Of Los Angeles Have Thrown Gil Cedillo Under The Bus: Mitch O’Farrell’s Scheduler, David Cano, Contributed $125 to Joe Bray-Ali’s Campaign, Which Is Effectively An Endorsement Of The Damn Hippy Bike Rider By Mr. CD13 Himself!

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