Tag Archives: Mitch O’Farrell

Mitch O’Farrell Has A Private Gmail Account Through Which He Conducts City Business — And His Chief Of Staff, Jeanne Min, Refuses To Release All Emails From This Account — Insists That There Is More Public Interest In Withholding Them — But No One Actually Believes That — Probably Not Even Her

In the last few years a number of public officials have been criticized extensively1 for using privately controlled email accounts to conduct public business. Hillary Clinton was famously investigated by the FBI for this. And just yesterday it was revealed that Ivanka Trump has done the same thing. Thus we were fascinated to learn recently that CD13’s own Mitch O’Farrell also uses a privately owned Gmail account, mitchof13@gmail.com, to conduct City business and, doubtless, to evade scrutiny.

This was discovered recently by our friends at the Hollywood Sunshine Coalition, who passed us the material on which this post is based. And this revelation settles a big mystery. As you know, I personally have obtained many thousands of pages of emails from CD13 on any number of subjects, and there are never any at all from O’Farrell himself. Previously I had thought that either Dan Halden, who handled most of my requests, was purposely omitting emails from his boss or else that O’Farrell was communicating in ways that didn’t leave traces, like phone calls. Now it seems likely that he has been evading scrutiny by using this secret email address.

The HSC has been making public records act requests for emails from this account. There are two ways to approach this. The first, and so far the only successful, way is to find correspondents who are subject to the CPRA and ask them for emails involving O’Farrell’s secret email address. This led to request number 18-2976 on the City’s newish CPRA platform, which is called Nextrequest.2 For some reason the City has made the request page available for public view but not the records provided. They turned over 21 highly duplicative PDF pages of emails between O’Farrell and various officers and, interestingly, some members of the Hollywood Studio District Neighborhood Council. You can read these 21 pages here. Apparently the HSC has other such requests pending.

But the HSC’s other strategy has turned to be much more interesting, even though it hasn’t gotten them any actual records yet. It’s based on last year’s absolutely monumental California Supreme Court opinion in City of San Jose v. Superior Court, which found that the emails and text messages of public officials are subject to the CPRA even if they are held in private accounts.

Based on this principle, on November 7 the HSC sent this CPRA request to CD13, asking for all emails held in the account from July 1, 2013 through the present.3 And yesterday, probably unsurprisingly, O’Farrell’s chief of staff, Jeanne Min, replied with the usual mush-mouthed nonsense, the TL;DR of which is “fuck you no records.” The HSC responded pretty scathingly, and then responded again for good measure. They’ve promised to keep me in the loop with respect to further developments. After the break you can find transcriptions of most of these emails along with some technical discussion of the CPRA issues implicated.

Meanwhile I’m told by those who ought to know that the HSC will not drop this request and that they are prepared to litigate if necessary. We’ll see what happens, I guess. Whatever happens, it’s clear that the public interest is very much against allowing Mitch O’Farrell to get away with maintaining this secret side channel for communicating with his favored few and with secreting emails away from public scrutiny and the City’s record retention policies.
Continue reading Mitch O’Farrell Has A Private Gmail Account Through Which He Conducts City Business — And His Chief Of Staff, Jeanne Min, Refuses To Release All Emails From This Account — Insists That There Is More Public Interest In Withholding Them — But No One Actually Believes That — Probably Not Even Her

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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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The Hollywood Property Owners’ Alliance In Cahoots With CD13 Is Removing Ficus Trees From Hollywood — Why Has The City Of Los Angeles Ceded Its Duty To Care For Our Trees To A Bunch Of Nihilistic Zillionaires Who Don’t Even Live In Hollywood?

The Hollywood Property Owners’ Alliance, which runs the major Hollywood BID, has a long and troubled relationship with the City of Los Angeles and tree regulations. For instance, remember when that billboard company illegally cut down all those trees in Silver Lake in 2016 and the whole City flipped out even to the extent of revenge vandalism? This crisis somehow catapulted Mitch O’Farrell and David Ryu into a rare moment of sanity and they initiated CF 15-0467-S4, in which they asked for report-backs from the City Attorney and the Bureau of Street Services on how to prevent future rogue tree removals.

And the Bureau of Street Services came in with a pretty strong set of recommendations, which included requiring before-and-after photos of tree maintenance done by private parties as well as requiring the presence of City tree surgeons. Well, as you may recall, the BID absolutely flipped out over this in their characteristically privileged manner, which included typically unsubstantiated claims of their unparalleled arboreal competence and even featured archetypal BID genius Mark Echevarria of Musso & Frank giggling like a six-fingered chucklehead cause he never heard of tree surgeons.1

And over the last two years the issue of the wanton destruction of our City’s trees has not died down. In fact it’s getting worse and worse. For a good overview see this fine article by Alissa Walker in Curbed LA. The unwarranted removal of trees has emerged as a significant social justice issue with serious ecological ramifications. And political action can save trees. But political action is impossible if the City sneaks around and removes trees covertly.

And of course, the City’s favorite way to sneak around and do anything covertly is to palm it off onto the damn BIDs.2 Thus it was no surprise to discover a newly released email conversation between Marisol Rodriguez and Dan Halden of Mitch O’Farrell’s staff and Kerry Morrison and Rich Sarian of the HPOA which shows that the BID is in fact involved in secret tree destruction in Hollywood with the advice and consent of CD13.

It’s pretty clear that these actions are shady. It’s plausible that they’re illegal. Turn the page for transcriptions of as much of the record as we have available.
Continue reading The Hollywood Property Owners’ Alliance In Cahoots With CD13 Is Removing Ficus Trees From Hollywood — Why Has The City Of Los Angeles Ceded Its Duty To Care For Our Trees To A Bunch Of Nihilistic Zillionaires Who Don’t Even Live In Hollywood?

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Echo Park BID Formation Process Rolls On, With Economic Development Committee Just Yesterday, At Behest Of CD13 Rep Mitch O’Freaking Farrell, Recommending Allocation Of God Only Knows How Much Money To Civitas To Complete The Establishment Process

It’s been almost two years now since our esteemed City Council breathed new life into the inchoate Echo Park BID in May 2016 in response to a letter from the Echo Park Chamber of Commerce, who is apparently the BID proponent group for this mishegas. Well, that infusion of cash into its zombie veins apparently wasn’t enough to send it lurching off into what passes for the civic life of this fair but wounded City of ours.

Thus, evidently, CD13 rep Mitch O’Freaking Farrell found it necessary a few weeks ago to move in Council that the BID formation contract with Civitas Advisors, who’s acting as the BID consultant,1 be extended.2 Yesterday, the Economic Development Committee approved3 Mitchie’s motion and sent a report to the full Council for their sadly inevitable approval.

The original Echo Park BID formation materials are collected in CF 10-0154 and for all this contract extension voodoo they started a supplemental, which is at CF 10-0154-S1. Turn the page for a transcription of O’Farrell’s motion from February 27 as well as of an interesting selection from the Committee’s report which sheds some light on where things stand.

Continue reading Echo Park BID Formation Process Rolls On, With Economic Development Committee Just Yesterday, At Behest Of CD13 Rep Mitch O’Freaking Farrell, Recommending Allocation Of God Only Knows How Much Money To Civitas To Complete The Establishment Process

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More Hollywood Media District CPRA Exemption Claims Exposed By Court Order As Unmitigated Mendacity — E.G. Laurie Goldman’s City Hall Gossip-Mongering Chittery-Chat To Fellow Board Members Ferris Wehbe And David Freaking Bass About Michael Weinstein, Eric Garcetti, And Little Mitchie O’Farrell Could Not Be Considered Part Of A Deliberative Process Anywhere Outside Of The Feverishly Dizzying Intellect Of Self-Proclaimed Hollywood Superlawyer Jeffrey Charles Briggs

A couple weeks ago I wrote about an email that self-proclaimed Hollywood superlawyer Jeffrey Charles Briggs had released to me in response to a CPRA request but later claimed that it was exempt from release as a result of his having solemnly intoned the words “deliberative process” three times while standing on his hands naked at a crossroads at midnight on the Summer Solstice, which is about the level to which the CPRA has descended in this fair City in these latter days.

I mentioned at that point that he and his infernal client, the Hollywood Media District Property Owners Association, had been ordered by the Hon. Mary Strobel to hand over a whole passel of other emails which they’d claimed were exempt for various reasons.1 So finally I received these emails from le super-avocat de Hollywood lui-même, and now you can read them too!

For extra behind-the-scenes CPRA thrills, compare them to Jeffrey Charles Briggs’s summaries and aggressively hallucinated exemption claims in the declaration and log he filed with the court. And turn the page for a detailed analysis in a couple of cases of just how deeply, arrogantly nonsensical these exemption claims are revealed to be once we can compare them with the actual emails.
Continue reading More Hollywood Media District CPRA Exemption Claims Exposed By Court Order As Unmitigated Mendacity — E.G. Laurie Goldman’s City Hall Gossip-Mongering Chittery-Chat To Fellow Board Members Ferris Wehbe And David Freaking Bass About Michael Weinstein, Eric Garcetti, And Little Mitchie O’Farrell Could Not Be Considered Part Of A Deliberative Process Anywhere Outside Of The Feverishly Dizzying Intellect Of Self-Proclaimed Hollywood Superlawyer Jeffrey Charles Briggs

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Tamales Nos Cuidan: Social Cleansing, Kerry Morrison, Donald Trump, And The Battle For Legal Street Vending In Los Angeles And Beyond

Tamalera on Hoover Street, South Los Angeles, January 2018.
Recently, a little after 7 a.m. on a fine cool Los Angeles Winter morning, I found myself on Hoover Street a little South of Vernon. If you know the area, or areas like it, you won’t be surprised to hear that at that time of day there were tamaleras everywhere. At major intersections, of course, and also near schools, selling tamales y champurrado for breakfast. You can see a picture somewhere near this sentence that I took while waiting my turn in line.

The whole scene is entirely social. There are grandmothers buying a dozen at a time to take home, people on their ways to work buying two or three for breakfast, maybe for lunch too, and schoolkids buying singles to eat while they walk.1 The tamalera creates a little bubble of warm sociability around her, momentarily protecting those inside from the chill of the foggy damp onshore flow.

This doesn’t happen only on the streets of South Los Angeles, of course. Last month Gustavo Arellano published a lovely article in the New Yorker entitled The Comfort of Tamales At The End Of 2017 about the significant social role of this ancient food2 in Mexican-American culture. And you can feel that sociability strongly while waiting in line to buy tamales on an L.A. street in the morning.

But as you’re probably aware, it’s looking more and more likely that the City Council, despite their generally supportive pro-vendor rhetoric, is going to allow business interests and property owners to veto street vending on a highly localized basis for essentially no rational reason at all. One of the most random exclusionary zones recommended in the November 2017 report of the Chief Legislative Analyst is anywhere within 500 feet of Hollywood Boulevard.
Continue reading Tamales Nos Cuidan: Social Cleansing, Kerry Morrison, Donald Trump, And The Battle For Legal Street Vending In Los Angeles And Beyond

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Hollywood Studio District Is Latest In Unbroken Chain Of Neighborhood Councils To Explain To Mitch O’Farrell That His Kerry-Morrison-Behested Anti-Creepy-Men-In-Playgrounds Motion Is, To Put It In The Politest Possible Terms, So Full Of Shit Its Eyes Would Be Brown If It Had Eyes

BACKGROUND: Recall, if you will, that this L.A. Times editorial kicked off a somewhat misguided firestorm of opposition to Mitch O’Farrell’s recent Council motion 16-1456 seeking to develop a legal tool for banning adults without children from playgrounds in parks in the City of Los Angeles.

Just the other day, the Hollywood Studio District Neighborhood Council became the fifth in a long line of illustrious NCs to place a statement of opposition to CD13 repster1 Mitch O’Farrell’s Kerry-Morrison-behested and universally reviled motion to outlaw grownups in parks2 into the Council File. Not one single neighborhood council has supported this malcriado nonsense, and here’s the honor roll of opposition, spread out over the last five months:

I just bet that when Councildude Mitch O’Farrell moved to the City of Angels from somewhere east of San Bernardino he never expected that one day he would try to do a simple favor for what passes for a community thought leader these days in Hollywood, that is to say Ms. Kerry Morrison,3 and end up not only not making her happy but being roundly and thoroughly mocked in the national press.

He’s clearly letting this ill-conceived motion die in committee, but it seems that, as long as the file’s still active, neighborhood councils are going to keep blowing it up with opposition statements. There’s a lesson to be learned here for Mr. Mitch and history shows that he’s learned it well. You can learn it too if you’ll only turn the page!
Continue reading Hollywood Studio District Is Latest In Unbroken Chain Of Neighborhood Councils To Explain To Mitch O’Farrell That His Kerry-Morrison-Behested Anti-Creepy-Men-In-Playgrounds Motion Is, To Put It In The Politest Possible Terms, So Full Of Shit Its Eyes Would Be Brown If It Had Eyes

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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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Councilboy Mitch Doubles Down On Endorsement Of Joe Bray-Ali, Uses His Own 2017 Campaign Email Account To Send Out Email Blast To His Campaign List, Thereby Violating Spirit Of Muncipal Ethics Laws Rather Than Letter

This is just a super-quick note to provide you with a copy of an email that Mitch O’Farrell sent out this morning from his mitch@mitchofarrell2017.com email account doubling down on his recent endorsement of upstart hippy bike-rider CD1 candidate Joe Bray-Ali, who is benefitting mightily, it seems, from the under-the-bus-throwing behavior to which his opponent, incumbent Gil Cedillo, has been subjected by the zillionaire elite of Los Angeles.

It’s a rather remarkable document, and I suspect that many if not all of the readers of this blog have neglected to subscribe to Mitch’s campaign email list, so I thought I’d better make it available. If you don’t like PDFs, there’s a transcription, as always, after the break.
Continue reading Councilboy Mitch Doubles Down On Endorsement Of Joe Bray-Ali, Uses His Own 2017 Campaign Email Account To Send Out Email Blast To His Campaign List, Thereby Violating Spirit Of Muncipal Ethics Laws Rather Than Letter

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