Tag Archives: Morrie Goldman

July 1, 2013 — Gil Cedillo’s First Day In Office — Ultra-Corrupt Lobbyist Morrie Goldman Needed A Favor Right Away — Senior Staffer Arturo Chavez Was All Like — None Of Our Office Machines Are Even Working Yet But For You Morrie Anything! — Setting The Tone For The Rest Of Cedillo’s Term

Been six weeks or so since last I wrote about selections from this stinking heap consisting of 242 PDF pages of problematic ethical situations involving Gil Cedillo’s senior staff advisor Arturo Chavez and a rampaging gang of corrupt lobbyists. And first among these corrupt rampagers is Mister Corruption himself, Morrie Freaking Goldman. Talked of in FBI offices alongside Jose Huizar, buddy of Gil Cedillo.

And today we have a small story of a single day in the CD1-repping life of Gil Cedillo. But not just any day. It was the first day of the rest of Cedillo’s term. July 1, 2013. The fax wasn’t even working yet.1 But the influence machine was working, and that’s how Morrie Goldman came to leave a message for Arturo Chavez on July 1, 2013 asking for a favor and later following up by email: “Did you get my message re: 1111 Wilshire CUB hearing?”

And these 1111 Wilshire people didn’t just parachute in out of nowhere. They were heavily invested in the CD1 race that Cedillo ultimately won. At first they weren’t interested in Cedillo at all, but rather his opponent, Jose Gardea. As Ed Reyes’s chief of staff Gardea was doubtless the establishment candidate and presumptive heir of the moment, which is doubtless why two separate anonymous LLCs named after 1111 Wilshire gave Gardea a total of $2,100 in the 2013 CD1 campaign.

But at some point they evidently realized that they’d better hedge their bets, so in June of 2013 they gave Cedillo $700 as well. And that, children, is doubtless why Morrie Goldman had Arturo Chavez’s phone number on the first day of Gil Cedillo’s term. And doubtless why Arturo Chavez answered Goldman’s demands. And told him that yes, Cedillo was writing a letter, and yes, he could pick it up in the morning.

And that, friends, is what $700 buys you from Gil Cedillo, and that, friends, is how Gil Cedillo and his senior staff spent their first day at 200 N. Spring Street. And every other day since then, looks like. Turn the page for a transcription of the entire email conversation and please, take a look at the whole spool because there are doubtless unmined gems lurking in there!
Continue reading July 1, 2013 — Gil Cedillo’s First Day In Office — Ultra-Corrupt Lobbyist Morrie Goldman Needed A Favor Right Away — Senior Staffer Arturo Chavez Was All Like — None Of Our Office Machines Are Even Working Yet But For You Morrie Anything! — Setting The Tone For The Rest Of Cedillo’s Term

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Annals Of Utter Abject Mind-Numbing Shamelessness — Morrie Goldman Wants To Know If Gil Cedillo Will Be At PLUM Next Week — Cause He Needs Him For A Quorum — Cause Englander Is Gonna Be Out — Debby Kim Has Nothing More To Say Beyond “He Will Be There :)” — Yes, The Smiley Face Is Part Of The Quote — Even The Damn Rats Are Embarrassed At This Point

Background first. There’s Morrie Goldman. Lobbyist who runs Urban Solutions LLC, a lobbying firm. Famously caught up in the slow motion putrefaction of what was, at one time, known as Jose Huizar’s political career. Well-known friend of Gil Cedillo, at least as the word is understood at 200 N. Spring Street. Favor asker. Supplicant. Then there’s Gil Cedillo. Career politician. Wielder of vast power. Mover. Shaker. Favor granter. Supplicatee.

Or, you know, that’s how I always thought things worked in City Hall. The Councilmembers were in charge and the lobbyists asked them for goodies on behalf of clients and paid them off for their cooperation. But I recently obtained a steaming heap of emails between CD1 staffers and various lobbyists, and amongst them was this email conversation from 2015 between Morrie Goldman and Cedillo chief of staff Debby Kim1 which forces a quantum-level re-envisioning of that narrative, featuring Morrie Goldman as Keyser Soze and Cedillo with nothing more than some kind of walk-on role in his own career.

The whole exchange is just four emails long. Only the first two really matter. A week before the meeting, Goldman emails Kim to ask if Cedillo will be at PLUM on June 23, 2015. He says “We have an item coming to PLUM that day and need him for a quorum. Englander is out.” Kim’s reply? “He will be there :)” So yeah, in case you hadn’t realized, lobbyists don’t only tell Councilmembers how to vote and then deliver payola in return. They also call roll in advance and make sure the reps show up when they’re needed to vote. It’s unexpected and creepy at the same time.

And conceivably it’s also a Brown Act violation, since at that time the entire PLUM committee consisted of Jose Huizar, Cedillo, and Englander. Communications through intermediaries between a majority of the members, which would be two of them, constitutes an illegal serial meeting.2 So Goldman insinuating to Cedillo’s staff that Englander would have voted in favor is probably not OK. The statute of limitations is long gone, though.

And of course, the question of what issue Goldman needed Cedillo present to vote on is an essential one. I don’t yet know for sure, but here’s the PLUM agenda from June 23, 2015. The only matter on there of any consequence is CF 15-0721, which has to do with a CEQA appeal against the AMPAS project on Wilshire, which is likely to be the vote Goldman was worried about. Oh, one more thing! Notice how Goldman doesn’t even have to ask how Cedillo’s voting? That’s all been settled already.

And that’s the sordid little story of who’s calling the shots in the relationships between lobbyists and their pet councilmembers. Turn the page for a transcription of the emails themselves, so ordinary and yet so shocking.
Continue reading Annals Of Utter Abject Mind-Numbing Shamelessness — Morrie Goldman Wants To Know If Gil Cedillo Will Be At PLUM Next Week — Cause He Needs Him For A Quorum — Cause Englander Is Gonna Be Out — Debby Kim Has Nothing More To Say Beyond “He Will Be There :)” — Yes, The Smiley Face Is Part Of The Quote — Even The Damn Rats Are Embarrassed At This Point

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Gil Cedillo, Morrie Goldman, George Yu — CD1’s Unholy Trinity — Cedillo Met With Corrupt Huizar-Linked Lobbyist Goldman 25 Times Since Taking Office In July 2013 — George Yu Of The Chinatown BID Is A Client Of Goldman’s — They Eat Lunch With Cedillo And Hate On Street Vendors — Same Old Story At 200 N Spring Street — And Bonus Sleaze! — Morrie Goldman Brings Lightstone To Meet With Cedillo About A Giant Hotel Project Not Even In His District! — Cause Why Should Huizar Get All The Dirty Money?! — But There Are Things Too Sleazy Even For Cedillo! — Read On To Find Out What!

Morrie Goldman is a former Council staffer who now runs a lobbying firm called Urban Solutions. Of course lately he’s much-discussed because of his person-of-interest flavored links to José Huizar. And it turns out that Goldman hasn’t just been spending quality time with Huizar, but that he’s a regular dining companion of Gil Cedillo as well.

I recently obtained a whole slew of calendars from some of Cedillo’s staffies and, importantly, Cedillo himself. Take a look at what I have so far and especially see Cedillo’s appointment calendar from 2013 through 2018. The PDF is searchable, and just for kicks, search it for “Morrie.” You’ll see 25 hits, all for meetings with Morrie Goldman, at the finest restaurants, with clients, for drinks, and so on. This, of course, is evidence. It’ s just not yet clear what it’s evidence of.

Some of the clients are listed, e.g. Clear Channel is in there a lot, probably because everyone who’s not a politician hates them. United American Properties, which was, maybe still is, developing property in Westlake, also makes an appearance. But many of the listings don’t identify the issues to be discussed, some don’t even identify the clients whose issues Goldman is to lobby Cedillo on. Which is why calendars are always just a starting point. Emails are what’s needed!1

And not only did I manage to obtain these calendars, but I also got this fabulous spool of emails, mostly between Debbie Kim and Morrie Goldman, with special guest appearances by Goldman’s fellow Huizar-scandal-person-of-interest Art Gastelum!2 And there’s all kind of action in those emails, believe me! And some of the action involves an old friend of this blog, everybody’s favorite psychopathic rageball, Mr. George Yu of the Chinatown BID! Apparently the BID, or to be precise the property owners association, is Goldman’s client.3

And Goldman goes with Yu to meet Cedillo and eat lunch and talk about things like street vending, which all BIDdies hate, but which Yu hates more than the average BIDdie, cause, in addition to rage, Yu is just that much more than average filled with hate. From the evidence I have Goldman and Yu met with Cedillo three times since 2015 over street vending (one, two, and three). And what did Cedillo have to say about it to the BIDdies, especially given that he’s on the record as supporting legal street vending in Los Angeles? Well, I don’t know.4

And the emails also show that on January 29, 2016 Goldman sought a meeting for representatives from Lightstone with Cedillo. Lightstone is, of course, famous for its Fig + Pico project, right smack in the middle of Huizar’s CD14. This is the project for which the City agreed to more than $100 million in tax rebates. And why was Goldman so eager to introduce his clients to Cedillo when they were building in CD14?

Well, Goldman says in the emails that it’s because “they are actively looking at other sites” but I’m willing to bet some money that it had more to do with the fact that at that time Cedillo was on the Economic Development Committee, which voted to move the project forward on February 9, 2016, less than two weeks after Goldman started arranging the meeting.5

And finally there’s this snazzy little number from 2017, wherein Morrie Goldman invites Gil Cedillo to take part in a press conference that his client Clear Channel, the most criminally inclined billboard company in the history of billboard companies, is putting together to celebrate National Missing Children’s Day.6 But Cedillo staffers Fredy Ceja and Arturo Chavez, even though they agree that missing children are a good cause and so on, don’t think “the perception” is good for their boss. Turn the page to read a transcription of that one!
Continue reading Gil Cedillo, Morrie Goldman, George Yu — CD1’s Unholy Trinity — Cedillo Met With Corrupt Huizar-Linked Lobbyist Goldman 25 Times Since Taking Office In July 2013 — George Yu Of The Chinatown BID Is A Client Of Goldman’s — They Eat Lunch With Cedillo And Hate On Street Vendors — Same Old Story At 200 N Spring Street — And Bonus Sleaze! — Morrie Goldman Brings Lightstone To Meet With Cedillo About A Giant Hotel Project Not Even In His District! — Cause Why Should Huizar Get All The Dirty Money?! — But There Are Things Too Sleazy Even For Cedillo! — Read On To Find Out What!

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