Background: You can read my previous stories on the Skid Row Neighborhood Council formation effort and also see Jason McGahan’s article in the Weekly and Gale Holland’s article in the Times for more mainstream perspectives.
I reported a couple days ago that Liner LLP, the lobbying firm hired by the shadowy anonymous entity known as United Downtown for the purpose of killing the Skid Row Neighborhood Council formation, had finally disclosed their client via their Q2 report. I didn’t realize then that Liner had also filed an amended 2017 registration statement showing United Downtown as a client, which they had previously failed to do.
And there’s a crucial detail in these disclosures that I missed. I was alerted to this matter by a source who spoke to me on condition of anonymity. Take a look at the disclosure statement. In particular, the phone number that Liner gives for United Downtown is (213) 228-8484. Now take a look at Central City East’s contact info (and here’s a screenshot should it become necessary). Their phone number is (213) 228-8484 as well! This would go a long way towards explaining the outsized role played by Estela Lopez in this fiasco as early as January 2017.
It’s not clear what this means, although it clearly means something. It’s absolutely not clear that it’s legal for BIDs to spend their money on this kind of thing. It’s certainly not moral for BIDs to hide behind anonymous corporate names to influence municipal politics. It is also absolutely clear that the CCEA has very few scruples with respect to money-spending restrictions, so it won’t be a surprise if they turn out to be behind United Downtown. Of course, it’s not implausible that they’re not responsible for United Downtown, but that they’re sufficiently in cahoots to lend their phone number. The full story may never be known, but I have pending CPRA requests which may shed some light on the matter, and perhaps we’ll learn something that way.
The image which adorns this post is ©2017 MichaelKohlhaas.Org. A little bit of it was taken from here and modified heavily.