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!
Morrie R. Goldman <email@example.com> Wed, May 17, 2017 at 10:50 AM
To: Debby Kim <debby,firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Arturo Chavez <email@example.com>
Clear Channel Outdoor is partnering with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) in cities across the country to shine a spotlight on open cases via PSA campaigns, and will now launch its first Los Angeles partnership on May 25 in conjunction with National Missing Children’s Day.
The campaign will run solely on Clear Channel’s digital boards for one month in LA and Orange County, beginning with a press conference/unveiling at City Hall (final details pending – see below) including City officials. Clear Channel representatives, NCMEC representatives and family members of the missing children.
Date: Thursday, May 25 – National Missing Children’s Day
Location: 9 AM @ Los Angeles City Hall
Attendees: NCMEC reps, CCOA reps, law enforcement, family(ies) of child(ren)
Let me know if you’d like to participate in the press conference and I will connect you with the Public Relations team.
Morrie R. Goldman
Urban Solutions LLC
200 S. Los Angeles Street, #311
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Office: (213) 689-4745
FAX: (213) 488-1090
Fredy Ceja <firstname.lastname@example.org> Wed, May 17, 2017 at 10:58 AM
To: Arturo Chavez <email@example.com>, Debby Kim <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I like the idea, clearly it’s a good deed, but the perception is not good for CM.
Office of Councilmember Gilbert Cedillo
Los Angeles City Council, District 1
200 N. Spring St., Room 460
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Direct: (213) 473-2393
Office: (213) 473-7001
Cell: (323) 574-6013
Arturo Chavez <email@example.com> Wed, May 17,2017 at 12:59 PM
To: Fredy Ceja <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: Debby Kim <email@example.com>
Hmm might want to pass on this one… lets discuss further.
Chief of Staff
Councilmember Gil Cedillo
Image of Morrie Goldman is ©2019 MichaelKohlhaas.Org and if you knew Morrie like I know Morrie!
- Actually wiretaps are what’s needed, directional microphones are what’s needed, but as long as we’re sticking to what’s legal and what’s needed emails are the best we’re gonna get.
- There are ten occurrences of the search key “gastelum” in that calendar, but three of them are for Michelle Gastelum. Not gonna speculate, leaving that to you, the audience.
- Take a look here at Goldman’s firm’s 2019 registration with the Ethics Commission to see them listed. You’ll have to do a search for all the other years on your own because, for reasons known only to them, the Ethics Commission spent a year and a zillion bucks redesigning their website and still neglected to include a way to link in to search results.
- Wiretaps, as I said, being illegal.
- The meeting took place on February 11, 2016, so they didn’t talk about Cedillo’s vote before February 9, but it’s hard to imagine that he’d take the meeting and then vote against them. No doubt his reward was discussed.
- I mean, maybe “celebrate” is the wrong word to use here, but you know what I mean. Also I know what I mean. The only remaining question is did Clear Channel know what they meant? Probably. After all, they’re the zillionaires. If they need a damn lexicographer they’ll buy one.