Tag Archives: CD12

In January 2017 — When The Mitch Englander CD12 Crime Conspiracy Must Already Have Been Busily Whirring Away — City Staffer B — Which Is To Say John Lee — Asked His Assistant Brandy Turnbow To Get A Copy Of His Detailed Phone Log From Verizon — Could He Have Been Using His Work Phone To Do Crimes? — Worried About What Lurid Or Incriminating Information He’d Spilled? — And Turnbow Did Get Them From Verizon — Via Email! — Which Is How I Came To Have Copies Of John Lee’s Phone Logs! — And Mitch Englander’s! — For November And December 2016 — Including Number Called And Location Of Lee/Englander At Time Of Call! — They’re Not Quite Formatted Enough To Search Or Sort Reliably — But Here They Are For To Exercise Your Detective Skills! — Like An Easter Egg Hunt For Grownups!

By now the whole world knows that John Lee, Los Angeles City Councilmember for District 12, formerly chief of staff to now-indicted former CD12 rep Mitch Englander, accompanied his boss to Las Vegas in June of 2017 to be plied with liquor, money, and sex in exchange for the usual list of favors to real estate developers. And Lee, known as City Staffer B in the indictments issued so far, admits going on the trip but denies receiving anything untoward or engaging in suspect or illegal activities.

And even though Englander’s indictment doesn’t mention anything leading up to that June 2017 trip, it’s clear that he and surely also John Lee had to have been conspiring with the developer for a while. Without a lot of prior discussion and understandings how would these conspirators have trusted one another enough to offer and accept such blatantly corrupt incentives? The indictment refers repeatedly to text messages between Englander, Lee, and the corrupt developers, so at least some of the pre-Vegas communication probably took place via cell phone.

And the City issues cell phones to Councilmembers and selected staff. While most criminals can probably understand that it’s a bad idea to arrange crimes on your work phone, it’s not impossible that Lee1 didn’t realize this at first. Regardless of the wily criminal tendencies of these political thugs they’re not bright people or at least have astonishingly poor impulse control. So perhaps early on Lee did use his work phone to communicate with his co-conspirators?2 And maybe at some point he realized that he might be leaving evidence by doing so? Which is speculation, of course.

But speculation or not it would certainly explain the highly suspicious fact that in January 2017 Lee asked his aide Brandy Turnbow if it were possible to get detailed billing records for his work phone from Verizon. By that time he’d worked for the City of Los Angeles for more than 20 years and yet the question hadn’t come up for him before his boss was running a criminal conspiracy out of City Hall. So Turnbow emailed Matthew Webster of Verizon asking him about it. And after a lot of tedious discussion he sent her the information she requested as an email attachment.

Which was tremendously good luck, because of course City emails and their attachments are public records. Which is how I laid hands on one of the most remarkable documents I’ve had the good fortune to receive during my long career of requesting public records. This is a detailed 300+ page3 call-by-call log of CD12 work phone activity from October 2016 through January 2017.4 It has all of Mitch Englander’s work phone calls, all of John Lee’s, and also other staffers. It includes not only the number called but the location of the caller’s phone when the call was made.
Continue reading In January 2017 — When The Mitch Englander CD12 Crime Conspiracy Must Already Have Been Busily Whirring Away — City Staffer B — Which Is To Say John Lee — Asked His Assistant Brandy Turnbow To Get A Copy Of His Detailed Phone Log From Verizon — Could He Have Been Using His Work Phone To Do Crimes? — Worried About What Lurid Or Incriminating Information He’d Spilled? — And Turnbow Did Get Them From Verizon — Via Email! — Which Is How I Came To Have Copies Of John Lee’s Phone Logs! — And Mitch Englander’s! — For November And December 2016 — Including Number Called And Location Of Lee/Englander At Time Of Call! — They’re Not Quite Formatted Enough To Search Or Sort Reliably — But Here They Are For To Exercise Your Detective Skills! — Like An Easter Egg Hunt For Grownups!

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City Staffer B — John Lee — Sitting CD12 Representative — Admittedly Accompanied His Then-Boss Mitch Englander To Las Vegas In June 2017 Where Englander Was Bribed With Wine — And Women — And Hard Cold Bathroom Envelope Cash — And Lee Denies He Knew Any Of That Was Going On — And Very Specifically Denies That He Himself Was Bribed With Women — But He Did Not Put The Vegas Thing In His Appointment Calendar — Which To Me Screams Consciousness Of Freaking Guilt — Because This Is A Guy Who Obsessively Enters Every Trip He Takes — Work-Related Or Not — Including Three Trips To Competitive Cheerleading Events Between February And May 2017 — So Why Would He Leave Out The Sleazy Vegas Trip If He Wasn’t Trying To Keep It A Secret? — And Why Keep It A Secret If He Actually Thought It Was Legit As He Now Claims He Did?

By now the whole world knows that former Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch Englander is a sleazy corrupt fellow who was in Las Vegas in 2017 on June 1, 2, and maybe 3 being bribed with cash, liquor, and women and that he was accompanied on this funhouse mirror hero’s journey by his as-yet-unindicted co-conspirator and then-chief-of-staff John S. Lee, sitting Councilmember for the Twelfth District, known in the ever-increasing number of official indictments and mockingly on Twitter as City Staffer B.1

Lee admits that he went along with Mitch on the trip, but he continues to maintain that he did nothing wrong and, says Lee, that he “was unaware of any illegal activities for which Councilmember Englander is being charged.”2 Not only did, according to himself, do nothing wrong but also, according to his spokesperson Grace Yao3 he especially “absolutely [was] not” supplied with women. It’s certainly curious that Lee denies everything but he extra-super-duper denies that part.

Almost as curious as the fact that Lee omitted that June 2017 trip to Las Vegas from his official 2017 appointment calendar, which I recently obtained from the City of Los Angeles via a Public Records Act request. You can see that he had a full day of actual work on June 1. Presumably he traveled to Las Vegas with Mitch that night. On June 2 he has nothing at all listed except a late-night 11 PM meeting with a mysterious as-yet-unidentified figure known as Justin Cruz.4
Continue reading City Staffer B — John Lee — Sitting CD12 Representative — Admittedly Accompanied His Then-Boss Mitch Englander To Las Vegas In June 2017 Where Englander Was Bribed With Wine — And Women — And Hard Cold Bathroom Envelope Cash — And Lee Denies He Knew Any Of That Was Going On — And Very Specifically Denies That He Himself Was Bribed With Women — But He Did Not Put The Vegas Thing In His Appointment Calendar — Which To Me Screams Consciousness Of Freaking Guilt — Because This Is A Guy Who Obsessively Enters Every Trip He Takes — Work-Related Or Not — Including Three Trips To Competitive Cheerleading Events Between February And May 2017 — So Why Would He Leave Out The Sleazy Vegas Trip If He Wasn’t Trying To Keep It A Secret? — And Why Keep It A Secret If He Actually Thought It Was Legit As He Now Claims He Did?

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David Ryu Certainly Seems To Be Yet Another Landlord On The Los Angeles City Council — And Apparently Perfectly Comfortable Voting On Various Tenants’ Rights Issues Without Recusing Himself Or Even Mentioning It — He And His Sister Esther Bought A Four Unit Apartment Building In 2018 — And Immediately Signed It Over To A Shady Entity Called Daejopia LLC — Controlled By Their Brother Joseph — Ryu Acknowledged On His Form 700 That He Owns The Building — Although He Lists It By Parcel Number Rather Than Address — But Denies Receiving Any Rental Income From It — Which Seems Really Highly Unlikely Given That It Appears To Be Fully Occupied — But Maybe He’ll Explain Himself If For Some Unknown Reason It Is True — Did I Mention That Kenneth Yoon — Who Sold The Building To David And Esther Ryu — Turned Around And Gave Ryu An $800 Contribution A Month After The Deal Closed? — And That The Ryus Only Needed To Borrow $460K On What Was Apparently A $840K Transaction?

On Tuesday, March 17, 2020 the Los Angeles City Council considered an emergency ordinance to halt evictions and give renters 24 months to cover missed payments. Or at least that’s what the original motion, introduced by CD11 rep Mike Bonin, called for. During the debate,1 though, various other councilmembers, notably Paul Krekorian, Paul Koretz, and Herb Wesson, argued passionately against the harm that such an ordinance would do to the proverbial mom and pop landlords by giving these deadbeat tenants so damn long to settle up.

Two years is far long, they said. Mom and pops can’t afford to wait, they said. Will increase default rate, said they. They said all kinds of impassioned stuff in favor of reducing repayment time by a murderous 75%. But one of the things they didn’t say was that all three of these councilmembers are themselves landlords. It’s impossible to imagine that they weren’t thinking of their own interests while arguing to amend this motion. I wrote a piece on this a few days ago, the research for which also revealed that they weren’t the only three, by the way.

It turned out that Jose Huizar, Nury Martinez, and Curren Price are also landlords and also voted yes on the change to a 6 month grace period. My method of landlord discovery relied solely on Form 700s, which are annual financial disclosure forms required of elected officials in California. And rental income is a specific category which must be identified as such. For instance, consider the relevant section from Paul Krekorian’s most recent filing.

But it turned out that this method was flawed. Not flawed in the sense of producing false positives. The six that I identified are in fact landlords. Flawed, though, in the sense of producing false negatives based, as it is, on the disclosures being honest.2 And that’s how I missed the fact that CD4 representative David Ryu is also a landlord,3 although it’s certainly not obvious at all from his most recent Form 700. First, take a look at the relevant section:

He lists an assessor’s parcel number rather than an address. I didn’t previously look up the property, though, because he checked off the box indicating that he’d received no rental income. It turns out, though, that skipping this was a huge mistake on my part. I finally did look into the matter and it turns out that I had previously missed everything! Read on for the whole astonishingly sordid story of David Ryu and this property!
Continue reading David Ryu Certainly Seems To Be Yet Another Landlord On The Los Angeles City Council — And Apparently Perfectly Comfortable Voting On Various Tenants’ Rights Issues Without Recusing Himself Or Even Mentioning It — He And His Sister Esther Bought A Four Unit Apartment Building In 2018 — And Immediately Signed It Over To A Shady Entity Called Daejopia LLC — Controlled By Their Brother Joseph — Ryu Acknowledged On His Form 700 That He Owns The Building — Although He Lists It By Parcel Number Rather Than Address — But Denies Receiving Any Rental Income From It — Which Seems Really Highly Unlikely Given That It Appears To Be Fully Occupied — But Maybe He’ll Explain Himself If For Some Unknown Reason It Is True — Did I Mention That Kenneth Yoon — Who Sold The Building To David And Esther Ryu — Turned Around And Gave Ryu An $800 Contribution A Month After The Deal Closed? — And That The Ryus Only Needed To Borrow $460K On What Was Apparently A $840K Transaction?

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Emails Between Keystone Towing General Manager Ed Arensdorf And CD12 Field Deputy Colin Crews — And LAPD Officer Benjamin Jones — And LADOT Staffer Brian Hartman — Provide A Rare Glimpse Into The Functioning Of The City’s RV Towing Machinery — And That Ultimately These Dwelling Places Are “Crushed” — No Conclusions Here But Some Illuminating Detail

I learned recently that the City of Los Angeles opposed a bill banning poverty tows in California for no better reason than that one single lobbyist asked on behalf of his clients, the Official Police Garage Association of Los Angeles, Herb-Wesson-appointed interim CD12 representative Greig Smith to oppose it, stating that his clients couldn’t do so publicly because to do so would expose them as the greedy bloodsuckers that, in fact, they actually are.

As pointed out by the incomparable folks at KTown For All this is an example of one single person determining official policy for a City of four million people for no better reason than to keep diverting zillions of dollars of public money into his clients’ coffers. And today I have a small related story, but an important one, showing not only an unexpectedly granular level of complicity between the tow companies and the City government with respect to RV towing, but some hints about the volume of RV tows and also the scale of the infrastructure required to tow and ultimately destroy motorhomes.

It begins with a May 23, 2019 email from Ed Arensdorf, general manager of OPG Keystone Towing, to Colin Crews of CD12, LAPD officer Benjamin Jones, and LADOT staffer Brian Hartman, in which he tells them that he is forced “to put motorhome towing on indefinite hold”. And in case you’re envisioning chaos, vehicular anarchy, Mad Max but with RVs, well, don’t worry, notes Arensdorf parenthetically, this is “(except evidence, stolens and blocking driveways/intersections).”

Which essentially means that they were going to have to stop towing away RVs that people live in but they will keep on towing RVs where there’s actually a defensible reason to tow, rather than displacement and profiteering. And in case it occurred to you, there were no moral considerations at all involved in the towing hiatus. The company that crushes RVs1 was having some regulatory problems with environmental agencies.
Continue reading Emails Between Keystone Towing General Manager Ed Arensdorf And CD12 Field Deputy Colin Crews — And LAPD Officer Benjamin Jones — And LADOT Staffer Brian Hartman — Provide A Rare Glimpse Into The Functioning Of The City’s RV Towing Machinery — And That Ultimately These Dwelling Places Are “Crushed” — No Conclusions Here But Some Illuminating Detail

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Remember When Assemblymember David Chiu Introduced A Bill To End Poverty Towing — And Fashy Interim City Councilmember Greig Smith Introduced A City Council Resolution To Oppose It — Basically Because — Said Smith — Without Police Power To Tow Cars Homeless Vehicle Dwellers Would Overrun The Whole City — But Newly Obtained Emails Show That Actually No One Even Cared About That — The Motion Was Written By Lobbyist Eric Rose — Working On Behalf Of The Official Police Garage Association Of Los Angeles — Whose Income Would Be Cut Drastically Without Poverty Tows — But Who Could Not Openly Oppose Chiu’s Bill Without Exposing Themselves As The Greedy Bloodsuckers They Are — So Rose Cooked Up The Homeless Connection — And Smith Pushed It — And They Passed Their Motion — And The Bill Died In Committee

On March 18, 2019 the Western Center on Law and Poverty released a monumental report on the effects of poverty towing in California. In conjunction with the report, WCLP issued a press release announcing that Assemblymember David Chiu had introduced a bill, AB-516, seeking to end the practice. Nine days later fash-adjacent hand-picked interim CD12 representative Greig Smith introduced a resolution in the Los Angeles City Council proposing to formally oppose AB-516.

The rhetoric in the motion, to be found in Council File 19-0002-S50, is uniformly anti-homeless, fueled by the axiomatic housedweller beliefs that without coercive means of removing vehicle dwellers they will somehow take over and destroy every last inch of the public realm. And this was a great story, and a completely plausible motive for ultra-fash Greig Smith, who stood out for his inhumanity towards people forced to live on the street even among his homeless-hating peers on the Council.

However, emails newly obtained from CD12 via the California Public Records Act prove that this was nothing but a cover story.1 No one involved cared at all about the relationship between poverty tows and vehicle dwellers. The anti-homeless rhetoric in this case was no more than smoke behind which was hiding the fact that the only reason that Smith moved to oppose Chiu’s bill is that Eric Rose, a lobbyist with thermonuclear Los Angeles lobbying firm Englander Knabe Allen, incestuously linked with CD12 in any number of ways, represents the Official Police Garages Association of Los Angeles, who would obviously lose a lot of money if the number of tows decreased for any reason whatsover.

On March 19, one day after WCLP’s press release announcing the report, Rose asked Smith2 to oppose Chiu’s bill and asked Smith’s permission to draft a motion to that effect. As Rose cynically explained, though, “The OPG’s can’t oppose this because it will be viewed as self-serving.” OPGs, of course, are the official police garages. Smith forwarded Rose’s email to his legislative deputy Erich King, and later that night Rose sent Smith a draft motion, also forwarded to King. And a few days later Smith’s actual motion was introduced. Written, no doubt, by King, heavily influenced by Rose.

In the text of the motion there’s nothing whatsoever about the Official Police Garages, Rose’s client, whose income the sole purpose of this opposition was to protect. Instead the text is all about enforcing the law and the subtext all about punishing people who live in vehicles. Don’t forget, never forget, that none of that’s the reason for any of this. It’s ironic, by the way, that Rose’s cover story relies so heavily on the need to enforce the law. His draft and the actual motion go on and on about scofflaws and how Chiu’s bill would enable them.3
Continue reading Remember When Assemblymember David Chiu Introduced A Bill To End Poverty Towing — And Fashy Interim City Councilmember Greig Smith Introduced A City Council Resolution To Oppose It — Basically Because — Said Smith — Without Police Power To Tow Cars Homeless Vehicle Dwellers Would Overrun The Whole City — But Newly Obtained Emails Show That Actually No One Even Cared About That — The Motion Was Written By Lobbyist Eric Rose — Working On Behalf Of The Official Police Garage Association Of Los Angeles — Whose Income Would Be Cut Drastically Without Poverty Tows — But Who Could Not Openly Oppose Chiu’s Bill Without Exposing Themselves As The Greedy Bloodsuckers They Are — So Rose Cooked Up The Homeless Connection — And Smith Pushed It — And They Passed Their Motion — And The Bill Died In Committee

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Interim Councilmember Greig Smith Has A Private Email Address — Conducts City Business Through It — citycouncilguy@yahoo.com — For Instance — Among Other Pretty Sleazy Things — Uses It To Communicate With Lobbyists At Englander Knabe & Allen — Founded By Harvey Englander — Uncle Of Smith’s Predecessor And Protege Mitch Englander — Like A Whole Trump Family Incestuous Secret Email Vibe Going On Out There In The Damn Valley Innit?!

With yesterday’s revelations that Betsy De Vos and seven other members of the Trump administration are being investigated by the House Oversight Committee for their illegal, unethical, appalling, and hypocritical use of private email addresses to conduct public business I thought it was a good time to catch you all up on the state of my investigation into private email use by our own local City Council folks, precisely none of whom are being investigated by anyone for this specific transgression.1

Previously I discovered and revealed that Mitch O’Farrell, David Ryu, and Gil Cedillo all have privately controlled email accounts through which they conduct City business. Jose Huizar also does this, but I didn’t break that story, the FBI did.2 And today, thanks to a huge set of emails I recently received from the ever-courtly Colin Sweeney, director of communications over at CD12, I can, for the first time of which I am aware, break the news that the name of Sweeney’s current boss, the infamous Greig Smith, belongs right smack on that list as well.

The email address in question is citycouncilguy@yahoo.com. The set linked to above only contained a few examples of Smith’s use of this email address to conduct City business, but then I only picked them up by accident. Thanks, as we know, to the monumental 2017 opinion in City of San Jose v. Superior Court, these emails are public records in themselves. Of course I have a request in already for the rest of them, but I imagine it could be a long process. Or maybe not, we’ll certainly see! Read on for links to the emails along with some commentary.
Continue reading Interim Councilmember Greig Smith Has A Private Email Address — Conducts City Business Through It — citycouncilguy@yahoo.com — For Instance — Among Other Pretty Sleazy Things — Uses It To Communicate With Lobbyists At Englander Knabe & Allen — Founded By Harvey Englander — Uncle Of Smith’s Predecessor And Protege Mitch Englander — Like A Whole Trump Family Incestuous Secret Email Vibe Going On Out There In The Damn Valley Innit?!

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Ever Wonder If You Are Blocked By Your Councilmember On The Twitter?! — We Have The Answer! — Also City Attorney! — Also The Mayor! — But Nury Martinez — And Herb Wesson — And Mike Bonin — And Mitch O’Farrell — They Won’t Even Answer The Damn Requests — Oh, Almost Forgot To Say! — Deputy City Attorney And Insufferable Rich Boy Strefan Fauble Wants To Be Sure You Know — Mike Feuer Isn’t Muting Any Twitter Users But If He Were — The List Would Be Exempt From Release Under The CPRA! — Yeah Right, Strefan Fauble! — Stick To Art Collecting And Leave The CPRA Lawyering To Others!

For about two months now I’ve been looking into the practice of Twitter users being blocked or muted by official City of Los Angeles accounts. I’m still gathering evidence, but yesterday it came out that Police Commission president Steve Soboroff blocks a bunch of users who’ve never even interacted with him, so I thought it’d be timely to write up the information I have so far. This issue is of special interest in these latter days given that in 2018 a federal judge ruled that it is unconstitutional for Donald Trump to block users on Twitter.

What I can offer you today, friends, is Twitter block/mute information for eleven of the fifteen council districts, the City Attorney, the Mayor, and a small selection of official LAPD accounts.1 There’s also an interesting line of hypothetical bullshit from deputy city attorney Strefan Fauble2 about some pretty technical claims about CPRA exemptionism,3 but that, being übernerdlich, is way at the end of the post.

Most of the accounts blocked are porn or spam, but Jose Huizar and David Ryu are notable exceptions. Both reps block accounts that are obviously controlled by actual individual people. Huizar’s list is by far the most extensive, and includes wildly inappropriate blocks like @oscartaracena and @BHJesse.

My research on this question is ongoing, mostly hindered by the City of LA’s familiar foot-dragging CPRA methodology. Turn the page for a tabular summary of the results I have so far along with a brief discussion of how Strefan Fauble is still on his CPRA bullshit.
Continue reading Ever Wonder If You Are Blocked By Your Councilmember On The Twitter?! — We Have The Answer! — Also City Attorney! — Also The Mayor! — But Nury Martinez — And Herb Wesson — And Mike Bonin — And Mitch O’Farrell — They Won’t Even Answer The Damn Requests — Oh, Almost Forgot To Say! — Deputy City Attorney And Insufferable Rich Boy Strefan Fauble Wants To Be Sure You Know — Mike Feuer Isn’t Muting Any Twitter Users But If He Were — The List Would Be Exempt From Release Under The CPRA! — Yeah Right, Strefan Fauble! — Stick To Art Collecting And Leave The CPRA Lawyering To Others!

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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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On Monday Serena Oberstein Quit Her Position As Ethics Commission President — Evidently To Run For Mitch Englander’s Council Seat — She Was A Corrupt And Horrible Commissioner And Would Doubtless Be A Corrupt And Horrible Councilmember — But At Least Some Supporters Of Her Likely Opponent Brad Smith Are A Zillion Times Worse — Repellent Misogynist Neanderthal Piggies Who Think She Shouldn’t Run Because She Has A Young Child — And Other Attack Vectors Too Gross To Put In A Headline — As Bad As She Is There Are Worse Things Out There

According to the incomparable Emily Alpert Reyes, worst-of-the-bunch Los Angeles City Ethics commissioner Serena Oberstein resigned her position on Monday, apparently to prepare a run for Mitch Englander’s to-be-vacated seat as Council District 12 repster. As an Ethics Commissioner Oberstein was so horrible, so corrupt, so willing to betray the interests of the City in favor of her own interests, the interests of her employer, and the interests of her weirdo buddies in the non-profit community, that I have no doubt she’ll fit right in on the Council, at least until the inevitable FBI raid.

And it looks like Brad Smith, who ran unsuccessfully against Mitch Englander in 2011 is going to run against her for the seat.1 And yesterday, evidently because of my incisive, revelatory, and critical reporting2 on Serena Oberstein’s corrupt and destructive habits, I was contacted by some guy calling himself Howard P. Cohen and claiming to be involved with Brad Smith’s campaign and asking for my help to defeat Serena Oberstein.

So I agreed to help cause Brad Smith was endorsed by Democrats last time he ran so that’s good, and she’s so bad. But then later in the day I was CCed on this email from Howard P. Cohen explaining exactly why he thinks Serena Oberstein should be defeated, which seems to boil down to the facts that first, she’s “a YOUNG JEWISH FEMALE,”3 and second, that she, as a woman, shouldn’t run for office, shouldn’t “prioritize POWER,” because she has a young child. In his estimation this makes her a bad mother and therefore unfit to serve on City Council. This is wrong on so many levels it’s really hard to express.

First, it doesn’t make her a bad mother to run for office or to seek power no matter what the age of her child. Second, what about her husband, who has the same kid she has and also has a high power high visibilty political job. Where’s the attack on him for being a bad father? Third, even if she were a bad mother who freaking cares? The only relevant question is whether she’s a good politician. I’m sure there have been plenty of bad mothers who were good politicians. God knows there’ve been plenty of bad fathers.

And there’s worse, which I don’t even want to soil my keyboard by discussing. The email is transcribed after the break, though. And now I can’t have anything to do with either of these people. Howard P. Cohen and anyone who associates with the guy politically are at least a zillion times worse than Serena Oberstein. She will be bad for the City of Los Angeles in the kind of mainstream sell-out way that our City’s mainstream politicians have been bad for us since Harry Chandler invented Los Angeles.

The office of Councilmember in Los Angeles was purposely designed by Chandler and his criminal cronies to encourage selling out to developers, so it’s not a surprise that the job attracts sell-outs. We can survive her like we’ve been surviving people like her for well over a century. But anyone who associates with people who think like Howard P. Cohen thinks will be bad for the City in deep, cosmic, existential ways.

A campaign opposing Serena Oberstein’s candidacy because she’s Jewish and a woman and a mother seeking power rather than because she’s a corrupt politician is intrinsically damaging and is unsupportable by sane people. That’s surely no reason to vote for Serena Oberstein, but it’s certainly a reason not to vote for Brad Smith. And as I said, turn the page for a transcription of the email.
Continue reading On Monday Serena Oberstein Quit Her Position As Ethics Commission President — Evidently To Run For Mitch Englander’s Council Seat — She Was A Corrupt And Horrible Commissioner And Would Doubtless Be A Corrupt And Horrible Councilmember — But At Least Some Supporters Of Her Likely Opponent Brad Smith Are A Zillion Times Worse — Repellent Misogynist Neanderthal Piggies Who Think She Shouldn’t Run Because She Has A Young Child — And Other Attack Vectors Too Gross To Put In A Headline — As Bad As She Is There Are Worse Things Out There

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