Pages

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Shennanigans in Attorney General Election - Suspiciously High Number of Provisional Ballots Belie Massive Voter Disenfranchisement

The Secretary of State's website must be getting more hits than its ever seen before, as anxious followers of the Attorney General election log on hourly to get the latest results.


As of  4:14pm today, Friday, November 19, 2010, Kamala Harris holds a seemingly unassailable 43,050 vote advantage as Steve Cooley's election night lead has gradually been chipped away by a record number of "uncounted ballots," often referred to as provisional ballots.

Uncounted ballots arise in four situations:
  • Vote-by-mail ballots handed in at poling places instead of being mailed in,
  • Provisional ballots issued to voters whose name does not appear in the electoral register,
  • Write-in ballots where the written-in name has to be verified, and
  • Ballots damaged or unclear due to failures with the "Ink-A-Dot" system.
Typically, those uncounted ballots do not change an election as they are not numerically significant and tend to follow the general trend of the votes counted. However, in this year's election there were an unprecedentedly high 2,342,664 uncounted ballots statewide and, significantly, 411,960 came from Los Angeles County. Why?

Last night, KRLA 870AM talk show radio host, Kevin James, was the first to report that sources close to the Cooley campaign were focusing their attention on Los Angeles County, where what appears to be a disproportionately large number of uncounted ballots will likely hold the key to this election.

An observer at the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk's Office in Norwalk, where the uncounted ballots are being verified, reported seeing some disturbing trends amongst the ballots being processed.

The observer (who spoke on condition of anonymity) said that he saw numerous Provisional Ballots issued to elderly voters who indicated in the "comments" section of the Provisional Ballot Envelope (see below) that they had voted many times in the past, yet their name was "not in Roster."

This is the envelope that has to be fully completed by persons who either
hand in a Vote-By-Mail Ballot, or whose name cannot be found in the roster.
The trend was troubling because, coincidentally, about a month before the election, the observer's mother had asked him why she had not received any information about the election, despite the fact that she was a registered voter and had voted "religiously" many times previously, but she had not received a Sample Ballot and Voter Instructions (see below), as she normally did.

Many elderly voters reported that they
did not receive their Sample Ballots.
 The observer checked his mother's status on the LA County Registrar-Recorder//County Clerk's website: www.lavote.net and found that his mother was not registered to vote. He advised her to go to the local office and register a complaint and insist on being re-instated on the register of voters. He also advised her to obtain some explanation for her removal, however, the mother related that the clerical officer she spoke to could offer no explanation.

There being no earthly reason why a person who votes regularly, indeed, "religiously" should be summarily removed from the register of voters, coupled with the observation that there seemed to be many elderly voters who were in a similar situation, can only lead to a number of possible explanations. A conspiracy to remove elderly voters, who are typically Republicans, or some massive failure by the Registrar-Recorder's computer system leading to the deletion of many elderly voters.

Conspiracy theories are a dime a dozen, so we doubt (hope) that this was not an intentional act. However, the possibility must exist that something like a computer crash corrupted information, and caused the deletion of voter records, and that there was a cover up.

The resulting disenfranchisement of voters must surely cast doubt as to the validity of this election. If indeed many elderly voters were somehow removed from the register of electors, it is highly likely that many may not have persevered to assert their right to vote and gone to a poling place to cast a provisional ballot. Equally, there remains doubt that their provisional ballots will be counted if their records have been expunged and their signatures cannot be verified.

Another troubling trend in this election is that many voters were forced to Vote-By-Mail as, for some unknown reason, there was no poling place for them to vote.

This is not a matter of voters living in some remote area of Los Angeles County, but we know of at least one central Los Angeles area where voters who bothered to check when they failed to receive their Sample Ballots, found this:

The man responsible for administering this election is LA County Registrar-Recorder Dean C. Logan.

LA County Registrar-Recorder, Dean C. Logan was appointed by the LA County Board of Supervisors
despite grave fears as to his abilities following his performance in a similar role in Washington State.
 To say that Logan is a controversial figure is an understatement. He came to Los Angeles from Washington State where his performance as Registrar-Recorder was questioned by Protect California Ballots when he was being considered for appointment by the LA County Board of Supervisors. More recently, the Wall Street Journal posed the pertinent question about Logan "Look Who's Counting Votes in California."

There was a time when elections were "fixed" by phantom voters and union thugs producing ready stuffed ballot boxes to order. Times have changed and perhaps Los Angelenos need to ask some pertinent questions of Mr. Logan as to why so many elderly voters disappeared from the register of voters, and why so many poling places disappeared?

One thing is certain in this election. Whether Steve Cooley is elected as Attorney General or not, he is the one man who will not let this apparent massive voter disenfranchisement go unquestioned. He will find the answers to the questions that need to be asked. If Logan covered up some computer glitch, he will rue the day he accepted that $175,826 salary, as will those on the Board of Supervisors who appointed him.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cooley Widens Lead - Harris Starts 'Steal The Election' Campaign


Results of votes cast in the November 2, 2010 Mid-Term Election mysteriously disappeared from the Secretary of State's website this evening, as earlier reports showed Attorney General candidate Steve Cooley had a 36,800 vote lead over opponent Kamala Harris.

All election result data vanished from the Secretary of State's website as of 11:20pm on Monday, November 8, 2010
During the course of Monday, November 8, 2010, data gleaned from the Secretary of State indicated the Cooley's lead at one point had fallen to 19,138 votes, but had then rallied to just over 40,000.

Centrist conservative  blog "What Would Reagan Do?" conducted a detailed statistical analysis of uncounted votes and individual county voting trends, and projected that Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley would clinch the election as valid uncounted votes would break in favor of Cooley by  9,119, to add to the lead he originally held.

Some believe the "What Would Reagan Do?" projection to be overly conservative (no pun intended), and that Cooley would win by a much larger margin.

Curiously enough, support for the notion that Cooley's margin of victory could be bigger comes from the liberal democrat blog "Swing State Project," where they have been following the results by individually tabulating reports from all 58 counties. Today they reported that "Kamala Harris is actually down 62,258 votes thanks to a large number of votes of San Diego and Orange Counties."

Significantly, they also commented that "Santa Clara's reported an extra 86k votes since their last update. That means, well, Kamala doesn't stand to gain as much. Revised, we're saying Kamala will gain about 55,000 votes...leaving her about 7,300 short. Hate to pull the roller coaster on y'all, but I'd rather be realistic than unrealistically optimistic."

Further belief in democrat despondency at Harris's failure to capitalize on her "Female Obama" image comes from a panic email sent out via BarackObama.com:
An email from BarackObama.com urges "volunteer" attorneys, law students,
and those with legal knowledgeto "monitor the process," whatever that means.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Harris's panic email has garnered over 1,000 "volunteers" who may, or may not be allowed to observe or monitor the counting process, depending on local rules. 

The Cooley campaign has retained experienced lawyers to monitor the process, and hopefully also keep a watchful eye on the BarackObama.com "volunteers" lest the temptation to "protect the vote" (which some might interpret as politically correct double-speak for "Steal the Election"), proves too much for them.

The results of the Mid-Term Election must be certified by December 3, 2010, and only then will candidates have the opportunity to challenge the results by requesting a recount. There is certainly much cause to suspect irregularities, given that Cooley appeared to poll poorly in Los Angeles County where he had previously bested democrat challengers handsomely three times in District Attorney elections.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Mike "The Gatto" Gatto Under Fire For Threatening Mayor Sam Blog

Assemblyman Mike "The Gatto" Gatto (D-Silverlake) is satirically parodied to an infamous movie character
renowned for using threats to achieve his desired objectives and thereby silence his critics.

OPINION:
If Mike "The Gato" Gatto, newly elected to the 43rd Assembly District, thought that sending a threatening 'cease and desist' letter to Michael Higby, the operator of Los Angeles' beloved Mayor Sam's Sister City blog, would silence his critics, he is mistaken.

If anything, "The Gatto's" actions have intensified the scrutiny into the reasons why Mayor Sam saw fit to place "The Gatto" under the spotlight of scrutiny that the mainstream media has no time for, often because the voting public cares more about American Idol and Dancing With The Stars.

Founded by Higby in 2005 as an anonymous talking shop where the antics of Los Angeles' elected officials are subjected to scrutiny and often harsh criticism, Mayor Sam is not only an institution but an inspiration to other blogs; just take a look at the 'Links' section to the right side of this post for a list of political commentary blogs that didn't exist before Higby created Mayor Sam. It's a list that is by no means exhaustive, and if any readers wish to add their blogs, please comment with your URL.

If there were some way to track the thousands of daily 'hits' on Mayor Sam, there is little doubt that it would show that virtually every elected official in Los Angeles has one of their staffers check Mayor Sam on a daily basis to see if they've been mentioned, or to find out if their colleagues have been mentioned.

Mayor Sam is the quintessential embodiment of the First Amendment, and in trying to silence Mayor Sam with the threat of costly litigation "The Gatto" has not only shown an immaturity raising doubts as to his suitability for public office, but also perhaps revealing a degree of vanity and sense of self-importance that is belied by his apparent intolerance for criticism.

The old adage "Shot himself in the foot" comes to mind as reports are now surfacing as to whether "The Gatto" actually lives within the Assembly District that he serves. On Thursday, October 28, 2010, The Jennerjahn Report displayed a letter purportedly addressed to the District Attorney's Office calling for an investigation into "The Gatto's" actual place of residence.  This is the same type of allegation that gave rise charges filed against former Assemblyman Richard Alarcon, who is currently a Los Angeles City Councilmember. We remind you that all persons accused of committing crimes are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty, either by a jury of their peers or as a result of a plea bargain.

Furthermore, today's Jennerjahn Report questioned a $14,775.50 payment "The Gatto" received in 2002 from Los Angeles City Councilmember Nick Pacheco while "The Gatto" was also serving as a full-time aide to Congressman Brad Sherman.

Equally, the Los Angeles Daily News gave details of "The Gatto's" threatened lawsuit against Mayor Sam, and in the process inevitably regurgitated the accusations of misconduct complained of as "defamatory" by "The Gatto" through his lawyer Steven Joaquin Reyes, of the Kaufman Legal Group.

Reports of "The Gatto's" threat of legal action also attracted comment from AM870 KRLA Talk-Show Host Kevin James, who devoted a considerable portion of his nightly radio show to a critical analysis of the basis of "The Gatto's" threatened lawsuit, as well as a potential defense based on California's anti "SLAPP" laws - laws that impose heavy penalties on those who engage in Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation.

Although it is fair to say that "The Gatto" has succeeded in silencing Mayor Sam, as Higby has removed all references to "The Gatto" while he considers his legal options, the public might well view the actions of "The Gatto" as bullying, thuggish and wholly inappropriate for an elected official who had hitherto challenged voters to "hold his feet to the fire."

The message to "The Gatto" is a simple one, if you cannot tolerate criticism and valid expressions of free speech, you have no place in public service.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Is Assemblyman Mike Gatto Unfit For Public Service?

Newly elected 43rd District Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Silverlake) has apparently threatened to sue Los Angeles political blog "Mayor Sam's Sister City" in an attempt to put a halt to criticism and comment about his suitability for holding public office.

The Mayor Sam Blog has been threatened
with a lawsuit by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Silverlake)
According to the Glendale News-Press, "an attorney for the lawmaker sent a cease-and-desist letter" to the Mayor Sam Blog "claiming the material was defamatory."

Many might consider Gatto to be a "typical career politician" having previously worked as Political Director and District Director for United States Congressman Brad Sherman and serving in the administrations of three different Los Angeles Mayors, as President of the El Pueblo (Los Angeles Historical Monument Authority) Commission.

Gatto was sworn into office in June 2010, after a bitter race against  a "grass roots" candidate.  But rather than display the maturity and perhaps gravitas one might expect from a State Assemblyman, Gatto has apparently shown a remarkable insecurity over, and intolerance for, any criticism. 

The Mayor Sam Blog has long been a thorn in the side of many elected officials, but none have ever resorted to what looks like "Bully Boy" tactics to silence free speech. Micheal Higby, who operates the Mayor Sam Blog, told the Glendale News-Press that he had received a letter threatening legal action from Gatto's lawyers and had responded by removing "all content related to Mike Gatto as we strategize internally," and "studies his legal options." Higby said. 

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, long the target of Mayor Sam's "snarky, rough-and-tumble" tone, has never complained or expressed any concern, according to Higby. "In fact, they frequently send us information."Higby said. All of which makes one wonder why Gatto, who seeks re-election to a full 4 year term to the State Assembly on November 2, 2010, is so anxious to silence any criticism.

Gatto's actions might seem out of proportion to the questions raised over his suitability for public office, especially in the light of his campaign pledge to voters to "Hold my feet to the fire." Trying to silence criticism rather than defend it, or even ignore it, is troubling and may make people wonder if Gatto has anything to hide?

Higby and the Mayor Sam Blog are not the only targets of Gatto's use of legal action to silence criticism. The Glendale New-Press also reported that Gatto's legal representatives obtained a "stay away" order preventing Peter Musurlian, a Burbank city employee who independently reports and shoots video stories, from being less than 10 yards away from an aide to Assemblyman Mike Gatto after a judge sided with her claims of harassment.

Gatto aide Christine Aghakhani testified that Musurlian, had "threatened" her during a July 24 town hall event at the Glendale Central Public Library. Some of Musurlian's experiences in attempting to report on Gatto can be seen in this video posted on YouTube:


Criticism, comment, aggressive reporting, even insults, are part and parcel of politics, and Gatto's resort to legal action may be seen by many as wholly inappropriate, troubling, and undemocratic.

Los Angeles City Attorney Candidate, David Berger, posted this comment about Gatto's tactics on his FaceBook page:

"This is a free country and the right to free speech is sacrosanct. I may, and often do dislike opinions expressed about me on Mayor Sam, but I will defend to the death, the right of others to criticize me, even insult me. I've been called a "racist," "puppet," "thug," even a "cockney," but I've never once thought of resorting to legal action - especially about the "cockney" thing, because I have nothing to hide."

There's a "comment" section at the end of this post, just as there is on the Mayor Sam Blog, and just as there are on most news sources these days. Mr. Gatto might be better served by responding to criticism, rather than trying to stifle it.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Doubts Dog Diaz's "Story"

While Los Angeles  plaintiff's attorney Gloria Allred may have her own problems over her handling of the illegal alien housekeeper case, the rumors continue to spread about the truth about why Nicky Diaz waited a year and 3 months to tell her story.
The Los Angeles Slimes reported on rumors that Meg Whitman's illegal alien former housekeeper Nicky Diaz has a deal to be set up for life as a housekeeper at a villa in the luxury Mexican resort, Puerto Vallarta. The 4,000 square foot villa has a separate 'guest cottage' that can be used as staff accommodations and is said to be owned by a major democrat donor, increasing speculation that the Jerry Brown campaign was involved in the timing of the breaking of "housekeeper-gate" scandal.

Talk show host Hugh Hewitt interviewed Allred last week and sowed the seeds of further doubts, noting that Gloria had "done it again," referring to Allred's last "stunt" during a gubernatorial election when she represented stunt actor Rhonda Miller who claimed that Arnold Schwarzenagger had been a 'groper' many years ago.



As Allred's Groper-gate case was dismissed by the courts after the damage had been done to Schwarzenegger's campaign, many now believe that Diaz's claim of "abuse" and underpayment of wages at $23/hr, will prove equally meritless. "It's deja vu all over again," reported the LA Slimes.
 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Has Gloria Allred Violated California Rules of Professional Conduct?

Attorney Gloria Allred, left.  (Credit: Irfan Khan, LA Times, September 29, 2010)
She's controversial, she's outspoken, and she's a Democrat. But in her unabashed efforts to help Democrat Gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown's flagging campaign by publicizing her representation of an illegal immigrant once employed by Brown's opponent, GOP candidate Meg Witman, has Gloria Allred gone too far?

Has Allred crossed the line between acceptable representation of her client and unacceptable violation of California Rules of Professional Conduct, in particular Rule 5-120 governing Trial Publicity?

Rule 5-120, paraphrased, states that:
An attorney shall not make an out of court statement that he or she knows or reasonably should know will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing any trial in the matter.
Click here for the full and exact text of Rule 5-120.

Allred claims to represent Nicky Santillan Diaz, an illegal alien who worked for Meg Whitman as a housekeeper from 2000 until June of 2009, when Diaz confronted Whitman with her undisclosed illegal alien status, and demanded 'help' in becoming legal. Diaz was promptly fired and according to Allred, now claims to have been wrongfully terminated, mistreated and unpaid for hours worked in excess of her 15 hours a week as well as uncompensated for the use of her vehicle in the course of her employment.

Yet the apparent thrust of Allred's seemingly endless media statements seems to be to help fellow democrat Jerry Brown by simply vilifing Whitman. Allred has gone so far as to call Whitman a 'liar' when it comes to having knowledge of the illegal alien status of her housekeeper. Allred has also accused Whitman of hypocrisy over her stance on illegal immigration. Some might believe that Allred has taken the matter far beyond a claim for wrongful dismissal and underpayment, and has abused her position as an attorney to become a campaigner for Jerry Brown.

Attorneys in California are subject to the California Rules of Professional Conduct, and the State Bar of California will investigate, prosecute and discipline attorneys who violate those rules. According to that portion of the State Bar's website on Lawyer Regulation:

"Protecting California's consumers is one of the primary missions of the State Bar of California.  This function is principally carried out through the Attorney Discipline System maintained by the Bar, which takes complaints against attorneys from citizens and other sources, investigates those complaints, and prosecutes attorneys against whom allegations of unethical conduct appear to be justified."

Persons who believe an attorney has gone beyond competent representation and is behaving unacceptably, can register their complaints through the State Bar's Attorney Complaint Hotline (800) 943-9053.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

LA County DA Steve Cooley Arrests 8 in Bell City Scandal

Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley Announces Arrest of Bell City Officials
 While Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley today calmly announced the early morning arrests of those believed to be responsible for theft and misappropriation of $5.5M from the blue collar residents of the City of Bell, his democrat rival for Attorney General, Kamala Harris, used her platform as San Francisco DA to proudly announced that she would be prosecuting two people who illegally sold transfer tickets on San Francisco's mass transit system.“This is not a victimless crime,” Harris said in a statement to the San Francisco Examiner.



The 8 Bell City officials include former City Manager Robert Rizzo
 Harris, who holds the current record for having the lowest conviction rate of any major California city (55%) might have been puzzled at the legal theory used by Cooley's Public Integrity Unit to prosecute the 8 who comprise current and former Bell City officials.

For a legal lightweight like Harris, the notion that "misappropriation of public funds" and "conflict of interest" could be crimes must be both challenging and worrying; Harris still has been unable to satisfactorily explain what happened to $3.7M in Federal grant funds that she  received to prosecute 'border crimes' as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.


Under Harris, San Francisco has steadfastly maintained a "Sanctuary City" position regarding illegal immigration, so the concept of prosecuting 'border crimes' would appear to be an anathema to Ms. Harris.

Perhaps Ms. Harris should seriously think about repaying that $3.7M before Cooley becomes Attorney General as an investigation might conclude that Harris "misappropriated" that federal grant money. At least she'll now understand the legal theory.

The Bell City officials arrested this morning were former City Manager Robert Rizzo, Mayor Oscar Hernandez, council members Teresa Jacobo, Luis Artiga and George Mirabal; former council members George Cole and Victor Bello; and former Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia. All arrested are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Kamala Harris and The Missing Millions

(Photo credit: Los Angeles Slimes)
The Los Angeles Slimes reports that Kamala Harris, the democrat candidate for California Attorney General, has a problem explaining what happened to $3.7M of federal grant funds that she took to prosecute illegal aliens. Considering that Harris makes no secret of her 'Sanctuary City' policy towards those in the country illegally, it is surprising that the Feds gave her the money, not surprising that she did not use it for its intended purpose. Here's the story as reported by the Los Angeles Slimes:

Time doesn’t move fast enough for Kamala Harris, the progressive San Francisco liberal democrat who is vying to defeat front-running Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley in the November 2010 election to be California’s next Attorney General.
Six months ago Harris, San Francisco’s lackluster DA, was most likely banking on the “Obama factor” to elevate her to higher office. Harris, once hailed as the “female Barack Obama,” is now probably cursing at the calendar as day by day more and more evidence of her appalling record of failure and outright deception comes to light. Even hard core liberals must now be wondering how they could have fallen for a ‘no-hoper’ like Ms. Harris.
Hot on the heels of Harris’s “shot in the foot” attack ad against Steve Cooley over campaign donations, comes the alarming news that Harris could not account for $3.7M in Federal grants that she received.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that when Harris was questioned about $3.7m that she received in 2006, she was unable to explain why  that money was not used to prosecute cases that “fit the program’s criteria,” namely, “reimbursement for prosecuting crimes on behalf of federal authorities.” But the Feds could find no evidence that Harris had spent their (our) money for that purpose.
Where did the money go? According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Harris had no answer and was trying “to get to the bottom” of how her office obtained millions of dollars from a grant program for prosecution of border crimes that federal auditors have concluded [she] had no right to receive.
Under the Harris regime, San Francisco has been a ‘Sanctuary City’ for border criminals. Realistically there’s no way Harris would prosecute border crimes as that stands in conflict with Harris’s beliefs. Yet it seems that she not only took the money, but could not explain what she did with it.
Six weeks from election day, California voters are getting a rude awakening to the reality of having Harris as California’s Attorney General; she’s already been shown to be a hypocrite and now she appears to be a hustler.
You’ve been warned.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Mother Nature Proves Trutanich's Point As Billboard Shreds In High Winds

It's been almost 2 months since the "Dragongate" saga had the nation's attention. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich took the first step to gain control of illegal supergraphics and billboards by arresting alleged scofflaw, Keyvn Setareh, who chose to ignore warnings not to place a gigantic illegal supergraphic promoting the movie "How to train your Dragon" on his Hollywood Blvd. building, and spent a weekend in jail before deciding it might be better to obey the law.

Trutanich's solution to a problem that had stumped his predecessor, Rocky Delgadillo, not only gained the praise of many Los Angeles residents, but also got the attention of the illegal billboard and supergraphic  industry, many of whom presumably decided they didn't need to spend a weekend in jail, and quietly started removing their illegal signs.

There can be few things more frustrating for the "business as usual" brigade in Los Angeles than seeing LA's new City Attorney achieving results from knowing how to do the job and succeeding where others made 'failure' their hallmark and relied on photo ops to disguise their records of inaction and inadequacy.

The response from the "business as usual" brigade was predictable enough; condemn and criticize. Left wing washed up wackjob LA Times columnist Tim Rutten promptly wrote a hit piece questioning the propriety of the $1M bail that kept Keyvan Setareh in jail, without even mentioning the factors used to calculate bail - the risk to public safety being the main concern of California Penal Code Section 1275(a), and the main concern of the Judge who set that bail.

As today's high winds blast the City of Los Angeles we see, below, one of those risks (click on the photos to see a more detailed view).

 CBS Outdoor's Billboard at 835 Western Ave.
Friday, April 30, 2010 6:30PM




While rush hour traffic flows by, and pedestrians walk the sidewalk, the supergraphic billboard covering flaps violently in the high winds, entangling itself in the adjacent power lines. The high winds have already shredded one end of the fabric to the point where it became detached from the billboard and entangled in the power lines. No doubt, eventually the other end with give up its fight against the elements.

What will happen next? Will the fabric entangled in the powerlines cause those high voltage lines to crash to the ground? Will a pedestrian or motorist be electrocuted? Or will the fabric detach itself from the power line and simply fall on a passing motorist, temporarily covering the vehicle's windshield and blinding the driver's view, thereby causing an accident?

The point is, why should we take the risk? Why wait for an unnecessary and avoidable tragedy? That's the risk that the judge saw, and that's the risk that Tim Rutten was too blinded by his political bias to consider. It's the risk that Carmen Trutanich recognized, and thankfully he's doing something about it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Villaraigosa Blasted in Viral Email - Accused of Unfairness to City Attorney

Both the Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Daily News today reported on an email sent to thousands of Los Angeles residents by Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's Special Assistant, Jane Usher.

Usher's email lambasts Mayor Villaraigosa for trying to cut the City Attorney's Office budget by 36% at a time when Trutanich runs the only City department that is not only saving the City more than $100M by winning the cases that the Mayor used to settle with taxpayer dollars, but is also taking control of issues that the Mayor was reluctant to get involved in; illegal billboards, marijuana shops and runaway spending on contractors.

Usher's email makes for good reading:

"Dear Neighbors --
Please circulate this email broadly. Please act.
Today, the dire economic news from City Hall got immeasurably worse. The Mayor released his budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1, 2010. Despite a series of meetings to the contrary, he recommends cutting the City Attorney by 18%. This is on top of the 18% budget cut that the Mayor presented to Carmen Trutanich on inauguration day, July 1, 2009. And that money grab was compounded by the "who's on first" hijinks that have become the hallmark of this City Hall. Trutanich was required to use his shrunken 2009 wallet to pay $1.5 million in unpaid bills from his predecessor. Welcome to life under Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
You do the math: in two year's time, the Mayor intends to reduce the City Attorney's Office by 36%. Surely you are wondering whether this is consistent with the reductions proposed by the Mayor for other City offices. Look high and low. You will not find another City department that has been similarly targeted by the Mayor for closure. Well, except perhaps for the Neighborhood Councils, whom the Mayor has seen fit to dismantle in their entirety. If the Mayor has his way, you will not be able to find a criminal prosecutor to enforce the code against scofflaws or to protect our neighborhoods from street crime. You will not be able to find a civil lawyer to serve as watchdog to counter rogue City actions or to defend against the avalanche of claims upon the City's treasury. The workload of the remaining City Attorneys will be ungovernable. The Mayor will have made the day for our criminals, claimants, and City Hall cads.
In just 10 months in office, the City Attorney has won verdicts that have saved the City over $100 million (more than his annual budget). He is succeeding in his efforts to restore order on topics as diverse as billboards, code enforcement, medical marijuana, and skid row crime. He has asked the Mayor to give our office MORE work -- so that we can increase the City's collection of unpaid debt, reduce Worker's Compensation payouts, and enact a new Administrative Citation Enforcement program. To his face, the Mayor agrees with Trutanich. In his budget proposal, the Mayor shows his true colors. So bring on those bogus lawsuits. Deal your drugs in our neighbors. Because this Mayor lacks fiscal foresight. He has other agendas. He simply refuses to spend your money intelligently, to protect us. 
Please learn more. Then share your views with the Mayor and the City Council. The City Attorney's website will have news and updates on this growing fiasco. As always, it will be your voices that turn City Hall around.
Jane"


There is no doubt that Villaraigosa's mean spirited attempt to stifle Trutanich's shockingly refreshing approach to politics; actually doing the job he was elected to do, represents a serious problem for the Mayor.

In June 2009, Villaraigosa made the front cover of Los Angeles Magazine with the word "Failure" emblazoned all over his diminutive chest. One month later, Carmen Trutanich was sworn in as City Attorney and in sharp contrast to Villaraigosa's ever increasing list of failures, Trutanich started the hard, and largely thankless, task of turning around the City Attorney's Office after years of mismanagement by Rocky Delgadillo.

In his first 10 months in Office, Trutanich has succeeded at every turn, while the Mayor looks more ridiculous and insignificant every time he opens his chronically bad-breathed mouth. This is not good for the Mayor who, like many small men, has a huge ego problem.

So what is the Mayor's solution? Well apparently it is not like Trutanich's who took the bold step last year of insisting that everyone who contracted with his Office, cut their charges by 15%, according to the City Hall Insider, who point out that the Mayor has never once asked, let alone, insisted, that any of his campaign contributing blood-sucking city vendors, take the slightest cut in their over-inflated fees.

It seems that the Mayor can only get tough with his political rivals, and can only do so by cowardly back-stabbing measures that are so see-through that perhaps this is the only time the Mayor can claim to be truly transparent.

Jane Usher has stepped up to the plate with her email and it has reached so many people in the City that many must be wondering whether the Mayor will suffer yet another humiliating defeat in his unbroken record of failures; failure to silence Trutanich.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dennis Zine - The People's Hero


The good people in City Hall are far and few between. Most are as scared of upsetting the Mayor of Failure or his organized groups, as they are scared of their shadows.

For the past 10 months, City Attorney Carmen Trutanich has led the charge against the 'business as usual' brigade, tackling the thorny issues that few cared to stand up to. Trutanich's lone stance hasn't made him many friends in the 'horseshoe,' but his earliest supporter has stood by Trutanich through thick and thin, and today, Dennis Zine joined the small but growing group of elected officials who now buy the City Attorney's motto "You can't do wrong when you do the right thing."

Today Dennis Zine truly made his mark on the political landscape as an independent thinker and a man of his word. Zine was the first to stand up to the Mayor of Failure's sordid, scandalous, and slimy attempt to put a band aid on his financially irresponsible drunken sailor spending record with a so-called 'Green Energy' rate hike that is nothing more than an illegal tax.

Zine led the minority of elected officials who didn't just say "No," but "Hell No!" to the Mayor's DWP rate hike. He didn't just say it once for a sound bite or a photo op, but he said it steadfastly and consistently.

Even when the Council voted 8-6 to allow a partial rate hike, Zine led the minority who still said "No."

In stark contrast stands the biggest mouth (with the least integrity) of the initial "No" sayers; Councilperson Jan Perry. The 2009 winner of the Mayor Sam Political Ass Clown of the Year Award, showed us why she truly deserved that award as she shamefacedly changed her tune to a "Yes" vote as soon as she got her sound bite.

That other piece of political puke, Ed 'El Stupido' Reyes, who cries for the poor Los Angelenos who cannot afford dog licenses, flipped and sold out the 'poor Los Angelenos' as soon as his B-roll TV quote was in the can.

Thankfully Dennis Zine stood himself apart from the Mayor's cynical manipulation of the DWP, and did the right thing and led the vote in the horseshoe tonight to send a resounding "No" to the Mayor's totally corrupt attempt to paper the cracks in his failed fiscal responsibilities.

On behalf of Los Angelenos, "Thank you" Dennis Zine.

Monday, March 29, 2010

That Was The Week That Was

A week is a long time in Los Angeles politics, but last week broke all records.

Billboards at AEG's Regal Theater Tells The Story
(Click on the picture for a better view)

REEFER MADNESS OFF AND ON THE BALLOT

The local marijuana dealers failed to gather enough signatures to challenge the City's new ordinance. No real surprise, if anyone needed further proof of the way marijuana messes up your brain, it must be the 13,000 or so signatures that weren't even counted because the idiots who gathered the signatures forgot to sign the declarations on the petition forms.

Many wonder why the marijuana dealers even bothered to challenge the law. They don't obey it anyway. But all is not lost. A statewide initiative called "The Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010" will be on the November ballot, thanks to a more organized campaign probably funded by the Mexican drug cartels who will be the principal beneficiaries of the Act.

Why will the Mexican drug cartels benefit from legalization? Expect City Attorney Trutanich to have the answers to that one. One glaring problem is that it is a given that the cost of producing marijuana 'legally' in California and then taxing it, will result in a far higher price of the 'legal' pot than the Mexican product. So the demand for Mexican pot will increase, as will the violence we're already seeing as the drug cartels fight for control of distribution in California.

THE MAYOR FACES A RECALL

Again, not a surprise really, if the Mayor's popularity gets any lower, we'll have to use negative numbers. Former Mayoral candidate, Phil Jennerjahn, filed papers with the City Clerks Office to recall Mayor Villariagosa.  Jennerjahn reports that he will need to gather 240,000 signatures to put the recall on the November ballot, not an easy task considering that he was placed last of the 10 candidates, with .88% of voters supporting him.

But don't write off Jennerjahn's recall efforts too quickly. As noted, the Mayor has never been so unpopular, and his latest DWP rate hike stunt is bound to enrage voters even more. Jennerjahn has also been 'making nice' with the marijuana dealers and has been promised a ton of cash to help the recall effort. That's, of course, assuming the pot heads remember to put the check in the envelope, never mind using a stamp.

CITY COUNCIL PUTS THE BRAKES ON MAYOR'S DWP RATE HIKE

Doubtless emboldened by President Obama's passage of Healthcare Reform tax hikes, the Mayor of Failure probably thought this would be a good time to stick it to the Los Angelenos unfortunate enough to have to pay their bills with an illegal tax dressed up as a Green Energy something. Just throw in 'green' and 'renewables' and lobbying from the IBEW, and the taxpayers will not object.

Think again, Mr. Mayor. LA City Council exercised their power to put the brakes on the rate hike, and it's now in their hands. Councilmember Jan Perry was one of the more outspoken critics of the Mayors rate hike, no doubt hoping to bolster her position as the leading mayoral candidate in 2013.

BUSINESSMEN BAFFLED BY BILLBOARD LAW

The Los Angeles Business Journal carried a piece explaining how upset businessmen were at City Attorney Trutanich for making them obey the City's law on billboards and supergraphics.

"Many building owners have taken down their supergraphic signs fearing arrest and confiscation of revenue from the signs, which can generate millions of dollars each year." the LA Business Journal reported.

"One of those is Jeff Anthony, who runs a film storage archive at a 14-story building on Santa Monica Boulevard and Highland known for its supergraphics advertising Apple products."

“This whole thing is bewildering and confusing for us,” said Anthony, vice president of Iron Mountain Film and Sound Archives, a subsidiary of Boston-based Iron Mountain Inc. “To say we’re going to take the signs down now, it leaves a bad taste in our mouth.”

It is true, businessmen are bewildered, for years they were able to break the law, and now it's very unfair that they should have to obey the law. Read the article, it's really very entertaining.


POLITICAL ROAST FRIES GUEST

AEG's newly opened and rather magnificent JW Marriott Hotel was the location of the American Diabetes Association's Thirteenth Annual Political Roast, with Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley as the main course.

It's rare for the blogisphere to give AEG credit for anything it does, but frankly, with the opening of this hotel and next month the adjoining Ritz Carlton, the whole LA Live thing is finally beginning to look like a world class destination that the City of Los Angeles can be proud of. Sorry, but Tim Leiweke got this right. Now take care of the Jackson Memorial Show mess and dump Jan Perry and you could run for Mayor yourself.

The charity event was an enormous success for organizers Arnie Berghoff and Mitch and Harvey Englander, raising a half a million dollars to find a cure for Diabetes from the 900 guests attending.

While Cooley endured the merciless tirade of jokes, jabs and japes from roasters Eric Garcetti, Gloria Molina and Carmen Trutanich, Cooley took it all in good humor while seated on stage in "Cooley's Cannabis Collective," a stage set designed to resemble the pot shops he's closing down.

Cooley responded with as good as he got and the evening ended on a 'high' note. Sadly, a little too high for Miguel Santana, the Mayor's budget hatchet man and former Chief of Staff to Supervisor Molina. He got himself arrested for drunk driving on his way home in his City issued Honda. Pity he wasn't using one of the City's Toyota Prius hybrids as he might have been able to blame the erratic driving on "sudden acceleration."

The LA Times is reporting that Santana has checked himself into a rehab center, and will be replaced by his top assistant Ray Ciranna until he returns, if he returns.

Quite a week!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Mayor of Failure Finally Uses 'B' Word


It wasn't the 'F' Bomb, but the 'B' Bomb that Mayor Villaraigosa dropped on Councilmembers in a desperate move to persuade them not to intervene in his attempt to hike up our DWP rates.

Villaraigosa had dressed the rate hike up as some sort of 'Green' thing to disguise the true intent of the likely 20% increase in our DWP bills. However, the LA Times reports that when Councilmembers sounded like they were going to exercise their Charter powers to question the rate hike, Villaraigosa responded with a stern warning that unless the DWP got the rate hike, the City of LA would face bankruptcy.

Hmmm, what happened to the 'Green' thing Antonio? Wasn't this rate hike about 'being Green?' It does rather look like the Mayor's been outed by his own email, sorry, 'Briefing Paper,' and basically admitted that he's using the DWP to finance the City's drunken sailor spending, much as he would have done if Measure B had passed - remember that hummer?

Despite the scare tactic, the Mayor failed to prevent the City Council from putting the brakes on the rate hike.

AG CANDIDATES CHOOSE BOGUS BALLOT DESIGNATIONS
City politics isn't the only arena where the truth is finally outing shady antics. In the upcoming June 8 primary elections, the Metropolitan News Enterprise reports that two candidates for Attorney General have chosen strangely misleading ballot designations.

Law school professor John Eastman has decided to call himself "Assistant Attorney General" based on a tenuous contract job he's doing for South Dakota to litigate whether the prison's food is kosher enough for an inmate. I kid you not. Career politician Tom Harman has equally misleadingly chosen the ballot designation "Prosecutor/Attorney/Senator" based on either a split personality or his February 10 participation in Orange County's Trial Attorney Partnership Program that includes a volunteer post with the Orange County DA's Office.

Busy men, both Eastman and Harman, it seems. A little too busy to realize that misleading ballot designations for those who seek to be the state's chief 'law and order' guy are bad ideas. Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley who is also in the running for the top cop slot was harshly critical of Eastman and Harman “This goes to the core of being A.G.: Are you honest?” Cooley told the MetNews. “This is dishonest.”

PROSECUTOR'S "CLOSEST FRIEND" IS CONVICTED SEX OFFENDER
And when it comes to bad ideas, Eastman must be ruing the day he accepted an endorsement from the Los Angeles Association of Deputy District Attorneys, headed by President Steve Ipsen. Ipsen is embroiled in litigation with his boss, District Attorney Steve Cooley. Perhaps Eastman didn't know that when he accepted the endorsement, but he certainly didn't know that ADDA President Steve Ipsen considers a convicted sex offender to be one of his "closest friends," a fact that came out as a result of Ipsen's complaints as reported in the Metropolitan News Enterprise:

"Steven J. Ipsen, president of the Assn. of Deputy District Attorneys, last month underwent intensive cross-examination before a county commission as to his relationship with a convicted sex offender who was one of his “closest friends,” the MetNews has learned.

"The transcript of a Feb. 24 hearing before the Employee Relations Commission, obtained late Friday, reveals that Ipsen had acted as a character witness for the man, lent him his automobile in which he had left his deputy district attorney’s badge, and possibly allowed the man to live in his home for a short time."

Word from sources in the DA's Office say that many were disappointed but not surprised to hear that Eastman received an endorsement from the ADDA, because Ipsen has been using the ADDA as his personal "springboard" to attack DA Steve Cooley. Ipsen ran unsuccessfully against Cooley for Los Angeles DA in 2008.

The revelations about Ipsen's "closest friend" relationship with a convicted sex offender were, however,  surprising. Ironically, Ipsen has made a big deal out of promoting victim's rights and one has to wonder what Ipsen thought of the rights of the victims of his "closest friend's" crimes.

So we have a Mayor who tried (and failed) to scare City Councilmembers into falling in line with a lie-based rate hike, a couple of wannabe AG's who don't know the meaning of honesty, and a president of a District Attorney's Association who was a character witness for his "closest friend" a three times convicted sex offender. Seriously, you can't make this stuff up!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Illegal Billboards Come Down - Some Without Even Being Asked

As the LA Times reported, CBS Outdoor put their money on following City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's advice to obey the law and remove their illegal supergraphics on the Iron Mountain storage building at 1025 Highland Ave., in Hollywood.
Before (above) and After (below)
At 11 stories high and almost a city block wide
these were the widest and tallest supergraphics in Los Angeles

Trutanich had sent CBS Outdoor a 'Cease and Desist' letter, however their attorney, Laura Brill did not immediately return a call from the LA Times seeking comment. Many, however, believe that CBS's decision to follow the law may be tied to the recent arrest and imprisonment of Kayvan Setareh, the Hollywood 'businessman' who apparently ignored the City Attorney's letters and emails, to remove illegal supergraphics, leading to the Dragongate saga.

The ties are more tangible than simply the prospect of having a CBS Outdoor executive spending a few days in jail. Many naysayers questioned Trutanich's motives in seeking the $1M bail that held Setareh in jail until he ordered the removal of the "How to train your Dragon" supergraphic funded by Paramount to promote the upcoming Dreamworks movie during the Oscars. 

Perhaps the most vitriolic naysayer was the left-wing wackjob political hack LA Times columnist Tim Rutten, who poh-pohed the notion that a supergraphic could fall and cause any harm.



As Trutanich is known to say "Even a blind squirrel sometimes finds an acorn" and here's the acorn; According to the LA Times (and NBC),  one of the Iron Mountain images recently broke free in a wind storm, split in two and fell to the ground. 

The proof of one of the dangers presented by illegal supergraphics comes from Robert Eicholz, a Hollywood resident who was interviewed by LA Times reporter David Zahniser  who related that Eicholz works in a nearby office building. “The wind got up under that thing and ripped it into pieces,” said Eicholz, who said the tattered sign was an advertisement for the Apple iPod. “It ripped and it went crashing down onto Highland Avenue.”  

Of course facts are the enemy of political hacks, and the ultimate irony for Rutten, whose left wing hit piece borderlines outright untruth, is that Rutten's deception was outed by David Zahniser; the LA Times journalist who interviewed Eicholz.

So while the rest of the illegal adverting industry relished in Rutten's hit piece, some of the wiser advertisers started to realize that the days of paying off politicians like Jan Perry to make exceptions for them, were over. That Trutanich was one of the few elected officials in Los Angeles who not only stays true to campaign promises, but follows the law. And so, perhaps wisely, they decided to follow the law without even getting a 'Cease and Desist' letter, let alone 3 squares and a bunk at County Jail.

Word around the City is that almost as stealthily as they went up, illegal supergraphics are coming down. 

The west facing wall of 7461 Beverly Blvd.
December 28, 2008 (above) and March 19, 2010 (below)

The west wall of 7461 Beverly Blvd., has been devoid of supergraphics since before Dragongate, and remains so to date. The anti-illegal billboard activist website Ban Billboard Blight has noted numerous other supergraphics disappearing as a result of Trutanich's enforcement and Dennis Hathaway, president of the Coalition to Ban Billboard Blight, had sharp criticism of left-wing wackjob political hack Tim Rutten's characterization of Trutanich as a bully; "By common definition, a bully is someone who picks on someone who is weaker than themselves," said Hathaway. The illegal billboard industry makes millions of dollars weekly from their illegal activities, they are hardly weaker than the budget strapped City Attorney. 

Perhaps Tim Rutten won't be swayed by the facts about the dangers of supergraphics, nor the vast profits accumulated by the very worst offenders. The depths of Rutten's political bias probably makes it impossible for him to read LA Weekly journalist Christine Pelisek's insightful report into the amount of money generated by supergraphic multimillionaire Barry Rush. Peilsek headlines her report "The Mad Men of Los Angeles," it's an excellent read unless you like to stick your head in the sand like Tim Rutten.   

Chalk up one victory for Trutanich in getting illegal supergraphics under control in our city, another to David Zahniser at the LA Times for finding a witness to debunk the naysayers, and one for Christine Pelisek at LA Weekly for revealing the money men who can buy political hacks.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Pot Shop Poll Pales Into Insignificance

The LA Times is reporting that an attempt by a businessman to challenge the City's ordinance limiting the number of marijuana shops in Los Angeles failed to gather a sufficient number of signatures to put a referendum on the ballot.
Referendum backer Dan Halbert delivers a box of signed petitions to the city elections division office Monday. 
Attorney Nathan Hoffman joins him at the counter. (Credit LA Times Christina House / March 15, 2010)

LA Times reporter John Hoeffel wrote that "Dan Halbert, operator of Rainforest Collective in Mar Vista and the principal organizer, said the coalition of collectives gathered about 30,000 signatures but determined that only about 14,200 appeared valid. The collectives need at least 27,425 signatures for the referendum to qualify."

That's good news for the residents of Los Angeles, and especially good news for Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich who spearheaded the effort to convince Los Angeles City Councilmembers that they could and should clamp down on the estimated 1,000+ marijuana shops in Los Angeles, most believed to be illegally selling the drug under the guise of being "dispensaries."

Pro-marijuana advocates widely use the term "dispensary" to refer to marijuana shops in what is believed to be an attempt to mislead the public into thinking that a shop that sells narcotics is somehow legal if it is called a "dispensary." However, the word "dispensary appears nowhere in the legislation that allows for medical marijuana to be distributed by non-profit "collectives." The drug sellers doubtless spent thousands of dollars in public opinion research to come up with a word to disguise the true nature of their conduct, according to Alfie Noaks, spokesperson for Save Our Kids From Dope, a grassroots movement aimed at eradicating marijuana shops near schools.

Trutanich and Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley were initially the only elected officials to challenge the legality of the drug sellers, but as community outrage built, fueled by efforts of marijuana shop owners to target school children at the Grant High School, the City Council stepped up efforts to take action against the drug dealers.

The low number of signatures gathered by the drug dealers stands in stark contrast to the bold statements made by Americans for Safe Access who promised a lawsuit and an outpouring of public outrage at the closure of the drug sellers. "The reality appears to be that nobody really believes the bullshit about marijuana being 'medicine,' or that a 'dispensary' is anything other than a drug dealer who has moved from the alley to a storefront," Noakes said.

Los Angeles' ordinance that will result in the mass closure of marijuana shops is expected to come into force in May, and with the failure of the drug advocates to gather anything like the signatures needed, little opposition is likely.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Touche From Trutanich

Kudos to 'True Grit' at the the LA City Hall Insider Blog, for her Sunday morning op-ed piece in response to the liberal media's constant criticism of Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich.

In her way too lengthy missive, 'True Grit' poses the question "Would Jack Weiss have made a better City Attorney?" and uses the adaptation below of a cartoon on Kevin Roderick's excellent LA Observed Blog to also take a swipe at cartoonist 'Greenberg.'


To answer the question posed 'True Grit' offers in-depth analysis of the 8 'majorgates' that saw the media side with the 'don't rock the boat' politicians that she calls the 'business as usual brigade.'

True Grit must have way too much time on her hands, so to make it easier for you, we've broken it down.

1. PERRYGATE - Jan Perry's $6M Bail Out Package for AEG's Disaster Movie "This Is It"
Perry probably thought nobody would dare to call her out when she signed off on closing the city center for 3 days and deploying 3,500 LAPD officers to help AEG stage the Michael Jackson Memorial Show.

To this day Trutanich remains the only elected official to have 'demanded' that AEG repay the City. Perry, who garners thousands of dollars from AEG in support of her political campaigns, has been "going around like a bag lady asking for donations," according to the City Hall Insider.

What Would Weiss Have Done? Nothing. Except, perhaps, look forward to healthy campaign donations from AEG.

2. CONTROLLERGATE - Who Picks Up The Tab For Laura Chick's Losses?
Chick racked up a $300k legal fees bill in her bid to force Rocky Delgadillo to allow her to audit his failing Workers Compensation program. When Trutanich followed up on his campaign promise to allow the audit, the lawsuit became an irrelevant publicity stunt. Chick refused to give up and lost at trial. Now she wants the City to swallow the $300k legal fees bill that was supposed to be 'pro bono.'

Trutanich says 'No,' he's not paying a lawyer for losing a case, especially when he's allowing the audit.

What Would Weiss Have Done? Most likely Weiss would have paid the bill, but reneged on his campaign promise and denied the Controller access to audit the program because the audit will show just how bad his buddy Rocky Delgadillo was as a City Attorney.

3. PERRYGATE II - Jan Perry Pardons AEG's 18 Illegal Billboards
AEG forgot to get permits for their new movie house and when they realized their mistake it was too late as there was a citywide ban on all new billboards. AEG ignored Trutanich's suggestion that they both go to court to see if granting permits would not invalidate the law. AEG got their puppet Perry to weigh in and she went around 'squealing like a stuck pig' that Trutanich was a 'bully' who 'threatened to arrest me.'

Perry then got the City Council to make an exception for AEG and they got their billboards, and Perry doubtless secured further political campaign support from AEG in her bid to be Mayor.

What Would Weiss Have Done? Nothing. Apart from not wanting to stand up to AEG, Weiss already had a wholly unhealthy relationship with the illegal billboard industry having signed off on a 'settlement' to give 900 digital billboards to 3 favored billboard companies. That settlement was recently thrown out of court by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Terry Green, who described it as 'poisonous.'

4. POTSHOPGATE - City Hall Takes 4 Years to Ponder Pot - Trutanich Passes A Law in 6 Months
Councilmember Ed Reyes sat on Dennis Zine's 2005 request for a regulatory ordinance to stem the explosion of pot shops in the City. Reyes took 'advice' from a pot shop owner and paid consultant to the pot dealers. The Council eventually got fed up with the 'usual suspects' showing up at City Hall and dominating Public Comment with strikingly similar stories about marijuana being the wonder drug that saved their lives, and how they were incapable of growing a weed that was their 'medicine.' Buying Pot from 1,000 pot shops was the only answer to their plight.

Trutanich's law proposed a ban on sales of marijuana, something that most in City Hall had not realized was still illegal despite Prop 215 and the Medical Marijuana Program Act. To prove the point, in a brilliantly insightful strategic move, Trutanich filed a test case in Superior Court that resulted in a ruling that the sale of marijuana was not allowed, only 'collective cultivation.' Thus the City finally got an ordinance that will soon result in the mass closure of the illegal pot shops and leave somewhere between 80 and 150 'collectives' in the City.

What Would Weiss Have Done? Again, nothing. Weiss can see the huge amount of money pouring into make Los Angeles the battleground for legalizing marijuana, and he's the last person to turn down a potentially lucrative source of political campaign contributions. Weiss would have sat on the fence like Delgadlillo and let the Council do whatever they want.

5. DRAGONGATE - Shock Horror! Illegal SuperGraphics Enabler Goes To Jail
A week before the Oscars a Los Angeles 'businessman' puts up a gigantic SuperGraphic on his office building that is guaranteed to catch the cameras and earn him more than enough money to pay the paltry fine that's just the cost of doing business. So he thinks.

Trutanich has him arrested and thrown in jail on $1M bail. 3 days later the sign comes down and the liberal media goes nuts claiming a civil rights violation. A left wing liberal whackjob hack at the LA Times writes an op-ed piece slamming Trutanich for having the audacity to enforce the law.

As the 'Dragongate' SuperGraphic comes down, Trutanich arrests another bunch of illegal SuperGraphic posters on the other side of the street and the Asics illegal ad comes down.
Reports from all over the City indicate that illegal adverts are coming down as Trutanich shows that he means business and will enforce the law through all available means.

What Would Weiss Have Done? Nothing. Weiss would probably have seen the same dollar signs from the illegal sign industry that the Hollywood 'businessmen' saw, and rather than fight them, he would have much preferred taking their money and making them 'legal,' just like Delgadillo tried to do.

6. LAWSUIT SETTLEMENTGATE - Fighting and Winning, Instead of Settling Paying
I can't say it better than True Grit "a bogus lawsuit brought by the mother of a baby who died in the arms of her shit for brains gang banger boyfriend while he traded shots with LAPD using the baby as a shield" and the City faces a $20M lawsuit. Rather than write a check to the mother, Trutanich empowers his attorneys to go to trial and do their best. And they do their best. It's a defense verdict, not a penny, not a single red cent to the shakedown artists that sue the City at the drop of a hat.

But the LA Times' spin on the story? "High fives for a dead baby," not "Trutanich saves the City $20M." The real story is that the days of the City of Los Angeles being an ATM machine for the plaintiff's attorneys are over, and in just 9 months, Trutanich has won case after case saving the City well over $100M in liability.

What Would Weiss Have Done? Nothing. Because Weiss lacked any experience in trying cases (just like Delgadillo) he would not have had the slightest idea of how to value a case, let alone how to inspire Deputy City Attorneys to be the best that they can be. Weiss would have kept the City's ATM machine running for the plaintiff's attorneys, after all, they're always good for campaign contributions come election time.

7. OUTSIDE COUNSELGATE - Paying Private Law Firms To Do What The City Attorney Can Do
I think 'True Grit' should have called this one 'Dog Food Gate,' the scandalously obscene waste of money that takes place when the City uses private law firms to do the job that the City Attorney's Office is supposed to do. These are cases that are supposedly 'too complicated' for the City Attorney, like the infamous Tennie Pierce case, remember that one? The Firefighter who cost the City of Los Angeles $5.5M for eating a spoonful of dog food? 

In addition to Pierce picking up a check for $2.7M, the private law firm that the City hired to defend the case racked up legal fees that made the whole case cost us $5.5M. And the City Attorney can't take on cases like that? Gimme a break. 

Since taking office, Trutanich has taken many cases away from private law firms and is letting his lawyers do the job they were trained to do; defend the City. In those rare cases where a case cannot be taken back, he's forced those firms to cut their billing by 10% to 15%. 

What Would Weiss Have Done? Nothing. Many of those private law firms were heavy supporters of Weiss's campaign, and he would be the last person in City Hall to cut off their easy access to our money. 

8. BUDGETGATE - The Mayor's Plan to Silence Trutanich
There's nothing worse than being called a 'Failure' when your career is politics for the sake of politics. It's ten times worse when there's some novice upstart who is actually succeeding in doing the job that they were elected to do. That's the dilema facing Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. With the City budget crisis that he ignored while he and the Council spent our money like a bunch of drunken sailors, the best solution that Villaraigosa can come up with was to kill the Golden Goose.

That's what career politicians do, instead of upping their game and pitching in and doing the hard work that's necessary to turn our City around, they kill the one guy that's showing them up as the bunch of abject failures they all are.

So it was no surprise when Villaraigosa hid behind his axeman, CAO Miguel Santana's skirttails, and ordered 100 jobs to be cut from the City Attorney's Office, while he did not cut his staff at all. In fact the Mayor's Office continues to boast a staff bigger than the Obama's White House staff, but not a single achievement that you can take to the bank.

Trutanich stood up to the Mayor's order, and politely pointed out that the Mayor does not have the power to order job cuts. Something else that Villaraigosa didn't know. So for now, the City Attorney's Office can continue to do it's job and effectively defend us from everything that gets thrown at the second largest city in the United States.

But the Mayor might yet get the last laugh. He could cut the City Attorney's budget for 2010-2011, and thereby force the 100 layoffs that he couldn't order. But to do that, he'll need the City Council to sign-off on his budget, and the way Trutanich is showing the value of his office on a daily basis, that could be political suicide for Villaraigosa.

What Would Weiss Do? Nothing. Weiss was Villaraigosa's pick for City Attorney and as such Weiss would have to do what he was told. Weiss would have sat back and taken the cuts without so much as a whimper, safe in the knowledge that Villaraigosa will return the favor with some more support when Weiss moves on to bigger and better political career.

You can all draw your own conclusions from the LA City Hall Insider's op-ed piece. It seems pretty clear, however, that Jack Weiss would have made an awful City Attorney. That the backroom deals and City Hall shenanigans would have continued without question, and the 'business as usual' brigade would have carried on lining their pockets at our expense.

Trutanich took on a monumental and seemingly thankless task on July 1, 2009. But while Big Media continue to jump to the beat of the business as usual drum, we, on behalf of the people of Los Angeles, say THANK YOU TRUTANICH!