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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!

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