12
Wed, Jun

Welcome to Mayor Karen Bass' City of Los Angeles

POLITICS

AND TAKE THIS - Too much news; too little time.

First, let's dispense with what's happening RIGHT NOW. So, today I get a call from a woman in my building that a homeless guy is on the property. So, I had to go kick him off the property. What a way to spend my 4th of July Holiday, right. Gotta put on clothes, shoes, and go deal with a guy that passed a HUGE No Trespassing Sign on his way in. After I tell him to leave, he keeps eating his ice cream behind his luggage. Then he pulls out a pack of cigarettes and lights up. How does he have money for smokes? I'm like “Really?” Now I'm worried that he's gonna burn the place down because a lot of LA Arson is done by LA Homeless people (a homeless guy almost burned down the building next door to me). Finally he leaves, but then ANOTHER homeless guy is talking smack on the sidewalk and blocking traffic with his junk. And this used to be a very nice hood in the City of LA. Beverly Grove. You can google my previous column to see what I think about our new City Council Member Katy Yaroslavsky. The future does NOT look bright.

Getting back to Mayor Karen Bass. I'm typing this out on July 3rd, the LAST day of a LONG window of time for Part One of repaving for my street, Croft Ave, between 3rd and Beverly Blvd. So, way back on Friday June 23, the City of LA puts up NO Parking signs Monday-Friday from 6:30 AM to 4 PM for a job that will start at the earliest on Wednesday June 28. They also post flyers on our buildings saying that the “First Phase” of the “Street Renewal” will start on Wednesday June 28 (in red bold letters), then the small print gives a LONG window of June 28 till July 3. So, of course, here we are on July 3 and none of that has happened. And we lost SIX days of street parking on TWO blocks of Croft Ave SO FAR. Because the City of LA doesn't care. This is an R3 zoned street...that means it includes 4 story condo and apartment buildings. Nearby R1 (single family home) streets don't allow anybody else to park on them. Our street allows others to park from 8AM-6PM. We NEED our street parking. We also have West 3rd St businesses whose employees and customers NEED our street parking. So not only is this Anti-Resident, it is Anti-Small Business.

So, back to Karen Bass. Do you remember when she was debating Rick Caruso and on a scale of 1 to 10, she found the City to be perfectly safe. And we all laughed (too much time in Sacramento and DC). Then her home got broken into, her 2 guns got stolen, and we knew why SHE felt safe. She's got TWO guns! Anyway, since then she's moved into the FREE (rent free) Mayor's Mansion (aka Getty House in Windsor Square) in lily white Hancock Park (way back in December) and the hoodlums have been caught and they're going to jail...of course. Reminds me of Eric Garcetti...Bass kept most of his staff btw (HUGE Red Flag)...he moved into the Mayor's Mansion after somebody got killed in his old hood. The Getty House Foundation pays for renovations to the Mayor's Mansion, btw.

Anyhoo, the May 13 edition of The LA Times' weekly “LA On the Record”, begins “At some point in recent months, Mayor Karen Bass moved into Getty House...in the Windsor Square mansion. She also began quietly fundraising for the Getty House Foundation...with a series of small dinners held at [The Mansion].” At some point in recent months? Really?? Later, the article states “...the Getty House Foundation made it onto Bass’ calendar almost immediately after she took office: Bass sat down with the Getty House Foundation Board for a Noon meeting on her second day in office...” Priorities, Priorities. Article also mentions “The invitation for an open house meet-and-greet for Windsor Square neighbors listed Yvette Lechuga, Bass’ stepdaughter, as a co-host.” Article notes that by May 13, (delayed) City Ethics filings showed 65k of behested payments to the Mayor's Mansion Nonprofit. “The IBEW Local 11 [DWP Union], the So Cal Pipe Trades District Council 16, Urban Associates Inc., law firm Bush Gottlieb and Delta Airlines [each] donated $5k to [the] Foundation at Bass’ behest.  Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1277 and Fox Corp. both made $10k donations and contractor United Building Co. donated $20k...” After all, you 'gotta pay to play' in the City of LA.

Then, BURIED in the June 10 edition of “LA On the Record” is this gem: “Bass has reported more than $700,000 in behested donations to the [Mayor's Mansion] Foundation AND the Mayor’s Fund since taking office.” [emph added] Now why would you combine those two nonprofits?? The Mayor's Fund ALSO allows unlimited behested payments from those that have business before the Mayor...creating TONS of conflict of interest. The Mayor then showers all of that $$$ on chosen/connected “charity/nonprofit” groups to benefit him/her self politically. It should be abolished. You wanna raise money for charity? Raise money for established respected existing charities! But the Mayor's Fund is SUPER SHADY, like legalized unlimited bribes. The Getty House Foundation more directly benefits the Mayor IF she lives in the Mayor's Mansion, which SHE DOES. So why would you hide how much of that 700k is going to the Mayor's Mansion Nonprofit?? And THIS TIME, when the numbers are an order of magnitude (more than 10 times as big), no breakdown by the El Segundo Times of the players paying to play!

Oh, that June 10 “LA On the Record” STARTS with a reminder that a CENTRAL campaign promise by Mayor Karen Bass was “appointing a so-called ethics czar to ensure a corruption-free administration.” In September, ON THE DEBATE STAGE, “Bass one-upped Caruso” Norm Eisen, who was Obama’s Ethics Czar, has agreed that if [I win] he will come....do a top-to-bottom review of all City policies.” The Article continues “............... she [frequently] promised that [Eisen] would review rules and procedures for her Administration. since she took office, the mayor has been largely quiet about that top-to-bottom ethics review and Eisen’s role in her Administration, save for one photo of the two of them shaking hands.” There was a hire of a woman to serve as “Ethics Officer”, but that person is NOT independent, but rather “reports to the Mayor’s counsel, David Michaelson.” So basically spending more money on bureaucracy just for show.

Kind of like what Eric Garcetti did at DWP...after he chose a GM who got caught for corruption. Matt Hamilton over at the Times wrote it up last year. Garcetti spent ALMOST THREE YEARS to pick an Inspector General, Sergio Perez (starting salary 268k), previously Director of Enforcement at the LA City Ethics Commission (LOL). who has already bailed after less than a year to the City Controller's Office (which is spending WAY TOO MUCH time these days monitoring homeless RV parking policy). was put in charge of “a [newly created] staff of 18 to 24 people” (curious if that was a way for the Mayor to put G-d knows who on a payroll easily). So the Mayor picked a CORRUPT GM for the Department and then, after several HUGE scandals (one of which involved Mike Feuer, who is now running for Congress after running a losing mayoral campaign including commercials of him walking a dog, even though he never owned a dog), solves the problem by creating an unnecessary massive expenditure of our DWP ratepayer money. How bout just not picking CORRUPT people?? How bout picking DWP Commissioners that will catch them before the FBI does?? Also, didn't the DWP ALREADY have a RatePayer Advocate and his Office of Public Accountability?? You can create all the expensive oversight you want as long as it's not truly independent of our elected politicians, it's worthless. Exhibit A being the LA City Ethics Commission. But I digress.

Getting back to that LA Times June 10 “LA On the Record”, “The smiling photo of Bass and Eisen that she posted to Twitter was taken when Eisen [who lives in DC]. spent A DAY at City Hall with her team on Feb. 6.” [emph added] Also: “Eisen is not being paid by the City for his work...” So, wait, it seems to me that there was NO “top-to-bottom review” by Eisen, so it was a CAMPAIGN LIE by Karen Bass. And the El Segundo Times didn't have the courage to call her out on it.

(“An Angry Angeleno” is the nom de plume of Yuval Kremer, a former ballot candidate for both LA County Supervisor and LA Mayor)