@THE GUSS REPORT-Watching things go on at LA City Hall is like watching a vacuous reality show that has little if any basis in reality.
For example, Mayor Eric Garcetti – who seems bored to tears as a lame duck with nowhere but academia and corporate boards to go to when he terms out – spends a good deal of his time Tweeting ideas that accomplish nothing but squandering time and fortune. Like LA’s Green New Deal.
The problem is that absolutely nobody in the U.S. Senate voted for the original Green New Deal proposed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the N.Y. freshman member of the House of Representatives. Her proposal lost 0-57 in the U.S. Senate, with every Democrat and even Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders voting “Present” rather than a supportive “Aye.” Yet those Democrats all stated in broadcast town hall meetings that they “support” the Green New Deal.
So even with literally zero D.C. support, Garcetti has decided that that’s what he wants for LA, and the lemmings in local government walk in lock-step, except none of them can explain what it entails or how to pay for it. But when has that ever stopped them?
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Hey, Bill and Hillary Clinton came to Los Angeles for a chat Saturday night at The Forum in Inglewood. You could have purchased tickets in the lower bowl of the revitalized 53-year old rink for as little as $3. Plenty were available. And big spenders could get even better ducats for $5 or $6 a half hour before the event, per this seating chart. That is a serious fall from the days of glitzy Hillary-for-President Bel Air fundraisers of just two years ago. Someone, please, pull the plug on this embarrassing grubbing for money and relevance.
For a little perspective, it costs $25 to park at The Forum for most events.
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Last week, LA City Councilmember Paul Krekorian introduced an item intended to more properly track harassment claims by city employees. He correctly pointed out that the low number of complaints filed in recent years is not a good thing, but rather a sign that the existing process is broken and might discourage those who work for the city in hostile work environments.
Also speaking on the issue was his colleague Nury Martinez, who had a rough time last week publicly talking about her battle with depression. She kept saying in her presentation that the new plan will benefit “both the victim and accuser,” rather than the accuser and accused. Martinez would not address her conflicting comments. She needs to slow down and take a breath or three.
None of Krekorian’s ideas address the 800 lb. gorilla in the room; the alleged ongoing misconduct of their serial sexual harassing colleague Jose Huizar who, despite a brutally embarrassing and presumably very costly lawsuit settlement for his sexual relationship with a former staffer, keeps getting the city and himself sued.
Krekorian, too, did not respond to requests for comment on how to help city employees in hostile Council offices like Huizar’s and that of former Councilmember Mitch Englander, whose then-accused Chief of Staff John Lee, is running to become the Councilmember from CD12.
Hey, here’s an idea: when the city settles a sexual harassment lawsuit, stop saying that you “admit no fault.” Stop saying that you’re “settling only on advice of counsel, but that you wanted your day in court.” Start admitting fault and establish severe penalties for those who are provably abusive. And by abusive, let’s explicitly include any boss who boinks the staffers, regardless of it being consensual or not.
Huizar’s ability to keep collecting a City Hall paycheck and harassing city employees is largely due to being embraced by City Council president Herb Wesson, who not only described Huizar as his “best friend,” he endorsed him for re-election even after Huizar’s original scandal broke. What kind of message does that send to abused city employees? Nobody in City Hall has the courage to stand up to Wesson, including Nury Martinez, who dutifully promoted Wesson’s daughter-in-law, former Republican Alexis Marin, to her Deputy Chief of Staff. These people protect only themselves.
(Martinez may wish to update her website. Her Chief of Staff Ackley Padilla is still listed in his bio as Deputy Chief of Staff. Marin is still listed as Legislative Aide in hers, etc. And what is the deal with the badly Photoshopped Martinez family photo? Has anyone located the bottom half of her husband’s body, and what exactly happened to his shirt? This, from your likely next LA City Council president.)
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Did you see the LA Times story last week about LA City Councilmember Curren Price voting in favor of real estate projects that benefit his, um, current kinda/sorta wife, Delbra Richardson?
Times reporter Emily Alpert Reyes did what The Times often does and blurred the lines of Price’s bigamy, which was originally and exclusively exposed by this column. In her story, Reyes quotes Price about whom he thought he was married to, which directly conflicts with Price’s statement to Reyes’ colleague, reporter Dakota Smith, from a few years ago.
It seems that The Times has never examined the dubious trail of Price’s divorce attempts, and how his first wife Lynn Suzette Price’s voter registration was somehow switched to an address where she never lived…a property owned exclusively by Price’s other wife. Don’t worry; the FBI is aware and exploring this and related revelations.
And that’s not the only thing about Price which The Times has failed to report…
We’ll keep that file over here in this stack. Have a great week.
(Daniel Guss, MBA, is a member of the Los Angeles Press Club, and has contributed to CityWatch, KFI AM-640, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News, Los Angeles Magazine, Movieline Magazine, Emmy Magazine, Los Angeles Business Journal and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter @TheGussReport. Join his mailing list or offer verifiable tips and story ideas at TheGussReport@gmail.com. His opinions are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of CityWatch.) Prepped for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.