Mariachis Before Crises and the Latest City Hall Stupidity

@THE GUSS REPORT-Lest anyone think Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Herb Wesson-led LA City Council are serious about confronting LA’s homeless crisis and fecal factor, there was lots of sheer nonsense taking place at the start of Friday’s Council meeting. 

Click this link to watch 20 mindless minutes of presentations and repetitious speeches by Councilmembers fawning over local achievers. 

Or advance to the 51-minute mark and see the low-point…mariachis, y’all! Come join the celebration before a largely empty room that felt like the orchestra playing on Titanic’s deck as it sank. 

A full one hour and 40 minutes elapses before these lawmakers, the highest paid in the nation, get down to problems that require tamping down, fixing up or some such addressing. 

Is there no embarrassment among them for continually putting parties and celebrations first? Is this what the LA Times Editorial Board will endorse as Wesson pursues even more power on the LA County Board of Supervisors when there are other capable candidates running against him? 

Just a day earlier… 

Garcetti – freshly re-nicknamed Garbage-cetti on “The John and Ken Show” on KFI AM-640 – claimed that the recently launched petition to recall him was a “political game,” and that he won’t let it distract him. 

You know, distracted by things like mariachis or decapitated pig heads used as table decorations.   Or his perpetual travel to places not named LA, stumping for politicians not directly connected to LA.

As of Sunday, that petition to legally remove Garcetti from his job and the place of his employment for the past 18 years already has 17,617 signatures, which is a quick 5% of the needed certified signatures. 

However, the #RecallGarcetti efforts turns out, its originator Alexandra Datig has put an exclamation mark on what will ultimately define Garcetti’s time in office: the will of tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of Angelenos to have him kicked out of office before he is termed-out. Anyone remember former California Governor Gray Davis

Garcetti’s detachment is stunning. At a press conference last week, who did he choose to have stand alongside him to let us know that he is doubling down on his efforts to deal with homelessness?  

Garcetti chose none other than City Hall’s two living train wrecks, Councilmembers Mike Bonin and Curren Price. Their personal woes of addiction, homelessness, bigamy and fraud aside, they are also the poster children for ineptitude. Their flanking Garcetti is as tone deaf as the Mayor posting on social media his photography of sunsets, and images of himself playing piano while Rome burns. 

And you thought the brand of his dad, former District Attorney, Gil Garcetti was bad. 

Garcetti’s Best Moment of the Week 

No doubt, much relief for Garcetti was brought by President Donald Trump’s announcement that ICE will kickstart mass deportations of illegal immigrants whose cases have already been adjudicated by the federal courts, but who have ignored their orders to leave the United States. 

It was the best part of Garcetti’s week because it gave him something to talk about other than his failures as Mayor. 

Turns out that Trump hit the pause button on the deportations to give Congress two weeks and one last chance to come up with a fix, if not a cure, for our deeply flawed sanctuary and immigration laws, and related Dreamer and border wall problems. 

Talk about a Bad Week… 

Curren Price had an entire building in his poverty stricken 9th District (dubbed The New 9th but with the same old problems) that was in such hideous, unlivable condition that people residing there were evacuated and given hotel vouchers. 

Fact is, Price knew about this problem building long before the evacuation and only acted at the last minute because he discovered that the media were ready to pounce on the story. 

Things weren’t going well for Mrs. Price, either. Whoever Mrs. Price is these days… 

As you know, @The Guss Report was first to document Price’s bigamy, fraud and perjury, and over the past few years wrote more extensively about it for CityWatch than any other media outlet did.  Now, our friends at 2 Urban Girls report on some of the fallout from those columns.  

To summarize, while Mr. Price did two stints on Inglewood City Council in the 90s and 00s, the woman who he claimed was his wife, Delbra Richardson-Price, was not his wife at all. Their claimed marriage was null and void, because Mr. Price was still married to Lynn Suzette Green-Price.  Inglewood rejected Richardson-Price’s health insurance claims because paying them would constitute an illegal “gift of public funds.” Eventually, Inglewood gave her a little under $1,000 for her to drop her claim for $22,000. 

So I reached out to LA City Controller Ron Galperin to ask why LA taxpayers should have to pay for Richardson-Price’s health benefits for all the years she and Mr. Price were not married. 

I’m still waiting for Galperin’s response on that. 

Still, Galperin had enough time to reach out to me for a campaign donation, even though he is virtually if not literally running unopposed. 

Galperin’s chief of staff Jeremy Oberstein (he of the infamous fabricated constituent letter) was asked how his boss’s campaign had my contact information, when I had only been in touch for city-related matters. Is Galperin illegally sharing City data with his campaign? 

Oberstein pointed to an ancient email I wrote to Galperin congratulating him when he was Controller-elect, and the email address to which I sent it was provided by the previous Controller, Wendy Greuel, before Galperin’s city email address was created. 

But that raises the question of why Oberstein has access to an email that on one hand he claims was sent to Galperin’s campaign, while on the other hand, he should not have access to as Galperin’s chief of staff. 

They can’t have it both ways. The Controller’s office cannot intertwine with the Controller’s campaign. 

If anyone should understand that, it’s the City Controller. 

Oh dear, I’m out of space already, but tune in again to find out who in City Council is not allowed to eat cake, and who is pissed off about it. City Council’s new way of illegally silencing critics. Why is LA Animal Services’ Brenda Barnette releasing intact animals using money from animal charity titan Maddie’s Fund? Which Deputy City Attorney recently appeared in court but refused to identify himself as an attorney and claimed he didn’t have business cards with him? And lastly, how embattled LAPD officers have some serious legal conflicts of interest. 

Y’all come back real soon…


(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. His opinions are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of CityWatch.) Prepped for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.