ONE MAN’S OPINION--Garcetti and his horde of corrupt developers worked long and hard to turn the city into a place run by corruptionism.
As recently as January 2014, the courts were still pointing out Garcetti’s intentional use of fatally flawed data and wishful thinking (Lies and Myths) to subvert the law. In throwing out the corrupt Hollywood Community Plan update, Judge Allan Goodman made clear that the city acted in intentional bad faith to deceive people.
As people know, Garcetti ignored Judge Goodman’s ruling and continued with the densification and destruction of Hollywood. Worse yet, Garcetti continued unabated with his Lies and Myths for other parts of LA denying the significant harm which city hall corruption was doing to Los Angeles.
Due to the illegal spot zoning, which was accomplished by the criminal voting trading agreement at city hall, bribery purchased unanimous approval of whatever the developers wished. Although it violates Penal Code, §86, each LA councilmember must vote Yes for every other councilmember’s project.
As CityWatch pointed out several times over the years, Spot Zoning not only was criminal, but it fraudulently raised residential property prices. A developer would pay way over market price for residential property knowing that he could build whatever he wanted. When the next homeowner wanted to sell, his Realtor would look at the comps and see that the average sales price had jumped 10% and would similarly list the new property. When a developer would again buy at an inflated price, the comps would once against escalate.
People who wanted to buy a family home had to either pay a fraudulently inflated developer price, remain a renter or move out of Los Angeles. In fact, all three happened. Some people had enough income to pay double the market value, others continued to rent, and still others moved away. Most impacted were family millennials who increasingly opted to move out of LA to places like Austin. Anyone who bought residential property in LA since 2012 is paying the Wall Street tax. That means the purchase price was fraudulently inflated and hence their mortgage is hundreds of thousands of dollars too high. In other words, cash which belongs to homeowners is being shipped off to Wal Street.
Corruption Creates the Homeless Crisis
The other consequence of the Lies and Myths which Judge Goodman identified was the manufacturing of the Homeless Crisis. As Patrick Range MacDonald wrote in 2013, Garcetti’s densification of Hollywood was a type of ethnic cleansing of Latinos. Thursday, January 3, 2013, LA Weekly, Hollywood’s Urban Cleansing, 12,878 Mostly Latinos Are Pushed out by City Hall, High Rents and Hipsters.
With the help of corrupt judges, thousands of poor people living in rent-controlled apartments were forced onto the streets. Not only did judges ignore the law in evicting people, they turned a blind eye to the horrible conditions which would make apartments unlivable. In this way apartment owners could get rid of tenants and sell to developers who want to build luxury mixed-use projects or boutique hotels. Each time a corrupt judge helped a developer, the sales value of all other rent-controlled apartments increased, causing more owners to sell out to developers, leaving their tenants on the street.
The result of the years of city hall Corruptionism was the transfer of wealth from Angelenos to the 1%, i.e. Wall Street. That process continues during the pandemic which is why the stock market climbs as fast as the Covid-19 death rate.
Then Trump’s Pandemic Hit
It is appropriate to term it Trump’s Pandemic. While nature created the virus, Trump created the pandemic. Because it began in China and then went to Europe, the US had time to prepare. Being mentally ill, Trump refused to use the Stafford Act to force manufacture PPE. Instead, Trump destroyed our defenses to the pandemic by lying about it, saying it was under control, and it was a hoax.
Nonetheless, LA Prepared
We may never know the extent to which Nancy Pelosi delayed Garcetti’s and Newsom’s response to Covid-19, but we know they began early enough to slow the curve. Garcetti used the meme Safer at Home and contrary to his non-stop lies about Manhattanization, Garcetti stuck to reality and gained credibility.
The County likewise stuck to facts and logical analysis. By the time Garcetti and the County imposed Safer at Home, we were ready. Many elderlies had already sequestered themselves and people were using Lysol before going into stores. (Garcetti could have been more honest about masks, but he had a dilemma. Since Trump had refused to use the Stafford Act, there was a horrible shortage of masks. The public would horde masks as they did with toilet paper so that hospitals would run out of masks virtually overnight. What would you have told the public?)
We Slowed the Curve and then The Moron Attacked
Messaging is like turning an ocean liner. It’s a slow process. Just as Garcetti and Newsom were getting ready to transition the messaging from Safer at Home to Safely Venture Forth, the Orange Buffoon started screaming about Opening Up. That sent the exact wrong message. We were far, far from opening which sounds like letting 5th graders out for recess.
Rather, we had reached the point where we could cautiously venture to a few places provided we did not spread the virus. That’s why the new meme had to be based on the successful Safer at Home. Safety was the key concept, not Opening. The storm had not passed and we were not free to run outside to play. Yet, that was the exact message Trump was giving.
We Cannot Afford to Close Down
Now that we should close down again, karma comes to bite Garcetti in his posterior. Angelenos used up all their reserves and we cannot afford to close down. Garcetti is trying to act like a mini-FDR with his rent support programs, but no one has done Keynesian economics on a municipal level and certainly not with a madman in the White House.
If Garcetti and Newsom try to Close Down, there will be massive resistance. A second Close Down tells people that the first one was a failure; so why do it again? Many will reason, “If deaths are inevitable, let’s get it over with now.” Others will deny reality and insist the virus is a hoax.
Garcetti’s corrupt Manhattanization resulted in LA’s having the worse GINI Coefficient of any large urban area in the nation. That means we are too poor to survive another Close Down and we are too sick to survive the Pandemic without closing down.
(Richard Lee Abrams is a Los Angeles attorney and a CityWatch contributor. He can be reached at: Rickleeabrams@Gmail.com. Abrams’ views are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of CityWatch.)