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LA City Hall – Where Corruption Destroys Quality of Life

THE VIEW FROM HERE - As all Angelenos know, the Los Angeles City Hall is a quagmire of corruptionism where Quality Of Life for Angelenos plays no role. 

Since at least 2006, the mayor and the city council have been in lock step to Manhattanize Los Angeles. With the help of a corrupt judiciary as evidenced by Thomas Girardi’s widespread bribery of judges and justices so that he could steal hundreds of millions of dollars from his clients, the state judges have become impotent to reign in the criminal enterprise which we euphemistically call LA City Council.  In its November 19, 2022 article, “Top FBI Official in L.A. Formally Recuses Himself from Investigation into Tom Girardi and His Law Firm”,  The LA Times inadvertently provided a glimpse of one method to pay off judges.  Girardi makes many of his illicit gifts by paying mortgages. He began this process in the 1980's so that by the late 1990's and through the 2000's, he was adept at this money laundering maneuver.  If $100,000.00 suddenly appears in a judge’s bank account, alarm bells go off. When the judge’s mortgage is surreptitiously paid by developers, attorneys, or insurance companies, however, no one looks to see who actually paid the mortgage.  Judges, who fail to report secret mortgage payments as income, have committed criminal tax fraud. Hence, the judges become blackmailable.  Go figure the impact of years of unreported judges’ income on judicial land use decisions.  If 89% of an iceberg is submerged and out of sight, then in Los Angeles 99% of corruption is submerged and unknown to Angelenos. 

Why 2006 Was a Crucial Year for Angelenos 

2006 was Tony Villaraigosa’s first full year as mayor, and that same year, the legislature clarified Penal Code § 86 that vote trading at city council was a felony with four-year prison term per traded vote.  The city operated by what it called “deferring” to the city council member who was proposing a project in his district.  Mutual deferment means: “I will defer to you, if you will defer to me.” That is the definition of vote trading. Starting with Tony V’s first term, there was no doubt that Vote Trading was a criminal offense.  Penal Code § 86 made the Los Angeles City Council into a criminal enterprise. No one wants to deal this legal fact because the ramifications are too horrendous.  If one focuses solely on the requirement to vote Yes on every construction project, Los Angeles has a legal nightmare which a thousand years of litigation cannot rectify. Since 2006, every construction project which received a unanimous city council approval is illegal, making every councilmember into a felon. 

Because each councilmember makes about 2,500 votes per year, that adds up to over 2,250,000 collective prison years since 2006.  When it comes to the misery and destruction which the vote trading system has brought upon Los Angeles, Matt Damon’s Talented Mr. Ripley expressed the city’s sentiment, “Well, whatever you do however terrible however hurtful, it all makes sense, doesn't it, in your head. You never meet anybody that thinks they're a bad person.”  Ripley makes this observation just before he murders his lover Peter Smith-Kingsley.  Since 2006, over 3,000 LA homeless have needlessly died. (Subtract the normal death rate from the homeless death rate to find number of deaths due to homelessness.) 

The Pundits Want to Move Past the Criminal Vote Trading 

If one believes Los Angeles pundits like Conan Nolan, KNBC, the Vote Trading issue is dead now that we’ve elected Hugo Soto-Martinez (CD13) and Eunisses Hernandez (CD1) in addition to Nithya Raman CD4).  The wagging tongues have not explained why these three won’t participate. Let’s look at Raman’s voting between January 2022 and end of June 2022. 

January thru June 2022, she cast 28 No Votes

January thru June 2022, she cast 1,425 Yes votes 

Almost all her No Votes were against ordinances restricting where the homeless may sleep.  None of her No Votes were related to stopping the Manhattanization of Los Angeles which has given us the homeless crisis with an untold number of criminally insane roaming the streets murdering people and which has caused the flight of Family Millennials.  

Los Angeles Now Has New Big Lie to Accompany the Big Lie That We Need More Construction 

Pundits, who have not listened to the infamous, leaked audio tape between former city council President Nury Martinez, Gil Cedillo, and Kevin de Leon, are certain that it is racist. If pressed to delineate the racist portions, they cannot, but they are ready to manufacture something racist.  Meanwhile, LAPD Police Chief Michael Moore is unable to find out who made the secret tape recording and who released it.  In related news, Chief Moore says he is also looking for a mysterious object called the Hollywood Sign.  While everyone claims they abhor cancel culture, everyone is gung-ho to cancel Councilmembers Cedillo and de Leon by forcing them to resign their council seats based on a lie which has grown to Trumpian proportions.  Perhaps, the blowhards who jumped on the racist bandwagon are too small to admit their error.  So, like DA’s who railroaded innocent kids into life in prison for crimes they didn’t commit, all the print and TV Celebes are pushing the false racist narrative. 

The esteemed Conan Nolan even raised the possibility that if Kevin de Leon should appear at city council, all the other councilmembers may get up and leave the chamber. Why, what did Kevin say or do? He agreed with constitutional law that redistricting should not be done to deprive Hispanics from representation.  What is offensive and unconstitutional is the claim that Blacks who have abandoned a council district have a “historic” right to continue to represent that area.  So, the talking heads’ new PC rules require that Hispanics remain grossly under-represented and all city business should halt at the sight of Kevin de Leon.  

Let’s see what the new city attorney Hydee Feldman-Soto has to say about councilmembers’ boycotting meetings because a duly elected councilmember attends.  I wonder whether the Controller Kenneth Mejia will find some statistical problem with a city council which refuses to conduct business because Councilmember de Leon does not resign.  Conan Nolan even suggested that the city council could enact new procedures to kick off the council anyone who does not conform to the latest PC speech fad.  That still begs the question: Why not admit the tape was not racist? 

Amid all this faux furor, who will have time to notice that the densification mania continues to drag Los Angeles down to third world status in order to make the 1% wealthier.  

How will the allegedly new socialists make peace with the fact that more densification makes poor people poorer and does not reduce the cost of housing? 

When Vancouver, B.C., followed the densification formula which L.A.’s Progressives believe will make housing more affordable, Vancouver’s affordability worsened from a 3.9 median multiple in 1970 to 13.0 in 2020. 

Answer: The same way the wagging political tongues deal with the non-racist tape: Denials and Lies.  There is not much difference between how LA’s jabbering class behaves and Donald Trump. They each deny reality and promote their own Big Lies.  Los Angeles’ two lies: (1) we have a housing shortage, and (2) the tape is racist. Trump’s two lies: (1) I built the wall, and (2) I won the election. 

Nov 6, 2022, NewGeography, Housing Affordability in California: Part 2 — Urban Land Markets, by Wendell Cox  

Nov 15, 2022  NewGeography,  Housing Affordability in California: Part 3 — A Way Forward by Wendell Cox 11/15/2022

(Richard Lee Abrams has been an attorney, a Realtor and community relations consultant as well as a CityWatch contributor.  You may email him at [email protected].   The opinions expressed by Mr. Abrams are solely his and not necessarily those of CityWatch.)