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06
Wed, Jul

LA Watchdog

LA WATCHDOG-On Friday, former LA City Councilman Mitchell Englander “agreed to plead guilty to a federal criminal charge stemming from his obstruction of a public corruption investigation related to his acceptance of gifts - including cash, hotel rooms and expensive meals - from a businessman during trips to Las Vegas and palm Springs in 2017.” 

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LA WATCHDOG--In November of 2018, the FBI and IRS raided the offices and house of Jose Huizar in connection with its investigation of pay-to-play corruption at City Hall. 

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LA WATCHDOG--The impact of the coronavirus on the City’s already precarious finances has yet to be determined, but there is little doubt that it will cause a materially change in the City’s budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1, 2020.

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LA WATCHDOG--“One day, hopefully, sooner or later, we’ll knock down the new coronavirus that’s got people rattled.  But there is no vaccine for the virus that infects City Hall.”  Steve Lopez, Los Angeles Times, March 11, 2020 

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LA WATCHDOG--On Monday, City Attorney Mike Feuer announced that he is running for Mayor and creating a fund-raising committee even though the March 2022 primary is two years away. 

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REVIEW--Over the next month, CityWatch will run a series of articles on the Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System (“LACERS”), a $17.7 billion fund created in 1937 to prefund pension and post-retirement medical benefits for the City’s current and retired civilian employees.

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LA WATCHDOG--In November of 2018, 56% of the City’s voters rejected Charter Amendment B that would have allowed the City to establish a municipal bank despite the measure being endorsed by 170 organizations and members of the political establishment, including Mayor Eric Garcetti and 12 members of the City Council, including then City Council President Herb Wesson, the prime mover of this ballot measure. 

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LA WATCHDOG--We are being “bloomberged” by the educational-industrial complex that is spending an estimated $10 million (if not more) to convince us to vote for Super Tuesday’s Proposition 13, the $15 billion bond measure to fund the repair, modernization, and construction of facilities for K-12 schools, preschools, community colleges, and universities. But Super Tuesday’s Proposition 13 is not in our best interests. 

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LA WATCHDOG--There are rumors emanating from the Mayor’s office and the Los Angeles City Council that they are considering placing on the ballot a new tax or bond measure to finance the City’s homeless initiatives, now that the $1.2 billion in Measure HHH funds has been fully allocated. 

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LA WATCHDOG--Last week, Mayor Eric Garcetti launched LA’s “Decade of Action” to fight the climate crisis by issuing a 2,600 word Executive Directive, “LA’s Green New Deal: Leading by Example,” where he “laid out his vision for a carbon neutral Los Angeles and a firm commitment for environmental justice and equity.” 

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LA WATCHDOG--While it is not easy to say no to State’s nine million public school and higher education students, it is easy to say no to the educational-industrial complex that is expected to spend over $10 million to buy our approval of a ballot measure authorizing the issuance of $15 billion of general obligation bonds.  

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LA WATCHDOG--“At the heart of LA politics is a hardened political operation fueled by an elaborate pay-to-play system where businesses and developers pay money to get their projects approved by the city.  The way the Garcetti machine operates often looks like Tammany Hall in Ray-Bans: sleek, stylish, and sophisticated, but at its root it’s a machine that leverages power for money.” 

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LA WATCHDOG--At her first meeting as President of the Los Angeles City Council, Nury Martinez discussed her Families First agenda that is based in no small part to her experiences as the daughter of hard working immigrants from the Free and Sovereign State of Zacatecas who valued family, education, and a better life for their children. 

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