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Calling on Arianna and Co. to Do Their Part for California


    Where’s Sacramento? Who cares? You’d find better ideas for solving the budget mess on this crowded 720 bus on Wilshire Boulevard.

Pardon me, but I’m on a long ride around town trying to come up with ways to help the state budget. Here’s my list that calls on sacrifices by everyone from Arianna Huffington to annoying golfers who stifle American productivity by playing their silly game. Hold on, these taxes would also address some of the major problems, personality and otherwise, plaguing L.A. and the state.

Hypocrisy Tax: Charge every board member of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority $200 every time they drive a car and fail to take a bus or train to a meeting. Revenue estimate: $500,000

Mental Health Tax: Let’s admit the psychological benefits of tobacco and open smoking rooms in all public buildings. Admission would be $5 a day or $300 for an annual pass. Revenue estimate: $1 million a year.

Rudeness Tax: Charge elected officials $1,000 every time they get distracted at a public meeting and start talking to their colleagues instead of listening to a staff report or a member of the public during the ever-dwindling time for public comment. Revenue estimate: $35 million, with half of that paid by chatty L.A. City Council members.

Newspaper Burial Tax: One cause of the decline of newspapers in America today is Arianna Huffington, the Brentwood online publisher who steals much of her content by telling writers she helps their reputations instead of their pocketbooks. Now she’ll pay $2,000 for every piece she runs without compensation. Revenue estimate: $10 million.

Golfer’s Tax: Anyone with four of five hours on their hands to hit springy balls hundreds of yards around water-sucking lawns in the middle of our desert, and avoid real exercise by riding in a cart, can afford this $100-a-game fee: Revenue estimate: $30 million

Sky-is-falling Tax: Blogger and secession activist Ron Kaye must pay $1,000 a day if he ever fails to file a post that in some way pushes for felony indictments of what he likes to call the bums at City Hall who are robbing his valley residents blind. Revenue estimate: $1,000, for that day every year when he writes about the birds nesting in his yard.

Jack Weiss Lecture Series: The unloved and prickly failed candidate for city attorney shares his tips about meeting constituent needs and forging alliances during his tempestuous years on the L.A. City Council, in monthly forums in Taper Auditorium at the main public library. Admission: $25 or $100 for the annual series of five lectures. Revenue estimate: $125, assuming his family shows up.


  • “One cause of the decline of newspapers in America today is Arianna Huffington…”

    Alan – get a grip. Are you trying to write posts that complement the Woody-dominated comments threads ? You can do better.

  • An offer to reg, repeated at Cooper’s:

    How about this deal, reg? I won’t comment on Marc’s or Celeste’s site for an entire week if you agree to do the same.

    – – –

    A former suggestion on tax revenues.

    Just think if they taxed cussing, reg would have to move.

    – – –

    Celeste, golf carts are eco-friendly, but walking the courses is more enjoyable and good for the heart. Just consider it a good hike on a really big lawn.

  • Me thinkee maybe alan not so smart after all, maybe he really lost cousin of Woody, or maybe takee long rides on the 720 bus rattle brains too much to solve serious fiscal problems.

    He also lost cousin of Ron Kaye, anyway they hate and like same people, he no see this? But it true I no trust anyone who have 5 hours to chasee springy white ball around a nice green lawn just to put holes in it and ride a little cart because no can walk after it. Such persons should find honest work like my parents taught me and they have no time or energy left such foolish nonsense. Or they can do tai-chi in park which free and does not hurt the grass.

  • Alan,
    I like all your creative ways of raising money. Keep up the good work a keep riding that bus.

    BTW – We love to ride the metro from OC to LA.

  • Jack Weiss’s lecture series will raise more than $125 – Rod Blagojevich is slated to make a guest appearance. $150 at a minimum!

  • I’m not responsible for your inexcusable behavior, Troll Boy. Censor yourself to spare the embarrassment. I’ll continue to point out where you’re off the rails if you don’t.

  • Woody’s offer above: “How about this deal, reg? I won’t comment on Marc’s or Celeste’s site for an entire week if you agree to do the same.”

    How reg answered that same offer at Marc Cooper’s (edited):

    F*** you. I’ll comment when and where I want.

    No class at all.

  • Here’s TrollBoy’s concept of “class,” clipped from Cooper’s site:

    “At least I thought it would be a nice present to Marc and everyone to have both of us off for at least a week — but, that would leave you nothing to do but go to pedo sites.”

    This moronic creep has totally exposed himself…which is fine by me.

  • David, heard you on your rightwing radio counterpart Kevin James’ show last night, talking about how you ran for City Attorney and have now taken a job for Trutanich for the sole purpose of trying to slander, smear and destroy Jack Weiss. And the two of you vowing to continue to flood City Council chambers with your wacko “fans” and a disgruntled residents group (their last attempts to scuttle years of work overruled by the whole council in a rare sensible action last week) pretending to be a “grassroots” movement. (Something you did as part of Trutanich’s campaign, too, typical of your high ethical standards.)

    So your baseless, politically self-serving allegations here are taken in this context and just reflect shamefully on you again. I also find it curious how Dennis Zine appears regularly (as does DA Steve Cooley), and just a day or two ago promised James that he’d see to it that any councilmembers didn’t fall into line with Trutanich would be sorry. (Hey Alan — that’s another theme of Ron Kaye, who you claim to find a tiresome “sky is falling” cynic.)
    What any sane person should find scary is the extent to which this band of rightwingers with James’ show as their 25/7 free campaign infomercial feel empowered to run the city and threaten and slander anyone and everyone.

    Another “amusing” slingshot from Zine, giving an indication of where he’s going next: accusing Villaraigosa of stealing Jan Perry’s idea of getting private donors to pay the city’s share of the parade, in response to public outcry. (For which Kevin James took personal credit, by urging his fans to flood the L A Times with calls/emails/blog comments which in turn caused them to play up the issue — a typical sequence lately, arguably. Meaning that Kevin James’ crowd controls the Times’ news and editorial direction/policies.)
    — This after Kevin James and fans argued that the city shouldn’t have a parade at all after the Monday night riots and since he himself wasn’t a Lakers’ fan and didn’t see why he should pay a dime to give the Mayor a chance to show off.

    (There were also of course plenty of potshots at another Kevin James pinata, Chief Bratton — whom he blames for the murder of Jamiel Shaw, Jr., who was released from County Jail by DA Cooley’s and Sheriff Lee Baca’s staffs, but never mind. AND he even blames Bratton/the City/Weiss for the Balognas of San Francisco, and brought into town the unfortunate widow to stand in front of Weiss’s office and give Berger/James/Trutanich a grandstanding op, oh, logic never mind…)

    — Back to James’ misanthropic position about the Lakers: it’s even debunked by his slightly less venomous and more sane counterpart at KABC Doub McIntyre this morning, who was saying it was a great show of civic pride and a good thing. AND who interestingly accused Jan Perry, who initially said along with Parks that the city couldn’t afford a parade if it had to pay for any of it, of making an intro appearance at the Colisseum to bask in the limelight.

    McIntyre’s take though (they all have to find fault with everything somewhere) is that it was wrong to single out the Lakers for a “shake down” when Jan Perry is happy to give the Grammy’s and Oscars a half-million-dollar fee waiver.

    BUT WAIT A MINUTE: On the same show this morning, McIntyre featured a guy whose show-biz-props business is folding because regular customers like “Ugly Betty” have been lured to New York by tax breaks and other financial incentives. Which this city and Mayor don’t offer because they’re overtaxing business and doing nothing for the film and music industries. Like encouraging the Grammys and Oscars to stay in town, maybe? Oh, never mind — listening to these people is an exercise in trying to make sense of abject, spiteful stupidity. Which is why most of us have no idea this “other world” is out there as some sort of parallel universel. (Woody’s universe but MUCH dumber.) But it’s an important exercise for anyone who wants to understand the scary forces which are a driving force behind current civic events/elections.

  • On taxing that smug, hypocritical heiress who is making hay with the same b.s. every have uses to con a have-not into working for free (“It’ll be good for your resume”) — double that charge, she can afford it.

  • Janet, you are completely misquoting everything I said on Kevin James’s show – which can be podcast. You state that I said that the ‘sole purpose’ of my working on the transition team is to slander Jack Weiss. That is a flat out lie, Janet, and you know it. Anyone who cares to listen to the podcast of the show will discover your deception.

    Of course, many of those who actively supported Jack Weiss must have an affinity with deception and dishonesty – after all, why else would you try to foist on Los Angelenos a candidate who openly violated the City Charter’s campaign laws by attending an illegal fundraiser hosted by Kelly Candaele in Beverly Hills just before the election? You people seem to be just fine with Jack Weiss and his brand of ethics, and that more troubling than anything else you say.

    Never mind his despicable attitude towards his constituents. Never mind his overly close relationship with big development. Never mind his documented failures to return money-laundered illegal campaign contributions. Never mind his cynical manipulation of the rape-kit backlog crisis. Never mind that Jack’s claim to be the ‘experienced prosecutor’ is based on just two jury trials. All of the above were inescapable truths about Jack Weiss, yet that works for you?

    The Los Angeles Times called Weiss “Unfit” for the position of City Attorney, and Weiss failed to attract endorsements from any other reputable publication. Every law enforcement agency in and around Los Angeles refused to endorse Weiss because they knew exactly how dangerous it would be for our city to have a man with the morals of Jack Weiss as the chief law enforcement officer for Los Angeles.

    Last week Weiss openly stated his contempt for the electorate in City Hall when he advised the Council not to allow public hearings on developments that he favored. Jack’s attitude of “I know better than you” provides the best example of why Weiss could not be trusted to be City Attorney. Of course, Weiss is precisely the sort of elitist that you favor over elected officials who actually represent their constituents.

    As for ‘slander,’ that implies a statement that is not true was made for the sole purpose of damaging an individual. Kindly back up your accusation with a specific statement or statements that I have made about Jack Weiss that is untrue.

    You cannot.

    Equally, you cannot seem to get over the fact that Weiss was defeated. Not by a few votes as in the case of Vahedi/Koretz, but by an overwhelming 12.5%. Weiss ran a hateful campaign, smearing the legal profession, misrepresenting himself, and misleading voters. In doing so he alienated many democrats as well as voters who are non-partisan. Jack lost and you need to get over it.

    Although it is wrong to gloat over Jack’s defeat, it was not I who posted the orignal item on Jack’s lecture series. That was obviously a humorous piece, and my response was similar.

    I do feel a certain amount of sympathy towards Jack Weiss. After all he never, in a million years, could have imagined that with all the money he raised, and with the support of the Mayor and the Chief of Police, and with his name recognition, he could be defeated by anyone, let alone a political novice who was largely unheard of a year ago.

    Yet that is what happened. It must be deeply humiliating for Jack to have been beaten by such a huge margin that throughout the entire evening of his victory party, he had to remain secluded in a private room at Canters, hunched over a laptop with the Mayor as he watched his political career end. That Weiss could not face his supporters is very telling, very much in keeping with his two term tenure as councilmember, and very much the reason why he lost by such a gigantic margin.

    However, it does seem that Weiss’s days in City Hall are not entirely over. Rumor has it that the Mayor will appoint Weiss as a Deputy Mayor and give him responsibility for Homeland Security at LAX. The job pays $200k a year, and so that’s some consolation for Jack.

    Of course Jack’s experience in terrorism is legendary – he went to Israel and could see Palestine from his hotel window…

  • David, I agree with you. Weiss wasn’t slandered, he was outed for being the fake that he is.

  • David, I certainly did listen to the podcasts and encourage readers to do the same, since reprinting the words doesn’t being to capture the sheer vitriol of your voice and attitude. Both there and in your other statements, you veer from knowing wild exaggerations to falsehoods to sheer libel and slander, statements made for the sole intent of ruining someone’s reputation without basis. (The financial issue of the so-called “laundered funds” was addressed and resolved in detail, as you know and even the anti-Weiss writers Zahniser and Reston were forced to acknowledge; they were allegations made against fully half the Council and City Attorney, by the way, and shown to be much ado about nothing — but you and Trutanich felt it sounded good. The editorial statement re: Weiss was reckless and unfounded at best, and retracted for the hard copy — but it just shows that some writers share the bias that Jill Stewart’s “new” L A Weekly does, as alleged in an opinion piece there today. Editorial and journalistic bias is a big issue which concerns those of us who are writers and one I won’t go into at length here.)

    As for the prospect of Dep. Mayor of Homeland Security job (something he’s been widely acknowledged as an expert in along with Chief Bratton, your snotty comment about seeing Palestine from a hotel window being just one of your oft- repeated sound bites which you think are so clever but show how unfit you are to pass any sort of judgment), you make a similar statement to Kevin James and add that “the idea sends a chill up anyone’s spine.”

    You conclude with a vow between the two of you to do everything you can do make sure it doesn’t happen and that Weiss never holds any sort of public office again, you promise K James that you will let him know when/ if there’s a council confirmation hearing on the matter, so that you can pack the chambers with James’ listeners to pressure the council into voting no. (A tactic Trutanich used throughout his campaign, utilizing the same old disgruntled people, in an effort to make it look like it was “grass roots.”) This is just one example of your persecutorial fervor regarding Weiss, and you acknowledge this as a motivation for your taking the job with Trutanich. Yes, also on the podcast. What this shows is a personal passion for persecuting this person which makes you utterly unfit to have anything to do with any so-called “ethical” issues involving him, much as you’re champing at the bit to do so. When political revenge is the motivation for taking a job and in how one pursues it, the whole system becomes a farce.

    Your bizarre claim that the hearing involving the La Brea Gateway project shows “Why Jack Weiss is Unfit for Public Office,” the heading on your own blog entry of the YouTube, just shows how utterly incapable you are of understanding the issues involved, and the extent to which you bend over backwards to scream “Unfit!” because you don’t like something or because he doesn’t bend to unreasonable demands of every constituent group.

    That particular project was unanimously approved by the entire Council, by the way, even his nemesis Zine, sheerly on the merits and principle. Weiss was far from “elitist” but, as all his colleagues agreed — and Greig Smith and committee chair Ed Reyes eloquently expressed — what was really happening there was that a group didn’t get the outcome they wanted and wanted to overturn years of work by not only Weiss’s office but numerous city depts. involved, the developers, etc. During which the project was considerably modified and frankly, most but a small vocal group believe it’s a considerable improvement on that area. There had been numerous and lengthy committee and local hearings on the matter.

    Only Janice Hahn wanted to extend the public in an unlimited way which prompted Weiss to point out how that undermined the entire process and would set a bad precedent making every committee process irrelevant, an argument supported by everyone but Hahn. (Opponents were lured by $50.00 food coupons offered by rival grocers to the Bristol Farms projected for the project, as noted by observers on-scene and CurbedLA — whose readers also had some pointed things to say about the woman who led the group — a Trutanich supporter whom he’d used as part of his “constituents criticize Weiss” campaign tactic.) Curbed LA readers also generally supported Weiss and thought Hahn made a fool of herself. Of course ubigquitous Weiss-basher Ron Kaye (whom you credit for the video on your site) shares your own interpretation, which is just another lame and sheerly politically-biased excuse to denigrate Weiss when you’re in fact just showing ignorance about the workings of the Council or what you’re even talking about. Showing again why you’re the one who’s utterly unfit for any sort of job where you presume to pass judgment on anyone else’s “Ethics.”)

  • One more thing, David: You know perfectly well that the reason other COUNTY (having no relevance to L A) chiefs generally endorsed Trutanich was ONLY because of his buddy DA Cooley’s arm-twisting. If Cooley could be so bold as to tell messianic Kevin James just a week ago that “this was a race between good and evil” and MORE nasty things about Weiss, you can imagine what he told those other chiefs: he being the top dog in the state, among his peer group. The PPL’s endorsement was purely political, based on Paul Weber’s opposition to SO40 and sympathizing on the issue with Zine (also on air w/ KJ and McIntyre etc.) — note now they’re fighting the Mayor and City Hall right now — and reflects the tension between suburban Republican Weber (and his likewise cohorts Zine/Cooley/Trutanich) vs. the more moderate and to them “metro elitist” Bratton and Weiss. Weiss got the endorsement of the LAPD officers and numerous other groups as one can readily see if one checks. Weiss also got the endorsements of all the currently relevant environmental groups and individuals: Trutanich’s were from those he knew when he was on the public’s side of the issue back in the early 80’s and before, hence, they were virtually all, largely retired, older gents. (Talk about running a campaign misrepresenting who you are by conflating decades and hiding clients, etc. — something Cherminsky and recent Bar Assn. heads said made HIM “unfit” for the office. Maybe the Times decided to retaliate for “their” guy before they had to pull that statement?)

    Anyway I don’t want to get drawn into this whole downward spiral of campaign issues, except to emphasize that insofar as you are now working for Trutanich and have expressed a continued intention to prevent Weiss from getting any other job in the public realm insofar as you’re capable of doing so, denigrating his qualifications as you do here, working with Kevin James and other rightwing talk show hosts to achieve your aim, you are truly “unfit” to have any official duties relating to him. When politics becomes a game of “gotcha” revenge, and intimidating other elected officials to get your way, we are all the losers and must be vigilant.

  • Janet, you make such light of Jack Weiss’s unethical conduct, do you share the same lacl of morals and ethics as Jack? I’m not going to respond to your personal attacks, suffice it to say that it’s my right to express my view that a morally and ethically unfit person should not hold office. You have a problem with that only because in this case we’re talking about Jack Weiss. If it were Nixon, we’d be on the same page. Unlike you, however, my view is uniformly applied to any unfit person, regardless of their political persuasion.

    But let’s deal with a couple of points you failed to address – perhaps the Weiss talking points failed to provide you with an answer.

    The laundered campaign contributions Wiess received from developer Alan Casden’s executives and contractors, was not “addressed and resolved in detail,” – that’s Jack’s stock response to the question, but it is not true.

    The Fair Political Practices Committee, as of 2007, has called for Weiss to return those funds. He refuses to do so. Anyone who wants to learn more about Weiss’s failure to return the illegal contirbutions should Google the phrase “Jack Weiss Laundered Elections” to see NBC’s report on the matter. But you’re right, 2007 is a long time ago in LA politics, perhaps Jack’s reformed himself in the intervening period.

    But what about Weiss attending and participating in Kelly Candaele’s illegal fundraiser? You have no answer to that. Weiss voted for LAMC 49.7.8 – a law prohibiting appointed officials like pension fund commissioner Candaele from engaging in political fundraising.

    On April 27, 2009, Weiss attended a fundraiser hosted by Candaele. What did Weiss do? If he had immediately said “This is wrong. Stop do not take any money. I must leave.” then Weiss could have demonstrated that he does respect the law he voted for.

    But Weiss did not leave this $1,000 per plate fundraiser in his honor. Neither did he stop it. The following day, Weiss did not call the City Ethics Commission and advise them that there was a problem. He kept his mouth shut.

    It was the LA Times who called the mayor’s office to ask why someone the mayor had appointed was breaking the law. The response? Kelly Candaele resigned and Ace Smith (Weiss’s campaign strategist) said the money would be returned.

    On May 5, 2009, Weiss submitted his campaign finance report. Guess what? The section where returned contributions should be listed was blank. The report was made under penalty of perjury, so one must assume the illegally obtained funds were not returned. It has a familiar ring to it, don’t you think?

    Of course, Weiss’s stock defense would be that while he knew the law (he pretty much had to – he voted for it) “he did not know” that Candaele was a commissioner appointed by the Mayor. Problem for Weiss is that he also voted to appoint Candaele.

    These are facts, Janet, not rhetoric. So, here’s your chance. Leave aside the personal attacks and narrow the issue to Weiss’s conduct on and after April 27, 2009.

    Please explain why this conduct by Weiss is defensible?

    Can you please explain why you believe such blatant disregard for the law renders Weiss suitable for being the chief law enforcement officer of the city?

  • Huffington’s an opportunist no doubt, but remember that before her blog, there was really no large media outlet to take FoxNews and AM radio to task. Between Bush’s election and about 2005, when the Huff post and Olbermann really started to take foot, OReilly, Hannity and company were on their soap boxes, unchallenged, for the most part. CNN and other mainstream outlets were too afraid of them. It was really Huffington and Olbermann being the first big media venues to serve as watch dogs to the right wing media movement that was controlling the direction of journalism in this country beforehand. Yes, there were blogs, like Daily Kos, but nothing as big as the Huffingtonpost. In fact, Huffington and Olbermann play at least a small part in Republicans being thrown out of power in ’06. Without Huffington and Olbermann, I think some of those mid term races would have been closer. I honestly do. It wasn’t necessarily their liberal agenda, but more so their rebuttal of Fox News’s bullshit that helped Dems in ’06, and Obama in ’08. Now with Maddow and Shultz, you have pretty much an even match in the press today as far as hosts with political agendas go, and it will likely put that right wing media revolution of the Bush era out like a cigarette butt. Huffington, while not being an innovative political writer by any means, did help spearhead that movement with her website.

  • Well Janet, you’ve proved my point.
    You flat out cannot answer the question can you? So you just took Shantal’s easy way out.
    People who break the law should not get a break just because of their political persuasion. What you’ve made clear is that Jack Weiss gets a pass from you because he’s a democrat. If Weiss were a republican you would be screaming for impeachment.
    In my book nobody gets a break – democrat, republican or independent. We should all be held to the same standards.

  • David, I seriously doubt you practice what you preach. Do you think the Bush administration should be charged for war crimes?

  • That’s it change the topic when you cannot answer the question. It’s a well worn political trick. Return to the topic please. People who break the law should not get a break just because of their political persuasion.
    The facts indicate that Weiss violated LAMC 49.7.8 on April 27, 2009. You still think he’s a great guy. Please tell us why you believe that someone who clearly does not know/follow the law, is fit to be the chief law enforcement officer for Los Angeles?

  • Jack Weiss was my councilmember for 8 years. You people don’t know what your talking about. He should never be trusted with any public office again because he hates dealing with people.

  • David, you’re a tiresome troll, anywhere and everywhere anyone ever mentions Jack Weiss, far worse than Woody since he at least hasn’t taken a job while harboring a very sick obsession and persecution complex against some particular person. You need therapy.

    You’re like if Woody and reg ran for the same job, then Woody got a job working for Dick Cheney who became Attorney General and then you both went to work trying to wreak your vengeance on reg as he pursued his career, building on his strong record on the environment, public safety, terrorism and other areas which reflect his lifelong values and concerns. With the help of Karl Rove. (More or less — even that scenario isn’t nearly as loathsome as you and Kevin James and more plotting together.) You need to be monitored, closely — you and Kevin James and other fantatics as you plot to impose your bigoted, ignorant and embittered views on us by manipulating the often ignorant and uneducated (“anti-elitist” as you put it) and unread gullible folk who listen to him and who voted for you as Walter Moore’s running mate.

    Speaking of Woody, Woody! save us from this insidious troll — tell us another one of your really inane “jokes” to elevate the discourse.

  • David, the question was on topic because you accused someone of being a hypocrite. The question was being asked to test your level of hypocrisy. Considering you’re ducking the question as to rather the Bush Administration should be charged for war crimes, it tells us that you don’t think they should be charged, despite obviously committing them. Therefore, you yourself don’t hold Bush to the same standards you do other politicians. Hypocrite. You’re the reason why 3rd parties don’t get anywhere. Loser.

  • Janet and David: Please refrain from further comment on this post. You’ve both said enough; in fact, too much.

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