THE VIEW FROM HERE - “Los Angeles Reform” is a joke for one reason: no one wants reform. People love to bitch. Most so-called reforms would make corruption worse.
Expand the City Council - Ha!
No one has any coherent explanation how increasing the number of crooks reduces corruption. Merely increasing the number of developer shills on the city council would do nothing to deter corruption. Developers can easily buy elections for twenty-five council seats as they can fifteen.
This rearrangement of city council ends the corruption.
Each district would have 3 councilpersons times 15 districts equals 45 councilpersons.
All three would be elected in the same election and the top three vote getters in each district would become equal councilpersons; each with their own vote on each the city council item. Thus, each district would have three votes on everything.
When the top three vote getters become equal councilpersons, developers cannot buy all the councilpersons. It is not for lack of money. Many voters are opposed to developer corruption and will vote for anti-developer candidates. While the developer shill will still get more than 50% of the votes, like say Hugo Soto-Martinez, voters who smell a charlatan will vote for someone else. Developer shills will not even be a majority on the city council. We will have more choices when candidates realize that they do not have to come in first to become a councilmember.
The shill will still be the developer’s Mini-Me. So what? When the developer’s shill cannot guarantee unanimous city council approval, why would a developer waste the money on him? Hugo may vote Yes to destroy every house in CD 13, but at least one other CD 13 councilperson would vote No. That kills the Vote Trading System. When other councilpersons across the city vote against Hugo’s destruction of poor people’s homes in Hollywood, Hugo cannot retaliate against them – other than with political violence including terrorist threats and being attacked by someone like Jason Reedy – but that’s a different problem.
Recapitulation: When the top three candidates all become councilpersons in the same district and each has his/her own vote in city council, there is no way to enforce the Vote Trading System. The One and Done Rule is dead.
Not to Worry about the Cost of 45 Councilpersons
This year alone trying to partially fix just one result of developer corruption, i.e., homelessness, is costly the city a $1.3 billion. As long as we do not hire an “LA developer” to construct the new council chamber, we can do it for less than $1.3 billion.
Better City Services
Having three equal but separate councilpersons for each district will increase the likelihood that residents will find a councilperson who will listen to them. Some councilpersons will be environmentalists, some will favor better streets, others will promote parks, some will think we should find humane ways to help coyotes and limit their coming into our yards. Presently, if you have one councilmember like Raman, you’ve got someone who does not give a tinker’s damn what CD 4 Angelenos want. That’s why she was so desperate to dump the Hills. Read Daniel Guss - @TheGussReport on Twitter, for Raman stories.
Thinking that a farce like an Ethics Commission will solve anything is so quaint. Angelenos need to kill the Vote Trading System; not more bureaucrats who look the other way.
The Criminal Prosecutions Were to Protect the Vote Trading System
These prosecutions, e.g., Jose Huizar, were not designed to stop corruption. The councilmembers who got into trouble with the FBI were those who were interfering with the illegal Vote Trading System. Englander, Huizar, etc., were using the PLUM committee to hit up developers for more money contrary to the One and Done Rule. Before a project could get to the city council where the developers are guaranteed a unanimous Yes vote, the PLUM committee would make additional demands. Not only was Huizar asking for loot for himself, but worse yet, he was asking for the bribes to be spread around to other councilpersons. This practice was making more councilmembers personally obligated to Huizar and not to Garcetti, while drastically increasing the number and amount of bribes developers had to pay.
The Most Ludicrous Reform – Give More Control to PLUM
Oh, how that would aggrandize bribery! Three robber barons would be a quorum and a majority of PLUM! How would a councilmember get on the committee? Obviously, by massive bribes and backroom deals among of the councilmembers. One can almost hear their demand to give support, “I will support your being on PLUM, in return for one million dollars per year via the Cayman Islands.” The PLUM members can direct developers to make the “donations” (LA’s word for “bribe”). This idiotic reform would also upset the FBI and the DOJ since they just had lengthy criminal trials to end this interference with the One and Done Rule.
The 2020 Commission’s Office of Transparency and Accountability
In 2013, the 2020 Commission started out great, but it turned out to be a total fraud. The Commission’s head wanted his client, BNSF rail, to get the railroad rights for both the port of LA and Long Beach, which required Los Angeles taking over Long Beach. And, people say attorney Thomas Girardi has dementia.
The 3/15/45 City Council Plan Will Eventually Be Corrupted
Power-mongers are avaricious predators who remain relentlessly fixated on one goal – power. No matter the system, their obsession is power. Thus, eventually the 3/15/45 system will be subverted. Hopefully, it will require decades for the power mongers to regain control.
Corrupt densification has set forces in motion which cannot be easily undone, but that is no reason not the stop the hideous criminal enterprise called the LA City Council which is fueling LA’s ruin. February 7, 2016, The Corruption Eradicator, The 3/15/45 City Council .
(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 are those of the author and not those of CityWatchLA.com.)