Category: Politics

City Council Rescinds Pot Shop Ban, But DEA Is Still Lurking

Today, the City Council stuck its tail between its legs a rescinded its own ban on medical marijuana dispensaries (with a shockingly un-unanimous 11-2 vote), after activists and unions gathered enough signatures to put the issue to voters. And so we’re left where we started.

Except we’re not, because the DEA is in town. Kate Linthicum of the LA Times writes:

Council members say they are hoping that a new federal crackdown on L.A. dispensaries may accomplish what they hoped to achieve with their ban. “That is our relief,” Councilman Jose Huizar said of the federal action, which began last week with raids on several dispensaries. Dozens of other pot shops were sent letters, ordering them to close.

The city may also seek to shut down dispensaries on its own by prosecuting operators for violating city land use laws.

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New City Hall Lawn Comes With Too Many Rules For New Sign


City Hall’s front lawn, or “park,” finally opened it’s arms to the hoi poloi for the first time since the Occupation. But there are some new rules this time. So many rules, in fact, that graphic designers strained to fit all of them on this sign (left, via the LA Times twitter account).

Here is a partial list of rules for temple of democracy’s front lawn:

• No Smoking
• No Boozing
• No being there at night.
• “No tents, stakes, camping, open flames or cooking.”

• “No events may extend into tree or landscaped areas and planters.”
• “No writing / painting / affixing signs, projections or other materials to trees, landscaping or public property.”
• “No blocking ingress or egress to buildings.”
• “Umbrellas, sun shades, or canopies must be open on all sides and may not exceed eight (8) feet in height and ten (10) feet in diameter or width. All umbrellas or sun shades shall be dismantled or removed from the park before the park is closed.”

Other than than, stay as long as you want.

Four Signs Rick Caruso Is Running For Mayor

1) On Friday, Los Cerritos Community News reported that Caruso was caught up in the County Assessor scandal, having gotten property reductions from the County. Except the story wasn’t true (or at least it probably wasn’t)! The LA County sent a letter around, pointing out inaccuracies in the story. Just why the County is taking upon itself do defend Caruso is unclear (Cerritos Community News has a theory). Meanwhile, on twitter, Matt Middlebrook started tweeting the letter to any journalist within tweeting distance. Who’s Matt Middlebrook? Oh, just Rick Caruso’s political advisor.

2) Ron Kaye thinks he is, citing as evidence Eli Broad asked Rick Caruso to pony up some dough for a pension-rollback ballot measure, and that Caruso “reportedly begged off, saying he would soon be facing a lot of political expenses.”

3) A political consultant told me Caruso is “100% going to run”, based on who he’s hired to run his alleged campaign (the consultant wouldn’t say who).

4) As Gene Maddaus of the LA Weekly reported, Caruso has been asking around about rates for TV commercials in November.

This Week In City Council Resolutions: Mark Harmon, Daffy Duck and American Apparel

What can you say about a City Council that, in the same week that they took on such weighty issues as pension reform rollback change (that’s what Dave Z. told me to call it), the DWP rate hike, and of course, the downtown football stadium (aka, the most important decision of our lives)… what can you say about a council that still finds time to commend such heroes as Mark Harmon, Daffy Duck and American Apparel? You can say they’re amazing.

Last Friday, Council honored that most honorable of companies, American Apparel, which council hailed as “an Industrial Revolution”:

WHEREAS, American Apparel leverages art, design and technology to advance the businesses process, while continuing to pioneer industry standards of social and environmental responsibility in the workplace;

Strange that they forgot to mention Mr. Responsibility in the Workplace himself Dov Charney…

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Here Comes the Boom: Kevin James Endorsed By Steve Cooley

Just over a month ago, Kevin James was being routinely confused with the star of Paul Blart: Mall Cop, and written off by the LA Weekly as a “non-entity in [the] L.A. mayor’s race.” Today, he’s still routinely confused with the star of Paul Blart: Mall Cop.

What a difference a few weeks and a few politicians deciding not to run (namely Zev Yaroslavsky) make. James’ performance at the first mayoral debate last week was something of a revelation; his blistering attack on his opponents earned him the lede paragraph in the LA Times’ story.

Now, District Attorney Steve Cooley has endorsed James. According to the campaign’s poorly written press release:

Cooley believes that Kevin James will make an outstanding mayor and that Kevin James is the mayoral candidate best qualified to tackle the many problems confronting the city of Los Angeles.

(It reads like something a prisoner of war would write after 48 hours of sleep depravation.)

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Feds To Enforce City Council’s Pot Shop Ban For Them

The federal government, today, “took legal action”, according to the LA Times, or “moved” to shut down, according to LA Weekly and Reuters,  71 pot shops, mostly located in Eagle Rock and Downtown LA. Not to be a dick, but what the f does that mean? If I move to get a soda, do I get a soda? If I take action to find my car keys, do I get to leave the house? Isn’t journalism about explaining shit to people?

Anyway. Turns out none of the pot shops are shut down – yet. The feds sent 68 of them “close up shop or else” type letters, and filed forfeiture lawsuits against three of them, according to the Eastsider, the only publication that didn’t buy into the ‘take action’ / ‘moved to’ jargon.

It’s worth pointing out that almost all of these dispensaries that were threatened today are in the district of Councilman Jose Huizar, the architect of the medical marijuana ban that was stopped in its tracks by a recent voter-triggered referendum. Thanks to the signatures of some 50,000 people, council was faced with a choice: put the matter on the ballot, or withdraw the law altogether.

Or there’s option C: ask the feds to step in.

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BREAKING: Jerry Brown Has An Exact Double Working For Him, Raising Questions

Excellent investigative reporting by the LA Times, which has learned that Governor Jerry Brown has either cloned himself or has an exact double working for him, à la The Prestige. We know that Brown II (aka, Too Brown, Too Strong) is working for Brown I as staffer, but many other questions remain.

Has Jerry Brown cloned himself? Are there more Browns? Is Governor Brown raising some kind of clone army to attack the state legislature? Or is the plan designed simply to allow Brown to work normal business hours while still napping throughout the day, as 74-year-old men are advised to do by their doctors?

And what if Brown II goes rogue? Is he allowed to sign legislation? What is the California constitution’s position on cloned Governors?

This Week In City Council Resolutions: Everyone Gets a Certificate Week

This week, LA City Council approached peak resolution. According to the City Clerk’s website (sidebar: Los Angeles government, which can barely pay its bills, has somehow managed to set up some wonderfully helpful and easy to use websites, most especially the City Ethics Commission site) , City Council issued no less than 13 commendatory resolutions.

Last Friday, Council recognized five 2012 Olympic athletes who were born in, went to school in, had visited, or had once seen in a movie the City of Angels: Carmelita Jeter, Keshia Baker, Dawn Harper, Lashinda Demus and Duane Solomon. All won medals except for poor Duane Solomon, who only finished fourth in the Men’s 800 meter final. Don’t worry Duane – in City Council, everyone gets a certificate!

Amazingly, after the cavalcade of athletic prowess, council still had the energy to honor El Charro de Mexico, aka The Mexican Cowboy, aka Antonio Aguilar, “a pioneer for Mexican musical art’s fusing the art of charreada (rodeo) with traditional and non-traditional forms of Mexican vocal music.” El Charro will deservedly get his very own day, September 16, 2012 – Don Antonio Aguilar Day. Let it be resolved!

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Watch Ron Kaye Rake Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield Over the Coals

Ron, meet Bob. Bob, Ron. Ron Kaye is former editor of the Daily News, now a blogger and City Hall watchdog. Bob Blumenfield is a State Assemblyman who’s running for one last term in the statehouse– which he’ll serve four a couple months before running for City Council. If he wins both, voters will have to pay for a special election (to replace him for Sate Assembly) and Kaye is pissed:

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