Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Beyond the potholes

When the rain clears the air and washes away dust and debris, it seems you can see for miles. Not long after what seems a fleeting glimpse of clarity, must we return to the haze, the crud, and our own Hahn-enabling myopia?

The potholes didn’t just appear overnight because of the rain. The cracks and the rubble have been there under the debris, waiting to be noticed, for quite some time. This concept of “waiting to be noticed” is better referred to as “lying in wait.” It is the stuff that underwrites Murphy’s Law and apparently the current Los Angeles city management.

In any stretch of the imagination, if you were to characterize good city management, would it be covered with pockmarks and potholes? I am of the opinion that people, organizations, and companies don’t spontaneously go bad, as if out of the blue, and experience problems. They are ignored, degraded, or mismanaged over time. These problems have been festering on the horizon long before they obstructed our paths or manifested themselves in the morning post.

A system-wide spontaneous degradation of roads indicates that there is no effectively managed preventive maintenance program (PMP). A PMP can be as simple as: schedule, direct, and or contract the replacement of X square units of road such that the entire quantity of roads is replaced within its average usable life. If this were the case, only a small percentage of the city roadway would have fallen into disrepair.

The city-wide occurrence of potholes is an indicator that the Bureau of Street Maintenance may be suffering from system problems. Further, the Mayor’s “You call, we’ll repair” response to the citizens side-steps the system problems and subordinates the entire Bureau to inefficient placating and willy-nilly patch jobs. Again, we need to ask, what kind of outfit are we running here?

The rain taxed the system. The lights went out. Sewers backed up. Hillsides and homes washed away. Silt filled the waterways. Roofs leaked and the potholes appeared. When 17 inches of rain pours out of the sky into the LA basin — lucky to see that much water in a year — we can easily assign blame to natural causes. This mumbo jumbo, of course, is a ploy for circumstance. We might as well be contented with a roof that leaks only when it rains. In the same vein and closer to home, the City Hall roof is fine. The leak is just another rain-associated anomaly.

We spent lots of money building roofs, clearing spillways, paving streets, and paying high city salaries to prevent these anomalies, with a minimum expectation that they function reasonably as intended. They didn’t. The rain cleared away some of the debris, making another area of city oversight very apparent.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Look out! Look out! Pink elephants on parade

Pink elephants? Posted by Hello

It seems not a day goes by without at least one truckload of steamy pink pachyderm poop spattering the Daily News with city administration annals. Mayor James Hahn will be the first to tell you, “There is absolutely nothing wrong with City Hall.” Hahn assures us, "They know me. They know what I stand for, that what I do is in the best interest of the city. Anyone who alleges otherwise has to prove that and I don't think they can." Now everybody knows there is no such thing as pink elephants. Surely, anybody seeing them scurrying about City Hall is surely suffering from some serious delusional malady. Hahn concludes "I think people are smart enough to look at the facts."

Well, the truth of the matter is I think we are smart enough to look at the facts. The fact is with so much pachyderm poop coming out of City Hall, there has got to be an undermined system of checks and balances ignoring a very quiet, but nonetheless conspicuous, pachyderm conducting his business at public expense.

With all the PR spin and purposeful political redirection, it is difficult for us to determine what makes this political pink elephant so terribly vexing.

The first and overwhelming problem is that we refuse to see the pink elephant because the two commonly held notions about business and government are no longer applicable in our society. One is that big business is motivated by greed and self-interest. And the other is that government is our friend because it forces businesses to be accountable to society.

Business is motivated by greed and self-interest. No problem there. We trust that the financial and legal constraints will eventually catch exploiters and keep them in check. In order to prosper legally, businesses are motivated to:

  • secure and keep the best, most qualified employees,
  • pay and promote in accordance with performance and merit,
  • provide better products and services than their competitors, and
  • provide returns to their ownership.

Businesses have even tried to align themselves with community service. In effect, to do well, businesses need to be fair and ethical.

Now let’s look at government in Los Angeles. This is where our notions just fall apart. First, the Hahn administration is in conflict with its government function — forcing businesses to be accountable to society. Hahn has his trunk in deep pink yogurt running, not regulating, the DWP, Airports, and Harbor Departments. Now that would not be such a bad thing if Hahn had the same constraints as managers running legitimate businesses in private enterprise. But Hahn does not.

Besides being just an ordinary citizen of Los Angeles, pretend you are a DWP owner. This should not be difficult because in reality citizens are the owners. Now pretend you have a Mayor who up and decided he was going to hand pick his friends and cohorts to:

  • Sit on your Board of Directors.
  • Run your company.
  • Reward your managers for incompetence or wrongdoing.
  • Transfer your profits to another company — general city fund.
  • Allow employee representatives to make policy decisions
  • Award contracts and contractors not based on quality, performance, and price.
  • Use your company's resources (legal, public relations, purchasing departments) for personal gain or advantage.

Absolutely without question, all of these things are unethical and a very bad way to run a business, but apparently to Hahn’s credit, not illegal.

Hahn’s administration is responsible for public policy. Public policy is what holds managers accountable to the regulators and the citizens of Los Angeles. In the absence of anything resembling a coherent policy or requirement supporting efficiency, cost effectiveness, profit, or performance from any of “our” proprietary departments, Hahn has clearly demonstrated that he has absolutely no place for accountability in his administration. Although we can all see this city is mired in elephant dung, we can’t prove these pink pachyderms exist because we are looking for laws instead of prudent, ethical, fair-dealing public policy. Frankly, these pink pachyderms are the public policy and accountability we just don’t see.

We citizens expect much more from our mayor. The mayor has to serve us all — businesses, citizens, workers, commuters, Republicans, Green Party, etc. Hahn’s across-the-board capture of the big city unions but dismal failure to capture the Democratic Party endorsement mirrors the way he has run this city. In effect it says, “It is wrong to run a city in the interests of a few big union supporters while ignoring the legitimate interests of others."

Not to beat a pink elephant to death, but it has to be said apparently over and over. It is not just a matter of taking into account the interests of citizens, suppliers, vendors, and employees. It is a matter of being accountable to them.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Mismanagement of Torrance. Sound Familiar?

The Committee to Recall Torrance Mayor Dan Walker is launching a recall petition at Their reasons for the recall include:
Neglecting the concept of a balanced community by supporting and encouraging inappropriate housing development by consistently voting to approve projects rejected by the planning commission, the community development department, the residents, and the business community. Further, they cite Walker's leadership of the City Council in voting to approve zoning changes and building variances and failure to listen to residents’ concerns. The community concerns are about projects which are too large, too dense, create too much traffic, and over burden the infrastructure (water, sewer, streets), and have seriously endangered the quality of life for Torrance. Torrance should not be known as the city with too many people, traffic jams, crowded schools, and the place where developers take priority over Torrance residents.

"We have made an impact, whether we make (the deadline) or not," said David Henseler, who helped lead the recall effort. "I certainly made a point, and I think the City Council is hearing that point."

"We also have a voice," he said. "And our voice is saying there are enough people that are so upset that we're willing to take an extreme measure. That's a very loud voice."

Note too, that the news was not announced by the Daily breeze until the attempt is sure of failure. Gosh that sounds familiar. One thing for sure Los Angeles is much much more tolerant and accepting of mismanagement. Dan Walker isn't even being investigated by the Feds!

Monday, January 17, 2005

Exclusionary "non-partisan" politics

The mayor’s position in Los Angeles is “non-partisan.” Essentially, that means if you ain’t a part of the status quo, you ain’t a participatin’! Did anybody check out the party affiliations of the debate sponsors? The debates thus far have been exclusionary for a reason claims Walter Moore.

Robert Gelfand, American Reporter Correspondent from Hahn’s strong hold in San Pedro, California reports more of the exclusionary tactics in his expose, “THE NEXT MAYORAL DEBATE SCAM.” The article can be found at,561W/1.html.
“The L.A. mayoral debates continue and once again, reform loses. This time it is the misleadingly named Citywide Alliance of Neighborhood Councils that intends to restrict participation in its debates. Only the big fundraisers get to play. “However you want to put it, it is clear that the Alliance does not speak for neighborhood councils. Nevertheless, the upcoming mayoral candidate debates are being peddled to the public as being sponsored by the Citywide Alliance of Neighborhood Councils, under the carefully unstated implication that the Alliance is somehow representative. This is thoroughly misleading. It's like the old joke about the Holy Roman Empire, which was neither holy, nor Roman nor an empire. Or the old Cold War line that any country calling itself a Peoples' Democratic Republic is neither the peoples' nor democratic nor a republic. The Citywide Alliance of Neighborhood Councils is neither citywide nor an alliance nor made up of neighborhood councils.”
Spinnin’ wheel got to go ‘round. Is it going to happen again? This is getting to look a lot like prohibition. If you exclude it, everybody will want it. People eventually will get to the truth. The high cost of television argument does not hold water. If your already set up to do the filming, what is the cost to capture a few more candidates in the picture?

Exclusion does not work in trade and it doesn’t work in media. It look like bloggers and web media with its low cost of entry, free speech, convenience, and rapid transmission rate may very well put the big wealthy exclusionary players out of business.

Gold medal winner for incompetence has to be awarded to the Los Angeles city managers

I just can not help linking the following two articles in the Los Angeles Daily News together and asking: Why wouldn’t we look at city managers any differently than the management of any other big organization?

In the first article, “No one has any time for queries,” found at:,1413,200~20950~2656993,00.html or,1674,200~20950~2656993,00.html, Ken Lloyd, an Encino-based management consultant and author of "Be the Boss Your Employees Deserve," describes a closed-company-environment that keeps employees in the dark. As a result of this environment, employees consider themselves ineffective and incompetent. In this “company” situation, Lloyd does not waste any time awarding the gold medal for the “no-win” environment to management concluding, “This type of treatment puts a real dent in employee attitudes, commitment and performance.” Lloyd nails the more forward-thinking question, the question I believe we should all be asking about our present leadership in Los Angeles …

“There is, however, a larger question to ask yourself: as you look down the road, what kind of a future can you envision in a company [L.A. City government] that treats people [citizens] like this?”
Lloyd’s insight and direction seem so simple and clear. Naively, I think everybody would agree this is a no-win situation for Los Angeles and we should waste no time in taking action to change it. Of course political decisions are not that easy, especially under a leadership environment steeped in denial and accustomed to using PR firms adept at spinning the situation. If it were a marketing environment, we would say “perception is everything.” It would be as simple as: We don’t like it. We don't buy it.

However, we have somehow allowed Hahn and his surrogates to replace a simple matter of choice with a legal deliberative process. Case in point, the second Daily News article is “Hahn's outrage, Mayor's denial strategy on his scandal fails truth test," found at:,1413,200~20951~2656997,00.html or,1674,200~20951~2656997,00.html. Albeit cleverly spun, Hahn has us all twisted up with a purposefully misplaced legal standard. If we get caught up in it, we are at a real disadvantage. The Mayor does not have to be proven guilty in a court of law beyond a shadow of a doubt to be voted out of office. That high-level legal-standard is only used when a society considers taking away a citizen's rights. Nobody has to "prove" a thing. It does not apply to a widely-held notion that the mayor has become a liability to his office and a handicap to the City of Los Angeles.

There are several eligible mayoral candidates on display and a choice has to be made in March. Pretend these mayoral candidates are bottles of headache pain relievers for a moment. One has a very tarnished wrapper, it looks like it has been tampered with, and the manufacturer is currently under investigation by the Feds. Are you having any trouble setting this bottle aside? No! It was easy to set this one aside, wasn’t it? You didn’t feel you had to prove to the manufacturer that product was defective, did you? No. Absolutely not!

Let us not, as a society, give more credit to denial than fact or perception. The facts are what they are. We make decisions based on perception for a reason. Perception includes cognitive comparisons, situational analysis, and judgment. We are taught from a early age to be cautious, alert, and aware of the warning signs for a reason – to pre-empt calamity.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

We choose to be victimized

When your community suffers from a consistent pattern and practice of inattention to public needs and concerns on the part of community representatives, take a broader look. We, in surrounding communities, also suffer the same ailment.

The mayoral machine in Los Angeles supports, condones, and gives merit to projects, individuals, and special interests, that are tangent to long-term civil and community wants and needs. As a result of self-interest, mismanagement, and alleged corruption, each of our L.A. communities suffer from lack of concern, ineffectiveness, and diverted resources.

Your City Council Member’s ineffectiveness and inability to address community concerns are a result of this mayoral administration. Just as a strong hand is unable to tend to its own wounds, Council Members are unable to resolve community issues under this administration.

“The quality of any leader is shaped by the quality of their actions and the integrity of their intent.” We in communities outside Hahn’s big-labor, big-money, “pay-to-play,” special-interest machine are neglected. Hahn’s big promises for all of Los Angeles are severely constrained by deliberate self-and-constituent-serving actions over his entire term – San Pedro revitalization, LAX/Harbor expansion, and real estate development. The funding raids on DWP, Airports, and Harbor departments, as well as crony appointments, preferential treatment, and pay-to-play politics have led to scandalous City mismanagement and an indelible mark on this administration’s intent and integrity.

The Hahn political machine has become a liability. The noxious exhaust from Hahn’s machine has polluted our government. Council members working within this closed administration behave as if they have been asphyxiated at the wheel.

For that reason I recommend we take action and VOTE!

It does not matter how much money is raised by individual candidates. You won’t see any of it. It does not matter what the pundits say. It’s their opinion, not yours. It doesn’t matter that the unions have endorsed Hahn. Unions as a rule are not employers. Businesses are employers, and if you have not noticed, they are leaving Los Angeles. What it boils down to is the choice you make on your ballot. Choose what is best for “you” and it will be the best for the City of Los Angeles. Make a difference where it counts – on your ballot. Register now and VOTE!

This time, choose not to be victimized. Collectively send a clear, personal, and decisive message right to the top – to the Mayor, his constituents, and to the media. We don’t like this noxious self-serving political machine and we are marking our ballots accordingly.

Turn out en masse and choose a brand new leader that is not a party to self-centered special interests, affiliated with the status quo, or spewing pie-in-the-sky rhetoric.

Consider Walter Moore. Moore is leader who has articulated a clean, forward-looking, realistic plan for Los Angeles. Our collective votes for Walter Moore will definitely result in a political course correction for Los Angeles.

Make a statement. Walter Moore will make a significant improvement for the rest Los Angeles by ending the practices of a dysfunctional administration which patronizes a few at the expense of many.


An unusually verbose member of the silent majority

Saturday, January 15, 2005

The mayoral blogathon begins at Civil Action Press

For those mayoral candidates who wish to opine their virtues and for those named and unnamed pundits who are so inclined to expouse the virtues of their chosen candidate(s), is for you. Please blog away...

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Community Service vs. Self-Preservation

ROOM 1060, CITY HALL - 8:30 AM

Item 5
Motion (Cárdenas - Parks) relative to requesting that the DWP respond to accusations made in relation to alleged improper procurement and purchasing practices of its Corporate Purchasing Services Department including acts of harassment and retaliation against vendors and staff.
Fiscal Impact Statement Submitted: No

Many DWP employees and vendors turned out in numbers to complain about DWP handling of the Empire contract and employee abuses. The meeting spilled over into the general City Council meeting which was taped and will air on City View channel 35. At the conclusion of a long list of complaining vendors, Cindy Miscikowski announced that Item 5 had been postponed until Tuesday, January 25, 2005 to allow more time for addressing issues.

Thomas Hokinson, Assistant General Manager of DWP, was alleged to have called for labor relations re-enforcements to deal with two complaining civil servants: Sandra Miranda, a petite custodial supervisor and Daniel Shrader, a bespectacled fleet supervisor and CSULA professor of management who both made allegations of management-orchestrated retaliation and intimidation by Hokinson.

Hokinson seemed to prove their point by directing heavy hitters, Peter Lakatos, Director of Labor Relations, Mark Howard and Demarlo Simms, Sr. Labor Relations Representatives, and Thomas Patzlaff, Fleet Services Manager to attend the meeting and keep an intimidating eye on the two public speakers.

Many officials questioned the Assistant General Manager’s priorities and judgment to have directed four high level ($100K per year) city officials to watch the two civil servants exercising their free speech rights on their own personal time. Not to mention all of the other more important business functions going on at DWP, like the lights, rain, floods, and power outages. And of course, Councilman LaBonge was concerned about the DWP handling of Palm fronds.

If anything, seeing the four DWP disciplinarians sitting in the background gave legitimacy to DWP employee complaints of management-orchestrated retaliation at the utility. What makes an Assistant General Manager choose to infringe on personal rights rather than deal with a public emergency, anyway? Empire maybe?

The key to corruption is the mayor and his cronies

Wednesday, January 12, 2005 Los Angeles Daily News
Pay-to-play makes current city system a washout
By S. David Freeman Guest Columnist

I worked inside city government as the general manager of the Department of Water and Power from 1997 to 2001, when Dick Riordan was mayor. Because of this, I think I can shed some light on what has happened on Mayor James Hahn's watch.

During the current pay-to-play scandals and corruption probes at City Hall, I don't think there has been enough focus on the crucial role the mayor plays in selecting commissioners, general managers and even the deputy mayor, who acts as a liaison to each agency.

Make no mistake about it - the mayor is responsible for what goes on in city departments and commissions. He names the key people who run the departments and he appoints the commissioners. He must be held responsible for their actions.

Unfortunately, corruption at the DWP is not limited to pay-to-play. It is also pay-to-keep-playing. On the one hand, contractors want extensions without competition, lenient enforcement of contract provisions and cost overruns rubber-stamped. On the other, they also know that there will be consequences if they do not give campaign contributions. With a wink and a nod, the contributions flow to Hahn's campaign.

None of these contractors will speak up in public because they know that if they do, they will be punished. The consequence for not playing ball is to be shut out of the game.

Another feature of the corruption that has gone largely unnoticed is that most of the decisions are made in secret. This is contrary to the intent, if not the letter, of California's open meeting law, the Ralph M. Brown Act.

The mayor's liaison person - for years it was Troy Edwards, his campaign fund-raiser - meets with DWP staff before each commission meeting and decides what goes on the agenda. If the mayor, through his designated representative, doesn't agree with an item, it doesn't go on the agenda.

To be sure, the mayor is entitled to voice an opinion (even on specific contracts if he wishes), but this should be done in public - not in secret. The approach used by Hahn allows the mayor to issue a veto in secret. And it doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to figure out that under this system, political favoritism and pay-to-play will creep in. It hasn't always been like this.

There was a world of difference between Kelly Martin, who was Riordan's liaison with the DWP when I was general manager, and Hahn's liaison, Troy Edwards. And that's reflected in their current situations: Martin is being considered for a top job at City Hall, and Edwards has been a target for law enforcement agencies now investigating corruption allegations at City Hall.

The key to cleaning house at City Hall is held by the mayor. No new laws are needed. The mayor just needs to keep political cronies with no knowledge of the subject matter out of city government. Would it really be all that hard to select commissioners, especially commission chairpersons, on the basis of professional knowledge, honesty and integrity and not by how much money they raised for the mayor? Would it really be all that hard to leave commissioners alone to do their jobs once the mayor makes his general policy objectives known?

We don't need new laws to cure the corruption. Just a responsible and honest mayor who won't allow it in the first place.

S. David Freeman is a partner in the Renewable Resources Group in Los Angeles. He is the former general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Employee's letter to Deaton

Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2005 4:28 PM
Subject: Intimidation, Harassment, & Stalking

Dear General Manager Ron Deaton,

I asked for and received authorization from my supervisor for time off from work today to express my opinions at a public City Council meeting about the current state of affairs here at Department of Water and Power and on a motion (Item 5) introduced by Tony Cardenas and Bernard Parks.

Some 20 years ago, new civil servants had to take an oath to serve the city in the public's best interest. Namely, "To fulfill their own moral obligations to the City by disclosing to the extent prohibited by law improper governmental activities. Sandra Miranda, a custodial supervisor, and a number of other Department employees, myself included, where there to fulfill our obligations.

Department of Water and Power management has found it difficult to retaliate against Ms. Miranda directly. As in my case, Thomas Hokinson and his agents are orchestrating an old drill sergeant's tactic - disciplining the group and encouraging subordinates and co-workers to exert pressure on the offending employees. Portraying them as outcasts and disgruntled workers.

The retaliation cases and the confidential settlements at DWP have existed for a reason. This administration has used them successfully to the detriment of employees and the institution of public service. And, as you can see by the complaints from the employees, businesspersons, and vendors we purport to serve and represent, we are mismanaging this situation.

I have spoken before the Board of Water and Power and the City Council and what I see in response is silence and a resolve to maintain the status quo from a body of leaders that I think should be outwardly appalled, disgusted, and called to action.

I wrote an email to you on December 9, 2004. For whatever reason, you did not respond. I see that the quagmire remains and it has become an ugly display of mismanagement we endure. It serves no good purpose to allow this situation to exist, much less to allow it to escalate. It speaks volumes that the Union is not acting on the employees' behalf, too.

If you look further into management decisions and reorganizations, I think you will see directions that are not prudent management nor in the public's best interest.

For one, the issue before the committee has two facets: Purchasing administration and personnel management. Ernie Netka is responsible for purchasing. He has no direct authority over custodial personnel. Therefore Netka is not a root problem. The root problem exists at the nexus where purchasing administration and personnel management meet. That nexus is with Assistant General Manager Thomas Hokinson.

System problems are management's responsibility and management needs to address them. It is frightening but logical to me that the issue has become managerial self-preservation and, as such, management is unable to resolve the problem.

We cannot continue to destroy employees' careers to protect management. For it is civil servant's who are our cities first responders and notification system against corruption and crimes against the public.

I have personal experience with retaliation by, and the ruinous nature of, Assistant General Manager Thomas Hokinson and subordinate employees empowered to act on his behalf. It is no coincidence that Mr. Thomas Anderbery hired three Fleet Services Managers instead of one. It was no coincidence that Thomas Patzlaff, my new supervisor, Mark Howard and DeMarlo Simms, Senior Labor Relations Representatives, and Peter Lakatos, Labor Relations Manager were sent to the City Council meeting to observe us today. It is my belief that there was nothing on the agenda requiring their attendance. Nothing that they could not have observed later. The meeting was televised. In my opinion, it was an act of intimidation, harassment, and stalking. The same pattern and practice that has been reported in my case and in the cases of the custodians.

This is management-orchestrated systemic psychological abuse of employees who are exercising their right to free speech. I want this intimidation harassment stopped!

I hope that the Council Members appointed you to see that the management culture at DWP is reformed. I look forward to helping you in any way I can to improve this terrible waste of resources and talent. Please help us.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Where there is smoke, sure enough, there is fire.

Laura Chick’s new tone and break from rank does not bode well for the City’s claim that the fault lies with Fleishman-Hillard, does it? If vendors and officials are getting stung, don’t you start looking for a source or a root problem? Is the stinging localized? Is Glendale, Pasadena, or Torrance experiencing the same problems?

Is Fleishman-Hillard having billing problems with other clients? Is Fleishman-Hillard’s gouging localized to Los Angeles’ cash cows – DWP, Airports, and Harbor Departments? How about vendors in general, are they complaining and bringing litigation against Los Angeles more than other cities?

Does your city suffer from one or more of the following symptoms?

  • Re-organizations and restructuring without legitimate accounting, establishing base numbers for comparison, or conducting performance tracking
  • Higher than normal turnover especially at the chief officer or general manager ranks
  • Contract awards to insiders or former insiders
  • Dodging, rotating, and manipulation of, official appointments
  • Vendors claiming foul play
  • Civil servants complaining of stress and management-orchestrated retaliation
  • Claims of rising worker’s compensation, stress, and conflicts of interest
  • Federal, State or local regulatory investigations
  • Increasing city litigation and use of confidential settlements
  • Stymied by ad hoc mayor appointed investigative and review committees
  • Taxation and rapid movement of money from one account to the other without representation
  • Citizens suing to stop city and union projects
  • Too much finger pointing and no accountability
  • Ineffective unfocused costly city services
  • Unflattering articles and editorials
  • Congestion, itchy, watery eyes, inflamed constituency, and/or
  • Too many pot holes
  • No corrective or recall actions

If your town suffers from one or more of the above, it is not just blatant incompetence. By definition incompetents can’t achieve this level of collusion. Your town may be suffering from one of these uncommonly deeply-rooted city ailments and systemic dysfunctional leadership and organizational behavior leading, but not limited, to:

  • Cronyism and spoils system appointments
  • Controlled fraud
  • Graft,
  • Corruption,
  • Wanton mismanagement,
  • Collusion
  • Gross negligence, and,
  • Dereliction of duty.

These symptoms are brought on by repeated terms of voter apathy. Draw your own conclusions. The facts are:

  • We voted the incumbents into office.
  • The incumbents used their power and authority to govern the city
  • The incumbents control the city's endeavors
  • The incumbents are responsible for the situation we are in.

On March 8, 2005 VOTE!!!

Los Angeles Daily News

City Hall cleanup
Rooting out fraud in Los
Angeles is full-time job

Sunday, January 09, 2005 - If City Controller Laura Chick gets her way and starts up a special fraud-busting unit to find and destroy corruption, theft and even waste in City Hall, it's sure to be the
busiest department in the city.

There's plenty of suspicious activity and outright fraud to keep the investigators working 24-7 at the Department of Water and Power alone. The idea for the unit stemmed from Chick's audit of
billings to the DWP from a private public relations firm which sparked allegations that about $4 million of the $24 million contracts could not be accounted for.

And that's just one city department, admittedly one that has done whatever it pleases for most of a century.

Not surprisingly, the idea was at first opposed by Mayor James Hahn, saying it was redundant to the Controller's Office -- but since everyone is lining up for it, the mayor has chosen once again not to fight, at least out in the open.

Even with added powers, Chick faces an awesome task in trying to clean up City Hall.

Print version:,1674,200~20951~2642438,00.html
Article version:,1413,200~20951~2642438,00.html

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Mayoral candidates agree Hahn must go

The five mayoral candidates went vocal at the college. It was telling. Four were Alarcon, Hertzberg, Parks, and Villaraigosa. These four were “non-partisan” Democrats and by-products of the system who tried to distance themselves from Los Angeles administration status quo. The fifth was Moore – a real outsider, a partisan Republican, Yale-educated-attorney, and animal rights’ activist. Moore distanced himself not only from LA politics, but from everybody there.

You can watch and judge for yourself at

My impression was the debate went to Moore followed by Parks. Moore led because his message is simple, straight forward, refreshingly devoid of rhetoric and circular logic. Most importantly, he doesn’t have, as far as we know, any ties with existing scandalous, corruptive, dysfunctional, retaliatory, and anti-business behavior allegedly fostered by this city’s existing oligarchy.

Parks is next because he is articulate, a demonstrated leader, able to survive and strike back from a Hahn hit, and he has demonstrated his efforts to differentiate himself as an insider and a change agent.

Consistent with news of Council members reporting tardy, Villaraigosa gets a demerit. Villaraigosa was late and spilled his drink.

To Alarcon, Hertzberg, and Villaraigosa, give us something more than being born here or being a resident of LA. It adds nothing. We all live here. The crooks, cons, druggies, murderers, politicians, and pundits live here, too. With all your hands-on leadership, experience, high-dollar endeavors, and time in Los Angeles politics, how did we get to be the pinnacle of “pay to play”?

School is a non-mayoral issue – it is not actionable. First because City Hall can’t keep itself out of hot water. As the adage goes, those that live in glass houses should not throw stones. And secondly, because adding government mismanagement to school district mismanagement rings like “two wrongs don’t make a right.” Although the focus on administration rather than educators is logical, making all schools private is not a reality. Breaking up the school district means the creation of a bunch of little fiefdoms, more administrations, more chaos, disorder, and dysfunction... Sound familiar?

Public schools are not even part of the Mayor’s jurisdiction, as far as I know. Recall Ma Bell. Where we used to get one phone bill, then we got three: local, long distance, and cell phones with contracts to manage. Each taxed separately, of course. Now some of are back to one, but three times as much.

Pollution, traffic, airports, harbor all took second place to the first priority question, “How are you going to fix City Hall?” All the candidates had one over-riding answer, Hahn and his tip jar are a problem. It’s undisputed. They must know. They are the experts.

Walter Moore reports his accomplishments as follows in his newsletter:

GOOD NEWS! You can see yours truly, Walter Moore, go head-to-head against Alarcon, Hertzberg, Parks and Villaraigosa in the first real mayoral debate by visiting Hey, with all this rain, I'm thinking you can have lunch at your computer and enjoy the show.

Thanks to Hal Netkin, and independent supporter who has
his own website regarding the election,
those of you who weren't able to attend in person can see it on your computer. Hal, the Paul Revere of our century, took a camcorder to the debate, taped the whole thing, and then posted it at his website. The picture quality isn't what you'd call HDTV, but you can hear for yourself who said what. And while you're at it, think how amazing this is. Thanks to the internet, technology, and especially to Hal Netkin, we can enable any voter in this city -- or anywhere in the world, for that matter -- to see this debate for free, WITHOUT having to convince NBC Channel 4 or any other station to broadcast it. That is history in
the making, friends. Internet video isn't just for porn anymore.

And, FYI, I'm now over 70% in KABC 790's poll. We have the winning message, people; we just have to spread the word and show up.

Thanks again for all your support and encouragement. It means a lot to me, and we ARE going to win this and fix our city.

Walter Moore
L.A.'s Next Mayor
Mayor4U Committee, P.O. Box 45705, L.A. CA 90045

For those of you so inclined, candidates too, your comments are welcome.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Mayor Sam does the numbers

Moore Leads In Mayoral PollBy Mayor Sam
Hang on. We're talking about an online poll on KABC talkradio's site . Given the stations rightward tilt, its not surprising. As well, web polls are not scientific and usually the most pissed off are the ones who bother to vote. Moore is well ahead of the pack, with Bitter Bernie coming in second, Huggy in third place and Hahn besting only Alarcon (who has no votes) and Villaraigosa. The stations morning man, Doug McIntyre , has offered praise for Moore and given McIntyre's solid anti-immigration stance, its no wonder Moore is doing as well.

Nonetheless, this can't be bad news for Walter!

Current results:
Moore - 40%
Parks - 21%
Hertzberg - 16%
Hahn - 13%
Villaraigosa - 9%
Alarcon - 0%

Kick their butts and save our mutts!

Forty percent of the vote for yours truly [you], the people!

Did you know that KABC 790 is conducting a poll at its website, ? To take the poll and see the results, you go to that page and scroll down the right side. One of my supporters forwarded me the story below from a blogger. I was leading the poll with 40%! Woo hoo! As my supporter said, "Moore kicks butts and save mutts." I like it.

Now, the guys with the giant budgets will probably try to skew the poll by having programmers develop algorithms to vote for them over and over. So would you do me a favor and take a minute to vote?

In other news, last night's debate was fantastic. Voters finally got to see me in action, and see that they have a REAL alternative to the five career politicians running. Many, many people came up to me afterwards to shake my hand, get a "Moore is Better" bumper sticker, and ask how they can help. It was very gratifying.

Alas, the print media again showed its bias this morning. The L.A. Times didn't even bother to report that a debate took place, despite the fact that the paper sent a reporter to cover the debate -- a nice young man who introduced himself and asked about my campaign. And the Daily News made only perfunctory mention of my attendance. The good news is that those who attended will definitely be spreading the word.

Thanks again for your support and encouragement. We WILL fix this city. Remember: the election is not determined by the number of news stories or endorsements, nor by the number of dollars in a bank account, but instead by the number of votes. All we have to do is spread the word, and show up.

Walter Moore

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Never mistake motion for action

Deaton has been at the helm for a month now still no reduction in the number of employee retaliation claims at the Department of Water and Power.

Custodial employees that blew the whistle on contracts and gouging contractors have reported they are being constructively disciplined and terminated.

No evidence of Ron Deaton taking any interest in personnel claims or allegations of mismanagement. If Deaton did ask any questions, they have not in anyway impeded the stream of management-orchestrated personnel actions.

Hahn-appointed bureaucrats are giving these 20-year career employees turned whistleblowers a very hard time. There must be something malicious going on. Anybody feel intimidated or coerced?

Massacre at Fleishman-Hillard

LA Observed reported:

"Staffers at Fleishman-Hillard offices around California were told this afternoon that Doug Dowie, who had been on paid leave, is "no longer with the firm." If you've been paying attention to L.A. politics for the past year, you know that Dowie is the ex-managing editor of the Daily News who had headed Fleishman's Los Angeles office. Today's house-cleaning also swept up John Stodder and Steve Getzug, former Fleishman vice presidents who worked closely on the agency's controversial contract with the Department of Water and Power. Stodder reportedly was escorted from Fleishman's high-rise suite downtown (* actually he apparently left unescorted except for ex-colleagues sending him off with good wishes.)"

It takes two to tango. No pink slips at Water and Power. Just a revolving door of retirement packages and cursory bout of musical chairs. If tax payors insisted DWP managers and mayoral cronies had to pay their own legal fees, things might be a whole lot different.