Sunday, December 28, 2008

City Hall Political Machine Tries to Intimidate Activist Community

City Hall Political Machine Tries to Intimidate Activist Community

Lawsuit Seeks to Squelch Public Debate on Solar Energy Fraud

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and his team of lobbyists, strategists and pay-to-play cronies have sued the eight people who signed the No. on Prop. B ballot argument -- an attempt at intimidation under the guise of law.

This measure isn't about solar energy and has nothing to do with the largest solar energy initiative ever undertaken. The City Council and mayor could initiate that by their own actions. This is solely about paying blackmail to the DWP and its IBEW union which have blocked solar projects for a decade and would have exclusivity on large-scale projects under this measure.

The Solar Eight -- Jack Humphreville, Soledad Garcia, Humberto Camacho, Kristine Lee, Nick Patsaouras, Joe Pulido, James O'Sullivan and me -- will not be silenced by this tactic.

But our lives have made difficult as we need to respond in court on Tuesday to the allegations that are ballot argument is false and misleading. We were unable to find a lawyer knowledgeable in city election law because this was dropped on us during Christmas week but Noel Weiss, candidate for City Attorney, has now volunteered to provide us help in putting together our pleading. The next hearing in court is Jan. 8.

Stephen Kaufman's law firm, which represents the mayor, eight City Council members and a host of other political figures, is handling the case for the City Hall political machine for the named plaintiff, Mitchell Schwartz, a high-powered environmental lobbyist.

This isn't just an attempt to squelch the Solar Eight or the debate over this phony ballot measure but a direct assault on everyone's right to freedom of speech and to participate in the political and electoral process.

We need support from Neighborhood Councils, homeowner and resident groups, service clubs, churches and every individual who cares about L.A. This is a defining moment. We need to come together and stop the political machine that is destroying the city. If we won't fight as one against these tactics and this dirty deal, I don't know that we ever will.

The March 3 primary gives us the chance to change L.A., to elect candidates to the City Controller's and City Attorney's offices who can stand for the community. Villaraigosa, Wendy Greuel and Jack Weiss along with the 15 obedient council members will have nothing in their way if they prevail in this election.

I have written about it today and over several days recently. Here are the links to copy and paste:

Support the Solar Eight. Support the efforts to make this a great city and get rid of Chicago-style corruption.