Monday, January 5, 2009

ELECTION '09: Beware Villaragiosa's Solar Ballot Bamboozle (NO on Measure B)

This article appears in the January issue of Boulevard Sentinel newspaper. It is a summary of recent press regarding Antonio Villaraigosa's Measure B (Solar panels). I put this together to hopefully be something that sums things up for voters including quotes from LA Times, LA Weekly, RonKayeLA and includes the ballot measure argument that Antonio is suing over.
Thanks, Zuma Dogg
It may feel like we just got done counting votes in the last election; but the New Year means it is already crunch-time for the March 3, 2009 City of Los Angeles general election. 
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is up for re-election. And Zuma Dogg is challenging him, so look for my name on the ballot! 
Two other big (and very important) elecions are for City Attorney and City Controller. Villaraiogsa's puppet, City Councilmember Jack Weiss, is running for City Attorney. (Even other councilmembers have told Zuma Dogg that they hope he loses. So please look into the other candidates and vote for one of them.
In the City Controller's race, you have constituent-loathed City Councilmember "Wicked" Wendy Greuel. So please vote for someone else, in that one, too.
Because, can you imagine the nightmare that this city would become if Villaraigosa is re-elected, with Jack Weiss as his City Attorney and "Greuesom" Greuel as City Controller? Ask around. Most people I have spoken with, think the City would be a scary place with those three in charge. (You could have a corrupt mayor working in cahoots with the city attorney and the controller will play the role of Hellen Keller.)
Ron Kaye blogged on his, "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."
But it is Villaraiogosa newest ballot-measure-bamboozle (Measure B, solar power bond) that has already generated the most media coverage and community discussion among the activists.
The avalanche of bad press on Measure B was triggered by an LA Times article that called attention to the "risky" nature of this half-cocked boondoggle that requires the blind public trust of the DWP and the City's blank check spending. Plus, LA Times reports that City Council President Eric Garcetti withheld an important report on the matter from other councilmembers, and more importantly, from the public.
And now, Ron Kaye informed the City through his blog, "Please be aware that the mayor's lawyer has dragged Jack Humphreville, me (Ron Kaye) and others who signed the "No on Prop. B" (opposition) ballot argument into to court today, challenging our statements. This is being done even as the L.A. Times reveals today that a critical report exposing this solar energy plan as costly and "extremely risky" was being kept secret from City Council members and the public even as the measure was being rushed to the ballot. The mayor's lawyer is demanding opponents pay court costs and legal fees when we don't even have a lawyer."
Zuma Dogg would like to remind you that this is not only a retaliatory move, but a scare tactic to try and prevent people from stepping up to write the opposition to the mayor's shady ballot measures and propositions. (And did you notice that Villaraigosa's City Hall just pulled the plug on the Time-Warner public access channel, just in time for election season?) Anything to silence public opposition.
Ron Kaye adds, "This isn't just an attempt to squelch the Solar Eight or the debate over this phony ballot measure but a direct assault on everyones' 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."

LA Weekly's Jill Stewart wrote in the most recent issue, "In short, City Hall and Villaraigosa have no idea how they are going to pull off the most massive, experimental, costly installation of solar panels ever attempted in the United States. It will require Angelenos to pour huge sums of their own money into Chinese solar-panel factories. Measure B wants the money from city taxpayers first with virtually no strings. The solar plan has the makings of yet another flubbed Villaraigosa dramaturgy."

LA Times' David Zahniser reports, "What they didn't discuss was an analysis by a city-hired consulting firm that called the solar plan 'extremely risky' and considerably more expensive than was being portrayed by the Department of Water and Power."
Adding, "Measure B, which calls for unionized DWP workers to install solar panels on rooftops and parking lots across the city, sailed onto the ballot with a unanimous vote. But days earlier, the council's top policy advisor was so troubled by the proposal that, in an e-mail to Council President Eric Garcetti, he recommended that the council delay it until a future election. Chief Legislative Analyst Gerry Miller warned Garcetti that the solar measure could result in "substantial increases" to the electricity bills of DWP customers. Neither Miller nor Garcetti made those findings part of the public record. Bottom line is they do not believe that the department can deliver on this program at all, and that the costs associated with the program are way understated,' Miller wrote in his e-mail to Garcetti."
Here is the opposition ballot argument to Measure B (Solar) that the shady, vindictive mayor is challenging:
There is a more efficient way to produce more solar power AND at a lower cost using better technology - but if Prop B passes - the City will be forced to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on outdated technology that benefits no one but the people who paid to put this on the ballot.
This multi-billion dollar plan was placed on the ballot at the last minute as the result of City Hall back room dealings. There were no public hearings and no engineering and operational input from DWP. The Council did not consider the impact on Ratepayers, the overall cost of this massive project, or the impact on the already burdened infrastructure. Our rates were just raised 24%! It is just another one of these tricky deals that says it's about solar energy and workforce development. The LA Times wrote, "This rush to the ballot has the scent of swindle about it." Don't be fooled by City Hall. Demand honesty and transparency.

Measure B and Antonio Villaraigosa's lawsuit against the authors of the opposition ballot argument, highlights the whole kit and caboodle of ballot bamboozlement.

The mayor KNOWS this will slip by un-informed, mis-led voters. (They says it's for one thing, then ends up being something else.) Unfortunately, it is you who ends up paying for all of this wasteful. experimental and irresponsible non-sense.
This is why I hope you join me and many other people from across the city to help clean up city hall. It needs more than a needs sweeping changes.
It will take the efforts of almost everyone reading this; along with all the activists on the blogs who lead the information charge and get the word out to the public.
PLEASE JOIN THE PEOPLE WHO ARE EMAILING ALERTS ABOUT THE MARCH 3, 2009 ELECTION, relating to the many city positions, and especially Measure B. Stop the City Hall shell game being run by the mayor and city council. Let's keep the risky gambling inside casinos and out of City Hall.
Get out the word, to get out and vote. If you go to, you can find specific articles regarding the March election , ready for you to email blast to your contacts.
Zuma Dogg
(213) 785-7272
P.O. Box 50616
L.A., CA 90050