Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Arrogance of Power

You BETTER not
be silly!
Participants in our Facebook group (have you joined?) have been actively discussing the arrogance of power locally, and throughout the City of Los Angeles. For too long, anyone who asks a question, has an opposite view of how things should be done or just doesn't agree have been bullied, harassed, ridiculed and slandered in a calculated manner to chill speech and remove any challenge to the status quo.

Joseph Mailander, writing in an already highly noted piece at LA CityWatch (one of the City's go to online zines on municipal matters) chronicles such abuse and how the chickens are coming home to roost as a result of this arrogant behavior.

Among Mailander's observations:

President Herb Wesson and Councilmember Paul Krekorian were yucking it up in an LA City Council meeting, before an audience of 200 people and broadcast for all, at the expense of a harmless, disempowered, persistent City Hall critic, Arnold Sachs. 
Sachs’s offense in Krekorian’s eyes involved the bizarre rush-to-judgment that attended the forming of an historic site on property owned by the Verdugo Hills Golf Course. Sachs was not directly involved in the dispute, but as a civic watchdog he had dared to think it unusual that Council was suddenly rushing to pass a motion on a preservation issue—going against the recommendation of the City’s Cultural Heritage Commission and even changing it on the fly—just as the motion’s key political drivers, Councilmembers Richard Alarcon and Ed Reyes were leaving office. 
Now the City faces a twenty million dollar lawsuit from a developer who has dared to wonder some of the same things that the disempowered Sachs’ was wondering.

Mailander also briefly discusses the case of former MayorSam blogger and civic activist, Zuma Dogg, who became an unflappable critic of City Hall and infallible source of inside information when new City rules regarding the Venice Beach boardwalk essentially killed the until then apolitical Dogg's business of selling memorabilia from his local cable TV show. Dogg reached out to the Council, expecting a reasonable and quick resolution of the matter, but was shocked when he found the near disdain the Council has for local citizens. Dogg then engaged on a six year well researched, performance art filled jihad against the City which eventually lead to a federal judgement on behalf of Dogg and his associates. 

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