59 Names That Should Live in Infamy: Special Interest Super-PAC Raised $620,200 to Sell Sales Tax Hike to Voters

Ron Kaye
Former Editor of the Los Angeles Daily News

When they talk about the entitlement class, put at the top of the list the unions, lawyers, lobbyists, businesses, real estate and billboard companies that contributed $620,200 to bamboozle the uninformed and gullible into voting for Proposition A, the sales tax hike on March 5.

They are the shame of the city, greed merchants who should have no place in civil society, pariahs who should be shamed everywhere they go since they have no sense of shame themselves.

READ THE NAMES AND CONTRIBUTIONS

Put AEG, beneficiary of $2 billion in entitlements from City Hall for the Farmer’s Field deal, at the top of the list with an initial $100,000 contribution — a small price to pay indeed.

Then, there’s the $231,000 tossed in by other real estate interests, the big boys like Alan Casden, Jim Thomas and JH Snyder and those who want to join them at the front of the line of developers, property managers and contractors getting rich from City Hall’s slavish award of entitlements to those who fund its corruption.

Throw in a more modest $91,750 from a wide range of businesses including a trash hauler hoping for a lucrative franchise, garment makers, a railroad, technology and entertainment companies, even a Warner Bros. executive, $35,300 from assorted lobbyists/lawyers and a puny $5,200 from financial firms.

Add $60,000 from billboard companies, including $25,000 from Clear Channel Outdoor which simultaneously served notice on the city of its intent to sue for $100 million — half the revenue from the tax it is backing — if officials dare to mess with its scofflaw attitude toward regulation of digital, illegal and other signage that makes LA such an ugly city.

READ CLEAR CHANNEL’S THREAT and LUDICROUS ARGUMENTS

But the real insult comes from the labor unions which are drooling at the prospect of padding their bloated paychecks if this regressive and destructive tax passes.

Unions and their immediate allies contributed $95,900 — including $850 from three of the harbor’s 15 port pilots who average close to $350,000 a year for a four-day work week with 27 days vacation plus all city holidays.

Since the end of the second reporting period, it appears the SEIU has joined the $100,000 contributor club, earning it shared credit with AEG for the Yes on A TV ad featuring Charlie Beck whose respect for the spirit and letter of ethics law is in evidence in his abusive use of his official title in the ad. He might as well as have worn his dress blues.

The first quarter million in spending mainly went for slate mailings with “Citizens for Waters,” as in Congresswoman Maxine Waters, netting $25,000.

Thousands more were spread around such fictitious entities as the “Independent Voters League” and “John F. Kennedy Alliance,” both located at 3700 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 1050B, “Continuing the Republican Revolution” in Newport Beach, “Budget Watchdogs” in Torrance, “California Latino Voters’ Guide” and “Our Voice Latino Voter Guide,” which is located at 2350 Hidalgo Ave., also the home of the “Coalition for Senior Citizen Security” and the “Council of Concerned Women Voters” slate mailers.

The political machine’s pollster Fairbank, Maslin, Maulin netted $43,218; direct mailer Thomas Aaron of Chatsworth more than $50,000; Niko Consulting $31,815; the machine’s lawyer Stephen Kaufman a measly $8,184,85; even the Post Office and Paypal did alright.

That still left $404,141.68 with more flowing in if the pollster can fudge the numbers enough to discredit the USA-ABC poll showing 46 percent against the tax to 26 percent for.

Is there no decency in his places in this godforsaken city? Does Charlie Beck lack the courage to stand up to save even a small measure of respect for himself and the LAPD?

Will not the mayor and all the elected officials running for Mayor, Controller, City Attorney, City Council take a stand for honesty and integrity and denounce this ill-conceived campaign for personal and collective advantage at the expense of a populace struggling to pay the rent and put food on the table?

Of course not, because they have all lived high on the worsening cancer of City Hall corruption they don’t know or care about the difference between right and wrong. They are all hypocrites who denounced Super PACs, demand a constitutional amendment to ban them and live off the dirty money that flows from people, companies and organizations that expect handsome returns for their contributions.

And frankly if you the voters don’t hold them accountable, you are no better than they are.

One final note, city officials do not make any of the information about Super PACs available online or in any searchable form.

You have to ask the City Clerk’s office for the information as civic leader Jack Humphreville did in this case and it comes in a form that requires the information be typed into a spreadsheet as I did in this case.

Here are the reports from the City Clerk’s office: (YesonA_460_1.1.13_1.19.13-1)(YesOnA_460_2.22.13)

Crossposted on Ron Kaye LA

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