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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

LA Second to Chicago in Corruption; City Ethics Commission Passes Anti-Corruption Reforms; City Council Vote Next

By Preserve LA

The Los Angeles City Ethics Commission today unanimously approved the most dramatic anti-corruption reforms in L.A. in this century, aimed at reducing developer influence over the City Council and Mayor Eric Garcetti.

The reforms, approved against the backdrop of an FBI corruption probe and a series of ugly headlines on City Hall’s unseemly “pay-to-play” culture, must still be approved by the long-resistant City Council.

Councilman David Ryu has tried but failed to pass moderate reforms, while City Council President Herb Wesson has stood in his way. L.A. is rated by The New York Times as one of the two most-corrupt cities in the U.S., the other being Chicago.

Strong testimony was offered Tuesday by Unrig LA, California Clean Money Campaign, Represent Us L.A.-San Gabriel Valley, League of Women Voters, Coalition to Preserve L.A., Common Cause, Ground Game LA, LA Forward, and others.

The Ethics Commission received loud applause as it voted unanimously, multiple times, for reform. Coalition to Preserve LA commends the Commission for its professionalism and courage. The reforms include:

    • Ban on campaign donations by developers to elected officials, starting the day a developer files an application for a project that seeks favors from the city, and lasting one year after the project (if approved) is constructed.

Same ban on donations from a developer’s entire “project team,” such as architects, attorneys, consultants, engineers, lobbyists and property owners.

Ban on “behested” donations — a loophole abused by Garcetti, who built up $35 million in unregulated money that he alone controls. Developers poured $26 million into the “Mayors Fund” and other behest funds in just five years. (The ban on “behest” donations includes four exemptions such as raising donated funds for legitimate emergencies.)
In addition, the City Ethics Commission approved new campaign matching fund rules that cut, nearly in half, the amount of money candidates for City Council and mayor must raise to qualify for public matching money.

Lowering the amount that candidates must raise is seen as a way to bring women back into the mix at male-run City Hall. Women have been all but stamped out, with only two left on the 15-member City Council.

Will the City Council water down these reforms, leaving Ryu and a few others fighting for half-measures? It could be up to you.

We urge residents to contact City Council members (phone numbers below) and urge them to back the Ethics Commission reforms in their entirety. This chance may not come again. To Call Los Angeles City Councilmembers:
Gil Cedillo (213) 473-7001
Paul Krekorian (213) 473-7002
Bob Blumenfield (213) 473-7003
David Ryu (213) 473-7004
Paul Koretz (213) 473-7005
Nury Martinez (213) 473-7006
Monica Rodriguez (213) 473-7007
Marqueece Harris-Dawson (213) 473-7008
Curren Price (213) 473-7009
Herb Wesson (213) 473-7010
Mike Bonin (213) 473-7011
Greig Smith (213) 473-7012 (temporarily appointed to replace Mitch Englander, who left office to become a consultant)
Mitch O’Farrell (213) 473-7013
Jose Huizar (213) 473-7014
Joe Buscaino (213) 473-7105

Comments (4)

  1. Nick Antonicello

    Self regulation is a joke. They all need to be recalled and Venice needs to exit LA. The people of LA fear Venice will wake up and Venice is too fixated in fighting with each other to realize LA is the problem.

    • Raoul Garcia

      You and the rest of the Venice Cityhood crowd are just as corrupt Nick. You’re the most corrupt of all. You’re all over the internet promoting cityhood for Venice but you never disclose that you’re a real estate salesman whose sole interest in Venice is how much money you vcan make off it.

  2. Will Hawkins

    How do you report corruption to a city counsel that is forgot with corruption

    • Will Hawkins

      Yet again…this post isn’t from me.

      I don’t understand why Reta allows anonymous trolls to misrepresent who they are in an attempt to discredit and defame other neighbors.

      Enabling online bullying like this just undermines the credibility of her blog and discourages reasonable people from getting involved and having their voice heard. Some people just can’t have nice things.

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