Here's what happened: ZD was discussing the Board of County Supervisors election, when City Attorney Dion O'Connell interrupted Zuma Dogg to tell him that he could not talk about this because it was not under City Council's jurisdiction.
At that point, ZD started to explain the reasons why I felt this comment should be allowed.
But even that is not allowed, so as I am speaking on why it should be allowed, Council President Eric Garcetti is issuing warnings (that I am not hearing, even though that doesn't get me off the hook of the warnings -- EVEN IF the warnings are based on bullsh*t.)
So as the clock expires, Garcetti says, "And you have to leave for the day" (or something like that) as I notice the police are approaching.
No problem. I didn't start shouting about the fact that I shouldn't have to leave. I wasn't lingering at the podium and not leaving as the police approached.
So the police are walking with me up the center aisle as I am quietly discussing the matter with the police. Besides the one moment when one of the cops put his hand on my shoulder to try and move me along (I DON'T THINK THAT IS ALLOWED); it wasn't a forceable removal.
So once I was outside the chambers, in the hallway with the officer, I say, "Well gee, a couple weeks ago someone else had to be FORCEABLE removed from the podium. The clock ran out, and in protest, the speaker refused to leave the podium.
The police approached and he still wouldn't leave as he declared, "With all due respect, as a political protest I am not going to leave."
So now there are two cops, one on each arm trying to lead him away.
He is not leaving. Now, this is a good guy, just trying to make a statement, but he didn't realize in about half a second, he is about to be arrested. So I say, "Go now!!! Go now!!! They'll arrest you!!!"
So he leaves with the officers, as he is escorted out, with a cop on each arm.
THEN, a couple minutes later, the guy sits down right behind me, again. And I am shocked. He thanks me to telling him to leave at that moment, cause the police explained the rules and that he was about to be arrested. (They hung in with him WAY longer than they would have with ZD, but that's o.k., cause this guy was just uninformed -- not an out of control threat.
But nevertheless, he wouldn't leave when asked, and when the police grabbed him, he still didn't leave, and finally he left.
BUT HE WAS ALLOWED BACK IN.
So I asked the officer if he would ask Eric if I could come back in too, because I still had all the agenda items on the table to deliver comments on.
The officer said, "Well, he asked you to leave, and you left." (As if to indicate I was compliant.) And said he would ask, and he entered chambers to ask. Minutes later he returned to say, "Dion says you're done for the day."
So I say to the officer, well what about the other guy who was allowed to return who had to be carried away. The answer was, "he has discretion" (meaning at any given moment he can either enforce, or not enforce, depending on if it is Zuma Dogg, or not.
SO THAT'S A BIG HELL NAW!!!
So ZD hits the cell phone and lets some of the people working for Villaraigosa that they would be seeing an elevated level of blogging and they would be wondering why I am posting such topics all of the sudden. And I let them know it was because of Garcetti and O'Connnel and they way they are using "discretion" to censor Zuma Dogg -- and this wasn't the same as all the other bullsh*t, this time.
So I hit 'em with the blog posts below (plus one about Eric that I took down now that the situation has shaken out and the City responded in a way that I knew they took the matter seriously.)
PLUS, I left some voicemails with some of the Councilmembers who I wanted to try and convince to put some leverage on Eric and Dion.
So basically, I had to use all my magic powers, which is not an ad budget for fliers, radio spots and newpaper ads -- but simply my words. And you have to be in a pretty fired-up state which absolutely drains me.
FAST FORWARD TO TODAY: Zuma Dogg was happy enough with the response from the city that I will be moving on to just the usual stuff and not carrying out the grudge on the blog and public comment. (A measured response...even though it was my hardest hitting response.)
First of all, for the first time EVER, Eric Garcetti walked into chambers and walked right over to ZD, as he was speaking with his activist friends and he called me over and we sat down and spoke, seated side by side -- face to face. So that was a first for us. And it's still apples and oranges when we speak, and even though everyone will say it was OBVIOUSLY to try and chill me out and get me to go back to just regular ZD.
I have to appreciate these gestures as at least a step toward giving ZD what he wants. Even if nothing changes, at least they're not just brushing it under the rug and not addressing it. And he at least let ZD know that he could see some grey area regarding my concern that the other guy was allowed back in and I wasn't -- and he admitted there is some complexity there regarding the Board of Suprs talk.
Because here's the other part I liked: There was someone from the City Attorney's office having a pow-wow with Dion O'Connell (Defendant) first thing in the morning. And the person stayed to monitor the meeting. And Dion was on the phone, back and forth a lot during the meeting (a sign they are getting clarifications)...AND Dion didn't interrupt me for the usual nuttiness, nor did Eric. (But of course they had to be extra careful today.)
And I liked to tone of the whole situation. The City tried to convey their side to Zuma Dogg, in the same way I try and convey my side to them; it wasn't an edgey tone...and I must say, that overall, regarding the cops -- there is no longer that "get ZD" tone.
It was really out of hand when Landry was there. And things were a lot more tense, last year. I think the City realizes they just have to deal with me (cause none of the other tactics shook me loose)...AND...my energy has changed...and they see if there is a noise problem, or something...I'm not out to make a stand about that. I don't give em a hard time and say, "I'm allowed to talk this loud!" I just quiet down a little more...who cares!
BUT FINALLY: Even though I truly do appreciate my relationships with the cops and staff and councilmembers and am happy it is a much better energy inside chambers this year, than last year by MILES....THE ONE THING I DID NOT LIKE THAT I HEARD TODAY:
I was told that the reason the other person who was forceably removed was allowed back in; and Zuma Dogg wasn't -- was because I was asked to leave and he wasn't.
EXCUSE ME!!! HE REFUSED TO LEAVE AND THE COPS WERE REACHING FOR THEIR HANDCUFFS WHEN ZD TOLD HIM TO START MOVING AND HE WAS PHYSICALLY ESCORTED OUT, WHEN ZD LEFT ON HIS OWN!?!?!
but you say he wasn't asked to leave? then why were the cops struggling with him and why did they remove him from chambers? were they merely escorting him to the restroom?
SO THAT'S HOW I KNOW THE CITY F*CKED UP YESTERDAY, and I believe all the people who called me to say this is a slam dunk civil lawsuit. And people know I'm not a lawsuit kinda guy...but in this case...it is the most important basic issue that the country was founded upon (1st Amendment) and I do feel a lawsuit is the only way they will start following the law, because I do feel this is some premeditated, censorship stuff they are trying to get away with. They were trying to pull some sh*t, and it backfired, once again.
And here's the main thing I would like to leave people with: NONE OF THIS WARNING CRAP SHOULD HAVE EVEN BEEN HAPPENING, BECAUSE HOW ARE YOU NOT ALLOWED TO DISCUSS THE BOARD OF COUNTY SUPERVISORS ELECTION UNDER THE FIRST AMENDMENT??? EVEN IF YOU WERE NOT WRONG LEGALLY (WHICH YOU ARE) YOU JUST CAN'T SPIN THIS WITH PEOPLE!!!