Fresh off the heels of stock of the political laughing-stock, Los Angeles City Council's article in LA Weekly about how they are pulling the plug on free speech in L.A. City with the pulling of the plug on the public access channel on cable,
Shady Sunshine Canyon Landfill Councilmember Greig Smith can't find anything better to do that come up with a motion that would allow City Council to ban public comment speakers for SIX MONTHS, once they are warned for the second time.
Now I know that there can be problems with difficult speakers who continue to show up each day and ramble off topic, or refuse to leave the podium, or loses their mind and starts screaming and shouting: But the problem here, is we all know what a bunch of shady cowards Los Angeles City Council is as a body. And my concern here, is that this will not be used in the spirit of the law to prevent truly disruptive individuals inside council chambers...but to try and kick ZD out of chambers for six months, as soon as I raise my voice a little, to try and hear myself over all the Council chit chat on the other side of the rope.
I know people are saying, "Oh Zuma Dogg, you yell and scream and are loud." Don't be bamboozled by the YouTube videos of the past. I DO raise my voice sometimes, in a passionate way, and sometimes if the Council president thinks it is too loud, they will ask me to lower my voice, and I comply. AND, ZD stays on topic, and that isn't really an issue for me, either.
I spoke with Councilmember Herb Wesson, Jr., who Zuma Dogg went purposefully pressed his buttons today, in chambers one-on-one, for Herb's seconding of the motion. So Herb had to come over and talk to me about the motion. AND IT WORKED...cause ZD can't stay mad at Herb, you , cause he's so f*cking charming and smooth. After he spun me off the cliff, I said, "Damn it Herb! I wanted to be mad!" (He busted up laughing.)
Herb says ZD isn't really the problem here, and although Herb feels I can get loud, it's not some "get ZD" motion, but for some of the other people who continually show up and speak off topic and are warned for the same things, over and over.
SO I TOLD HERB, PLEASE CONVEY TO COUNCIL, THAT I HOPE THIS IS ABOUT TRUE DISRUPTIONS AND THAT THIS IS APPLIED IN THE TRUE SPIRIT FOR WHICH IT IS INTENDED. AND NOT TO JUST FILTER OUT THE PEOPLE YOU DON'T LIKE BY SAYING, BY ENFORCING B.S. LEVELS OF DISCRETION.
THIS IS A SERIOUS ISSUE...IT'S WILL BE A PUBLIC RELATIONS NIGHTMARE THAT IS GONNA BACKFIRE ON COUNCIL'S FACE IF THEY AREN'T CAREFUL.
They aren't exactly the most beloved, credible elected body...and if the rest of the city council members come off as cowardly as Grieg "Boo-hoo-hoo, I can't take someone speaking out against my shady environmental deals" Smith, by voting "yes" on this sham of a motion -- we'll be looking at 15 cowards who run rough shot over the community on a daily basis -- and are such cowards at the same time, that they try to silence their constituents from speaking out against the shadiness. (Bill Rosendahl told me he is not for this motion!)
So if Grieg Smith wants to create a motion trying to squelch public comment (cause let's face it, they make fake rules, then enforce the fake rule...AND NOW, want to ban you for six months, based on "THEIR" discretion)...
ZUMA DOGG WILL BE SURE TO SPEND A WHOLE LOT MORE TIME DISCUSSING THE PROBLEMS WITH GRIEG SMITH AS COUNCILMEMBER.
WHICH REMINDS ME: One of Zuma Dogg's secret City Hall sources told me that Mitch Englander IS INDEED already running for City Council to replace Grieg Smith, so this means Grieg WILL NOT be re-running for his final term.
UPDATE: Alright...it's a couple hours later, and although this whole new "decorum" thing will be pissing me off and ruining my Christmas, until the next public comment on Tuesday, January 6, 2009... I know why CM Smith is doing this. It's not as much about "Zuma Dogg" as some of you may think. Although it does pave a slippery slope for Council to throw ZD under the bus, as well, if this motion makes it to an "aye" vote...this is really about some of the public comment speakers who make things more personal toward the Councilmembers. As a matter of fact, one of the Councilmembers who signed the motion told me, "Zuma, some of us like you more than you may think around the horseshoe. One thing you don't do (ZD) is make it personal during your comments." So Grieg Smith, who is someone of a no-nonsense guy (for a councilmember), doesn't want the system clogged up with a bunch of people who keep purposefully and intentionally violate the (fake) rules of decorum, time and time again. So I know what CM Smith is trying to go for. BUT MY CONCERN AND FEAR IS THAT THIS WILL BE USED FOR THINGS OTHER THAN ACTUAL PROBLEMATIC DISTURBANCES.
Here's a problem with the motion: They say, "the penalties described in the existing (Fake) Rules of Decorum, however, are not adequate in deterring disruptive behavior. The Council President repeatedly warns public speakers, even the same person during the same meeting, that their behavior is in violation of the (Fake) Rules of Decorum. Speakers have even been removed from Council Chambers. But the threat of a 30-day prohibition has done little to correct this behavior.
FIRST OF ALL...YES, there are already rules in place that can have someone removed for the day, or for 30 days...but of course it is not a deterrent, because all they do is warn...and rarely actually kick people out for the day. And then, they are not banning people for the 30-day period.
So now, after not enforcing the 30-day ban...or even start with kicking people out for the day...you are upping the penalty to six months??? You guys are like bad parents that cannot discipline properly. START ENFORCING THE (FAKE) RULES YOU HAVE FIRST.
And I am choosing to believe the Councilmember who told me this isn't an attempt to ban Zuma Dogg for six months just because he has to raise his voice a little, to be heard over the crowd; OR because my voice gets a little loud out of passion. THE CITY COUNCIL BETTER MAKE SURE THAT THE ENFORCEMENT OF ANY OF THESE RULES IS FOR ACTUAL DISRUPTIONS WHERE PEOPLE SCREAM, YELL, REFUSE TO LEAVE THE PODIUM...or the couple people who go up there and speak CLEARLY off topic just to be rabble-rousers. AND I THANK THE COUNCILMEMBER WHO NOTICED THAT ZD'S ISN'T TRYING TO BE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE. I just don't believe that certain other folks won't use this to ban me for six months, during one round of a heated topic they can't endure some ZD scrutiny over.
SUMMARY: CM Smith...I understand why you are trying to pass this bullshit, sissy-motion; and I like a lot of the things you say (from time to time); and appreciate the time you take trying to spin me (clarify something) from time to time...but as the guy who felt so complelled to put this motion forward...I ain't deleting the stuff about your shady green energy boondoggle. (And I know you are only amused by ZD, the harmless gadfly. Mitch, on the other hand. I'm basically leaving it up, just for him!) ;)
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