ZUMA DOGG PUBLIC COMMENT - FRIDAY 4/13/12 (YES, Friday the 13th for Council!)
I am here, today, to address council, on the record, about their unfounded, baseless, unmertited, dispariging and possibly libelous and slanderous remarks being made, publicly in the media, regarding gadflies Zuma Dogg and Matt Dowd.
First of all, I don't know about other public comment speakers or gadflies, but Matt Dowd and Zuma Dogg have current business with the city in the form of a Federal matter that we are working on with the city, this month and through at least October. So we are here, because we have official and CURRENT FEDERAL business with the city, regarding the lawsuit we already won. Not sure anyone else in the city can make that claim who appears in chambers, today, or any day over the past six years.
Although I have never seen any councilmember set up in a space on the Venice Beach boardwalk, claiming to be a mind-reader, they are being Zuma Dogg & Matt Dowd's mind-readers, when they state that we are only showing up to the council meetings to play for the cameras.
If they didn't violate our First Amendment rights, in the first place, we never would have shown up. And, more
importantly, if they stopped violating our rights and settled the city business we still have, ongoing with the city, we wouldn't be showing up, at all, anymore. So I guess we would just have to forfeit the camera time. And the fact that we can't wait to, means it must not be the reason we are showing up. But you would like the public to think that is why, instead of telling them the real reasons why. IF YOU STOPPED VIOLATING OUR RIGHTS, FOLLOWED FEDERAL AND STATE LAW, AND WRAPPED OUR CURRENT FEDERAL CITY BUSINESS -- THERE WOULD BE NO DOWD/DOGG IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS, AND ON TV 35 CAMERAS. AND I'M SURE, everyone reading this, and who has heard council make the claim about the "camera hogging," said to themselves, "Are you kidding? That's all the ENTIRE council meeting is, in the first place.
How many times do they have to press the button; to stand up an speak; to repeat what the other 10 council members just said, when thanking someone, and letting them know what an honor it is to congratulate you on your accolade. (A composite of three actual council member statements, during agenda items.) All the endless rounds of, "thanking you for your leadership on this item," with the reminders of, "when I was assemblyman, I did something that has to do with this. So I'm great, too."
How much of this would be going on if the cameras weren't broadcasting on TV 35?
How many "Presentations and Proclomations" (Dog and Pony Shows) would they have on Friday, if there were no broadcast?
(And now the P&Ps have moved into both Tuesday and Wednesday, as well.) How many council members, in a row, would be standing up to, "thank everyone for being here, today." Adding how they are somehow tied to it all, in a heartwarming way?
IF YOU ARE COMPLAINING YOU ARE SHORT ON TIME FOR CITY BUSINESS, don't blame the five out of four million people who show up to speak under limited time restraints: HAVE ONE COUNCIL MEMBER GIVE THE PRESENTATION, ON BEHALF OF COUNCIL; THANK the group, on BEHALF of council, and move to the next presentation. That would save about an hour, or more on Friday, and now on Tuesday and Wednesday.
REGARDING DISRUPTIONS: Council is also making disparaging (libelous?) statements regarding disruptions caused by DOWD/DOGG. THIS WILL BE A MOST IMPORTANT DISTINCTION/CLARIFICATION for MOST of you reading this, and may not agree with my editorial.
Council says gadflies are the disruption, but council is the disruption. In the United States of America, when time is yielded to the speaker (as in public comment time), even if it is a lowly, non-elected/non-connected/non-union backed, member of the public, THEY HAVE THE FLOOR.
And the speaker may not be interrupted to have the council president say, "lower your voice; watch your langauge; have more dignity; merely requesting you lower your voice, merely asking you not to say that even though you are allowed, don't call us losers, be more respectful; don't bounce your shoulders around; don't break our mic with your voice, et al." These are all things I, myself, have been interrupted, cut off, ejected and banned for.
Unless a threat is being made, or speaker is off topic -- ANY OTHER INTERRUPTION ON COUNCIL'S PART, IS ILLEGAL! YES, ILLEGAL. AS IN, "BREAKING THE LAW."
And when it comes to off topic, they are in massive violation in their application in their "off topic" interruptions. If the item is about Dodger's Stadium, and you start talking about the Rose Bowl, that could be considered off topic. Or it's about the LA River, and you start talking about the Venice bike path. But, the things I have been called "off topic" for, appears to be more of an effort to stop/censor/cut me off, when they especially don't like what they are hearing being exposed about them.
Anything percieved as a true and actual disruption (where the speaker does not have the floor anymore/their time is done, and will not leave the podium/keeps speaking/won't move away -- or someone screaming from the bleachers, who does not have the floor) -- THAT would be a disruption.
But I challenge anyone reading this to find anything percieved as a disruption, BEFORE the Council President or City Attorney ILLEGALLY violates our Federal and State protected rights.
Of course, all of this is only true, if you believe that when a speaker has the floor (mic time), they are not to be
interrupted unless TRULY off topic (not just because the councilmember doesn't like it) or making a threat; something DOWD/DOGG has never even been warned for.
But, this week, two Los Angeles City Councilmembers are spending time, not discussing city business and solutions, but answering questions in the media about THREATS THE COUNCILMEMBERS MADE TO PUBLIC COMMENT SPEAKERS, THIS WEEK!
LA Times reported Council President Herb Wesson said to Zuma Dogg, "Don't be fooled by this suit." The Times said Wesson made the comments after Zuma Dogg began screaming and pointing at Herb. However, there was no disruption by Mr. Dogg. Mr. Wesson told Dogg to stay on topic, at which time Mr. Dogg got louder to try to explain how he WAS on topic, then Wesson agreed to let Mr. Dogg speak. However, "disruption" was never an issue. It was after Mr. Dogg was done with his comment time, and had already walked away from the podium, that Mr. Wesson made the threat, of which he said he regretted in the news report, meaning he must have known he shouldn't have said it.
Mr. Koretz, after threatening to "clock" a speaker, still said in the media he, "still is not sure that he regrets it,"
and only, "perhaps," he shouldn't have said it. It was a threat by an L.A. City Councilman on LIVE TV, during the meeting. I think it is safe to say, "he shouldn't have said it," without, "perhaps."
AND REMEMBER, you claim we're showing up for our own entertainment: Rosendahl told me he would pay us, if we won. And Herb Wesson said, "You (Dowd/Dogg) won fair and square and I'd pay you, but nothing has been put in front of council to vote on, yet." However, City Attorney Carmen Trutanich hired outside counsel (Meyers-Nave) to take discovery/depositions, then prepare for a jury trial, then have a jury trial. In addition to the outside counsel fees (already $100,000, and more money will be needed to be approved by City Council for Trutanich to continue all of this), I discovered at least fifteen (15) attorneys from Meyers-Nave contributed to Trutanich's City Attorney campaign.
Additionally, and most expensive, will be DOWD/DOGG's (and the nine other Venice performers on our lawsuit) attorney fees, which are paid for (the tab picked up) by the city, out of the general fund. The attorney rate is approved at $750/hr x 11 Plaintiffs=perhaps an ADDED $1,000,000 in attorney fees, not including the damage awards for the plaintiffs. (That could end up being a lot more money than what we were asking for in a "fast and easy/carry on with our lives/ZD is desperate" settlement.)
So to sum it up, like Flava Flav said, "Don't beleive the hype." Council can say they wanna cut the TV broadcast of the corruption-fest, just as the city is headed over the cliff and under FBI investigation (that ZD keeps providing updates about) because gadflies are just there for camera time and cause a disruption. But to me, it sounds like they are talking about themselves.
DECORUM COMMENTS (ALARCON/SMITH):
ALARCON 06-29-09: IN RESPONSE TO ZUMA DOGG, WHO WAS HOMELESS AT THE TIME: "I'm convinced by these speakers that we have not met our goal of making this world a better place. I believe we need to end homelessness; and some of these speakers reinvigorate my passion to do that, because they create such sadness in me, that they are in such a condition, that they would waste three time in city council, to make superfluous arguments about things we don't care about, and will not act on. [SOUNDS LIKE HE'S ALREADY DECIDED BEFORE HE EVEN HEARS WHAT WE HAVE TO SAY.]
SMITH: JULY 22 2009 ITEM 54 ON DECORUM RULES (GRIEG SMITH/MAKER OF MOTION WITH WESSON): In the court of law you may not wear costumes, you may not dance you may not sing. [NOTE: A PUBLIC FORUM IS NOT COURT OF LAW. NOT THE SAME STANDARD.]
I think we have a responsibility to allow public debate to be heard. To allow people who come here with good ideas, like Dr. Williams, and say I want to be heard and I want to present new ideas, to let them do that.
But, people who abuse public sensibilities, and people who abuse the rights of the public to have legitimate discussions on items and prolong these meetings for hours, for no other reason than they like to see their face on that television screen is of no avail to the public.
And I think that is what we are trying to do today. We just want to bring a decorum to our process. If you want to speak before us, just follow the simple rules, and you will be allowed to speak. If you have great ideas, or tell us we are doing something wrong, you will have that right, guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, not the Constitution. And we will abide that rule. We will allow that process to go forward.
The Brown Act allows that and protects you. We are not abridging your rights, as long as, you just provide a public comment, that is in a dignified way, and germane to the subject and not for the benefit of getting headlines or your blogs."
[EXTREMELY DAMNING TESTIMONY TO THE CITY'S DECORUM RULES AS BEING CHALLENGED BY DOWD/DOGG. DO WE HAVE TO HAVE DIGNITY? WHAT IS THE STANDARD OF MEASURE FOR MINIMUM AMOUNT OF DIGNITY, ALLOWED. Does council decide whether they are good ideas to be heard, or not to be heard. Are council mind readers to say, "who come here for no other reason than (cameras/to promote blog/publicity/etc.)"]