Just like Hollywood's central casting.
It all makes me wonder if any of the middle-class Los Angeles neighborhoods where my SoCal friends live have someone like Hallandale Beach's Dr. Deborah Brown living amongst them.
Someone with strong connection to the City Hall teat and powers-that-be, in her case, to mayor Joy Cooper, and who has no qualms about showing up at polling sites and boldly walking up to volunteer election workers of candidates she doesn't support, and just a few inches from these campaign workers faces, loudly proclaim that their preferred candidate is "the devil."
You know, like she did repeatedly in Hallandale Beach last year at the city's Ingalls Park precincts on the city's SW side, to volunteer supporters of HB mayoral candidate Keith London?
Yes, that would be the same Dr. Brown I've written about here on the blog before with the curious -and which some in the community would say borders on fictitious- loan and grant applications that give the appearance that her group was/is a non-profit when the IRS says differently.
The very same Dr. Brown whom the Office of the Broward Inspector General wrote about in their damning final report a few short weeks ago.
Allegations she used money her group was given by the city for purposes for which it was NOT intended, like, well, let's just say unethical conduct and let you read it yourself.
But then again, having received money for years from City Hall, including many large grants just under $25,000 from former HB City Manager Mike Good, she already knew from experience that city officials would never check on what she did with CRA funds, that since as the IG report says, they DIDN'T.
Yes, no double-checking information or accountability from the city before the vote and zero after the money is dispensed.
Excerpt from March 6, 2013 Broward Bulldog
The final report will recommend to the county that it look over its legal options “to prevent the ongoing abuse of the CRA process and recover those funds that may have been misspent,” the preliminary report says.
In Hallandale, there was an apparent lack of regular monitoring by the CRA of who got its funds and how that money was spent.
In one case, the report says, a nonprofit grant recipient spent nearly $5,000 in funds to make a payment on her time-share at the Westgate Resort in Orlando, make payroll payments to herself and her brother and on other things.
“We found probable cause to believe that Dr. Deborah Brown, the founder and director of the Palms Center for the Arts (PCA), engaged in criminal misconduct in the handling of a $5,000 award the PCA received from the CRA,” the report says.
Brown could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.
The matter has been referred to the sheriff’s office and the Broward State Attorney for prosecution.
The reason I ask is because I've been closely following the back-and-forth of the Garcetti-Gruel campaigns the past few weeks via videos on various LA TV station websites and the LA Times and... well, there's a lot that needs fixing in LA no matter who actually wins, because many voters have just about reached their limit on govt. waste and inefficiency and cronyism.
I ask because I had breakfast on Sunday morning yesterday with a friend of mine who, like me, had supported Hb City Commissioner Keith London against longtime incumbent mayor Joy Cooper.
But unlike me, he's a longtime HB resident, so someone with even more perspective than my nine years of living here and seeing the chaos and dysfunction up-close.
While I was flitting about with materials and messages from one election site throughout Hallandale Beach to another on Election Day for Keith, and my friend Csaba Kulin and Michele Lazarow, who were running for the City Commission, my Sunday morning tablemate was working the crowds of HB residents arriving to vote at Ingalls Park in southwest HB, just one block south of Hallandale Beach Blvd.
(Yes, as some of you long-time readers of the blog may recall, that also the place where the City of Hallandale Beach used to have its recycling site. The one that had no directional signs on nearby streets, much less, on main drag HBB, letting people know exactly where it was. Now the city foolishly has no central recycling site for residents to use even while much of the city lives in places where recycling something other than newspapers simply doesn't take place, due to the city's apathy, like smaller condos and apts. As usual, the city seems clueless what to do to capture that market, despite how obvious it is. For starters, you make it as easy as possible.)
The LA Times endorsement of Eric Garcetti from February 17th, for the primary, was leagues ahead of the sort of thing you ever read in South Florida newspapers, both in terms of length and in gravitas.
Titled, Eric Garcetti for mayor He's the candidate with the most potential to rise to the occasion and lead Los Angeles out of its current malaise and into a more sustainable and confident future," it concluded with this:
Voters at first embraced Villaraigosa because they saw in him the power to inspire. Garcetti has that too, but in a different, quieter fashion, and he backs it up with experience in City Hall, a share of troublesome mistakes and 12 years of achievement. If he avoids a tendency to be glib when he should motivate, and if he avoids the tendency to allow his finesse to give way to a desire to be all things to all people, he could be just what Los Angeles needs. At this time, out of this field, he's the best choice for mayor.Now that's how you write and end a persuasive editorial!
KCAL/CBS LA News video, Profile of LA mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti
February 28, 2013 8:16 AM
The above profile includes the following nugget:
But perhaps Garcetti’s most ambitious goal is to tackle the city’s notorious traffic problems.Tuesday night you might want to be watching here to see LIVE election results
“We have to reduce our traffic in Los Angeles. And I want to see five different rail finished or well underway by the time I leave office,” he said. “It’s the only way we will be able to get enough people out of cars to be able to really make a dent in the traffic that is choking our lives.”