KEITH KAPLAN: Not televising candidate forum damages democracy

Keith Kaplan, Past Chair of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, released the following statement in response to the city not televising the annual candidate forum:

“I am saddened that the City of West Hollywood has chosen not to televise this year’s West Hollywood City Council Candidate Forum.  It’s been a tradition for many years.  A healthy community is a transparent community.  It’s important that voters have the knowledge to make wise decisions as to who they would like to represent them in their beloved city.  Withholding information from the voters, is a threat to democracy.

“The Forum will go on.  It is scheduled for Tuesday, August 23, 2022, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.  

“The candidate forum is presented by WEHO for the People.  The League of Women Voters of Greater Los Angeles and the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is hosting the free virtual event.  Robert Kovacik, NBC 4 news anchor will serve as moderator.

“To register to watch the West Hollywood Candidate Forum 2022 please click here.”

                                                                           ###

The West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization that supports and promotes a community environment where commerce can flourish. The Chamber fosters prosperity and champions local business by providing resources and leadership to advance activity through economic development, by advocating the position of the business community and by enhancing the quality of community life and promoting the uniqueness of West Hollywood.

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Yola D.
Yola D.
1 month ago

What’s happening now is unbelievable. Councilpersons in power trying to suppress information on our WeHo TV Network regarding a forthcoming election. Just wondering if freedom of the press means anything to these 4 individuals? Thank goodness our Mayor didn’t participate in this charade of censorship!

Michael on Havenhurst Drive
Michael on Havenhurst Drive
1 month ago

Keith, you have my vote. At least you are not coming in with a lot of negative baggage. Like Duran and those candidates supported by the anti-Free Speech SHE. Shyne, Horvath, and Erickson. Or, like Heilman, who helped and put into office Horvath and Erickson to back the dying 8150 Sunset project. Of course, these two dropped Heilman like he has Monkey Pox. Plus, Keith, you went to Standford and didn’t major in Gender Studies.  PS: Update, a new pitch to media: Lindsey Horvath, former Mayor of West Hollywood and candidate for Los Angeles County Supervisor, voted against free Speech… Read more »

JF1
JF1
1 month ago

I missed the council meeting. What was their justification for not supporting the airing of the candidate forum? It does seem like something that China would do to suppress discussion, and exchange of ideas and thoughts. It really is disgusting what this city council has done to the city in such a short period of time. So shameful. Was even worse is that they don’t see that. We need to get these people out of office. Vote wisely.

Last edited 1 month ago by JF1
greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
1 month ago
Reply to  JF1

Would China would let people register and watch for free on Zoom?

Anyone who wishes to watch this, can do so.

JF1
JF1
1 month ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Boy I wanna know why you support them to the bitter end? Yes of course somebody can sign up for free to watch it on zoom but the fact of the matter is why would a city council try to limit the availability of such a forum? Very undemocratic. You don’t see that?

JF1
JF1
1 month ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

You still did not answer the question. What was their justification for limiting the availability of this forum? You would think that in a democratic society our city Council would welcome every possible avenue to share this forum to educate the voters on where candidate stand.

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
1 month ago
Reply to  JF1

I know the answer. The Council was afraid of not knowing all of the questions in advance. They only wanted softball questions like “how great is weho”, rather then questions like “why is the crime rate up almost 150% in some statistics”. I hope that helped.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
1 month ago
Reply to  JF1

This is just a guess: but does it cost extra money to air it on the city channel? That would be a reason to choose otherwise.

But you’ll have to ask the city council members when you see them! I can’t speak for whatever they were thinking when they voted.

JF1
JF1
1 month ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

I’m sorry, but some things are worth the money. If you can televise a pride parade you can certainly televise a candidate forum on the people that are gonna be running your city for years to come. Ridiculous.

Larry Block
Admin
1 month ago
Reply to  JF1

there’s no extra cost, Kent from WeHo TV can press a button from home and televise, or share to various streaming lines.

Randy
Randy
1 month ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

I usually agree with you, but their lack of airing it is indefensible. Especially when two of the people who voted not to televise were on a city-televised broadcast, just 2 years ago. I see no logical reason why they would not televise this.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
1 month ago
Reply to  Randy

Hey Randy,

If I were voting I would have chosen to air this on “City Channel” or whatever it’s called. But to call this “censorship” and liken it to Trump etc…is just ridiculous. People can still watch this on zoom.

The fake outrage (specifically on this website) is just getting tired and pathetic IMO. There is clearly an agenda here.

JF1
JF1
1 month ago
Reply to  Randy

Exactly. There is no good reason.

Gay Maga
Gay Maga
1 month ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

This is the United States. Where in West Hollywood taxpayers fund the city. Along with private enterprise who pays very high taxes. These four politicians don’t dictate what we can watch or hear. Fortunately, two will be history in November. But the other remaining two. Shyne and Erickson. Must be removed from office.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
1 month ago
Reply to  Gay Maga

Must be removed from office.”

Make sure you’re registered for the 2024 election. There’s nothing else you can do.

Luann P Edwards
Luann P Edwards
1 month ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Wow. Nothing shocks me more than your absolute untethered support of these politicians. People deserve to see and hear from them – they pay for them (unlike you who waits for their next stimmy check)

Randy
Randy
1 month ago
Reply to  JF1

I believe it was on the consent calendar, which, if I’m not mistaken, are items that are voted on behind closed doors, with no public debate, or discussion.

If I’m incorrect, somebody help me out here! Thanks.

Hernan
Hernan
1 month ago
Reply to  Randy

Randy, just to clarify, nothing gets voted behind closed doors unless it’s a discussion in closed session, and even then, the City Attorney must disclose reportable actions taken by the Council during closed session. A consent calendar item or consent item is meant to be voted along other consent calendar items with a single motion. There are placed under that consent calendar because they are either routine items like the check register or items that staff believes there is consensus based on prior Council actions or are not controversial items like the advisory boards/commissions attendance reports, etc. If a Councilmember… Read more »

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
1 month ago

Wait, so everyone who wants to watch the forum can just register and watch for free?

What is the issue then?

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
1 month ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Traditionally the City has always aired the Candidates’ Forum on City Channel over several weeks prior to the election as a public service. Thankfully there are alternate avenues for viewing the Forum but the real issue seemed to be one of control and vindictiveness by the City Council. John D’Amico thought the Council should “vet” the questions, which have historically been put together by the Chamber and neighborhood groups. It seems odd, indeed hypocritical, that in a time when the Council says it wants more engagement by residents, it would not make the Forum easily available via City Channel.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

I have no idea what “City Channel” is. But I think clicking and registering for a zoom link is easy enough for people. We have had 2+ years to navigate zoom by now…

JF1
JF1
1 month ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Still don’t get it huh. Our own city Council voted not to air the candidate forum. Limiting the availability of all avenues to air this is very undemocratic.

resident
resident
1 month ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

You don’t add to the conversation and are offensive in every way.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
1 month ago
Reply to  resident

Translation: “I don’t like what you say and want you silenced”

The irony is palpable.

Randy
Randy
1 month ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

“City Channel” is the city’s official channel on the local cable system (I know, what an arcane way to view something).

More important, they have a Youtube channel, which I use every other week, to watch City Council meetings, and sometimes other meetings, such as Public Safety, or the recent symposium on Monkeypox.

https://www.youtube.com/wehotv

Long Time Resident
Long Time Resident
1 month ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

The City Channel is Channel 10 on cable. And not everybody has zoom (especially seniors, who are more likely to vote).

Last edited 1 month ago by Long Time Resident
Luann P Edwards
Luann P Edwards
1 month ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Voting with an official ID isn’t too hard either handsome, but limiting peoples access isn’t something we want to do. We shouldn’t limit access to an election debate. Some people don’t have zoom. You seem lucky enough to have it. Congrats.

WeHo Mary!
WeHo Mary!
1 month ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

The issue is that people who work in the evenings, usually those who don’t get paid as much as white collar workers, won’t be able to watch it this way. If they would broadcast it on WeHo TV, they could watch it when they had a chance.

Last edited 1 month ago by WeHo Mary!
greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
1 month ago
Reply to  WeHo Mary!

Okay if thats the issue, then surely someone can record it and post it on youtube later. Problem solved.

WeHo Mary!
WeHo Mary!
1 month ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

The problem is that no one wants to or those who want to can’t figure out the technology.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
1 month ago
Reply to  WeHo Mary!

“can’t figure out the technology”

the technology to record a zoom call and upload it to youtube?

I think my 11 year old nephew could do that

Luann P Edwards
Luann P Edwards
1 month ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

What’s the issue with getting a voter ID? Hmmm

:dpb
:dpb
1 month ago

Thank you your exacting words, Mr. Kaplan. “A healthy community is a transparent community.” Under the current city council, transparency has been in woeful neglect and/or non-existent what so ever. They have closed the citizens of West Hollywood out of the process and dictated legislation and new ordinances at their whim. They have shut EVERYONE but their donors out. The candidate debate is just another censored moment for this grand council of crooks and self centered ideologues.

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