OpEd: The Race Is On

There are just 60 days to go until the Nov. 8 election.

Last week I got a call: Opposition research. They are out for Lauren. Over the years so many have been “out for Lauren” that I did not know what to make of it. What are the facts and what are the rumors? People plant mis-information to get around town, such as polling.

A few weeks back Lindsey Horvath released a poll. She claimed 23% support for herself, 23% for Hertzberg and 51% undecided. Her sample size was 400 people. Hertzberg then released his own poll with twice the sample size and 800 people which showed him with a 7% edge. But then you add in positions on issues and Hertzberg’s edge grows to over 30%. Click here to read a copy. Whom to believe?

I’m not prepared to give energy to statements that are meant to muddle and confuse the public. That happened today when UNITE HERE Local 11 sent the first text message of the season to voters.

The text says, Byers, Oliver and Wright raised the minimum wage. How the heck did they ‘raise the minimum wage’ when they are not elected to anything. The text goes on to say “Big Business Duran and Meister were no votes.” The problem with this statement is Duran was not on the City Council at the time of the vote. The muddled attack is meant to hang Duran around Meister’s neck. The text sent from UNITE HERE Local 11 was a mean-spirited first attack of the season. It was not an honest message.

There was a lot of jockeying at UNITE HERE 11 but you do not have to be a genius to see that Steve Martin did not get the endorsement. Steve claims he was asked to interview but had to part over their position on defunding the sheriff. To get the UNITE HERE Local 11 endorsement it appears you have to be a candidate willing to put money into the social industrial complex and away from the sheriff. Those candidates who are being supported by UNITE HERE Local 11 are Robert Oliver, who seconded the motion to defund, Byers, a social justice advocate, and Wright who is a close ally of Sepi Shyne.

So it’s silly season. Your phone may be ringing soon to ask whom you support, or what issues are most important to you. The people who call are not bad. They are just interested in your point of view.

Then you will get lots of mail funded by special interest groups who do not always have your best interests at heart. Be aware of which candidates are running for themselves and which are running to serve you. Watch who is fighting for power, and who their donors are. There are lot of lies meant to deflect and confuse you.

What happened to the good old days when our local elections were not filled with so much special interest money?

It looks like this season is headed for an all-time toxic high. You can even see the city’s largest developer Faring Capital snubbing City Hall and Code Compliance after years of concessions on so many projects.

And Lindsey Horvath, a current city council member, who has so little respect for the laws of West Hollywood that she would rather see her face on Robertson Blvd. than abide by the rules she took an oath to enforce.

Then there are the broken promises. Today I met with a man who believed Sepi Shyne was going to deliver a park to Flores Ave. He was mad at John Heilman for saying that ‘it would never happen’, and avoided his truth for her promises.

Yep it’s silly season. And that means don’t believe the promises, the lies, and the personal attacks.

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About Larry Block
Larry Block is a contributor and shareholder in Boystown Media. He is a local business owner, community advocate and has lived or worked in West Hollywood since 1985. Larry has served as Chairman of the Public Facilities Commission and Chairman of the Disability Advisory Board.

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[…] UNITE HERE Local 11 PAC sent information to voters about her vote. Larry Block, in his op-ed “The Race Is On,” writes that UNITE HERE Local 11’s argument of was “not an honest message” because […]

Joseph Clapsaddle
14 days ago

The West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce’s WeHo Pac announcement of their City Council election race endorsements, while well intentioned, baffles me. It will take a majority of the Council members to stop the chaos, inept decision making and ignorance of proper governance – three votes. Otherwise, the community will face the continuing downward spiral brought on by the present City Council configuration. My good friends at the Chamber have offered an ill-advised roster for voter consideration.  The City demands experience and critical strategic thinking. We want public safety restored. We want a strong Sheriff’s Department. We want businesses to thrive so that the City’s… Read more »

Jamie Francis
Jamie Francis
21 days ago

In March before the June primaries when they called me, I confronted them for using ambush tactics on Sunset Blvd every waking hour and affecting us residents who live south of Sunset on Havenhurst and Harper and they abruptly hung up the phone on me mid sentence! Now they are sending mailers using a Wehoville article from 2016 about a Los Angeles political neighborhood council outside of West Hollywood upset about minimum wage when the city of LA has their own issues with unions and city hall pay to play and back room dealing with lobbyists! It is evident to… Read more »

Last edited 21 days ago by Jamie Francis
Susan
Susan
21 days ago

I did get a phone call from this Union. They seemed really shocked that I openly dislike their candidates and the City Council members who are their allies. Maybe they are totally out of touch with reality of how people are feeling in West Hollywood.

Mikie Friedman
Mikie Friedman
23 days ago

I got that horrible mudslinging campaign flyer from Byers, Oliver, and Wright in my mailbox today. It infuriated me particularly because I got a piece of campaign literature from Lauren Meister the other day which had on the reverse side, a list of important telephone numbers that people can keep and use if they have an emergency. What a difference!

carleton cronin
23 days ago

It’s the “silly season”, Larry, when candidates and their allies say and do the dandiest things. Stiff questioning and holding them to their statements often clears up some of the dross. Stand by with your flak jacket on.

No More Lauren MEISTER!
No More Lauren MEISTER!
23 days ago

The problem with Lauren is she’s pretending to be pro business but she puts a lot of inappropriate pressure on staff to “study” ideas that make no sense. Because of that, staff doesn’t have time to actually help businesses open and stay open!

I’m fine with the unions and appreciate their ability to get workers better wages. They don’t support Lauren bc her record is clear that she doesn’t help small business or their workers.

It’s time for someone new! No more MEISTER!

We need Heilman back.

Eric
Eric
23 days ago

Possibly there isn’t any hope for us after all, with comments like this.

concern
concern
22 days ago

Do you work at City Hall? How do you have this supposed insider information about the staff workload?

I disagree with your take on Lauren Meister. She’s been great for the city.

The union is a disgrace. The leaders and membership have hurt the residents of West Hollywood in too many ways to enumerate.

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
24 days ago

This is an excellent piece, Larry. However, what you call a “muddled attack” I call an outright lie. The tactics in support of these three will be replete with lies, manipulations and personal attacks. The candidates can either condemn these tactics employed on their behalf, or they can be complicit in the public relations evil inherent in them. Their response, or lack of response, will speak volumes of their character. Bobby, Chelsea, Zekiah–show us your character. Disavow the lies, or be branded a liar yourself. Character matters.

Eric
Eric
22 days ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

There is no chance any of them will say a word. This you can be sure of.

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
21 days ago
Reply to  Eric

Their silence roars with complicity in the lies spread on their behalf. I remember John McCain’s character shining when someone at a debate attempted to spread mistruths about Barack Obama. McCain forcefully and without equivocation set the record straight and moved on. Where is the character and integrity?

Jimmy palmieri
Jimmy palmieri
24 days ago

Oh I just can’t wait to get a phone call. I just can’t wait.

Social Injustice
Social Injustice
24 days ago

Bunk circulated by the “Social Injustice Trio”.

Unite here is Evil
Unite here is Evil
24 days ago

I’m pro union, but unite here local 11 is evil. Their tactics are reprehensible.

Insidious
Insidious
24 days ago

We can thank the insidious Sepi Shyne & John Erickson for inflicting them on Weho like a plague.

Wally
Wally
23 days ago
Reply to  Insidious

Maybe you should consult a calendar…. Unite Here was “brought in” by Lauren Meister. They endorsed Lauren long before Sepi Shyne was even a candidate.

These echo chambers are not well. Get some fresh air and sunlight.

Insidious
Insidious
23 days ago
Reply to  Wally
Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
24 days ago

I agree. There are honorable unions with honorable intentions and actions. Unite Here have proven themselves to be thugs in this city. They bring shame on the union movement, a movement I very much support, outside Unite Here.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
24 days ago

Just for clarification; when I found out Unite Here commended the City Council for cutting deputies I contacted them and questioned if “de-funding” law enforcement was their official position. I was told that it was. After a long conversation with their political director, I decided to decline an invitation for their endorsement interview. I could not be on a slate that supports de-funding after fighting against it.

Wally
Wally
24 days ago
Reply to  Steve Martin
Steve Martin
Steve Martin
24 days ago
Reply to  Wally

A lot of us had hoped for better but what we saw was an upswing in violent crime. As a block captain on the Eastside Neighborhood Watch we had a front row seat that quickly disabused us of notions that “there are no criminals” just disadvantaged people. I fought the cut in deputies from the time your buddies first voted to do it back in February of this year.
We can always dream for better but our decisions must be based upon reality.

Eric
Eric
24 days ago
Reply to  Wally

So Steve, what is it….one year you for police, the following year you are against them. How disappointing to read this.

Stevie
Stevie
24 days ago
Reply to  Eric

And didn’t he endorse some of the SHE in years past? Now this? Sounds like a fish out of water, flip flopping till he finds a safe place to land.

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