Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Christine Essel FINALLY appears on the Kevin James Show.

Tuesday night was the night that many people in Council District 2 had been waiting for. CD 2 candidate Christine Essel finally agreed to go on Kevin James' radio show on KRLA 870 talk radio. The meeting was highly anticipated because Kevin James had been bashing Christine Essel quite hard on his show for refusing to come on his show and talk to the voters...even though all the other candidates had chosen to do so in the past.

Fans of the show were curious to see what would happen and if sparks would fly between them. Kevin James had been previously going on his show and saying "I wouldn't vote for Christine Essel if she were the only name on the ballot!" Christine Essel was probably being a bit guarded because of this fact, but the appearance on the show went well for both of them.

James pointed out that she had outraised Krekorian. He pointed out that she is still behind Krekorian in name recognition. Chris said she was very happy to go from 3% at the beginning of the campaign to almost matching Paul at the end of the primary.

Talking about the endorsements from former rivals, Kevin James quoted the Mayor Sam blog!!
"Essel 4 Krekorian 0!!" Thanks Kevin!

Chris kind of waffled on a question concerning unpaid wages and lawsuits. She said she would look into it.
She needs a better answer than that.

Kevin asked her about the Neighborhood Council embezzlement scandal involving people blowing through all the NC budgets without reporting properly. He asked if Paul Krekorian was opposed to financial disclosures, and Chris said he was the last time they had a forum together.

James asked her about runaway film production and asked her to respond to his criticisms of her.

Christine gave a great answer about how studios search for a location with a bottom line price that fits their budget. She talked about her frustrations dealing with Sacramento over this issue. Kevin asked how we could bring the jobs back to this City. Christine said the city was not friendly to business or to the studios. She talked about how she could work between the State and the studios to keep jobs here.

James mentioned Krekorians boasts about saving jobs from up in Sacramento. He asked if Chris thought Krekorian was overplaying his impact, Chris said yes.

James mentioned how Christine would be back on KRLA for a debate with Paul Krekorian in the future.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Krekorian's Tantrum: A True Diva Moment

Word is circulating back to The Jennerjahn Report about a disturbing incident that happened early in the special election campaign for the vacant seat in City Council District 2. It appears that Burbank Assemblyman Paul Krekorian threw a major temper tantrum in the City Clerk's office when he was denied the right to get his nominating petitions. On top of that he demanded the City Clerk use a ballot designation for his position that really actually does not exist. "San Fernando Valley Assemblymember?"? It sounds awfully suspicious.

Sources say that Krekorian also threw his weight around during his hissy fit...as if to say to City Clerk employees.."Don't you know who I am.??" It is unclear if he used those exact words, but it was clear that Paul Krekorian was letting them know he was an important elected official who had to catch a flight back to Sacramento very soon. In Pauls twisted vision, the City Clerk employees were there to serve him.

The problem with his paperwork was that Paul had not completed his official Ethics training with the City. Paul had not run for a City position before (because he lives in Burbank) and was not familiar with this requirement. Paul was upset that not getting his nominating papers would put him behind schedule with this latest, ambitious run for office. Paul threw his weight around. He mentioned that he was an elected official, a State Assembly Member. Paul mentioned that he had a flight to catch back to Sacramento and "didn't have time for this!.." .

When the City Clerks came back with the answer that Paul would not be allowed to get his paperwork that day, Krekorian was apoplectic. Angry and frustrated by his inability to get exactly what he wanted when he wanted it , Krekorian let loose with a burst of profanities. The exact words were heard by several witnesses, who said that the torrent included several uses of the "F bomb". Eventually, this tactic appears to have worked. Browbeaten and fatigued City Clerk employees allowed Krekorian to take his oath and get his papers, in direct circumvention of the rules.

Things we learned from this story:

1) Paul Krekorian has an explosive temper.
2)Paul Krekorian believes his government position entitles him to special treatment.
3) Paul Krekorian does not mind bending or breaking the rules to get what he wants.
4) Paul Krekorian will treat other government employees poorly if they are not at his same pay grade.

Now, I ask CD voters...is this really the man you want in power in your district for the next 14 years?

PS.. Krekorian's camp is welcome to deny this if they want.

(Disclaimer: Phil Jennerjahn has endorsed Christine Essel in the CD 2 special election.)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Frank Sheftel announces endorsement on Kevin James Show

Tonight, Frank Sheftel, the former CD 2 candidate, went on the Kevin James Radio show. He and Kevin spoke about the issues concerning the marijuana collectives, patients, and the City Attorneys office. While they spoke on this subject for some time, Frank ended his guest appearance with an endorsement of former CD 2 rival Christine Essel. He also released this statement to the media:

Sheftel Endorses Essel in the L.A. City Council District 2 Run-off Election

With the run off election less then 7 weeks away I have decided to announce who I am supporting in this race. I have met with both candidates and have attended several events since the primary and seen both Christine & Paul in action. Both have sat down and had private meetings with me and have been very candid and forthcoming in my questioning of them. Both have a lot to offer and both come with concerns. Frankly both have asked for my support & I am honored and humbled. It's been a great experience to run a campaign against such a diverse and committed group of people.

At this time and in this particular situation, with our city and state facing a crisis situation I believe that Christine Essel is the right choice for City Council and to represent CD 2. She has the education, the experience and the connections to hit the ground running and get the job done. She is not backed by the Mayor and doesn't come with the added baggage of being from the political machine. Like myself and many of the other grassroots candidates she truly wants to make a difference in the community she grew up in and has signed a pledge not to run for any other office. A pledge I haven't seen Paul Krekorian sign. Paul is currently a State Assembly Member having just been re-elected, and is in a position already to effect change, He is not termed out yet and as a matter of fact can run for another term. The cost of another special election to fill his Assembly seat (estimated at 2 million dollars) weighed heavy in my decision. Christine Essel will have less then a year and a half to prove herself at which time this seat is up again. If she lives up to what I believe are sincere and realistic goals then we are better as a community. If not, there are many others ready to run for that seat. I have met with all the former CD2 candidates since the primary. We all care about this district and want to see someone in there that will best represent us. I become the fourth former candidate to support Christine Essel.( David Saltsburg, Augusto Bisani and Joe Essavi have already endorsed Essel). I hope that the remaining four will follow suit and we can all come out united behind one Candidate. I am pleased and proud to support Christine Essel for L. A. City Council and urge all my supporters and the rest of CD2 voters to do the same.

Frank Sheftel


For those of you who are keeping track, that is now four former rivals who have declared their support for Christine Essel.

Repeating the score....

Christine Essel 4
Paul Krekorian 0

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Craig X. Rubin Arrested in Raid!!

Craig X. Rubin, a very high-profile cannabis advocate, was arrested today in a stunning raid of his Temple 420 facilities. One of his assistants was also taken into custody.

Rubin, who is a minister of the Universal Life Church and the founder of Temple 420, was also a candidate in the March 2009 Los Angeles Mayoral election. This is not the first time Rubin has been arrested for marijuana-related charges. Rubin has argued in the past that his use of marijuana is part of a religious practice, although local law enforcement and judges have not agreed with his stance.

Angry cannabis activists are pointing fingers at Nuch Trutanich, and more specifically at Jane Usher, who some accuse of being behind this arrest.

Stay tuned for more details as this story develops.

Los Angeles becoming "Dope City"

"Excuse me while I light my spliff" are the famous opening words to the song "Easy Skankin' " by Bob Marley - a song that has become an anthem to the pro-cannabis crowd.

Well, voters here in Los Angeles better get used to hearing that phrase. It is about to become a permanent part of our culture here in Los Angeles. The overly lax enforcement of Californias Medical Marijuana Initiative has led to cultural armageddon...the proliferation of over 1000(!) marijuana collectives and shops here in Los Angeles. Yes...that is not a misprint..ONE THOUSAND! marijuana shops here in Los Angeles.

New City Attorney Nuch Trutanich and District Attorney Steve Cooley have decided that this is a fight worth winning and are willing to take on the pot shops, declaring them to be "100% illegal". As a Conservative, I admire their character and toughness, but I worry that they may have picked a fight they can't win. As I mentioned to another involved person, I said "I think the toothpaste is out of the tube on this one." Even if Nuch and Cooley go crazy and bust 100 shops this week, I'm worried that 125 more new ones might open next week.

The Cannabis activists are a little less confident and worry about Nuch and Cooley. Degé Coutee, director of the Patient Advocacy Network, says that "Patients feel threatened in a new way in Los Angeles. They (Cooley and Trutanich) are re-creating reefer madness and are out of step with the will of the people. We want acceptable rules, not raids."

Cannabis Activists and Patients have arranged to protest all over the State of California tomorrow.

The Los Angeles protest will be at City Hall at 2p.m.

I already saw one protesters sign --- "ZINE! WTF!!"
(I'm sure Councilman Dennis Zine will like that one!)
I hope someone makes a big sign that says "LOS ANGELES IS DOPE CITY!!"

Because, as an activist pointed out to me .."There are now more dope dealers here in Los Angeles than in any place on earth...!"

This is depressing.

When you elect people like Villaraigosa and the City Council Members, you reap what you sow.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Is John Walker Committing an Ethics Violation?

I am receiving complaints from political activists around the city that are pointing me to questionable behavior from Studio City Neighborhood Council Vice President John Walker. I won't reveal the details of the emails, as they were not originally sent to me, but they involve Walker inviting people to a special event for Paul Krekorian at CBS Radford Studios on Sunday, November 15th. In fact, the emails even go so far as to ask people to make donations to Krekorians campaign. The emails clearly are identifiable as coming from John Walkers Studio City Neighborhood Council email address.

The problem here is that elected Neighborhood Council members are not supposed to be doing this.

I guess John Walker must have skipped his ethics training session downtown.

(I have a funny story coming about Paul Krekorian wanting to avoid ethics training...more on this later...)

This is probably another event where they will want to keep the softball questions coming one after another.
They will want to keep out the riff-raff and have uninvited guests aggressively removed from the premises.
But who ...who can be called upon to organize security like that at an event like this?

Hmmm... one name comes to mind.

I have a feeling that John Walker and Judy Price are already familiar with each other...

...being as how they appear together on a Paul Krekorian mailer, shamelessly hyping him to uninformed Valley voters.

Memo to John: Give Judy a call.

Friday, October 16, 2009

TJR interviews Christine Essel

Christine Essel! Welcome to The Jennerjahn Report! We are happy to have you here. It is an unexpected pleasure.

Thanks for having me Mr. Jennerjahn!

1) Congratulations on your results in the special election on September 22nd. You came from what were, originally, small numbers in the polls and surged past the other candidates, almost overtaking Burbank Assemblyman Paul Krekorian. Tell us what you are feeling about this election and the path that you will take to December 8th.

Thank you. I'm honored to have the support of so many community members from every part of CD2. The next two months are all about meeting with voters, knocking on doors or reaching out to them by phone. It's an energizing process and I am really enjoying the opportunity campaigning allows me to meet so many people who care about the future of the city.

2) At some of the candidate forums in this special election, you were attacked pretty aggressively (verbally) by some of the other candidates. At all the forums I attended, I never saw you fight back or attack the other candidates as they had just done to you. Was that strategy by you? And if so, why?

Well, I'm not a politician. Political attacks are not my style. I think that the candidate forums were very important because the voters got to hear from a wide range of very bright and thoughtful candidates. When I had the chance to ask a question of another candidate at SOHA, I chose to ask Pete Sanchez a constructive question about how community members can be effective advocates and stop bad development. I think the attendees of the forums would rather hear about that, rather than watch more political posturing.

3) As I understand it, after the election, you reached out and contacted the other defeated candidates and asked them to support you now. I am hearing from some of these candidates that they were surprised by your behavior. They didn't expect it. Some of them are openly supporting you now. One big endorsement would be that of third place finisher Tamar Galatzan. Who do you think she will support? And why?

Well I don't think it's my place to make predictions about who others will support. I think all the endorsements from all of the other candidates are important. Tamar Galatzan is extremely important to the East Valley as our LAUSD board member.

4) You seem to have struck up an unusual friendship with a rival in this election -- fellow CD 2 candidate Frank Sheftel. The two of you even went so far as to campaign together at the Farmers Market in Studio City! What created this friendship and spirit of cooperation with a political rival?

Frank Sheftel is a terrific advocate for this community. He really distinguished himself as a critical thinker and as a strong debater in the primary. He has a lot of great ideas about what we need to do to shake up City Hall and I am proud to call him my friend.

5) I am quite certain that both you and Paul Krekorian realize that the total number of voters who voted for the other 8 candidates is a higher number than you or Paul achieved on Sept. 22nd. This means that the election will hinge on the decisions of unsettled voters who must now decide between you or Paul. Tell us why you are a better choice than Paul Krekorian.

I believe the voters are looking for someone who will take the job seriously. I spent 31 years working at the same company which shows the level of dedication I will bring to the job of Councilwoman. That's a distinction between me and my opponent, who has moved around a lot.

The community also wants someone who will be free to make decisions independently. You know, political job hopping is just an epidemic in California politics. So many elected officials leave powerful positions after only a few years, just to climb the ladder. That's why I've taken a pledge not to run for higher office. Paul won't take that pledge.

That's the clear distinction between me and my opponent. He's a career politician, and that means he'll need to play ball with special interests to sustain his political career. I'm different. I'm not doing this to develop my career. I'm running because I want to do everything I can to help fix our broken city.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

David Hernandez for 42nd Assembly

"When I was running for Mayor of Los Angeles in March of 2009, I wanted to go to an RPLAC meeting and seek an endorsement. I was aware that David had been involved with the Party for much longer than I had. I offered to step aside, but David told me to go and ask for the endorsement. RPLAC ended up giving us a co-endorsement. It was one of the most noble, unselfish things I've ever seen anyone do. And this was from a man who had every reason not to do it. I will never forget it as long as I live. I fully support David Hernandez for the 42nd Assembly District. If I am ever elected to a high political office, I will always have room for a man like David Hernandez in my administration." --- Phil Jennerjahn

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Memo to Nuch : Shut them all down!

(photo courtesy of Michael N. Cohen)

There has been a lot of heated discussion on the blogs the last few days about the coming showdown between the Los Angeles law enforcement/City Attorneys office and the marijuana enthusiasts/collectivists. This is all happening because California voters passed a ballot proposition in November of 1996 concerning the "compassionate use" of marijuana for its medicinal purposes for people who are suffering from legitimate medical ailments. The huge problem that we are having right now is that Proposition 215 was poorly written and vague, making it almost impossible to interpret, define, or enforce. The end result is that many people felt they suddenly had the freedom to run around and pursue the business of marijuana sales and purchases because it was now "legal". Well... not exactly.

The Federal government had big issues with this, and it quickly became entangled with States Rights issues. Eventually the Feds backed off a bit and left it up to communities to police the issue. This led to widely varying applications of drug laws here in America. Smoking a joint on Venice Beach in California might not draw any special attention or interest from passing police officers, whereas the same offense in Omaha, Nebraska or Athens, Georgia would probably result in an almost instantaneous trip to the local jail. How is this fair to anyone? Interesting question.

My personal viewpoint is that our government does not have the right to make marijuana illegal. Marijuana is a naturally occurring substance like water, or air. If a government declares that it has the right to make marijuana illegal , then that government also has the same right to make tomatoes illegal. Or roses. It's all the same thing. It's the express road to far-left Fascism once you start banning naturally occurring substances. It violates Natural Law. Besides, it's not the drug that they're really trying to control. It's the human behavior that results from abusing drugs -- that is what they are really trying to control. And you can't control human nature -- so that is a losing battle from the very start.

Los Angeles is at a very crucial turning point in its history right now. And we have never had such a power vacuum of leadership at the top in City Hall. There are over 600 different collectives selling marijuana all over town right now. A majority of them are illegal and they are flaunting their activities in the face of the law. They are being abusive and taking advantage of the lax policing and regulating of these shops. Some of them are accused of being run by what some citizens are saying are criminal elements. Marijuana enthusiasts will counter that they are only for people with a prescription card, but there are plenty of quack doctors out there handing out that card to anyone who complains of a toothache.

Something has to be done, and it looks like Nuch Trutanich is the man who is going to make that stand. It won't be easy. He will make enemies. But it has to be done. As I said before, I don't think any government has the right to make marijuana illegal, but they have every right to regulate businesses in the interest of protecting their citizens. What is bought and sold in storefronts across the City affects public safety and security.

For example, the City of Los Angeles:

1) Does not allow McDonalds to sell you a hot, steaming cup of hydrochloric acid.

2) Does not allow the 7-11 on the corner to sell you a quart of plutonium.

3) Does not allow the 99 cent store to sell you 6000 pounds of chemical fertilizer.

If the City would prohibit these actions, then why in God's name would they allow 600 unlicensed drug dealers to freely sell marijuana all over the City?? It makes no sense!

It is time for Nuch Trutanich to live up to his potential as a leader in this City. He has to make the right call here. He has to shut them all down.

I am not without sympathy for the legitimate medical marijuana patients. I want them to get their marijuana at a hospital or legitimate pharmacy. Not some "club" where semi-gangsters can sell dope to whoever they want, whenever they want. Legitimate patients will understand this. Enthusiasts and hobbyists will not.

Nuch needs to send the collectives a three word message : "You're done here."

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Christine Essel for City Council!

I am today announcing my endorsement of Christine Essel in the special election on December 8th for the seat on Los Angeles City Council from District 2 in the San Fernando Valley.

I am quite certain this announcement will come as a surprise to many members of the Los Angeles political community. I have been quite tough on Christine Essel in my coverage of this election. I had labeled her a "carpetbagger" because she has lived outside of the district for many years. However, the "carpetbagging" issue is now a non-issue, as both Essel and Krekorian lived outside the district at the start of the campaign.
I have poked fun at her stumbles and gaffes along the campaign trail. But Christine Essel is a first time candidate and can be expected to make a few missteps along the way.
I have criticized her taking of large campaign donations from outsiders to the District. But in the world of politics, this type of thing happens all the time.
I criticized her for refusing to go on the Kevin James radio show. She now seems to be making arrangements to settle this issue and answer questions from voters on the air.

None of my criticisms of Essel were ever personal. I thought that Christine Essel showed a lot of class and dignity out there on the campaign trail. She was savagely attacked and ridiculed by media, bloggers, and some of the other candidates. I never saw her attack anyone in return and - if I remember correctly - she was rarely ever critical of the other candidates at the forums. Because of her classy behavior, she doesn't seem to have any enemies. In fact, Christine Essel has reached out to the eight candidates that were defeated in the primary. I am hearing from sources that several of them are planning on endorsing her , and several more are leaning in her direction.

As a Conservative, it is very difficult for me to endorse someone who does not share my political ideologies. However, Christine Essel has a history in business and has promised to work to lower taxes, which is good enough for me, given the choice between her and Krekorian. I am endorsing Essel for three reasons:

(1) Christine Essel is a businesswoman. As an executive at Paramount, she had to make responsible financial decisions to ensure the studios made a profit and stayed in business. If she brings this skill to City Council, that will be a good thing for Los Angeles residents.

(2) Christine Essel is an open book, politically speaking. We are all unsure as to how she will vote on issues or who she will take sides with. Because she is wealthy from her career in the movie industry, she has no pressure to sell her votes or her positions for financial gain.

(3) Christine Essel is not Paul Krekorian. As far as I know, Paramount Pictures never had to file for bankruptcy because of the financial misbehavior of Christine Essel. The same cannot be said of Paul Krekorian. We have already seen his handiwork in Sacramento, and the liberals up there have put California in a state of teetering on the brink of financial Armageddon. We already have a budget-destroying Socialist named "Paul" on the City Council. Adding another one won't help anything or anyone. Krekorian is also a "Runaway Politician" from the Burbank/Glendale area, and that shows that there are issues of trust concerning him and his future plans and commitments.

I encourage Christine Essel to continue to seek peace and cooperation with the other eight candidates. It is their supporters who will decide the outcome of this election.

Chris Essel once offered to have coffee with me. I hope she wins in December so that I can someday take "Councilmember Essel" up on that exact offer.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Oct 1st deadline passes. Recall now possible.

An important deadline passed yesterday as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa served his 90th day in office of his second term. He is now legally eligible to be served with recall papers.

I will start drafting the 300 word version of the complaint, however, I invite Mayor Sam readers to beat me to the punch and come up with their own versions. Put your own version in the comments section.

For more detail, revisit the subject here.