Monday, January 4, 2010

How Dirty Will Joe Get?

"I always wanted to get into politics, but I was never light enough to make the team."
- Art Buchwald

During the 2008 City Council elections the voters of Sierra Madre were treated to a couple of instances of what would have to be considered dirty politics. Both were aimed at the now Mayor of this town, MaryAnn MacGillivray.

The first instance was a cooked up accusation that MaryAnn had somehow instigated something deliberately mislabeled the "Family Values Ordinance" when she was in office during the 1990s. The most prominent and vocal accuser was the former Mayor of Sierra Madre, Glenn Lambdin. Glenn, apparently the chosen mouthpiece for this poorly conceived attempt at character assassination, wailed loud and long about about what he termed a so-called anti-gay lifestyle ordinance designed to enforce some kind of religious fundamentalist edict on how one is supposed to live their life. Long story short, when one of the actual City of Sierra Madre documents in question was produced, it contained the signature of, believe it or not, then Mayor Glenn Lambdin.

My article on this matter originally appeared on the Foothill Cities blog. I reprised this episode here on The Tattler as part of an article on Joe Mosca's most recent failed attempt at becoming the Mayor of this town. You can access it here. The document bearing Glenn Lambdin's signature can be examined by clicking on the inset.

One additional observation. What possible political gain could those behind this fib have imagined they would receive by smearing the reputation of Sierra Madre as a city that had legislated against its gay residents? All the while knowing that this was about as far as you can possibly get from the truth? It obviously wasn't true, yet many outside of this town picked up on this and spoke of Sierra Madre as being a hotbed of bigotry. I believe that the residents of our City are owed an apology from these people for dragging their reputation through the mud like that.

The other instance of foul play aimed at MaryAnn was a last minute robocall placed by the Democratic Party of Los Angeles County. The message contained within this call is described in a short piece on the incident published by the Sierra Madre site. The actual call is linked in the body of that article. Here is what it says:

Saturday afternoon some Sierra Madreans received a call from the LA County Democratic Party asking them not to vote for Council Candidate MaryAnn MacGillivray. The caller, who couldn't correctly pronounce the candidate's name, told people that she is trying to deceive them, wanting them to believe she is a moderate when she is actually "a George Bush Republican, committed to the policies that have hurt small cities and towns across our nation." When contacted about whether they had any involvement with the call, candidates Enid Joffe and John Buchanan not only denied being associated with the call, but were upset that it had happened. "That's not our campaign," said Joffe. "I did not authorize and do not condone that type of call. I want to earn peoples' votes with my experience and my record, not by attacking other candidates," she continued. "Had I been contacted, I'd have argued against making the call," said Buchanan.

Now John and Enid, while perhaps sincere in their denials, must also have been at least somewhat aware that robocalls of this kind are illegal in the State of California. A law that unfortunately does not get enforced as much as it should. But if these individuals actually were the responsible parties, they certainly would not be likely to confess it. That is, unless they were to experience a powerful urge to publicly cleanse themselves of political sin.

Russ Warner, the Democratic Party candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives here in California's sunny 26th Congressional District, actually had an opportunity to discuss this matter with a Sierra Madre resident while campaigning in the Canyon. Apparently Joe Mosca had requested the honor of campaigning with Russ during the most recent national election cycle. Warner, keenly aware of Mosca's problematic reputation here in town, told him that was an offer he was not able to accept. Russ wisely concluding that any association with Joe would hurt him with Sierra Madre voters.

And then the matter of this robocall was brought up by our savvy Canyonite. It was Russ's opinion that the only way this call could have happened is if someone of importance to the L.A. County Democratic Party had put in a request for this sort of thing. And if it wasn't Democrats such as Enid or John, the list of possibilities in town grows fairly small.

Joe Mosca, by the way, was a candidate the Los Angeles County Democrats endorsed in our 2006 election. Kurt Zimmerman, also a registered Democrat, did not receive their endorsement. And though Joe was not on the ballot in 2008, he did have a lot to lose should MaryAnn win. Which she did in spite of the dishonorable tactics people opposed to her election employed.

Mosca is in the political fight of what is his very minor league political career. And it appears he will once again run the kind of big money campaign a politician from a city much larger than ours would run. And with considerable outside help. But for whatever the reasons, he is doing this in Mayberry. So will he also engage in the kinds of tactics we have discussed here? The sorts of shenanigans typical of big city pols, but so alien to a small town such as ours?

We will be watching.


  1. I would sure like to see an honest campaign, but like Sir Eric, am skeptical it will happen.

    In the 2006 campaign, I did door to door canvassing passing out fliers for Zimmerman, Watts, and Mosca. A very well known and respected community volunteer and I passed out over 500 fliers on Sierra Madre Blvd. We were disgusted to find that Joe Mosca along with dozens of out of town volunteers, friends of his from the West Side of L.A. passed out over 2000 fliers, but ONLY for JOE.
    We all know about the $170,000 that was "donated" by the special interests in Sacramento, the BIA and the CAR. We all remember the massive number of "canned calls" and expensive glossy post cards warning us of the " alleged"dangers of Measure V passing.

    "Sacramento" Joe Mosca who had campaigned to half the town on his opposition to the ill fated DSP, betrayed all his supporters by supporting the NO on V. campaign, supported by not the community donations, but out of town special interests. Joe had a NO on V sign on his lawn.

    Let's all reject any candidate who uses out of town special interest funds to support their campaign. This happened in 2006 and it happened in 2007 and it happened in 2008.
    Candidate Buchanan and candidate Joffe both accepted large donations from a major political party. This is just WRONG.It needs to STOP in 2010.

    Joe Mosca's horrible record of "service" to this town is more than enough reason to reject his bid for re-election.

    Sierra Madre FIRST. Not Sacramento and special interests.

  2. Sir Eric,
    someone needs to watch the money, to report to the public any large donations either in money or help with political campaigns from outside interests.

    Taking Sacramento, Building Industry Association, California Realtor's Association should not be acceptable in Sierra Madre.

  3. Just the facts, mamJanuary 4, 2010 at 7:58 AM

    As someone who worked hard on Mosca's campaign I can tell you I am still feeling the hurt that Joe put on this town. Not only from people who trusted me to have done my home work when speaking so favorably about Joe, but from long time neighbors and friends to whom he had so blatantly lied right to their faces. You know that sick feeling you get in your gut when something starts to go wrong, well I had that first with Joe when over 15 young new faces from the big city showed up to help him. While driving 3 strangers around town putting out flyers you learn a lot and I can tell you this, we should be suspicouus when unfamiliar faces from out of town show up trying to sell us on something. You can be sure that during this election I will be more alert and quicker to point out attacks against our little community. The next time I support someone, you can trust I will be asking a lot of questions.

  4. It says something about the sorry state of the Democratic Party when they will endorse Mosca, but choose not to endorse/support somebody with Zimmerman's qualifications.

  5. Joe Mosca is "compliant" and easily led. Kurt might actually have some ideas, and you know what a threat to the status quo that could be.

  6. Walking on egg shellsJanuary 4, 2010 at 10:02 AM

    Is it possible to have an honest campaign with so many uninformed people in Sierra Madre with the lies having been spread by Mosca and his "friends?"

  7. In order to get the voters of Sierra Madre to vote for someone who represents things that are decidedly in opposition to their interests, Mosca's handlers will have to invent all kinds of fantasy scenarios about their boy. The truth is Joe is a highly ambitious guy of middling intelligence, and one who is completely willing to toe the official organization line without getting in the least bit creative about it.

  8. There is someone in Sierra Madre who was or is on the LA County Democratic Central Committee. I look no farther.

  9. All true party members are aligned with the thinking of the Central Committee. To suggest otherwise is to engage in the spreading of disinformation.

  10. But when it comes to having the juice to get a robo call going, that is where to look.

  11. Mosca is so disliked by his fellow Council Members that he was passed over for the position of Mayor twice.

    He is so unpopular with certain constituents that they tried to recall him a few years back for breaking the campaign promise that got him elected.

    Based on what I've seen on You Tube, he's also a dreadful public speaker.

    Do we really think he has a chance of being relected?

  12. M-O-N-E-Y. He has powerful well-heeled backers, many of them from the realty and redevelopment trades. And they will spend to keep him in office. Joe is tasked with breaking the hold residents have had over planning years. And if he wins and he becomes Mayor, that really couild become the defining moment. He will kill the preservationist dream.

    As always, this is all about the money...

  13. If Mosca wins re-election, and what a big if that is, it'll take more than Buchanan to vote him in as mayor. Support Don Watts and John Crawford!!! With three for our side Mosca will never be mayor!!!

  14. Sierra Madreans are positive, polite people for the most part. Unpretentious too. That's why someone like Joe, handled skillfully by his advisors, can fool so many people. He's all big eyes and sincere smiles, and not worth a damn as a decision maker or an advocate. Someone posted middling intelligence, and that was too generous.
    How do we defeat a campaign of disinformation? Probably the way he runs his - door to door.

  15. Is Zimmerman running for relection?

  16. If Robocalls are illegal, why did John Buchanan have one for the school Measure TT?

  17. Dr. Staccato,

    Hmmmm....sounds like Dr. Janice Nelson-Hayes.

  18. There was a good article on The Tattler about robocalls a few months back. It broke down what is legal and not, and cited codes.

  19. Joe has no pride and no conscience. He will win at any cost. He is a robot and a puppet. He is being pushed to the top because he fits a lot of criteria that only looks good but sounds pathetic. Many people have already figured him out. We need to get to those who are still star stuck or holding out for the money.

  20. What I don't inderstand is why even the DIRTS still support Mosca. After all, he has failed them miserably and consistently.

    More importantly, nobody likes a traitor because, well... they're a traitor.

    Don't all of you think that Joe would turn on the DIRTS in a millisecond if he thought it would be to his advantage?

  21. I predict the DIRTS will cover their bases by running a "stealth DIRT." My guess is that it will be some nice little old lady or nice little old man with a colossal DIRT agenda.

  22. They have around 10 days to get old stealthy up and walking.

  23. Developers are a lot like the villains in James Bond Movies, who do not suffer failure.

    I'm predicting that they will offer Mosca luke warm support, but put their money behind Poster 3:04's "stealth DIRT," instead.

  24. My guess is that old stealthy has already filed to run. Are the names of the candidates that have filed public?

  25. Gotta get out the old dirt detector.

    ... beep ... beep ... beep ... BEEEPP!!

  26. 16 days and counting...

  27. Hey good luck dumping that shill for the builders. Sounds like it's a shoe leather project. Couple of Q's.:

    1. How much dough does a guy like that spend on a Sierra Madre campaign?

    2. Does he have voter apathy on his side - even in SM?

    3. How are youse doing with that commercial blight law?

    4. Where is katina?

    Thanks, Other towns are goin' to school on SM!

  28. He ex-chump at 4:50!

    You still are a chump if you think we'll fall for that one.

  29. Steve's right...............


  30. I was just curious as to the cost of a local campaign in your area and if it would take a grass roots effort to defeat an undesirable incumbent. The other Q. is @ something I saw posted here referencing a Glendale commercial blight statute. Sorry if any offense was taken. Other towns are facing your issues, but I guess there is little to be learned here after all?
    Please excuse the unwanted interruption.

  31. 6:32, what town are you from, and what are the issues you are facing?

  32. Okay, 6:32

    Cost of grass roots campaign....whatever it takes.
    Yes on Measure V, collected less than $30,000 in small donations from RESIDENTS OF SIERRA MADRE.

    No on Measure V, disgracefully accepted over $170,000 dollars in out of town special development interests.

    Yes on V WON the election.

    The commercial blight issue, I recall was brought up at a recent meeting. There is only so much Mayor MacGillivray can put on the agenda.
    I trust a majority city council will pass such a law.

    Getting back to undesirable incumbents (Mosca for instance) 2006 Tonja Torres was handed the biggest defeat in Sierra Madre history.
    She was also an undesirable incumbent who also, like Mosca, betrayed her supporters.
    Both are widely believed to have been Bart (BIA) Doyle plants.
    Sitting Mayor, Enid Joffe was defeated in 2008, soundly beaten by three time Mayor, MaryAnn MacGillivray, despite one of the dirtiest campaigns in Sierra Madre history leveled at MacGillivray, MaryAnn won anyway, no thanks to the major political party who illegally made canned calls against her, a disgracefully woman who stole a newspaper from Katina Dunn, lost a court battle to Mrs. Dunn, lied about it and was elected president of the Kiwanis. Last but not least was the equally disgraceful and slanderous attacks on MacGillivray by town thug, Glenn Lambdin.

    Sierra Madre voters will not be so trusting or forgiving this time around.

    The SLOW GROWTH MAJORITY, which has saved this town from being bankrupted and turned over to the County, will prevail in the upcoming election.

    The forces who wish to over-develop this town, covering every square inch of our city and hillsides will continue to be foiled, as long as the folks stand up to them.
    People are aware that these forces, funded and dictated to by Sacramento crooks.....people who will hit us with eminent domain in a New York second, make no mistake about it. People will be on guard.
    We will FIGHT for Sierra Madre.

  33. Sierra Madre business ownerJanuary 4, 2010 at 6:56 PM

    Excellent info, 6:47.
    With people like you around, we can hold on to our rare town!

  34. Did I tell you that I share the values we all hold so dear in our hearts?

  35. Yes, Pinnocciojoe, many, many times. And you thanked us for it too, many, many times.

  36. Indeed, Joe does everything ad nauseam...

  37. Oh. Did I tell you that nothing means more to me than preserving the beautiful town that we all call our home? And that I am one of you?

  38. Thank you 6:47, for the information. And thank you, 6:46 for the aggressive interrogation. We learn that nice neighborhoods do not always make nice manners.
    I recall the Measure V campaign(s) but I am stunned there was that much $ involved. Truly.
    I am pretty sure you are referring to Ms Henderson as to the newspaper episode and if so, I am shocked she was chosen by Kiwanis. I wonder how that could be.
    Congrats due on the win, of course, but a loss might well be the future local news publishing skills of Ms Dunn- she may be the highest quality local inkster you'll ever see. Is that what is meant by collateral damage?
    You do, however, have the fellow that posts this blog and that is...something.
    Thank you, sincerely.

  39. Katina Dunn is a fine journalist and a very good person. A high class woman who was hurt by a low class woman.
    Susan Henderson betrayed her. A court of law ruled in favor of Katina Dunn, I happened to have been in that courtroom.
    I too, am shocked at the Kiwanis for being taken in by this woman.
    Susan went into the Kiwanis the same afternoon she lost the main court battle to Katina Dunn.
    She stood up and told them a lie. Told them she won the case. Some of them fell for her lie.
    This is typical of Henderson, I'm thinking this woman just might choke herself to death if she ever told the truth.

    In time, all the naive people who fell for Henderson, will share my view of her.
    That's a promise, Sierra Madre.

  40. A Fan of Katina DunnJanuary 4, 2010 at 9:08 PM

    When it comes to a woman of integrity, high class, fine journalism and great critical thinking skills there is no one I admire more than Katina Dunn.

    It is tragic how Katina's life changed because she trusted a sniveling snake who has stabbed other's in the back and continually gets away with her blantant lies and imnoral unethical behavior. Henderson is DANGEROUS because she is the only person in print and she no only lies she makes up more lies.

  41. Looks like Katina Dunn is back on the Tattler. Just what we need. Another wannabe journalist shamelessly promoting themselves.

  42. As opposed to high school graduate Harriet Henderson?

    Any big lottery news coming up this week? Does her financial overseer allow that kind of controversial content? Is she shaking down any old people this week?

  43. 2:34

    What difference does it make? They're both cut from the same cloth.

  44. Troll @ 2:24, strike the first person pronoun in your cheap shot. "We" applied to the Tattler means people who admire and respect Katina Dunn, and "we" miss her.
    Troll @1:07, if that's what you really think, you must have fried brains.

  45. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  46. Apparently the restless spirit of Jim Snider is loose on this blog.