Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Steve Tobia's Defense of Nick Conway Continues

Though Steve Tobia claims that his energetic support for the legally beset Nick Conway is merely a result of an empathy he feels for someone who has had a legal run-in with Caltrans supposedly similar to his own, four quite lengthy columns in a self-generated Los Angeles Times Sunday vanity insert, and all on this exact same topic, does raise some questions. The first one being exactly why is it he cares quite as much as he does?

Based on what we have seen from Steve so far, apparently he believes that the arrest and arraignment on four felony charges of Nick Conway, the now former Executive Director of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments, is the result of an elaborate conspiracy involving the Mayor Pro Tem of Walnut, the Los Angeles District Attorney's Public Integrity Office, and Caltrans. All of whom colluded to do in Nick Conway, a person Tobia refers to as "a highly regarded private sector consultant."

You get the drift here? It's a crooked government conspiracy out to crush a guy for the crime of being from the "private sector." With Steve Tobia starring in the role of Batman.

So how does Steve show that this is all the dirty work of a vast network of greedy government co-conspirators? He doesn't really. Rather he spends the better part of three columns talking about his own legal run-in with Caltrans. Which, you will be relieved to know, resulted in a lawsuit and Steve walking away with $2 million dollars in your tax money.

Tobia leaves it to you to figure out what the connection might be in these two very different and completely unrelated cases.

And for the third time Steve Tobia fails to mention that Nick Conway, rather than merely being an outside "private sector consultant," was actually the Executive Director of the COG, something that made him an ultimate insider in that organization and therefore conceivably responsible for the kinds of things the District Attorney arrested him for. Nick's Executive Director role is an important element in the D.A.'s Conflict of Interest case under Section 1090 of California Government Code. It is also something that inconveniently flies in the face of a defense strategy built on the fiction that Nick was only an innocent hired hand doing what he was ordered to do. A reprise of the old Sargent Schultz dodge, I guess.

Obviously Tobia decided it was better to just leave that "Executive Director" thing out altogether.

As you can see from the inset above (click to enlarge), City of Walnut Mayor Pro Tem Tom King is quoted in Tobia's column last Sunday. The passage cited, sliced from King's e-mail to Steve Tobia, is taken a bit out of context. For the record, here is what Tom King actually said:

Dear Mr. Tobia,

Your paid infomercials in the Los Angeles Times fraudulently allege that I wish to form a new Council of Governments. The San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments is the logical entity to speak as a unified voice for our region. When the criminal allegations are adjudicated against your good "friend" I will evaluate if we rejoin the organization.

What happened to your friend is tragic and self-inflicted. He was the architect of his own undoing. I feel sorry for him.

Integrity is what we do when no one is looking. Unfortunately for him, people are looking.

All of which I thought was a fairly evenhanded response to a guy who had just accused Tom, and in a few heavily distributed opinion pieces no less, of forming a vast conspiracy to somehow take over The COG, one that included both the Los Angeles District Attorney's Public Integrity Office and Caltrans. How exactly so vast an enterprise, made up of such disparate elements, was put together by King has yet to be adequately explained by Mr. Tobia. Apparently that Mayor Pro Tem gig in Walnut comes with some fairly impressive powers.

There is one more column to go, however, so maybe this important aspect has been saved for the stunning climax to Tobia's dramatic tale.

One more thing. The "paid infomercials" Tom King refers to in his e-mail is Tobia's self-produced mass advertising insert called The Weekly Insider, which is disseminated by the Los Angeles Times each Sunday for its usual distribution fee. The businesses advertising in this throw-away are pretty much the same as those that grace Tobia's THE Magazine, the San Gabriel Valley's own overweening testament to ostentatious consumerism.

I wonder how many of these Weekly Insider advertisers understand what exactly they have bought into here. Should they ever figure it out I'm not certain that all of them would be entirely pleased by the association.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

55 comments:

  1. You have to look at this as comedy. Mostly because it is.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Tobia was/is into "public relations," paid to spin information. Listening to him is like researching a product by watching the commercial on tv.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. and then being asked to buy into it because he's going to spare you the details behind half of his claims... snake oil salesman who keeps chattering there's more to the show... a shell game of retaining your attention long enough to forget what the actual point is...

      Delete
  3. Tobia's writing style is similar to that of a lot of the "No on V" literature in 2007. Didn't he write a lot of that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, 8:17, he did just that. Steve Tobia was/is a part of the DSP DIRTS.
      I wonder if he is even one of the "investors" in the DIC group?

      Delete
  4. That guy really has terrible writing skills along with what seems to be attention deficit. And he's using Nick's misdeeds as an opportunity to hold public therapy sessions.Get over it! Let Nicky boy fight his own battles.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Tobia's modus operandi has, and still is that of a well paid grifter for the local developer/real estate industry.
    His comical"THE" is a "sad rag" designed to take advertising dollars from uninformed companies not knowing nobody really reads it and its only use is to line the bottom of bird cages.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're kind to call THE comical. Pathetic is really more apt.

      Delete
    2. How about the name choice for Tobia's brochure for false values? THE, really? As opposed to all of the other magazines, like Atlantic Monthly, or National Geographic, or the expensive but outstanding Science, or The Economist. No, a pushy little luxury items catalogue, THE, is the magazine. What an ignoramus.

      Delete
    3. just surprises me that he has advertisers in this economy - his distribution is false (like Henderson's) because his readership claims are outlandish and purely jumbled to present that he has readers and advertisers believe the claim

      at some point the advertising placed by realtors has to be subject to more scrunity by homeowners and i'd certainly question my realtor who placed my ads in throwaway publications without any substance or verification of circulation numbers and then claim "the house just isn't selling"

      you advertise in crap you get crap

      Delete
  6. " self-generated Los Angeles Times Sunday vanity insert" - so the guys had to pay to have it in the paper - ad the paper accepted it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think the LA Times turns down any business these days. I know that on Sundays half the paper is inserts and flyers. All of which go straight to recycling.

      Delete
    2. I've been getting a rolled up bunch of ads that are presented with an LA Times front cover, but no newspaper.

      Delete
    3. Who paid the LA Times?

      Delete
  7. Back up a minute.
    Tobia claims that Conway is the private sector outsider?
    But all the council reps who get their state sponsored meals at the COG are from the private sector.
    Everybody who joins that organization is a volunteer public servant, yeah?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Conway is the consummate insider.

      Delete
    2. I don't recall Conway showing up for COG meetings with his laptop in his hand, looking for a place to sit.

      Delete
  8. From my brief read of that article, looks like Tobia has it out for the auditor on the case. Since she was the same one who took on his company. Sounds like he wants to find a way to take her down, and is trying to use this case to do that. Somehow I just don't think it is going to work out for him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I figured Tobia was in it for revenge.
      So if he was hired with some of Conway's ill-gotten gains, he's getting paid to settle a grudge.

      Delete
    2. There is no connection whatsoever between Conway's Caltrans case and Tobia's. It is just Tobia's excuse to jump in. Obviously he has other motives.

      Delete
    3. 9:57, the auditor is the connection.

      Delete
    4. The auditor works for the D.A.'s office?

      Delete
    5. The CalTrans auditor who worked on Tobia's audit is the same one who worked on Conway's audit. I don't know Tobia's case, but I can tell a self aggrandizing martyr when I see one.

      Delete
    6. Conway's problems are with the D.A. Anything to do with Caltrans is trivia at this point.

      Delete
    7. Saint Steven the Martyr. The creepiness factor sweeping across Doyle, Mosca, Buchanan, Conway, Tobia, et al. is nauseating. Makes a fool like Walsh seem a step up on the evolutionary ladder.

      Delete
    8. You are so right, 11:31. That manipulative victim schtick is a common factor, isn't it?

      Delete
    9. In Moranistan, Emperor Moran loves that victim schtick, until he attacks his opposition. But that doesn't count.

      Delete
  9. Y'all aren't reading the Steve Tobia's article. He says clearly, his opinions are not for sale.
    They might be for rent, but not, not ever, for sale.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are they available for a long-term lease?

      Delete
    2. I suspect they are available for pretty much any arrangement you want to make. And if there is an opportunity for Tobia to paint himself as a hero, it's a done deal.

      Delete
    3. A time share perhaps?

      Delete
    4. his opinion is not for sale lol

      neither are the ladies who advertise in craigslist for company

      slimy guy

      Delete
  10. Tobia calls King "undignified," as though Tobia knows what dignity is. Here's a hint Steve; it does not involve licking the boots of the wealthy.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I wonder if the advertisers know how many read the throw-away in the Times? I personally have never read it, and I tend to read most advertisements just because I want to know what is going on or what is new.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I like Mr. Tobia am entitled to an opinion. While I am not a lawyer, I can read Government Code Section 1090 and form my own opinion.

    Gov Code 1090 "Members of the Legislature, state, county, district, judicial district, and city officers or employees shall not be financially interested in any contract made by them in their official capacity, or by any body or board of which they are members. Nor shall state, county, district, judicial district, and city officers or employees be purchasers at any sale or vendors at any purchase made by them in their official capacity. As used in this article, "district" means any agency of the state formed pursuant to general law or special act, for the local performance of governmental or proprietary functions within limited boundaries. "

    Nick Conway (dba Arroyo Seco Associates) provides management and administrative services to a joint powers authority (SGVCOG) and is paid a monthly, fixed price retainer for its work. As part of its duties, Nick Conway manages the activities both of subcontractors to the joint powers authority and/or other public entities who work on publicly funded grant programs that are awarded to the joint powers authority.

    Nick Conway gets additional reimbursement for its management activities associated with the grant programs. Nick Conway identifies grant programs to be pursued by the joint powers authority and prepares the grant applications and is compensated by the joint powers authority for doing so; and Nick Conway develops his own scope of work and proposed compensation amounts in connection with the grant programs, negotiates those matters directly with the grant funding entities and subsequently recommends the scope of work and compensation amounts to the board of the SGVCOG as part of the board’s grant approval process; and Nick Conway then manages the grant programs on behalf of the SGVCOG.

    That would appear to violate both State and Federal Conflict of Interest laws, and places all San Gabriel Valley COG member agencies AT RISK for the recall of Grants Administered by the SGVCOG. That is an unacceptable risk to my community. Conway's conduct is unacceptable and does not meet ethical standards required by my community or City Council. It also places him in breach of his Management Services Agreement. Since the SGVCOG governing board failed to correct this, I recommended that we suspend our membership in this organization.

    It is what it is....and I don't find that hard to understand. Tobia sounds suspiciously similar to Conway...almost word for word. One has to wonder why anyone would spend tens of thousands of dollars spreading deliberately false and misleading information.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Mr. King. Couldn't be more clear.

      Delete
  13. Nothing Tobia says here makes any sense. Does he really think that people will buy into his nonsense?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Help me understand - this "opinion piece" is in a throw away advert clump? Why would anyone who is looking through ads - maybe Ralphs has a sale on mangoes - look at or care about a political whine?

      Delete
    2. It is a truly absurd article. Like writing op-eds for The Pennysaver.

      Delete
    3. Don't we all look to the Pennysaver for intellectual guidance?

      Delete
  14. Contrast Tobia's sloppy style with the Moderator's emphasis on fact, presented with wit.
    What a way with words - "the legally beset Nick Conway"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tobia's writing style - soaring indignation juiced with a large shot of entitlement.

      Delete
    2. Moew like snorted I would guess.

      Delete
    3. Soaring indignation? I think it's more like plodding self-absorbation.

      Delete
  15. Tobia...."in my opinion" has always been and will always be an overblown blow hard.

    The lame brain used to show up at Council meetings for camera face time, plug is throwaway paper and tout that HE - himself was the largest employer in Sierra Madre.

    The only thing redeeming is that he ripped off Susan Henderson when he sold her his rag and kept all the city money that had been paid "in advance" for legal advertising.

    Who pays for advertising in advance? No business does - except one paying off favors.

    If Henderson had to prove her numbers and comply with the law regarding legal advertising she wouldn't be able to and yet our city management continues to play favor towards Henderson because she prints either what she is told or has zero backbone to report the truth.

    Given she ripped off her domestic labor, her former business partner, embellzed or was fired for corporate credit card abuse and subsequently moved to Sierra Madre - played the race card - touted extremely judgemental and bigoted agendas towards "Jews" - somehow she gets elected to the Rotary Club.

    Tobia and Henderson - I think of them being almost the same.

    Con artists.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 4:19 has some good memory skills.

      Delete
  16. just another con artist defending another con artist

    ReplyDelete
  17. We need more people like Tom King.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is very true, 5:33. Mr. King is a great man for exposing this scandal. He is a great man and so is John Crawford!

      Delete
  18. And Nick Conway in jail and his evil doers Michael Cano and David Spence away from any opportunity to push Nicks agenda of greed and arrogance.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Gee wiilagerz Opie, if you don't like what Tobias is printing there is little button on your computer called "create new Word document" and you can type away till your hearts content...where have have I heard something similar to this...hmmmm...whatevz....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is what you have to offer 8:10?
      Surely you can do better - maybe even make a remark about the content of Tobia's mewling defense of Slick Nick.

      Delete
  20. It is sad indeed to watch Conway's media spin play out. Tobia (with input from Conway) can try to spin things any way he might like, but it won't change the facts.

    Conway, acting as a public official, participated in the making of decisions which resulted in a direct financial benefit to him! If Conway decides to fight the charges (which it appears he will), I suspect the DA will widen their investigation and look into other questionable practices which have gone on under Conway's direction.

    ReplyDelete
  21. This kind of public relations campaign is similar to what many corrupt leaders do once caught. Reminds me of the SEIU leader, Freeman I think is his name, spent thousands attempting to get good press.

    He was indicted today on 15 felony charges by the U.S.Attorney's office, his wife pleaded guilty a few months back.

    Should be interesting to see if the Feds get involved in the Conway case, much of the monies involved came from Federal sources which would give them jurisdiction.

    Interesting thought.....

    ReplyDelete