|Yes, Charlie Brown, I am the Great Pumpkin|
Here is what this e-mail said:
Who Says Democrats and Republicans Can't Get Along? Join Former Sierra Madre Mayors Bart Doyle (R) and Enid Joffe (D) in a Bipartisan "Meet and Greet" For ... Pasadena City Council Member and California Assembly Candidate Chris Holden, Friday, November 2, 2012 7:00 P.M. At the Home Of Enid Joffe (etc.)
(As a side note, Enid's old man, Joel Shapiro, who will also be in attendance, is the current Superintendent of Schools for South Pasadena. I wonder how the good citizens of South Pas would feel about having Supe Shapiro in league with the 710 Tunnel's very own Minister of the Sinister, Chris Holden?)
Now the thought of Bart "RINO" Doyle getting all bipartisan because he just loves a candidate has got to be about the most hilarious thing ever committed to e-mail. As Tony Brandenburg proves below, love has absolutely nothing to do with it. It is about development to be consummated on PUSD owned property. Enabled by big government bucks, slick pols and the Hahn family-owned political machine that gets Chris Holden dressed in the morning and puts him back to bed at night.
A Los Angeles Perspective
Urban Housing Solutions, LLC are a lobbying group who have a number of clients (click here), among them is Urban Housing Communities, LLC (UHC), of Santa Ana, a company owned by three siblings- Douglas, John, and David Bigley (click here). Scrolling through the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission Lobbying Firm Quarterly Report for the period ending December 31, 2008 (I know, it was a while ago) there is a bit of activity from acronym groups - and if you know what the initials stand for, and who was receiving the money (click here). CHMB Consulting Firm (Chris Holden’s property and business firm), UHC LA 29, L.P., and owned by Douglas Bigley, who seems to like to build stuff near freeways and train lines (click here). UHC LA 29, L.P. may be a separate entity from UHC, LLC, though married by bloodlines. In fact, following the search term Urban Housing Solutions, through the parent directory Los Angeles City Ethics Commission Lobbying Firm Quarterly Report will reveal a whole plethora of Bigley women, too. Try it, it’s fun, and educational, too! (click here) and what is the common thread that stitches these interests together? Land. Los Angeles is the land of milk and honey for property lawyers, property development, and construction companies lobbying the City Council, and in the center of it all, December, 2008, was Chris Holden, and Urban Housing Communities.
A Pasadena Perspective
Chris Holden, the politically groomed Hahn Machine Pasadena superstar and PUSD alumni, is currently running for an Assembly seat. He is, according to his website endorsed by three PUSD Board of Education members- BOE President Renatta Cooper, Vice President Ed Honowitz, and Bart Doyle supported Tom Selinske (click here). You would think Holden’s people would spell his name right if they are going to name drop him, right? There is also some political muscle, clout, and history supporting Chrissy, including Congresswoman Janice Hahn, Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca, Attorney General Kamala Harris, and Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard.
It’s an impressive list, but it is incomplete. That’s because Mr. Holden has lots of friends.
See, there are other endorsements, too, but they are the kind you don’t brag about, because they could, possibly, constitute a conflict of interest. For those kinds of “financial endorsements” you have to be willing to dig deeper. You have to figure in the lobbying reports to get the full picture.
First to consider, Nate Holden, Chris’s pop, was an aide to Kenneth Hahn, the former Los Angeles County Supervisor. You all remember Nate, he got those menacing sneakers off of the telephone lines (click here).
Congresswoman Janice Hahn, Kenneth’s daughter, was a Los Angeles Councilwoman for ten years. I would never say nepotism, but it seems to me that if Chris can give a shout out to Janny, he could at least send one out to his dad, the sneaker tweaker, as a thank you for the $3,900 contribution last year (click here) and can always count on Bogaard, then and now, for support. Thanks pop! Thanks Bill!
Chris also got a nice chunk of cash from the Bigleys and Urban Housing Communities ($4600) for his 2012 Assembly election bid. If you look at the top contributers, that would put the Bigley interests in the top twenty, but it is spread out, so who’s the wiser, eh? That certainly isn’t even the tip of the iceberg, as was pointed out back in June, 2012, by the Star News which showed much larger contributions (click here).
Well, ya see, the Holden younger had hosted a little meeting at Pasadena City Hall - on PUSD company time - with two Pasadena Unified officers - David Azcarraga Chief of PUSD facilities, and John Pappalardo, Chief Finance Officer in a private meeting (click here) with Urban Housing Communities (click here) to discuss district assets. Which assets? Are those assets the Muir High School field that Ed Honowitz discussed at a recent Facilities Subcommittee meeting which was attended by Selinske and Azcarraga? Which board member set up this meeting, and why doesn’t he want to talk about it (click here)? What connects Councilman Holden to Urban Housing Communities? (click here). Well, let’s just say it is green (maybe a solar panel on the district’s warehouse?), and involves a grant (which grant, and where is this grant?) and hey, it could even include a new housing development. Hmmm..... who else is talking about building affordable housing in Pasadena? (click here) Is this why there was all of this redistricting a while back?
Holden’s bids for office in 2009, as well as 2004, according to campaign disclosure statements show a history of campaign support from unions, contractors, and property associations (click here and here), which should come as no surprise. Why I mention it is because there are contributions from Douglas Bigley/UHC for $500. Add that to his current assembly bid and the Bigleys/UHC have donated more than $5,000 to Chris Holden.
How about Pasadena Board Members? Well, I asked Renatta Cooper and Ed Honowitz at the last Board meeting if either of them had donated any money to Chris Holden. In all fairness, they can’t answer during public comments. However, they could have answered when comments were closed. They did not. So, have they? According to disclosure statements up to September, 2012, Renatta Cooper and Renatta Cooper for Kids have donated $350. Apparently the rest of the board doesn’t care about Mr. Holden, but Pasadena Mayor Bogaard kicked in $1000. Damned if I could find the connection with Honowitz through contributions, but I was pleased to locate a couple of nice portraits of Peter Dreier taken by Honowitz (click here).
Now I know everyone loves Chris Holden. I mean, after all, without him the vacancy created by the Charter Reform Task Force that he chaired back in 1999, you know, the one that Bart Doyle served on, could never have created the seat that now stables Mr. Ed and moving us from 5 board members to 7, presumably to make it easier for Sierra Madre parents like you and I to access our board members.
Really? You mean that seat of Mr. Ed’s wasn’t always there?
People don’t redistrict and restructure to push through political agendas, or influence future or unspoken of district assets, do they? (click here) I don’t know, but I do know that I saw most of those names on the donor lists of Pasadena politicians. I also noticed that Bart Doyle is on the Board of Directors for the Building Industry Association Los Angeles Ventura (BIASC LAV) (click here) and that the political wing (i.e. Political Action Wing) of the California Building Association (CBIA PAC) represents BIASC LAV (click here), and that they donated at least $3900 (click here type California Building) to Holden’s campaign.
Wait a minute...... backtrack! Wasn’t school board member accessibility what Bart Doyle said we were going to get in 1999 - if we redistricted back then? Well, hot damn, I get it now! If at first you don’t succeed, promise the suckers they’ll get it the second time around.
That is why we now have a voice with the PUSD ... in a few years! Thanks, Big D!
Planes, Trains, and Affordable Housing
According to an email sent by a Facilities Subcommittee Member, the developer, UHC (Urban Housing Communities), who met with Azcarraga, Pappalardo, and Holden in August, 2012, had been recommended by Honowitz at the Facilities Subcommittee meeting that I myself had attended in September 2012.
According to the email, the UHC had also met with said subcommittee member/chair, with Holden, and Edwin Diaz, “about 1 and 1/2 years ago.”
Was Holden hot for connecting this building group with some of the PUSD staff and a couple of Board members? Was someone putting pressure on then Superintendent Diaz to meet with this team? Is someone putting pressure on current superintendent Gundry to do the same? Why?
Once upon a time, there was a Pasadena City dream called Hahamogna (click here), and a playing field, and a road, and other stuff that was, thankfully, never built, and then there was a councilman’s dream to rebuild a playing field somewhere else ... maybe, just maybe, on a district asset called Muir High School (click here) because, after all, playing fields, and joint multiple-use fields and facilities are important for the PUSD, and for the rest of us, too. This is consistent with the designs of Chris Holden.
We also have look at investing in new opportunities. Green technology, infrastructure improvements, and transportation projects. One of the greatest job stimulator's is public transportation projects. The light rail is putting people back to work. (Chris Holden, May 29, 2012) (click here).
Yes, Holden likes to build new stuff. He’s like a one man erector set. While he is wishy-washy at this time on the 710 extension, he hasn’t always been (click here). Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? If the rest of the exciting things that his career has leaned toward come to fruition, my prediction is that he’ll eventually make a decision - in doublespeak - that results in a nice new connector. How else can we disconnect the east side from the Bradley air of the west and connect them to the Hopeful airport of the north?
PUSD loves to build cool stuff, too, and then instead of using the stuff, they just rent facilities from the City of Pasadena for things like high school graduations. Why use the ones they already have, and have already built with taxpayer money and political favors? Just buy more favors, keep writing those grants, keep getting that fed money for going green. Take it from the Pasadena General Plan - if you want to build empty housing projects for people who don’t exist, you’re definitely going to need empty fields for them to play on. PUSD is full of empty schools for kids who don’t exist. It became necessary to work that building stuff in somewhere else, what better place than on the property of the largest land owners in Pasadena - PUSD?
Chris Holden’s relationship with the Bob Hope Burbank/Pasadena/Glendale Airport is no secret. It actually makes perfect sense for someone who has the support of builders, and parking lot companies with more than $11,000 in support for Holden’s Assembly race. (click here type parking) He has served on the Airport Authority, and is currently their president. (click here). This interest is consistent with his designs to “improve” infrastructure and transportation. A line to Burbank Airport can’t be too far away. The City of Pasadena’s General Plan is moving forward and toward thousands of stacked housing units along the train line, even though recent census information trends shows a decrease in population of some 5,000 people. No problem, we can always hope - and if that doesn’t work let’s just connect the lines to something else.
Build it, and they might come. Though everyone knows they probably won't. But does that really matter just as long as the State and Federal grant money comes in? After all, that's how Bart and the smart guys do it.