Thursday, October 18, 2012

Today's Pasadena Star News Op-Ed Column On Sierra Madre's Exceedingly Odd Politics

(Mod: My column in today's Star News deals with some recent tender memories.)

When you get involved in politics in my little town you might find yourself facing situations that can only be described as colorful. When I ran for Sierra Madre's City Council in 2010, a race that I finished in 6th place out of a field of 7, the fact that I was the local blogger did sit heavily upon my campaign. I became responsible for every politically incorrect comment and perceived slight ever posted on my website, many of which grew in the retelling. Which is fine, all is fair as they say.

But the election campaign frenzy to find examples of my bloggly crimes did go a little over the top at times. The woman responsible for our woefully inept weekly newspaper published an entire editorial claiming I'd been reported to the police twice for going through peoples' garbage cans to find "secrets." Imagine my relief when I checked with the PD and found no such reports had been filed. Then there was another local newsy who solemnly swore that among my first official acts if elected would be to "outsource the Fire Department." Something that would have been a neat trick since Sierra Madre's fire department is a volunteer one.

However, it was during the 2012 City Council election here, which I did not run in, that things got really wild. Apparently my role as emcee of the more widely read news source in town was a point of concern for some, and an effort was made to silence my insistent voice lest certain unworthy candidates suffer some form of the kinds of criticism I had bravely faced two years earlier. I swear I left the trash cans out of it.

Apparently a mysterious gentleman writing under the name of Lady Elizabeth Wistar took it upon himself to rally the faithful against my scourge of a news site. Using imagery that included unicorns, lavender clad fairies, rainbows, flowers and glittering clouds of pixie dust, Lady Wistar started a blog, several Facebook pages, a Twitter account and the Lord knows what else, all in an effort to portray me as being both insensitive and unfair to his (or was it her) preferred politicians.

Where it got rather surreal was in Ms. Wistar's placing of my gentle self upon a national website dedicated to exposing people for obstreperous internet behavior. My crime being that I had bullied candidates and elected officials. Which, if true, would mean that every newspaper, cable news channel and radio station that ever talked smack about a pol would need to also be labeled bullies. Think of the First Amendment implications.

A week or so back I got an email from the FBI of all people, and it turns out that they've been looking into that national website I'd been parked on by Lady Wistar. Apparently I am a victim, and they wanted to hear from me about my experiences. It turns out that the guy running that operation had an entire series of websites dedicated to helping individuals anonymously pillory those they don't like. With names such as "stdcarriers.com," "illegalalienreport.com" and (ironically) "cyberbullyingreport.com," you can imagine that nobody would much enjoy discovering themselves on any of them.

I know I didn't, and last March I had emailed the guy running these sites to explain the politically inspired impetus behind my having been placed there. I also requested that this libelous "report" be taken down. My request was scoffed at. However, this person did offer to have the matter taken care of, but only if I agreed to purchase a $600 "reputation protection package." Which, as I am certain you have surmised, was an attempt at extortion. That being the reason for the FBI's interest.

Like I said, when you get involved in Sierra Madre politics, you might find yourself in situations that can only be described as colorful. Who knows, maybe I should run again in 2014.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

73 comments:

  1. Yes, do run in 2014! And maybe Brandenburg should run for the Board seat that will eventually come up in 2015.

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    1. No, we need Mr. Crawford to write the Tattler! We need him!
      He doesn't have time to be on the council. If he was on the council he would be under wraps to discuss these important issues.

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    2. Great picture choice Mr. Moderator!

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    3. I think there are those in the civility party who will tell you that they have seen unicorns in their backyards. I have no doubt they think they have.

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  2. I would vote for you again,

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  3. Most of the Tattler readers would vote for John. I would as well.
    However, we still need John Crawford writing the Tattler.
    In Cerritos, a local reporter/blogger has worked for the past two years to expose a huge scandal. Randy Economy has worked to expose LA county assesor Noguez, Noguez is now in jail. Google Noguez scandal. It sure reminds me of the Bell scandal.
    It's only a matter of time before our own John Crawford rids us of some dangerous public officials and ex public officials.
    Sierra Madre is not immune to this. We are not.

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  4. I would vote for you. At least you showed us that the truth was more interesting than the lies told buy the dirty down town club $. Hearing the truth is what I want to hear, that's why I read here.

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  5. Replies
    1. Somebody is unhappy today.

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    2. Yes, this is very true 8:24. The local biased media and some small groups of Mosca followers have poisoned people's minds here in town.
      Mosca hates MaryAnn MacGillivray. He hates John Crawford.
      MaryAnn MacGillivray is one of the kindest and most honest women in this town or any town. What some people in town and especially around Mary's Market did to her in the last election was disgraceful.
      They did this because they were under the influence/spell of Joe Mosca, a very bad character with absolutely zero integrity. Their "hero" Joe, left town in a "matheson cloud" and that great lady, MaryAnn was not re-elected, even though she was the best city councilmember we ever had.
      These Dirts and DIC's are what is wrong and has been wrong with Sierra Madre for a long time. They are liars and some of them are dishonest crooks.

      John Crawford is a very honest man. He has a sharp wit, and is very outspoken, but this is a man who will always apologize if he is wrong about something, he is a genius of a writer, he values the truth above all and we are so very fortunate to have him here in Sierra Madre, and even if he is not an elected official, his contribution to this town is huge. Huge!

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    3. John is a super cool and fair guy. I wish there were more people like him in the world.

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  6. The smear campaign against MacGillivrey is well known in this town. Not as well known is the smear campaign against Crawford.
    The disgusting websites that the Civility Party promoted during Measure V had gone, but their reputations lingered on, and the people who were less computer literate were convinced that Crawford had something to do with that tripe.
    Any small-minded or mean-spirited remark was attributed to him, and even a troll attack could be held up as an example of what he wrote.
    The Dirts and the Downtown Investment Club members were successful in the "Do you want mean, or nice?" public relations push.

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    1. And look at who the civility party has given us. Nancy "We can take you out" Walsh and Cut You Off Moran. +Two of the worst city councilmembers of all time.

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  7. Off topic, but, you know. Jessica Hamlin has just been announced as the new editor for the Altadena Patch. And it was announced there. The change is effective now. But no news about this at all on the Sierra Madre Patch, where she was the editor until, now? Not a peep. Maybe they're going to fold it?

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    1. I think they're going to fold the near death Sierra Madre Patch into the new Pasadena Patch. I doubt it will be around for much longer.

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    2. Do you want to know who brought the biggest returns in readers over there? Anything about them, or written by them? Give you a hint, its a husband and wife.

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    3. Bach's greatest achievement?

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    4. Really 9:21? The Brandenburgs? Was it because the Patch allowed those two to be cyberbullied and there was a bit of guilty pleasure at witnessing it? Sounds a bit like the glittery one and Crawford.

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    5. Cyberbullied? The Brandenburgs? I can think of no one, not even the infamous John Crawford, more or better equipped to withstand an onslaught of cyberbullying. Without those awkward, lengthy, meanspirited exchanges we would never have known the depth of hatred aimed at Tony and Mary and their children. What a cesspit of depravity the Brandenburgs have exposed right here in the All American City's very own elementary school. All of it with the knowledge and participation of members of the PUSD school board. Thank you Brandenburgs for painting a target on yourselves. It's been an enlightening experience.

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    6. Jessica is killing the Patch with her focus on national politics. I miss the last gal who ran it. I even miss the tall guy that moved on to the mother ship. They actually dug into local stories. Oh well.

      And there was plenty of bile to go with the facts on both sides of the Branderburg/lefty parents with kids at SMES feud as played out on the Patch. Both sides should try to get along for "the good of the children." Nah, keep going at it. It makes for entertaining reading.

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    7. Patch hung the Brandenburgs out to dry. All the while enjoying the increased traffic they got Patch. A very dehumanized and ugly cynicism.

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    8. 10:25, keep in mind the Brandenburgs may have been trying to remove the target off their child when deflecting it their way, and on to the well deserving PUSD staff. How can anyone forget the oh so glittery Gayle Bluemel? She sure skidaddled out at the end of all that mess. And then to ignore a real hero and put her in the 4th of July Parade? Does she have friends in high places or what?

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    9. AOL is killing Patch.
      Or maybe Patch is killing AOL.

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    10. Aol has dropped about a quarter of a billion dollars on Patch. It really is a very bizarre exercise.

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    11. Hey, I can always use a little current news. On the Patch I can learn how to register to vote online, what time the presidential debate is on, and where in Sierra Madre to get a breast exam.

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    12. That's not completelt true, 1:36. Didn't you read the article about the guy who was hiking in the national forest and slipped on rock slime? That hit hard.

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  8. I remember talking to a neighbor during the council elections when Crawford ran, and saying what good ideas he had for the city. The neighbor was shocked, and told me that he was a very bad guy who lied about people on the internet. I tried to talk her out of this misperception, but wasn't successful.

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    1. Was it maybe a "well respected" Sierra Madre teacher 9:13?

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    2. I hope that the FBI can figure out who the glittery one is. He/she deserves whatever comes from the bullying. Honest people who ask good questions should not be punished for looking out for everyone- thanks John C.!

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    3. No, 10:12. it was a well respected elder of the community. You'll need to take your efforts against the teacher you are referring to elsewhere.

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    4. Actually 9:13, there were a couple others who brought up that certain teacher, and being that I saw the her behavior a while back on the Patch, I wouldn't be surprised. I'd like to see whoever is responsible to get what they've got coming.

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    5. This is all the work of the old Cumquat crowd. And judging by the way things went for them in the last election their mojo is as fried as all that weird stuff they post.

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    6. 9:13- nice try at throwing the scent on to Matheson. Don't think that's who Crawford was alluding to though regarding the Mr. or Mrs. Wistaria.

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    7. What?
      I was posting about a conversation I had with an old gal who I know from city council meetings in the past - like 2 decades ago.
      Any innuendos or extrapolations are the property of the people who are making them!
      My point was that I was dismayed to find that the smear campaign against Crawford was effective.
      That's all.

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    8. 12:06 is obviously either a no goodnik or suffering some adverse sparkle reactions from eating slunky unicorn meat.

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    9. 9:13 am, your conversation was perfectly clear. Ear wax. That's what's troubling the poster who alluded to Matheson.

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    10. Don't fret 9:13. It's safe to say there's a pretty heavy troll presence these days. There's a decided flavor of irony in trolls trying to turn conversation into personal slanders when the topic of the article is just what that kind of web speech cost the city.

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    11. So Matheson wasn't a "well respected elder of the community"? Isn't that teacher also a well respected Sierra Madrean? Just a little confusion, it was a bit early for me. Granted, I did miss the "her" you mentioned in your original statement.
      Your neighbor, whomever it was, clearly fell under the spell of the mass mind during this bully campaign against Crawford. Not much different than the bully campaign against a kid over at the SME.

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    12. Yes 1:09- It seems certain trolls gleefully entered when slanders were directed at certain Sierra Madre personas non gratis (ie: Tony and Mary). Those two seem to be garnering quite a bit of negative attention, warrented or not, even on the Tattler.

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    13. Like any small town Sierra Madre has it's narrow minded and ignorant people. Plus there are those who feed on their ignorance for personal financial and political advantage. Just goes with the territory.

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    14. Be excellent to each other.

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    15. The Tattler is always most excellent.

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    16. that's right, So-Crates!

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  9. Please stop! No more unicorn pictures! Please stop!

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    1. They are the self-chosen symbol of the madness that drives those people.

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    2. Really? What did that nice mythical symbol ever do to deserve such a fate?

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    3. The last known herd is being held captive in a basement holding pen run by a real estate trade group. Their sparkles are now so dim they can no longer be sensed.

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  10. I thought the horn on the unicorn was at the other end of the horse?

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  11. We dined on unicorn last night. I recommend red wine.

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  12. Crawford is better staying outside of that corrupt City Council and marshaling the forces of truth. And lots of times the issues that appear to be outside of town are actually part of the DIRT underground, such as SCAG and LA County. A council member can't really go there, although MaryAnn pointed out many relevant issues from the SCAG meetings. The only one to do that, to date, in fact.

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    1. I think Koerber and Capoccia are keeping watchful eyes on both the SGVCOG and SCAG.
      Walsh hasn't got a watchful eye, and Moran is a party boy people pleaser, so he's not up to the task.
      I would have hopes for Harabedian, but I think he's made it pretty clear he's on the road to being big in his party - so that means capitulating to party leaders.

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  13. News posted on yesterday's thread, today:
    AnonymousOctober 18, 2012 8:44 AM
    FLASH NEWS: The COG has it on the agenda to fire Nick Conway tonight. There is a closed session item to deal with him too. The question is if the COG will pay him off or has the expensive attorney Nick hired while the COG paid him 40 Grand a month gotten him a deal with the DA. There is an item about the 70 Grand illegal payoff they gave Nick the last time he got his appendage in a ringer.

    The buffet may run out of food tonight with the length of the meeting. How much of this they are going to hide from the public is still questionable. Maybe our delegate will report to the City

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    Replies
    1. Anything you hear please report back later. Huge news, and a lot of people want to know. Thank you!

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    2. Are they really ready to push Conway out?
      What on Earth happened to his avidly loyal supporters?
      Somebody else bought 'em?

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    3. There has got to be an angle somewhere.

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    4. Survival. The COGs are moving to stop an exodus. They need to kick Conway out, or else how can the reps go back to their cities and say "Everything's good now"?

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    5. So they kick Conway out, but what about Arroyo Associates? He still owns it. It will continue to pay him. He will continue to wield influence and collect fees.

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    6. But will they visit him in jail?

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    7. Nick who? Even as we blog they're deleting photos from FB.

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  14. Here's another good one. Looks like Mr. Demerjian, is a busy Deputy D.A. I wonder what else could be on his to do list...

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/10/a-grand-jury-indictment-was-unsealed-thursday-charging-hawthorne-mayor-daniel-juarez-with-two-counts-of-felony-perjury-for-al.html

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    1. Damn. Corruption is like sunshine in our part of the world. It's everywhere!

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    2. These people are not the sharpest knives in the drawer, that's for sure. But this is tip of the iceberg and endemic to the SGV

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  15. Come one, come all to the sgvCOG meeting held on October 18, 2012 Thursday.

    www.SGVCOG.org

    So Cal Edison CTAC
    6090 N. Irwindale Avenue, Irwindale, Ca.

    It's off the 210 freeway, exit is off both the East or West bound traffic flow on the freeway.

    This building is located in a cluster of Edison building deep inside the East side of the street.

    Agenda items:

    A lot of butt covering agenda issues, you would think these people never handled state of federal contracts and money?

    How stupid do you think they are trying to act?

    It could be said never send a child to do an adults job.

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    1. They paid Nick another 155 grand and finally sent him on his way. Now he will sue them for a legal defense. The bill for Nick is now over a million dollars. The buffet must have been pretty good tonight to cover the heartburn.

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  16. Unfortunately our small community has been plagued by resident Pro Development Junkies.They are still grasping at vision of lucrative returns if only they can fool enough suckers to fall in line.They are at it again with the end run around Measure V.If that fails, they will try some other deceptive ruse to hoodwink our citizens.Kudos to Crawford for your efforts to alert us to the ongoing stratagems which are designed to urbanize our community!

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    1. A lot of them invested heavily in the DSP in 2006. The special people were all going to get rich. Now they're a cancer on the town.

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  17. Article up on Patch about the revolving writing heads there. Hamlin is moving to Altadena (sorry, Sage) and we are getting .... nobody. Apparently editors from other Patches will be keeping an eye on the our Patch. Which means no real local coverage, just generic crap.

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    1. So the change will be....?

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    2. Hey, they're looking for bloggers. Infiltrate and start shaking things up!

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    3. Wow. A bot site.

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    4. Bring back Patrick Kim Jong Il Lee

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    5. He is now running the website at KPCC. That and the loss of Madelyn Brand means they won't get any more money from me.

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  18. The reason Sierra Madre Patch has no traffic is....The Tattler.

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