Friday, November 2, 2012

Fresh From Voting Himself A Nice Raise, Chris Holden Finally Makes It To Sierra Madre

It took a while. The race for our glittering new 41st Assembly District seat (look left - click on it to enlarge) has been going on for a minute, and just days before next week's election Chris Holden is finally making it to Sierra Madre. Of course, chances are you won't get to meet him as his visit here tonight is at an exclusive invitation-only party, one being held at former Sierra Madre Mayor Enid Joffe's wickiup on Michillinda. Only 200 of this town's most special residents were invited, so if you didn't get the golden e-mail then chances are you're not recognized as being among the elect. Believe me, few of us are.

Besides, claiming you're a man of the people as Chris has doesn't actually mean you'd ever really want to hang around with too many regular folks. Better to mainly invite those with business interests relevant to the erstwhile Assemblyman's own. And for this long-time Pasadena City Councilman, Michillinda is probably as good a location as any for him to make a reluctant foray into our little town. Should the experience here amongst the unwashed become too unpleasant for him, all he has to do is walk back across the street.

That Pasadena City Council pay raise Holden voted himself really is problematic, you know. When sitting elected officeholders cast a vote to give themselves more of the taxpayer's hard earned dough, people can take it as an indication of how they might behave themselves if they should ever move up the ladder to higher office. And with Holden hoping to go to Sacramento, this does become a situation. Our State Legislature, perhaps the most profligate squanderer of the peoples' money anywhere, is hardly a place where featherbedding is an unrecognized art. Perhaps Chris just wanted to show the folks he hopes to be working with soon that he is a team player.

Few people see this as being a small matter, of course. And in today's Pasadena Star News (click here) Larry Wilson lowers the boom on this act of personal aggrandizement at the taxpayer's expense:

But serving on our local city councils is really designed to be an honor, as well as a part-time job. When I was covering the council as a reporter, its members were paid $50 a week. Scam was they also got $50 if a Community Development Commission - council wearing different hats - meeting was held, but still. Not a fortune. And the pay remained that essentially from 1968 to 1997. (Essentially, I say, because of a brief 1991 mutiny in which pay was raised to almost $3,000 a month before citizens howled it down. Mayor Jess Hughston, a liberal Republican - yes, children, they existed - reported "obscene and threatening calls" to his home and changed his vote to create a new council majority to rescind the raise.)

Slow-creeping compromises were made down the decades, and Pasadena City Council members are now paid $1,367 a month - the mayor gets $2,051. And the council just voted 6-2 to give itself a raise.

That's just crazy. It's unethical to vote on one's own raise. That aside, none of the arguments about the wisdom of the 3 percent hike hold any water for me. I fully agree the pay means that some of the harder-working members, especially the mayor, are making a couple bucks an hour. It's not supposed to be a living wage. It's supposed to be civic volunteerism.

Just as with the Legislature, the more you pay, the more you encourage the rascals. I hate it when an Assembly member brags about how many laws he's authored - another law is not the way to a better California, or our pursuit of happiness. The reverse is probably true.

I'm embarrassed as a Pasadenan that the council decided the city - beset by fiscal problems, cost overruns, staff layoffs - is in such good shape its members deserve a raise. Sure, it's just $41 a month each. But it's the symbolism of it while so many other citizens are out of work or underemployed.

Probably the only thing Chris Holden could have done that is even worse than funneling more taxpayer dough into his own pocket would be to support the 710 Tunnel. But wait, he does!

There is a wonderful little article that showed up this week in the other newspaper from Our Nation's Capitol, The Washington Times. Now you might wonder why a local yokel of a Pasadena politician would be receiving some (albeit negative) ink in a daily paper from Washington DC, but please remember something. Chris Holden is an heir to the Hahn-Holden political machine, a recognized power center here in one of America's greatest population centers. This is bigger than you may think.

The Washington Times levels Holden on his evasive and slick 710 Tunnel position. Check it out (click here):

Chris Holden plays 'possum' as he ignores constituents questions on the 710 freeway expansion: City Councilman Chris Holden is playing "the possum game" on the residents of Pasadena, San Rafael and in the San Gabriel Valley of Southern California. As we all know, possums have limited defenses against their predators. Their best and most prominent type of defense mechanism is to act as if they are dead., hoping that whatever is attacking them will simply go away and leave them alone. 

Pasadena City Council Chris Holden, a Democrat candidate who is running for the new 41st district Assembly race, is indeed playing possum in regards to his neglected constituents, especially regarding the matter of the expansion of the 710 Freeway. 

Those most affected by the potential expansion of the freeway—the residents of Pasadena, San Rafael, and in the San Gabriel valley—are both frustrated at the soaring potential costs of construction and over the safety measures taken to both create and to operate said expansion. The frustrations have gone unheard. As the questions have come forth, questions that include concerns about the cost to the cities and the costs to the state to build and operate the freeway, councilman Holden has adopted the possum defense, refusing to give clear answers or to take a stance one way or the other—until after the upcoming election. 

This is a poor strategy to take in these disenchanted times. Many loyal Democrats and decline-to-state voters in Southern California are beginning to cross party lines on matters that impact their lives, including this issue regarding a potential freeway—or in some scenarios, a long extended tunnel—through their neighborhoods. Holden’s actions have led many to form the NO 710 Action Committee, with growing membership from the afore-mentioned areas. His actions are also causing him to lose ground to his rival for the new 41st District, Republican candidate Donna Lowe.

I hope they have a nice party at Enid's place tonight. And who knows, maybe somebody there will ask Chris Holden all about giving himself a raise. Or why he is supporting a tunnel that would turn our valley into the kind of ecological miasma that is the 710 Cancer Corridor. Which is precisely what this tunnel would hook us into, along with its countless thousands of diesel burning trucks daily.

But I rather doubt that will happen. Special people usually don't know a whole lot about this kind of stuff. They'll probably be much more interested in the wine and salty snacks.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

71 comments:

  1. keep it up and you're gonna lose out on your gratis apartment at chateau 710

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  2. The air quality can't be any worse than Hoboken.

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    1. Hoboken is a densely built public transportation rich and highly walkable town. Judging by the Green Committee's Accords it should be an environmental paradise. What happened?

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    2. Thank God it didn't happen here!

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  3. Who will bring their "No on 710" and "No back room deals" signs to the 500 block of N. Michillinda at 7:00 pm tonight? Flashlights and cameras are good, whistles, optional.

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    Replies
    1. I'm in if there's a few going.

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  4. Bring a "No on ALF sign too"

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    Replies
    1. Don't lose focus, 7:30. Holden has nothing to do with ALF

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    2. Bring one anyway.

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    3. We'll wave as you walk into Enid's house.

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  5. Lowe is not someone I would normally vote for, but it is absolutely necessary to vote against Holden.

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    Replies
    1. Turning her loose on Sacramento really appeals to me. It'd be like the wrath of God or something.

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    2. Anything is better than nothing. Holden is a part of the big nothing.

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  6. I hope Glen Lambdin was invited, that way he can accuse them of violating the brown act, which in this case might be true.

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    Replies
    1. Maybe someone from the Mtn Views News can show up with a hidden tape recorder.

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  7. What! Susan was not invited!

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    Replies
    1. I'm sure she was. You'll know its Susan by the shiny tin foil she'll be wearing.

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  8. So another DIRT rehabilitates herself. At yet another 'private, invitation only" event. Shades of Doyle. But wait! Wasn't Joffe a Doyle acolyte? Joffe's real interest of course is in solar power and hitching her solar panel to Holden's coat tails is but a ploy to sell herself as a lobbyist to his organization and introduce her company to Sacramento. It's a lot like Whack-A-Mole...

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  9. At first I thought I made a big goof and threw away the Holden gathering flyer, after tearing out my address (into recycling bin it went). But then a Tattler corrected my misconception, saying the invite came in an e-mail. Well, much to my continuing goofing, I erased the phone message invite that came yesterday. Am I wrong again? I was monitoring my answer machine from the next room and I am pretty sure I was being invited to a vote for Holden gathering. Then when I went to listen to it, I heard the name Holden and pushed "deleat" immediately.

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  10. Interesting that about 150 folks got an invitation email at about 4:03 PM on Oct 28. Then they got a prompt "un-invitation" email six minutes later. What was that about?

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    Replies
    1. It was discovered that some of the people on the list were not special. The unicorns were offended.

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    2. It was discovered that some of the Sneetches did not have stars upon thars.

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    3. I heard that all those invited were on the "to" column instead of "bcc".

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    4. That was careless. Does anyone have access to that? It would be an interesting list to see.

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    5. An 'uninvite'? What are the rules of etiquette on that one?
      Excuse me, but you received an invitation that was an error. You are wonderful, of course, but not invited. Thanks so much and see you soon!

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    6. Join us on the sidewalk, tonight at 6:00.

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  11. Not voting for Holden is a vote against the 710 Tunnel, probably the most offensive government effort in the history of the San Gabriel Valley. Understand, they just don't care!

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    Replies
    1. They think they can just do what they want and the public is too stupid to notice.

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  12. Holden is coming here to pick up a few crumbs.

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    Replies
    1. Sounds like he will have a house full of them to choose from.

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  13. If the ALF doesn't pass, maybe sierra madre will buy the property and we will have Holden-Joffee-Goldberg park.

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    Replies
    1. How about a card casino called Texas Holden?

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  14. what are the names of these "special chosen guests" Canterbury, Stockley, Doyle, Moran, Lambdin, Siberell, Spigali, Hayes, Matheson, anyone want to add to the list?

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    1. larry, moe, curly, heckle and jeckle, tom and jerry, manny, moe, and jack, bob the builder

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    2. Dr. Janise Nelson, Harriet Susan Henderson,the Buchanans. the entire "green committee".

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    3. Did they remember to purge Bob Matheson's name? He'd have been a natural for this one before his legal problems.

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    4. Talk about rehabilitation - maybe the Dirts and Downtown Investment Club members will start grooming Robert W. Matheson to come back into the fold. Sans camera.

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    5. Judging by all the people who wanted to get their picture taken with Bob in his skirt, they must miss him. Maybe they'll start calling us pedophiliphobes.

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  15. Sierra Madre, I hope you are heeding the message my family learned in your public school, This town and district belong, not to you, but to the ELITE. You will be invited to join that club when you learn to crawl to the demagogues and their chosen disciples.

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    1. or stand as an outsider with your name smeared, but your pride and resolve intact

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    2. Tony, many of us consider it a huge HONOR to be on the sh*t list of the elite dirts. You have a right to feel very proud that you are an "outsider". This is an evil little club that I sure am proud to not even know any of these people personally, nor do I ever want to know them.

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    3. Yes, join a new club Tony, the unchosen ones.

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    4. Yes, the island of misfits! Come, we are the unchosen ones, but we are the ones whos moral compass works correctly. And not for nothing, TB & MB should be presidents of this club. Thank you for your endurance, even at the cost to you and yours.

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    5. we are proud to be in the unclub with you

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  16. How many from our City Council were invited?

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    1. My guess is 3.

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    2. 2 and 1/2. One of them isn't all there.

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  17. Entertainment will be the "Tap Chicks" Led by a well known council member, if they can get her away from the Buffett.

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    Replies
    1. Maybe Mayor 3 Sheets will want to join in.

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  18. I heard that some will not vote for Donna Lowe because on a flyer enclosed in her brochure was a vote yes on ALF. I'm here to tell you, you can still vote No on ALF and vote with Donna Lowe with confidence. If you don't vote, your vote will go to Holden. Think about it. Even if you don't vote for Holden, you are still giving him an edge. Nancy Shollenberger was elected 2 years ago by about 11 votes. If you didn't vote for her, that would have given Karma Bell your vote by default. Be smart. Vote for Donna Lowe and keep Holden out of Sacramento.

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  19. Dont forget Chief Bramburger, Lowe, higher ups in the fire dept. george maurer, movers and shakers of the town, Siberell, Pvesner, Liston, Claire, Osti and all the same ol names that reappear over again.

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  20. This is really a pretty simple call - you can either vote for Holden a professional career politician who has made his living off your tax dollars or you can vote for Lowe, an average person who became so enraged by the outrageous tax proposal being shoved down the throats of residents in Claremont that she fought back. Vote Lowe.

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  21. I met Donna Lowe when she was going door to door in my neighborhood. A sharp lady who has good ideas, Check her web site. http://votedonnalowe.com. She has my vote.

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  22. By not coming out against the 710 Tunnel career pol Holden is saying he thinks he can do whatever he wants and still win. I sure hope he gets his commupance next Tuesday.

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  23. Help him get his "commupance"! Stand outside Enid's at 7 pm tonight!

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  24. Better yet, don't pay any attention at all as if he didn't exist. As far as I'm concerned he doesn't.



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  25. Drove past Enid's house a couple of minutes ago. Looks like a very low key event. 10 cars tops. Unless they pushed the time back, I'd say this one ain't got it going on.

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    1. Maybe the guests have tunnel vision and couldn't find the place.

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    2. My thought is that they would move the gathering. A different email went out.

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    3. I saw the Canterburymobile parked out front.

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    4. Driving up that hill Holden would see about 30 Lowe signs. The only two Holden signs on Michillinda are in Enid's yard, tucked in the bushes.

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    5. Most of the guests will be arriving later on unicorns.

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    6. Unicorns are never on time. Gandalf will be there as well, but not until the moon rises.

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    7. Wonder if Lady Wistar will be sprinkling fairy droppings on the cars...

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    8. Try as she might, it always ends up looking like the work of pigeons.

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  26. why does Carol Canterbury get invited? Whats so special about her? How did she become one of the towns movers and shakers? She's as dumb as they come cant figure how she got into the "in" club.

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    Replies
    1. She was the designated driver.

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    2. She's a good source of sparkles.

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