Friday, April 3, 2015

The Pasadena Weekly Responds To Charges That They Sell Their Editorial Favor By Saying … Nothing?

Andre' Coleman and a book
The Andre' Coleman - Pasadena Weekly "Pay to Play" Scandal has just gotten a couple of degrees weirder. And this rather astonishing result was caused by the paper's decision to say nothing whatsoever about it. Not even a single sentence. A profound and unexpected silence.

This despite a firestorm of controversy last week, much of it brought about by the exposure given to this story right here on the Sierra Madre Tattler. Apparently those running the PW have chosen not to reply to what are the very serious charges leveled at them by Tyron Hampton. As you knowTyron is currently in a runoff for the District 1 Pasadena City Council seat, and things in that race have gotten very ugly. Due in no small part to some of the disturbing attacks published in the Pasadena Weekly.

Why the Pasadena Weekly would choose not respond to Hampton's accusations being the very large mystery here. Were lawyers involved? Did the PW agree to shut up about their nonsense in order to avoid a possible lawsuit? Did they fear that any further exposure would only serve to reinforce the now growing perception that the accusations of influence peddling might actually be true?

The event that ignited this firestorm was the issuance of the following press release by the Tyron Hampton campaign on March 27. Hampton, who claims to have been the victim of an attempted shake down by Mr. Coleman, had refused to pay the money that he was allegedly asked to cough up. The suspected result being a series of attacks on Tyron's integrity, politics and, sadly enough, a personal disability.

Can it be that Tyron's crimes in the eyes of the Pasadena Weekly are he won't pay bribes and suffers from dyslexia?

Here is that press release:


Tyron Hampton, who does suffer from dyslexia, has in many ways overcome his malady through hard work and discipline. In February Tyron spoke about this at a national symposium presented in Chicago by the Learning Disabilities Association of America. Here is how the LDA previewed Tyron Hampton's talk:


It is sad to think that someone who has achieved so much while also overcoming a learning disability would be treated in so shoddy and unethical way by Andre' Coleman and the Pasadena Weekly. It is yet another indication of just how dirty politics can get in Pasadena. A city where the political establishment apparently believes that laying their mitts on taxpayer dollars is the only thing that counts, and no truth should ever be allowed to stand in their way.

Coleman has two columns in the Pasadena Weekly this week, one on the Pasadena Police Officers Association's (PPOA) current labor action (surprise - they want more money), the other discusses the tragic slaying of Kendrec McDade by members of that very same police force. A story that has begun to gain national traction due to some hard legwork put in by the Pasadena Star News (link).

The juxtaposition of these two columns, which run side by side on the Pasadena Weekly website (link) is unfortunate, and shows the problem of trying to serve two masters at once. In this case the African American community of Pasadena, many of whom who are justifiably outraged by the McDade killing, and the Pasadena Police Department's labor organization.

Here are several passages from each article that show just how at odds the messages of these two Coleman pieces really are. A pair of stories covering two distinctly different kinds of marches.

Marching for Kendrec - Local residents remember shooting victim during Palm Sunday marchAbout 130 people took part in a three-mile Palm Sunday Peace Walk in Northwest Pasadena that ended on Sunset Avenue and Orange Grove Boulevard, near where unarmed 19-year-old Kendrec McDade was mortally shot by police.

McDade’s mother, Anya Slaughter, attended the event.

“I want to thank the community. I want to thank my pastor. I want to thank my family first and foremost for being with me and standing by me,” Slaughter said. 

McDade was shot and killed on March 24, 2012, after a brief pursuit. Officers say they were led to believe McDade was armed after Oscar Carrillo Gonzales told police during a 911 call that he was robbed at gunpoint by two African-American men.

After the shooting, City Manager Michael Beck and Pasadena Police Chief Philip Sanchez asked the now-defunct Office of Independent Review (OIR) — which investigated how decisions made by officers during use of force incidents related to established policies — to investigate the matter.

The OIR report has been completed, but not released. The Pasadena Police Officers Association (PPOA) has fought to keep the report sealed, claiming that it is a personnel document which contains confidential information about the officers. After Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Chalfant ruled that a redacted version of the report could be released, the PPOA received a stay from the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. An appeals document filed by the PPOA containing details of the officers’ actions was accidentally released last week and later sealed, but not before several media outlets, including the Pasadena Weekly, acquired copies.

One of the sponsors of the walk, the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, has joined with individual members of the local NAACP, the Pasadena Chapter of the ACLU, and the Los Angeles Times acting on its own behalf, as interveners in lawsuits against the city to make public the findings of the report.

The other Coleman piece we're citing today offers up some supportive and laudatory passages for that very same Pasadena Police Officers Association slammed in the previous article:

Walking a Different Beat - Pasadena police officers march on City Hall for more money: … Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez said he had a good relationship with the union and hoped people listened to the officers’ message.

“I believe our officers are second to none, professional courageous and dedicated,” Sanchez said a few hours before some sixty officers — out of uniform and dressed in shirts, slacks and ties — marched with pickets around City Hall and later told the City Council about their needs for more money and better working conditions.

“They strive for excellence every day,” Sanchez continued. “As a collective body, union officials are looking to make the rank and file competitive to insure we maintain experienced police officers and attract a high quality of new applicants. As chief, I support that direction. I believe it serves our community by providing the best possible police services now and in the future.”

City officials are currently in negotiations with the Pasadena Police Officers Association (PPOA) for the officers’ first pay raise in seven years. The pay freeze has done considerable damage to officer morale, resulting in the reduction of the department’s full complement of 240 sworn officers to 219, with another 25 officers applying for jobs at higher paying jobs in other regional cities.

Low morale is not just limited to the Police Department. In March, the Pasadena Firefighters Association (PFA) sent a mailer to 17,000 homes stating that funding cuts made to the Fire Department are “decimating” the department and putting the public in danger. Firefighters want returned an ambulance that was removed from emergency use during budget cuts. Firefighters did not march with police on Monday.

Low police officer has also impacted that department’s ability to recruit from other departments. Last year, the local department held recruitment for lateral transfers from other departments, but only two people applied, according to Sanchez. That same month, the Anaheim Police Department received 400 applications for lateral transfers. 

“They have the right to be heard,” said Deputy Chief Daryl Qualls, who added that although the officers did inform the city they would be marching, they did not present the department’s command staff with a copy of the statement that was read to the council. The officers were prohibited from wearing their uniforms during the event and on-duty officers were not allowed to participate.

The shrinking number of cops has also made it difficult for officers to get support in dangerous situations. In February, an officer who did not wish to be named told the Pasadena Weekly that he feared for his life because some of the police radios do not work.

In all fairness Coleman does review the Kendrec McDade situation in his PPOA column as well. How could he not? It is important background to this Police labor action story and could hardly be ignored.

But it does appear that Andre' is attempting to serve two distinctly different and at odds constituencies here. An outraged resident community on the one hand, and a Pasadena city employee union that more often than not financially helps out candidates he supports on the other.

A situation anyone could find their self in if they don't stand for much more than personal self-aggrandizement.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

54 comments:

  1. Bah Who cares/ I'm going back to bed.

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    1. Don't wake up all of your bunkmates.
      http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/government-and-politics/20150402/unsafe-boarding-houses-in-monterey-park-have-prospered-for-too-long-city-council-says

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    2. Thách anh.

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    3. Okay, so bu hao means not good and Thach an is a place in Vietnam. No need to thank me for the translations.

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    4. According to Google Translator thach anh means "you bet."

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    5. My bad. I spelled it wrong. So I will humbly thank you.

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    6. Bù hâo is the phrase one uses in China to fend off the hordes of locals that swarm the tourists for "donation" sums in small change. It's just a shakedown and everyone knows the game. One guy I yelled at even stopped to take the time to correct my pronunciation, what a riot. I'm an older blonde lady, taller than most of them.

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  2. When news reporters screw up they become the news.

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    1. Or when news reporters commit felonies. That gets on the news, too.

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    2. All the defense attorney will have to do is pull out a copy of the Pasadena Weekly and ask the judge, "Does this look like a real newspaper to you?" At which time the judge will dismiss the case.

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  3. Pasadena needs to bring in the Sheriffs. You get a whole lot less whining with them.

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    1. Pasadena should get a bid from LASD, that's for sure. Its called leverage when you're negotiating a police contract.

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    2. Maybe if they combined their bid with Sierra Madre both cities could get a better deal.

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  4. So did the PPOA pay for that coverage?

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    1. Maybe Calvin Wells did.

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    2. That really worked out for him.

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  5. Hampton and others are upset about having to pay for advertising? Is this a new policy? Does it apply only to political statements and election politics? Strikes me as a more important issue about the media and how reporting is becoming a victim of monetized content. That's nothing new, but the legitimate fourth estate is on its last legs, and independent reporting is being replaced by infomercials.

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    1. Smacks of coercion to me. Though I am sure a political pennysaver would do well in Pasadena.

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    2. Calvin Wells Website http://www.wellsforcouncil2015.com/
      Tyron Hampton Website http://www.tyron.us/

      Their public debate: CCN Sunrise is scheduled for an online interview on April 17th at 7 am as well as broadcast on Channel 31. http://crowncitynews.com/news/category/government/

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    3. Thanks. I like watching debates as long as I don't have to leave my house.

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    4. Calling It Like I See ItApril 3, 2015 at 12:51 PM

      Gotta love 10:47's calling Coleman's soliciting of a bribe from Hampton as "advertising". The Godfather would be proud.

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    5. No wonder Pas Weekly isn't saying anything. Prosecutors tend to use public quotes when they're prosecuting apparent bribe solicitors ala Andre Coleman.

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    6. Not bribes. Marketing fees.

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    7. Funny. Pasadena PD claims no raise for 7 years, say 2008? Except, of course, step increases and promotions.

      2008 was the year Sierra Madre started spending the big bucks from the UUT to give SMPD a double digit raise.

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    8. I wonder if Coleman has a sliding scale. Silver, Gold and Platinum packages. With the Platinum Package you also get to go on a deep sea fishing trip with Peter Dreier.

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    9. That Platinum Package better include a Platinum Pension. Just sayin'.

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  6. 12:51 - Nicky Santoro called it "earning."

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    1. Coleman just wants to wet his beak.

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    2. Urban Dictionary - 9 WORDS RELATED TO WET MY BEAK
      extortion crime gangsters mafia money racketeering scam skim sopranos
      http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Wet%20My%20Beak

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    3. Nicky Santoro - "So I'm lucky. I ain't allowed to get lucky in this place?"

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    4. "Tell your friends I don't want a lot. Just enough to wet my beak. Don't be afraid to tell them!"

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  7. I absolutely love your blog and find the majority of your post's to be exactly I'm looking for. Do you offer guest writers to write content to suit your needs?

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    1. The next time we do our "Strange Accents Special Edition" of the Tattler we will give you a call.

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    2. Do the guest writers need to know the difference between "post's" and "posts"?

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    3. I don't think anyone would accept the offer of guest writers like that.

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    4. I admire Mr. Hampton for not paying the money. Maybe we have one honest politician in the race. If you don't pay, you get bad coverage. That's quite an extortion racket they have over there at the Pasadena Weekly.
      In regards to the Police Union, no surprise there. They always want more money. Look at Pasadena's budget. Over 70% of all revenue - not 30 or 40 % but over 70% of all revenue goes towards employee compensation in one forrm or another. That doesn't leave too much for fixing potholes, senior programs and other things. If you don't stand up to these unions, they would have all the money go to them or raise your taxes so high that there is a mass exodus of people from Pasadena. Pasadena will be the next Detroit if they are not careful.

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    5. Embezzlers and greedy unions. Pasadena has got it all.

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

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    1. How do you know that?

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    2. I would also be interested to know about that, 9:24.
      People who have habits are certainly recognized as such by their circle of friends, but it may take awhile before it becomes common knowledge in a wider sense.
      If it's true, he'll ruin his life sooner or later.

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    3. If this is true than I hope Andre' seeks help, and soon.

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  9. I would be extremely careful making an accusation like that...but then that is what makes the Tattler the Tattler...r I g h t??

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    1. Somebody bashing some with dyslexia? Oh wait, this isn't the Pasadena Weekly.

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  10. Interesting to note the original comment (9:24) was removed...thank you. The Weekly is no better than the Tattler....paper will hold anything that is printed on it...it's up to the reader to be able to decipher it and make an informed decision.

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    1. Sorry punkin', but the remark was an attack on what would be, if true, a problem of a personal medical nature. We leave that honor to The Pasadena Weekly alone.

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  11. Do you refer to all readers as "punkin"...or does that make you feel morally superior over others...the only thing more frightening than your ignorance is your arrogance....seeing that "punkin" would infer I am a woman...God you are incredibly arrogant.

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    1. In the old Hanna-Barbera cartoon series "Punkin' Puss and Mush Mouse" the two main protagonists were male. That was the point of reference.

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  12. Intellectually Gifted Kids And Learning Disabilities Often Go Hand In Hand
    http://www.science20.com/the_conversation/intellectually_gifted_kids_and_learning_disabilities_often_go_hand_in_hand-154285

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    1. Amen: give me a barrel-few of kids like Hampton who refuse to be limited by what others think of their "disabilities." The Well's campaign calls Hampton a "quitter" and "inexperienced." He clearly is no quitter, in spite of dyslexia, and, as the great John Wooden said, "I'd rather have a lot of talent and a little experience than a lot of experience and a little talent. The Well's campaign team is displaying that it has little talent; hopefully experience will inform them that ad hominem attacks generally reflect poorly on the authors.

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  13. I apologize for calling you arrogant. I was not aware of "Punkin' Puss and Mush Mouse" Again my apologies ...

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    1. No problem. Do come back once in a while. Commenters like you are always welcome here. You gotta like people who care.

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  14. New P Weekly is out and still not a peep about charges that they are running an influence peddling racket.

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  15. "Inquiring minds want to know!" This is certainly not like the "Little Newspaper That Could." Step up to the plate Ulrich, Coleman!

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