Saturday, March 3, 2018

The City of Arcadia's Double Vision on Bob Harbicht's Police Picture Shenanigans

Nicely spread cedar mulch.
Mod: It appears that our coverage of Bob Harbicht's alleged California state campaign law violations, which included several kind of naive members of the Arcadia Police Officers Association, has attracted a reasonable amount of attention in Peacockistan. Several thousand people have now tuned in to our coverage, or roughly the same amount of folks who might actually vote in this City Council election. I don't know how this is all working for you, but it has given me something interesting to do. I am grateful.

Yesterday I sent a brief note to Arcadia's Chief Deputy City ClerkLisa Mussenden, who is also the person who runs the municipal elections in town. I had a couple of questions I needed to ask her, and she got back to me within the hour. Which was very responsive and kind of her. Not all city officials are quite that attentive or prompt. Here is how our exchange went. My e-mail first.

Lisa - My name is John Crawford and I run a regional news blog called The Sierra Madre Tattler. I have been covering Bob Harbicht's unfortunate run-ins with campaign law vis-a-vis the Arcadia Police Officers Assoc., and I have two questions for you.

1) What is the City of Arcadia's official position on this matter?

2) Will the officers pictured with Bob (and Roger) in that campaign related Facebook announcement face any kinds of discipline from the city?

The recognized violation.
This is how Lisa's speedy reply read.

Mr. Crawford:
1) The visibility of the Arcadia Police Department badge in the photo for campaign purposes was not consistent with our personnel rules or state campaign regulations. The subject campaigns have been notified that they must either remove the photographs entirely or alter them so that the badge is no longer visible. To my knowledge, this has been done sufficiently. 

While we would generally discourage the use of the exterior of City buildings as part of campaign materials, they are nevertheless public spaces. We appreciate that the campaigns have removed the building identification from the subject photo, we did not require this. 

2) The City cannot comment on personnel matters, except to say that in situations such as this, the matter would be properly investigated and appropriate disciplinary actions would be taken if warranted.

Lisa Mussenden, Elections Official
Chief Deputy City Clerk, City of Arcadia

There are some interesting takeaways to be found here. The first being the city's recognition that a law was likely broken. When The Tattler first broke this story I was not certain that we would ever get such an admission from anyone at City Hall. And while I personally do not agree with Lisa's assessment on the use of city owned buildings in political advertising such as Harbicht's, I'm taking what I can get.

The other thing that I find useful is the assurance that the City of Arcadia will be looking into this from a personnel management perspective. And if I am reading this right, it appears that the onus will mostly fall upon Detective Kendall "Schoolboy" Lee. Kendall is the current President of the Arcadia Police Officers Association, so from a labor relations perspective this should be an intriguing investigation. Too bad none of that will ever see the light of day. It would have made for interesting reading.

The person that bears a portion of the non-judicial guilt here is Bulldozer Bob Harbicht. The officers who stood by him in that Facebook photo must have trusted that Harbicht would know how to use their likenesses properly, and wouldn't put them into the kind of jeopardy that he did. No such luck.

Bob owes all of them a public apology. Hopefully he is big enough to give it, and soon.

Now I used the term "double vision" in the title of today's post, and this is what I meant by that. As Lisa mentioned, the City of Arcadia sent out a notification to all of the candidates and their campaigns about this matter. That information is a bit different from what was sent to me. I am posting it here so you can appreciate the contrast.

From: Lisa Mussenden  
Date: March 1, 2018 at 2:37:32 PM PST
Subject: Certain Campaign Prohibitions

Due to inquiries received about certain restrictions regarding employees campaigning for candidates for office or regarding ballot measure, and doing so at City building locations, the below has been prepared by City Attorney Stephen Deitsch and is being circulated to the Mayor and City Council, and all City Council Candidates.

Generally, employees have First Amendment “free speech” rights to endorse and campaign for candidates for office and regarding ballot measures.  However, they must do so on their own time and using their own resources, NOT on City time or using City resources.

Arcadia City Charter Section 905 provides, in pertinent part:

“No City employee shall take any part in any political campaign while in a uniform bearing the insignia or name of the City of Arcadia. No person shall use the administrative offices and facilities of the City for the purpose of furthering a political campaign for public office.”

Pursuant to Section 905, employees may, for example, appear in a picture endorsing or campaigning for a candidate for office or regarding a ballot measure.  However, in doing so, they must not wear a uniform bearing the insignia or name of the City, at least to the extent that the insignia or name is clear and identifiable.  That would include a badge, such as a police or firefighter badge – again at least to the extent that the badge is clear and identifiable.

Finally, Section 905 clearly prohibits using City offices and supplies (e.g., meeting rooms, staff offices, phones, computers, printers) to campaign for candidates for elective office or ballot measures. It is significantly less clear that Section 905 prohibits using City Hall, the City Police Department Headquarters, the City Library, or the City Fire Department Headquarters (or stations) as a backdrop for picture-taking for campaigns. These are buildings, often having identifiable names or insignia, which can easily be viewed and pictured from public areas at any time. Section 905 probably does not forbid picture-taking for campaign purposes using the publicly viewed exterior of such buildings. On the other hand, using a City police vehicle or fire vehicle as a backdrop for an election-related photograph is arguably using City property for campaign purposes in violation of Section 905.

If any person believes that a violation of State statute occurs during an election campaign, a complaint may be filed by such person with the Fair Political Practices Commission.

Lisa Mussenden, Elections Official
Chief Deputy City Clerk/Records Manager
City Clerk | City Attorney Office
240 W. Huntington Drive, Arcadia, CA 91007

A more adamant yet nuanced version of what is correct and what is not, right? City Hall still has some questions, and the matter is more open ended than I was told. Together the two letters I've posted give you both the public and private faces of the city regarding this controversy. They are not quite the same.

I think you can also now see why the Harbicht campaign so quickly airbrushed the name of the Arcadia Police Department Headquarters from that building in the Facebook picture we're discussing here. Along with the official titles of the officers unfortunate enough to have posed with him. City law isn't completely clear, and obviously even Slow Bob finally recognized that he may have put his APOA cop pals in dutch with their employer.

As someone once said, and in an entirely different context, it is dangerous for commoners to get too close to the King. To which I am going to add, especially when that King is a fool. Which, in this case, he most assuredly is. A rather careless and self-involved one as well.

Arcadia March 7 Council Candidate Forum - CANCELLED

Mod: Check out this phony baloney.

Hello and good morning Arcadia City Council Incumbents and Candidates We regret to inform you that both the Arcadia Association of Realtors® and the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce, respectively, have elected to cancel the Candidate Forum scheduled for Wednesday, March 7.   Please see below for an official announcement that we are sharing with you first, as a courtesy.  We’ll be submitting this announcement officially a little later today.

The March 7, 2018 Arcadia City Council Candidates Forum scheduled to be held at the Arcadia Public Library has been cancelled. This annual forum has historically been tailored towards an “at-large” election format. After the recent changes to the City’s election process (moving from an “at-large” election format to individual district elections), the co-hosts of this forum, both the Arcadia Association of Realtors® and the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce, have concluded that the public would be better served by other upcoming district-specific forums. 

Thus, both organizations felt it better to step aside and allow Arcadia residents to focus on the candidates specific to their district. The Arcadia Association of Realtors® and the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce would still like to remind Arcadia residents, again, that the election is a mail-in vote only and they encourage all residents to vote.

Thank you for your understanding.  If this causes any inconvenience to you, please accept our apologies.

Andrew Cooper,  RCE, CIPS
CEOArcadia Association of REALTORS®

The actual reason why this campaign event was canceled is 3 out of the 6 eligible candidates decided the AAR debate wasn't worth the time and effort, and chose not to attend. The AAR's screening of questions, plus the anticipated presence of Sho Tay’s rude stooges, being two of the reasons given.

But you can hardly expect Andrew to fess up to things such as that. It's not his style.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

54 comments:

  1. It's wonderful to hear about the cancellation of the Arcadia council candidate forum.

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    Replies
    1. Sho Tay's rude stooges will have to find something else to do.

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    2. Maybe they could chase cars.

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    3. Artic monkeys have a song called chasing cars. Acoustic version is nice.

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    4. What do you do when you catch one?

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    5. listen to the song....

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  2. Really appreciate the info that the Tattler! reveals.

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  3. Wow, what a shame. While the Arcadia chamber of commerce and the association of realtors have their right to put on/cancel whatever event they want, what a complete load of BS that they suddenly cancel.

    Who are the 3 that decided not to participate? Certainly Chandler and Harbicht to avoid the public onslaught (assuming any serious questions to them would have been allowed, since the association of realtors screens the questions), but who’s the third ? Tay’s already elected for another term, so why would he have gone anyways?

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  4. Anyone know if Arcadia Andy is going to have any campaign events in Sierra Madre?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andy would have to have something to say. Does anybody know what his positions are? Do we have a sheet listing the issues and what he would do? All I have seen are the usual bromides about "loving Sierra Madre." This guy has nothing.

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    2. Early days, 8:08.
      Expect:
      1) Smear campaigns to get underway about the other candidates.
      2) Multiple mailers to start with phony issues (c'mon, the current council saved the city 1 million - what's Arcadia Andy going to do to top that?)
      3) The old canards about preservation being no growth.

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    3. Isn't he a big proponent of moving the library?

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    4. Arcadia Andy will be running an Arcadia Association of Realtors campaign. And as anyone who has lived here a while can tell you, they are some of the dirtiest Sierra Madre has ever seen.

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    5. Sell library, build lots o' condos. Everybody wins.

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    6. Century 21 wins, the developer wins. People who love the Library and value Sierra Madre's traditions and culture lose.

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  5. Where does one get the no on Bulldozer sign ? They probably should have no put the word ‘old’ on the sign.

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  6. Looks like ARB just learned it was not an at large election. Wow, what a load of BS. And when/where are the “district-specific forums”.
    Just go to this Tuesday’s CC meeting and ask your questions of Chandler, don’t bother with Tay, he’s a little confused up there.

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  7. I know, right? We were not sure that our AG would recognize if Federal laws were broken, but there is still hope; lock her up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anybody have any contacts at the FBI? I think John Wuo knows a couple.

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    2. Hillary: 30 years of investigations by Republicans: Nada.

      Trump: 9 months of investigation by Republican special counsel: Multiple indictments; multiple guilty pleas; Kushner on the ropes; Trump's noose tightening. Stayed tuned. It will be over soon.

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  8. We saw the disruption caused by those who are misinformed by Tay at council meetings. Unfortunately, it causes those who are sensible to shy away from speaking out of fear of bullying by Tay’s army.

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    Replies
    1. I am sure intimidation is the goal. That looks to be what cost Arcadia a debate by the candidates. Street thugs.

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  9. Good article. You are a real journalist. I wish Pasadena star news can have some real story like this. Lisa Mussenden also had picture taken with Sho when he pulled his application. The person who is running the whole city campaign should not take site. Roger's and Bob's yard signs are illegally placed on the parkway or less than 5 feet away from the street but after formor mayor Gail Marshall reported it on the city council meeting, code enforcement office, city assistant manager, and Don Beckman, no one did anything. If there is an election, city should stay neutral and enforce the law. Otherwise, Arcadia will become an unlawful city.

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    Replies
    1. 8:27, it has happened before that the PSN will piggyback on the Tattler, and cover something later. It might happen yet.

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  10. Kind of difficult responding to this article without being negative. One would like to think the Government Officials knew the law. With that being said makes you wonder what other laws those in the picture have broken? You saw what happened in Pasadena, wonder what Federal Agency is giving Arcadia a closer look. Ignorance of the law, as you know is NO EXCUSE.

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    Replies
    1. I don't think it is so much ignorance of the law as it is the arrogance of the man who broke it. In years past Harbicht pretty much did as he liked and got away with it. He thought those privileges were still in intact today. Obviously that has changed and he is now no more entitled than the rest of us.

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  11. 8:27am. No laws broken on the placement of signage on the parkway in Arcadia, Sierra Madre management decided that law was antiquated.

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    Replies
    1. I believe putting campaign signs on city controlled property should be considered littering.

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  12. 8:24 AM, it's a known fact that Sho Tay’s army sends solders to any decent-sized WeChat groups to bully or mislead group members in Chinese.

    Fortunately many American Chinese here are fluent in English and can get the whole picture through English media such as the Tattler, Arcadia Weekly, and Facebook groups.

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    Replies
    1. The other candidates would be wise to market themselves in mandarin

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  13. 8:41am, you might check with Lisa Mussenden at Arcadia city hall. She sent emails to the candidate regarding to not placing yard sign at parkway. The sign has to be 5 feet away from the street. Lisa is the person running the campaign in the city hall.

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  14. To be exactly, please reference City of Arcadia Zoning Code-Article IX, Chapter1,Table 3-14, 3-15 for temporary signs. I hope that this will clear up above questions. Good Luck everyone. Enjoy your morning reading with above article and all articles in the Sierra Madre Tattler. When you have extra time, go to www.votejollywu.com to enjoy the videos and pictures.

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  15. This is still a wrongful action by the City of Arcadia. The city has NO power or authority over a political campaign and Harbicht can post whatever he wants. The violation is by the police officer and Arcadia has authority ONLY over the officer. The FPPC does NOT regulate this matter because it is not a wrongful act by the candidate. This is a matter between the DA and the cop not the city and Harbicht.

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    Replies
    1. Harbicht posted the pictures and in the process screwed his POA friends big time. He either doesn't really care about the police, or is so clueless he doesn't understand the damage he has done. Either way he is not fit for a seat on the City Council.

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    2. The weasel union head intentionally flashed his badge. That's on him. He should apologize to the people of Arcadia for using the badge they gave him for an illegal purpose. He should be reprimanded at the very least. Harbicht and Chandler are obviously sleazy dudes who don't care who they harm. Finally, for the city clerk to be illegally giving orders to a political campaign is also wrong. She should be reprimanded for claiming authority she does not have.

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    3. Who is more clueless? Ken Doll for wearing his badge during a political photo ops, or Old Bulldozer for posting it on his campaign Facebook page? Dumb, and dumber?

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  16. (Arcadia District 2) Incumbent Tom Beck's campaign site is: beck4citycouncil.com

    Hope he beats Bulldozer Harbicht. Does anybody know where to find more info about District 5 Candidate Joyce E. Platt's campaign? I know she has a FB page at

    https://www.facebook.com/joyce.platt.946

    But there's not much info there. A little digging later and I've found "Senior Citizen of the Year Award to long-time teacher and Arcadia volunteer Joyce Platt" at http://www.arcadiaweekly.com/community/arcadia-rotary-club-honors-joyce-platt/

    and
    https://www.arcadiacachamber.org/joyce-platt-senior-of-the-year-2017/

    Wow, very impressive achievements. She should have an official campaign site. Hope she beats Bully Chandler.

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    Replies
    1. Chandler has been in office forever. New blood would definitely be welcomed.

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    2. Was VERY disappointing that Platt recent mailing said nothing about curbing out of control mansion development. I conclude that she doesn’t care about development. She did mention CA legislation, good luck changing state of CA legislation that apparently is reason for all the burglaries. If she doesn’t step it up, unfortunately Arcadia is stuck with another 4 years of Chandler.

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    3. I heard Platt is all about protecting neighbors’ privacy from houses that are too big. She’s pro-property rights of the neighborhood, not the developers.

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    4. How does Joyce feel about the peacocks?

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    5. You can meet Platt on Thursday March 8 4-6pm at Cabrera’s restaurant on Live Oak.

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    6. Property rights in the hands of the pro-development claque is such a joke. These guys are all about property rights when some out of town (or country) development corporation wants to build a starter castle in town. But the property rights of those who already live there? And will live in the shadows of the ugly behemoth? They couldn't care less.

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

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  17. Just over two months to go until the Greatest Show on Earth starts: Shogun Tay running Arcadia City Council Meetings.
    Don’t fret folks, don’t worry about the last two years of witnessing him stumble on camera, and never once bring up any issue that matters.
    Has he had training yet to use the gavel ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope Sho doesn't hurt himself. Maybe they should have the paramedics standing by just in case.

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    2. How about they give him a rubber gavel?

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  18. Sooo, it sounds as if the Arcadia council meetings are as well attended as Sierra Madre council meetings.
    Both city agendas ASAP, need to hold a special emergency discussion on the mis placements of political advertising in center meridians; the trashy appearance around the town's are appalling.
    Show that your vote counts, boycott the elections!

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  19. This money flowing across city limits might lead one to believe their are ILLEGAL scams taking or about to take place where a pound or two of CASH will get you anything you want?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Platt talks about stopping crime. Cliche and typical campaign rhetoric. Curbing crime always is appealing to residents. Nice that she is a retired school teacher, but does she have any experience in city government?

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    Replies
    1. We have all experienced Chandler and Harbicht. Anyone would be preferable.

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  21. Still waiting for the announcement telling me when and where my District 2 candidate forum will be held. Should I stop holding my breath?

    ReplyDelete

The Tattler is a moderated blog. Annoying delays when posting comments can happen. Thank you for your patience and understanding.