Is Mayoral Candidate Walter Moore a Billboard Enabler? Or Just In Love With Neon?
As the March primary election nears, L.A. mayoral candidate Walter Moore is taking some heat from bloggers who are questioning his day job. Moore, who is running for the big spot for the second time, is an attorney with Richard Hamlin Attorneys.
The Los Angeles-based law firm, which specializes in land-use eminent domain and billboard law, carries a slogan on a outdoor advertising website that states: "We have been making the world safe for billboards since 1985."
That slogan and Moore's own history of representing billboard
heavyweight Clear Channel Outdoor has irked a few. So has his
acceptance of campaign contributions
from Clear Channel Outdoor. It is a heated issue. A few weeks ago,
Councilman Jack Weiss, who is running for City Attorney, was hammered
for accepting $1,000 in campaign contributions from Barry Rush, the
president of World Wide Rush - the Philadelphia-based supergraphics
company that has plastered giant wrap-around signs on buildings all
over town, including the huge Tropicana ad on the side of 10801 National Boulevard.
Blogger Joe Mailander at Street Hassle
reports that Moore recently accepted a $500 campaign contribution from
Clear Channel Outdoor. Mailander also mentioned that Moore spent
thousands of bucks on advertising on Clear Channel radio stations.
to the City Ethics Commission, Moore also accepted campaign
contributions from building inspectors from the Department of Building
& Safety- the same department that has failed to get a enforcement
handle on the city's 4,000 suspected illegal billboards.
So is Moore a billboard enabler?
Moore tells the L.A. Weekly
that the hype about his affiliation with billboard companies is
overblown. The Westchester attorney admits that he does represent
billboard companies but mostly in disputes with building owners. "An
attorney representing a billboard company doesn't necessarily make you
Satan!" he says.
the company's sign and put up offensive material that pissed off local
residents. The billboard showed the rapper squatting on a toilet with a
slogan that read: "I am the shit."
"It was the only time I had a settlement conference where the adversary's hands were chained to the table," says Moore.
says he is against a complete ban on billboards. He criticizes the
city's lack of enforcement teeth and points his finger at Mayor Antonio
Villaraigosa for allowing the illegal billboard industry to run amok in
"I dare anyone to show me one thing that Villaraigosa has done to stop the proliferation of billboards...What has he done?"
About digital billboards?
says: "If they are pointed in someone's bedroom at night it is a really
bad idea. But if they are at a stop light in a commercial area, and I
am bored out of my head in traffic, I personally like them . . . I am
not for a complete ban of digital . . . This will sound dumb -- I like
seeing the ads for The Simpsons . . . I got married in Las
Vegas so neon doesn't scare me . . . But, if the people don't want them
then we don't have to have them. Some things I feel strongly about and
that is not one of them."
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