Every two years, West Hollywood residents often get a startling look at how their government is actually run via City Council elections, and every two years West Hollywood residents almost always vote for the same people — if they show up at the voting booths at all. Will this year be any different?
L.A. Weekly revealed various shenanigans by West Hollywood City Council members two years ago and a year before that. Things haven't changed all that much, according to recent findings by the online newspaper WEHOville.
On February 12, WEHOville published a report that examined who was contributing money to City Council incumbents Jeff Prang and John Duran, who are up for re-election on March 5, and challenging candidates Sam Borelli, Steve Martin, Christopher Landavazo, and a few others.
What WEHOville found stirred up controversy among community activists, but it remains to be seen if the average West Hollywood voter will care all that much.
According to WEHOville, this year's campaign donations have been “dominated” by “real estate interests outside of West Hollywood.” And in one instance, a contributor contacted by WEHOville didn't even know he gave the maximum check of $500 to incumbent John Duran. Instead, that person figured someone else gave the money but used his name.
As the online newspaper points out, that's illegal and considered to be campaign money laundering. No small thing.
For years, community activists have suspected and complained about questionable campaign tactics and fund raising, and now comes this newest revelation.
WEHOville publisher Hank Scott makes his own plea for West Hollywood voters to wake up and engage in the democratic process.
There's also a citizen-based movement in West Hollywood to create term limits since the city's political system appears to be so jerry-rigged that it's impossible for incumbents to be voted out of office.
What will West Hollywood voters say come Election Day on March 5? They'll vote on a term limits ballot measure and the fate of incumbents Prang and Duran. They'll also be voting on the future direction of the city and what they deem acceptable behavior by their elected officials, who represent them. In the big scheme of things, it's stuff that most definitely matters.
Contact Patrick Range McDonald at email@example.com.