April 25, 2009

Why Voting in Los Angeles is Such a Pain

Hideous campaign sign, photo by Rosemary West © 2009This post has been revised. Read to the bottom, and you will see why.

Here's what I wrote on April 25: It's no surprise when sleazy operations like massage parlors and credit repair scams use these hideous illegal signs to promote themselves. I've written before about the problem of these ugly billboards proliferating on our streets. But somehow I would have expected a candidate for city attorney to know better. I would have been wrong. This portable billboard recently appeared in my neighborhood, taking up yet another parking spot and making the drive down Topanga Canyon Boulevard just that much uglier.

There is simply no excuse for any candidate in Los Angeles to use illegal signs of any kind, or to contribute to this much-hated form of visual pollution.

Update as of May 4: I photographed this billboard and wrote about it on April 25. I also sent a note about it to the Trutanich campaign via their website. This got more action than I expected. Today I received a comment (see "Rumpole" in the comments below) indicating that this billboard was not placed by the Trutanich campaign, but was instead a "dirty trick" on the part of someone supporting his opponent, Jack Weiss. That's many times worse than if the billboard had been placed there by the Trutanich campaign! I was fooled, and probably many others were, too. Residents of this area are furious over these horrible billboards, so it's certainly a cheap (and dishonest) way to turn them against a candidate. According to a blog post at "David Berger on Los Angeles", someone sent Parking Enforcement to photograph and ticket this billboard, but nothing was done about the others, equally illegal and even uglier, parked on the same block. This is why I hate politics so much.

By the way, as of this morning, May 4, the billboard is still there.


  1. Hi Rosemary:

    I don't have a horse in this race, but I do find your comment to smack of NIMBY-ism. The sign on the trailer doesn't have a parking ticket on it, so I must assume it is legal. Bearing an aversion to something doesn't equate to illegality. Is there a ordinance where this trailer/sign combo is disallowed? I've never heard of one.


  2. I love people who use NIMBY as some kind of insult. Of course nobody wants ugly pollution in their backyard. I don't want it in anyone else's back yard, either. Imagining that the lack of a traffic ticket somehow proves that this illegal sign is legal is strangely naive. Whether or not a trailer/sign combo is or isn't allowed, there is indeed an ordinance that outlaws "off site signs". There is also an ordinance that prohibits vehicles from being stored or abandoned on city streets (being parked there for more than 72 hours). These vehicles spend weeks or even months parked in the same spots. And that is illegal. "Carmen", I suspect that you work for one of these billboard companies.

  3. I laughed so hard I almost spit my coffee when I read the bizarro-world logic of the pro-sign guy. So if a law isn't well enforced, it's not a law? Can't wait to try that when I get a speeding ticket. "Well, I've been speeding here daily for the last month and I never got a ticket, so obviously speeding is legal here." Yeh, right.

  4. Hi Rosemary. T

    he mobile billboard that you saw is a dirty trick by Jack Weiss's campaign. It not only looks nothing like Trutanich's campaign material, but it also lacks the legally required disclosure to state who paid for it. We are fairly sure it was either Weiss or a Weiss supporter who did it, and a report has been made.

    I blogged about it last week: http://berger4cityattorney.blogspot.com/2009/04/weiss-campaign-latest-dirty-tricks.html

    If you need any evidence of Carmen Trutanich's views on this increasingly annoying unsightly and illegal advertising, I'll gladly forward you Chatsworth Neighborhood Council's Newsletter where Trutanich lays out his plan to get rid of this form of blight. Interestingly, Jack Weiss did not have the courtesy to reply to the request for Weiss's stance on mobile billboards.

    I do hope I have been able to convince you that you've been the victim of a Weiss dirty trick, and that you will change your mind about who to vote for and why.

  5. The NIMBY debate aside (personally I find the term offensive because it insults people like me with very valid concerns about their neighborhoods) no one should have to deal with illegal signs on their streets.

    This is really a nice two-fer for the Trutanich campaign put up illegal signs and blame it on a "dirty trick" by the opposing campaign. Thats why there are hundreds of illegal Trutanich signs all over the city (but not for Weiss) not just this one but on lightpoles, trailer hitches, and walls across the city...because the Weiss campaign is so busy spending money and time putting up hundreds of signs promoting their opponent across the city in a tight race, just so their "dirty trick" is convincing...

    I looked it up and its the Trutanich campaign who has contracted with "Hang em' High" a company notorious for putting up illegal signs...

    ...if you believe Mr. Berger hes probably got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you...

  6. John, I'd be interested to know where and how you "looked it up" to find out who paid for the sign(s) in question. I'd really like to get this information firsthand. Maybe I don't get around enough, or maybe I'm not looking hard enough, but I haven't seen any campaign signs for either Weiss or Trutanich, except for this one. I've tried searching the Web, but so far the websites I've found with photos of illegal campaign signs are mine and David Berger's (both show the same sign).


If you are a real person making a real comment, your comment will appear after moderation. Thank you for your patience.