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Serena Oberstein, John Lee attack each other over ethics

good morning. Welcome to LA on the Record, City Hall's newsletter. Directed by Dakota Smith, with assistance from David Zahnizer.

Stretch limo and chainsaw.

As the Los Angeles City Council race heats up, political mailers in the northwest San Fernando Valley are showing a different picture.

2 candidates, city council members john lee and the challenger Serena Obersteinthey accuse each other of not trusting each other in the run-up to Tuesday's election.

Mr. Oberstein, a nonprofit leader who lives in Northridge, sent out mailers with images of limousines, poker chips and slot machines to highlight the ethics commission's ongoing case against Mr. Lee. ing. Lee was charged in October with several violations of the city's ethics law. Receipt of gifts by politicians.

Meanwhile, Mr. Lee and his supporters have sent out mailers attempting to paint Mr. Oberstein, the former ethics committee chairman, as a hypocrite and have warned him to run in the 2019 election. The judge urged the judge to rule on the matter, pointing out that it was a violation of city law that prohibits public transportation. To get her off her ballot.

Both candidates are seeking a seat in City Council District 12, which covers Chatsworth, Porter Ranch, Sherwood Forest, Granada Hills and Northridge.

Lee is receiving support from several municipal unions in his bid for re-election, including those representing city police officers and Department of Water and Power employees. He has benefited from his more than $1 million in outside spending.

The case against Lee stems from meals and perks he accepted in Los Angeles and Las Vegas several years ago. He is also accused of trying to mislead federal authorities about his relationship with a city councilman who was his boss at the time. mitch englander We offered a refund for the gifts we received during our Las Vegas trip.

The men backdated the checks to make it appear they had previously reimbursed the businessman, according to a complaint filed by the city's Ethics Commission. Mr. Englander was later sentenced to prison for lying to federal authorities.

Lee, who lives in Porter Ranch and was first elected in 2019, has denied wrongdoing. He told the Times that he showed Ethics Commission investigators evidence, including his bank accounts.

“I just gave them access because I had nothing to hide,” Lee said in January.

the Times asked Pat Dennis, Lee's campaign consultant, asked him to show evidence provided by his boss. Dennis declined, citing an ongoing case. Mr. Lee's office also declined to explain how he pays for his defense in ethics cases.

So far, the city council member has not formed a committee to raise legal funds.

Meanwhile, Lee's supporters are attacking Oberstein over the lawsuit that removed her from the ballot five years ago.

Mr. Oberstein began his campaign in 2019, but a judge recently ruled him ineligible to run because he served on an ethics committee that recommended election policy and imposed fines. Ethics commissioners are barred from running for office for two years if they cast certain votes that affect city office.

At the time, Oberstein said the city told him he could run for office.

One attack ad depicts Oberstein as a hypocrite, a forest-loving politician who chops down trees with a chainsaw.

lindsay buberOberstein's election consultant said Lee's campaign tactics were an attempt to “distract voters from the serious allegations he faces.”

The accusations against Lee didn't stop the mayor. Karen Bass I didn't support the congressman last week.base advisor Yusef Robb The mayor was asked for his opinion on the allegations against Lee, but he refused to respond.

“She supported his partnership in bringing unhoused Angelenos indoors,” Robb said, referring to Bass' anti-homelessness work with city council members.

Asked about his support for the mayor, Bouvard said the election was a “referendum on ethical leadership.” Her statement also gave a nod to the fact that Lee has listed “no political party preference” on her voter registration.

“Selina remains the only Democrat in this race who has built a broad bipartisan coalition of people and leaders from across the community who are standing up to demand a city free of corruption.” she stated.

State of play

— Moving away from HLA: Mr. Bass continued to keep the fight over the HLA bill quiet this week, declining to say whether he supports or opposes a ballot measure that would mandate hundreds of miles of bus and bike lanes.she was silent Even if I'm pushed FOX11's Erex Michaelson said during an interview. “I’ll get back to you,” she said.

— Trial by fire: Residents near Cahuenga Boulevard and Franklin Street in Hollywood have been nervous about a spate of homeless encampment fires in recent months.Sidewalk encampments in the area are a political headache for lawmakers. Nitya RamanBass, who is running for re-election, and Bass, who has already carried out two Operation Inside Safe operations in the neighborhood, only to see the area repopulate.

— Show progress: Raman and kevin de leonEach party involved in a fierce re-election battle is calling for progress in reducing street encampments in their respective constituencies. Both candidates achieved a 7% reduction in street homelessness in their districts, albeit over different time periods.

— 14th friendly: Mr. de Leon was at the center of a major political scandal in 2022. But the eight-way race to replace him has been largely a close battle, with several candidates trying to emphasize their positive vision for the district.So far, it's the congressman who threw the sharpest elbow miguel santiagosent several attack ads attacking de Leon.

— Da Dollar: The Times examined the money raised and ads produced in the Los Angeles County district attorney's race. And there's also the most important question. That's who among the many candidates running for the District. Atty. Georges Gascon Will he succeed in breaking away from the group?

— Fighting Burger: Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Berger may be a Republican, but as a candidate running for a third and final term, she's making a standard move for a Democrat. Berger touted support from labor unions, the Sierra Club and Planned Parenthood, while also talking about his willingness to stand up to the NRA.

— Fighting Photoshop:Member of Parliament chris holdenBerger's current opponent said his office is filing an FPPC complaint against a political action committee that used altered images of him in campaign emails. The California Family Business Alliance PAC produced a mailer criticizing Holden's free travel abroad, claiming it was for research purposes, taking selfies, and tampering with his passport. displayed the image. “That's illegal,” he said, adding, “I don't have a sweater like that.”

— Pac fights back: A PAC spokesperson said: kelly garman He dismissed the criticism, saying it was common for campaigns to use Photoshop to “farcically depict a candidate's actions.”

— What more we can offer: The Ethics Committee announced on Friday: raise the maximum amount The ability for donors to donate to candidates for city hall. Donors will be allowed to donate $1,000 to City Council candidates and $1,800 to candidates for mayor, city attorney and city manager.

— Mailer message: Campaign mailer promoting MPs heather hat He is running for office in the South Los Angeles district on Tuesday, and has been the subject of campaign controversy. Hutt's consultant said she was not responsible for the mailer and that she did not know about it.

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quick hit

  • Where is Inside Safe? The mayor's program to combat homelessness launched no new activities this week. Instead, Bass traveled to Sacramento with his delegation to announce that the city had secured $60 million in COVID-19-related cost reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
  • On next week's calendar: Of course! There's an election! Don't forget to vote!

keep in touch

That's it for this week! Send questions, comments and gossip to him at LAontheRecord@latimes.com. Did a friend forward this email to you? Sign up here to get it in your inbox every Saturday morning.

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