Index
Saturday
Jul232016

L.A. CITY HALL: Airbnb, short-term rentals, regulation/ tax collection?: Commentary (Opinion L.A. -- Kerry Cavanaugh), "L.A. is A-OK with taxing illegal Airbnb rentals" ....

***Following up on earlier item noted here (L.A. City Hall, regulation/tax collection, Airbnb, short-term rentals)....

* Los Angeles Times (Opinion L.A. -- Kerry Cavanaugh):  "L.A. is A-OK with taxing illegal Airbnb rentals" - From the LAT:

Earlier this year, the city of Los Angeles stopped letting illegal medical marijuana dispensaries sign up to pay businesses taxes because, well, they’re unlawful and, as City Councilwoman Nury Martinez explained, “We shouldn’t be making money off of illegal businesses.” This week, however, the city announced a deal with Airbnb in which the company will collect and turn over hotel taxes from short-term rentals booked through its website, even though the vast majority are illegal.

So why is tax revenue from illegal short-term rentals OK, but not tax revenue from illegal pot shops? One possible answer is politics. Another is pragmatism.

   ****

So, even though city leaders aren’t consistent on collecting taxes from illegal businesses, they’re at least practical. If L.A. can’t properly regulate short-term rentals, the city might as well start making money off the roughly 12,000 Airbnb hosts renting out their homes illegally.

Saturday
Jul232016

POLITICS (National): 2016 presidential election, DNC, leaked emails, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders: "Wikileaks releases thousands of documents about Clinton and internal deliberations"; "DNC treatment of Sanders at issue in emails leaked by Wikileaks"; "Released Emails Suggest the D.N.C. Derided the Sanders Campaign"; "Leaked DNC emails reveal secret plans to take on Sanders" ....

***2016 presidential election, Democratic National Committee, leaked emails, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders....

* Washington Post:  "Wikileaks releases thousands of documents about Clinton and internal deliberations"

* CNN:  "DNC treatment of Sanders at issue in emails leaked by Wikileaks"

* New York Times:  "Released Emails Suggest the D.N.C. Derided the Sanders Campaign"

* The Hill:  "Leaked DNC emails reveal secret plans to take on Sanders"

* POLITICO:  "Debbie Wasserman Schultz once called Sanders' campaign manager a 'damn liar'" - "She also called Jeff Weaver's behavior 'particularly scummy.'"

Saturday
Jul232016

POLITICS (National, State): U.S. Senate race, Loretta Sanchez, Kamala Harris, Obama endorsement: "CA Rep. Loretta Sanchez infers that Obama endorsement for rival is due to race"; "Race a factor in Obama's endorsement of Kamala Harris, Loretta Sanchez says"; "Rep. Loretta Sanchez implies Obama endorsed Senate rival because they are both black" ....

Saturday
Jul232016

LOCAL GOVERNMENT (County of Los Angeles): County of Los Angeles, homeless housing/health services, proposed marijuana tax: "L.A. County likely to scrap proposed marijuana tax for homeless services" .... 

***Following up on earlier items noted here and here (County of Los Angeles, marijuana tax for homeless services, November ballot)....

* Los Angeles Times:  "L.A. County likely to scrap proposed marijuana tax for homeless services" - From the LAT:

Less than two weeks after voting to pursue a tax on marijuana businesses to help pay for housing and health services for the homeless, Los Angeles County supervisors appear poised to pull the measure from the November ballot.

County officials debated several potential tax measures to fund expanded efforts to reduce homelessness in the county, including a “millionaires tax” on high-income earners, a sales tax and a property tax, but those proposals ran into roadblocks or failed to get the needed level of support on the board.

The board ultimately approved the marijuana tax measure in a 3-2 vote earlier this month. County analysts estimated that the proposed 10% levy on the gross receipts of marijuana businesses would raise up to $130 million a year for mental health and substance abuse treatment, rental subsidies, emergency housing and other services aimed at getting people out of homelessness. But the bulk of that revenue would come only if California voters decide to legalize recreational marijuana in a separate November measure.

On Friday, Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, who wrote the marijuana tax proposal, introduced a new motion to rescind the vote and stop the measure from going on the ballot. Kuehl said . . . . . . . .

   ****

The withdrawal of the marijuana measure would probably  mean that no county tax measure on homelessness will appear on the November ballot, which is already crowded with tax proposals, including ..................

Saturday
Jul232016

L.A. CITY HALL: Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson, attorney Wayne Spindler, racially incendiary drawings: "State Bar urged to discipline lawyer accused of threatening council president" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "State Bar urged to discipline lawyer accused of threatening council president" - From the LAT:

Two months ago, Encino attorney Wayne Spindler provoked widespread revulsion at Los Angeles City Hall, handing in a public speaker card featuring a series of racially incendiary drawings. The card showed pictures of a burning cross and man hung from a tree — images typically associated with the Ku Klux Klan — and used the N-word to describe City Council President Herb Wesson, who was presiding over that day’s meeting. Spindler, 46, was soon arrested on suspicion of making threats against Wesson, who is African American.

A judge issued a restraining order against Spindler, forcing him to stay at least 100 feet away from Wesson anywhere but council meetings. Yet Wesson allies and longtime City Hall watchers remained perplexed. How, they asked, could a lawyer who uses threatening words and imagery -- he has repeatedly worn a Klan hood with a swastika to council meetings -- remain in good standing professionally? They called on the State Bar, the licensing arm of the state’s judicial branch, to have Spindler disciplined and possibly disbarred.

So far, they’ve been disappointed. In a recent letter, a State Bar official said he doesn’t plan on taking any action, at least for now. That’s due in part to the fact that Spindler has not been charged with a crime. “The State Bar does not agree with the racist implications of Mr. Spindler’s drawing,” wrote deputy trial counsel Ross Viselman, “but we cannot bring disciplinary charges against him for exercising his right to free speech.”

The State Bar’s response infuriated one of the people who filed a complaint against Spindler: public affairs consultant Eric Rose. He contends ...................