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Your GPW Editor-on-Occasion is Petra Fried in the City.
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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Flip-Flop! O'Grady can't make up his mind on the CRA

Is the CRA in Los Angeles truly a good thing? Or should it be tightly controlled or even absorbed by the State?

CD 4 candidate Tomas O'Grady can't make up his mind.

In an in-depth questionaire sent to CD 4 candidates by CityWatch, O'Grady not only supports the CRA in principle, but he actually supports the CRA having all of their current boundary restrictions spontaneously removed by approving the infamous AB2531.

AB2531 is the State bill about only Los Angeles that no one in Los Angeles besides politicians had even heard of until hours before Arnold Schwarzenegger was due to sign it. Following swift public response, Schwarzenegger vetoed it. Tom LaBonge had voted yes earlier in the year to move AB2531 forward to a State legislature vote.

The CD 4 candidates' responses from the questionnaire on AB2531 are indeed telling:
Question #4: Do you support bringing Kelo eminent domain to all of Los Angeles?

Under Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005), a city may take property and give it to another private person for that entity’s personal profit. Traditional eminent domain forbids the property going to another person for personal profit.
CRA eminent domain is Kelo eminent domain as the properties go to private developers who reap the profits.

LaBonge supported AB 2531 which would have brought Kelo eminent domain to every parcel in Los Angles. His response today is that he wants to review the matter with the City Attorney. He opposes “unilateral eminent domain,” but there is no explanation of what he means about unilateral eminent domain, so at best his answer appears to be evasive. One would think that since he supported Kelo eminent domain, he would have some thoughts to share with the voters.

While he opposed the secretive manner in which AB 2531 was sprung upon the public, Mr. O’Grady would support a new AB 2531 to bring Kelo eminent domain to all of Los Angeles.

Mr. Box vehemently opposes expansion of eminent domain powers and would oppose any attempt to bring Kelo eminent domain to Los Angeles. He believes as a matter of principle that the government should not take one man’s property and give it to another private citizen.

O'Grady's response to the CRA-intensive questionnaire were characterized by author Richard Lee Abrams thusly 'Mr. O’Grady made long, thoughtful responses', so one is led to believe the candidate was sincere in his thoughtful, pro-CRA responses.

Yet when opponent Stephen Box steps up and sides with Governor Brown in taking the almighty CRA down a notch or two - Flip-Flop! O'Grady changes his mind.  Suddenly he's a self-proclaimed critic of the CRA.

Don't think your property could be affected by a CRA land grab?  Just look next door -  the CRA with Tom LaBonge's blessing just postponed the ongoing action of declaring parts of Atwater Village blighted while the Governor works out the agency's future.