This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.
This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.
WeHo City Hall Left to Its Own Devices
West Hollywood political life will have to go on without the constant guard of muckraker James Fuhrman, the self-appointed autonomous "ethics commission" for the city. And as Bob Pool reports in the LA Times, many folks in WeHo seem to be just fine with that.
Over the past eight years, Fuhrman has acquired local infamy for his email newsletter and public access television show, which have served venues for his skewering of public figures over their myriad transgressions. Under the watchful eye of Fuhrman, who is a professional legal researcher, no elected politician or city employee gets away with dining out on the city’s dime, or collecting frequent flyer miles accrued from work-related travel without hearing about it in not-terribly-polite terms.
Fuhrman’s unrelenting tactics and efficacy in cleaning up city politics remain questionable and unclear. He tried to reform City Hall from the inside, but lost the election for a seat on City Council. He’s made more enemies than friends, which we assume was his point all along.
Although some locals might miss Fuhrman’s often entertaining penchant for drama, no tears will be shed in City Hall when the host of “The Complainers Variety Show” leaves the densest city west of the Mississippi to a yet-to-be-determined location in France. We wonder, however, if some of Fuhrman’s critics might secretly miss doing the ritual eye roll brought on by a unique admixture of amusement and contempt that’s inevitable when reading his weekly newsletter. LAist can’t help but enjoy good rabblerousing from time to time, so perhaps someone else special will come along with the ire-provoking ability to bring a mayor to actually tell a constituent to "Get out of my face, you loser."
Continue reading after the jump for a sample of an classic Fuhrman-esque update, written after he lost the bid for Council in 2003.
Both Ballot Measures passed, so taxes will be slightly raised for hotel guests and business taxes will also be slightly raised. That's good... the City needs the money, and John Duran, Abbe Land and John Heilman LOVE to travel at taxpayer expense!
I clearly had the LOWEST cost per vote... In other words, I had to "bribe" people with the LEAST AMOUNT OF MONEY (just for a few photocopies) to get people to vote for me. Abbe Land, Sal Guarriello and John Heilman had to "bribe" people with the MOST amount of money (to send out mailers, phone banks, banners, polls, etc.), to get people to vote for them. So they bought themselves an election... AGAIN.And to put it in a more VISUAL form, if Green Apple Martinis are $9 each at The Abbey, Abbe Land got in campaign contributions the equivalent of over 11,000 green apple martini cocktails! John Heilman: about 9,000 cocktails! Sal Guarriello: about 6,500 cocktails! Me: about one $9 cocktail.