The high level of corruption in LA city government these days is alarming. Angelenos have lost their trust in their local government. As Controller, I will be fearless crusader against the corrupting influence of money in politics. I will enhance transparency, and ensure that controls and accountability measures are implemented to stop and prevent further corrosion of public trust. I will focus and act on these areas that I believe are the driving force that motivates and fuels this corruption.
Expose & prevent corruption
- Perform a Citywide corruption risk assessment audit to identify corruption risks and help regain public trust focusing on reviewing internal controls, including weaknesses and opportunities associated with:
- development deals
- other Mayoral/Council transactions
- Review millions in Council discretionary funding and no-bid contracts, including review of outcomes and work performed on Council pet projects and demand that any no-bid council discretionary funding allocation be justified.
Uncover potential abuses of power through data and transparency
- Expand Controller’s usage of open data and anti-corruption analytics including better tracking of:
- no-bid contract transactions
- long standing contracts that never end but get amended for years and years with little scrutiny
- campaign contributions and critical decisions that those donations may have influenced (contract awards, development deals, Commissioner appointments, and other Council actions)
- no-cost or below-market rents on City properties
- Enhance partnerships with the private sector, universities, non-profit organizations and stake holders such as the California Policy Lab to better assist with data-driven insights and anti-corruption best practices. While the City collects a lot of data, we lack the resources, data infrastructure, and expertise needed to successfully evaluate and expose problems. We need to better partner with non-City experts.
- Explore block chain technology as an anti-corruption tool to improve transparency, disclosure and data integrity.
- Review reprogramming of LAPD for Community Programs doled out by Council Offices to identify who received these funds, what was the process to distribute the funds, and what were the outcomes/ROI.
Enhance transparency of government union contracts and campaign contributions
- Demand more transparency and public discussion when Government Union contracts are up for renewal highlighting fiscal impacts and budgetary structural deficits.
- Educate the public through data and transparency
- publish dashboards for government employee compensation (20 year trends, increases)
- track government union political campaign contribution spending and the government union contracts approved by those same politicians to identify quid pro quo opportunities
- Perform a benchmark study of Government employee compensation as compared to similar cities.
Demand changes to discretionary ‘Slush’ funds (Mayor, Police and City Council)
- Enhance scrutiny and transparency of secretive off-the-books charity funds, including the Mayor’s Fund and the Police Foundation Fund, that set up potential quid pro quo opportunities:
- push to ‘open the books’ on these Funds to regain public trust
- propose rules demanding that City contractors disclose Mayor/Police Foundation Fund donation amounts to prevent potential conflicts of interest
- demand that City employees stop soliciting outside businesses to contribute to these Funds
Enhance Ethics Commission/Auditing Budgets
- Support an Ethics Blue-Ribbon Commission to review and propose ethics changes to further reduce the corrupting influence of money in politics.
- Study new ways to budget for the Ethics Commission and Controller Office (such as a required prorated percentage of total Budget) so that these important anti-corruption entities are funded at higher levels than they are now. These two entities are underfunded and this impacts their ability to combat corruption.