The Prop S Jig Is Up!

Dear fellow bloggers and readers of blogs that skew younger here in LA,

I’m sorry to say the jig is up. This is shocking news but it’s true. I don’t know how they found out, but they did. This morning I received a disturbing e-mail, directly to me at my super secret e-mail address from Joseph Mailander asking:

“How come the blogs that skew younger in town don’t seem to care about Prop S? It’s the only local civic measure on the ballot Tuesday, and the tax seems to affect those in the younger demographics most. Ten extra bucks a month on every wireless device you have, just because you have a City of LA mailing address, that sounds like something worth at least discussing.”

Then moments later I was CC’d on an e-mail from Joseph to Walter Moore about this same topic. Joseph wrote to Walter:

“Something you may find fruitful is asking some of the blogs that skew to younger readers—like LAist and Blogging.LA—why they haven’t been covering the sole local civic issue on Tuesday’s ballot.”

Folks, how the hell did this happen? Do you all remember at the last meeting of the YSBOLA (Younger Skewing Bloggers Of Los Angeles) when I kept saying loose lips sink ships? This is exactly what I was talking about. Obviously our “lazy and uninformed” excuse wasn’t going to hold out forever and now we’re going to have to give back all the Prop S hush money we’ve gotten from the fat cats downtown. I hope whoever leaked the info on the massive cover up conspiracy is happy, I’m gonna have to completely refigure my coffee budget for the next few months now. Jerk.

At least they don’t yet seem to know about all of the other agreements we have about things not to talk about. I won’t mention them, but you know what I’m talking about. And there was no reference to out out-of-city mailing addresses to protect us from all the, um, stuff there in Prop S. But obviously we can’t count on that info not getting out. To illustrate just how crucial this info leak is I won’t be bringing cookies or bubble gum to the next meeting, though it’ll still be at the Hello Kitty in the Beverly Center, like always.

Cloak & Daggerly,
-sean

27 Replies to “The Prop S Jig Is Up!”

  1. we skewer them like for a shish kabob? Kidding aside I wrote plenty about Pasadena doing the attempt to tax internet access.

    Sierra Madre has Utility Tax debates that I am trying to decipher.

    The bigger news is that the fed ban on taxing the internet is only temporarily extended. My hunch is that after the fall elections it will all be back on the table.

  2. we skewer them like for a shish kabob? Kidding aside I wrote plenty about Pasadena doing the attempt to tax internet access.

    Sierra Madre has Utility Tax debates that I am trying to decipher.

    The bigger news is that the fed ban on taxing the internet is only temporarily extended. My hunch is that after the fall elections it will all be back on the table if I read the various blogs on the topic correctly.

  3. I think Mailander asked a fair question of you, Sean, and your sarcasm is unwarranted. He’s giving BLA some credit for having influence with the “younger demographic” and you could have at least acknowledged that fact.

  4. I actually ended up spending an hour looking up info about this and reading the actual text when I got my absentee ballot. Basically I think the description is slightly misleading, and both sides aren’t being entirely truthful.

    And what pissed me off most was that telemarketers end up getting a rate cut to 5%. (I think they should be taxed higher) :\

    Also, I think even though the excuse right now to vote yes is that it’s massively outdated, the current measure isn’t much better. The one thing that made no sense to me in this whole situation is that on the pro-S website, it says this isn’t a tax on internet services. But uh, the definition of a communications service is sufficiently vague enough (to me) that I’d say it sounds exactly like oh, the internet – transmission (etc.) of data between points over fiber/coax/dsl/wireless. Even minus digital downloads (um, well, if I was going to go that way, I’d probably classify VoIP as being half-digital download).. Also, if you’re not taxing the internet but instant messaging is taxed…

    …but hey, that’s only coming from a cisco certified geek. Maybe I misinterpreted a bunch of it. Doesn’t make much sense to me. Haven’t yet decided which way to vote, but all I know is that if the city is making such a big deal over a $200 million thing that they’re willing to cut so many important programs if this doesn’t pass, they seriously suck at budgeting – I suppose I could think of a ton of other things they can cut.

    The full text’s up at http://www.smartvoter.org/2008/02/05/ca/la/meas/S/ if anyone else cares to read.

  5. Oh come on now Rodger, when has my sarcasm ever been warranted? Also, you know as well as I that there is no credit being given there at all, rather thinly veiled disgust for not giving the appropriate amount of attention to whatever he thinks is important. This isn’t the first time Joseph has suggested we are purposely linking to, or not linking to something because of some secret motive. We are a very small handful of volunteers in a city of millions, I’m sure there is an endless list of things we haven’t covered and there’s no big conspiracy behind any of it, and it’s insane to suggest there might be some good story behind why we haven’t written about any topic out there.

  6. Sean’s being sarcastic? Since when?

    I think its awesome Joseph is passionate about Prop S, and agree we should be flattered that he thinks we have influence.

    But to be honest, Sean’s post here inspired me to look harder at Prop S… so Mailander should consider this mission accomplished!

  7. Fair enough, Sean. And as a long-time reader of BLA — and please don’t take this wrong — I’ve never come to expect much coverage of substantive issues. Perhaps that’s what Joseph is actually overlooking. A couple of years ago, over at my old website, I took a few nasty swipes at BLA for what I percieved to be a lack of substance but then I realized that’s not what you guys are all about.

  8. @Hmmm,

    both sides aren’t being entirely truthful.

    They never are.

    Every election, and every ballot question, it sucks having to side with either “This bill will let illegal aliens eat our babies” or “These improvements will be paid for by a bond issue and so will not require spending cuts or tax increases.”

    Here’s to “no” on everything. Make the legislature do its damn job.

  9. If “THE UGLY AMERICAN” is voting no on something I’m voting yes. As are the other 90% of the B.LA readers (I’m guessing).

    Thanks!

    Actually I already voted absentee and I voted yes on S. Fuck it, tax us more, the city needs the money.

    Also I voted for Obama!

    =]

  10. I meant to phrase that comment more like this:

    If “THE UGLY AMERICAN” is against something, I’m guessing that most people who read B.LA are for it.

    =]

  11. I will never in my life understand why some voters constantly insist on taxing themselves.

    To borrow on a recent quote….

    To those voters who seem to enjoy paying ever-higher taxes, I am pleased to report that the City of Los Angeles accepts both checks and money orders.

    Knock yourselves out.

  12. I must say, I’ve been eerily surprised at the number of times I’ve agreed with the Ugly American. Her opinion on Prop S is one of those occasions.

    Mailander is sorta right when he says we’ll be taxed $10 on our wireless devices. My cel phone service is just under $100 a month, and Prop S would add a 9% tax – on top of all the other taxes and surcharges. Thats at least $9 extra.

    I wouldn’t whine so much, but I just cancelled my XM radio service, and even Netflix, for just a few months to save a little money. 9% on select services may not seem like a lot, until your realize how many of those services you already pay for. The tax is simply insane.

  13. “… Btw where do you think the money to run our fine city should come from if not taxes?…”

    Now that would be a good blog topic, here are 3 suggestions:

    1. Turn off the lights at NOKIA and give the $$$ to the City.

    2. Require all city cars to be electric – no more free Lincoln Navigators to City Councilmembers.

    3. Abolish the worthless Neighborhood Council system. Here in Silverlake alone, the SLNC gets $50,000. a year as an operating budget. Over the past 5 years that is $250,000. (or a quarter of a million dollars)! The SLNC has done nothing to warrant that expenditure – just lots of neighborhood gadflies presenting each other with plaques while play-acting at being City Councilmembers (I mean, WTF does a motion to impeach the President have to do with local regional concerns of Silverlake? I kid you not, that is a typical NC motion!) Multiply the 50K of all the NCs across the city over the past few years and THERE is your missing city budget!

  14. Well, I didn’t mean to imply no taxes, just no illegal taxes.

    I’m voting NO to protest the city’s dishonesty in shafting its citizens out of millions of ill-gotten tax dollars.

    To me, voting YES would be like a parent admonishing a child for stealing money from their wallet then letting ’em keep it.

    I try to make a point of not rewarding bad behavior.

  15. Abolish the worthless Neighborhood Council system.

    I’d have to disagree with you on this one.

    I live in Valley Village and I see our council doing a lot of good for our neighborhood.

    Without these representatives, I have no doubt that many of our concerns would fall on deaf city ears.

  16. I mean, WTF does a motion to impeach the President have to do with local regional concerns of Silverlake? I kid you not, that is a typical NC motion!

    LOL…..

    That is pretty lame.

  17. I must say, I’ve been eerily surprised at the number of times I’ve agreed with the Ugly American.

    Geeeezzz…..you guys make me sound like some sorta cretin or somthin’ ; )

    This is merely proof-positive that most voters have more in common with one another than not.

  18. My name’s Walter Moore.

    I wrote the official ballot argument AGAINST Prop S. I’m an attorney who’s spent way too much time reading city budget documents, along with court documents concerning the city’s taxes on phones and cell phones.

    As for being truthful, you don’t have to take anyone’s word for anything.

    Rather, you can read original source materials at my website, including for example:

    –The actual language of the statute that would impose a tax on DSL, text-messaging, wireless, etc.

    –The actual court opinion of appeal opinion, from May 2007, affirming the July 2005 superior court judgment that thew out the 2003 cell phone tax hike

    –The actual budget documents and newspapers articles showing the city squanders your tax money on sphincter control lessons, hundred-million-dollar subsidies to developers, etc.

    –The actual budget documents showing the City takes in $6.7 billion, which more money than ever in its history, $1.4 billion per year more than in 2004-05, and more than enough to hire 1000 or 10,000 police.

    After you’ve done that, and compared my site to the bare assertions of the Yes on S people, tell me if you STILL think BOTH sides aren’t being truthful.

  19. My name’s Walter Moore.

    I wrote the official ballot argument AGAINST Prop S. I’m an attorney who’s spent way too much time reading city budget documents, along with court documents concerning the city’s taxes on phones and cell phones.

    As for being truthful, you don’t have to take anyone’s word for anything.

    Rather, you can read original source materials at my website, including for example:

    –The actual language of the statute that would impose a tax on DSL, text-messaging, wireless, etc.

    –The actual court opinion of appeal opinion, from May 2007, affirming the July 2005 superior court judgment that thew out the 2003 cell phone tax hike

    –The actual budget documents and newspapers articles showing the city squanders your tax money on sphincter control lessons, hundred-million-dollar subsidies to developers, etc.

    –The actual budget documents showing the City takes in $6.7 billion, which more money than ever in its history, $1.4 billion per year more than in 2004-05, and more than enough to hire 1000 or 10,000 police.

    After you’ve done that, and compared my site to the bare assertions of the Yes on S people, tell me if you STILL think BOTH sides aren’t being truthful.

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