The City of West Hollywood has updated its registry of lobbyists, at least one of whom has sparked controversy by also managing the campaigns of City Council members before whom he represents his commercial clients. Many of the lobbyists, who must register with the city by the end of May each year, are major donors to council members’ election campaigns. For the most part, the clients are not locally owned businesses but real estate developers looking to gain council approval for projects in West Hollywood.
The City Council agreed in March to form an ad hoc committee composed of council members John Heilman and Jeffrey Prang to examine issues related to lobbyists and their involvement in political campaigns and report back to the council in September. That agreement came after Heilman introduced a resolution that would prohibit lobbyists from serving as campaign consultants. Councilmembers John Duran, whose recent re-election campaign was managed by lobbyist Steve Afriat, and John D’Amico abstained from that vote.
The registry shows Seymour Consulting Group with the largest number of clients with WeHo interests. Its lobbyist registered with West Hollywood is Jeffrey A. Seymour. Seymour Consulting is based in Westlake Village. Its clients with West Hollywood interests include:
The lobbying firm with the second largest list of clients with West Hollywood interests is the Afriat Consulting Group, whose principal, Steve Afriat, has been involved in the management of campaigns of all current West Hollywood City Council members except for John D’Amico. Afriat lobbyists registered with the city include Steve Afriat, Aaron H. Green, Christopher Bowen, and Jaime Rojas. Afriat Consulting is based in Burbank. Its clients with current issues or issues likely to come before the City Council include:
Paul Hastings, the Los Angeles law firm, has the third largest list of clients with West Hollywood interests. Hastings lobbyists registered with the city are Jeffrey Haber, Edgar Khalatian and Michael Lytzen. Hastings clients include:
Other lobbying firms and their registered lobbyists and clients include:
Latham & Watkins, the Los Angeles law firm, whose registered lobbyists are James Arnone, Duncan Joseph Moore and David F. Thompson. Its clients include Pacific Design Center; Marriott International, 9040-9056 W. Sunset Blvd., 1018-1022 N. Doheny Dr., 9031-9041 Harratt St; Maimonides Academy, to provide advice on land use issues.
Gene Smith and James Litz of West Hollywood, who represent United Valet of Culver City, a parking service, in its effort to obtain parking use permits, and Urth Cafe of West Hollywood, which is attempting to get permission to expand its restaurant on Melrose Avenue at Westmount.
Marathon Communications of Los Angeles, whose registered lobbyists are Richard Lichtenstein and Brian Lewis. Marathon has been engaged by Beverly Blvd. Associates, the entity comprised of Townscape Partners and Angelo Gordon & Co., a New York City investment firm that owns 8899 Beverly Blvd. Another client is Avalon Bay Communities of Newport Beach, which has engaged Marathon for help in its effort to build the Movietown Plaza project on Santa Monica Boulevard.
James Litz of West Hollywood, who represents Micky’s, the West Hollywood bar, on parking and land use issues and United Valet on parking issues.
Mark R. Edwards Consulting Group of West Hollywood, which is representing residents opposed to the proposed redevelopment of 8899 Beverly Blvd.
Wayne Avrashow, an Encino lawyer, who represents Joseph Shooshani in his effort to get city approval of a mixed-use development at Sunset Plaza at 8410 Sunset Blvd. east of Olive.
Southern California Edison of Santa Monica, whose lobbyist is Mark Olson.
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, whose lobbyist is Deborah Kallick of the San Francisco-based Sutton Law Firm.
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