Mayor D’Amico Appears to Be Assembling His Own Council Crew

The French, who have been around a lot longer than we Americans, like to say: “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.” If you have any doubt that the more things change, the more they remain the same, consider what’s happening in the campaign for three seats on the West Hollywood City Council.

There has been change. The political dynasty formed by John Heilman, who has served on the Council since the city’s incorporation in 1984, and Abbe Land, his Council sidekick, crumbled in the 2011 election. That’s when challenger John D’Amico beat out Lindsey Horvath, Heilman and Land’s choice for an appointment to fill the seat left empty by the death of Sal Guarriello.

Joe Guardarrama
Joe Guardarrama
Now Land has announced that she won’t seek re-election in March. And D’Amico appears to be busy creating his own political establishment to replace that of Heilman and Land, throwing his support behind Joe Guardarrama. Guardarrama is lawyer who once served with D’Amico on the Planning Commission and only recently announced his candidacy. On Sunday D’Amico and his husband, Keith Rand, hosted a kick-off event for Guardarrama’s campaign at their home. The co-host for the event was Yvette Inclan, Guardarrama’s cousin and an employee of Fox Networks. The event sought donations of $500 from “hosts,” $250 from “sponsors” and $100 from “guests. “Attendees noted that the color and design of Guardaramma’s campaign signs mimicked that of D’Amico’s.

Among the attendees on Sunday were longtime political operatives such as John Altschul, a lawyer who is D’Amico’s appointee to the Planning Commission and his long-time advisor, and Steve Afriat, the lobbyist and campaign consultant who has been involved in managing the campaigns of every current Council member but D’Amico.

To date none of the other 15 announced candidates have aligned themselves with other candidates. Historically, the large number of challengers for the few Council seats means the vote gets split, making it difficult for any one of them to get sufficient votes to win. In 2011 D’Amico was the exception.


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nir zilberman
Guest

one think is clear, TIME for CHANGE. time for WEHO people to OWN OUR CITY. MONEY? nothing will change it’s all over the world, every country, every city. the most important what is the city does with the money???? building what? let’s re-build our community first, let show some LOVE. some real GIVING not only FAKE SHOW BIZ. it’s our lives, it’s our tomorrow. let’s be REAL and face the facts, the good and the not so good. Good luck to everyone and im hoping this time we will have more voters then past years. this is my story. this… Read more »

Wehojag
Guest
Wehojag

Three lawyers. Give me a break. This candidate represents lobbyists. Just look at the firm he is with. As for Durand – he doesn’t represent lobbyists – he is a lobbyist for developers like the “separate entrance for the poor at the ICM building” Townscape boys. More of the same. As for five gay council members – all men! It is time for more women and minorities and not the same white guys that represent all developments.

Professor Shivers
Guest
Professor Shivers

D’Amico is SUCH a disappointment! I voted for him last time and was excited by the Meister appointment. But he got rid of progressive young blood for an old has-been who hasn’t met a developer he doesn’t like. He’s bought, and he wants more power so that means he’ll be bought time and time again. I’ll never vote for him OR any of his confederates again.

mikey
Guest
mikey

Five gay council members ? ….we should be
so lucky !

joetheplummber
Guest
joetheplummber

Bigger, Faster, Louder: I think the Mayor may have learned that bigger is sometimes o.k. Faster, is better if it means you move traffic along or park people better. The question seems to be who seems to stand for what on LOUDER: The Johns both on City Council and Planning seem to get that the Loudest voices in West Hollywood want affordable housing. The Joe (me excluded) seem to know that too. But, some people will oppose those Loud seniors, Disabled folk Minorities or even Businesses who want a home because a project might be too “dense.” Is she “dense?”… Read more »

Larry Block
Guest

Any candidate would jump at the chance to have the Mayor host a fundraiser on their behalf so it is hardly fair to blame Joe. The question that we should be asking is where has Joe been over these past few years. If you look at his Facebook page which started on 11/16, its probably clear that he didn’t intend to run in October or September. It’s probably fair to say that there was some ‘collusion’ going on to get Joe to make a move and enter the race. The main question I would ask is where has Joe been… Read more »

Riley
Guest
Riley

Well, isn’t that diverse of us to possibly have 5 gay, young, men, being run by developers on the City Council. We’ve become what we were against.

Lynn
Guest
Lynn

@Hank Scott: Since memories fade, is it possible to get a rundown of approved projects for the last 10-12 years and exactly how these folks: Guardarrama, Meister, Horvath, Heilman and even Mayor D’Amico cast their votes? It would also be interesting to see the votes of John Altschul, confidant and discussion partner to Mayor D’Amico former planning commissioner.

Tom Smart
Guest
Tom Smart

Bad move D’Amico, bad move.

Don Jones
Guest
Don Jones

D’Amico reminds me Obama- a good campaigner and yet a leadership disappointment. We had such high hopes for his promised new thinking and instead we got go-go boys and retread commissioner appointees. Now he is backing Guardarrama who as a planning commissioner rubber stamped the “bigger, faster, louder” development, the same type of development that candidate D’Amico campaigned against 4 years ago. Oh well, lets replace Land with another westside gay man. This council needs another attorney. #smh

Bernadette Parinello
Guest
Bernadette Parinello

More of the same, follow the MONEY!! Developers and lobbyists with shady ties to all the elected officials, all the candidates and all the votes. I’m convinced that people like Afriat cut deals with their clients whose campaigns they manage along the lines of: If you vote MY WAY for any of the dozens of clients I represent in Weho, I’ll charge you less for my campaign services. And with such loose laws governing these types of relationships, and NO ACTION taken by WeHo to reign them in, it’s really a case of who knows what’s going on. This is… Read more »

sheilalightfoot
Guest

Perhaps this is a good time to refresh our collective memory. Just saying’… what has happened in the fight against “bigger, faster, louder” and does Joe’s record on the planning commission clearly demonstrate that he fought against it when he had the chance?

New Blood – With New WeHo Planning Commissioner, End to “Loud”-Type Development?
http://la.curbed.com/tags/new-blood

D’Amico chooses Meister for WeHo Planning Commission
http://wehonews.com/z/wehonews/Pages.php?choice=6027

Meister out, Altschul in as D’Amico Keeps Campaign Promise
http://patch.com/california/westhollywood/meister-out-altschul-in-on-planning-commission-as-d-af58cbf8113