WeHo Councilmember John Heilman Endorses John D’Amico for Re-Election

West Hollywood City Council members (left to right)  Lauren Meister,  Lindsey Horvath, John Heilman, John D’Amico and Mayor John Duran. (Photo by Jon Viscott)

West Hollywood City Councilmember John Heilman has endorsed fellow Councilmember John D’Amico’s bid for re-election in March.

With Heilman’s support, D’Amico now has the endorsement of all four of his fellow City Council members. D’Amico is one of three incumbent candidates running for re-election. The others are Lindsey Horvath and Lauren Meister. Heilman also has endorsed Horvath, as has Mayor John Duran. D’Amico has endorsed both Horvath and Meister, who are not expected to endorse one another because of their differences.

The three incumbents face eight opponents in the March 5 election. Endorsements from their fellow council members and from organizations such as the West Hollywood/Beverly Hills Democratic Club and the Stonewall Democrats are seen as important in attracting support from voters.

D’Amico used to have a difficult relationship with Heilman, who has been on the City Council since the city’s founding in 1984. He had made his opposition to Heilman a major focus of his initial City Council campaign in 2011. He then surprised many voters by endorsing John Heilman in his 2017 re-election campaign.

D’Amico’s positions have evolved in other ways. He surprised voters by announcing In March of this year that he was running for a third term, given that he had previously pledged to serve no more than two terms of office. He also had campaigned in the past against what he saw as too much development in West Hollywood. However, his first major fundraiser, at the London hotel in May, was hosted by Jeff Seymour, Steve Afriat and Jim Arnone, lobbyists who represent developers, billboard companies and others who seek to do business with the City of West Hollywood. D’Amico also has been a strong supporter of the Arts Club project on Sunset Boulevard, for which Afriat is a lobbyist and which has been opposed by Heilman.

Other candidates in the March election are:

Jack Cline. Cline is a registered nurse and nurse practitioner at Providence St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica. Cline also is a drag queen who goes by the name Jackie O.M.G. (Oh My Goodness). Cline is a representative for the California Nurses Association. He lives with another gay City Council candidate, Eric Jon Schmidt.

Tom Demille. Demille is an artist and former actor who has had four previous unsuccessful runs for City Council.

Duke Mason, who was unsuccessful in his 2015 bid for a council seat.  Mason is a member of the city’s Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board and a former member of the board of West Hollywood Community Housing Corp.

Brendan Hood. Hood is associate director of business analytics at AT&T and has been an avid participant in the WeHo Dodgeball League.

Shawn Davis Mooney. Mooney has lived in West Hollywood since 1993. He has worked as general manager at Holiday Retirement in Napa and is a model and actor. His LinkedIn profile says that he worked in 2005 and 2006 as director of operations at House of Pedals, a florist on La Cienega Boulevard, and from 2010 to 2014 was co-owner of a Venice, Fla., flower shop. His IMDB profile says he played the role of a border patrol agent in this year’s “Where Dreams Rest.”

Eric Jon Schmidt. Schmidt, who lives with Cline, describes himself as retired. On his website Schmidt states that he was a fitness trainer in Las Vegas and Los Angeles for 20 year and was executive assistant to Monti Rock, He also worked in the coin counting room at the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas. Schmidt, who describes himself online as a “horny little sexhibitionist,”  has claimed that 7,000 of his followers on the DudesNude.com porn site are West Hollywood residents who have pledged to vote for him.

Sepi Shyne. Shyne was appointed by Councilmember John Heilman in July to the city’s Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board. Her LinkedIn profile identifies her as the founder of Soulillume, which “offers energy healing for humans and pets, reiki and massage combo sessions, spiritual guidance, energy healing classes, energy healing products and inspirational e-books and seminars.” Shyne also practices business and trademark law and is former co-president of the LGBT Bar Association of Los Angeles. She has been very much involved with the Los Angeles Chapter of the Human Rights Campaign.

Marquita Thomas. Thomas, who is the executive director of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, also is a member of the city’s Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board. She is a former member of Christopher Street West, the non-profit organization that stages the annual LA Pride parade and festival in West Hollywood.

  1. I think the council members as a whole have remained steady. More cohesive compromising and less dismissive and divisiveness as 8 years ago. With their Predessors they weren’t as clear until their last terms to support new ordinances and affordable housing increases One of which is now an assessor who appraises multi million dollar portfolios. John has always been an advocate for rent control and affordable units and protecting the small number of section 8 that still might exist in a city that became so gentrified due to Costa-Hawkins. More condo owners than ever before and duplexes being demolished. He will get my vote for standing up for renters rights for 35 years and never waivering if and holding developers accountable even to AKA for their ruthless disregard of renting and protecting our affordable housing units. Glad to see the deputies and their 300,000 a year salaries and 5 member union without impunity finally get dissolved. I supported Horvath for that reason alone. I think Meister standing up to developers against our ordinances is good but it took awhile for her and D’Amico to support to build and now get lists to protect us to remain in the cities due to market rate increases. Overall, minus lobbying getting so outrageous, and demolition of current landlord quitting the rental business and buildings being demolished. I am opposed to that horrible Arts club and more businesses coming in than housing I am not an advocate for since I wouldn’t benefit.

  2. All the incumbents will win re-election. That’s how the weho democracy works. The challengers will just split the vote of those who want change and make it easier for the incumbents to win. Thank god we got term limits! Whats left is campaign finance reform and zoning reform. If not it’s going to be the same old same old

  3. Ditto Larry Block. Lauren DOES NOT take money from developers. She has earned & deserves the support of the citizen community she in turn supports.

  4. John D’Amico, like the other two Johns, is owned by folks like Jeff Seymour, Steve Afriat and Jim Arnone. The lobbyists who represent developers and Billboard companies.

    D’Amico is a strong supporter of the Arts Club project on Sunset Boulevard, for which Afriat is a lobbyist, along with being a major supporter of a project backed by a developer facing trial in the Federal Courts for bribing city officials.

    D’Amico is now just a part of the Townscape 4 who spend half their time trying to sell everyone on developments, like the hideous new buildings lining Sunset Blvd to make the “strip” look like a Billboard orgy and then they spend the other half of their time doing their tree hugging bit like adding class to West Hollywood with the entire Stormy Daniels fiasco.

    As for Heilman and Duran having served for 50 years… is there any way to make these two elderly politicians retire now!

    1. The recently voted on term-limits will get rid of all three John’s in the next few years, I think Heilman and Duran only get one more term, that was one of the smartest things Weho ever voted on! 👍

  5. We should vote out every one of the current council members and get all new.
    The current ones are so deep in the pockets of developers that they don’t care about the city residents. They only care about padding their own bank accounts.

  6. I’d like to echo Larry Block’s words.
    Lauren Meister has done a great job for the City in her time as a councilperson. She comes meticulously prepared and informed of agenda items before the council. She makes thoughtful decisions that I believe favor the quality of life for West Hollywood residents over the interests of developers and special interest groups.

    1. And if I may add, she does it without the imperious ego in play in much of the rest of WeHo officialdom.

  7. I remember that brief shining period when John D’Amico was a feisty outsider and now he is comfortably ensconced into the Ruling Establishment. Time for new blood and increased services for our grimy little town.

  8. I have multiple times referred to the West Hollywood High School Student Council and these personality issues are a large part of why. I agree with Larry that there is one candidate deserving reelection this year because she does the work and she shows up. D’Amico has that word pledge hanging over his head, in addition to a whopper flip-flop on almost all policy issues. Horvath has a big question mark hanging over her head until she pledges to serve out her complete term should she be reelected, in addition to the asterisk next to her name as having achieved the luxury of incumbency by way of a sham appointment process that robbed us of democracy. She’s highly punctuated. There are a couple of highly attractive challenger candidates to shake things up and I look forward to more coverage on substantive policy issues and not just references to their backgrounds. We need an enthusiastic voter base, and not one in which 25% of registered voters show up, and it takes only 10% of registered voters to “win” a city council seat. #VOTE (and make them work for yours!)

    1. All candidates, by filing the documents declaring their candidacy, are pledging to serve out their complete term of office should they be elected – why do you hold Horvath to a different standard? Is it simply because you happen to have read speculations of others that she would do otherwise – that’s not fair.

      Also, anyone with a coherent memory can tell you that the asterisk that will appear next to her name on the March ballot is because four years ago there was an election by which residents of our City voted and elected her to the City Council, immediately followed by an election of her colleagues into the role as mayor where she served tirelessly to lead the then-fiercely divided Council effectively and with grace. There’s no debate, she has earned the asterisk next to her name.

      1. Mine is a different asterisk meant to record the fact that she was initially appointed to the office, thereby gaining the luxury of incumbency which, with rare exception, has always resulted in reelection. That sham appointment process is a democracy-stealing tactic that should never again be employed by the city. There is no such pledge on the candidate intention statement. Perhaps it is implied, but given the amount of speculation, it’s a fair request to make of a candidate. It happens all the time, and candidates side-step the issue. This is political, not personal.

  9. In a statement on my Dudesnude profile, Over six months ago I have asked my viewers in West Hollywood to not Vote for me simply because of my presence on Dudesnude, but rather read my entire Campaign profile and make an informed decision based upon my life experience, temperament and progressive ideas for West Hollywood rather than my physical attributes. As far as the current City Council, The only one I support is Lauren Meister. West Hollywood needs all new leadership (other than Lauren) over the next two elections or else we will not recognize our Village in ten years. I agree with Larry Block’s assertion, it’s the new blood that will keep the heart of West Hollywood pumping. If you don’t want to Vote for me, please consider the other newcomers. Side Note: I am the only one running who has served his/her Country in the Military.

  10. Lauren deserves Heilman’s endorsement too. It’s clear they have a solid working relationship. John DAmico, Lauren and Lindsey have a combined 16 years of service on the council. Heilman and Duran have over 50 years of being on the council. Lauren earned her spot, works hard and deserves to be re-elected. I hope Heilman comes around and recognizes that none of the other candidates offer as much as Lauren. Lauren works hard and is not afraid to stand up to the big boys of the big money. If ‘community’ interests are what our local city council represents then nobody holds a candle to Lauren’s accomplishments in her first 4 years. And I’m not buying this Lauren-Lindsey feud thing. They appear to work well together. In fact, our city council is working well because new blood has made all the difference.

    1. Amen to Larry Block’s comment but then again Meister’s reputation for independence and authenticity might be compromised by a Heilman endorsement.
      Recently Heilman and Meister along with Lindsay Horvath did a great job in confronting AKA West Hollywood for attempting to turn 110 housing units into an “extended stay” hotel. That is the sort of teamwork the City needs and applauds; putting the residents first. Unfortunately Heilman’s ego is probably still bruised by his defeat by Meister four years ago. Remember the tantrum he had when D’Amico got elected? He refused to talk to D’Amico for months. Heilman probably has to keep one endorsement free so he can endorse his protege, Duke Mason. I respect John Heilman’s intelligence and dedication but that does not make him infallible or free from human foible.

      1. Heilman is professional and has a law degree and job. Duke has done nothing with his life except live on his dads and moms name. Hard to think Heilman would compromise his reputation on somebody who has no depth, experience, knowledge and has done nothing.

        1. Heilman will support Duke just to try to get rid of Meister. It’s all about power. He is that is transparent.

    2. I could not agree with Larry more about Lauren! She says what she means and means what she says . She’s be strong and thoughtful in her decisions. 25 years in this city and being a former friend of a current council member has made it abundantly clear to me that it’s time for the complacency and developer deals made by the 3 johns to go! Duran doesn’t care about this city , he cares about diddeling the next young boy, Heilman should be put out to pasture and the other John, could you be any more wishy washy . Duran’s log cabin roots are showing up in so many of his decisions and comments.

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