This juicy tidbit comes to us courtesy of someone who says they are active in Common Cause, a group dedicated to transparency in government. It lays out a pretty damning case, in our humble opinion, of alleged payola "journalism" by notoriously underhanded consultant Eric Hacopian.
The e-mail, sent about a month ago to FPPC Chair Anne Ravel, lays out an alleged pattern of payola and suspicious coincidences of the Mayor Sam blog attacking candidates running against a Hacopian client.
This comes, of course, at the heels of the FPPC's investigation into requiring blogs to disclose payments from political consultants, just like how campaigns have to disclose what they spend on say, newspaper advertisements or PR consultants.
What the letter fails to point out, is that the "Mayor Sam" blog not only seemingly does Hacopian's bidding, but also how utterly laughable the blog has become. Take for example the sad case of Assembly wannabe Adrin Nazarian, who hired Hacopian to do his race for Assembly. Earlier this year, the Mayor Sam blog brutally and nastily levied hit after hit against Laurette Healey. That is, when polls and perception showed her to be Nazarian's prime rival in the race.
Now that the race has clarified, and newcomer Brian Johnson is perceived to be the primary threat against Adrin Nazarian -- surprise! The Mayor Sam blog has now directed its fire toward Brian Johnson.
What makes it all so laughable and unbelievable is that the bloggers at Mayor Sam, who allege to be Republicans, widely cite and quote Los Angeles Democratic Party Chair Eric Bauman(!)
If the Dem-leaning Huffington Post started repeatedly trashing anyone running against a Karl Rove (i.e., Republican) client, you would, umm, suspect that something was amiss. We're not brain surgeons over here, but we recognize a suspicious pattern when we see one.
Our sources tell us that FPPC director Ravel was serious to require these disclosures, but dropped her request for a new law when a couple attorneys informed her that the FPPC already had the tools in existing law to prosecute payola blogs and corrupt and misleading actions by political consultants.
Adrin Nazarian cannot afford another ethics investigation. Might Eric Hacopian's blatant overreach come to harm his clients? Stay tuned...
Redacted forwarded e-mail begins here:
From: __________ _____________ <email@example.com>
To: aravel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Sat, Apr 21, 2012 9:05 am
Subject: Blogging Disclosures
428 J Street, Suite 620
Sacramento, CA 95814