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If you contact Gerrie Schipske through this site on any matter pertaining to the City of Long Beach, a copy of your contact will be forwarded to her official city email as an official public record.

Friday, February 17, 2012

When They Don't Like the Truth...Some People Exaggerate

I previously posted both here and on Facebook that too much money was given to council members from those who had interests in medical marijuana collectives being scheduled to be closed because of a recent court decision.

Precisely, $9,100 was given for council and congressional campaigns underway. No one disclosed during the council meeting that they had accepted the money. I think they should have.

So when that tidbit of truth hit the air...someone posted several times on Facebook and on the Press Telegram that I had accepted $600,000. Wowee is that a whopping lie. I spent the large sum of $69,000 on my first council campaign and $20, 596 on my 2010 campaign.

Folks, not only did I not accept a penny from anyone connected with the marijuana business, but since being on city council I have raised only @ $64,000, qualified for candidate matching funds in the amount of @$7,000 and loaned my committee @$17,000. Do the math. That is nowhere near $600k.

Here is the link to my campaign contributors so you can see the truth.

So why the distortion of facts? I can only guess that this supporter of medical marijuana thought she needed to smear me because she and her friends are very angry that the council listened to the advice of our City Attorney and passed a ban on these collectives. I received a handful of angry emails yesterday and today telling me so.

Why are they so mad at me when the vote was 8-1? Because I have been upfront from the beginning that I am not in favor of these collectives but I did vote in support of the city's efforts to try to work within the Compassionate Use Act and allow reasonable access. Then the Court of Appeal said "No" to the City and I voted with 7 other "supporters" of the collectives to ban them in 6 months.

We can argue all day about whether or not marijuana should be legal. It is not legal and only the federal government can change that.

We can also debate -- and the City Council did so extensively -- about whether or not Long Beach should ignore the court ruling in the Pack case which stated that the city could not regulate marijuana collectives because they were illegal. If the city can't regulate we could not stop them from opening in any neighborhood.

And that folks, is the truth.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Long Beach Needs to Thank Those Who Returned From Iraq --Planning Freedom Walk on 4th of July

As you know, US troops have returned from Iraq and several cities have held parades and other celebrations to acknowledge their service.

It is time Long Beach stepped up and did the same.

I am putting together a working group to plan at Freedom Walk on 4th of July on Clark Avenue from Carson to Spring. The route goes by Vets Stadium and Rosie the Riveter Park and Interpretive Center where we are flying the Long Beach Hometown Heroes banners honoring the men from Long Beach who died in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Please contact me if you want to help plan this event to thank those who served in Iraq. We hope to include the fire and police historical vehicles to add to the festivities.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Note on LB Chamber of Commerce Attack on Me -- You Got the Wrong Opponent

I received a wonderful valentine in my email inbox while sitting in City Council from Randy Gordon, Executive Director of the LB Chamber of Commerce.

Randy, who lives in Huntington Beach because he loves Long Beach so much, wrote a long email missive about his love and admiration for Gary DeLong and claimed that Gary, unlike that big, bad woman in the 5th Council District Gerrie Schipske, is the only business person on the entire City Council and that Gary needed to be applauded for launching 100 visits to 100 businesses in 10 minutes or something like that. Oh, and Gary is strong and not pro labor like that working wench Schipske. (He missed the part where Gary is described as dapper and a Young Gun...)

Note to Randy:  I know love can be blinding but you don't serve your membership well (including the Port of Long Beach which gave $30,000 to you as a member) when you don't tell the truth and you go after the wrong opponent for your endorsed candidate, DeLong. Gary isn't running against me for Congress. He is running against himself, Steve Kuykendal and State Senator Alan Lowenthal.

Simple facts: Both Gary DeLong and I have business licenses because we both do consulting work. I ran a very successful law practice on Pine Avenue for several years. I now have a medical legal consulting business. Both DeLong and I file a form 700 so you can see how much or little income his business makes. So stop the nonsense about him being the only one with business experience.

I voted against raising property taxes in Long Beach. DeLong voted to raise property taxes (Measure I parcel tax). I voted against imposing a fee on shoppers who want a paper bag and banning plastic bags. DeLong voted to impose the fee and the ban.

Regarding labor: Both DeLong and I voted for the project labor agreements. Both of us voted for salary increases for our public safety unions. Glad to see you've endorsed the Gary as the prolabor council member in the 3rd.

Randy, Randy. Does it mean so little to you that when the Chamber of Commerce lost many of its small business members because the Chamber wasn't doing much for them, that I formed a Small Business Advisory Committee in my district and that I reached out to you for Chamber support only to be rebuffed and ignored or that I have contacted every newly licensed business in my district and provided them information on who to call for service.

Or that I have been working with the Lakewood Village businesses (yes, Randy, Lakewood Village is in Long Beach) to spruce up their business corridor or that I brought in marketing experts to see how we can attract retail to the district??? Or how about that my staff and I brought TEDXSOCAL to Long Beach which was not only successful in its own right, but resulted in bringing new convention business to the city because some attendees were so impressed that they decided to book their convention here? Or that the Council just approved my proposal to allow local Long Beach businesses to showcase themselves at a city council meeting each month so we have help support their efforts? (Bet you also didn't know that part of the proposal includes a suggestion that council members and the mayor actually go out and visit the businesses to show our support. Oops was that where Gary got his idea?)

Wow, with that kind of track record and dedication maybe I should run against Gary DeLong for Congress afterall. Nah. But until I do, save your attacks for his real opponents, Randy.

Hugs and Happy Valentine's Day.


How Much Money Did You Contribute Concerning Medical Marijuana?

If ever an issue cried out for campaign finance reform in Long Beach, the vote on Tuesday, February 14, on whether or not to ban operation of medical marijuana collectives would be the issue.

Why? Because in excess of $8,000 has poured into the campaign accounts of several council members from businesses and lobbyists from the medical marijuana industry just as we get ready to either heed or ignore the legal advice of our City Attorney Robert Shannon. 

Shannon has told the City Council over the past several months that we need to ban the operation of medical marijuana collectives because the court ruled on a case specifically involving the City of Long Beach’s regulation of medical marijuana collectives and held that the City cannot regulate that which is illegal. Marijuana is illegal. 

Yes, California allows the use of marijuana for medical purposes grown by “caregivers”, but the court reminded that a “caregiver” is someone who prior to growing and giving marijuana for medical reasons, actually provided care, food, housing, etc., for the person receiving the marijuana. The court specifically references that a marijuana collective of 4 or less is what was envisioned in the Compassionate Use Act – not a big business making tens of thousands of dollars a week selling marijuana grown to several hundreds of members. The medical marijuana collectives and their lobbyists are making big bucks and if Long Beach bans their operation as the City Attorney advises they will lose out of one of the biggest cash cows to hit the city.

Elected officials should not vote on an ordinance or a business contract if they have received money from any party related to the ordinance or the contract. They should also disclose at the time of the vote that they have taken contributions from a party, participant or their agents. 

Several cities have enacted laws which disqualifies the council member from participating in decisions affecting his or her campaign contributors. These laws disqualify the council member from participating in certain proceedings if the official has received campaign contributions from a party, participant or their agents within the 12 months preceding the decision. They also require disclosure on the record of the proceeding of all campaign contributions received from these persons during that period. In addition, these laws prohibit solicitation or receipt of campaign contributions during such proceedings, and for three months after the decision, from parties, participants or their agents.

The voters of the City of Los Angeles enacted changes to their charter in 2011 that create new campaign contribution restrictions on contractors bidding on contracts with the City. The changes ban contractors who are bidding on contracts worth $100,000 or more, and subcontractors that are expected to receive at least $100,000 from performing their portion of the contract, from the following:
  • Making campaign contributions to any elected City office, candidate for elected City office, or City committee controlled by an elected City official or candidate if the contract requires approval of the Council; and
  • Making campaign contributions to any elected City office, candidate for elected City office, or City committee controlled by an elected City official or candidate if the contract requires approval by the elected City office that is held or sought by the person to whom the contribution would be given.
It is time that Long Beach strengthened our campaign finance laws by either the Council putting this issue on the ballot or by taking this issue directly to the voters and getting them to place it on the ballot in the next general election.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Local Students Start Painting House Numbers on Curbs

Students from the Rosie the Riveter Charter High School were out in the 5th Council District starting their project to help spruce up the look on streets by repainting house numbers on curbs. 

The students are getting volunteer service hours from their school to work on this project. They will do this every other Monday until we get the house numbers repainted of those residents who agree to let them do it.

The service is free and helps our public safety personnel find houses quicker. Volunteers from Meals on Wheels also tell me they would appreciate seeing the numbers repainted because they often have trouble finding an address.

Again, it is free but I do encourage residents to make a tax deductible contribution to the charter high school of $10.

Save Station 18

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