Measure S, Neighborhood Integrity Initiative Sues Opponents for Lying

The Coalition to Preserve LA, represented by named petitioner Grace Yoo, has sued labor boss Rusty Hicks and the signers of the ballot argument against Measure S — false claims against the measure (once known as the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative) that voters would read in their official voter materials next March 7 if the fake news stands unchallenged.

The lawsuit names Rusty Hicks, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the L.A. County Federation of Labor — who is the author of the false “rebuttal argument” — and its other signers.

While it’s legal for formal opponents of a citizen initiative to use political hyperbole in official voter materials to try to sway voters, they cannot lie or purposely mislead as this group has done.

The lawsuit, which will be heard by Superior Court Judge James C. Chalfant, argues that Rusty Hicks and his co-signers lied and purposely mislead by claiming that “independent studies show Measure S will not fix our planning process but will instead destroy” huge numbers of jobs and drive L.A. into a recession.

The outrageous “independent” source they cite is Beacon Economics, a paid consultant to Rusty Hicks’ opposition movement who has accepted at least $30,000 to taint and attack Measure S. That attack money flows from a pot bankrolled by four global billionaires and the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce.

Attorney Grace Yoo, the plaintiff in the case, said, “Beacon Economics ‘independent’ report was paid for by ultra-rich developers to prevent Los Angeles residents from knowing the truth about the city’s rigged and broken zoning and mega-development projects, fundamentally favoring specials interests over the public interest.”

Absurdly, the “independent report” identified by Rusty Hicks and others as “Economic Analysis: Measure S, Nov. 18, 2016” does not even exist: The Neighborhood Integrity Initiative was assigned its alphabetical letter “S” by city officials in December, weeks after the lie-filled “report” was created.

The report by Beacon Economics attacking Measure S was posted on the opposition website, paid for by the so-called “Coalition to Protect L.A., Neighborhoods and Jobs” — bankrolled by the four billionaires and the L.A. Chamber of Commerce, and admits it was prepared to fight Measure S.

The biggest whoppers by Beacon Economics are its ginned-up claims of massive job losses, based on a fake-news gambit that stretches the two-year moratorium contained in Measure S from two years to a false “10 years.”

The narrow and limited two-year timeout under Measure S prevents the wayward L.A. City Council from granting zoning exemptions to insider developers who account for 5% of development in Los Angeles. These 5 percenters shower City Hall with money, then get to wreak havoc on neighborhoods, getting special City Council “spot zoning” exemptions to build far bigger and taller than allowed. 95% of developers obey our zoning rules—they will continue building during the timeout on City Council bad behavior.

Beacon Economics, Rusty Hicks and the opposition camp created an imaginary 10-year moratorium in order to wildly exaggerate their already badly tainted, billionaire-backed, phony-jobs data, and worked up a “recession” worthy of a bad fiction novel.

Vote Yes on S on March 7, and protect our neighborhoods.


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