E&B has just placed a political add with Jamie Ramirez, Hermosa Beach Police Sergeant, saying that the Hermosa Beach Police Officer’s Association supports Measure O because they need more pay.
Ramirez has a pay package totaling $283,459.00. See Transparent California for the details. The Hermosa Beach Police Officers’ Association is a non-profit organization that provides legal representation and negotiates benefits and wages for the Hermosa Beach police force.
The Hermosa Beach Chief of Police has made the following statement in response:
SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT:
The Hermosa Beach Police Department does not endorse political candidates or ballot measures. We have NOT taken a position on Measure O. We remain committed to providing the high level of professional service you expect from your police department. Opinions expressed by employee associations and unions do not represent the official position of the Hermosa Beach Police Department.
Chief of Police (Her comment can be seen on the HBPD FB page)
So, why would the HB POA do this? Here are 2 possibilities:
- They did not do their research, and honestly don’t know the health risks to the public, and that there won’t be much or even any money for the city. They did not reach out to Keep Hermosa Hermosa/Hermosa Beach Stop Oil to discuss this project.
- Their organization has already taken a donation from E&B or are promised a donation in exchange for their public support.
It is a shame that Hermosa Beach police, who’s job it is to protect the public, are supporting a project that puts the public at risk.
- The vote to support Measure O was not unanimous.
- It was excellent timing to voice support of this measure AFTER their year end fundraising drive.
- California has strict rules on police officers and politics. Such as, “No officer or employee of a local agency shall participate in political activities of any kind while in uniform.”.
With the recent press releases and ads that have become more and more outrageous and false, let’s meet the man and PR firm behind it all.
Eric W. Rose is a partner at Englander Knabe & Allen PR firm. It’s his name we see quoted in the press.
One case study on the PR firm’s website highlights the City of Whittier and how they influenced the city council to vote for oil drilling. Here are some quotes from Englander Knabe & Allen on their Whittier strategy:
- Wrote signs that said “Our Family Supports Whittier’s Future”. — Comment: Sounds like E&B’s “Protect Hermosa’s Future” signs/citizen’s group.
- “Through our program we were able to find local spokespeople who agreed to sign letters to the editor and who also agreed to comment at the public hearings of the Planning Commission and the City Council.” — Comment: Hmmm…. Wonder if E&B’s supporters are writing their own letters and ad statements or just signing what E&B wrote.
- “Our program not only increased citizen awareness of the project, but it provided the appointed and elected officials with the “political cover” they needed to make the right decision.” — Comment: Interesting statement on the “political cover”. The Whittier city council voted 5-0 in favor of the oil project.
Unfortunately for the oil company, later the LA County Board of Supervisors rejected the project, and it’s now on hold. “The supervisors voted unanimously to deny the city the change in use from habitat preserve to oil and gas drilling operation on land bought by county taxpayers.”
As of January, 2015, the city of Whittier plans to defy the county and drill anyway, says the Wittier Hills Oil Watch Group.
Not only do we need to vote “No on O”, but we need to also support our city officials who are also “No on O”.
— Comment: Wonder if E&B was really behind that ballot argument lawsuit. It seems highly unlikely a resident, who is not a specialist in election law, could have raised the argument and paid the lawyers and court costs.