L.A. NOW

Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Political animals

June 5, 2008 |  9:25 am

Political_advisor While some of us may have been daunted by this week's crowded election ballot, animal lovers could find help right on the City of LA's web site. David Zahniser explains:

Ed Boks, general manager of the animal services department, keeps a blog titled "From Ed's Desk" on the department's home page. (That's Boks in the photo at right.)
A week ago today, he posted a list of congressional endorsements compiled by the Humane Society Legislative Fund, a group that seeks animal-friendly policies.

The posting instructed animal enthusiasts to re-elect such politicians as Rep. Jane Harman on the Westside, Rep. Adam Schiff in Pasadena and Rep. Laura Richardson -- currently known for her financial woes, especially the foreclosure of one of her three houses -- in a district that includes Long Beach.

Now legally, city officials are barred from using public resources for political purposes, particularly campaign activities. But the blog, which features a photo of Boks smiling and  hugging a dog, warns readers that nothing on it "represents the official position of the City of Los Angeles or LA Animal Services unless otherwise specifically noted."

That didn't reassure City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo's office, which said the posting raised legal concerns. "We do not believe an official city web site should link to candidate endorsements," said Delgadlilo spokesman Nick Velasquez.

Deputy Mayor Janelle Erickson said an aide to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had ordered Boks to remove the post on Wednesday.

The election, of course, was the previous day. Is anyone in the doghouse?

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Los Angeles Times