Rosendahl and Bonin Engaging in Illegal Use of Taxpayer Resources for Political Campaign in Violation of State Law

Rosendahl's City Council office is being used as campaign headquarters for Deputy Mike Bonin's run for office in violation of State law. Ryavec asks for District Attorney to investigate.

Mr. Dave Demerjian
Head Deputy
Public Integrity Unit
Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office
Los Angeles, CA

Re:  Illegal Use of City Resources for Political Campaigning

Dear Mr. Demerjian,

I am writing to formally request an investigation of City Councilman Bill Rosendahl for criminal misconduct for his use of public resources for electioneering in a city election and the illegal use by his Deputy Mike Bonin of an email data base, developed at taxpayer expense, for campaign purposes. 

As you will see below, Mr. Rosendahl has included in an official press release from his city office the web link to his chief deputy's campaign website.  City staff were used to prepare this communication and a city-assembled email list was used to promote a particular candidate with City resources in violation of State law.

It is one thing to endorse a candidate, it is another to misappropriate public resources - his considerable press operation paid for by taxpayers - for the benefit of one candidate over another by using that operation to direct citizen attention to a campaign website. 

Further, as you will see below, Mr. Bonin also today employed the Council Office's extensive email data base to announce his candidacy and to solicit funds.

Several friends and associates of mine have recently sent me copies of Mr. Bonin's email blast.  They have told me that Mr. Bonin would not have had access to their email addresses except by accessing the data base maintained by Mr. Rosendahl's City Council office, which is maintained for the purpose of official communications from that office to constituents, not for political campaign purposes.  In the instance below, Mr. ---- was contacted at his business in downtown Los Angeles, far distant from Council District 11.  There is no conceivable way that Mr. Bonin would have obtained Mr. ----'s business email address and the addresses of the others who have received his notices except by appropriating them from the Council Office's data base of email addresses assembled in the course of official city business.  Mr. Bonin even sent the funds solicitation to VMPO@ncvenice.org, the email address of the task force in Venice fighting to preserve the historic Venice Post Office, more evidence that the council office's email date base was the source of all the addresses.

These are all examples of the illegal use of city resources and files developed at taxpayer expense for electioneering.

This instance of misuse of public funds, staff time, and resources raises the question of whether Mr. Bonin is currently engaged in working on his campaign on city time using city offices, telephones, email accounts, computers, etc.  After many years in office, it is possible that both Mr. Bonin and his boss Mr. Rosendahl have lost sight of the line between city business and campaigning.

To avoid this obvious criminal misconduct shouldn't Mr. Bonin take a leave of absence from his position with the City?

Thank you for investigating this matter.

Mark Ryavec
Candidate for Council District 11

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

David Ewing October 10, 2012 at 05:00 PM
In fact, Ryavec himself has a habit of sending out spam with all the recipients openly listed. It would certainly be ironic if the addresses of his "friends and associates" turned out to have been captured from Ryavec's own emails.
Marta Evry October 10, 2012 at 07:18 PM
OK, first off, full disclosure here. I'm supporting Mike Bonin in the CD11 election. I also know Mark, who is a neighbor, and with whom I've worked on various neighborhood issues. We don't always see eye-to-eye on everything, but he gets mad props from me for actually stepping up to the plate to run for office. And while I wouldn't characterize Mark's emails as "spam" (as David Ewing does below) he does have the habit of openly CC'ing recipients. I've sometimes seen resulting email chains with dozens of email address openly listed, as more participants pile into the mix. And yes, Peter, you were one of those openly CC'd. Mark isn't alone in this habit. I see emails flying around about neighborhood issues and politics with open CC's every day. And I've long since lost count of the number of political candidates - some of whom I've never heard of - who added me to their lists. Candidates can - and do - buy emails lists, they can - and do - harvest email addresses from emails sent to their personal accounts. Look, emails and email addresses have the illusion of privacy, but aren't. If you don't want your email addresses shared, BCC everything you send. If you don't want spam from political candidates, hit the "unsubscribe" button.
Sherri Akers October 10, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Check out Mike Bonins personal email page - he has 2,656 personal facebook friends - this is also a source for emails for a campaign. I am with Marta - I am always dismayed at how many people fail to use BCC on their mass emails. I would hope that everyone aspiring for this office campaign on the issues. We are a community and largely know each other. Leave the accusations for the national stage! I am looking forward to having Mike Bonin as our next Councilmember for CD11 based on my experiences with him as Chief of Staff for Bill Rosendahl!
Mike Hunt October 10, 2012 at 10:27 PM
David Ewing on this one your taking the Jerry Sandusky defense.
Luvin Venice October 11, 2012 at 12:06 AM
I'm sure Mark Ryavec knows there really isn't any criminal activity here. But this new candidate just might make the news by proverbially shouting "fire" in yet another theater.
David Ewing October 11, 2012 at 12:34 AM
It's a classic sucker punch tactic. Smear first, ask questions later. If you can't win a fair fight, you try anything to take your opponent by surprise. Carl Rove should take lessons from this guy.
Mike Hunt October 11, 2012 at 11:24 AM
Interesting defense of Bonin Akers. I got an email from Bonin and I don't even have a Facebook account. I am waiting to see what comes from an investigation before I vindicate Bonin.
Venice Vortex October 11, 2012 at 04:23 PM
I got a Bonin email, the only way Bonnin could have my email was from Rosendahl. Mark Ryvac is 100% correct on this one. Bonin is starting off his campaign illegally and will not represent the wishes of Venice citizens just like Rosnedahl threw Venice under the bus. I hate when homleless advocates selfishly advance their agenda at the cost of Venice residents quality of life. Respect the safety and concerns of the 38,000 Venice residents.
Marta Evry October 11, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Great news! Mike Bonin's campaign just announced he's received the endorsement of a couple of hundred grassroots and community leaders in the district, including: Jay Handal, president of the West LA Neighborhood Council;  Terri Tippit, head of the Westside Neighborhood Council; Nora McLennan and Geoff Maleman of the Neighborhood Council of Westchester-Playa;  Haldis Toppel and Norman Kulla, former leaders of the Pacific Palisades Community Council; Mike Newhouse, former president of the Venice Neighborhood Council; and Marlene Savage, a former member of the board of the Del Rey Neighborhood Council and a prominent player in the L.A. Congress of Neighborhoods. You can read more about it here: http://www.mikebonin.com/
Robert Humberfloob October 12, 2012 at 08:56 AM
Marta, you may just want to consider changing your mind and vote for Mark Ryvac. 38 thousand Venice residents can't be wrong. He won't let you down Marta, Like Bonin has done time and time again with the Rosendahl machine that brought everything to a grinding halt. Marta lets not confuse being a nice guy with getting the job done.
burned@thestake October 12, 2012 at 10:59 AM
You see Marta, you need to listen to someone's hastily freshened-up 'hunt', or this 'Bob Hum-bug' character. If you and your dog both don't support Ebeneezer Ryavec, you may lose your standing in the HATER community. The 'holes had such plans for Venice... If only Rosendahl hadn't let the Constitution get in the way of his/their plans. And let's face it, he stopped on the wrong side of the Constitution, several times (see Payouts and Court cases cases, against), but his failure to keep pushing without regard to the LAW or "justice", is going to disqualify anyone but the StockHolders' would-be saviour - Ryavec. And as for e-mails - the stuff people send to the NC is a matter of public record, and hence not private or proprietary. I'm pretty sure that I know Peter and Gary's e-mails, too - not that I'd have anything nice to say, to either of them. And note to Bob-o - if Ryavec had the support of even 700 Venetians - he'd be "NC President", not the petulant and rejected "dog-catcher candidate". 38 K? Quit buying-into your own propaganda.
Venice Dad October 12, 2012 at 11:45 AM
What Bonin failed to understand is that there are simple ways to sign up for mailing lists with an email address specific to that list. It's a good way to sort and track your mail and to find out which spam comes from which source. I know many people who do this, just google "disposable email address". So in other words, it is trivial to detect when a mailing list has been re-purposed if you receive email to your one-off address from a different source. It seems that Mark has solid evidence of an email address used for Rosendahl's CD11 mailing list being repurposed for Bonin's election kick off email. I predict that (as always) the cover-up will be even more damning then the crime.
Venice Dad October 12, 2012 at 11:54 AM
This is not about Rosendahl, this is about Bonin abusing his position. Bonin sure was quick to launch his campaign the femto second after his boss announced he would not be running for reelection afterall. I'd like to hear you say with a straight face that Rosendahl's announcement was not orchestrated to coincide with the last moment before the candidate filing deadline as a way to prevent other candidates who might not want to run against Rosendahl from filing to run against Bonin. Perhaps you are not aware that we live in a democracy not a autocracy; succession for an office is decided by the voters, not the previous office holder.
killerweed October 12, 2012 at 12:02 PM
It breaks my heart that poor Mr. Vortex has to look out his waterfront window every day and be reminded that the world isn't just filled with money, sugarplums, croissants, BMWs and gated communities, and instead he has to be reminded that there's poverty and people who don't look, dress or think like him spoiling the landscape. It's truly a tragedy.
Venice Vortex October 12, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Yup it sucks to look at my window and see and hear the same group of intoxicated, belligerent, aggressive, bad neighbor, dirtbags (Daphney, Peabobody, Kevin and Rico) out there. They aggressively harass everyone that walks by the bench that they sit on all day and night and urinate behind. What really sucks is that they are there because of Carol Sobel and Steve Clare. You see Steve Clare has used money gained from his non profit industry to influence Venice politics and the local media. This money should be used for helping to find a solution for Daphney and her friends. Instead it helps the Daphney crew to stay intoxicated and keeps Venice in a skid row situation. But this thread is not about how the Venice homeless industry has monetized on the homeless. It is about an email that I got from Bonin and the fact that Bonin has already done something illegal and unethical to get elected and he has not even taken office yet.
Mark Ryavec October 12, 2012 at 05:27 PM
In an interesting development, I just heard from a reporter that Bonin has taken vacation time for a few days in response to my call for him to take a leave of absence for the duration of the campaign. We'll watch to see if Rosendahl does the right thing and invites Mike to get off the public dole while he runs for office.
David Ewing October 12, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Here we go again. The same old bull**** about "monetizing on the homeless," lest we forget that Venice's "social services mafia" is reaping untold riches by exploiting their misery. No evidence is ever offered, just the same cant, over and over. It's halarious, if you give it even a moment's thought, that people would devote their lives to social service because that''s where the big money is. Has any of these whiners ever actually been to Venice Community Housing Corp. to marvel at the gold plated furniture or the receptionist's diamond tiara? Some people apparently believe that if you repeat nonsense long enough, it miraculously becomes credible.
Venice Vortex October 12, 2012 at 05:49 PM
David the fact is that Steve Clare's homeless service industry has annual revenues in excess of $5 million. Some of this money helps the homeless, some of this money helps Steve. I am a CPA, will Steve Clare let me audit his books? Steve Clare is Venice's public enemy number one
Marta Evry October 12, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Mark, When I asked you for a quote on Bonin's announcement to enter the race you said, "I'm looking forward to a vigorous debate. Mike and I have been on opposite sides of several of the issues. We'll have plenty of time to explore those as the campaign goes forward." I think it would be safe to say we're all still waiting for that to happen. http://veniceforchange.blogspot.com/2012/10/breaking-mike-bonin-rosendahls-chief-of.html
David Ewing October 12, 2012 at 07:19 PM
Venice Vortex claims to be a CPA and asks, "will Steve Clare let me audit his books?" The answer, had you bothered to ask anyone at VCHC instead of blogging in ignorance, is yes. VCHC's annual reports are available to anyone- online. Knock yourself out.
Sonny jim October 13, 2012 at 03:12 AM
burned at the stake blow me
burned@thestake October 13, 2012 at 09:13 AM
Blow you? - I don't even KNOW you. ;{)> And hanging around in Men's rooms, in parks, is more of a Beverly Hills thing - so there again, you'll probably feel right at home. I don't know if George Michael is still in town, either... If you want to discuss the matter - just come down to Venice Pier in the AM, and get in someone's way. It doesn't matter who. You'll know me, because I'll be the one telling KOOKs to "GO HOME!".
burned@thestake October 13, 2012 at 10:22 AM
While you're in the mood for auditing, Mr. Vacuous Hole from the Nether-Regions of Some-Other-Locality - perhaps you'd be so kind as to get a copy of Ryavec's 990 forms for the so-called "VSA". You can audit HIS books and either post them here (you might even be able to use the upload photos feature for a .pdf file - so we can check your work, and decide whether you're worth hiring), or perhaps create a new and unique - news-feature or blog on the subject. Since you and he are so often in cahoots, and so obviously tight - perhaps he'll even loan you a copy to work from. Otherwise - as with the VCHC - you can get them from the IRS, or perhaps the premium membership at a "charity navigator"-type website. It will save the rest of us the time - since Ryavec traditionally goes MUM - when questioned about the specifics of his little front-group/slush-fund.
burned@thestake October 13, 2012 at 10:37 AM
The other option - since your little UnConstitutional attempt a "final solution to the [homeless] question" isn't EVER going to fly here in Venice - is that you could take whatever is left, of the money you inheirited, along with the proceeds of the Real Estate you'll sell off - and go somewhere else - where your agenda is POPULAR. Funny how you 'game the system', as hard or harder than anyone else - and then blame decent, hard-working (and by no means, rich) people like Steve Clare and Carol Sobel when you lose fair-and-square - despite cheating your ass-off. Example - Ira Kopslow LIED to the VNC, when he claimed that he had 100 e-mails in support of your little (highly unpopular - even with the COPS and CITY HALL) regime for criminalizing people for affrontery of simply continuing to exist and subsist, as best they can, without paying your exhorbitant RENTS. I won't even go into his blatantly made-up stat on "homeless rapists"... If you care about the smell of urine, how about demanding - that the bathrooms less than 100 yards from Daphne, et al.s' bench - be left open at night? Anytime you wanted to join in with DECENT people, in finding HUMANE and real-world solutions to a problem that's been a part of Venice - MUCH longer than you have - we'd all love the rest we'd get, from the tedious task, of deservedly CLOWNING-you.
Sonny jim October 13, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Burned@the stake I will be down to the pier so you can blow me.
Karl Demon October 13, 2012 at 09:41 PM
Mr. Ryavec - I'll see your "Illegal Use of City Resources for Political Campaigning" allegation and raise you: I DEMAND TO SEE MIKE BONIN'S BIRTH CERTIFICATE! I've also heard from reliable inside sources that the FBI is prepared to issue a search warrant on Mike Bonin's home to unearth the remains of one, Mr. Jimmy Hoffa. Keep up the great work, Mark! Bonin's days are numbered.
Deborah Lashever October 14, 2012 at 04:28 AM
(continued....) Mark, If you do want to get elected please concentrate on what (if anything at all) you can actually offer the community that is positive for the WHOLE COMMUNITY and not just you and your handful of "Stakehaters," because all I see is law suits, blame throwing, criminalization of poverty, a huge push for police brutality, secret meetings with city officials, and community contention from you. Not good for Venice nor Los Angeles in general, Mark..... You seem not to have the slightest clue that you are living in a glorious paradise that really needs protecting right now and, as such, you think you have the real answers as to how we should progress. Personally, I do not want anyone who doesn't "get" Venice to have ANY say in how we do things here. And the vast majority of folks in Venice agree with me! (please see next post...)
Deborah Lashever October 14, 2012 at 04:50 AM
(continued....) BTW, Mark, you never, ever got even close to the 100 letters Ira Koslow said you did at the VNC for your brutal motion to further criminalize homelessness. It was only a measly 22 to support your cruel motion to the VNC, and we trumped you at 24 community members who actually showed enough gumption to stay for the whole, very long, VNC meeting to voice our concerns, as opposed to your three. Two of whom gave up and left before the vote....and the last you pay to support you, your attorney.... You don't, in reality, have anywhere near the support you infer you do. By miles! Don't lie to Venice anymore! You VSA Haters are a sham! Mark, even though I kind of feel sorry for you on a personal level, I would ask anyone who cares about Venice NEVER, EVER to vote for you for any position that represents our Community. It would be suicide to anyone who actually loves Venice! That is the God's honest Truth. You are a Hater, my friend. I feel sorry for you but that is the Truth. Real Venetians should NEVER support you. You do not , in any way, represent the majority of us in any regard what so ever! God save you, Mark! I hope, somehow, your heart grows three sizes, like the Grinch's, so you will be worthy of living in the most awesome community in the US, if not the world! Peace.
burned@thestake October 14, 2012 at 12:06 PM
Sorry, it was so small, I slept-in... Did you find any dudes that wanted to suck-you-off? I'll try and make it down, around 8:30-9ish, this morning. Should I be looking for the guy in 'Dolphin' shorts and rollerblades?
concernedneighbor November 13, 2012 at 01:37 AM
Debrah - you and your homeless enablement crew don't represent the majority either. Keep dreaming of the good ole days - Venice is changing for the better. You and your bead store will be next to move (I hope)...


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