Doing business in Burbank


(c) 2008 Wes Clark


In retrospect that old IKEA property arrangement is starting to look like another sleazy deal in Burbank’s disfavor. Wonder why.

Here’s a start. From the archives:

From $0 to $16,000 in one race

Campaign finance disclosure statements filed with the city clerk’s office showed that campaign war chests for the February primary election [2005] ranged from $16,000 for a council candidate who got fewer than 2,000 votes to no contributions for another.

Developers from both in and out of state were among contributors to the three incumbents running to retain their council seats.

Councilman Dave Golonski, who is running for his fourth term, took in $2,200 in donations from an attorney, an engineering firm, a traffic consultant and other businesses based in Arizona.

Jim O’Neil, executive vice president of Crown Realty, owner of the Burbank Town Center Mall, received the checks and gave them to Golonski.

Crown sent out a letter to friends and business associates requesting donations for all three incumbents, but there was no requirement to do so, O’Neil said. Some recipients of the letter made no donations. Murphy and Ramos declined to accept donations solicited by the letter.

“There were no strings attached,” O’Neil said. “We did this because we believe in Burbank and want to continue the momentum of its positive business climate.”

Crown made no donations to any of the candidates, O’Neil added.

Golonski accepted the contributions because he was comfortable that the donors knew no expectations were tied to the money, Golonski said.

“I don’t see how they can have expectations because they will have nothing before the council,” Golonski said.

No, never. But Crown can.

You know of course that this is classic money laundering. Crown collects donations for Golonski in other people’s names so that it looks like it’s not coming from them.

But it’s still coming from them. Who cares how they earned it? That’s not the issue. The money’s still from them.





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16 responses to “Doing business in Burbank

  1. chad

    Pretty fantastic reporting, Semi. The “go-between” relationship is particularly nefarious. But, you’ve missed the bigger point. Corporations are people now. That’s what SCOTUS told us.

  2. Anonymous 3

    I’m SURE Gordon never took a dime from developers.

  3. Anon

    Please explain how this is “classic money laundering.” I assume you mean campaign money laundering. What part of the California campaign finance and disclosure laws does bundling violate?

  4. Anonymous

    Of note. Golonski is a member of that Facebook group . One member asked about the mall rehab.. Within seconds the Gman posted a link to some city archive about the site and plans. I mean instantly.

  5. chad

    No laws were violated. And I think Semi agrees. It’s slime as hell though. BTW, It’s Alive is awesome.

  6. 91505

    I love the no laws were broken line. Just like no laws are broken over everything else these crooked politicians do ? It is so past time that we start throwing these traitors out of office. Maybe we can just declare our city a sanctuary city for political criminals.

    • semichorus

      Remember, Golonski was thrown out of office.

      The other two who did NOT accept this money left voluntarily — kind of with Stacey. I don’t know what that means, but it’s interesting.

  7. Anonymous

    I thought Burbank was a sanctuary city for political criminals already, you mean we didn’t make it official yet ?

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