Tyranny in Los Angeles: No Water For You!

Tyranny in Los Angeles: No Water For You!

Tyranny in Los Angeles: No Water For You!

Tyranny rears its dirty head in Los Angeles after Mayor Eric Garcetti declares that you cannot have a large gathering, and the fundamental human right to running water and power. A totalitarian mayor issues his edict on the many, soon to be unwashed, residents of Los Angeles err, Chinangeles.

Government creep has abounded during the various stages of lockdowns — mandatory masking, forced business closures etc. We have witnessed hypocrisy and elitism at every juncture. But today we witnessed a politician threaten retaliation for disobeying his rules. Not laws, but guidelines. The facade of a mayor slips to reveal his tyranny under the mask.  A leader who disregards legal code, and the Constitutional rights of the subjects living in Chinangeles.

Know parties, no water

In his press conference, outside under the balmy California summer, the Chairman of Los Angeles said,

If the LAPD responds and verifies that a large gathering is occurring at a property, and we see these properties reoffending time and time again, they will provide notice and initiate the process to request that [the Department of Water and Power] shut off service within the next 48 hours,”

The Chairman really crossed into despotism when he contradicted himself about “repeat” offenders. Claudia Pascuta of KNX NewsRadio asked if the “shutoffs only apply to repeat offenders or can one large party do that?” (video 36:18)

His response is textbook totalitarianism,

Sure… yes… we I mean we can actually do the power or water shutoffs after a first violation… but as I’ve always said, [that] we like to educate, that we like to encourage and finally enforce,”

To be clear, it’s an arbitrary application of his shifting standard. The one he won’t explicitly state.

But hey now, I’m sure that the “education, and encouragement” comes with a free bus ride to Manzanar. That’s how Democrats tread into “education and enforcement” with American citizens.

Chairman Garcetti speaks! Obey.


Unrestricted access to water and power are basic human rights, and denying them is a violation of CA Civil Code

Not only are they basic rights, it’s against the law to restrict access. Literally, the code to determine habitability in LA housing includes the following,

(a) A dwelling shall be deemed untenantable for purposes of Section 1941 if it substantially lacks any of the following affirmative standard characteristics or is a residential unit described in Section 17920.3 or 17920.10 of the Health and Safety Code

(3) A water supply approved under applicable law that is under the control of the tenant, capable of producing hot and cold running water, or a system that is under the control of the landlord, that produces hot and cold running water, furnished to appropriate fixtures, and connected to a sewage disposal system approved under applicable law.

(5) Electrical lighting, with wiring and electrical equipment that conformed with applicable law at the time of installation, maintained in good working order.”

But this blatant disregard for equal rights is exactly what we’ve come to expect from the man who doesn’t want a fence on the southern border, but is fine with the one around his mayoral residence.

A landlord in Los Angeles is required to provide access to both water and power. Residents who use those services are expected to pay for them. But the mayor can usurp county code and a private contract when he “thinks” a gathering is too big. I can only imagine the headache for homeowners who have no idea that their renters are violating the Chairman’s rules. The homeowner is the one with the negative mark on their service history. Then they get hit again when the renters don’t have water or power and the owner is technically in violation of the code.

Typical reactive move by a hubris inflated politician flying high on tyranny.

Does the Chairman even Constitution?

The Chairman is familiar with shaky ground typically underfoot in Commiefornia. But this looks like quicksand. How is it not a violation of Constitutional rights? I’m not talking about the obvious (and ever suspended) Freedom of Assembly. I’m talking about the 4th Amendment, and illegal seizure. Water is a tangible substance, that is bought and paid for by the user. Due Process and a right to a hearing in front of a judge to determine seizure? Chairman Garcetti is advocating for a Bill of Attainder, as defined by Cornell Law,

In short, in all such cases, the legislature exercises the highest power of sovereignty, and what may be properly deemed an irresponsible despotic discretion, being governed solely by what it deems political necessity or expediency, and too often under the influence of unreasonable fears, or unfounded suspicions.”

This is expressly disallowed by the Constitution (Article 1 Section 10),

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.”

I’m not a lawyer, but once this goes to court they will have a field day with it.

Alex Michealson of Fox 11 asked (Video 35:38),

What’s the constitutional argument for turning off the water in [and] power… how do you justify this to those who are concerned about their private property?”

Chairman Garcetti responded,

Um you’re breaking the law… just as we can shut you down for breaking laws… what there’s the alcohol laws to bars when they were open before this… or other things… this is rooted in strong law from city attorney… we have the opinion… we know we can do this.”

What law?

There is NO law that has been passed preventing large gatherings. None. The health department released a statement, via NBC,

Violation of or failure to comply with the Health Officer Order is a crime punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both and the Department of Public Health works with residents, businesses, city officials and law enforcement to be sure residents are aware of and adhere to the life-saving directives in the order.”

The Chairman of Tyranny wants to punish people for violating an “order” from the health department. The same health department has this guideline,

As an individual, it is within your right to engage in political expression, including, your right to petition the government. During a pandemic, in-person gatherings can be risky because even if you adhere to physical distancing, bringing members of different households together carries a higher risk of transmission of COVID- 19. Such gatherings may result in increased rates of infection, hospitalization, and death, especially among more vulnerable populations. Activities like chanting, shouting, singing, and group recitation can more easily spread respiratory droplets, making it very important that people engaging in these activities wear face coverings at all times.”

Really?! So can we cut to the chase and okay the parties so long as everyone wears a mask? Again, we are confronted with arbitrary application of a standard.

But what can one expect from a Chairman who marches with pre-looting protesters, while issuing threats to homeowners who host parties.

Thanks Sarah, and welcome to our Instapundit readers!

Featured Image: Wikimedia/Jack candlestick License: CC BY-SA 3.0 Image Cropped: 400×400

Written by

"CC" to her friends. Recent escapee from Northern VA to the Great State of Texas. I'm a Pro-LIfe, Pro-Gun, Libertarian type... There is very little that fresh lime juice and good tequila can't fix.

  • Bobo the Hobo says:

    “15 days to flatten the curve” was over four months ago.

  • GWB says:

    fundamental human right to running water and power
    Sorry, no. Don’t slide down that slope with the progs. Rights are things that you should possess without having others provide them. If you live in the middle of nowhere, no one has to run you water and electric lines gratis. If you don’t pay your bills, you don’t get it gratis (despite what some progs have tried to legislate some places).

    Government creep has abounded
    Gov’t is a creep, even in the best of times.

    they will provide notice and initiate the process to request that [the Department of Water and Power] shut off service within the next 48 hours
    It might be a process, but it’s not DUE process. And that’s a problem if they’ve been paying their bills.

    the code to determine habitability in LA housing includes the following
    What you quote doesn’t mean what you’re claiming. It means there has to be a system within the residence for water and electricity. And that the water system has to be connected to a supply. It says nothing about actually receiving water and electricity through those lines. Because even the CA loons haven’t yet taken away the ability of the utilities to charge for their product. You have to make a contract with the utility, where you agree to pay them in return for those products being delivered.
    (It’s designed to prevent houses where you have to fetch water from the stream or carry buckets from a well, and homes with no electricity setup at all. As long as your well pumps water to the house, or you have a generator hooked up, your home is habitable.)

    But the mayor can usurp county code and a private contract
    THIS is the problem. Well, the county code isn’t. But the private contract is. This isn’t a “basic human rights” issue, it’s a 5th Amendment issue: taking without due process. It’s also possibly a 1st Amendment issue (for the ban on “large” private gatherings).

    The homeowner is the one with the negative mark on their service history.
    Huh? It’s not for non-payment, so it won’t go on their credit history. Do you think there’s a Permanent Record somewhere with all your school infractions? Anything the service provider records should have the reason stating it was for something other than non-payment. (BTW, since the only reasons a utility may generally legally cut off service are for non-payment, dangerous conditions, and requested cut-off, it’s going to have to note the mayor ordered it. That will simply be evidence in future lawsuits.)

    I’m talking about the 4th Amendment, and illegal seizure.
    That would actually be the 5th Amendment. It would also be tort interference with a contract, a separate civil action.

    Chairman Garcetti is advocating for a Bill of Attainder
    Ummm, no. A Bill of Attainder is a law specifying some one person or group of persons is guilty of a crime. The governor and the mayor cannot – by definition, in a multi-branch gov’t – execute a bill of attainder, it requires the legislature (or town council). I’m not sure what your quote from Cornell is even saying.

    Um you’re breaking the law…
    Well, no, probably not. Unless there is an ordinance restricting usage of private property to only a certain number of individuals, or the state legislature has passed a law restricting private assemblage on private property.

    we know we can do this
    Well, yes, you can do it. Because the people will probably allow you to. But you should not do it because it’s against the Constitution, common law, and the written statutes of the US and your state. And, if I were there I would challenge you directly on it, and utilize every measure at my disposal to remove your tyrannical carcass from the mayor’s seat and LA County.

    Again, we are confronted with arbitrary application of a standard.
    Really we’re confronted with the stupidity of allowing someone like the “Health Officer” to make rules and apply them without a vote of the people. Our regulatory bureaucracy is a tumor on our free society.

    • Truth Over Facts says:

      Thanks GWB, you saved me the trouble. I was especially concerned about the “fundamental human right” concept. So correct in your analysis that we need to avoid that slide into progressivism where everything is a human right.

    • DM says:

      Thank you GWB.. Was very concerned the “fundamental human right” thing, it just isn’t so.
      This however is true:
      (Our) Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed . . .”Declaration of Independence, United States of America, 1776
      Don’t recall any of these petty tyrants asking the sheeple if they wanted to be sheared & bar-b-Q’ed.
      Guess it is ok because so many of the sheeple are lining up for it.

    • GWB~ See my comment below. 😉 And as always, thanks for reading and thoughtfully responding.

      • GWB says:

        And thank you for your posts – even when I think you’re wrong, I know you’ve thought about it and posted in good faith. Sanity and reason are rare on the internet.

  • Andrew X says:

    So Los Angeles makes the decision that it reserves the right to cut off water to people based upon their behavior, an issue question with a highly political dimension. Okayyyy.

    In a time of profound disconnect between places like Los Angeles and the peoples outside of and surrounding such places….

    Um…. you sure you guys are really thinking this thing through, L.A.?

  • Subotai Bahadur says:

    Since the argument can be made that Californians are TWANLOC, there are grounds for not really caring if this happens in California. And as a Coloradan, I take a certain pleasure in this. Southern California survives largely on water from the Colorado River. 4.4 million acre feet a year go mostly to Los Angeles because of the Colorado River Compact. I’m sure that Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico could find a use for California’s share.

    Subotai Bahadur

  • Greg muniec says:

    This is why we need the electoral college. If the voters of California accept this kind of abuse, that is their problem. If they want to impose this style of tyranny on the rest of the country, then it becomes all of our problem. The founding fathers are proven right again.

  • Rick Caird says:

    My concern is all rhe precedents that are being set. Not just in California, but nationwide. For example, how are De Blaiso checkpoints for out of sate licensees legal, How are these continuing lock downs legal, Until we stop these authoritarian governors and mayors, we will keep getting more and more of these for years and years Do not let the camel get its nose under the tent.

    • GWB says:

      I’m going to argue for the checkpoints, actually. Just like I supported RI in its efforts to contain the spread. If you want to do an actual quarantine, then you implement things like checkpoints for travel. If Trump had stopped travel out of NYC in the beginning, he could have contained a lot of the problem.

      Now, arguably, the states can’t impose this themselves. It should be a federal function. Imposing an internal quarantine, though, might very well be within a state’s rights/duties.

      (FYI, for those who might not remember, the courts said it was perfectly legal for a state to impose a ban on “importation” of fruits and such to protect its agricultural industry from certain pests. I remember having to throw out oranges before I could get into… I think it was Arizona, more than 2 decades ago. I would think a human health emergency would be even more amenable to the courts. Some states also used to have quarantines for pets, iirc.)

      One of the main problems for these issues is the idea that Winnie The Flu spreads even when you’re asymptomatic. So you don’t just stop people who have symptoms, you quarantine everyone. Which now brings in problems of due process, etc. It’s a mess.

  • Gunner Q says:

    LADWP is independent of the city government because of utility deregulation. Notice Garcetti is “authorizing” and “initiating the process to request” the DWP to shut off the water. He can’t order it directly because they don’t answer to him. Much to the city government’s frustration, as I recall from my past life in L.A..

    I think his real motivation is shifting blame onto a political opponent rather than actually making good on his threat. If DWP refuses to play ball with him then they’ll be seen defending “coronavirus superspreaders” and he’ll have casus belli for a power play.

  • Everyone seems concerned about my “right to water and power” comment. First, thanks for actually reading it, because most people don’t before they comment.
    Secondly, we at VG are blessed to have the support of our team and not told expressly how to feel. Some of us are team mask, others team no mask. It’s a big umbrella at the blog.

    NOW. Here’s what you’re missing in my post: A progressive approach to fundamental right is that it should be free and available. I NEVER implied that. What I did write is that it is a right, and a government official has no right to prevent people from having access. Mayor Garcetti doesn’t own the water. There are both implied and legal contracts between the city/DPS/homeowners. That implied contract is based on the fact that infrastructure of water delivery is via city/DPS pipes. The legal contract is where the homeowner agrees to pay for the water used in their residence.
    I don’t differentiate between legal rights and “fundamental” rights because they should be the same. “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”…. ever try and live without water? Yeah, let me know how fast you start yelling about your “right” to access the water promised by the implied contract. Unless you have a rain cistern or a well…. good luck getting water.
    And yes, I’m a conservative/libertarian. One who thinks that human rights are not co-opted by language on the left. The progressives didn’t create that term, but took it and warped it into something it’s not. Access to water is a right. Especially when the entire mechanism for the delivery is paid for by property taxes and bonds levied to the residents.
    They literally pay for the infrastructure and then pay for use.

    • GWB says:

      a government official has no right to prevent people from having access
      But they do have the authority to do so. If I have a well on my land, the gov’t certainly has the authority and even obligation to prevent someone else from coming on my land and tapping my well and running that water to their property for their own use. At least if they do so without my permission. Water and electricity and food are property. If you stupidly buy a piece of property in the Arizona desert, you have nor right to demand someone pipe water to you. Period.

      There are both implied and legal contracts between the city/DPS/homeowners.
      Yes. And that’s the only “right” you have to that water. It is NOT a “human” right, but a contractual one and a property one. (The property one belongs to the utility, and you after it’s delivered.) I really think the idea of “implied” contract is minimal in this case.

      I don’t differentiate between legal rights and “fundamental” rights because they should be the same.
      But they are very different. “Fundamental” rights – like the ones stated in the DoI – are unalienable and not granted by circumstance, government or contract. Legal rights are created by contract or legislation. It’s why we have big discussions over whether the Civil Rights Act violates 1st Amendment guarantees of free association. (BTW, we cannot starve a prisoner to death as punishment in prison, not because it would violate his right to life via food/water, but because it is considered “cruel and unusual” punishment.)

      Unless you have a rain cistern or a well…. good luck getting water.
      So? You have a right to life – the implication in that statement is NOT that you have a right to live, but that you have a right to not have your life taken from you by another. If you have produced a situation whereby you cannot continue to live, that is no fault of another, then you do not have the right to force someone else to save you. (That’s why we have seldom had laws requiring the intervention of a passer-by for someone in distress. Only the laws of the high sea demand it.)

      I do think you’re wrongly approaching the idea of rights, Narcissi.

      Let me suggest that it IS morally evil to deny someone who is starving/dying of thirst excess food or water of yours. This is a demand created not by the other person’s “right” but by your own compassion and sense of community – from family all the way up to humanity. Something that Judeo-Christian society has incorporated into Western Civilization, and which has made us such a success.

      And it IS morally evil to work to deprive others of access to sustenance to enlarge your own power or or wealth (or just because you want to see them suffer). Again, though, that is evil not because of the rights of those other people, but because it demonstrates a love of power/money/sadism over your fellow man. Note that Joseph didn’t have Pharaoh store up grain so it could be given away during the lean years, but he “sold grain to the Egyptians” and “all the world”.

      But, neither of those situations demonstrate a right to food or water. Property rights actually necessitate against that idea. They demonstrate that not all things are evil because they violate unalienable human rights. What Garcetti is doing is a violation of the contractual and due process rights of the people and a violation of the law, but not because of any standalone “right” to water or electricity.

      (And, I wouldn’t say you’re not a conservative. But all of us have had the indoctrination poured into our noggins – even way back in the 80s – and we have to work to rid ourselves of erroneous notions influenced by Marx and his followers. I think you’ve seen me fight the unwinnable fight to not concede that a free market economy is the same as “capitalism”.)

  • GWB says:

    Very pertinent to this discussion is the entire idea of occupational and business “licenses”:
    Should the state be able to keep you from doing business, barring your business actually being illegal?

    • GWB says:

      Oh, and the right to do business is absolutely a right – tied to the rights to property, association, and life.

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