Friday, April 26, 2013

Herrera Discloses Higher Cost for Video Promoting Himself

In my post yesterday about the $5,564 spent in city funds to make a video promoting City Attorney Dennis Herrera, under the guise of reaching consumers who were the victims of predatory money practices by commercial payday loan sharks, I mentioned a world premiere of the video.

Trying to generate more news clippings about and branding of the name Dennis Herrera, taxpayer funds were spent to premiere the video at the Wilshire Screening Room in February. I asked one of his publicists, Jack Song, who went to the premiere from Herrera's office and how much their junket to Hollywood cost taxpayers.

One of the most annoying things about the public servants at this office is their snippiness about, um, serving the public. It's like they've been trained in how to be off-putting, condescending and act like their doing you a huge favor all because you want access to public records and info about how they are spending public dollars.

In keeping with acting like royalty, Song lectured me in a two-page letter before simply getting to the numbers:

As I expect you fully realize, neither the City Attorney, Managing Attorney, or Press Secretary would be required to expend their personal funds without reimbursement for their work-related travel or costs [...]

As a courtesy, I am providing you this breakdown of travel expenses incurred by the City Attorney and his office’s Managing Attorney, and Press Secretary, who all attended the consumer outreach event in Los Angeles on February 20, 2013. 

Dennis Herrera’s airfare - $393.80 
Dennis Herrera’s taxi expense - $120 (includes one-way shared ride with Marisa Moret & Matt Dorsey and from LAX Airport to press conference) 
Marisa Moret’s airfare - $393.80 
Marisa Moret’s hotel cost - $447.81 (includes meals with Matt Dorsey & Dennis Herrera) 
Marisa Moret’s taxi/transportation expenses - $60 (shared with Matt Dorsey) 
Matt Dorey’s airfare - $393.80 Matt Dorsey's hotel cost - $391.53 (includes meal with Marisa Moret) 

What a load of bullcrap, labeling a shameless p.r. stunt parodying the trailer for "Les Miserables" during Oscar season as a "consumer outreach event". How many victims of payday loan sharks do you know hang out at glitzy private screening rooms in La-La Land?

That aside, the total cost to San Francisco taxpayers to send Herrera, his videographer and publicist to Los Angeles came to $2,137.

Add that to the $5,564 previously disclosed to create the video and the grand total, I think, if more hidden costs aren't lurking in the bowels of the City Attorney's office, is $7,701.

Well, at least it's less than the $17,000 Herrera and his minions charged taxpayers in March for their SCOTUS junket to Washington.

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