An Inglewood newspaper publisher has possibly violated campaign election laws when he sent an email blast to city employees on behalf of a city council candidate he is supporting. The email is blasting the city for not putting money in his paper to “keep residents informed”.
The email sent from Inglewood Today newspaper publisher Willie Brown hit Inglewood employees’ email accounts at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 5. Employees shared with 2UrbanGirls that they didn’t opt-in to receive such emails, let alone on their work accounts. Brown is a longtime ally of Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr. and is regularly featured on campaign finance reports alongside the city’s webmaster who could have provided Brown with employee emails or he could have received them from voter registration data.
This isn’t the first time Brown spammed email accounts presumably on behalf of the mayor.. He did it in June 2019 when his newspaper accused the Daily Breeze and Los Angeles Times of “racism” in their coverage of the city.
Brown has previously been paid by campaign committees in support of Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts for multiple reelections and taxpayer funds, via the city’s trash contract, are used to pay for exorbitant ad costs in the newspaper despite it being the best-kept secret in the City. It’s a secret because you don’t know where to find and it isn’t delivered to residents’ homes without a paid subscription.
It’s also a well-known fact Brown enjoys a close relationship with the full city council as they ushered in SoFi Stadium and the Intuit Dome so what changed?
A previous employee of the newspaper appeared at an Inglewood City Council meeting to beg for his job back, as a delivery driver for the newspaper, after he was observed dumping them in the trash after the city paid top dollar for ads in them. The driver spoke as if Mayor Butts was his boss and not Willie Brown. You can watch the video for yourself at the end of this article.
In May 2022, Brown was paid nearly $30,000 for ads to promote events through the city’s trash funds, while other newspapers receive $96 for ads from the City Clerk’s office. The Inglewood Today newspaper isn’t available citywide, and the Inglewood newspaper produced by Herald Publications isn’t available citywide either, you can only get it from City Hall.
So to insinuate the City doesn’t “fund” his newspaper to keep people informed is a bold face lie. In fact, I would argue he’s paid to keep residents uninformed.
His paper has never written about any of the lawsuits taxpayers are on the hook for related to the mayor, didn’t cover the lawsuit of Wanda Brown, nor did they report on anything related to the Inglewood Transit Connector. The paper doesn’t discuss safety concerns or anything of value to the residents. Instead, he runs promotional pieces for the school district and the major sports teams. The newspaper’s social media accounts haven’t been updated in over a year and the website is barely current so what value do taxpayers get from paying for these outrageously priced ads?
Brown has now pledged his full support behind Gloria Gray in an apparent attempt to continue to make money off the backs of Inglewood residents because his demands of thousands of dollars from the Dotson campaign fell on deaf ears. Brown’s shameful and distasteful abuse of city emails and his newspaper has no place in Inglewood and any reputable business that sends him your advertising dollars should cease immediately.
If an employee and/or resident feels so inclined to file a complaint against Willie Brown for possible campaign violations click here.
All these years the bobble heads voted aye in unison.
Let’s hope Gloria Gray doesn’t forget how to say NO !
It is our money that should be used for our benefit – pot holes, replacing streetlight bulbs,, recreation services etc.
About those ads
Taste of Inglewood is a business David Rice is the President who sets prices and keeps revenue —— why are tax dollars paying for ads to promote his profits?
Waste Management received a $100 Million contract from taxpayers why are we paying even more for their ads?
Shredding Day events would be unnecessary if the city simply offered discount coupons to households to purchase a shredder
The ads have limited life ! Should tax dollars be spent to have lasting positive impact?
Perhaps voters should vote for both candidates showing they cared enough to show up and say neither option works for me.
If you look at the agreement between the City and the Taste of Inglewood the City agrees to sponsor the event by paying for promotion and providing law enforcement. The person who sets the ad rates are whoever the City promotes with. In this case, ad rates are set by the Inglewood Today newspaper and KJLH. Ask yourself why the City would agree to pay thousands of dollars vs what the clerk pays for ads unless there’s something in it for the mayor.