No on Measure BBB Video Killed on Eve of Election

Stephen Downing

A YouTube notice issued on Nov. 5 to Carlos Ovalle, executive director for People of Long Beach read: “Due to a copyright takedown notice that we received, we had to take down your video from YouTube – Takedown issued by: Grunion Gazette.  This means that your video can no longer be played on YouTube.”

The video noticed by YouTube was one of the most popular issued by the NO on Measure BBB campaign by People of Long Beach, according to Ovalle.

Ovalle said that the notice coming on the eve of the election “is a suppression of our ability to counter the consistent distortions coming from Mayor Robert Garcia and the special interests that are financing what our popular anti-BBB video correctly identifies as a power grab financed by oil companies and big pocket real estate developers while also exposing Garcia’s big lie that BBB advances civil rights.” 

Ovalle added, “BBB makes it easier for the mayor to grab more power, and it’s not surprising that the YouTube take down at the request of the Gazette comes at the 11the hour – it’s the same tactic the city attorney used when Garcia didn’t like our “against arguments” for the sample ballot.  We can only speculate as to who asked the Gazette to take it down.”

In response to the Beachcomber’s request for comment, Harry Saltzgyver, executive editor of Gazette Newspapers, wrote: “The images in question were the property of an individual, used in a video, not a news story. The individual requested that his image not be used by the organization. Beyond that, we have no comment.”

The Beachcomber’s review of the 2:45 minute NO on Measure BBB video established that all of the featured individual images were those of Mayor Robert Garcia. 

It is unclear if copyright ownership of the images belongs to the mayor, the City of Long Beach or Gazette Newspapers, the organization that requested the takedown. 

Saltzgaver is one of the five commissioners that govern the Long Beach City Water Department who voted to place a merger of the Water Department and the city’s Gas and Oil Department on the ballot last March along with Measures AAA, BBB, CCC and DDD, but five months later, at the final public hearing on all ballot measures, Mayor Garcia withdrew the merger measure stating, “they (The Water Department) would like more time to develop the item with their staff and the community.”

The mayor had no comment as to why it required five months for the Water Department to change their minds and withdraw, but it was later reported by the Beachcomber that community activists had filed a public records request to determine the extent of study the two departments had in fact conducted. 

Former city councilmember Gerrie Schipske was quoted as saying that she believes that, following the passage of Measure M in June, the proposed utilities merger is “the next step in the city trying to loosen up any kind of oversight on the transfers of money from the utilities into the general fund.”

In a message to his People of Long Beach membership Ovalle wrote: “I've made the decision not to pursue this matter any further at the 11th hour. We're not using the images for commercial purposes so perhaps we offended someone's political sensibilities and we certainly don't have the ability to hire an attorney to help us argue our case. In any case our campaign has caused sufficient concern with our opponents, in spite of their overwhelming resources, that desperate measures may be taken against us.”

Stephen Downing is a resident of Long Beach and a retired LAPD deputy chief of police.



Local politics may seem inconsequential but it is a reflection of what is happening on a state and national level. If we allow corruption and deception to occur in our own backyards, how do we expect to stop it in Sacramento or DC? Politicians are consistently trying to pull the wool over our eyes but we as a people need to stand up and show that we will not be fooled, and we will not be blinded by their flowery promises and “half truths.” We need to stand up against republicans, democrats, independents, any politician who isn’t doing everything they can to fight for us, real people. We the people hold the real power, and we need to remind them. Vote tomorrow, November 6!

Beautifully written

Steve Downing continues to be our champion. This LB gov never acknowledges his legiitimate requests for legal transparency. I find it ironic and an ethical breach that the editor for the Grunion can choose to voice his political opinions weekly as “news” yet somebody’s YouTube video crosses the line? Maybe you think you are more clever than your readers, Harry. Most of us know it is Joke Journalism. Election day or not – you need to get over yourself.

Thumbs up....!

An editor of a legitimate newspaper has a moral obligation to their readers to remain objective and not place themselves in a conflict of interest situation. Editor Saltzgaver was a Parks Commissioner and is currently a Water Commissioner for Long Beach. If you want to understand his leaning toward City Hall, just to put together the pieces of the puzzle.

Censorship is the last nail driven into the wall of a Totalitarian State. California is ground zero and the Mayor is one of its driving forces. Recognition of a despot before its too late is essential. What's Next? Thank you Stephen for your insight and courage.

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