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HOME DEPOT BATTLES MEMO POSTING.

Byline: KERRY CAVANAUGH

Staff Writer

Attorneys for Home Depot's public-relations firm, Dakota Communications, have sent letters to two Sunland-Tujunga residents asking them to remove from a Web site an internal memo outlining a strategy to stack the City Council chambers with supporters.

The memo from Dakota Communications Principal Rick Taylor to Home Depot managers was obtained by the Daily News and posted on www.dailynews.com.

On Saturday, attorneys for Dakota Communications sent cease-and-desist letters to Joe Barrett, who had posted the memo on the Web site for his group, No Home Depot, and Doc DeMulle, editor and publisher of The Foothills Paper. DeMulle said he still plans to publish a copy of the memo in his paper this week.

"We're all laughing at it," DeMulle said. "We're going to do a write-up on how silly can these people be."

After consulting with an attorney, Barrett said he would leave the memo on his site.

Attorneys for Dakota could not be reached for comment.

The cease-and-desist letter requested that they return the memo to Dakota and asked them to provide information on how they obtained the memo, including the names and addresses of anyone involved in acquiring the internal document.

The memo by Taylor lays out a game plan to spend more than $23,000 to get 150 supporters in orange T-shirts to the council chambers today when the City Council is set to vote on whether to reconsider a Home Depot store on Foothill Boulevard.

Taylor proposed spending $17,000 for community organizers to recruit supports, $1,850 for a bus to transport them, $2,000 for T-shirts and $2,500 for food while they're at the meeting.

In addition, he suggested asking Planning Commissioner Melrita Evans Fortson, who voted to support the home-improvement giant, to testify to the City Council and speak to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Home Depot's behalf.

Councilwoman Wendy Greuel needs 10 votes to assert City Council authority over the July 19 North Valley Area Planning Commission decision that Home Depot can complete its Sunland-Tujunga store without conducting a traffic and environmental study.

kerry.cavanaugh(at)dailynews.com

(213) 978-0390
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jul 31, 2007
Words:355
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