Today I happened to be at Olvera Street around 2pm when I saw some of the most shameless political pandering I have ever seen in my life. It was so bad it was embarrassing. A large crowd was enjoying some Cinco de Mayo celebrations. Live music was playing, people were dancing and having a good time. Then came the mood-killing effect of City Councilman Jose Huizar. He grabbed the microphone and started to play Master of Ceremonies.
"Hey," he said in Spanish "who is from Mexico?" A huge cheer.
Continuing the pandering, he rattled off the names of different states.... eliciting a cheer from various crowd members. When he got to "Districto Federal!", there was huge cheer.
(I didn't know so many residents here had come from Mexico City, or D.F. as they call it there).
Huizar then turned and introduced and handed the mic to Jack Weiss!!
(I was stunned to see Jack Weiss there..)
Weiss tried to bumble his way through some campaign fluff in Spanish, but it sounded awful.
"Me llamo Jack Weiss...." . The crowd was deadly silent in response.
I really dislike Jack Weiss, because he is my City Council Member and he is terrible.
But today I almost felt a tinge of compassion for him. An ounce of sympathy.
"My God," I thought, having an epiphany, "this is what the end of a political career looks like."
Weiss -- bumbling around in a language he doesn't speak -- desperately pandering to a group that didn't give a damn about him or his fight for the City Attorneys Office.
Huizar got the mic back and said a few nice things about Weiss... kind of half-apologizing to the crowd.
The translation from Spanish was somewhat to the effect of "Not bad for a white guy, huh..?"
The crowd didn't care. They wanted the mariachi music back on again.
The whole thing was painful to watch.
CD 5 Candidates at War
Things are getting a bit prickly between Paul Koretz and David Vahedi in their 5th Council District race.
Koretz and Vahedi are bombarding 5th District Residents with mailers.( Check the close up detail on the photo above ). I have received about five or six from each of them. Each one gets a little more defensive and hostile.
Koretz is leveling baseless accusations and charges at Vahedi that he is somehow responsible for the bus bench advertising here in Los Angeles. Vahedi is countering that Koretz is a lifelong politician who will say or do anything to get elected. Vahedi is also saying that Koretz moved into this district just to run for City Council. Not sure about that charge, as I believe that Koretz is a lifelong City resident...but the charge of "Career Politician" is hard for Koretz to avoid.
I wonder why Koretz is bashing Vahedi so hard... when Koretz claimed he was so confident about winning just a few short weeks ago.
Marys Big Payday
It looks like one of the favorite Mayor Sam posters that people love to bash is having a good week.
Mary Cummins-Cobb looks to be getting a big settlement from the City for a sexual harrassment case against former Animal Services Director Ed Boks. The City Council, handing out money like candy, (as is their usual behavior) seems to have agreed to fork over $130K to Cummins-Cobb. Writer Rick Orlov had the front page story on this for the print version of the Daily News. You can read the whole legal document here, with all its interesting details. Cummins-Cobb seems to be one of those "Conspiracy Theorists" who believe that people who work for the City were intent on destroying the life and career of a woman who started out with the City ...as a volunteer .... cleaning animal cages. ( Clearly, she had to be stopped .)
Her charges against Boks may or may not be true...I don't know. But I would have preferred that she sue him personally instead of making all the city residents pay for the mistakes of a flawed employee. But, this is Los Angeles, and irresponsibility and unprofessional behavior is generally the rule, not the exception.
Congrats Mary! The City should only have to write about 3,000 more parking tickets to pay you off !