Today I wanted to talk a little bit about residency issues and political freedom.
As many of you already know, City Council Member Richard Alarcon is under indictment for lying to ethics department officials and masquerading to voters that he was a resident of the 7th Council District. He, in fact, lived in the 2nd Council District. Alarcon is probably going to have to "cop a plea" or cut a deal in order to avoid jail time. He will probably be forced to give up his City Council seat as a condition of the agreement.
As much as I hate Richard Alarcon, I think his penalty for this violation is excessive.
Alarcon should not have been busted for running as the candidate, but -- once elected, his decision to not live amongst his voters was repulsive. Richard Alarcon was giving the voters of the 7th Council District the middle finger... and as such they should have been smarter and not chosen to elect him.
The reason I have this political viewpoint is that -- much like any other subject -- it all comes down to personal and political freedom. Why, exactly, should voters in Los Angeles City Council Districts be limited to the choices that the City dictates to them? Their strange residency demand eliminates many good candidates from running for office to represent voters in those districts. In the 2007 City Council elections, five of the incumbent City Council Members had no opponent!! How exactly is that fair to the voters of those Districts, that they get to have no other choice on the ballot!??
In fact, I am considering filing a massive lawsuit in Federal Court against the City of Los Angeles over this residency requirement policy. In federal elections for Congress, the candidate does not have to live in the District he or she is running in. This opens the voters up to a wide array of potential candidates. Without this restrictive residency requirement, we could have many people running against these elected criminals like Tony Cardenas. Clowns like "The Hamburglar" Jan Perry. The "Cat Whisperer" Paul Koretz. Budget Destroying Socialist Paul Krekorian.
For example, the City of Compton recently had some corruption issues. What if someone who I personally detest -- like Al Sharpton -- decided he wanted to run for Mayor of Compton, California? Even though Sharpton is a resident of New York and I find him to be vile and dishonest, I would have no problem whatsoever with him running for Mayor of Compton, California. His opponents could capitalize on the fact that Shapton was an outsider. However, if the voters in Compton didn't like their local leaders and decided they wanted to take a chance on a polarizing national figure like Al Sharpton - why not allow the voters that freedom of choice? Whom does it harm? The voters can still decide.
I have a record for the last 16 years of having lived in and voted in District 5. For many years, I had to suffer that fool Jack Weiss as my Council Member. An absolute jackass who ignored the voters of his District. Where was my freedom to have a better option? Even though I live in CD 5, I am only four blocks west from the border of Council District 4. I spend a great deal of my day living and working in Council District 4.
I have run for political office twice here in Los Angeles. I ran for Mayor of Los Angeles in March 2009 and I ran for the Republican nomination to Congress for the 33rd Congressional District in June 2010. In both these elections, voters in Council District 4 were looking at my name on their ballot. However, under these restrictive City policies, I would not be qualified to run for the office of City Council in District 4 -- even though CD 4 voters may have already voted for me in the past . I consider that an illegal infringement by the City on my personal freedom. I'd like to hear what a Federal Judge would have to say about the matter.
I'll set the lawsuit aside for now. I'll play their little game. But I don't like it one bit.
I am going to change my voter registration to the residence of a woman I have been seeing socially for the last year. She lives about 12 blocks away from me. I'll change my credit card bills, my drivers license, etc....
I'll move in with her for the next 6 months and try to win this election.
Four more years of Tom La Bonge won't help anything in this City, that is for sure.
And the City sure won't be able to prove I haven't been living in my new residence.
That is a fact.