I was going to call this blog post "Armed with nothing but a pen" , but if you think about it, most ideas now get communicated electronically. Sure, people used to write letters and read the newspapers, but the post office and the L.A. Times are both going bust. Most people have now skipped the process of putting pen to paper. Somewhere along the line we reached a tipping point. Once you get to the point where you can pay your bills by tapping a few keys on your cell phone, you find that the world has almost certainly taken a new direction.
I'd like to take some time today to congratulate some of the other bloggers and local political activists who are doing a good job keeping up the battle with the corrupt political situation we have here in Los Angeles.
Joseph Mailander, over at his Street Hassle blog has been doing a good job of keeping up on current city events. If you can get past his leftist slant and his irrational hatred of Carmen Trutanich, he actually does some really good writing. And besides, anyone who calls Joe Barrett an "aging punk activist" surely gets a few extra credit points in my book.
Mailander was one of the few writers who interviewed all the candidates in the Mayors Race in 2009.
Unfortunately, I agree with Mailander that there is yet another "cone of silence" descending over this upcoming City election. Mainstream media sources consider you to be a gadfly candidate unless you have raised massive funds, so they won't bother to cover this race to talk about anyone except Rudy Martinez, who has pulled over $150,000 out of his own pockets to self-fund his deepening blood-feud with Jose Huizar in District 14.
Other than that race, the other contests are getting no ink. But Mailander has done a nice job covering the CD 4 race also... even though I think he's showing some favoritism towards fellow lefty tree hugger Tomas O'Grady.
Former Daily News Editor Ron Kaye has quite the career going for himself as a civic activist.
He has helped establish a "Clean Sweep" organization that is trying to help get incumbents out of office.
He speaks at City Council about crucial issues facing the city leaders.
Ron Kaye also has a terrific blog that cuts to the core of why this city faces continual crisis situations.
Unfortunately for Ron, and also for the city in general, most of the challengers in this March election have not raised enough money to win. As Zuma Dogg put it... "There is going to be a clean sweep. By the incumbents!"
Speaking of Zuma Dogg, the Prophet of Venice has been, as usual, spot on in his attacks on the City leaders.
Although his blog sometimes takes a very personal tone with certain city leaders, he was the one who was warning about the pension losses, the CRA, and various corrupt acts long, long before they became headline news. He is currently in the zone with his blogging/investigating -- and crushing careers as we speak.
Jon Regardie at the LA Downtown News recently had a great write up about how the newspapers are going belly up because people can get their news online for free now. He also has a fairly decent description of how the Martinez and Huizar campaigns are push-polling like crazy, trying to drive CD 14 voters to vote against their opponent in the March election.
Speaking of Jose Huizar, the untalented Councilman from the 14th District really got caught with his pants down in the recent "List-Gate" scandal, which erupted when news leaked out that Huizar had been keeping a Nixon-style "enemies list". Most politicians keep these lists in their head, and it was foolish for Huizar to have written information on this. The blow-up does not help his campaign. Especially not with offended community members who were rated dismissively by Huizar.
Scott Johnson, a.k.a. "Red Spot" over at the Mayor Sam blog has shown a determination that few activists have. He has done more, singlehandedly, to destroy Jose Huizars campaign than anyone employed on the Rudy Martinez campaign staff. Most bloggers and activists can get worn out covering a single subject, but Johnson has shown that 30 straight anti-Huizar posts at Mayor Sam are "no problem" for him.
I don't know if Martinez will be able to knock off Huizar, but if he does, he surely owes Johnson a debt of gratitude.
You know who is probably the most happy about the Martinez-Huizar war on the internet?
Probably Mike Gatto, the thin-skinned representative from the 43rd Assembly District.
If there are no Gatto posts at Mayor Sam, he saves money on lawyers fees involved in telling Mike Higby to shut up.
Former Mayoral Candidate Walter Moore seems to be content with attacking from the sidelines nowadays. Although Moore has not indicated any plans to run for office again, he has done a very good job of forensic bookkeeping. He pores over City data and usually blasts the city leaders on his blog for financial incompetence or outright criminal behavior. I have to say, I admire Moore's frequent use of the word "bullshit" when describing city activities.
Paul Hatfield is one of the more talented local voices, and he does an excellent job covering the Galatzan/Pugliese battle for the LAUSD position in the March election. It is a bit of a narrow subject area , but I am glad he covered it.
I appreciate the work done by all these activists. And any I failed to mention.
When you are fighting city corruption...and continually losing, it can get to be a bit dispiriting.
I'm glad to see all these people are still out there fighting.
And hoping that one day things will make a turn for the better.