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How to Get Un-Elected

LatinoLA, Commentary

I must say that the campaign for the 14th District seat on the Los Angeles City Council is already shaping up to be one of the best examples of how one LOSES a council seat. It’s been years since we’ve had incumbent eff things up this bad in quite a long time.

I mean it’s been years since Art Snyder had to “retire” from office because of his inability to keep city-owned cars from flying off the road and into various other vehicles, light poles, and stop signs after long nights “working” in his council office.

A City Council seat ($180K a year) in Los Angeles is as good as gold. Richard Alatorre served the 14th District moderately well until he no longer had any more friends he could “help.”

Antonio Villaraigosa used the district as a springboard to the mayor’s office.

I assume that incumbent 14th District Councilmember Jose Huizar has a sense of history and knows that with just a little bit of effort he might be able sit in that chair in City Hall for years to come.

But no — Huizar decided to show us all how NOT to get re-elected. I thought that his lack of attention to the “meat &potatoes” issues (papas &carne asada?) would only help him NOT get re-elected to a certain point. The pot holes, gangs, graffiti, lack of supermarkets and other retail and economic development, the bevy of massage parlors, and ineffectual schools (he was a school board member before the City Council) just wasn’t enough for Huizar.

In his infinite wisdom, Huizar decided a few years back that his campaign motto was going to be “if it was good enough for Nixon, then its good enough for me.” I can see him channeling the voice of Tricky Dick in ordering his staff to put together spreadsheets of his “friends” (boy just think if he had put that thought to a better use he could have beaten Zuckerberg to the punch).

Now I’m not a prima donna, so I know that in the realpolitik of our country politicians spend an inordinate amount of time raising money to get re-elected. So in that world, knowing who your “amigos” are is important.

I suppose that Huizar’s got a lot on his mind so it’s tough to remember who his friends are. So a list would be helpful.

Obviously, the organization that friends belong to is important to note…but I’m going to hazard a guess that assigning a rating scale to their level of importance and “friendship” is at a whole other level.

Thank god the staff also included a legend so that we could understand what the numbers meant (very thoughtful…again I suppose that the staff figured that Huizar would have so much on his mind that he would forget what the ratings meant).

This makes the recent revelation that Huizar’s campaign manager sent out a missive in which he said that he was going to put a political “bullet in the forehead” of challenger Rudy Martinez no surprise. The missive said “we are going to unleash the dogs of Satan on Rudy and he is going to wish he never heard the words ‘team huizar.'” (Funny but I don’t remember dogs in the whole heaven &hell thing…also doesn’t ‘team huizar’ sound like a real estate broker?).

Ok, so in light of the whole Tucson massacre, was “bullet in the forehead” the right way to go? I’m going to say

NO. Perhaps it was easy to laugh some of this stuff off a few months ago as locker room humor between the candidate and his consigliere but then you compound the problem by putting that in an email? As my abuelita would say, “¡Que tonto!”

If he’s trying to figure out how to get himself fired, or un-elected, from a $180,000 a year job, Huizar has done everything right. He almost makes the City Council members in Bell look like decent people (yeah, they stole money but at least I haven’t seen or read that they were advocating physical violence on their opponents).

It’s obvious that someone bought the Huizar campaign all six seasons of The Sopranos (Ralphie was my favorite character) and they decided that they were going to go Jersey on Rudy.

Here’s a note to Huizar and his campaign: Stop with the Lists and the Death Threats and figure out how to clean up the graffiti, fix the potholes, improve the schools and get some supermarkets in the neighborhood that have a bigger fresh produce selection than a tequila selection.

With a B.A. from Cal, a Masters Degree from Princeton and a Law Degree from UCLA, you just figure he’d be the right guy for the gig. Yeah it might be tough but that’s what you get paid to do.



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