Friday, March 05, 2010

Karen Bass looks to seat in Congress while up to old habits in State Assembly

Karen Bass was the former speaker in the state assembly, moving out last Friday as John Perez, Antonio Villaraigosa's cousin, takes the position over last Monday. She is going out, leaving the Assembly soon because she has reached the end according to term limits, so, just like a lot of career politicians feel they must do, they have another office in their sights. She has found the congressional seat being vacated by the retiring Diane Watson as her new perch.

"L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa endorses former Assembly Speaker Karen Bass for Congress," March 3, 2010 2:51 pm Phil Willon at L.A. City Hall, L.A. Times blog

With Antonio endorsing her, you should know she's bad news. Antonio is proof that quality and successful mangement are not needed to win elections. Neither is good character but that's not viewed by very many to matter anyway as you check Tony's track record.

There's a second story that falls into line with the Karen Bass style of politicss

"Bass promotes, gives raises to 20 staffers on final day as Assembly speaker," By Jim Sanders, in the Sacramento Bee, Published: Friday, Mar. 5, 2010 The ever-rationalizing Bass defended the raises with the idea that workers deserve rasies for a good job. Well, that may be so, but didn't she hear that people are being furloughed and there's been a policy of no raises, a pay freeze, in the state legislature. The Senate has followed that but Bass' own creation of execptions, as mentioned in the story, causes one to wonder if there are any other "exceptions" being created in the assembly.
"We definitely succeeded in tightening our belt," she said. "This year I also very frugally tried to measure out moderate pay increases for some Assembly employees who were taking on new responsibilities, and I specifically eliminated other positions that more than covered the cost of those modest increases.

"This allows the Assembly to retain staff and, at the same time, it reflects and respects the tough times we are in," Bass said
Bass, if you remember back to last year, was quickly backtracking on a slew of raises she gave then when the state's financial condition was about as bad as it is now. She probably would not have backed down then if she was not outed in the news and in the blogosphere. But now she's leaving for good and this is her gift at taxpayers' expense, while others in the Assembly honor the no-rasies policy. And she is a follower of the idea that whatever ails you (or the state) will be fixed with by finding lots more tax dollars to spend on it. Using some responsible spending practices could have some application somewhere along the way but that would put a crimp in their style and cut down on the rewards to friends, all affecting the ability to get votes.

Karen Bass, I noticed during the tax hike talks of last year, began to adjust her vocabulary to surgically remove that wicked word, "taxes." Bass replaced it with the less threatening sound of "revenues" as she spoke of the areas where the state was coming up short. So suddenly, everyone of the spending critics can relax- no new taxes. Not quite.

Make no mistake, Bass is a true politician and moving forward to run for another elected position so she can remain on the public payroll. The raises she issued for 20 persons, part of the Democratic caucus staff, may not have been for top salaried persons and maybe the staffers could use the money, duh, but who couldn't? EVERYONE is stuck with no money to spare in the state government- HOW can she say she's entitled to make up her own exceptions? It's really the failure to make the effort, to be consistent between actions and behavior, and really, just to demonstrate that they really care. Hence, the conclusion is that we have lots of liars in office.

The answer to "How could she do that?" is that she did this last Friday, the last day that she was in power as the Assembly Speaker, so she needed no other approval. "What the hell?" she must have thought, "Who is gong to stop me now? I'm leaving anyway and they'll get over it." And so she did it. As I said, What do you expect when you have Tony V. lavishing her with his praises? They are friends of long standing, and so he easily endorses her candidacy for Congress. The "birds of a feather flock together" effect. Not a song title here, but a simple and true observation- Tony even cites his long-term friendship with Bass in the story. Villaraigosa's style of management has put L.A. into the fast lane to bankruptcy while this realization must have come as something of a surprise to him, the news being passed along to him undoubtedly by an aide, one of the dozens he's hired, all essential I suppose, since the boss is hardly ever in town, and when he made a pit stop at City Hall between junkets. When he is here, he's still out to lunch - or a photo opp. Truly, Villaraigosa will go down as the worst mayor of L.A.

Last night it was the Pre Oscars Party at the city mansion, Getty House, hosted by the Mayor, who just can't get enough of all that mingling with celebrities, especially movie stars. And you know there's a good helping of the City Council members there, too, following on his coat tails. All this pretense that it's to get more businees from the motion picture industry. Well if that's the case, it's not the stars to pander to, but the producers and decison makers who for years have decided that "L.A. is NOT the place to be" when it comes to making movies. The City's "business unfriendly" practices have created an environment that has chased out dozens of business each year- a conservative estimate.

When businesses leave L.A. sometimes they move to neighboring cities with less onerous conditions to deal with, sometimes they move out of state and sometimes they just quit. In every case, they take jobs with them. Trying to squeeze every last dollar of every last person or business in L.A. is what it's all coming to and it's probably only to be remedied in a bankruptcy court. Karen Bass can represent the area of Los Angeles in Washington, after the next election and think back how she helped her friends do all this for L.A. as she collects her check, gets a staff, benefits, and enjoys a condition that most in L.A. could not even imagine for themselves.

Well, read all the story items and see for yourself that Karen Bass has managed to achieve a degree of arrogance in office that any transgressions committed by her don't even get as much as a flinch from her when she's confronted with questions. It's all about the culture of "entitlement" that many in politics have wallowed in for so long that they have no notion of decorum or as the legal profession likes to term it with judges, "the appearance of impropriety." All that means that it just looks bad, it doesn't have to actually BE bad. In Bass' case, as wtih others "on duty" in Sacramento, she IS doing bad- not yet illegal, but it doesn't have to be to hurt the process or the public.