Sunday, March 06, 2011

L.A. Clean Sweep endorses in L.A. City Elections on Tuesday- your vote is important. In CD-14, elect Rudy Martinez


Election Day is Tuesday. Just a very quick message for voters living in the city and in an even numbered district-

The local organization I support, actually a city-wide local group, is the L.A. Clean Sweep movement. It was formed to bring us responsible government to City Council and end the corruption that you can find in the news every week. All this costs the taxypayers who live and work in Los Angeles in the form of reduced services for increased costs, while deals happen to help "friends" and special interests but not much to better the conditions.

As we have seen Los Angeles conuncil persons act in a continued manner that creates no improvement while their management and that of the Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, heads us closer to a bankruptcy each day.

We want to sweep out the old and put in people who want to change the practices that have put us in this situation.

The candidates endorse by L.A. Clean Sweep reached after a detailed process including candidate interviews and finally a vote on the recommendations by the membership to produce this list.

Here is the complete LA Clean Sweep Candidate List:

District 2: No Endorsement

District 4: Stephen Box

District 6: Richard Goodman, David Barron, and Jamie Cordaro

District 8: Councilman Bernard Parks

District 10: Austin Dragon

District 12: Kelly Lord and Brad Smith

District 14: Rudy Martinez


Rudy Martinez is challenging Jose Huizar in CD-14, a district that covers Eagle Rock, El Sereno, Boyle Heights and areas of Downtown.

I have followed the activities of city hall for a few years and the need for changes now is crucial if the city is going to change at all. We have seen examples of the city council use meeting after meeting to produce little action on its services and personnel. For approximately 9 months, they debated and maneuvered things to be more of an employment agency to put hundreds of people into the DWP, separately run (as you may have noticed from several news stories over the months).

The City created ERIPs early retirement that cut over 2400 people out of the general budget to lower the staffing. An entire accounting department was effectively stripped of its staff by the numbers taking the early retirement package. That was an expensive offering to entice retirement and the condition just mentioned was not seen until it was already done.

Another 300 people not paid from "general funds" used ERIP that did not help the budget since they were not paid from "general funds" but the expense only added to the costs of the program. As usual, lack of accountability runs rampant in city hall and needs to change.

This is just one example and there are many dozens more examples that show us that the highest paid council in the country ($15,000 per month salary) does not make for bettter performance.

You may have noticed that Council member Bernard Parks is an incumbent endorsed by L.A. Clean Sweep. Parks is probably the only one who has paid attention to the budget among all the CMs. He is not perfect but he does present the financial conditions to the council as it is, and many don't want to hear that. For month's they used to say "the 'B-word' in reference to "bankruptcy," very representative of the state of denial they pursued in the years since the budget crisis has worsened. Mr. Parks was often the bearer of bad news that was often not truly recognized by the other CMs.

IN CD-14
CM Jose Huizar has failed in his representation of CD-14. His ads say "He's a fighter." Really? He's not done much in his 5 plus years in City Council although he loves to claim credit for everything by attaching, "Jose Huizar Presents...." This past year was an all out effort to try to claim credit for anything as if it was money coming out of his own wallet. The real picture is that it comes from taxpayers in one way or another and much of what Jose claims credit for would have been done by anyone in the office as part of the job.

He does have favorites, putting around a milliong to "Bring Back Broadway" and working to put a street car in, a very expensive proposition but that's Jose. Being a friend of Mayor Villaraigosa and supported by many of the same supporters the Mayor should tell you a lot. CM Huizar was selected as the successor to CD-14's council member when the Mayor cut short his term to run for election as Mayor, even though he promised to serve out his full term as CM in CD-14.

There are very many CMs loyal to the Mayor and you do not hear any criticism from them of the many opportunities that have come where some better leadership did not happen.

In this campaign, the relationship that Huizar has with the Mayor is kept very quiet so as to keep peace with the Mayor and to avoid showing the tie with the failed Mayor, lest people see the link.

Rudy Martinze in CD-14 is the better choice. Putting most of the campaign money from his own pocket tells you he is not in any sense a "bought and paid for politician"-notice Huizar's funding comes from assorted factions and it's there with the expectation of "getting what they paid for," otherwise called "patronage politics."

Rudy Martinez has successful private sector business experience that you don't see among council members and this is what's been absent in the City Council for many years. Martinez should be able to bring a better perspective that could only improve what the City Council does. Huizar, like most in the current council, is a career politician, looking ot maximize his time in office and then move on to another. Maybe we can make that move happen sooner.

In CD-14, vote for Rudy Martinez. This will be a low-turnout election which means you can come out and have a bigger impact than you might have in the state-wide elections. Many people are registered and just don't bother to come out thinking everything is not going to change. Come out, make the changes happen. If you put the same people back for another four years, how can you expect that they will change their behavior after already working at least one full term?