When you just got voters to give you $3.5 billion to spend on construction projects, you’re going to find you have got a lot of new friends.
Kelly G. Candaele, president of the L.A. Community College District’s Board of Trustees, enjoyed the company of a lot of new friends Tuesday morning in the luxury of the City Club on Bunker Hill — friends in the contracting and consulting world who coughed up as much as $5,000 each for his re-election campaign in March.
MIchelle Gastelum, president of Summit Consulting and Engineering, hosted the event and is doing the same for Trustee Nancy Pearlman next Monday.
But the “pay-to-play” games don’t end there.
Trustee Angela Reddock is taking it a giant step farther by inviting her “friends” to an event
laccd-reddock.htm Thursday night at the posh Hancock Park area home of campaign consultant and fund-raiser Brian Rix and lobbyist Bob Burke. While her colleagues limited contributions to $1,000, $2,500 and $5,000, Reddock is clearly more egalitarian and will allow people who give only $250 to drop by the evening.
Rix is the perfect host, having helped raise the money that put LACCD’s Measure J — as in Jobs for you know who — over the top with nearly 70 percent of the vote last week.
He’s also very big at City Halll where he’s been paid $1,334,323.13 by a long list of candidates over the last decade: Wendy Greuel, Herb Wesson, Laura Chick, Bill Rosendahl, Tom LaBonge, Dennis Zine, Joel Wachs, Janice Hahn, Martin Ludlow, Julie Korenstein, Rod Wright and Rudy Svorinich.
What makes Reddock’s event even more interesting is that the invitation lists seven trustees and eight presidents of L.A. Community colleges, suggesting she counts them among “Friends of Angela Reddock,” the title of her campaign fund.
And “Special Guests” for the event include several politicians and the head of the faculty union as well as LACCD Chancellor Mark Drummond and LACCD Facilities Director Larry Eisenberg.
Every single person who has a role in deciding who gets the $3.5 billion plus the hundreds of millions still unspent from the two previous bond issues are offered as supporters of Reddock, who is out there raising money from the people who will get these lucrative contracts.
Is there no shame left? Are there no laws against this sort of thing? Is no one in public office accountable for their actions? If the work is shoddy or there are unjustified cost over-runs who of these people is in a position to do anything about it?
Hey, they are all friends after all and friends don’t blow the whistle on friends.