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2009: Turning Point in the Struggle for Democracy

My last political engagement of 2009 came on the second last day of year, breakfast with state Sen. Gloria Romero. The subject was educating our children by mandating that parents – all parents everywhere in California – have the power under the law to play a direct role in how schools are run.

It was a far cry from how the year began with Jack Humphreville and his Solar 8 defending themselves in court against the lawsuit the mayor engineered to get the ballot argument we signed against the Measure B solar energy fraud removed from the voter pamphlet.

The underlying issue in both education and energy policy is the same, the same one that comes up over the 1,000 pot shops, the 4,000 illegal billboards, the disastrous city planning policies and the multitude of other issues that trouble the lives of the populace.

What is the role of ordinary citizens in determining public policy in Los Angeles and across California? Is it nothing more than the occasional right to choose among meaningless choices in elections controlled by big moneyed special interests?
Gloria Romero offered her answer in the closing weeks of the year when she put her political career on the line and pulled off a dramatic victory by getting the state Senate to approve by a single vote a proposed state law that gives parents unprecedented power over the schools. The prize for California taking the lead in education reform could be as much as $1 billion for our troubled public school system from the pot of money in President Obama’s “Right to the Top” stimulus program…

She acted in defiance of one of the most powerful lobbies in Sacramento, the California Teachers Association, the umbrella organization for teacher unions that has dictated educational policies for most of this generation.

For a Democrat and Senate Majority Leader to twist arms and give courage to members of her party to back parental empowerment was an act of heroism we don’t often see from our politicians anymore.

The issue was the “parent trigger” – a measure backed by the Parent Revolution led by Ben Austin. It would allow for the takeover and even closure of failing schools when a majority of parents come together and support real change. The teacher union lobby is now throwing all its weight and money behind efforts to kill the “parent trigger” provision in the Assembly where intense negotiations have been under way for days.

Why Romero took her stand has a lot to do with where she came from and where she’s going.

She grew up on the wrong side of the tracks in Barstow where her father worked for the railroads and instilled in her the passion to do what she thinks is right. She has a nearly perfect pro-union voting record and a lifelong commitment to social justice yet she stood for the rights of parents against the power of teacher unions.

Now she is running for state Superintendent of Public Instruction and is certain to face intense opposition from the teacher union leadership fighting to preserve the status quo that has so badly served our children for so long.

She is one of my leaders of the year.

There are many others in so many walks of life, prominent people and ordinary citizens, who like Gloria Romero, have found the courage to stand up publicly for what they believe in.

I could name hundreds of people I know personally or from their work who have emerged as true leaders of this community. There are thousands of others like them unknown to me.

2009 marked a turning point in our history, I believe, the year when the people crossed over from the indignity of powerless negativity to pride in their power to get the kind of changes they want and believe will make their lives and the lives others better.

When you read through my month-by-month year in review you will see how community activists scored victories at the polls and forced our elected officials to back down on numerous issues and begin to obey the will of the people and respect the rule of law.

The collapse of the nation’s economy exposed for one and all to see just how mismanaged the affairs of our city and state and nation have been for too long because the politicians on both sides of the aisle have sold out to special interests while voters stood by passively.

It’s unbelievable that the Golden State and the city of unlimited dreams should be in such dire financial straits that dangerous criminals are being freed early from our prisons, teachers laid off and basic services slashed.

Real change rarely occurs without such catastrophes.

How we respond in such critical times determines the future and what I’m seeing is the birth of a truly democratic movement that is gaining momentum so fast that the thousand little cells of community organizations are coming together into a cohesive force that can end the cycle of failed pubic policies that have diminished our lives.

It hangs in the balance. The challenges are great. But we are entering the second decade of the 21st century and if we are not ready to create a more democratic society in which all of us are empowered and our interests and values respected, we never will be.

Those who have taken the step forward in their communities will have to redouble their efforts. Those who have watched from the sidelines will have to leap into the arena. Those in authority will have to change their minds about where their winds of power are blowing.

But it can happen. I believe that or I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing any more than all of you doing what you are to make LA a better city.

Here’s the highlights of 2009 as I have lived and written about it:

JANUARY: The nation’s economy was tanking, a black man was being
sworn in as President of the United States but in LA, the City Council
was still preoccupied with the welfare of Billy the elephant and the
citizenry was waking up to the scam called Measure B. 

xxxThe Solar 8
beat the mayor’s lawyer in court and citizen activists fanned out
across the city to community meetings to confront DWP management and
the hirelings paid by the IBEW and other special interests to sell
voters on an ill-defined and unstudied solar energy scheme. The goal
was to mandate that the DWP — which had fought against solar for a
decade — would own, install and maintain more than $3 billion in large
rooftop solar installations in the city.
The Measure B campaign heated up with business, private sector unions,
community groups, local papers lining up in opposition to the DWP
boondoggle. Jack Weiss took his lumps from just about every direction
as outsider Carmen “Nuch” Trutanich gained support in the City
Attorney’s race while Wendy Greuel easily won the Controller’s race.
And, in a startling act of hubris, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa,
interrupted his faltering re-election effort, to start campaigning for
governor of California with the promise to do to the state what he had
done to the city. The LA Weeklyxxx exposed how City Council members were
living high with spectacular salaries and perks and huge staffs to
cater to their every whim . 
union boss Brian D’Arcy, drooling to get his hands on all that
ratepayer money from Measure B, sneaked out of the comfort of back
rooms and onto the public stage for a few brief moments. It was to no
avail, Measure B narrowly lost in an historic election, signaling a
shift in power in city politics that was also reflected in Weiss being
forced into a runoff against Trutanich, community activist David Vahedi
making the CD5 runoff and the mayor barely avoiding a runoff against
Walter Moore. The uncontrolled proliferation of billboards,
particularly of the digital variety, emerged as a hot-button issue that
energized community groups and put City Hall under pressure to fix what
they had broken by selling out to sign companies and lobbyists.
The public employee payola pension scandal erupted in New York and
spilled over to LA, the DWP and mayor decided to ignored the Measure B
vote and go forward as if nothing happened and plans to triple the
water runoff charge was scrapped in the face of community opposition.
The mayor sounded like a candidate for governor with a high-minded
“State of the City” speech the proposed a straw man budget and promised
to get rid of the “deadwood.” But his budget plan only half solved the
massive deficit on paper and behind the scenes he was offering the
unions a sweetheart deal for early retirements with enhanced benefits
for senior managers and staffers.
Paul Koretz won narrowly in CD5 and newcomer Tina Park pulls off an
upset victory for a Community College board seat. Trutanich whipped
Weiss for City Attorney and declared: “We took over the city…we’re
going to change the way politics is played.” LA Magazine judged the
mayor a “FAILURE” on its cover and his gubernatorial campaign is
stillborn. The Council took up the budget and got the bad news that
they have to cut salaries sharply or thousands workers and the
financial situation will get worse over the next few years. No matter,
the budget — called “fiscally responsible” by Controller-elect Greuel
– was adopted with phony cuts but not before the Council gutted
funding to Neighborhood Councils only to have to back down in the face
of a public outcry.
JUNE: His political
ambitions thwarted, the mayor reverts to form and falls in love with
another TV news anchor. The DWP belatedly imposes water conservation
measures but raises rates under its doctrine of “revenue neutrality.”
LA gets high on the World Champion Lakers while unknown number of
thousands get high on marijuana bought at the proliferating pot shops
– an issue angering many in the community. Activists seek to take the
law into their own hands with a ballot measure to cut elected
officials’ salaries in half. Councilman Jose Huizar tries to save the
Southwest Museum with a two-museum deal with the Autry National Center.
City Hall bows to the unions and cuts a deal for an Early Retirement
Incentive Program without knowing the costs.
The state, unable to pay its bills, starts issuing IOUs but an
agreement is finally reached on a budget that is as phony as the
city’s. Singer Michael Jackson dies and the Staples Center sticks the
city with the multi-million bill for public services for the funeral
extravaganza which will bring it millions in revenue from DVD sales. In
his inaugural address, the mayor ignores the city’s financial crisis by
focusing on long-term job creation, green energy and public transit
programs that won’t produce results until he’s left office. Greuel
swears she will be an independent watchdog. Trutanich outlines a broad
agenda for political change and to bring the rule of law to City Hall
and within days ignites a major controversy with Greuel, demands
Staples Center pay Jackson funeral costs and announces he is conducting
a criminal investigation of the relationship between city officials and
AEG, parent company of Staples and LA Live.
Despite its dire financial situation, the city finds tens of millions
of dollars to subsidize Cirque du Soleil making one of its homes at
Kodak Theater, a heavily-subsidized white elephant project. The mayor
takes time out from his busy agenda to South Africa, Iceland and Las
Vegas to shake up his staff. Police Chief Bratton quits abruptly. The
ERIP retirement deal blows up when Sally Choi, general manager of the
city’s largest pension fund, tells the Council it would cost taxpayers
hundreds of millions of dollars.
 The Station Fire, a massive blaze in the Angeles National Forest,
destroyed dozens of homes in the Sunland-Tujunga and La
Canada-Flintridge areas and hundreds of thousands acres. DWP GM David
Nahai, aided by Deputy Mayor David Freeman, pulled out all stops to get
the Council to approve a blank check for solar energy and unlimited
rate hikes but were foiled by community opposition and blowouts of
aging water mains all over town. The Council, finally facing a reality
of the failed city budget plan, cut a new deal for early retirement of
2,400 workers with the city unions and declared it an historic
breakthrough. Councilman Bernard Parks acknowledged the city’s
financial problems are dire and accused DWP union boss D’Arcy of
blackmailing the city to get sweetheart contracts. The LA Times
revealed the mayor’s chief fund-raiser Ari Swiller outmaneuvered the
DWP for a wind farm property in Kern County and then offered to sell
the property for a huge profit to the city. Carpetbaggers Paul
Krekorian and Chris Essel — the two candidates backed by City Hall
insiders — finished first and second in the CD2 special election  far
outdistancing eight community candidates.

Nahai is fired as DWP general manager but gets a golden handshake –
his full salary of $6,300 a week through the end of the year. Former
DWP head, Deputy Mayor David Freeman replaces him. The city’s spending
more than it takes in reaches the $100 million mark in less than four
months. Chief Bratton takes a parting shot, saying LA is a city that
“almost doesn’t work” and compares it unfavorably to New York and
Boston. DWP’s Freeman calls himself the true “Rate Payer Advocate” and
then approves a 3.25 percent cash payout to utility workers and raises
of 2 to 4 percent each year for four years depending on inflation.Cops
cut a deal for no raises for two years and no overtime pay. Council
backs down on 2,000 percent increase in planning appeals fees but
approves billions in new DWP spending that will require massive rate

NOVEMBER: Charlie Beck leaps over other more
experienced candidates and is named Chief of Police, raising questions
about his independence from the mayor. Italian rail car maker Ansaldo
Breda pulls out of deal to be the cornerstone of the mayor’s “green
corridor” just four months after he pulled out all stops to get MTA
approval despite the firm’s past failures. The Planning Department
quietly moves forward on a scheme to allow nearly every residential
property owner to convert single family homes into apartments or add
“granny flats” in backyards. The Council takes up City Attorney Carmen
Trutanich’s proposal to crack down on the 1,000 marijuana shops in the
city but can’t reach a decision on what to do. The CD2 runoff takes a
weird turn with DWP union boss D’Arcy throwing hundreds of thousands of
dollars behind Chris Essel, solidifying Paul Krekorian as the community
candidate. Chief Beck shakes up LAPD’s command staff, demoting
Bratton’s second-in-command Jim McDonnell and Deputy Chief Sharon Papa
while promoting close friends and allies.

Former LA pension fund board member Elliott Broidy pleads guilty in the
widening pension fund scandal. Krekorian trounces Essel and wins
election in CD2. Assistant City Administrative Officer Tom Coultas
expands on his budget warning back in May and tells the Council that
the budget problem now “is just the beginning, next year is worse.”
LAPD audit finds millions of dollars for purchases have been
mishandled. City Planners extend the public comment period for the
“granny flats” ordinance and then scrap the plan entirely in the face
of community opposition. names City Attorney Trutanich LA’s
Man of the Year.

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39 Responses to 2009: Turning Point in the Struggle for Democracy

  1. Nina Royal says:

    Great post Ron! Arrivederci 2009, you won’t be missed! However, I do think some good did come from year 2009. Community members realized they have power to influence the direction of the city and will become even more active in doing so in 2010. Lack of an honest budget, poor planning, education, transportation, the Home Depot project, Mansionization, SB 1818, SB 1866, medical marijuana and other major issue fiascos served as a wake up call for the sleeping giants…our community members. I believe we will see a record amount of activits becoming in involved in 2010, that’s a good thing! Welcome 2010!

  2. Anonymous says:

    1,000 pot shops doesn’t mean anything. More pot shops than Starbucks and McDonalds put together is much more illustrative of the problem.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Go Senator Romero! She is an elected official who really does have courage. While she is not anti union or anti CTA, she is willing to stand up to them when they are wrong. As when they fight charter schools.
    She also played a large role in the Obama campaign and is probably close to Arne Duncan and other people in the Administration.
    It would be great if she won.

  4. ellen vukovich says:

    Excellent!!! This will serve as a reminder for the upcoming year as we continue our efforts to take back what is rightfully ours.
    Happy New Year everyone.

  5. Anonymous says:

    How do we get rid of this cancer in LA, the idiot Mayor whose incompetence in ignoring the budget and retaining equally incompetent General Managers has led to the current fiasco. He can enjoy his foreign trips and dalliances, but not on the public dime. Three and a half years more is one month too many. Are people willing to recall him. I’ll do my part if others are willing to do theirs.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today released its 2009 list of Washington’s “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians.” The list, in alphabetical order, includes:
    1. Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT): This marks two years in a row for Senator Dodd, who made the 2008 “Ten Most Corrupt” list for his corrupt relationship with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and for accepting preferential treatment and loan terms from Countrywide Financial, a scandal which still dogs him.
    2. Senator John Ensign (R-NV): A number of scandals popped up in 2009 involving public officials who conducted illicit affairs, and then attempted to cover them up with hush payments and favors, an obvious abuse of power.
    3. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA): Judicial Watch is investigating a $12 million TARP cash injection provided to the Boston-based OneUnited Bank at the urging of Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank.
    4. Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner: In 2009, Obama Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner admitted that he failed to pay $34,000 in Social Security and Medicare taxes from 2001-2004 on his lucrative salary at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), an organization with 185 member countries that oversees the global financial system. (Did we mention Geithner now runs the IRS?)
    5. Attorney General Eric Holder: Tim Geithner can be sure he won’t be hounded about his tax-dodging by his colleague Eric Holder, US Attorney General.
    6. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL)/ Senator Roland Burris (D-IL): One of the most serious scandals of 2009 involved a scheme by former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to sell President Obama’s then-vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder.
    7. President Barack Obama: During his presidential campaign, President Obama promised to run an ethical and transparent administration. However, in his first year in office, the President has delivered corruption and secrecy, bringing Chicago-style political corruption to the White House.
    8. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): At the heart of the corruption problem in Washington is a sense of entitlement. Politicians believe laws and rules (even the U.S. Constitution) apply to the rest of us but not to them.
    9. Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) and the rest of the PMA Seven: Rep. John Murtha made headlines in 2009 for all the wrong reasons. The Pennsylvania congressman is under federal investigation for his corrupt relationship with the now-defunct defense lobbyist PMA Group.
    10. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY): Rangel, the man in charge of writing tax policy for the entire country, has yet to adequately explain how he could possibly “forget” to pay taxes on $75,000 in rental income he earned from his off-shore rental property.
    Judicial Watch

  7. Anonymous says:

    No Grumpy at 6:30 -
    We are not willing to do our parts to recall the Mayor. I think we’ve proven that already by re-electing him.
    It’s not worth the time or the effort. You have plenty of things to work on. Forget about this one.

  8. Anonymous says:

    OMG!!! this is too funny and doesn’t really tell the facts. It has been stated in the news illegals are draining the CA budget by billions in free services but not one Latino politican has the guts to standup and oppose that money going to them. Senator Romero is a strong supporter of Illegals. Guess who are in LA public school overcrowding them and could careless about getting involved in the system? ILLEGALS. Ask anyone who lives in Romero district and they’ll tell you she like all the Latino politicans do nothing for the legal Latino residents of their districts. Take a drive through Los Angeles and see the blight, all the illegals, and like Walter Moore stated, LA now looks like a 3rd world country.
    Black marks against Romero. She endordesed Gil Cedillo. Dumb move
    Romero endorsed SB60 (giving driver’s license to illegals) will put every Californian at risk for identity theft,enters the state of California into an illegal business compact with Mexico (or Canada), and threatens to undermine National Security by adding public officials social security numbers and private information into an insecure database where it can be accessed by identity criminals
    Over a hundred police union representatives descended on the Assembly Public Safety Committee on Tuesday, June 26 to urge opposition to Sen. Gloria Romero’s SB 1019, the bill which would overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in Copley Press and provide limited access to information about police misconduct complaints.
    SB 110, by Senator Romero would create an unelected and unaccountable 20 member “California Sentencing Commission,” which would have the power to set criminal sentencing policy and to make changes in criminal statutes. This commission would essentially be allowed to weaken criminal sentences and only with the approval of both houses of the Legislature and the Governor, could these changes be voided. By allowing a non-elected body to craft laws, this bill is clearly unconstitutional.
    SB 160 Romero California Dream Act. California already gives illegal aliens the same in-state tuition discounts that U.S. citizens who are residents of California receive. Now, the state Assembly has passed a bill that goes a step further and gives illegal aliens the same rights to financial aid as citizens. The bill is SB 160 (the “California Dream Act”) and was authored by state senator Gil Cedillo with the assistance of Gloria Romero.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Dear 11:27:
    Judicial Watch is a right-wing attack shop funded by Richard Mellon Scaife and dedicated to attacking Democratic politicians. It is an offshoot of Scaife’s Ahab-like campaign to discredit former President Bill Clinton and lives on today in the far right’s maniacal attempts to demonize current President Barack Obama.
    My question for you, and the other zealots pushing this agenda, is a simple one:
    Why do you hate America?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Gloria Romero, even worse than Gloria Molina, has an us. vs. them mentality when it comes to eastside Latinos, and as previous poster says, is a strong advocate for illegal immigrant rights, including the “Right” to drive with regular U. S. licenses. Her wanting to give parents “rights” in public schools is largely fueled by Latinos, many illegals, demanding more say in the curriculum, OVER the “anglo-centric” California curriculum.
    This is another case of Ron choosing someone based on one issue (or as he often does, blasting someone based on one or two issues) without looking at the totality of the person AND above all, what’s best for L A as a city.

  11. Spiffy says:

    Happy New Year. I am a strong supporter of parents having input into the education of their children, but as you cover this ongoing story here are some thoughts to ponder:
    1. If the majority of parents at a school are illegal immigrants, will you then say that “democracy is on the rise in our schools” if the parents are legally citizens of another country?
    2. How do parent groups plan to measure teacher success?
    3. How will parent groups assure that schools are meeting the CA Dept. Education State Standards? These standards become progressively more complex as the students enter high school. How do parents plan to interpret the standards and ensure they are being taught to their children?
    4. If a minority of parents at a school are illegal immigrants will they have a say in the process, or will they be included even though they cannot vote for school board members or local politicians? And is that democracy?
    5. Will these parent groups continue to organize and grow until they begin to sponsor and pass new legislation, including increasing taxes to pay for the needs of the schools? Will they be such a great idea if they raise all taxes?
    These are certainly trends I will be watching for. Politicians seek block groups of voters to support them. We shall see if this is just another effort from another politician to grow and raise numbers for their own support. We’ll see…

  12. Anonymous says:

    January 1, 2010 9:58 AM
    Why do you hate America?
    I think we could agree to disagree, but when one side disagrees with the other side, your side immediately reverts to a negative campaign stance like, “why do you hate America, haters, etc.” STOP.

  13. Anonymous says:

    January 1, 2010 9:58 AM
    Why do you hate America?
    I think we could agree to disagree, but when one side disagrees with the other side, your side immediately reverts to a negative campaign stance like, “why do you hate America, haters, etc.” STOP.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Judicial Watch lists are unbiased as the lists includes both Democratic and Republicans.
    “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians” for 2008
    1. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
    2. Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT)
    3. Obama Advisor Valerie Jarrett (D-IL)
    4. Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA)
    5. President-Elect Barack Obama (D-IL)
    6. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
    7. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY)
    8. Former Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ)
    9. Former Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK)
    10. Rep. Don Young (R-AK)
    “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians” for 2007
    1. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY)
    2. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI)
    3. Senator Larry Craig (R-ID)
    4. Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA)
    5. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R-NY)
    6. Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR)
    7. I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby
    8. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL)
    9. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
    10. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV)
    Judicial Watch

  15. Pete says:

    Romero was part of the unholy triad (with Villaragosa and Nunez) in the push to transfer control of the LAUSD to Villaraigosa. As far as I can tell, she’s La Raza through and through.

  16. Anonymous says:

    When people discuss the illegal immigrant issue, the other side always assumes the people against illegals especially in this city are racist. Latinos born here in Los Angeles are probably the ones who are more against the illegals in this city. Illegals disrespect our city and laws and then you have the Latino politicans and Mayor who support them breaking the law. Have any of you taken a drive through MacArthur Park area or downtown LA? There are so many illegal vendors its devasting to see. A senior citizen who has health insurance went to the hospital with flu like symptoms. He had to wait while the illegals also at the hospital were taken care of first. There have been at least 8 health clinics closed in the minority communities because of the illegals. But there was Gloria Romero marching with them demanding rights and free services.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Hey Pete Who?…if you think you can do a better job, then maybe you should become a California Senator, or better yet stop fortune telling and join the LAUSD teaching ranks. You’ll find a whole new perspective working in the trenches…

  18. Anonymous says:

    Judicial Watch lists are unbiased

  19. Anonymous says:

    Judicial Watch lists are unbiased

  20. Anonymous says:

    January 1, 2010 8:22 AM and 8:24 AM
    Why do you hate America?
    I think we could agree to disagree, but when one side disagrees with the other side, your side immediately reverts to a negative campaign stance like, “politicians whose views are different than mine are corrupt etc.” STOP.

  21. Anonymous says:

    A senior citizen who has health insurance went to the hospital with flu like symptoms. He had to wait while the illegals also at the hospital were taken care of first.
    Bullshit. This is absolute, positive bullshit.
    As one who has had health insurance my entire life until the past 9 months, I’ve never paid a lot of attention to the “illegal immigrant-taking-advantage-of-our-health-care-system by using hospitals”. However, now I am experienced and you are full of shit.
    I’ve used Tarzana Hospital my entire life. It was fine until the day I no longer had insurance. In August I went to the hospital when I became ill. They would NOT take me and they sent me to the County hospital. They didn’t care or ask if I were legal or illegal. As long as I wasn’t having a heart attack or bleeding profusely, they weren’t seeing me. So I went to County. There were plenty of whites, elderly people, kids in their early 20′s who obviously weren’t on their parents insurance anymore, Russians, Latinos, homeless men and women and people who looked very well-dressed, just like me.
    So your stupid “senior citizen” version of an emergency room is wrong unless the senior was at a County hospital and then they waited in line and of course, they don’t allow legals to get in line ahead of illegals and the waiting line to see a doctor was 12 hours.
    So can you prove where Gloria Romero was fighting for illegals to have health care instead of legal seniors? Where was that march and what was it really about?
    I hate your racism and I don’t care if you’re a Latino who hates illegals or not. Your attitude sucks and it’s anything but kind or generous or caring. What a way to start the New Year – filled with hatred toward someone who is trying to make a better life for their families.
    I double dog ALL illegals to try and get emergency room care just to prove the assholes of the city what sheep they are, falling into that stupid, untrue story about illegal immigrants getting treated and filling up our ER’s. Crap, crap, crap.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Of course I meant double dog DARE.
    I would love to take a group of fine upstanding white citizens and a group of illegal immigrants, make up various ailments and start checking in all over the city at various hospitals to prove you all who claim that illegals are crowding up our ER rooms are wrong.
    Go turn your AM radios on. It’s time for John and Ken.

  23. Anonymous says:

    It’s true – Romero isn’t as recklessly pro-illegal as Cedillo. Every now and then she shows some concern for other groups, even including non-Latinos on some occasions.

  24. Anonymous says:

    2:34: You are NOT helping Gloria Romero’s case at ALL. When we citizens are deprived of healthcare, of what used to be a decent backup system for those who fall on hard times and lose insurance, because this city has millions of illegals who don’t buy health insurrance, and who have significantly contributed to the collapse of almost all L A County health clinics, and County hospitals as well as MLK: How DARE you lecture us about being “kind and caring.”
    Because we don’t like this collapse of our social infrastructure, from hospitals to schools, that’s happened because “someone is trying to make a better life for their families,” so comes here ILLEGALLY.
    WHY should some Latino be allowed to sneak across the border ILLEGALLY just because they feel like it, because they haven’t worked to make their OWN countries, Mexican and Central and Latin America, better?
    WHY should they be allowed to self-designate that they’re going to be lawbreakers for purely economic reasons, when there are poorer people in countries like Cambodia, Laos, N. Korea, China, Nigeria and Rhodesia and all over Africa, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, Thailand or the Philippines, on and ON, even European countries like Romania and Bulgaria and Poland — who are FAR more educated in many cases, often already know or want to learn English, but CAN’T just sneak over?
    Your arrogance and self of “special entitlement” is what is disgusting and lacks “compassion” for fairness for the rest of the world.

  25. Anonymous says:

    January 2, 2010 10:33 AM
    “Why do you hate America?
    Again, you have confirmed the fact relative to the negative campaign stance by stating, “politicians whose views are different than mine are corrupt etc.”
    I posted the Judicial Watch as information only with no references one way or another. Please let the readers know where I made this reference “politicians whose views are different than mine are corrupt etc” or how you came up with your own conclusion.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, Ron, but I don’t really share your enthusiasm regarding Gloria Romero. She’s just another political hack and let’s call a spade a spade here — a *Latino* politician. Just like Villar, Nunez & similar ilk. All they care is about their own race. Please name just one latino pol who gives a damn about interests of non-latinos in this city and state.
    Ron, you mean well but you must open your eyes to what LA has become due to pols like this Gloria Romero.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Jan 2,2010, 6:28 PM,
    Judicial Watch is a partisan attack shop funded by Richard Mellon Scaife and dedicated to an America-hating campaign to defame and discredit politicians his right-wing ilk disagree with. In posting its information you reveal yourself as either a partisan hack or an ignorant dupe. I presumed you to be the former, but if you’re only the latter then I apologize.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Jan 2,2010, 6:28 PM,
    Judicial Watch is a partisan attack shop funded by Richard Mellon Scaife and dedicated to an America-hating campaign to defame and discredit politicians his right-wing ilk disagree with. In posting its information you reveal yourself as either a partisan hack or an ignorant dupe. I presumed you to be the former, but if you’re only the latter then I apologize.

  29. Anonymous says:

    I wasn’t trying to help Romero’s cause. I was expressing my disgust for racist idiots like yourself.
    You didn’t provide one good piece of feedback to my experience with the emergency room situation. Instead you are repeating your view that it’s all the fault of illegal immigrants crowding up our hospitals and schools? Seriously?
    Then you go off on a rant about Africa and 20 other poor or just plain European countries? Maybe their border countries don’t have problems with illegal immigration. Like in Florida, they hate on Cubans. Here, you hate all Mexicans (even though they aren’t even the number one source of illegal immigrants, shockingly enough) and it’s disgusting. Maybe those other countries have better federal laws. You are lucky to live in a country that allows you to even try and “make it better”. Other countries don’t. So why would you so loudly protest that they come here whether legally or not because they want to be here?
    The issues with our schools have nothing to do with illegal immigration. The problem is that LAUSD is too big. That’s it. It has nothing to do with illegals. I have kids in school currently. We don’t have those kinds of illegal issues in the valley schools. It also has to do with some of their stupid teaching strategies over the years, such as whole learning instead of phonics. Teaching to the test. Too strong of a teachers union where you can’t fire awful teachers. That’s what is wrong with LAUSD. They spend 90% of their days learning to take standard tests because of all of the competitive “white” men who have been in charge for too long. My children are doing very well in public schools. Maybe because I’m white and was born here.
    So go hide under your racist American flag. Grab a Confederate flag too while you’re at it. Wave it around while bashing illegal immigrants who sneak over. Feel good and compassionate for the whole world (except for those Latinos).
    But every time I and most people read a post like yours, it steels our hearts harder toward people like you as opposed to making us hate immigrants more, like you do.
    Armenians, Chinese and Russians have more illegal immigrants than Mexico does. Did you know that? You should fact check it. Maybe you’ll see when the Census 2010 comes out.
    I really like dealing with facts, not anonymous hyperbole from racist freaks.

  30. Anonymous says:

    10:45 a.m. is even more incoherent this time. That whole first paragraph attacking anyone who dares protest “that they come here whether legally or not because they want to be here” is a parody, but the person doesn’t know it. So because we created a country that people want to sneak into illegally, we’re supposed to turn a blind eye and be grateful they violate our laws because they feel like it to take advantage of what we have?
    Denying that LAUSD has a problem because of illegals because “we don’t have a problem with that in the valley” just means that apparently you go to a school in the suburbs without illegals. LAUSD is currently 3/4 Latino, and most schools ARE majority Latino even in “white” areas on the westside. 3/4 of the students are very low income, including most of the Latinos, many of whom are kids of illegals. Put your head back in the sand. Until this demographic shift the locals sent their kids to the public schools and they were excellent. Yes “I really like dealing with facts” unlike racists like you who call anyone who states the facts a racist.
    When you claim “Armenians, Chinese and Russians have more illegal immigrants than Mexico does,” you sound even stupider. Do you mean that WE have more illegal immigrants from those countries than we do from Mexico (not true, it’s VERY hard to get into those countries illegally, ask N. Koreans smuggled into China for example, and same with Russia although there aren’t a whole lot going in THAT direction) OR as you literally state, that those countries have more illegal immigrants than Mexico does? It’s true Mexico does not have many because they don’t tolerate them. When Guatemalans or others further south go to Mexico on their way el norte they are NOT welcomed and pushed out.
    Your rant is one big incoherent babble calling for open borders and the collapse of America.

  31. Anonymous says:

    You’re so right. I am simply a stupid, incoherent babbler. And did I say illiterate?
    I should have stated more clearly that when I said what I’ve quoted from your post:
    “When you claim “Armenians, Chinese and Russians have more illegal immigrants than Mexico does,” you sound even stupider. Do you mean that WE have more illegal immigrants from those countries than we do from Mexico (not true, it’s VERY hard to get into those countries illegally, ask N. Koreans smuggled into China for example, and same with Russia although there aren’t a whole lot going in THAT direction) OR as you literally state, that those countries have more illegal immigrants than Mexico does?”
    I meant that here in the United States, we have more illegal immigrants from China and Russia than we do from Mexico. You can fact-check that when the Census is finished.
    Yes, my school in the valley has Latinos. There are kids who are bused here from areas that have criminal element in their own neighborhoods and they’re parents are trying to get them to associate with kids who care more about education. I know one woman who lives near USC and buses her son here because she wants to keep him away from neighborhood gang bangers and she does it by keeping on a really long bus ride in the AM and then another one in the afternoon and by then, she is home to be with him. That’s pretty caring, don’t you think? I don’t know or care if our non-American kids have parents who are legal or illegal. I’m just glad that they all come for back-to-school night and Open House.
    So are you changing your mind now and saying that it’s not the KIDS you object to but the PARENTS who may not be legal? You just can’t admit that you’re a racist and it infuriates you when I say you are one. So go ahead and ignore the facts about why LAUSD is bad and keep blaming it on the fact that people are poor and may have illegal parents.
    And how about those Somalians who are sneaking in? You must be outraged in your land of the free…
    Were you of voting age in 1968 during Prop 14, or as we called it, the Segregation Act? I’m sure you were an avid supporter if you were.
    But I know… I know… you have a friend who is black/Latino. Right?
    By the way, I didn’t learn that stupider was a word. I was taught that more stupid was correct. Not you, huh?
    So here I am ranting in my incoherent babble about compassion. I’m really hoping for open borders and of course – the collapse of America. Ha Ha Because we were built on? Oh right, immigrants whether legal or not.
    Don’t fear the Mexicans. Transfer that hatred to someone else. Start with the federal government and push them to have the same border laws as other countries.
    Hey, it’s almost time for John and Ken you racist name caller. I bet you love them. Me? I’m plotting for the collapse of America and I’m going to start with the kindergartners in our elementary school.
    Whoo Hooo, you are a piece of work.

  32. Anonymous says:

    P.S. I forgot to mention that the downfall of the County hospitals was not the fault of illegal immigrants. It was the fault of YOUR County Supervisors elected by YOU CITIZENS who made terrible decisions for the hospital and don’t even pretend it wasn’t.
    Now go vote.

  33. Anonymous says:

    7:59 moron, not one thing did I say that’s racist or name-calling, except to call YOU a moron which is a statement of fact, just like that 3/4 of LAUSD students are Latino, many kids of illegals or illegal themselves; that the same percentage of kids and MOST of the Latinos qualify for free lunch and other benefits to the poor; and I didn’t add but it’s a published fact that a huge percentage if not the majority of them are NOT fluent in English and score very poorly, as most do in math. Overall test scores for Latinos are much lower than for whites and Asians — LAUSD DOES break those stats down by race.
    Blacks are only slightly higher than Latinos as a group, but many object that programs designed for blacks dating to the 60′s are now instead being steered toward the illegal immigrants’ kids, who are a majority in what used to be “black South L A.”
    Your further idiotic ramblings about your white suburban school where you went to avoid this reality, and some woman who buses her kids across town, are just that, more random, twisted anecdotes from an incoherent brain.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Wow, the dialog between a pro legalized immigration enthusiast and a Valley LAUSD parent really demonstrates the problems in communication and some interesting skewing of the facts.
    As a long-term teacher in the dysfunctional Los Angeles public school system, I can attest to the gent from the Valley that LAUSD’s top issues have nothing to do with immigration. Having stated that, it is true that there are many issues with immigrant children and the structure of our public schools and social promotion. Neither of the enthusiastic point of views on education brought up a much more relevant argument: the value of education as viewed by the parents and the child. While it is our duty as educators to promote and excite the children in learning, there are cultural boundaries which sometimes impede our efforts. Notice that I used the word “cultural” which is not limited to immigrants.
    Having also dealt with County politics, I have to say that the King-Drew MC and our health care problems have less to do with immigration than other factors.
    I am hoping that both responders are active in their communities and seeing how the “politics” really are not working for either of them.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Thank you. I believe you were agreeing with most of what I was saying.
    I believe I did bring up the cultural differences in parenting when I brought up the fact that our parents are busing their kids here and still attending Open Houses and Back-to-School nights. I’m semi-subtle. I just won’t give the racist an inch.
    Although immigration has its problems, the racists (name calling? sure but it’s not like what he calls me with the moron, incoherent, blah blah) who post here say very off-the-wall things that totally make them lose their credibility.
    I am active in my community and also very aware of which politics are working for me and which ones are not. I can’t speak for the other poster.

  36. Anonymous says:

    I forgot to say that your first sentence confused me. I am a pro-legalization of immigration who has kids in Valley schools.
    The other guy is a racist who blames everything on immigration.
    Typical conversation of two polar opposites, I think.

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