Maybe, the one election reform we need is to make our officials run every year to remind them their jobs are public service, not self service or worse service to special interests.
Just look at what Meg Whitman has done for the economy with her $120 million personal stimulus package. It might even awaken Jerry Brown from sleepwalking all the way to election day.
And consider what running for state Attorney General has done for District Attorney Steve Cooley.
In short order, he’s indicted state Sen. Rod Wright and LA Councilman Richard Alarcon for voter fraud and brought the leadership of the City of Bell into court in handcuffs — charges that could have been brought long ago.
And Eastside Councilman Jose Huizar, not exactly the most energetic representative, is throwing around lots of money for community events in his district and working diligently with Common Cause, League of Women Voters and the Clean Money Campaign on well-intentioned proposals for city election reform.
Could Huizar facing a tough re-election campaign in March against labor mediator Tony Butka and businessman Rudy Martinez has something to do with that?
With nine out of 10 voters now saying
Why else would half the Council be jumping aboard the bandwagon for creation of an independent and fully-funded Rate Payer Advocate to protect the public from crimes of the DWP?
At every level of government, our officials are dancing like crazy to deflect responsibility for the messes they have created of our city, our state and our nation..
They blame everyone but themselves and do their best to foment conflict over peripheral issues among the citizenry to keep us divided and conquered.
It is the economy, stupid. We no longer manufacture enough to sustain the growth economy driven by hyper-consumerism since the end of
The good old boom days are never come back. What was normal is over and the new normal that is coming requires major structural changes in American society, politically and economically.
That’s what I believe and why piecemeal reform is just a Band-aid to cover up the failure of leadership and not a solution.
The Voters Bill of Rights.doc put forward Monday on the steps of City Hall by Huizar and the well-intentioned political groups seeks to increase turnout at the polls in city elections and to make it possible for grassroots candidates to stand a chance against fortune in dirty money poured into the machine candidates’ campaigns.
It takes a minimum of $100,000 for even the best known grassroots candidate with a large and well-organized base to be able to run a strong campaign and that’s what the Voters Bill of Rights proposes to provide in city funds if a candidate reaches modest goals in fund-raising.
Every voter would get a mail-in ballot, election day registration would be allowed and instant runoff would be introduced with voters listing their fist and second choices.
There’s something for a lot of different constituencies and the promise none of this will cost more tax dollars.
I’m leery of some of the proposals but believe they would work in a city where power is shared broadly, where every segments of the community has a seat at the table of power, where the public is fully engaged in the civic and political life.
Sadly, none of that is true in LA.
There must be comprehensive reform to devolve power to Neighborhood Council or better creating boroughs that would be the governing body on local issues with the city divided into five or seven largely self-governing regions and sending representatives to a Metro Council to decide citywide policies.
You wouldn’t need public financing at all to win a seat as a part-time member of the Borough Council and special interests would have a hard time prevailing over grassroots candidates deeply involved in making their communities better.
Nothing sparks civic engagement more than putting power and money on the table.
Charter Reform in 1990s started with those ideas in mind when Richard Riordan and David Fleming launched the movement but their effort was derailed by the same special interests that now have the run of City Hall.
The new Charter, now 10 years old, is a disaster.
That will certainly be my position at the forum on the Charter on Thursday Oct. 7, 8 to 10 a.m. in Council Chambers. Huizar is the moderator and other panelists are Julie Butcher, Jackie Dupont-Walker, Fernando Guerra, Xandra Kayden, Greg Nelson and Raphael Sonenshein — all people I respect even when I disagree with them.