“You have to
wonder how Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa can get away with some of his political
antics without anybody pointing out the contradictions.
the mayor boasted in a tweet that he was at a rally with LAUSD and labor
leaders among others to “oppose 7,000 layoff notices that were given to LA
be HIRING more teachers, not firing them!”
followed by a plea to support Gov. Jerry Brown’s “tax extension plan to keep
our current funding levels and support our schools.”
agree more but the governor’s plan to balance the budget and restore
stability so we can begin to deal with the long list of long-delayed problems
includes sharp cuts in many social welfare services and abolishing Community
Redevelopment Agencies throughout the state.
abolition would free up vast sums of money that would achieve exactly what the
mayor says he wants: More money for education, more money to avoid laying off
thousands of teachers.
But it was
our own mayor who led the statewide rebellion of redevelopment officials
against doing just that.
under his direction that CRA officials and the CRA Board he appoints dutifully
sought to undermine the governor’s plan by locking up $1 billion in local
property taxes for redevelopment projects that mainly benefit developers and
property owners in the downtown and
areas that get most of subsidies – not the vast poor blighted neighborhoods of
that $1 billion would go to schools and to the city’s general fund which would
go a long way toward reducing the massive budget deficit he has done so little
to fix, except to close libraries and slash other basic public services.
the mayor wants it all both ways. Words mean nothing. It’s all just political
slogans without content.
He did the
same thing with regards to Police Chief Charlie Beck carrying out his orders to
stop impounding cars of unlicensed drivers when officers stop them at sobriety
improved impound protocol will preserve the safety of the community while
also ensuring that the law is applied fairly to every Angeleno. Chief Beck is a
stalwart advocate for constitutional policing, who has tirelessly searched for
new methods to protect the welfare and the rights of every resident of our
great city. I am proud of his leadership on this issue as well as his
willingness to evaluate his own department’s ability to pursue the highest
degree of justice.”
what the city under the mayor’s leadership argued repeatedly and successfully
in lawsuits that challenged the 30-day impound law and how LA and other cities
applied it – lawsuits that were rejected in federal District Court and by the
liberal Ninth Circuit of Appeals.
In an Aug.
28, 2009 appellate court brief, Assistant LA City Attorney Tony Leung joined
with the state and other cities and counties in arguing the 30-day impoundment
for driving without a license and usually without insurance was an appropriate
punishment, the least severe one in fact for what is a crime, not just an
noted that every unlicensed driver is informed of their right to hearing where
they can present mitigating factors that can get their car released immediately
or the actual registered and insured owner of the car can retrieve it
of the argument the city made was public safety — the state’s one million unlicensed drivers and 720,000 with suspended or revoked licenses cause far more serious accidents than licensed drivers, usually don’t have insurance and should be taken off the road.
Here are some
percentage of automobile accidents in which both drivers are known involve
unlicensed drivers. It is likely that an even higher percentage of drivers in
accidents involving hit and run drivers are unlicensed.
require licenses, insurance, and other measures before allowing people to
drive precisely because of the need to reduce the chances of injury, and to require
drivers who do injure others to pay for the damage they cause. People who violate
those rules are properly denied permission to drive and are properly punished
for their violations.
drivers have 4.9 times as many fatal crashes apiece as licensed
given time, it is estimated by the Department of Motor
Vehicles that of some 20 million driver’s licenses issued to Californians,
720,000 are suspended or revoked. Furthermore,1,000,000
persons are estimated to be driving without ever having been
licensed at all.
who comply with the law are frequently victims of
traffic accidents caused by unlicensed drivers. These innocent
victims suffer considerable pain and property loss at the hands of
people who flaunt the law. The Department of Motor Vehicles
estimates that 75 percent of all drivers whose driving privilege
has been withdrawn continue to drive regardless of the law.
necessary and appropriate to take additional steps to prevent
unlicensed drivers from driving, including the civil forfeiture of vehicles
used by unlicensed drivers. The state has a critical interest in
enforcing its traffic laws and in keeping unlicensed drivers from illegally
driving. Seizing the vehicles used by unlicensed drivers serves a
significant governmental and public interest, namely the protection
of the health, safety, and welfare of Californians…
interests of the public at stake are significant. Again, unlicensed drivers
account for a high portion of accidents where the driver is known, and likely an
even higher percentage of accidents where the driver flees the scene.
drivers are almost never insured. Impounding vehicles and taking them off
the streets protects the public for the time the vehicles are impounded and makes it
more likely that, in the future, unlicensed drivers will not drive and the vehicle
owner will not allow unlicensed drivers to drive.”