As every child knows, it takes one to know one.
A case in point is John Perez, the first openly gay Speaker of the California, an ardent and righteous advocate for educational programs and laws to protect the rights of the lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender community, particularly LGBT students who might be the targets of bullying and harassment because they don’t always behave like the majority of kids around them.
Yet, Perez does not apply the same humanistic and decent standards to adults, especially those who dare to disagree or challenge him. He has earned a reputation as a bully, threatening and intimidating anyone who gets in his way politically, even members of his own party who from time to time to behave differently that he would like.
Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, the La Canada-Flintridge Democrat is a prime example. After Portantinto cast the lone Assembly vote against the Democrats phony budget — $400 million short on revenue in July alone and soon to hit trigger points that will punish the poor more than anyone — Perez falsely claimed his colleague Portantino overspent his staff budget. He gave him until November to kowtow and kiss his ring of power or furlough his entire staff for 40 days over the holidays.
Portantino immediately went public with his budget and demanded to see all records of legislative spending under the California Public Records Act — an action that quickly prompted the state’s two most prestigious papers, Sacramento Bee and LA Times, to file similar demands and follow up with lawsuits when the bully Speaker told them to shove it.
Like most bullies, Perez is a coward hiding his weakness with meanness. He conceded the principle and issued budget and financial documents for legislative spending that were soon exposed as phony as his claims to political correctness and a true liberal’s respect for the diversity of society.
Now Perez has answered the lawsuit in court with a document that is so fallacious it could easily be construed to be perjurious — except he didn’t sign it, and the head of the Assembly Rules Committee Nancy Skinner didn’t sign it. The lawyer representing them did so secure in the knowledge that even if threatened with disbarment for lying to the court, he can claim the people who write the laws and control the people who enforce the laws were the liars. He was merely the liars lawyer.
“This lawsuit is both unfounded and unnecessary,” says the Assembly’s bully Speaker’s introduction to the newspapers’ lawsuit filed last week (Assembly-CPRA-response.rtf).
unfounded because the documents petitioners seek – to the extent they exist -
are protected from disclosure as preliminary drafts and/or correspondence. It is unnecessary because the Legislature has
already supplied the information
that petitioners claim they need in order to report on the money allocated for
individual Assembly members.”
What utter contempt to the press and the public!
Not a word of truth in those word.
It took Stanford University students a matter of days to show that the “facts: Perez released about Assembly spending for staff and its self-indulgences were total lies not borne out by the “real facts.” (Stanford-Analysis-Summary.pdf)(Stanford-AssemblySalariesRprt_Aug29.pdf)
“The sum of all spending in the reported budgets is $16,882,750.96,
which breaks down into $10,240,466.25 reported for staffer’s salaries and
$6,642,284.71 reported for Members’ offices’ operating expenses. The sum of all Assembly Member Office
staffers’ salaries is $34,038,564,” wrote student researcher Evan Storms ”That
means there is a $17,155,813.04 difference between all spending reported in the budgets, and actual spending on
staffers’ salaries-and a $23,798,097.75 between the reported budgeted spending
on staffers’ salaries and actual spending on staffers’ salaries. ?
What the bully John Perez feels is unnecessary to report, to explain, to account for, is $17 million — twice what he public has claimed the Assembly spends.
That is $17 million that could be used to help local school district’s pay for the unfunded state mandate that approved in the recent session’s waning hours that “prohibit discrimination,
harassment, intimidation, and bullying
based on actual or perceived characteristics …The bill also would require the prrocess for receiving and
investigating complaints to include complaints of discrimination,
harassment, intimidation, and bullying based on actual or perceived
characteristics, as specified, and to include a requirement that
school personnel who witness such acts take immediate steps to
intervene when safe to do so, a timeline to investigate and resolve
complaints, and an appeal process … “
A year ago, Perez, cousin of the well-know heterosexual Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, participated in the “It Gets Better” initiative and made a video tjat gave a glimpse into his psyche when he described what was like to grow up gay.
“No,” Perez said,
when asked if he was bullied when he was younger. “I could always kick
anybody’s ass who tried to do that.”
“You hear some of
the most horrific stuff coming from people who don’t know you’re gay. Sometimes
it’s malicious, sometimes it’s naïve. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had
to come out. The
reality is, coming out is a never-ending process.”
The greater reality is we are all struggling to come out and become all that we are. It isn’t easy for anyone — yet “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” as we define is our unalienable right as Americans.
That applies to everyone as well as those in the LGBT community and others who have faced greater hardships than most in the past. The perpetuation of bullying by John Perez doesn’t move forward the struggle for true freedom for anyone.