In retrospect, I’m sorry I mocked Eric Garcetti for his pious “Temple of Democracy…stay as long as you need to” phony crap and crucified Dennis Zine – his top fill-in running Council meetings — for being a two-faced, duplicitous, deceitful liar and dissed Jan Perry – his No. 2 fill-in - for selling out the interests of blacks, Asians, whites and Latinos (in ascending order of their population size) to billionaires for hideous downtown developments.
OK, I’m not really sorry.
But the way Herb Wesson is using or rather abusing his
new-found powers makes the Garcetti-Zine-Perry team seem like the noble public servants they pretend to be.
Wesson – put into the Council presidency without opposition
by union uber-boss Maria Elena Durazo who threatened to destroy anyone who got in his way – has taken revenge on everyone who might get in the way of the business-labor-developer feeding frenzy in this morally, politically and financially bankrupt city.
The funny thing about Herb is he’s at his best when he’s
playing it for laughs but nobody’s laughing these days, especially not him as he tries to imitate a real leader.
Wesson opens Council meetings with all the seriousness of a priest presiding over a funeral, then turns over the reins to run them to bumblers, Ed Reyes and Tom LaBonge – a team that makes those despicably ambitious pols who previously ran the made for TV (Channel 35) show look like elder statesman with high-minded commitment to the common good.
It’s a case of dumb and dumber and dumbest, no doubt about
Wesson is playing hard ball these days.
He stripped Bernard Parks, the only Council member who actually ever read the city budget, of his Budget Committee chairmanship and Perry, the only Council member tough enough to tackle the crooks at the DWP, of her chair of the Environment Committee.
And with his clout augmented by the mayor’s, he robbed them of the heart of their districts – Baldwin Hills and downtown – in the draft maps
released last week by the puppet Redistricting Commission.
Under Herb, the rules, even the Brown Open Meeting Law, mean
At the 11th hour before the midnight Tuesday execution of the reviled Community Redevelopment Agency, he pushed through a deal to keep
the Broadway trolley car plan going forward even though proper notice and information about it were not made public and the Council’s attorney Dion Connell refused twice to answer the question about whether the action was legal, double-talking around the question.
Where there are losers, there are also winners — count Jose
Huizar and Paul Krekorian among them.
Huizar’s reward was Perry’s Energy and Environment Committee
plus a redistricting map that gives him the most lucrative parts of downtown when it comes to raising campaign funds and giving away taxpayer money.
Krekorian, who owes his election to community activists, got Parks’ Budget Committee and a newly redesigned South Valley district shorn of
Sunland-Tujunga where residents feel betrayed by his broken promises. It’s a handy district for him since he has bought a home in Studio City but can’t move in until the maps are final and he knows for sure he will be living in CD2.
In both cases, these are men who have proven their obedience to those in power is greater than their loyalty to their constituents.
It is going to be interesting to see whether Wesson’s whip and back room horse trading produces the 99.3 percent unanimity that Garcetti achieved – or whether in an election year with citywide offices and a majority of the Council seats up for grabs, it all becomes unstuck.