Once upon a time, Congressman Brad Sherman called on the telephone and screamed at me for editorially suggesting he was a labor union stooge for voting against free trade deals that benefited businesses in his community.
In most of the 30 years he represented the interests of the people of the San Fernando Valley, Howard Berman never even called.
That is the No. 1 reason I’m voting Tuesday for Sherman over Berman. The No. 2 reason is that I want to see them one and two in our first open primary, a result that would mean in a Berman-Sherman runoff in November that will waste umpteen millions of special interest money in a safe Democratic seat being sought by two long-time Congressman who vote 99 percent the same and no longer care about anything in the world as much as keeping their perks and positions.
Of course, the No. 1 reason I might change my mind and vote for Berman is that Sherman has so much money he outmailed Congressman Foghorn 19-6, not counting the two mailers Berman split with Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield.
For the record, Blumenfield is as shameless as they come. He sent one mailer at taxpayer expense during the campaign and a costly one from his campaign with a photo of the D-Day landing at Normandy 68 years ago come Wednesday promising that “when I vote next Tuesday June 5, I will dedicate my ballot to those, living and dead, who fought in that noble cause” as “five of my great uncles did.”
Blumenfield’s website biography makes no mention that he actually served in any of the nearly continuous wars since he turned 18 in 1986, only that he served as an aide to Howard Berman whose claim to fame include getting us in the Iraq war among others. Nor does Blumenfield – who is the committee chairman in charge of the budget fiascoes in the Assembly — mention that he has no intention of serving very long if re-elected since he fully intends to simultaneously run for the City Council in the March LA election.
Personally, I will vote against every single candidate who now holds public office because they have individually and collectively made a mess of things. It is called accountability, a concept alien to elected officials everywhere.
Not one in 1,000 elected officials can still remember after even two years in office that they were elected to serve the public — not their party and the special interests who keep them in office.
It’s what I call it the Nepenthe Effect. I assume they are given a drug upon taking the oath of office makes them quell all guilt and forget who they are — or maybe it’s simply the narcotic of power and money and sex that makes them sell their souls to the devil so quickly and cheaply.
I have saved every piece of campaign literature I’ve gotten in the last month — 30 pieces in all, not counting the hundreds of campaign emails filling my spam basket — and not a single one of the slate mailers or individual candidate mailings shows even the slightest indication that any of the candidates have any proposals to solve the enormity of local, state and federal problems we face.
It’s all about how their opponents are self-serving uncaring incompetent pigs who don’t do a damn thing for honest working people like you and me, rob us of our hard-earned money and kill our jobs and hopes and dreams while they boast about how they alone saved the planet, ended or started the unending war, looked after the elderly blah blah blah.
Nobody mentions how they contributed to the budget calamities in Washington and Sacramento or how they managed to create the housing and economic catastrophes or whether they have ever regretted anything they did in an officials capacity.
They brag about who endorsed them (Bill Clinton and Dennis Zine for Brad Sherman, while Howard Berman deserves to win because the governor, two California U.S. senators and Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky who somewhat ambiguously refers to him as being “in a league of his own … has few equals).
They talk in symbolic language that has no content or meaning beyond playing on our biases and in Berman’s case come in personal letters that begin “Dear Mr. Kaye” and end with a “P.S.” like it’s an afterthought that he is a “true champion for human rights, equal rights and a healthy environment … fights for the San Fernando Valley … will be effective for years to come.”
Frankly, I don’t have a single mailer from any of the non-incumbent local, legislative or congressional candidates who want to “serve” me because they don’t have the money from special interests to afford mail.
All they can afford is to buy a place one who are not already holding public office except for the small mentions they paid for to be on slate cards from phony groups.
The most audacious and lucrative of the slate mailers that cashes in on public fondness for the President who was assassinated 49 years ago and never knew a single one of the 25 candidates endorsed by the fictitious “John F. Kennedy Alliance” in a glossy four-color brochure which also seeks support for taxing smokers for knowingly killing themselves.
No less despicable are the phony slate mailers from other fictitious groups run by campaign specialists like “Valley Leaders for Israel,” “Coalition for Senior Citizen Security,” “Yes on 29,” “Democratic Voters Choice,” and “Your Ballot Guide.” All of them contain the standard disclaimer stating that these mailers are paid for by the candidates and the claimed endorsements are utterly meaningless.
Undoubtedly, the worst of these slate mailers are produced by the “Coalition for Literacy,” the creation of former Valley Assemblyman Lloyd Levine — a man who wanted to stop euthanizing unwanted dogs and cats but was totally in support of killing mom and dad because they were old and feeble, a position only Councilman Paul Koretz understands.
Levine’s dad (I assume he has not euthanized him as yet) is a low rent political and like father and son, Lloyd seems to have gotten into the family business.
The two slate mailers from Levine offer his words of wisdom about how important literacy is because “when you people learn to read and write early in life they have the tools to be productive members of society” and how that will keep them from a life of crime, prison and unemployment.
The mailers are almost identical except District Attorney candidate Danette Meyers paid for the pseudo endorsement on one while District Attorney candidate Jackie Lacey paid for the pseudo endorsement on the other.
Here’s my advice: Trash all the mailers and just say no to all incumbents. It won’t make a difference since they all will win but you’ll sleep better at night knowing it’s not your fault things are going to hell.