EDITOR’S NOTE: Shortly after I posted my views on Bob Blumenfield running for two offices simultaneously, challenger Steve Presberg issued a press release (PRESBERG) denouncing the Assemblyman’s “double-dipping” and in a letter to Blumenfield accusing him of a “cynical violation of the public trust.” Hopefully, the other candidates will join in this demand for Blumenfield to man up and decide which office he wants to serve the public in, rather than holding two offices in which he intends to continue doing what he has done in the past, to serve special interests.
What kind of arrogant jerk are you to dare to seek re-election to a third term in the state Assembly and at the same time to run for election to the Los Angeles City Council in CD 3 in the Southwest San Fernando Valley?
Of course, you can’t serve in both offices simultaneously so you are showing your utter contempt for voters and democracy by intending to resign from the Legislature in June, forcing a costly special election and leaving your constituents without representation for many months.
But what do you care?
You get paid twice as much, get 20 staffers to boss around, 12 more years toward a lucrative public employee pension and the chance to be one of 15 voting unanimously without even knowing what they’re doing instead of one of 80 gridlocked in the Assembly.
It’s not like you are just one of the 80. You are one of the most important Assembly members, the architect of the state’s enduring financial crisis as chairman of the Budget Committee where you have succeeded in putting together a spending plan based on phony revenue and phony cuts year after year.
You couldn’t even find the $52 million sitting in accounts for state parks, preferring instead just to shut them down and forcing the public to reach into their pockets to key vital open spaces and recreational areas in operation.
Have you ever gone back and looked at where the hundreds of thousands you raised for the Assembly race came from?
Indian casinos, labor unions, doctors and lawyers and numerous other special interests, all of them confident you will cater to their needs. Look a little deeper and you will see you raised barely one percent of your campaign war chest in your Assembly or Council districts.
Have you looked at how you spent $373.047.14 in the June primary when you faced no Democratic opposition and only a last-minute Republican entrant who reported he didn’t raise or spend a single cent.
It’s not like you spent the money campaigning for the hearts and minds of your constituents.
What the records show is that you spent nearly $100,000 in support of the Democratic Party and other party causes and candidates, including a Compton City Council candidate.
The rest of the money could easily be seen as pre-payment to various campaign consultants and operatives for the dual campaign you launched on Friday when you finally came clean and filed for the City Council, which was your intention all along.
What was left you used to buy friends with other people’s money by doling various community groups, many actually in the Southwest Valley, checks usually of $100.
You were far most generous with the Liberty Hill Foundation, which got $1,000 in your political money. But then more than friendship was involved, since your wife Kafi Blumenfield is the president and CEO of Liberty Hill, a non-profit that describes itself as “one of the nation’s most admired social change foundations.”
I guess that the nexus point at which we meet: Change. We need social, economic and political change and that can’t happen as long as people like you think they can fail in their responsibilities to the public and then run for two offices as if voters are too dumb to notice.
You are on notice, Mr. Blumenthal, drop out of one of the races by Labor Day or you will be the poster child for fighting the political corruption that you and all the other legislators will escalate at City Hall if you win the city elections next year as is likely.There already are eight citizen candidates in the CD 3 race and there likely will be more if you don’t back out. I support them all and will do whatever it takes to deny you success in this double play you are running, surely one of the most cynical political acts in recent memory.
There is nothing honorable, decent, moral, or virtuous in what you are doing. You are not the political progressive you like to think of yourself as. You are nothing but tool of failed politics of the past with a record of public service that is indefensible.
Have you no shame, Mr. Blumenfield?