This unedited video speaks for itself.
The participants are me, Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield, and Elizabeth Badger and Steve Presberg – two of the citizen candidates challenging 2JobBob for City Council District 3 in the Valley. Behind the Flip camera is retired NBC4 reporter Doug Kriegel, who is considering joining the race to succeed Dennis Zine.
All you need to know to make up your own minds about whether this video means anything or not is the where and the when of it.
It took place in an alley behind Romantix Adult Boutique on Sherman Way just east of Owensmouth in Canoga Park, a location several hundred yards south of where the Assembly Budget Chairman had announced in emails and in a taxpayer-paid snail-mailing that he would conduct “sidewalk office hours.”
He says these are quarterly one-on-ones with constituents, in this case occurring six weeks before he will win re-election to a third and final term in the Legislature — a 100 percent certainty even in the very unlikely case that he were to be exposed as the culprit in a despicable scandal and decide to flee to Brazil to avoid extradition.
Bob and his staff chose this location because it was the biggest night of the year in terms of what City Hall does for Canoga Park to enrich its cultural, artistic and communal life – Canoga Park ArtRageous Art Walk, 6-10 p.m., no street closures.
We waited in line for half an hour as about a dozen people held private meetings with Bob, people like an elderly immigrant from England, a US citizen, who wanted affordable housing for people like her so she wouldn’t be so dependent on her daughter.
Only one person was waiting behind us when Elizabeth Badger, a founder of a non-profit service organization, greeted Blumenfield as a friend from their previous contacts.
Like Badger, Steve Presberg – a labor relations expert in the city’s Personnel Department – was reluctant to confront Bob with the question that was on our minds.
That was my job. I’m retired. I don’t want even one job.
FOOTNOTE: I was amazed to see two CHP officers hanging around and arranging a parking place in a no-parking area for the Assemblyman. Even more incredibly, as far as I was concerned, I learned that it is standard operating procedure for California Highway Patrol officers to act as bodyguards whenever the 120 state legislators are in public, even for all I know when they are in private. At a time when teachers are being fired, the neediest denied basic care, the middle class squeezed from every direction, and the richest facing massive tax increases, the State of California and local police agencies instituted massive security protections for public officials at every level in the wake of the shooting of Gabby Giffords, the Arizona Congresswoman.