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My Sunday Column: The Gadfly’s Choioce: Throwing rocks at the windows of power — or trying to make things better on the inside:

What would your town be like if its harshest critic had a seat at the table of power?

The question is a natural one for me to ask, as I am one of the harshest critics of what passes for a government in the city of Los Angeles. I have envisioned from time to time what impact I could have as a councilman ranting about backroom deals and policies that pandered to special interests at the public’s expense.

Not much, I concluded, unless the public was aroused and wanted real change. But Glendale clearly is not L.A. I’ve come to know and respect top city officials in Glendale, elected and appointed, for being forthright and for doing a pretty good job.

It was with that in mind that I sat down last week at Billy’s Deli on Orange Street, where one of the city’s harshest critics, City Council candidate Herbert Molano, was pecking at a bowl of oatmeal.

Call him a gadfly, call him a nuisance who jumbles the facts to suit his purposes, as many inside City Hall see him, or call him a visionary fighting for justice, as he sees himself; whatever label you apply, there’s no doubt Molano stands out from the field for his intelligence and perseverance in a decade-long campaign of challenging City Hall week after week with statistics and percentages and his own brand of insights.

How, I asked, can he look through a glass so darkly at Glendale when it seems like such a well-run city to me, a paradise when compared with L.A.?

“You’re basically talking about a totally corrupt system in L.A. and saying we’re not as corrupt,” he said. “But we have officials who lie, who hide the truth from the public and waste taxpayer money. The only reason we are living better than L.A. is because so many things were done right many years ago.”

Molano tells a remarkable story about his “Horatio Alger” life, how his mother fled hardships and turmoil in her homeland in Colombia and brought her children to L.A., where they faced more hardships balanced only by hope for a better life.


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35 Responses to My Sunday Column: The Gadfly’s Choioce: Throwing rocks at the windows of power — or trying to make things better on the inside:

  1. teddy says:

    Ron, I tried just sending the first part of this excellent article which could teach
    so many what a city government is about but decided to send only the first part and to let folks go to the News-Press page you indicated on their own. After reading the whole article, I copied and sent this version and am glad. The items mentioned
    are what should be discussed in the Neighborhood Council meetings. Then the latter
    would be of value. Now those neighborhood meetings cover what the LA government wants us to know and do not havc time for our real neighborhood problems. Thank
    you once again for the excellent job you do. If I can help, please let me know what
    I need to do to help turn 4,000,000 people into citizens instead of keeping them
    ignorant as to what their government is doing to them.

  2. anonymous says:

    Janelle Erickson the new campaign mgr for clueless Wendy!! Wow!! I don`t think Erickson can count to three. How lucky can Eric get. Notice Shallman, the tax dodger, has been shoved to the side?
    They are preparing for Garcetti`s attack that her chief advisor is a tax dodger. Cuz, how would she answer such a charge , considering she is rooting out ” waste , fraud and abuse”. Ooooh, this is going to be fun!

  3. Wayne from Encino PREDICTS A 10% GARCETTI WIN says:

    Yes, the Wendy Camp (the lowest slime collected in one place since the sewer on Ventura Blvd. was steam cleaned) is starting to show it’s true colors! I don’t know who this Janelle-Jackass Erickson is, but it sounds like Cruela-Gruela is handing out pink slips to the hired campaign-donor hands.
    Elect for Controller Mr. Galperin and then you can FLUSH 2PensionZine out of City Hall.
    Imagine a City Hall in July 2013 WITHOUT THAT EVIL ROTGUT ZINE AND THAT CRUEL WICKED WITCH GRUEL-A? It could be a moral victory for the Human Race.

  4. ex valley says:

    Yeah it sucks to be in your situation–gruel or garcetti. What a choice. Well this is what happens when you don’t want to be bothered to vote or vote against your own interests.
    You created the Borg. The dem machine rules both the city and you are nothing in the eyes of your ruling elite. Welcome to your new reality–you pay up and get nothing.
    But I have no sympathy for you. After you (or your neighbors/friends/family) voted for villar, blumenfield, gruel, berman/sherman, etc, you deserve your government.

    • MissAnthrope says:

      Just a darn minute, Ex. You keep riding this same tired old you-voted-for-’em horse into Blogsville.

      What about the 47-PERCENT of us who never voted for any of them?

      We’re not guilty of voting in this corrupt government and we’re not getting the government we deserve; we’re getting the government we don’t deserve!

      • ex valley says:

        Ok. Give us just one or two names you voted for the last 20 years who did not have a D after their names. Surely there were some people out there worth your support ??

        • anonymous says:

          Mr. Ex.
          We voted for Walter Moore. Both times.
          Some viewed Moore as “a one issue candidate”.
          True: corruption was and still is the prime issue.
          To overcome LA’s all-encompassing corruption
          intelligence and courage are necessary. Unfortunately,
          majority of LA voters are submissive simpletons.

          • scott zwartz says:

            Voting for Walter Moore was worse than not voting at all.

            Angelenos have a rotten government because they support crooks, thieves, incompetents and their one decent thing is that they seldom vote for bigots. Walter Moore sounds good on so many issues until he goes off the deep end and starts to his anti-Mexican rants. If one questions him on his anti-Mexican attitudes, he can become extremely nasty and personally hostile.

  5. anonymous says:

    Mark Ridley Thomas endorses corrupt Greuel . F…, what a surprise. Maria Elena Durazo would had made chorizo his balls, if he dared not to. Creepy pontificator. Read in LAT his reasoning for endorsing slimy Greuel.

  6. ex valley says:

    Just amused myself by scanning the daily news site. So blumenfield and Fuentes won their races outright and don’t need to be bothered with runoffs. Bow to your new rulers!!
    Your march 5th election is reason#163 why I am not in LA anymore.

    • anonymous says:

      Mr. Ex,
      Miss A is correct:”we’re getting the government we don’t deserve”…
      Now if, rather than fleeing then mocking, you had stayed…
      you could have voted for someone, as you say, “worth your support”
      and your vote could have counted toward a better government…
      you could have exercised your superior intelligence…but didn’t…

      • ex valley says:

        I have voted plenty but my single vote kept being buried in the sea of voters that prefer the likes of villar, blumenfield, gruel etc.
        I was not going to stay in a place that was looking more and more like a 3rd world toilet and pay property taxes, sales taxes, parcel taxes, garbage taxes, etc just so the takers will have more free stuff.

        Intelligence wise, I seriously doubt la voters have any.

        • LA Moderator says:

          Sadly, mostly focused on USC football (and the Bachelor) a once-local blogger types Lost Angeles…which describes the hope forlorn for those wise enough, but wearied.

          I’m unduly optimistic, but not just forging ahead into the Arena (ala Teddy Rooselvelt) to be slaughtered….I think long term, ala economic or Hegelian dialectics. Like boom times and bust, truth will transplant sophistry, and while these poligators will have pillaged the swamp, eventually they’ll crawl off…and we can start anew with fresh water.

          Viva la Aufhebung!

          • LA Moderator says:


            CW…makes me think of Ted Olsen’s arguments yesterday of the national evolution of thought as to nature vs. nurture.

            Unfortunately, the rest of this echoes the insetting discourse I also stumbled upon while double-checking my obtuse Hegel reference. In a nutshell, the equilibrium reached from the seemingly random extremes…is being planned all along. Trilateral ‘managed conflict’ process all creates profit…whither left/right, statist/republic. First-movers end up the last-movers.

            But lest we get esoteric, and at the risk of pulling too far off topic, I’ll flip the switch back to a topic of my NC’s Public Works & Transportation committee the other night: DWP’s Smart Meters pilot project being rolled out in Chatsworth & Winnetka any day now. I kept under my hat any jokes during discussion about how aluminum foil could shield those sensitive to the house to house grid being rolled out. Staff typically dismisses medicaly, privacy, and security concerns.

            But when reading just now elsewhere, I shuddered when I read this: “Like rays from a hidden sun these groups are apparently divergent and detached, but in reality all issue from the same central body. The system is seen to be an insidious and secret dissemination of ideas, orienting and breaking down all barriers of family, religion, morality, nationality, and all self-initiative thought, always under the cloak of a new and more modern religion, new thought, new morality, a new heaven and a new earth; until it evolves a gigantic robot merely answering to the will and commands of a secret Master Mind. They dream they are free, original, self-determining individuals; they are but the negative moon reflecting and reproducing the light from the same hidden and cabalistic Sun. It is called regeneration by the Illuminati; it is in truth individual death and disintegration, followed by a resurrection as negative “light-bearers” of this cabalistic dark Sun whose Luciferian “Grand Plan” is world domination.”

          • LA Moderator says:

            Oh, right…so the remedy is in minimizing the disparagement of our unintended advisories…civility!

            That’s why I remain, as truly as I can, yours…

            LA Moderator

    • LA Moderator says:

      I was watching twitter all day…and all night, for the final results…while their pdf said the live canvass was 8-5 at Piper, turns out they were going to milk it until midnight if needed…one KPCC wag said they wouldn’t mind some OT herself!

      Yes, the jump from 16% to 20% final turnout didn’t change those races…so now, I’m hoping someone steps up to counter 2BobJob’s designated heir, so I don’t have to….

  7. Wayne from the Communist run Colony of Nuevo Detriot says:

    I went to a bank branch in a predominatly brown-skinned area of town, and the manager would not take my check because my name was not spelled out on the check with my middle initial! (I had a similar problem last month at this place.) ENOUGH! I asked for the manager since I told them they don’t like to cater to Jews, Russians, and other white-looking people. They accepted the check! Then I told the ass’t manager WHY he doesn’t like white people and why he’s been taught to be a COMMUNIST. I asked “Did you go to school in LAUSD schools?” He wouldn’t say a word. Next, I asked if he listens to non-Engish media for his news that tell the stories of “Aztlan” and the “Evil, Rich Jews.” He didn’t answer. I concluded:
    “SILENCE IS A TACIT ADMISSION OF YES TO MY QUESTIONS.” I left with a completely silent room.
    The LAUSD, along with not teaching the 3 R’s also teaches SOCIALISM and CLASS WARFARE and RACIAL HATE against non-hispanics. I’ve sat in on some of these meetings IN COLLEGES as well. The Senators McCain, Rubio, and Flake, the 3 big sellout-liar Republicrats should visit this L.A. Bank Branch instead of the Border. They’re going to allow 33 million MORE of these haters into the U.S IN ONE SINGLE DAY? What a bunch of human-garbage we have for a Senate! First, we need to EDUCATE the fools like the ass’t branch manager FIRST before we open up a 2nd wave of mass migration. When we get GRADUATION LEVELS UP to 90% of High School seniors WHO PASS LITERACY, MATH, AND SCIENCE TESTS, then we’ll next check border security, THEN maybe issue some extra visas for SKILLED WORKERS.
    Yes, white People in L.A. 2013—the NEW NIGGERS! (And future absentee-landlords.) I’m sure McCain, Flake, and Rubio have already got their SWISS CITIZENSHIP PAPERS in order (so when America has a Cypress Bank Run of its own, they’ll be safe, happy, and rich far away from the troubles.) Google “Michele Bachman Swiss Citizenship” to see how these elected officials are planning to flee the scene. I hope the good people of Arizona know they put 2 of the biggest RATS in the U.S. Senate (I don’t think they do.)

  8. anonymous says:

    Guys, do you think D`Arcy can save his puppy? He has spend already over $3mm and she is behind in two independent polls by 6 points!! If he also looses this one, then his $$$ is the kiss of death.

  9. Wayne from Encino CALLS THE ELECTION FOR GARCETTI says:

    Yes, according to my internal data, Eric Garcetti is the projected winner of the Mayoral Run-off! Congratulations to the new mayor.
    The Controller’s race is also over: GALPERIN will win. The other candidate, a 2 pension/bald/skirtchasing/DWP rate hike SCUMBAG is projected to RETIRE on July 1, 2013.
    The City Attorney race is a closer call. Communist Feuer vs. Liar/Dummy Dumbtanich.
    The 8% who will bother to vote must decide this race. I’ll take a Dummy/Liar over a Soviet-Revivalist anytime. I saw the Berlin Wall—once is enough of that!
    Vote Dumbtanich for 2nd and LAST term…
    As for Cruela-Gruela—the MELTDOWN of this evil WITCH will be nice to watch. (If someone pours Dom Perignon on her head (1973 vintage, of course) I hear she’ll melt.

  10. anonymous says:

    The Mayoral race will be decided by the second debate. On April 11 Garcetti will cut up the bromide spewing Liar Greuel, and in the second debate he will finish her. Can`t wait. No more 1min b s

  11. Wayne from Encino awaits the debates says:

    Great point….The Rhodes Scholar/political operative Garsetti vs. the Sleazy/Liar/Cheat/Rotgut/False Profit/Zine-Like Valley FAILURE Evil Witch/whore Wendy “Cruela Gruela” Gruel! At long last, we the People of L.A. will see what the TRUE SLIME of L.A.’s failures is made up of! The real Wendy WON’T SHOW UP since she’s so busy reconfiguring her lies, no one knows her “anymore” because she has no soul or no brain, like the Chicken-Headed Hahn. Go riddens to CD2′s and CD3′s chief operators of economic destruction. (Unfortunately, CD12 is stuck with that evil Wizzard of Oz midget for another 9 years.)

  12. anonymous says:

    Hearing that Liar Fraud Greuel is trying to avoid debates or limit them to two, but the press is on her ass. I guess the lazy reporters figured it out as well, that she is a clueless phony.

  13. anonymous says:

    D. Fleming appointed by Kantor to the 20/20 Committee….The usual suspects. Another opportunity for rain making for their law firms. What a travesty! The press should be looking into Fleming`s dealings. Everybody is talking about it, but nobody is doing anything about it!

  14. Wayne from the Communist run Colony of Nuevo Detriot says:

    Garcetti MUST get Cruela-Gruela to ADMIT she’s a CITY HALL FAILURE!

  15. teddy says:

    Please join us all in prayer – God bless America. Amen.

    • Scott Zwartz says:

      G-d helps those who help themselves, and as far as I see, Angelenos have voted themselves into functional bankruptcy. Let’s face it, we’ve had Garcetti since 2001.

      Let’s remember what G-d did when Adam and Eve screwed up the Garden of Eden. Electing the snake as mayor is unlikely to secure G-d blessings.

      • El Quixotian says:

        OG: If Los Angeles had 7 rightious men…they’d still be the minority on the Council.

        NT: After as much community couseling of those civil sinners, there’s not much more to do than what Saul/Paul told the folks in Corinth who thought they could keep on forgiving…deliver their souls!

  16. Wayne from the Communist run Colony of Nuevo Detriot says watch STOCKTON DEFAULT! says:

    Garcetti is NOT a SNAKE! Cruela-Gruela is definitely A REPTILE/PARROT Hybrid.
    Garcetti is from the Weasel/Human Genome! We’re all MAMMALS! Vote for your fellow MAMMAL! Ha Ha Ha!!!
    The City of Stockton got the okay today to SCREW MUNI BOND HOLDERS!! Yes, the LARGEST MUNICIPAL B.K. IS NOW OFFICIALLY APPROVED! Now all the crustly old FARTS with their precious “Tax Free Muni-Bonds” are about to learn what the term “fucked” is all about!
    Garcetti can start drawing up the Bankruptcy paperwork so he can file on July 1rst when this farce of a run off is over vs. Sleazy-Weazy Wendy. Let’s tell all these pension holders who bought all these municipal elections in the first place with our local tax dollars no less to TAKE A BIG FAT WALK! A fitting ending to all these sleazy gold plated retirement packages that are bleeding every City, County, State, and Ratepayer TO DEATH. LET THEM EAT CAKE! FREE THE PEOPLE! FREE THEM!

    • LA Moderator says:

      Ahhh, scenic Stockton! I was just up there the weekend before Easter…and we didn’t get mugged once!

      Staying downtown near the beautifully adorned waterfront, (reminds me of the plans for LA River Masterplan) with all it’s walkways and street furniture. Just a big empty lot between the water and us and the adjoining minor-league hockey arena…and the minorer league baseball stadium (newish structure on an historic ballpark site).

      A neat downtown with an interesting mix of modernized redevelopment, and depressing squalor. No Walgreens nearby, so we Yelped our way to a ‘quaint’ pharmacy on the other (wrong?) side of the river to pick up some OTC…earnest staff serving the nice folks in a dingy little shop…then back to the beautifully restored Fox (aka Bob Hope) Theater to see the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra perform.

      Up the Miracle Mile, near (CA’s oldest) University Of the Pacific, we happened into a coffee shop and heard their persepective on the city budget woes. Maybe it’s something in the Chai tea, but they said the problem was that people weren’t paying their property tax.

      Go figure…Bond failures based on unrealistic revenue projections or unfunded pension liabilities? Nah…not enough Property Tax Revenues…darned Prop 13!

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