Los Angeles City Council members Nury Martinez, Gil Cedillo, and Kevin de(ish) Leon should follow the lead of Ron Herrera – erstwhile head of the LA Federation of Labor – and resign immediately.
Obviously, if the trio ever want to apply for re-admission to the human race they really have no choice and, unlike other sleazy ex-pols, they should not count on a soft landing at a think tank or a PR firm or a non-profit – one would assume that even Sheila Kuehl’s “bestie” – thinks they are and will always be radioactive.
At least that’s what the machine is hoping for, because if they do not grovel and whinge and cry and take abject and personal “responsibility” for the episode, maybe, just maybe, someone will notice that they are all products of the same corrupt destructive system that has ground the City of Angels into fentanyl dust.
If they are gone, that system – if they can pin everything on tri-partite axis of evil – can stay in place and keep exsanguinating Los Angeles to its black heart’s content.
The concerted effort by the powers that be to get the Three Amigos to slink quietly away is not driven by a feeling of “wow, they are awful people who cannot lead the city” but by an abject fear that they are staring into the abyss of powerless and that outcome must be avoided at all costs.
Look at the interconnectedness of those frantically calling for their resignations – unions, churches, non-profits, other machine politicians, developers, business groups, movers and shakers and donors and the connected nabobs and solons – and even President Joe Biden – have joined in the chorus of shame. Some may actually care about what they did – most only care that what they said not upset the power and perks and power and public purchase and power they currently enjoy.
Because the three – besides being awful – are merely the tip of the iceberg of grift that is Los Angeles’ political culture and that’s why they must disappear – and take the story with them – now.
The current visible apex of the greasy system is mayoral candidate and Congresswoman Karen Bass. A long-time sewer creature – to the point that she was gifted a fancy freebie degree from USC – Bass is/was endorsed by Council President Martinez and Herrera’s labor federation, Kuehl and the Attorney General now “investigating” her, and a laundry list of municipal morass denizens.
And she could not – for her – be facing a worse competitor for the gig: Rick Caruso. While he almost assuredly has friends in the swamp (he was a USC trustee, after all), he is not part of it and – with his vast resources – utterly unbeholden to the caustic cabal.
The difference between the two was rather significant before the release of the audio recording; it is now a chasm, with voters being given as clear a choice as possible – machine or no.
And, unlike President Trump’s (so far) unkept pledge to “drain the swamp” that is DC, Caruso CAN immediately make vast changes to the way the city operates. Interestingly, the president has far less direct power over the inner workings of the federal government than the mayor has over the day-to-day operations and the civic culture of the city.
In other words, Caruso can drain the “tar pit” with relative ease, a fact the “deep city” is extremely aware of and terrified of.
If Bass wanted to guarantee immediate resignations, she could offer to eventually resurrect(ish) them if they act now, for if she is elected mayor the deep city viper’s nest will remain in charge and they could theoretically slink back (of course, their return would not be announced, except maybe on a Friday before a holiday weekend, and they would be given jobs that involve no contact with the public or other workers or city vendors or anyone.)
But short of that scenario, Nury, Kevin, and Gil – if they didn’t manage their money right – will soon be borrowing cash from their nephews, all the while (privately) complaining about whomever leaked the tape and claiming – accurately – that what they did was perfectly normal for City Hall.
What was said was horrible. The context – a private plotting session involving council re-districting – was horrible. The machine that bore them is horrible.
But what would be truly horrible would be letting the curtain close and letting the people that are running and ruining Los Angeles crawl back into the shadows.
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