LA WATCHDOG-I am endorsing Gloria Molina for City Council because she has a demonstrated record of fiscal responsibility, promotes transparency and accountability, and is an independent person who is not obligated to the City Hall politicians and their cronies who get rich at our expense.
As a County Supervisor, Molina worked with both liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, to produce balanced budgets that did not result in lower service levels, layoffs, or furloughs during the Great Recession. This required Molina and the Supervisors to make tough political decisions that were unpopular with the unions and the County’s 100,000 employees.
The City, on the other hand, was unwilling to make the tough personnel decisions, resulting in furloughs, layoffs, and lower service levels that continue to this day. At the same time, City employees enjoyed handsome increases in their salaries.
Molina also supports transparency.
She believes that the City Council should review and analyze the ten recommendations made by the LA 2020 Commission, not just the six that Herb Wesson sent to the various City Council Committees based on his seventeen minute meeting with Tom LaBonge at the Rules Committee almost four months ago.
This would include the consideration of two budget related recommendations that Wesson dismissed without any discussion: the establishment of an “Office of Transparency and Accountability” to oversee the finances of our cash strapped City and the formation of the “Commission on Retirement Security” to make “recommendations on how to achieve equilibrium on retirement costs by 2020” for the City’s two pension plans that are underfunded by $12 billion.
Importantly, Molina has not endorsed any of the recommendations, only that that they receive proper consideration.
As a Supervisor, the well prepared Molina earned a reputation as being “feisty” for holding the County’s general managers accountable for their budgets and service levels.
She has also held real estate developers accountable, including Related Companies, the New York City developer of the Grand Avenue Project. While this ambitious project has been delayed, the $50 million in public benefits that Molina demanded upfront from Related financed the development of our highly acclaimed Grand Park that connects City Hall with the Music Center.
Molina has a reputation of being stubbornly independent of the special interests that dominate the halls of government.
On the other hand, her opponent, the two term incumbent Jose Huizar, appears to be owned by the special interests based on his $817,000 in campaign contributions.
Of his almost 1,450 donations, over 63% are from “investors” who gave the maximum of $700, representing almost 80% of the total pot. These contributors include downtown real estate developers and businesses who are in the gerrymandered Council District 14 as well as many out of district contributors (developers, construction and billboard executives, land use attorneys, and unions) who have big time projects which are looking for special treatment from the Planning and Land Use Management Committee chaired by Huizar.
Contributors also include some questionable characters, including Ernest Camacho whose company, Pacifica Services is up to its eyeballs in the corruption scandal involving the Central Basin Municipal Basin Water District.
Huizar is also benefitting from an Independent Expenditure committee that has raised almost $58,000 from Lamar Advertising, an out of state billboard company who wants to blanket LA with intrusive digital billboards, and the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor whose politically powerful leaders are still smarting from Molina’s budget balancing measures at County.
Huizar also has the support of three politically powerful and generous unions that are currently negotiating contracts with our cash strapped City: the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, and SEIU 721.
Huizar is also endorsed by IBEW Local 11, the kissing cousin of Union Bo$$ d’Arcy’s Local 18 and partner in d’Arcy’s Working Californians, the committee that spent millions supporting Wendy Greuel.
Jose Huizar is not a friend of the Ratepayers. He was a supporter of Measure B, Mayor Villaraigosa’s solar initiative that was a political payback to DWP Union Bo$$ d’Arcy’s generous campaign contributions, and several hefty rate increases. He also attempted to dilute the authority of the Ratepayers Advocate.
Huizar is also not a friend of the homeowners and taxpayers. He was a proponent of Proposition A, the proposed increase in our regressive sales tax to 9½%, which was rejected by the voters in 2013. He also supported the proposed Street and Sidewalk Tax that was yanked before it could be placed on the November 2014 ballot.
At the same time, Huizar has been an opponent of efforts to reform the City’s finances, including a Live Within Its Means ballot measure.
We need new blood on the City Council to help preserve and improve our City for the next generations of Angelenos.
That is why I endorse Gloria Molina for City Council. She is independent of the political establishment, she demands transparency and accountability, and she has a demonstrated record of fiscal responsibility.
(Jack Humphreville writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch. He is the President of the DWP Advocacy Committee, The Ratepayer Advocate for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, and a Neighborhood Council Budget Advocate. Humphreville is the publisher of the Recycler Classifieds -- www.recycler.com. He can be reached at: email@example.com.)
Vol 13 Issue 8
Pub: Jan 27, 2015