LA WATCHDOG-Councilman Jose Huizar stated in his answers to the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles: “After helping to establish the independent office of the Ratepayers Advocate, I have consistently fought for his recommendations to make DWP budgets more transparent and efficient.”
While it is true that Huizar and his cohort, Richard Alarcon, were early proponents of an independent Ombudsman to oversee our water and power rates, they were more interested in using the threat of increased oversight to have the Department fund their pet projects and extract increased discounts for low income customers.
Yet when it came time to place the Ratepayers Advocate on the ballot, Huizar was one of the leaders of the attempt to emasculate the measure, following the orders of DWP Union Bo$$ Brian d’Arcy who was adamantly opposed to greater transparency into the operations and finances of the Department.
In March of 2011, 78% of the voters approved the Ratepayers Advocate.
Huizar was also a strong proponent of Measure B, Mayor Villaraigosa’s solar plan that would have given the IBEW, DWP’s domineering union, a monopoly on the installation of 400 megawatts of solar power in the City. This proposal was a payback for Union Bo$$ d’Arcy’s generous campaign contributions to Villaraigosa’s successful mayoral campaign.
This measure would have slammed Ratepayers for an estimated $4 billion more than today’s cost.
Fortunately for Ratepayers, Measure B was rejected by the 50.5% voters in March of 2009 despite a multimillion advertising campaign supporting this boondoggle.
Huizar has consistently supported higher rates, claiming that Ratepayers could afford these “modest” increases since our rates were 30% below those of Southern California Edison, a claim that has yet to be substantiated.
Huizar pays lip service to fiscal sustainability and a balanced budget. But as long serving member of the Council, he has failed to address the City’s Structural Deficit, its $25 billion of long term liabilities that will devour our City’s future, and its inefficient operations such as Street Services that are burdened with excessive overhead, a cumbersome bureaucracy, and meddling Councilmembers.
Huizar has consistently supported the demands of the leadership of the City’s unions. This includes an unaffordable 25% raise for civilian employees that almost broke the City. This explains why the Police Protective League, the United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, the SEIU, AFSCME, the County Federation of Labor, and the IBEW all have endorsed his reelection campaign.
Huizar’s idea of budget reform is to increase our taxes.
He was a proponent of Proposition A, the March 2013 ballot measure to increase our regressive sales tax to 9½%, one of the highest rates in the country. However, this measure was rejected by 55% of the voters, including almost half of the voters in Huizar’s Council District, despite $2 million spent by the Herb Wesson sponsored slush fund.
Huizar was also an advocate for the proposed $4.5 billion Street Tax that was scheduled for the November 2014 election. But this measure was yanked because City Hall realized that without real budget reform, it was unlikely that two-thirds of the voters would approve this massive hit to their wallets.
In contrast to Huizar, Gloria Molina, his major opponent, demonstrated her willingness to make tough, politically unpopular decisions that were necessary to balance the County’s $26 billion budget without layoffs, furloughs, a lessening of services, or tax increases. This earned her the animosity of the public unions who are now supporting Huizar.
Huizar is looking to buy the election. To date, he has raised over $1.1 million, including over $160,000 from an Independent Expenditure Committee. He will use these funds to bombard voters with massive mailings containing the half-truths about DWP and the City’s budget.
Molina has a record of fiscal discipline and directness as she used less than 300 words to answer the three questions prepared by the League of Women Voters. Huizar, on the other hand, used over 1,300 words to toot his own horn, but failed to offer real solutions to the City’s precarious finances.
After ten years, the Ratepayers, the taxpayers, and the voters can no longer afford Jose Huizar, his unwillingness to endorse real budget reform, and his half-truths. It is time to send a message to our Elected Elite that we demand reform of the City’s finances and DWP by sending the incumbent Huizar packing.
Vol 13 Issue 12
Pub: Feb 10, 2015