We just wrapped up a local Los Angeles City Council election where it was 3 "professional" BIG (or BIGGER) money canidates versus 7 small money/no money candidates.
Two of them (Tamar Galatzan and Paul Krekorian) are early into the terms they were recently elected to. Zuma Dogg feels Tamar NEVER wanted to be school board member and ONLY ran for LAUSD school board (and the measly $25,000 LAUSD boardmember salary) to generate community support and raise money to eventually be used to run for council. Paul Krekorian knocked door to door under the guise of "community helper" and used his Assembly position to meet people and get his database together for when he runs for Council. And ZD basically feels he, too, used his ASSembly position to run for this Council seat. And Paul is GREAT at knowing how gather absentee ballots and organize and take measures to win an election. DOESN'T MEAN YOU ARE A COMMUNITY SPIRIT GUY. AND I DON'T THINK YOU ARE. I like you Paul. But I just think you are another Richard Alarcon and a slick, "say anything" politician who is on a mission...and it isn't "The People's."
THEN THERE IS THE BIG (SPECIAL INTEREST) MONEY: Chris Essel had the most money and the most money from people the community hates. You have so many people in the community at the grassroots level...but all Chris had to do is send out the fliers and she's in the run off. We all know it wasn't because of the candidate forum performances or radio support. The community, grassroots events are NOT her crowd. And a lot of people thought her campaign would never take traction and that Tamar would be in the run-off, because it feels that way at the grass roots level...but again...you see all it takes are nice fliers. (She may as well have stayed home and not attended any of these events, because I don't think it would have mattered 1%.)
SO HERE ARE THREE CANDIDATES THAT MOST OF THE REAL COMMUNITY MEMBERS AND GRASSROOTS PEOPLE SIMPLY DID NOT WANT TO GET BEHIND.
And there were seven other grassroots candidates, that even LA Times and Daily News both praised as "solid" candidates and didn't hammer any of them as being turkeys with nice things to say about many of them. AND DAILY NEWS EVEN ENDORSED PETE SANCHEZ.
And I know it's ME saying it, but I know a lot of people told me, "I love you Zuma and would LOVE to see you as the councilmember, but we have to beat "Chris/Paul/Tamar" so I am going with "Paul/Tamar" since they have the (money/connections from political offices already held). AND YOU CAVE AND GIVE IN AND THE MACHINE WINS!
Now at the grass roots level, I don't think too many people were supporting Chris and getting in neighborhood battles and burning bridges with all their long time friends over Essel.
It was Krekorian and Galatzan that people got behind out of fear to keep the other candiate they hated even more from winning.
THAT'S BECAUSE THE COMMUNITY STILL FEELS IT IS ACCEPTABLE TO OVER LOOK THE FACT THAT PEOPLE RUN FOR ONE OFFICE WITH THE INTENT OF USING THE OFFICE TO WIN A BIGGER AND HIGHER PAYING OFFICE DOWN THE LINE.
I feel Krekorian benefited in this election by his position and poltical infrastructure and he just made a bunch of promises to supporters when he ran for Assembly and now he is walking away? HELL THE F*CK NO! IT'S A COMPLETE DEAL BREAKER FOR ZUMA DOGG AND I DO NOT EVEN EVALUATE HIS LOSER PERFORMANCE AS KAREN BASS KISS-ASS, BUDGET BUSTING, FULL OF SHIT, DO NOTHING. (But again, that's only in his performance, not a personal evaluation.)
AND TAMAR: As a gadfly who is used to seeing Tamar sitting all high up, elevated on the LAUSD school board, as I blast them, so uncomfortably, and she never even looked at me...AND, never even gave me a passing stare ANYTIME I ever saw her over the past two years...it was nice to get to know her during these small, informal communtiy forums. And I know people don't like her husband Brendan over his "Yes on Home Depot" but he treated ZD nicely all the way through the election, being cordial and friendly and gracious to me as I was hammering his wife as hard as I could during the campaign. On Friday, at the last event, I enjoyed seeing Brendan and Tamar as "mom and dad" with their kids who were having fun outside and Brendan being a "good dad" saying things like, "They don't watch too much TV," when they didn't know some of the mindless TV references I was making. And it was fun when the kids wanted to show me how fast they could run. So I'm not saying they wouldn't all be invited to ZD's Thanksgiving BBQ...BUT...I DO NOT GET OVER THE FACT THAT I BELIEVE TAMAR NOT ONLY DIDN'T WANT TO BE LAUSD SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER FOR THE LOUSY $25,000 AND ALL THE AGGREVATION...BUT RAN FOR THE POSITION, ONLY AS A FOUNDATION FOR THIS CITY COUNCIL RACE.
AND OF COURSE, ALL THE BIG, MASSIVE AMOUNT OF SPECIAL INTEREST MONEY CHRIS ESSEL HAD. And although the grass roots didn't get behind her, next time there could be a candidate with big money that people hold their nose and get behind because they aren't as bad as the other big money candidate.
POINT IS: YOU MUST SAY NO, 100% NO...EACH AND EVERY TIME, TO ANY ONE WHO FEELS THEY CAN USE ONE OFFICE FOR THE OTHER; RUN EARLY INTO THEIR TERM, OR JUST BREEZE IN WITH BIG MONEY.
Many of you supported Tamar, after telling me early on that you HATED her for all the reasons I mentioned above, and more...and some of you were even feeding me bad stuff to say about her (Mort Allen and others) and then you go and support her, because you felt Krekorian and Essel were worse.
And you people who supported Krekorian out of political pressure or because you feel he had the best chance because he used his office to run for office.
YOU ARE ALL FEEDING INTO IT AND ALLOWING IT TO CONTINUE.
YOU HAVE TO MAKE IT THE FIRST THING ON YOUR CHECKLIST, AND SCRATCH THEM OFF ON DAY ONE.
I told someone, you have to treat these candidates like "blood diamonds."
I think a lot of people who supported Krekorian and Tamar (and Essel) would have been VERY happy if a few of the grassroots candidates made it in -- MUCH MORE THAN THE CHOICES YOU HELD YOUR NOSE FOR.
So now it's Krekorian and Essel. And NO ONE is excited and everyone is frustrated by the machine and money that overcomes, once again.
YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO PICK ONE OF THE TWO, AND IF I FEEL EITHER ONE IS WORTH FIGHTING FOR OVER THE OTHER, I'LL LET YOU KNOW.
But I hope if ONE thing came out of this election, it's that the community needs to start treating these office jumping, special interest money candidates like blood diamonds. And then it would have been an election between actual community members. Many of which couldn't have been any worse than most of the other councilmembers. And I know one of them that would have been the most innovative, creative, trailblazing, community building, history changing councilmembers ever. (But all my supporters went for Tamar or Paul.)
BLOOD DIAMONDS Y'ALL! CAN'T RUN FOR ANOTHER OFFICE UNLESS YOU HAVE LESS THAN A YEAR LEFT ON THE TERM. SORRY! IT'S PUBLIC SERVICE NOT PRIVATE SECTOR.
RUN-OFF UPDATE: Christine Essel's campaign team is working out the details for her to appear on Kevin James' KRLA radio show, which she dodged during the primary. ZD urged her of the importance, THIS TIME, for the grass roots support, and I don't care how much the poltical spinners want to minimize and discount Kevin's show and audience...by ZD's measure...YOU ARE NOT GOING TO BE THE NEXT CM IN MY BOOK IF YOU DODGE THIS TYPE OF THING.
So whether Zuma Dogg publicly supports either candidate, one way or the other...I think it not only HELPS her campaign, but SAVES it, and doesn't mean it will win it for her, of course...but it sure will keep things from going south, real quick, in many areas.
I THINK CHRIS CAN DO GREAT ON THE RADIO IF SHE SPEAKS TO THE AUDIENCE THE WAY SHE SPOKE WITH ME ON THE PHONE LAST NIGHT ABOUT HER CAREER AND BACKGROUND. And I just hope these anti-community politcal losers these big money candidates surround themselves with don't blow it for her.