The Democratic stronghold of Los Angeles is reeling from scandal and chaos, as federal backroom plotting, federal corruption cases, a mayoral coverup, and allegations of a rigged recount for Soros DA George Gascón have burst into the limelight.
As Politico notes, things are bad.
America’s second-largest city was already mired in scandal and chaos. Now, it is reeling from a surreptitiously released recording of City Council members making racist remarks as they schemed to consolidate power — a revelation that prompted Democratic leaders from President Joe Biden on down to call on them to resign.
One former council member was sentenced to prison and two others are facing trial. The head of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power pleaded guilty to bribery. Mayor Eric Garcetti’s nomination to be the Biden administration’s ambassador to India is on hold because of allegations he failed to adequately handle accusations of sexual misconduct by a top aide.
President Biden has now joined a group of officials calling for three LA City Councilors to resign after audio recordings emerged of a "racist" conversation between (now-resigned) president Nury Martinez and the three other local officials — Councilmen Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo and Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera.
As the Epoch Times notes; In the recorded conversation—which originally appeared on Reddit before being removed Oct. 9—Martinez made disparaging comments aimed at Bonin’s 2-year-old black adopted son and at other ethnic groups while the group discussed the politically sensitive process of redrawing council district boundaries.
Meanwhile, a committee seeking to oust 'Soros' DA George Gascón claims to have uncovered substantial evidence that valid names were rejected and voter rolls were inflated, LA Daily News reports.
"The initial review of invalidated signatures demonstrates the Registrar’s counting process was seriously flawed, resulting in substantial errors, the wrongful invalidation of many valid signatures, and the disenfranchisement of thousands of Los Angeles County Voters," reads a Monday statement from the Recall District Attorney George Gascón Committee.
As the Daily News reports;
The committee also plans to sue the Los Angeles County registrar-recorder/county clerk as early as next week to seek “expanded access and additional information necessary to conduct a meaningful review” of the invalidated signatures.
The recall committee submitted 717,000 signatures, of which 520,050 signatures were found to be valid and 195,783 were deemed invalid. according to election officials. To qualify for the ballot, the recall petition required 566,857 valid signatures.
Alleged invalidation errors
The committee said it has found “obvious and legitimate challenges” for 39% of invalidated signatures it has reviewed. Purported problems with the tally include:
- Signatures that were invalidated as “printed” even when the voter’s signature on file was itself printed.
- Signatures rejected as “nonmatching” despite showing substantial similarities to the signature on file.
- The invalidation of signatures as “not registered” when, in fact, the person was a registered voter who could easily be identified in the voter database.
- Signatures that were invalidated as duplicates without election officials counting at least one of the alleged duplicates as required by law.
The crush of scandals has eroded public trust, right as the city prepares to vote in one of the most expensive mayor's races in history.
"I don’t think there’s been anything like this in city government since the 30s and 40s, the corruption heyday of Los Angeles," said former County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, director of the Los Angeles Initiative at UCLA, speaking at a Tuesday council meeting. "I think the city governance system is profoundly broken, and I think this latest revelation just shatters what was already broken."
Former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said in a recent interview: "It just feels like the city’s falling apart."
"There’s always been a level of skepticism and even cynicism with respect to government and the like and political leaders," he added. "but I think with everything going on people are really feeling like City Hall isn’t working on their behalf."
Former Council Member Mitch Englander was sentenced to federal prison last year for obstructing a corruption probe. Former Council Member José Huizar was indicted in 2020 on bribery and other federal charges for allegedly favoring developers. Former Council Member Mark Ridley-Thomas stepped aside after being charged with facilitating public contracts to the University of Southern California in exchange for favors. (Both Ridley-Thomas and Huizar have pleaded not guilty and denied wrongdoing).
And Garcetti’s nomination to be ambassador to India has stalled out in the Senate as critics allege Garcetti knew of a former top aide’s alleged sexual misconduct. Garcetti has denied the allegations but the issue has frozen a confirmation process that once looked certain. -Politico
"It just looks like a dumpster fire on top of a hurricane," said Jessica Levinson, a Loyola Law School professor and former president of the Los Angeles Ethics Commission. "We have three of the most powerful Latinos in the city who are part of a conversation that is openly racist, you have one of the most powerful African-American leaders who’s on trial for corruption issues (in Ridley-Thomas), you had Jose Huizar’s problems, you had Mitch Englander’s problems — this is not a one-off situation."