By Besha Rodell
By Patrick Range McDonald
By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
City Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg’s office is in an uproar over who will succeed her when she leaves for the state Assembly next year. Things got so hot over the summer, several aides threatened a mutiny if the boss refused to back their candidate, sources say.
It all started when Goldberg’s brother, maverick civil rights attorney Art Goldberg, unexpectedly threw his hat in the ring. Blood being thicker than water — and Jackie and Art being close both politically and personally — Jackie handed her brother an endorsement. But that scrambled top aides’ plans to have HUD official Mercedes Marquez, the life partner of Goldberg housing deputy Mirta Ocana, anointed the heir apparent. It also left longtime Goldberg aide Conrado Terrazas, who has been raising money and campaigning for months, out in the cold.
When Jackie returned from her summer vacation in Hawaii, she was confronted by angry pro-Marquez staffers, who demanded she either renounce her brother or issue a split endorsement, sources say. Goldberg denies that any of her employees called for dumping Art, or threatened to quit, but acknowledges there was a bit of a dustup over the endorsement. “There are some of them that have had some differences with me. We don’t have required thinking in this office. They are encouraged to voice their views,” she says. In any event, by the time the fur settled, Goldberg had promised to issue a dual endorsement of Marquez and Art when the housing honcho, who has not yet declared her candidacy, jumps into the race.
“It is a decision I made based on her quality of leadership and issues she would raise that are similar to my brother’s,” Goldberg says. “And as a feminist I support women candidates.” A bit perplexingly, however, Jackie continues to say of brother Art, “I am behind him 100 percent.” Now, the powerful Goldberg’s political reach may be wide, but we’re not sure where a 100 percent embrace of Art leaves Marquez.
In any event, Terrazas was upset (he prefers the word “disappointed”) that he would be the only one in Goldberg’s inner circle who wouldn’t get a nod from the chief. The snub was particularly stinging, as Goldberg reportedly followed up by pushing up the date Terrazas would leave the council office to begin campaigning full time. (Both Terrazas and Goldberg say the separation date was arrived at mutually, but his departure in September from his $51,156-a-year post came nine weeks before the official campaign season opens, and a full eight months before the June 5 general election.)
“I was surprised by it, given my background and what I have done for the 13th District,” a stoic Terrazas says. “I believe that I am the best choice in the race. I know the constituencies. I worked with Jackie for six years.”
Amazingly, Art Goldberg is just as incensed as Terrazas — not by the dual endorsement, which he expected, but by the shoddy treatment accorded his rival.
“I think that it is absolutely terrible how many people have discounted Conrado,” Goldberg says. “He is a human being that has paid his dues, given to the community and then, ‘Oh, Conrado! Who is he?’ I wouldn’t treat anyone the way they treated him.” Goldberg evaded the question of whether “they” includes his sister, of whom he will only say, “You have to talk to her about it.”
The funny thing is, Goldberg’s endorsement may not be the imprimatur it may have seemed. The wide-open race has attracted such diverse candidates as Eric Garcetti (son of District Attorney Gil); former elected charter-reform commissioner Bennett Kayser; Gay and Lesbian Police Advisory Task Force chair Sandra Farrington-Domingue; outgoing state Assemblyman Scott Wildman; and Geoffrey Saldivar, head of the Rampart Rangers community-watch group.
“I think endorsements can be good, but you have to look at what people have done, their background and what they have done in the community,” says a still-hopeful Terrazas.
ABC Rocks en Español
Dressed in a dark-blue suit, a dapper-looking Peter Jennings began his evening newscast last Monday with an unfamiliar phrase: “Buenas noches, and that is all the Spanish you will hear from me,” said the urbane newscaster.
It was an appropriately brief kickoff for ABC World News Tonight’s Spanish simulcast, which, despite the hoopla about being a “first” for any of the Big Three networks, appears unlikely to bring any real change to the broadcast-news dinosaurs.
ABC is hailing the new simulcast as a way to give those who speak Spanish “a broader view of the world by having access to our broadcast,” according to a network press release. Translation: ABC hopes to capture the Latino market and grab mucho dinerowithout changing the network’s news programming. But that could be tough.
Spanish-language newscasts currently outperform their English-language counterparts in cities such as Los Angeles and New York with a trademark blend of stories from Latin America and coverage of local issues. Executive producers at ABC insist they aren’t competing with the Spanish-language network giants Univision or Telemundo, but instead expect viewers to flock to ABC’s national newscast because of its “better production value” and broader vantage point. When asked if that means greater coverage of Latin America, executive producer Paul Slavin said not for the moment. Instead, Spanish monolingual and bilingual viewers can discover stories such as Latina power or the growing influence of Latinos in California politics, he added.
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