By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
Tony Cardenas says: “I‘m a realist. I’ve been in office five years. But I seldom look at my contributor list.” That‘s in response to those who suggest he’s beholden to the Indian gaming interests who‘ve contributed hundreds of thousands to his Assembly and (aborted) secretary-of-state campaigns. To many progressive voters, the problem is Cardenas’ alleged role in sluicing gaming money toward the May TV hit ads that portrayed mayoral hopeful Antonio Villaraigosa as little better than a drug dealer. Cardenas says he had nothing to do with the ads. It‘s obvious though from the way he talks that he has disliked Villaraigosa at least since the latter allegedly reneged on a promise of a top Assembly post. He’s obviously found other reasons since: “He broke too many promises.”
But Villaraigosa isn‘t running in this race. And what does Cardenas bring to the city political party? Among other things, a surprisingly solid environmental record, focused more on the actual clean-air needs of the poor communities than pie-in-the-sky ideals like electric cars. And a hefty-looking and widely supported juvenile crime bill that was intended to remedy last year’s ill-considered Proposition 21.
On pending city issues, he can be reticent. He won‘t flat-out say he’ll oppose Bernie Parks‘ rehiring next year, but he accuses Parks of being underconcerned about departmental morale. He adds, “I remember being pulled over just so some officer could ask what I did for a living,” but is hesitant to commit himself to supporting the federal consent decree were it to re-emerge as an issue. You wonder, is he being hyperselective or just wary of commitment?
And you wonder what do he or Greuel really have to offer the older Tujunga voters, many of whom still resent the disappearance of what they considered “their” own council district in 1987. And which contender gets the benefit if (as happened in the 4th District special election this fall) many of these disgruntled voters -- unwon by either candidate’s blandishments -- simply stay home?
The Big Grovel
My colleague Charles Rappleye and I have both cited in these pages writer Peter J. Boyer‘s “Bad Cops” New Yorker magazine piece as an egregious example of glib outsider reporting on the Rampart case. You may recall that Mr. Boyer pretty much channeled Police Chief Bernie Parks for the benefit of his sophisticated readers, while slighting both the city’s police-reform movement and the historic context in which the Rampart malfeasances were set. Since nothing worse has come along since, I‘d be happy to nominate this scribbling dimwit’s article as the single most spineless piece of writing on Rampart since the case broke in 1999.
Nevertheless, the Boyer piece recently was selected for something called the Best American Crime Reporting Anthology. Wonder what its editors think the worst crime reporting looks like?
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