Suppose you're one of 15 City Council Members in America's second-largest city. That city is teetering on bankruptcy, and has an unemployment rate much higher than the national and state figures. There's a massive pension debt bomb looming; employees are put on furloughs; library hours are curtailed; and yet, hundreds of millions of dollars are handed out every year to politically connected developers, "non-profits," and politicians' family members (e.g., giving Tony Cardenas's brother-in-law money to send low-rider cars to Mexico).
What should you do? What problem should you tackle first?
If you're Jose Huizar, your mission is clear. Forget the public. Forget fixing problems. You and your staff must devote your time -- paid for by tax dollars -- to identifying the politically powerful people in your district, and figuring out which ones are for you, and which ones are against you.
You see, if you're Jose Huizar, the public interest doesn't really matter at all. Rather, the only thing that matters is staying in office because, really, what the heck could a guy like this do in the private sector?
Read about Huizar's "enemies" list in David Zahniser's article in the Los Angeles Times.
And remember: Huizar will be EASY to replace in the March 2011 election, provided YOU help his opponent, Rudy Martinez. Huizar squeaked into office in the last election with a tiny margin of just 2,096 votes. Send Rudy $25, would you? Maybe even contact his campaign to see if you can walk precincts or something.