While the camera has panned over to the people protests of the Middle East and the Establishment Government Protests of the Upper Midwest (as always, Read Althouse for the updates), off screen in the Pacific West, we plan and prepare for the next Election.
This is the first of two posts about how the Tea Parties can rock California Politics. But, to quote the late Speaker Tip O'Neill (D-MA): All Politics is Local.
So this first post is on the Tea Party and Los Angeles; The next post (written next week) will be about the Tea Parties and the State (and the state) of California.
The Corruption that is Now
When the story of Bell rung throughout the Southland, it was the tip of an iceberg, but not the only one to ring. Take a look at the current power structure that is in the City of Angels:
LAUSD: The board members make $26,000 a year + any salary they make as teachers or Administrators within LAUSD -- thus any board member can "Double Dip," While teachers, schools and administrators are suffering, the LAUSD Board does not sacrifice one dime to the students.
LADWP: The pay of LADWP employees break all records in the LA Basin. 13% of the employees make over $100,000 a year. The LA City Council (we'll get to them very soon) agrees to any changes to the rates without consulting the voting public. They do a good job, but however, can the City afford these outstanding costs?
Los Angeles City Council: From the top, this 15 seat majority Democrat run Council makes $171,648 a year, PLUS $50,000 or more in stipends. And I counted too many potholes down Wilshire Boulevard from Downtown to the Miracle Mile area. Where is this money going?
Tea Party Power or Fighting the Man! among the Palm Trees
It's easy to complain about how the Power Structure in the City of Angels work -- but it's harder to come up with solutions. The Tea Party people are the Rebels against the Democratic Empire (so are we RPLAC and CAGOP folks, but that's another post) and there are ways that they can destroy the Death Star of arrogance by the current power holders.
Because the Tea Party (in all their myriad organizations throughout the Southland) can move in places RPLAC and the CAGOP cannot, here is a way they can stretch their influence.....
Start a Plebiscite and Law Suits against the current Power structure.
Here are some of my ideas for reform, I can only hope a coalition of Tea Party groups pick up the idea and run with it (feel free to make them your own, just email me when you do):
1) The corruption starts with a small number on the Los Angeles City Council with no accountability. In NYC, there are 51 Council members for a larger population then LA. 15 Council Members makes sense in a small town of 50,000 but not 9 Million (yes, MILLION).
Create a Proposition for Presidential Primary 2012 to expand the City Council to 65 Seats (thus 1 seat per 150,000 population) with only 3 -- repeat, THREE -- staffers per member. The Council pay is to drop to $35,000. Staffers make less. Because of more members on the Council, the people's problems will be taken care of. And every two years, one "class," goes the re-election for two years only. And in the Plebiscite will be an Inspector General [IG] for members of each region of LA. The IG will operate independently of the LACC, but will work for the Los Angeles City Attorney. each IG will be appointed for six years and they can only investigate areas they live in.
2) Any rise in pay of the LADWP must be given to the public to read ninety days before the LACC acts on it. Any rise in LADWP charges should be shown to the public 120 days before. This can be either a lawsuit or a Plebiscite.
3) All LAUSD board members must have students in the schools. If the schools and administrations are struggling, the LAUSD must take a cut in pay (and no "Double Dipping,"). If students are the most important, everyone should sacrifice, not just students or administrators in Baudry.
4) The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors should be downsized to a County Supervisor and a Board of Nine. The people elect members of the Board in Four year stints, and the Board elects the County Supervisor for Six Years. Again, an IG is needed here too.
Accountability is the key to a stronger, more business friendly LA. The Tea Party can change be game changers if they move quickly.
Changing California for the General Election 2012 is coming soon!
To quote Cuervo Jones in Escape from LA (NSFW): You might have survived Cleveland. You might have escaped from New York. But this is L.A., vato. And you're about to find out that this fucking city can kill anybody!
I'm betting the Tea Party can beat LA.
My question: What reforms are needed in Los Angeles City and County?