Saturday, September 5, 2009

Devaluing Black Lives: The Killing of Danica Denton and Child

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

Devaluing Black Lives: The Killing of Danica Denton and Child by author and political analyst Earl Ofari Hutchinson will appear as his syndicated column in 100 newspapers and websites nationally September 10, 2009.

A young expectant mother observes all the pedestrian safety rules while crossing the street. She’s in a designated crosswalk. There appears to be no oncoming traffic. And if there is the cars are required to stop. For thousands of pedestrians crossing streets this is a routine, uneventful occurrence every hour, every day in every city. It should have been the same for 18 year old Danica Denton. But on February 11, 2009, Gina Garcia changed that.

The 34 year old driver barreled through the crosswalk and bowled over Denton in the desert city of Cathedral City near Palm Springs, California. Denton and her baby died later at a local hospital. Denton is an African-American. Garcia is white. The all too familiar tangle of legal, judicial and law enforcement dodges, delays, and blame shifting instantly began. The tangle ultimately called into question how seriously the local District Attorney, law enforcement, and even state officials take the deaths of African-Americans; especially when the alleged killer is white, female, and well-connected.

The tangle of legal and race tinged foot dragging in the case began immediately after Denton was struck. Garcia fled the scene and this made the killing a serious hit and run felony. Also Garcia earlier had been charged with a DUI offense. Though Cathedral City police were informed that she had checked into a local hospital, it took a full day before they arrested her. Despite the seriousness of the charges, Garcia was immediately released on $25,000 bail. The bail for felony hit and run offenses that result in death is generally ten times greater than Garcia’s bail.

Garcia’s husband is a special investigator with the Riverside DA’s Office, and this drew an outcry that Garcia was getting kid glove treatment. A month after Denton’s killing, Cathedral City police claimed that they were still investigating the deaths. This drew another outcry that Garcia was continuing to get special treatment. The DA claimed possible conflict of interest and turned prosecution over to the California Attorney General. In June, Garcia agreed to a plea bargain and a 15 year sentence. But this didn’t end the Denton family nightmare.

Garcia was given two more months to surrender and begin serving her sentence. This didn’t and hasn’t happened. On August 14, Garcia armed with backing from doctors and a hospital was a no show in court. Her excuse was that she underwent major surgery at an undisclosed hospital, for an undisclosed ailment, and that she was too sick to be moved. The judge and prosecutors bought it, and gave her more weeks in which to surrender. The judge added further insult with a hand wringing sympathy plea that he didn’t want to turn her alleged surgery into a death sentence. He added even more insult by tossing Denton’s father out of court for denouncing the judicial farce.

The charge by Denton’s family and local civil rights leaders that the police, DA, state Attorney General, and the judge are insensitive to the murder of African-Americans such as Denton and her child is not new. Countless groups have marched, picketed and screamed loudly that law enforcement and judges impose a hard racial double standard when the victim is a young African-American and the killer is white. The implicit message is that black lives are expendable. Many studies still confirm that the punishment whites receive when the victim is black is far less severe than when the victim is white and far more severe when the table is turned and the killer is black and the victim is white. Police officials and judges vehemently deny that they are any less diligent in prosecuting white on black killings than the reverse.

Yet the studies and reports on racial disparity in sentencing and the history of prosecuting crimes involving interracial violence show otherwise. In Denton’s case, the low bail, endless delays, DA conflict of interest, a questionable plea bargain, the killer’s alleged mysterious prison dodging illness, and the court’s willingness to go along with it paint a terrible picture of legal indifference and conciliation toward the killing of two blacks.

Seven months after Denton and child were flattened on a Cathedral City street, the record stands that her killer and her baby’s killer did not serve one full day of jail time. This is a record of shame, disgrace and an indictment of a criminal justice system that badly failed a young black mother and her child.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. His weekly radio show, “The Hutchinson Report” can be heard on weekly in Los Angeles at 9:30 AM Fridays on KTYM Radio 1460 AM and live streamed nationally on

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Other Culprits in Dae’von Bailey’s Death

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

Marcas Fisher is the prime culprit in the beating death of 6 year old Dae’von Bailey. But Fisher is hardly the only culprit in Bailey’s death. The other culprits are the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the Department of Child and Family Services, medical practitioners, and an at times indifferent public.
The towering problems in the DCFS that include failure to follow up on abuse complaints, poor to non-existent record keeping, management and case worker inertia and even indifference and bungled investigations were well-documented in a dozen or more reports from investigators and in audits, as well as a slew of media exposes of agency failures. The Board of Supervisors knew of the problems in DCFS since the mid 1990s. The failure of the supervisors to immediately revamp the agency put hundreds of children directly in harms way. In 2006, 14 children in L.A. County died as a result of neglect, abuse and maltreatment. In 2007, 12 children died from the same causes. In 2008, the number of children who reportedly died from abuse or neglect soared to 32.

The reports of agency mismanagement and the deaths each time forced the supervisors to scramble. They repeatedly promised an immediate agency shake-up and overhaul. Yet the problems remained and the body count of child abuse victims continued to mount. With Bailey’s murder, the supervisors again have promised a big agency overhaul. The proposals for change look much like those that have been put on the table in the past. They include better reporting, and timely case follow-up, management accountability, more thorough and professional child abuse victim medical examinations. The proposals went nowhere in the past and Bailey and the other child victims of abuse paid a terrible price for the county supervisor’s inaction.
DCFS officials have also scrambled to deflect blame for agency ineptitude. They assure that more fail safe checks and balances will be put in place to insure that there are no more horrific deaths such as Bailey. Yet just as with the county supervisors the promises of immediate change have been made before and have gone nowhere. There’s not a lot of reason for optimism that big changes will happen this time either given the past failures and the management’s lackadaisical response to sweeping proposals put forth by the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable for immediate agency change. Roundtable officials asked for a meeting with Trish Ploehm, DCFS director, and senior staff to present and review the recommendations. Management agreed, and then didn’t show at the meeting. In the wake of Bailey’s murder, if Ploehm and other top DCFS heads fail to drastically overhaul how they handle child abuse cases child they should resign or be removed.

The private doctors and medical practitioners who examined Bailey and ultimately found no harm no foul in his injuries are also culprits in his death. That must change. Private doctors must not solely determine whether a child’s injuries are the result of abuse. Only trained, county certified, child abuse forensic examiners should make that call.
Bailey is the most horrific and shocking case of child abuse turned to child murder. However, there are thousands more children nationally who suffer abuse or mistreatment. The National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System estimate that in the past decade nearly 1 million children have been victims of severe abuse. More than 1000 children died as a result of abuse or neglect. More than 80 percent of the child victims are age six and under. Bailey fit the profile of the at risk child to the letter. The abuse numbers reported almost certainly are a gross underestimate. Many cases simply aren’t reported or as in Bailey’s case the tangled web of inept reporting, bureaucratic bungling, and sloppy recordkeeping cause abused kids to fall through the cracks.

In 2005, only 20 states required that citizens who suspect abuse or neglect are required to report it. “Reasonable suspicion” based on objective evidence, which could be firsthand observation or statements made by a parent or child, is all that is needed to report abuse. This formula for reporting abuse is too vague and nebulous. It’s a prescription to insure that countless numbers of children continue to slip under the radar of child abuse danger. This also insures that when the furor about a shocking death such as Bailey’s dies down and drops from the headlines, public apathy and ignorance toward the danger again kicks in.
Bailey is a near textbook example of the child who was in mortal danger. Yet if prompt, timely action had been taken by all involved could have been saved. Marcas Fisher may have been the culprit who beat Bailey to death. But the inertia, indifference, and bungling of so many others make them culprits in his death too. They must also answer for that.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. His weekly radio show, “The Hutchinson Report” can be heard on weekly in Los Angeles at 9:30 AM Fridays on KTYM Radio 1460 AM and live streamed nationally on

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Devaluing a Black Life: The Murder of Marquis LeBlanc

Devaluing a Black Life: The Murder of Marquis LeBlanc will appear in Earl Ofari Hutchinson's nationally syndicated column on Friday, June 5.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

Pomona is a quiet bedroom city near Los Angeles. Blacks make up less than 10 percent of the city’s population. Latinos make up more than 60 percent of the population. There are no blacks on the city council and all the top police officials are white. Still, city officials generally pride themselves that the city is a relative haven of racial peace. Yet on the night of April 18th the city’s quiet and illusion of racial harmony was rudely jolted. Neighbors watched in horror as at least a dozen young men and women chased down on foot and then beat, kicked, stabbed and shot Marquis LeBlanc, an 18 year old African-American to death. Another dozen or so persons watched the attack and did not help LeBlanc or call police. Eyewitnesses identified the assailants as Latinos, some with suspected gang affiliations.
Though the police station was nearby, police did not arrive at the murder scene for nearly a half hour after the call went out.

Police did not immediately contact LeBlanc’s parents, or ID him. They misidentified LeBlanc’s mother, Jessica Corde, on the coroner’s report. Corde claims police did not make a single call to the family to update them on the investigation, and rebuffed her many inquiries about it.
Days after the killing police claimed they found a gun that was LeBlanc’s. There were also hints that he was a gang member. Police officials have been tight lipped about the case and say that release of information will compromise the investigation. The Le Blanc murder remains unsolved.

LeBlanc’s family minces no words. To them it is a case of a police department that cares little about the murder of a young black. The family’s charge that the Pomona police are insensitive to the murder of LeBlanc is hardly new. Countless groups have marched, picketed and screamed loudly that police do little to catch killers in serial murder cases, the murders of homeless persons and of young black males. The common thread is that the victims are poor, poorly educated, young, black, often female with criminal records, and with few known family members. In times past crimes committed by blacks against other blacks were often ignored or lightly punished. The implicit message was that black lives were expendable. Many studies still confirm that the punishment blacks receive when the victim is white is far more severe than if the victim is black. The clearance rate for murders in some poor, black neighborhoods is far less than for murders in middle-class neighborhoods.
Police officials vehemently deny that they are any less diligent when it comes to nabbing the killers of blacks than the killers of whites. They blame the higher rate of unsolved murders of blacks on higher case loads, tight budgets, limited personnel, and the refusal of witnesses to provide information. But it’s the unsolved murders of blacks that fuel the perception that police take the loss of black lives less seriously than that of whites.

The blanket indictment of police for laxity in black homicides is unfair and a slap at the officers who put in long grueling, hours trying to crack murder cases in poor minority neighborhoods. There’s also the reality that more killings do occur in big city poor neighborhoods than in the suburbs. In 2007, the Violence Policy Center reported that black murders had hit epidemic proportions in some big cities.
The Bureau of Justice in a 2008 report on homicides found that the black murder rate is much higher than that of whites, or even Latinos. It's the leading cause of death among black males age 16 to 34. Black on black murders has fueled the nation's murder stats for a number of years. And only in the rarest of instances has it attracted more than passing mention in the national press. In Chicago, community activists, frustrated over the inability of authorities to stem the rash of murders of primary school age children, have appealed to President Obama to step in with an emergency program to help curtail the violence.

Despite the higher number black murders than of whites, tight police resources, and the hard work that many officers put in to solve black homicides, it takes only one real or perceived case of police laxity when the victim is black to stir suspicion of police racial insensitivity. Pomona for now is tragically that case.
Corde continues to plead with authorities to intensify their investigation into her son’s murder. She has appealed to the press, civil rights and victims of violence groups to prod the department to do more to catch the killers of her son. While her pleas have largely fallen on deaf ears, she is undeterred, “I’m not going to stop until the murderers are brought to justice.” That’s a message that no police official should have to be told or hear from a grieving mother no matter what the color of her murdered son.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. His weekly radio show, “The Hutchinson Report” can be heard on weekly in Los Angeles at 9:30 AM Fridays on KTYM Radio 1460 AM and live streamed nationally on

Monday, May 25, 2009

The LAPD Got a Handle on Deadly Force, now it’s Inglewood’s Turn

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

There were cheers and a bold cautionary note for Inglewood police officials, indeed all police officials, in the Harvard Study on the LAPD. The cheers were that the LAPD has done a near 180 degree turn in going from the national poster department for police abuse, brutality and corruption to a fine tuned, well-oiled, crime fighting department and most importantly a department that has done it by respecting civil rights and not abusing minorities.
The abuse part is the key to the LAPD’s image swap. That’s abuse that translates out to the wildly excessive overuse of physical and especially deadly force. The Harvard study found that in the past five years the most serious uses of force by the LAPD- shootings, carotid artery control holds or head strikes with impact weapons – plunged 30 percent. It also found that the incidence of physical force against blacks and Latinos plummeted far more than the force used against whites. The painful explanation for this is that the LAPD officers used much more force against blacks and Latinos in the first place, so the room for improvement here was much greater.

Getting the handle on the use of force is the single biggest reason why more blacks and Latinos in the city said that the LAPD has marched closer than ever to being the kinder, gentler department that it has long boasted that it wants to be. It accomplished the fete through solid, proactive political and department leadership, governance and most importantly independent monitoring, oversight, accountability and transparency. The stated goal is absolute zero tolerance for corruption, abuse, and especially the misuse of physical and deadly force. When cops behaved badly they were investigated and punished.
Now here’s the cautionary note in the Harvard study; a note that the LAPD, Inglewood, and other police officials must take note of. Physical and deadly force far from being a distant memory is still used in far too many instances, and many of those instances are questionable, and blacks and Latinos are more likely than not to be on the receiving end of that physical force. Researchers flatly chided the department for using force in what it called routine enforcement situations. The unmistakable message is that far too many persons are getting roughed up when cops make stops and arrests than may be warranted. That’s been painfully true in the two year surge in Inglewood police shootings.
Questionable cop shootings and their often pro forma stamp investigations stir turmoil and unrest, and deepen the distrust and cynicism of blacks and minorities toward the police. They reinforce the deep seated belief that cops are only out to cover up their dirt and that the lives of minorities are cheap. The multiple officer involved killings in Inglewood have stirred the same rage, frustration, and mistrust. The shootings have done much to make a small city police department the new national poster department for police violence.

Though Inglewood police officials hotly deny that their investigation will be a whitewash, few believe that. The disbelief has nothing to do with the heat, passion and fury over the shootings. It has everything to do with the history of cops investigating other cops who are alleged to have committed or actually are guilty of misconduct, and especially misconduct that involves the overuse of deadly force. These investigations rely heavily on often tightly orchestrated statements, or carefully scripted reports from the officer or officers about the incident, cursory review of citizen complaints, forensic evidence and a crime scene reenactment that’s heavily weighted to support the under fire officer’s version of the incident. Meanwhile, the statements and testimony from witnesses that contradict the officer’s version of the incident are often treated with skepticism, disbelief or are outright dismissed.
Often police officials tip their hand and publicly declare even before the first scrap of evidence is gathered that the shooting or physical confrontation was probably justified. The result of police investigating themselves is virtually preordained. The accused officer is almost always exonerated. If the officer kills or maims the shooting is almost always ruled in policy.

But the stain of these investigations is not totally scrubbed away when an officer skips off scot free. There are the grieving families, the inevitable and costly lawsuits, and increase in public ill-will toward the police.
This was the LAPD’s crushing burden for years precisely because so many cops got away with wrongdoing. Inglewood police and city officials can avoid shouldering that same burden by doing exactly what the Harvard study showed the LAPD has tried, and to a halting degree succeeded in doing, and that’s to get a firm handle on the use of deadly force.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. His weekly radio show, “The Hutchinson Report” can be heard on weekly in Los Angeles at 9:30 AM Fridays on KTYM Radio 1460 AM and live streamed nationally on

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Killing of Marcus Smith

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

In the past year, the Inglewood police department has been hit with a federal probe, a grueling investigation by the Office of Independent Review, probes by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, the implementation of intense and lengthy new training and retraining procedures for Inglewood officers, a vigilant and proactive police commission review, and an internal affairs investigation of officer involved shootings. Yet Marcus Smith, a thirty one year old African American, was still gunned down by an Inglewood police officer. Smith is the fifth to be killed by police gunfire in the past two years.

The Smith killing as in several of the others ignited shock, frustration and rage. The killing of Smith also evoked painful memories of the gunning down by NYPD officers of Sean Bell in 2007. Smith, as Bell was a would-be bride groom, and the shooting took place after a family party; a party that Smith and his bride attended. There is no indication that Smith, as Bell, was involved in any gang or criminal involvement.

Inglewood police officials say they recovered a gun at the scene. But that only raises more thorny and disturbing questions. Did the officers issue a warning or command to Smith before opening fire?

That in turn raises even more questions. Was the gun Smith’s? If so, did he point the gun at the officers, or make any threatening move or gesture that led officers to believe that their lives were in jeopardy? Did eyewitnesses corroborate the officers version of the shooting, namely that Smith had a gun and menaced the officers? The answers are murky and blurred on the first two questions. But there’s nothing vague in the answer to the third question regarding the eyewitness corroboration of the officer’s account of the killing. All the witnesses give a wildly different version of the shooting than that of the police. They say that Smith did not have a gun, that the officers gave no warning or command, and that Smith was not given immediate medical help after he was shot. They also claim that they were beaten, verbally abused, and subject to arrest for protesting the killing.

This is not simply another instance of he said, she said when it comes to the bleary details of controversial police killings. The single most important policy directive that a police department can, no must have, is the directive on the use of deadly force by officers. Vague, or poorly written directives, or worse directives that are not bolstered with officer training, retraining, and discipline for violation of the deadly force directive is the single biggest thing that gets police departments in hot water with outside investigating agencies, stirs community anger and unrest, and results in crushing mega dollar wrongful death lawsuits and settlements that city officials must shell out. This is even more problematic in the Smith killing when it was revealed that the officer who shot Smith has also been involved in another shooting.

Nearly two decades ago, the Christopher Commission investigated the Rodney King beating. It made sweeping and landmark recommendations on LAPD reform. The most disturbing and explosive part of its report was the fingering of “problem” officers. These were officers who were involved in multiple shootings, acts of violence, and had mountains of citizen complaints lodged against them. The Commission made it clear that these officers had created a toxic environment within the LAPD. The environment was made worse by higher ups. LAPD brass had a cavalier wink and nod attitude toward their dubious conduct.

The failure to reprimand, discipline, and where warranted fire them caused huge headaches for the department. This is an especially crucial and sensitive point for in nearly all officer involved shootings, even the most questionable ones, and even where officers are found to have used excessive force, the punishment has often been minimal or totally lacking. This reinforces the deep suspicion that police officials look for ways to exonerate officers rather than to hold them accountable for violating department policies and procedures. This in turn feeds the fear and distrust that many African-Americans and Latinos have toward the police.

There are more questions that Inglewood officials must ask and answer about the Smith killing. And it’s important that accurate answers be given especially since Inglewood police have been hammered in past years for incidents involving excessive force and charges of misconduct. The memories of the videotape beating of Donovan Jackson in 2002 that shocked the nation are still fresh in the minds.

Now there’s the Smith killing. This is another one that won’t go away and again will sorely test whether the Inglewood police department and indeed Inglewood city officials have truly come to grips with the chronic problem of deadly force by its officers.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. His weekly radio show, “The Hutchinson Report” can be heard on weekly in Los Angeles at 9:30 AM Fridays on KTYM Radio 1460 AM and live streamed nationally on

Hutchinson will have the family of Marcus Smith and invited Inglewood police and city officials on “The Hutchinson Report” on Friday May 22 at 9:30 AM

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Murder-Suicide Rise a Terrible Wake up Call for All

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

Ervin Antonio Lupoe, who Tuesday killed his family then himself, tried to contact my organization, the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable, with complaints that he had experienced discrimination and harassment at his workplace, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center West Los Angeles. The complaints now are even more alarming. Lupoe killed himself, his wife and his five children in their south Los Angeles home and left no doubt why he committed this horrific act. In a bitter letter to a Los Angeles TV station, the former Kaiser Hospital lab technician railed at the hospital for unjustly firing him and his wife.

There were other reports that Lupoe had been harassed by supervisors. The allegation was that some of it was racially motivated. One supervisor allegedly told Ervin Lupoe and his wife, according to the letter Lupoe left behind, “You should have blown your brains out.”

Kaiser denied the allegations and hinted that the reason for the couple’s firing involved unspecified detrimental actions.

This writer has received past complaints of harassment and discrimination from black employees and a Kaiser union representative. Lupoe was only one. The employee complaints of discrimination cannot be substantiated. However, they do set off loud warning bells that something went terribly wrong in the way Kaiser handled the Lupoes’ firings. And that the Kaiser management should take a long, hard look at how it handles its employee relations.

The Lupoe family tragedy is only the latest such incident. The murder-suicide last October of Karthik Rajaram and his family in Porter Ranch, a bedroom community north of Los Angeles, set off the first alarm that the mounting economic wreckage could push more people over the edge.

The edge in this case is not just a distressed individual committing suicide but taking out his or her family members, too. This horrific desperate act has been tragically played out three times in the last two weeks in L.A. County. Each time a family member, apparently despondent over job loss or financial worries, killed himself and other family members. Each time the family carnage has been more gruesome.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, more than 30,000 persons kill themselves each year. The CDC noted that in a significant number of these cases there was job loss or severe financial hardship. One mental health agency that tracks mental health referrals in California found that the number of such referrals leaped more than 200 percent in 2008.

Nearly all of those seeking help suffered some type of financial hardship. In a grotesque irony, San Francisco Medical Center, owned by Kaiser, the Lupoe’s employer, recently reported that psychiatric referrals had leaped more than 400 percent in 2008. The overwhelming majority of them were related to financial distress.

The CDC expects the number of those severely financially strapped to rise as the economy continues to tank. Minorities have borne the brunt of the wave of job losses and home foreclosures. And mental health professionals warn that as the economy slides they expect to see a continued jump in the number of those seeking treatment for depression.

While researchers say that unemployment alone does not cause suicide, losing a job combined with financial uncertainty, the loss of retirement savings, and the stress of overdue bills, and mortgage or rent payments can create the perfect storm for an individual to feel that suicide is the only way out, and that often includes taking the lives of his or her family.

The murder-suicide of an entire family is the ultimate desperate act. And it’s a dire warning to cities and counties, health professionals and employers that a financially stressed employee or former employee represents a potential powder keg, which can explode at any time.

This calls for drastically increasing funding and expansion of counseling jobs, and referral and crisis prevention hotline services. It also means insuring that the general public knows where it can go to get help.

This may not have been enough to stop Lupoe from committing his heinous act. However, it could save others who are in desperate need of help. With the economy in steady free fall, it’s almost certain that there will be thousands more Americans, facing unemployment, who will want and need that help.
When men such as Lupoe kill themselves innocents also pay the price. Invariably those innocents are children. That’s a terrible wake-up call for us all.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

No Free Pass for the Twenty-Sixth District Senate Contenders Pt 1

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

Here’s a political trivia quiz for the voters who will decide who’ll fill the vacated twenty sixth district state senate seat formerly held by Mark Ridley Thomas. What does the district encompass? What committees does the senator sit on? Did you receive a newsletter, eletter, bulletin, or attend a townhall or meeting from the senator telling you what legislative bills, motions, hearings, initatives he introduced or passed? Did he invite you to a community event, activity, or meeting to give you an update on his legislative actions?
If you answered no to these questions you’re not a political flunk out. Politicians have infinite dodges not to inform, engage, and involve their constituents. The political fog they envelop themselves and their Sacramento tenure in is a self-preserving, defense mechanism to insure election and re-election. This has effectively turned holding a political office and the race to get it into endless deal making, and self-promoting political careerism. This mocks the notion of accountability and enshrines regal entitlement on black elected officials.
Take the two purported front runners for the twenty-sixth senate district seat, Mike Davis and Curren Price. Both are state assemblypersons. One has barely warmed the seat for his first term. The other is barely into his second term. The obvious question is how does abandoning their barely warmed seat to seat hop at their first chance serve the constituents who backed them for the assembly? And if another seat, say a congressional seat, opens up say next month will they seat hop again? Then there’s the campaign. This tells even more about what’s wrong with careerism politics in L.A.. The frontrunners jockey to grab all the cash they can, and nab the usual suspect endorsements from politicians, special interest businees groups and labor unions. One front runner boasts that he’s a shoo-in because he got the incumbent and the L.A. County Labor Federation’s endorsement. The idea is to scare anyone without either, which is everybody else, away. Entitlement Again.
The self-designated frontrunners then blitz district voters with showy, photo-op brochures touting their accomplishments, make the rounds of the black churches, people a last day phone bank, and send blaring car caravans around on election day. This will likely be the first and last time that any other than the union and business special interest donors who bankrolled them see their recycled elected official until re-election time.
This take their constituents for granted mind set is hardly unique to black politicians in L.A. . It’s endemic in American politics. And that’s all the more reason to put a word that’s been sorely missing back into the race for the twenty sixth senate district seat and that’s accountability.