VOICES--My name is Susan Hunter and I’m the caseworker with the Hollywood Local of the Los Angeles Tenants Union. You may know me better as the evil scheming blackmailer who is trying to harm your victim client for tons of money. At least that is what you called me in your latest press release.
VOICES--The trendy storyline in criminal justice is to blame the prosecutor, blame the police, blame the laws and blame society. Never mind the wake of destruction violent criminals leave on the community, especially economically vulnerable neighborhoods. Never mind the approximately 17,000 Americans murdered in 2016. Never mind those people. Let's now focus on the injustice of putting away rapists, gang members and murderers.
VOICES--Refugio Rodriguez continues to “represent” the stakeholders of LAUSD Zone 5… six months after allegations of felony charges for perjury and conspiracy. He was also charged with 25 mysterious money-laundering misdemeanors that flummox elections ethicists since there is no limit on self-financing one’s own campaign, completely obviating any need for Rodriguez to have illegally paid his staff to donate to it. Further, it has recently come to light that these crimes may be the tip of the iceberg. And regulators further afield from LAUSD are noticing Rodriguez’ charter chain too.
VOICES--Stop. Just for a second. I know it’s hard. The news comes at us so fast these days. Stories that, during relatively normal times, would consume us for weeks shoot across our consciousness and then disappear in a flash; like fireworks the next story explodes across our screens while the last one dissipates from our view, and vanishes from our thoughts.
VOICES-Austin Beutner, the one-time candidate for Los Angeles mayor and former publisher of the Los Angeles Times, recalled a funny story during a talk he gave at a breakfast meeting hosted by the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce at Ports O’ Call Restaurant. It was about the time Beutner was delivering a speech on how to make a profit in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union. Beutner was there as part of a Clinton administration team led by Secretary of State Warren Christopher to help Russia transition from communism to a free-market economy. But suddenly, Beutner realized he’d lost his audience. Bewildered, he turned to his interpreter and asked, “What is it that they don’t understand?”