@THE GUSS REPORT-True story. This column was going to be titled, “Herb Wesson’s Final Middle Fingers to LA.”
It was going to suggest nailing down the LA City Councilmember’s office furniture, locking his computer files, demanding the return of his taxpayer-funded S.U.V. and be on the lookout for curiously shifting money in the coming final days of his time in office, like Item #40 on yesterday’s agenda.
Then came LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl proving to the entire United States that she is a hypocrite of the highest order. How badly are we in trouble when you write a column with this title and could plug in the name of countless California politicians and still come up with a compelling story to tell?
Fox 11’s Bill Melugin told KFI AM-640's John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou the other day how he got the scoop busting Kuehl eating outdoors at Il Forno Trattoria in Santa Monica just hours after voting to shut down outdoor dining in LA County due to COVID. It echoes of when O.J. Simpson made Mezzaluna famous (for all the wrong reasons).
Melugin and John and Ken played audio of Kuehl declaring that eating outdoors is “a most dangerous” activity, explicitly warning that you risk your life dining outdoors in LA County.
In doing so, Kuehl gave all of Los Angeles these five figurative middle fingers:
- She doesn’t actually believe dining outdoors under socially distanced conditions is dangerous let alone a “most dangerous” activity but forced us to stop regardless.
- She thinks Angelenos aren’t paying attention, like those working at Il Forno Trattoria who were about to lose their jobs, again. We owe them a debt of gratitude and should support this business whenever possible.
- She had her taxpayer-salaried spokesperson offer a preposterous explanation that she wanted one last meal at her favorite restaurant. Sheila, dear, if dining al fresco is “most dangerous” tomorrow, it is “most dangerous” today.
- She voted to shut down outdoor dining in the County without a public airing of proof of its danger from County public health chief Dr. Barbara Ferrer.
- On the precipice of her 80th birthday in February, she is in the highest-risk category to catch COVID and die from it. But you – we – are the ones who need protection?
Wouldn’t it be poetic justice if the LA restaurateurs win their lawsuit to have her outdoor dining ban thrown out?
Making ill-advised policy decisions in a pandemic is one thing because 2020 is a year of uncertainty, and politicians are for the most part trying to do their best to help us. But this isn’t a matter of a flawed policy decision. It is about a politician who has zero regard for the public. Sheila Kuehl is no dummy; she is a graduate of Harvard Law School. But being smart doesn’t make someone wise.
California State Senate Majority Leader Bob Hertzberg should run against Kuehl when her current term is up. So should LA City Councilmembers Bob Blumenfield and Paul Krekorian and City Controller Ron Galperin. Despite all the corruption in City Hall, they would be better options than Kuehl.
Even Mr. Wesson, who got his clock cleaned 61% to 39% last month for another County Supervisor seat should consider moving into the District (as he has done throughout his career using fake home addresses) because even he would have a shot at defeating Kuehl after this fiasco.
This isn’t even Kuehl’s first lump of chaos in 2020. Remember the bizarre phone contract scam a close friend and donor of hers got, as scooped by, who else, Bill Melugin on Fox 11?
Kuehl’s disdain for us is on display in every nook of the media across the United States. They must think we’re idiots for voting for people like Sheila Kuehl, Governor Gavin Newsom and Mayor Eric Garcetti and we will prove them right if she retains her gig after this.
(Daniel Guss, MBA, was runner-up for the 2020 Los Angeles Press Club journalism award for Best Online Political Commentary and has contributed to CityWatch, KFI AM-640, iHeartMedia, 790-KABC, Cumulus Media, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Daily News, Los Angeles Magazine, Movieline Magazine, Emmy Magazine, Los Angeles Business Journal, Pasadena Star News, Los Angeles Downtown News, and the Los Angeles Times in its Sports, Opinion and Entertainment sections and Sunday Magazine, among other publishers. Follow him on Twitter @TheGussReport. His opinions are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of CityWatch.) Prepped for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.