The Need for Perspicuity

THE VIEW FROM HERE - The original “The Need For Perspicuity” appeared in a 1968 newsletter of Adelante, Inc, Mexican American Organization for Progress, in Claremont, California, addressing the need for everyone to step back and take more thoughtful looks at government and social issues.

Since Adelante’s President Ben Molina is deceased, this version of The Need For Perspicuity applies his ideas to the current problems in the city of Los Angeles. 

We Angelenos need to address three subjects: (1) the secret audio taping of three city councilmembers (Nury Martinez, Kevin de León, Gil Cedillo), (2) Rick Caruso’s dishonorable mayoral campaign, and (3) The 3/15/45 City Council Plan. 

The Secret Audio Taping 

After mulling over this situation, the secret nature of the audio taping now appears to be relevant. The reason is not because it violated Penal Code § 682 that no one may be audio taped without their express or implied consent.  Rather, we all need to honestly ask ourselves, suppose someone secretly audio taped us at a Passover Seder, at Thanksgiving dinner, or at a Quinceañera. 

Because the dividing line between private and public has been obscured, we all need to think more clearly about privacy.  Plots to overthrow the government and murdering the vice-president mandate exposure.  This audio tape is closer to opinions and words within our own families. Do we want to make the test for public office private opinions rather than public actions?   

We Have Been Bamboozled and Mislead About the Conversation 

Everyone should listen to the actual tape and not rely on the LA Times, aka Pravda West.    KNOCK LA  Anyone whose words have been taken out of context can be made to look like a bigot. 

Nury Martinez is portrayed as anti-Black.  Thus, the LA Times omitted all the good things she said about Herb Wesson and her riding on a float for the MLK Parade with CM Bonin’s son. The LA Times omits that Ms. Martinez was sitting with Karen Bass and CM Marqueece Harris- Dawson’s wife, Carrie. It omits that all three women were noticing how CM Bonin’s kid was misbehaving. Nury Martinez notes that the three women on the float are thinking “who’s gonna handle this kid?”  When relating how this kid, “este nińo,” was “literally hanging off the rails” of the float, she refers to him as, “parece changuito” because “he is literally hanging off the rails” like a monkey, not because he is Black. She then complains that Bonin is “raising him like a little white kid.”  

[I must apologize here to Nury Martinez for my previously relying on a false translation which appeared in my last article.   October 13, 2022, CityWatch, Identity Politics Fractures LA City Council   I did not track down the actual audio tape, but instead I wrongfully relied on someone else. Ms. Martinez did not say “ese changuito” “that little monkey.” When she referred to Bonin’s kid; she said, “este nińo,” with no race distinction.  When she said “parece changuito,” it was because he “looked like a little monkey . . hanging off the rails.”] 

The LA Times’ false accounting of how Martinez referred to the kid’s behavior on the MLK day float is so dramatically different from what the audio tape shows that the LA Times should be hanging its head in shame for ginning up race hatred.  Ms. Martinez does disparage Whites’ child rearing. After two years as a sub teacher, after working in Central Juvy, and after years with los vatos locos en las calles when I was young, I agree with her.  Many Whites also criticize the Dr. Benjamin Spock mentally. There is nothing racist about her opinion. Anyone who asserts that Ms. Martinez was actually threatening to beat the kid parece tener motivos malos.  

One could write 10,000 words debunking the charges against Nury Martinez, Kevin De Leon and Gil Cedillo, but other misdeeds require our perspicuity. 

(2) The Dishonorable Rick Caruso 

In his use of character assassination, Rick Caruso excels.  Because this election will be vital for Los Angeles’ future, we need perspicuity to comprehend Caruso’s unethical ways. 

Caruso would have the world believe that Karen Bass is like Mark Rigley-Thomas who has been federally indicted for bribery and money laundering.  Contrary to what one would think from Caruso’s ads, Karen Bass’s scholarship was not secret. It was approved in advance by Congress’s ethic committee. She is not under investigation for corruption. Her scholarship plays no role in the Mark Rigley-Thomas case, except maybe to show how Karen Bass followed the law while MRT did not.  Nonetheless, Caruso says that Karen Bass got her scholarship from the same dean who bribed MRT, falsely implying that Bass is corrupt.  Caruso omits that he was on USC Board of Trustees and he could have stopped Bass’ scholarship if it had been corrupt.   

Politicos Lie Because They Can Tailor Lies to Say Whatever They Want 

Caruso lies on live TV.  When the moderator of the Channel 4 debate asked if Karen Bass would take a pledge not to raise taxes, she declined since the future is uncertain.  Caruso took the pledge not to raise taxes.  A few moments later, Caruso stated that Karen Bass had said that “she would raise taxes.”  Caruso’s lie was damaging to Bass, whereas her truthful position that no one knows the future showed that she is honest and thoughtful.  Let’s be perspicacious –  everyone was watching Caruso; yet, he had the gal to lie, but he was caught. He also had lied during the Channel 11 debate when he denied saying that he would jail the homeless; moderator Elex Michaelson immediately caught him.  When Caruso is so brazen in public, can he be trusted in private?  Perspicuity shows that Caruso is untrustworthy. 

We Need More than Normal Perspicuity with Caruso and Taxes 

In 2016, Caruso gave $200,000.00 to Measure M to raise LA taxes because mass transit benefits developers like Caruso.   Dec. 28, 2016, LA Times Political donations flow as Rick Caruso seeks approval for a 20-story tower near the Beverly Center, by David Zahniser We are all now paying than extra ½ cent sales tax. Caruso is now promising to construct 500,000 affordable housing units along mass transit lines.  “Affordable” means taxpayer subsidized construction since no private developer can build for less than market value.  Caruso is committing $400 Billion of taxpayer funds to housing while pledging not to raise taxes ($800K x 500,000 = $400 B)!  One does not need 20/20 eyesight to see that Caruso is either lying about not raising taxes or he is lying about constructing $400 Billion of affordable housing, or he is lying about both. 

Why Does Caruso Promise to Construct Affordable Housing for 1,410,000 People (2.8 ppl per unit x 500,000 - 1,410,000)?

Caruso wants all the labor unions in the construction industry to vote for him.  His absurd promise is a form of bribery.  Caruso has no intention of constructing housing for another 1.4 million people. At no time in LA history has Los Angeles gained one million people within a thirty (3) year period.  In the 30 years between 1960, when LA’s gigantic growth spurt started with 2.4 million ppl, and 1990, LA gained only one million people. Yet,  Caruso promises the trades unions that he will build enough housing for 1.4 Million people.  When voters are perspicacious, they see that Caruso says whatever sounds good without regard for facts.  

Subtract LA’s 2.4 M population in 1960 from our 3.4 M population in 1990 and one sees that in our best thirty year growth period, LA added only 1.0 M ppl.  When people look at actual data, Caruso’s grandiose promises are revealed as lies.  BTW, Los Angeles lost 204,000 people last year. All of us Angelenos need to embrace the fancy word, perspicuity.  It means, “don’t believe a con artist who wants your vote.” 

(3) The 3/15/45 City Council 

Since 2016, we’ve had the formula to kill city hall corruption.   February 7, 2016, Zwartz Talk, The Corruption Eradicator, The 3/15/45 City Council, by Scott Zwartz      

All Angelenos need to do is open their eyes and get a clear view of an alternative city hall structure. Under the 3/15/45 plan, each district will have three (3) councilpersons and a resident may approach the councilperson whose philosophy is closest to their own. Right now, we’re stuck with a single councilmember and all CMs are developer stooges. 

Why Won’t the Developers Own All Three Councilpersons? 

Here’s why. All three councilpersons will be elected in the same election and the top three voter getters become the three councilpersons.  Even though developers have enough cash to buy all the candidates, not all the voters can be fooled all the time.  Even if a majority vote for the developer’s shill, there will be enough perspicacious voters to elect non-developer candidates as # 2 and #3.  Once in office, co-councilpersons will have identical rank and powers. Each will have their own vote at city council. 

How the 3/15/45 System Kills Developer Corruption 

The glue which holds together the current corrupt system is that each councilmember has exclusive control of his district and its one vote. The voting trading system requires that each councilmember must vote Yes for every project another councilmember places on the city council agenda. Any councilmember who votes No faces retaliation. Any councilmember who does not trade his vote for return Yes votes for his projects will be frozen out. It will be as if he does not exist. That is why every project passes with unanimous Yes votes. 

When there are three councilpersons per district, one or two of them will vote against the shill’s project.  When the other co-councilpersons vote No, there is no way the developers can retaliate against them and the other councilpersons across the city when they also vote No. In fact, if all 15 developer shills try to retaliate, they will not have a majority. The 3/15/45 system turns the developers into eunuchs. If, on the other hand, a developer has a decent project, nothing prevents a city council majority from approving his project. 

If we Angelenos embrace Perspicuity and do not let the LA Times or Rick Caruso lead us around like a bull with a ring in its nose, we can take control of the city.


(Richard Lee Abrams has been an attorney, a Realtor and community relations consultant as well as a CityWatch contributor.  You may email him at [email protected].   The opinions expressed by Mr. Abrams are solely his and not necessarily those of CityWatch.)