Saturday, July 23, 2011

Los Angteles Mayor Villaraigosa and Police Chef Beck Embarrass LAPD

It's easy to blame the LAPD for botching the Dodger beating case and erroneously fingering Giovanni Ramirez as the perpetrator. But really, the only blame belongs with Mayor Villaraigosa and Police Chef Beck for creating the hoopla that identified Ramirez as a suspect the time. Ramirez was never charged with the Dodger beating. Naming a person publicly as a suspect typically does not generate the fanfare of a civic press conference to declare that the case had been solved. However in what can only be described as shameless famewhoring, that's what the mayor and police chief did. If they hadn't stuck their noses in front of the cameras, the arrest of the real perpetrators would not given LAPD the black eye it has received.

In a city which probably has the highest percentage of resident famewhores in the world, Mayor Villaraigosa ranks at the very top. Yet, this isn't the mayor's most extreme case of forcing himself into the spotlight. That occurred when the Lakers won the 2009 NBA championship and during the team parade Villaraigosa sneaked onto the team bus to stand side by side with Kobe Bryant during the procession. Read the disgusting details at

But actually the mayor's penchant for the spotlight is not the most disturbing thing since he is, after all, a politician. What particularly troubles me is that the mayor gives the image of a smart and knowledgeable individual, where within the city government it is known that he in fact is not terribly bright. I do admire Villaraigosa for transforming himself from a high school truant, making it to UCLA and after graduation, law school. But it bothers me that a person who is so articulate, glib, and seemingly well versed on many topics, can fool the public when in fact he is no Bill Clinton or Barack Obama on the intelligence scale.

Of course you could speculate that those who question his intelligence may have their own agenda. But the fact is that he did flunk the California Bar Exam four times. Now the California Bar is not exactly the toughest test in the world. Indeed when I took the bar review course before sitting for the bar, they taught us that the number one objective was to write an exam where the bar examiners did not laugh at you. Now anybody can flunk the bar exam once. Stuff happens. But when somebody goes zero for four on the bar exam, that's pretty much proof to me that the person is not a mental giant.

But really the fact that the mayor can portray the image of being more capable than he is doesn't bother me that much, if it were an isolated instance. However I know of another city politician with a similar profile. This longtime politician was frequently seen in the media, expounding intelligently on a number of different issues. Yet somebody who worked closely with this person described them as being as dense as a rock. So if I, who am generally unconnected to our public officials, know of two not-so-bright politicians who seem to know what they're talking about, how many more of them are there out there? Now that's something to be worried about.

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