Sunday, August 28, 2011

Assembly Speaker Perez Still Determined to Destroy Vernon

He may not have the support of the business community or the government in the tiny Los Angeles County town of Vernon. He may have alienated its organized labor, no small feat for a career union hack. The County Board of Supervisors, his ostenible allies, may have cooled to his idea with recent revelations that Vernon's debts are far larger than previously thought. And his biggest ally in the Senate, Kevin de Leon, may have also deserted him. But the LA Times reports today that Assembly Speaker John Perez is not giving up on AB 46, his bid to forcibly dissolve Vernon.

It's tempting to ask why Perez remains so determined to wipe out Vernon. His argument about corruption in the city's government has never held much water; if an AB 46 was required for every corrupt government running an LA County town like a personal fiefdom, half the cities there (including Los Angeles itself) wouldn't exist anymore. And it's odd that Perez seems singularly impervious to the concerns of the city's business community, insofar as 50,000 jobs could flee the recession-battered county if his bill goes through. Perhaps, as was said of the Joker in the most recent Batman movie, some men just want to watch the world burn. We'd have to assume, at this point, that Perez is simply afraid to look bad. It might be very bad policy, but abandoning his signature piece of legislation might play badly in future elections. So, unfortunately, it looks like this sorry spectacle of government greed will have to play itself out to the end.


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