I joined Chris Prevatt at the City Council meeting last night. What a different demeanor the Council had in regards to Public Comments. The Mayor was very lenient on the time frame to turn in speaker cards and this time they took the harsh criticism leveled at them. I spoke briefly on the item to remove Tish Leon, letting them know they were essentially listening to the words of Art Pedroza, a man who promoted sex between men and boys on websites he owned and Sean Mill, a man who has threatened to harm multiple Santa Ana residents(he once threatened to kick me in the teeth in an e-mail and threatened in a text to Phil Bacerra to send gang members to his house).
As Chris pointed other, other than David Benavides, there was no true apology, particularly from Claudia Alvarez. There was a faux sense of remorse, what I believe is a half assed attempt to appease investigators from the Attorney General’s office that their actions were simply the result of a misinterpretation of the law. This is pure BS. I know this because the very first time I ever spoke before the Council, during the first meeting regarding OBP in 2004, I publicly called for Claudia Alvarez(and I mentioned her by name) to recuse herself because of Mike Harrah’s support for her in the recent Assembly Primary. Then Councilwoman Lisa Bist was presiding over the meeting and made no attempt to silence or interrupt my speech. What happened two weeks ago was a blatant and malicious attempt by a woman who knows precisely what the law is, to silence a critic who was simply pointing out their hypocrisy as Councilmembers and pointing out her and the Mayor’s sudden conversion to being anti-Lupe Moreno when they supported her in the past.
Next came the discussion to remove Tish Leon. Just as Councilman Benavides was speaking, the mayor interrupted him to present Councilwoman Martinez with a birthday cake. Personally I think it was staged if you ask me. Sitting together were Art Pedroza, Sean Mill and Park and Recs Commissioner and Lou Correa staffer Max Madrid. Max appeared to be very chummy with Art and Sean. Then the three clapped eratically everytime Claudia Alvarez, Michele Martinez or Sal Tinajero spoke. It reminded me of a story my father once told me.
You see my father grew up in Mexico during the reign of the PRI(Partido Revolucion Institucional), particularly during the beginning of the more despotic period of rule at the time of the Tlatelolco Massacre of 1968. In the wake of the Massacre, the government went on a spree of “Patriotic rally’s” where they would gather up teenage and young adults and try to brainwash them that the student leaders of Tlatelolco hated Mexico and were trying to destroy the country. Before the rally, the PRI would go through the town and find alcoholics, people severely in debt, or simply people who really desired to feel part of the “in-crowd” and had them fill in spots at the rally and clap eratically at key parts of the rally to give an impression they had more support than they really did. In exchange the alcoholics were given their alcohol, the indebted were bailed out and the wannabe popular folks were given civic appointments where they did nothing but they had a title. Their job was then to harass, terrorize and ruin the reputations of people who were still being critical of the PRI post Tlatelolco. Sound familiar. That is what Max, Art and Sean reminded me of last night.
In the end, no shocker, Tish was let go after Michele claimed the real reason was a lack of a working relationship. That’s funny Michele, after all of us supported you through your maverick phase, you are the one who stabbed us all in the back and decided to end the working relationship you had with us. Amazing how Mayor Pulido and Claudia Alvarez emulate their old ruling party from Mexico. We need reform in this city, we need to re-elect David Benavides, who is proving to be the real maverick on the COuncil and we need to elect Alfredo Amezcua as mayor. The year is 2010, lets send a message people, much like some brave men and women from Mexico did in 1810 and 1910 and liberate Santa Ana from the grips of El Nueva PRI and their hacks.