Bad Magic Tricks and a Matter of Trust
by J. Evert Jones and Olivia Rubio
Who is Wendy Greuel? Does even she know? Let’s take a look:
The last few weeks have certainly been tumultuous for Ms. Greuel. In a primary campaign where she pulled a $160 million rabbit of “fraud and waste” out of a hat, Ms. Greuel found that her trick wasn’t quite as impressive as she thought. With a lackluster second place finish in the primary and her campaign taking on water, several of Greuel’s campaign staff resigned, most likely uncomfortable with the concept of rearranging deck chairs.
The next part of Greuel’s act is less of a change of campaign strategy than it is a bad sequel to the first act— only this time, instead of dangling money in front of Angelenos, Ms. Greuel switches to using the bling of star power to capture the attention and devotion of this city’s voters. Picture “The Hangover II”, only with bigger names.
Ms. Greuel has recently collected endorsements like baseball cards, each one more eye-catching than the one before. Thursday, Greuel was endorsed by Los Angeles Lakers great Magic Johnson, the day before, President Bill Clinton; before that, former Mayor Richard Riordan. (we hear she’s angling for the Easter Bunny by Saturday).
In the meantime, Ms. Greuel has since engaged in an almost daily ritual of reinventing herself from scratch. It’s almost like watching television with someone else holding the remote.
Thursday, Greuel cited Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for failed leadership in Los Angeles. This happens just days after she hires the Mayor’s own deputy chief of staff to run her campaign. All while she quietly assembles a host of Villaraigosa supporters and political appointees to help drive her campaign.
One day, Greuel distances herself from the City Council’s decision to increase the minimum retirement age for the City’s unions—a move she, as city controller, endorsed. The next day, sometime after locking up the unions’ endorsement, Wendy cozies up once again to raising the retirement age. The difference this time is that she intends to cut deeper into her captive union constituency by including workers already under a collective bargaining agreement. The contradictions, the reversals, and the bad magic tricks she’s using to misdirect the voters’ attention are staggering.
Who is Wendy Greuel? Does even she know? And if she doesn’t know, how can she be trusted with a city of 12 million people?
Olivia Rubio, MSW
“Truth never damages a cause that is just”
-Mohandas “Mahatma” Gandhi