Antonio Villaraigosa LAFD

Derailing Antonio’s Misguided Outrage at Firefighters


    You want outrage? Try the pedophile protector and the mayor.

Antonio Villaraigosa, showing the wild imagination and creativity too often missing from City Hall, tried hard this week to share his outrage over an L.A. firefighters’ union mailer that contains some low-quality photos of last year’s fatal Metrolink crash.

He even magnified the allegedly offensive photo by three times in a failed effort to prove that an unprincipled union, in a nasty budget fight, lost its moral compass and showed “body parts” of crash victims. But there are no body parts. When magnified, the photo shows a blood-stained sheet covering the body of a Metrolink engineer who died. But that didn’t keep the mayor from using the term “body parts” so many times I thought he was inventorying talent at a local TV station.

“When you see these images — body parts strewn on the ground — they’re absolutely unacceptable,” Villaraigosa told City Hall news conference. “They’re beyond the pale. They’re irresponsible and people should be held accountable for them, it’s as simple as that.”

The mayor was venting. Too bad he lacks a strong staff member who could keep him from going public with his mistaken photo criticism. I understand his frustration at seeing signs posted outside fire stations across the city, blaming his budget-cutting for endangering the public, but doesn’t this guy keep a scrapbook like the rest of us? He should turn to the page that shows similar photos used during last year’s successful lobbying efforts of well-connected Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills for a new hospital wing.

One key difference, of course, doesn’t show up in any photo. Unlike the firefighters’ squabble, the fight over the hospital expansion brought in campaign contributions.

And please don’t take this post as support of the firefighters’ union position in the ongoing negotiations over the city’s tight budget. No one in their right mind believes the city would fail to adequately respond to a disaster as grave as the Metrolink crash that killed 25 people. Most likely, the pampered union doesn’t want to wean its members from outrageous overtime and six-digit salaries.

For more deserving objects of outrage, I suggest that the mayor pick on the bad cardinal, whose Pedophile Protection Program remains in the crosshairs of a grand jury. Or take on Sheriff Lee Baca, who criticized a jury verdict in a deputy-involved Compton shooting and appears to support fatally shooting an armed man in the back.

Or, if he still has that magnifying glass handy, I’d be happy to share my grainy photos shot from a grassy knoll in Dallas in 1963.


  • Anyone who cares to should click to the “bad cardinal” link and view the Times photo of this ex-priest Baker that Cardinal Mahoney is charged with defending. If ever there were a true face of evil this Judas priest is wearing it.

  • While reading the comments section at the Times article, I came across this insightful and unfortunately soon to be prophetical comment regarding Roger the dodger.

    “I was in the seminary myself and got to know Cardinal Roger Mahoney personally. I have to say he is a bright leader and a great politician as well. He deals with very wealthy people and powerful people in the government. So it doesn’t surprise me to read that his attorney mentions that the cardinal is not a “target”. I can personally comment that trying to convict the Cardinal is almost like trying to convict George W Bush of abuse of power. It’s not going to happen in the near future. I can also say that while I was in the seminary, I learned the church is willing to sacrifice more than $500 million than to get rid of these priests since it’s desperately yearning for vocations.”

    Posted by: Geo Hernandez | August 15, 2009 at 12:00 AM

  • I agree that Antonio is using visual hyperbole here, but then he’s responding to the tone of the firefighters’ union, both in print and in demeanor in council. The LAPD union ticked me off too when over a month ago, during their negotitions, Weber sent an e-blast to all 400-500,000 of us on the e-policing list (which we thought was to inform us of “first amendment events” which involved street closures and the like) warning that if the cops were furloughed even an hour/ MONTH that would mean hundreds of cops off the streets, likely significant increases in violence etc. etc. That math made no sense and was debunked as such — the LAFD was wrong to go a step further and show graphic photos (body parts or not, of tv anchors or topless bathers by the pool in Vegas or not, whatever). That was akin to the PPL adding photos of homicide victims in their email — Weber’s crass but not THAT crass.

    Should the Mayor have been the one to de-escalate and bring it back to a more civil discourse? Probably, and you’re probably right there’s no one in the office who dares tell him so. He does seem especially cranky lately that he’s lost Bratton on top of Weiss, and is assailed by homeowner and taxpayer advocate groups even as he’s union support for trying to balance the budget.

    I’m not sure it’s appropriate to bring Mahoney into this particular battle, however — but as long we’re going there, there’s no doubt Cooley the devout Catholic (oh, those rosaries and confessions are so handy for clearing one’s sins) will never touch him. And I agree that Prima Dona-ish Baca deserves a whole lot more scrutiny than he’s gotten, with his threatening to close a jail, halt all DNA testing etc. when HE’S face with any budget cut, and as in cases like this, getting VERY testy when questioned over anything, even though the Sheriff’s Deputies seem to be a whole lot more prone to “mistakes” than Bratton’s LAPD.

  • “Or take on Sheriff Lee Baca, who criticized a jury verdict in a deputy-involved Compton shooting and appears to support fatally shooting an armed man in the back.”

    This comment may reveal some degree of cluelessness on the blogger’s part.

    It’s Baca’s right to criticize it, and L.A. County will no doubt appeal the $2.65 million jury verdict.

    “Fatally shooting an armed man in the back” may be distasteful to you, but necessary for public safety. Actually, is not law enforcement obligated to do exactly that, when a fleeing suspect presents an imminent threat to others? (He was carrying an illegal, sawed-off shotgun.)

    Imagine another outcome: The suspect running away from police with his shotgun could have victimized some innocent citizen on the next block; then that family would have sued the sheriffs for NOT using deadly force to stop the threat when they had the chance. Would that outcome (with an innocent citizen victimized) have been preferable?

  • The facist xenophobe A. Smithson is supporting the white Nazi L.A. cops, A. Smithson why would a person running from the police with a “supposed” sawed off shotgun pose an imminent threat to others. We all know cops kill innocent mexicans and blacks all over L.A. Do you even know if the shotgun was his or loaded? The cops should first determine if the shotgun is loaded before killing another completely innocent person of color.

    I know that prisoners were killed at the lastest Chino prison riot, but it was covered up by powers that be. More than likely the shotgun was planted on this black person by a white xenophobe cop.

  • Hey 11:55,
    A-E-I-O-U- el burro eres tu! Hehehe.
    Madame Moderator, please show this adult/child to the airlock.

  • Celeste, it appears that the firefighter who just won a $4.8 million judgment against the city for alleged discrimination is one of the LAFD union negotiators. That would be a little cynical, don’t you think? Can you verify his participation? (Allegedly he appeared at City Council last week with his fellow union members and has participated in negotiations.)

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