Into 2008, Weakly
The LA Weekly's city desk has been coming up with some backdrafting countertakes on LAUSD matters of late. The latest cover appears to be an instance of payback journalism where an earlier article went too far for the Mayor's office taste.
Remember this article in the Weekly from summer? A fairly responsible article, that. In it, large parts of Monica Garcia's so-called reform package were found to have been drafted by the Mayor's office. The accidental disclosure was a major mistake, a major embarrassment to the Mayor, and Weekly scribe Patrick Range McDonald called them on it. Monica shrugged, McDonald dug deeper and found that the Mayor's reformers had little experience at school reform.
That was then. One can only imagine the subsequent dialog that produced this week's extreme curtseying makeover of a cover story, a 5,000 word hatchet job on the LAUSD's Super Dave Brewer makes it look as though it's the Admiral who has dragged anchor for a year in transforming the District.
Although 50% of the Admiral's distractions, easily, are caused by the Mayor, and the Mayor's office and their crones have spent two years ramping up and cramming through their own agenda for the District, the Mayor's various broadsides are scarcely mentioned. Nor are the daily headaches of managing an inheirited building campaign that's $6 billion dollars more bloated than Boston's Big Dig, nor the original source of the daily conundrum of the enormous payroll problem.
All these problems were contracted during the Romer/Huizar years, when current prez Monica Garcia was Jose's Chief of Staff at the District, and presumably ushered most of these various problem contractors with a big smile into Jose's office, so Jose could make the recommendations to the Board necessary to seal their deals.
Nonetheless, the Weekly makes Monica out to be a whipcracker and Brewer a slacker. But to me, blaming the District's woes on one year of Brewer is a lot like blaming a player for not winning a bad chess position inheirited from a friend of the opponent, in which the ceaselessly bullying opponent keeps knocking pieces off the board all the while.
Brewer may be a little slow to move, but who wouldn't be, given the various scopes of the Herculean problems? Would you move to fix the payroll system if the Board were giving you bids that cost more than the whole damn Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels to buy? In blowing the Brewer story out to a 5,000 word cover, the Weekly got pwned by Team Antonio.