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Friday, January 09, 2009

An Intervention for Matt Szabo?

I am beginning to get concerned for Mayoral spokesman Matt Szabo (pictured here with co-spokesflack Janelle Erickson).  I first met Matt about six years ago when I was working as a volunteer for Wendy Greuel's first Council race. In addition to working phone banks, Matt's team sent me to canvass goasts in Sunland-Tujunga.  

I digrees.  Matt seemed like a very nice young man and intelligent political operative - not unlike the character played by Michael J. Fox in Spin City or Rob Lowe in The West Wing. 

Sometime later Matt was hired as Mayor Villaraigosa's spokesman.  It seemed like a good idea at the time but considering everything he's been through - from Mirthala to toilets - one wonders if Matt wishes he could reconsider the decision.

The latest kerfuffle Matt was forced into involved the re-stating of his bosses boastful remarks about the LA Weekly, issued some months after the great Patrick Range McDonald story that made the case Mayor Villaraigosa spends about 11% of his time on actual city business.  You may remember the Mayor got a little too big for his britches when he claimed to Rick Orlov of the Daily News that they were upset because they never got to see his private schedule - something that would actually be illegal.  As PRM reported Matt had to come back and say the Mayor "misspoke." There was only one schedule and indeed The Weekly did have it - which means Patrick's calculations are correct.

So in the latest round Matt sat down with Patrick to parse the Mayor's statement to Orlov word for word.  However it must have been a near impossible task because all Szabo could do was to continue to assert that “Mayor Villaraigosa works harder and longer than any other big-city mayor in America, and everyone in Los Angeles knows it.”  Remember those two clauses because Pat deconstructs both of them.

Pat went to Fred Siegel, no, not the clothing store magnate, but professor of history at the Cooper Union for Science and Art in New York City, strongly.  Siegel - a recognized expert on municipal affairs - finds  Szabo's statement ridiciulous and descibles Villaraigosa as a “ceremonial mayor.”   Siegel grants the title of "hardest working mayor" to Richard Daley of Chicago, Thomas Menino of Boston and Cory Booker of Newark, New Jersey.  He probably doesn't know about South El Monte Mayor Blanca Figueroa who works so hard, statying in her office until 11:00 at night, that her City Council wants to take her keys away from her.

As far as "everyone" knowing and agreeing how hard the Mayor works, Patrick isn't sure about that one too. It appears that beside the usual suspects such as this blog and inflammatory talkradio host Doug McIntyre the story has been covered by decidely non-Villaraigosa haters such as Fishbowl LA and the LA Times.  150 readers commented on the Weekly's piece; most of which were highly critical of the Mayor.

If I was someone close to Szabo, I would perhaps direct him towards another job.  Remember the first part of conquering it is admitting it.

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23 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The hammer is starting to come down. First with Ron Kaye and his Solar 8 group winning against the Mayor and his corrupt thugs in court yesterday and now the Muslims calling him out for siding with Israel no doubt just to get votes. The Mayor is as dumb as he looks. I'm waiting for Jill Stewart and LA Weekly to find out where the gang money is going and the relationships they have with the Mayor. Matt needs to get out into the city to really hear what people think of this DO NOTHING MAYOR. People are sending e-mails telling everyone to start booing when he shows up to your event.

January 09, 2009 7:10 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Didn't Matt Szabo works as a spokesman for Rocky? So much for the clean background. Rocky provided good training for his job with the Mayor.

January 09, 2009 7:13 AM  

Blogger Unafraid in CD7 said:

I too knew Szabo during Greuel's first CD2 campaign and pretty much feel the same way as you about the guy, MS. What a thankless job.

Won't stop me from calling a spokeshole a spokeshole, tho.

January 09, 2009 8:42 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

You'll notice that throughout all this city-related calamity that passes for work, TONY manages to keep himself from speaking PERSONALLY about these things. When TONY does choose to speak about anything, it's just another helping of that special Villaraigosa-styled blather, delivered in his inimitable style for the less-than-astute members of the public to soak in.

Szabo knows on which side his bread is buttered, and he knows that HE is the last line of defense for TONY when it comes to defending TONY's "day is night and night is day" level of pronouncements to the public.

Money is money, and working for TONY V. no longer means fulfilling a desire for service to the public, but, instead, pulling in enough earnings now while it's there to be had, to establish a good personal financial foundation. This will tide him over and sustain his future when TONY's "house of cards" gets hit with the inevitable and overdue winds of truth that will bring this seedy chapter of city history to a close.

Szabo has to do this sort of financial planning as he seems quite a few notches above TONY in the "smarts" level, and won't use the City's "spend 'til you drop" style as his model for his personal financial planning.

Szabo's separation from TONY can wait until the last dollar can be earned. Any taint from this job is going to be easily excused as, "What else could I have done? It was my job to cover him," or, more basically, "He really had me taken in, too, with all his b.s. and I was too naive back then to see it."

I am not holding my breath for any Tony-spoken press interviews on any of this, just as I would be asking for i.d. if TONY appeared at a debate.

In Tony's old cd, CD-14

January 09, 2009 8:51 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This blog is a home for mental maturbators and fantasy freaks.

Do any of you really, truly believe you have a chance in Hell of beating Antonio in March?

Saltzburg and Moore don't have two nickels to rub together to make a Boy Scout. How in the world are the ten people who read this blog (and happen to agree with the fools) going to elect either one of them?

C'mon Higby, let's pay attention to the races that are undecided now, City Attorney, Controller and 5th District Council.

Looks to me like Jack Weiss is in the lead, but if there is a run off, Nuch Trutanich could pull it out. Noel Weiss runs a distant 4th behind MIchael Amerian, but the three of them could force a run off.

Controller looks like Wendy Greuel has it sewed up, but if Nick Patsouras gets enough money and someone else to articulate his message, he could surprise.

In the 5th, I'd say it is Paul Koretz and Robyn Ritter Simon; Robyn is likely to win this as Koretz carpetbagged into the district and everyone knows it.

Maybe someone else has a thought that is contructive, besides telling each other how much you hate the mayor and how you are going to overturn the will of the people on Prop 8.

Blog away, Dum Dums...

January 09, 2009 9:13 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

9:13 am, on the incumbent's payroll and not ready for another job search.

January 09, 2009 9:28 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Did Phil Jennerjahn AND David Hernandez really get the County GOP endorsement??? How the f*ck do you endorse two candidates in the same race?

January 09, 2009 9:29 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Maybe Matt should be asked what AV contributed to the discussion when he was part of the economic advisor group that Obama put together.

I'd like to see him try and spin that one into something flattering.

Picture this: Warren Buffet speaks his mind, and then it's AV's turn.

January 09, 2009 11:04 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Correct 9:28 and my guess it's Matt because Trujillo can not compose sentences as well as Matt can.

January 09, 2009 11:11 AM  

Blogger Heather said:

9:13am Most definitely an Antonio lapdog. Its not whether or not Antonio the crook has it all sewn up its the fact that people are speaking out against him and his corruption and getting noticed for it. The internet is a very powerful tool to have more so then newspapers. I've heard thousands of people may not be posting here but there sure are a lot reading including reporters. Now if they only got some balls to start asking the tough questions to the Mayor. Wendy and Jack will get nailed because of their association with the crook Antonio. Even if they win they've already been tainted by many for their association with him and Wendy for being so slimy.

January 09, 2009 11:44 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Did Phil Jennerjahn AND David Hernandez really get the County GOP endorsement??? How the f*ck do you endorse two candidates in the same race?

Jealous, Walter?

January 09, 2009 11:49 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

That is a goddamn creepy photo.

January 09, 2009 1:55 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

higby you are a total rat bastard for doing these types of things.

January 09, 2009 6:58 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

These two in the photo look like a couple of robots. Automatons without a hit of personal introspection. Scumbags

January 09, 2009 7:10 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

who is jill strewart?

January 09, 2009 7:20 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Rat bastard?

That's silly. I too wonder why Szabo continues to embarrass himself working for Villaraigosa. Can't he get a job with Obama?

January 09, 2009 9:28 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Yeah, Matt, why do you embarass yurself working for Antonio?

Why don't you go to work for a real winner, like, say Dave Saltzburg?

January 10, 2009 7:14 AM  

Blogger Zuma Dogg said:

Why would I hire Matt? He has done a crap job. No magic there. I am much better at what he does, than he is. I think Trujillo can run circles around that clown, anyway.

January 11, 2009 1:16 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Szabo is as convince in the merger accomplishments of the mayor as the mayor himself.
He is nothing like the Fox or Lowe characters from fiction.
At least they appeared to have a backbone when it came to political fortitude. Szabo has no backbone. The only bone he has is for little asia boys on the West Hollywood strip.
He joined Villaraigosa for the money and the experience, not the community both him and the mayor claim to work for.
He tries to be as slick as his hair is comb back, and both appear contrived and bogus.
Szabo and the mayor deserve the same fate... they are one in the sam.

January 11, 2009 1:49 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

ZD "hire" someone??? With what? His cigarette butts, leftover Starbucks coffee cups or overdrafts?

This guy doesn't have the proverbial pot to piss in or the window to throw it out of, let alone pay soemone to work for him.

No loser, we weren't suggesting that Matt woek for you; it ws sarcasm, but I guess an uneducated, ignorant jerk like you is unable to recognize more sophisticated humor.

I guess when you are unemployed, unbathed and unshaven and suffer from deprived sleep disorder, nothing is funny.

Except you.

January 11, 2009 4:30 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Matt, check out the comment on earlier thread where someone points out that what you SHOULD be doing is showing what a sham/ false front for Jill Stewart's only biased views, the Weekly has become since she showed up to reign terror over it.

See Mark Cooper's farewell obit on it, on what a farce of journalism it is to hire a fool like Dogg to write about City Hall when he regularly shows up there to disrupt it and waste their time -- then she has him "reporting" on the scene including public comment, which he and his imitators turned into a circus, but since he can't write and hates to read (and admits to having ADD, so he can't even get through 2 mins. of public comment without screaming or getting unfocused), she "rewrites" it (Cooper points out everyone knew she wrote it all for him) to reflect her own views, just using him as a mouthpiece.

Since no decent reporter would put up with that, she fired them all as soon as she got there, and the last ones standing, the film and theatre critics furthest removed from her clutches, were just let go this week.

And Matt, I don't even like your boss, I think he's inarticulate and his "misspeaking" was typical when he tries to speak unscripted.
And explain to him that legal and illegal immigrants are not the same things, that people are mad as hell at the illegals and their anchor babies outnumbering legal citizens and their kids now, and are mad as hell that affordable housing and and all the expensive new schools being built under LAUSD are going for them to right some sort of perceived historical wrongs to the Zoot Suit generation.

Explain to him that it's the middle class who are leaving the city because his favored group have displaced them from the schools and neighborhoods without being able to pay their fair share in taxes to maintain them.

But on the plus side, I think he's not nearly as bad as Reyes, Alarcon or some of the other Latinos, even Gloria Molina, who are only obsessed with their areas and couldn't give a damn about the rest of the city. Have him tell his homies to do the same and make nice with the white middle class and all those dumb white rich liberals, especially, who have happily given up the city to them.

January 11, 2009 6:04 PM  

Blogger seejayd said:

WHY...and I wish someone ...including the candidate himself..Mr. Matt, why did you change your party ticket from republican to democrat?? that's the first thing I want to know. Everything else will fall into place.

February 05, 2013 4:10 PM  

Blogger seejayd said:

what I want to know is: WHY did Mr. Matt change party tickets...from republican to democratic?

February 05, 2013 4:11 PM  

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