Link to clip from radio show: http://mayorsam.podOmatic.com/entry/2009-05-30T00_29_00-07_00
Used to be that when a politician was termed, voted out or retired from office they'd take a cushy job in private industry or a lobbyist or once in a while return to a previous or family business. If they were a purist they might go into academics.
That's not necessary anymore when the politicians in office have found all kinds of ways to spend money to appoint former elected officials to cushy government jobs and commission seats that pay wages they could not get in private industry, legally anyway. From Cindy Montanez to Richard Katz to Mike Hernandez out of office politicians can be assured job security by their friends who still control the pursestrings.
The latest, greatest and shadiest of this may be the chatter we're hearing that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is planning to appoint termed out Council Member and defeated City Attorney candidate Jack Weiss to the $200,000 a year position of Deputy Mayor of Homeland Security for the City of Los Angeles. According to our source, the position is a hidden line item in Mayor Villaraigosa's 2009-2010 budget that creates the position with airport funds and houses it at LAX.
Even more disturbing that recycling the most hated and defeated politician in recent Los Angeles history are allegations that the City plans to lay-off 24 existing LAWA employees and replace them with the entire CD5 Jack Weiss staff (assuming that some of them wouldn't rather seek employment with Paul Koretz).
We asked a source in the Mayor's camp to confirm or deny the story but our source claimed ignorance. That's usually spinnish for "We aren't denying it." Our source also noted a number of potential shakeups typical of a Mayor entering his second term, such as the recent departure of Fire Chief Douglas Barry. I was told to expect more "shakeups" including at the Police Commission and "many, many" others.
Assuming the move of Weiss to the Mayor's staff is true - as well as the wholesale firing of LAWA employees to give their jobs to Weiss loyalists - no doubt LA's SLAP-happy pitchfork and torches crowd will be up in arms.