It was a seminal moment of the 1988 Presidential campaign when now Vice President and then Democratic Senator Joe Biden plagiarized a speech originally given by Neil Kinnock
, a member of the British Labour Party. Biden was later discovered to have "borrowed" from speeches by Robert Kennedy and others. Needless to say, Biden was forced to abandon his campaign for the Democratic nomination that year.
Since politicians are always spinning, it's not unexpected that we find them re-inventing portions of their personal narrative. Both President Obama and Governor Romney were accused of such during the now shuttered 2012 campaign.
How interesting it is though, when we find an elected official creating out of whole cloth, letters and comments from "constituents," when often these very communications are used quite frequently to document or gauge where stakeholders' views are on a certain pressing issue.
Which brings us to Los Angeles City Council Member Paul Krekorian.
City Council Member Paul Krekorian
The latest kerfuffle to hit the Second District rep involves his monthly column "Ask Paul" which runs in various editions of Patch, an online newspaper of sorts that targets hyper-local news and issues.
Krekorian was recently using his latest column to gin up support for a controversial plan addressing billboards in Los Angeles - and to deflect criticism from billboard critics of Krekorian's plan away from the Council Member himself.
According to a story by Dakota Smith in the Los Angeles Daily News
, Krekorian's column (actually written by longtime communications director and former journalist, Jeremy Oberstein) referred to a Studio City resident who questioned the plan but praised Krekorian's "integrity." Turns out, not only the question but the "resident" was a fabrication created by Oberstein.
Krekorian's office had claimed that the voter in question is a "composite" of the many types of comments they receive.
The Council Member's misstep even caught the attention of famed blogger and gadfly, John Walsh
, who offered to stage a "Fake Letters to Paul" contest, offering, in his usual flamboyant fashion, the winner "First Booby Prize is Breakfast with Paul Krekorian. Second Booby Prize is Breakfast and Lunch with Paul Krekorian and Third Booby Prize is Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner with Paul Krekorian."
Los Angeles continues to remain fun!
Labels: billboards, Councilman Paul Krekorian, Dennis Hathaway, jeremy oberstein, joe biden, John Walsh, studio city patch