Former Los Angeles City Comptroller Laura Chick jumped into the Nov. 8 race for her old job on Tuesday, posting an open letter accusing candidate Kenneth Mejia of being an “unfit for office” extremist. public”.
Chick, who served as comptroller from 2001 to 2009 and has earned a reputation as a fierce critic of the City Hall establishment, called Mejia “erratic” and “extreme”, pointing to his past statements about the social networks and some of the activities of its campaign agents. .
Chick pointed to tweets posted by Mejia in 2020 that called President Biden a rapist and a racist. She said Mejia, a former supporter of Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, “played into Donald Trump’s presidential campaign” in 2016 by tweeting a Photo of himself holding a photoshopped Hillary Clinton poster to appear behind bars in an orange prison jumpsuit.
“The Comptroller should focus on finding ways to make the city better serve the public…not tear it up and blow it up!” said Poussin. “Mr. Mejia must not be the next city controller.
Chick’s letter makes her the fourth current and former Los Angeles City Comptroller to endorse Mejia’s general election opponent, Councilman Paul Koretz, who trailed Mejia. by almost 20 points in the June 7 primary. Unlike the other three – Rick Tuttle, Wendy Greuel and current incumbent Ron Galperin – Chick has focused most of her endorsement message on Mejia, an accountant and activist who has galvanized young voters and is a frequent fixture. on social networks.
Mejia quickly fired back, claiming on Twitter that Koretz had “enlisted another career politician (who last held the position in 2009) to recycle the same desperate lies/over-the-top attacks that didn’t work against us during the primary”.
“Rather than addressing his record, qualifications or plans, he relies on smears,” Mejia said in a tweet threadwho also announced that he had received the endorsement of Stephanie Clements, one of his opponents in the June 7 primary.
“Our adversary wants the status quo to continue and we are not going to let that happen,” he wrote.
Chick said she was not drafted into Koretz’s campaign and “isn’t anybody’s mouthpiece.” In an interview, she noted that Mejia ran for Congress several times.
“He’s a career candidate,” she said. “Certainly not a career CPA, but a career candidate.”
Parke Skelton, a campaign strategist for Koretz, called Chick’s letter “powerful.”
“There aren’t too many people in the world who know more about the exceptional qualifications to be a municipal comptroller,” he said. “And she clearly believes Kenneth Mejia would be a disaster.”
Mejia did not respond to interview requests. But last week, while receiving an endorsement from the Jane Fonda Climate PAC, he said his past statements about the president – calling Biden a racist and warning voters in 2020 that a vote for him would be ‘wasted’ — were something he “shouldn’t.” I did not say.
During the election campaign, Mejia presented himself as the more qualified of the two candidates, posting maps of affordable housing, anti-encampment zones and dog parks on his website. He used billboards to show that the Los Angeles Police Department receives significantly more taxpayer money than other agencies in the city.
Mejia called on the board last year to cut the LAPD’s budget and shift the revenue elsewhere. In 2018 he wrote on Twitter that he is “not a fan of the police”, arguing that they are “the only thing stopping many revolutionary uprisings in America”.
Mejia picked up his own set of high-profile endorsements, including Councilman Mike Bonin and State Assemblyman Isaac Bryan. He also drew on the enthusiasm and campaigning work of some of the city’s young progressive activists, who are also present at protests against the city’s policies on homelessness and other issues.
In his letter, Chick pointed to some of these activists as reasons to oppose Mejia. She pointed to a report in LA Magazine that found Mejia campaign workers were among the protesters who helped end a mayoral debate at a synagogue in the San Fernando Valley — behavior that Chick criticized. described as “unacceptable”.
Chick was first elected in 1993, representing part of the San Fernando Valley to the city council. While serving as comptroller, she repeatedly criticized city departments for their decisions, attacking the airport, port, water and energy ministry and other agencies.
At one point in her tenure, she said the arrogance in city government was so thick “you could cut it with a knife”.