To be clear, I’m not confused about why I signed my name to a “Dear Wendy” letter in response to her personal attacks against Jan Perry—and neither are any of the other 11 women who signed along with me—some of whom are supporting Eric Garcetti.
But then there was an editorial from a Wendy supporter in my email this morning entitled, “Jan Perry, if you are unable to take care of home and your own 9th Council District, how can you take care of our city,” and it got me thinking.
You know that’s a really interesting question, because if you were to ask the same question to our current mayor, who blatantly and seemingly unapologetically broke up his own home with his own sexual misconduct that led to a divorce—he’d probably tell you that it was “uh, no problem” all the while giving you that award-winning smile he loves to flash at anyone who might be looking his way.
But when that story broke, I don’t remember Wendy or any of the people questioning Jan’s personal life, asking whether or not our mayor was fit to run the city of Los Angeles because he was having problems at home or in his personal life. And that was only six years ago.
But now folks are overreaching themselves and going back two decades into Jan’s personal life just days before the election.
At issue is when Jan’s ex-husband’s business failed more than 20 years ago and the couple filed for bankruptcy. The reality is that her ex-husband filed for bankruptcy twice and because they were married at the time of one of those filings, Jan’s name is signed on a bankruptcy filing.
And none of this is hardly breaking news.
Back in 2006, in a Los Angeles Times article Perry told the Times, “before I became a member of the City Council in 2001 my family experienced financial challenges resulting from my husband’s business, and we are dealing with those issues proactively.”
What Wendy and her camp failed to realize when trying to float that story around is that in some communities, Jan’s struggles are seen as a badge of honor. It signifies that she’s a real person and she knows what’s it’s like to struggle—and still come out on top. Sadly, many of us are no stranger to foreclosures, repossessions, unemployment, and yes—even bankruptcies.
Putting Jan’s personal business out there like that is nothing more than a desperate last minute attempt to persuade voters that Jan isn’t qualified for the office of mayor (based on her ex-husband’s financial problems) in an effort to draw attention away from Wendy’s own questionable background.
If all Wendy did was tell the truth about Jan, then let’s tell the whole truth and shame the devil because there’s a lot of truth out there that needs to be spoken.
For example, as City Controller, Wendy Greuel is always taking credit for cleaning up wasteful spending at city hall and putting a stop to unnecessary travel and lavish trips for Councilmembers.
A self-proclaimed Democrat, in her capacity as city controller for the city of Los Angeles flew on the taxpayer’s dime to Washington D.C. to attend the 2010 National League of Cities. Where, according to Greuel’s own publicly available calendar, she took time to meet with National Rifle Association (NRA) lobbyists and attend a Republican leadership luncheon featuring Arizona Republican Senator John McCain.
I didn’t know that it was common practice for city controller’s to meet with lobbyists—let alone the NRA of all groups. What kind of business could she possibly have on behalf of the city of Los Angeles with the NRA and Senator McCain?
But no one is talking about that—not even the mainstream media who is falling all over themselves in a quest to be the first to find a different angle or issue to cover in the race for mayor that won’t bore the reader or viewer to death.
Let’s add to the truth telling a little bit more.
Since this campaign for mayor officially began, I’ve seen more Wendy Greuel for mayor signs illegally posted along Crenshaw’s street medians than I’ve actually seen her in South Los Angeles. At a recent African-American issues mayoral forum, she didn’t even bother to show up.
And no—it’s not solely about Jan Perry being Black or being a woman—but if it was, so what. I am sure there are plenty of white people voting for their candidate because they are white, women voting for women candidates because they are women, and gays doing the same for the only openly gay candidate because he’s just that—openly gay. Trying to insinuate that it’s somehow wrong for Black people to want to vote for Jan because she’s Black is just downright hypocritical.
Jan is more than qualified to be L.A.’s next mayor and it’s not because she’s Black or a woman. It’s because she has the experience, a track record of success, and the know how to run Los Angeles.
Going dirty with lies at the last minute tells me all I need to know about Wendy.
Jasmyne Cannick, 35, is a resident of the City of Los Angeles and proudly supports Jan Perry for Mayor. Follow her on Twitter @jasmyne and on Facebook at /jasmyne.