Bell Demo: Arrest of City Government Delights City



The curse of service.

Lots of fun at the Bell Association to Stop the Abuse (BASTA) rally last night to celebrate the arrests of Robert Rizzo, Angela Spaccia and six other city officials. Highlights included:

Robert Rizzo celebration in pictures:

So he's a little bit husky.

Budding capitalism:

No bacon dogs?

Carpet news coverage:

Actual TV newsman.

Salutes to America including a pledge of allegiance in English:

Vieja Gloria.

A toast to the arrests:

Raised glasses.
It's apple cider.

And what media event would be completely without multiple confirmed hotnesses?

No, not the guy in the cap.
Woman in red.
I need to watch more Univision.
Serene and Dale vs. Evil.

The man being interviewed in this last picture is BASTA co-founder Dale Walker. BASTA is circulating a recall petition that Walker and our friend Cristina Garcia expect to file by the end of this week.  That would pave the way for a new city government to be elected as soon as January. "As long as they haven't been convicted, they're still our city council," says Garcia. She also points out that the arrested administration's regime of punitive fees and taxes – including a 10 percent utility tax to pay for police department that fields only 43 officers – remains in place.

Like the Tea Party which it does not resemble in any way, the Bell uprising has reached the identity crisis phase of its existence. At the same time last night's rally drew a few hundred BASTA supporters, a gathering of the non-affiliated Bell Resident Club attracted about 100 people at nearby Veteran's Memorial Park.  The Resident Club is led by Nestor Valencia, a health care administrator who has been challenging the city's machine for several years. While the two groups are united on wanting to see the recall go forward, Valencia says BASTA is too close to the remnants of the old machine, noting that the threads of Bell's corruption run though various nearby towns in southeast L.A. County.

Last week the League of California Cities published its survey results [pdf] of city manager salaries in the Golden State. Tellingly (though without explanation) the survey included no information for Bell or Maywood, but the information for Bell's neighbors is interesting:

Vernon (pop.  96) interim City Administrator Mark Whitworth makes $211,372.
Cudahy (pop.  27,000) City Manager George Perez makes $241,172.
Huntington Park (pop. 64,617) City Manager Gregory D. Korduner makes $228,369.
Bell Gardens (pop.  46,786) City Manager G. "Steve" Simonian makes $246,681.
City of Commerce (pop. 13,581) City Administrator Jorge J. Rifa makes $209,500.
Montebello (pop.  66,000) City Adminstrator Richard Torress makes $211,921.
Bellflower (pop.  77,110) City Manager Michael Egan makes $222,494.

Through a combination of term limits and the incestuous nature of L.A.'s political class, local careers tend to follow a musical-chairs pattern: from city council to state assembly to board of supes to mayor, back to another city council, and so on. Southeastern L.A. County has been turned into a "dumping ground for Democrats who don't live in our area," says Valencia, a registered Democrat. "The powers that be uptown think that they can marginalize our community, that we are a bunch of pendejos who don't know politics, don't know the constitution, and don't vote."

That could be changing. One of the striking things about Bell is that it's a nicely maintained little town: pretty houses, spiffy stores, and clean parks. Sooner or later Bob Rizzo will point to Bell's general livability as evidence that he was worth a million dollars a year. I have less confidence in the power of politicians to bring about positive outcomes, and give credit to the residents, who deserve better than they've been getting from their out of control civil servants.

NEXT: Dept. of Bad Ideas

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  1. Splendid – love to see people rippin’ on bad gummint in a positive way and enjoying some results. Now, let’s get to work on Sacramento, Lansing (MI), Warrrshington DC….

  2. Did this guy do something illegal, or just take advantage of a disinterested populace? Just curious.

    1. I am not a lawyer, I am pleased to say, but I bet the answere is both. Paying themseleves high salaries is probably not illegal. Appointing themselves to multiple boards that all received fees for attending meetings and then having concurrent board meetings that last minutes, if not seconds, better be illegal.

    2. Click the “arrest” link in the first sentence to read the story of the arrest.

      1. Sorry, I already lost interest. There’s no debate here. Bad is bad.

  3. In pic #6, it looks like the woman is about to give that guy a hummer. Look at the expression on his face.

    1. Males think up the strangest things.

      1. Male adolescents, you mean.

    2. The best picture is the one with a guy feeding his money to the picture of fat ass Rizzo.

  4. Shouldn’t the Cal. LP, which has been around nearly 40 years, been stirring up protests against these outrages?
    Nope, better to run people for congress who get 1% or less of the vote. The best way for libertarians to win friends and influence people is to get involved in local issues.
    [I know the CalLP has defeated some local sales tax measures. Did it get any credit and did the credit translate to votes? If it didn’t, then maybe the whole LP model is irretrivably flawed.]

  5. Tim, you’re 1/4 for hotties.

    1. Yeah, cuz’ your studlyness can pull so, so much hotter women.

      1. I agree with Mango, though the same chick is in two of the “hotness” pics.

      2. @GoNavy, and you can pull hotter guys. We all have our gifts.

        1. No I can’t, all of the women in those pictures would say sir to me, just like they’d do to their fathers friends.

          My point was the 1/4 remark. It is like winning a Corvette and complaining that it was not a Ferrari.

    2. #2, in red longsleeves, has got something going on.

      1. [eyes bulging]

        #10 in the overalls.

  6. Tim,

    Any idea when and where is the next rally/demonstration likely to be? Today’s (?) arraignment? I’d love to see that crowd in person.

  7. I have less confidence in the power of politicians to bring about positive outcomes, and give credit to the residents…

    If the residents were really the reason the city is so livable, wouldn’t they be making a million dollars a year? I rest my case.

  8. BASTA? Surely they can find a way to lengthen it to BASTARDS or BASTAGES just to be more awesome.

    1. You know what Basta means in espanol, right?

      1. We speak ‘merican here.

    2. Bell Association to Stop the Abuse and Rape by Dishonest Overpaid Shitheads


      1. Bell Association to STop Abuses by Government EmployeeS.

        There’s your BASTAGES.

  9. Gloria Vieja, Tim.

  10. The residents of Bell should throw themselves in jail-they voted in the officials who perpetrated all this, went back to sleep, and now whine about the results.

    This is a microcosm of the national situation, where the fans of Hopey Change are just now catching on that they installed a far-left idealist, who brought all his pals along.

    1. “The Tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to the public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy.”

      (my emphasis)

      – Montesquieu, Spirit of the Laws.

      1. The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the presidency. It will be easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails us. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president.

  11. The corrupt Bell officials were in place long before Hopey Changey guy ever made the national scene.

  12. And you know what these morons are gonna do in November right?


    Christ, dios mio. OTOH, conservatives will lynch you if you say a sentence in Spanish in order to reach out to this constituency. Meg is getting lynched by a crew of the deytekurjob brigade for falsely claiming she’s for amnesty and having Spanish ads.

    1. Yeah, that’s what I don’t understand. I mean, look at this quote again-

      Southeastern L.A. County has been turned into a “dumping ground for Democrats who don’t live in our area,” says Valencia, a registered Democrat. “The powers that be uptown think that they can marginalize our community, that we are a bunch of pendejos who don’t know politics, don’t know the constitution, and don’t vote.”

      Um, dude, you always vote for them, why wouldn’t the Democrats use you as a dumping ground? The only reason we’re even talking about Bell is because fatty got greedy. The list above shows that there are plenty of other unwanteds that were dumped on Californians by Democrats but you voted for them anyways.

      What exactly is he threatening?

  13. Good, now go arrest these clowns: Amway has ripped off millions of people for several decades, to the tune of 10s of billions of dollars. If you were an IBO within the past 4 years and want to get your Amway Tool Scam money back, contact me at in order to join my lawsuit.

    Read about the Amway Tool Scam on this website: http://texsquixtarblog.blogspo…..-scam.html and forward the information to everyone you know, so they can join the lawsuit and stopped getting scammed.

    Amway is a scam, and here’s why: Amway pays out as little money as they can get away with, so they support the higher level IBOs ripping off their downline via the tool scam.

    As a result, about 99% of IBOs operate at a net loss, while the top 1% make several TIMES more from their Amway tool scam than from the Amway products. This was made illegal in the UK in 2008, but our FTC is unable to pull their heads out of their butts to stop it here.

  14. I was hoping to see listings for “tar” and “feathers” on the budding capitalist’s sign.

  15. Reminder: Five of Bell’s council are Democrats.

    1. Whenever a political party isn’t said, its assumed to be Democratic.

  16. Here’s my problem with the arrests. While I’m glad to see something bad happen to these people, the end result is a reinforcement of the perception that most city councils serve some vital purpose and therefore deserve some “normal” salary for this. The way the narrative rang, these city officials were being arrested for taking too much money for themselves. This implies that what other city councils take is reasonable and acceptable.

  17. Southeastern L.A. County has been turned into a “dumping ground for Democrats who don’t live in our area,”

    Talk about ‘there goes the neighborhood’…

  18. I wonder if Mexicans in Mexico have heard about this & what they must think. From what I understand, corruption is the norm there more than an exception, and they must be shocked that somebody’s been
    1) thrown out of office &
    2) actually arrested.
    Just for stealing.

  19. Please! They are all racist dupes of Fox News who have been fed lies by shadowy organizations hiding behind inocuous sounding names.

  20. Why can’t the people of Bell just do what the Russians are proposing for corrupt public officials?…..-officials

  21. Out of curiosity, why aren’t there regular tea party groups there too?
    Shouldn’t they be forming an alliance?

  22. This is truly inspiring!! There IS hope for California:-)

  23. One of these days we should see if we can establish a human colony in Vernon.

  24. Pretty much the same just happen in the city next door (South Gate). How Democratic those Democrats are. Looking out for the little guy and the children.

  25. People don’t rotate through the Board of Supervisors office for L.A. County. Once elected, they stay there until they retire altogether or die – it hasn’t had term limits in effect until recently, and 4 of the 5 members have been there since at least 1996 (the fifth was first elected in 2008 after the incumbent retired at age 76).

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