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Tipsheet

Please, Someone Tell This LA City Council Member to Just Resign

Kevin de Leon might not be a household name or even one of the people at the top of conservative America’s enemies list. However, you'd remember him when you explain what he’s done. He was the “ghost gun” guy when he served in the California legislature, holding a press conference in 2014 to deliver one of the most entertaining and nonsensical anti-gun press conferences of all time: 

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He also was Sen. Dianne Feinstein's Democratic challenger during the 2018 Senate race. In 2020, he was elected to the Los Angeles City Council but is now engulfed in a racist scandal that goes back to last fall. De Leon and other city council members, while discussing new redistricting lines, were caught uttering racist tropes about blacks and other Latino immigrant groups. The fallout was severe, even drawing the attention of President Joe Biden, who has urged any member in those recordings to resign from office. Every Democrat in the Golden State has told de Leon he has to go. Still, he’s remained in office, even as the city council president and a prominent local labor union leader have offered their resignations.

 

To its credit, the liberal media and the city’s residents have been outraged and appalled by de Leon’s behavior, chasing him around the city for months. It’s got to the point where he reportedly feels his life is “on the run.” He cannot attend public meetings, skipped council meetings in-person since they devolve into absolute bedlam when he arrives and has virtually retreated into the bunker. Yet, the man still thinks he can survive, not least because this job pays him $218,000/year. He’s still popular in his district, and no one seems willing to pull the trigger on a recall effort (via Politico): 

Making a rare public appearance, Los Angeles City Council Member Kevin de León was doling out free turkey in his district when he was forced to make an abrupt exit — protesters were on the way.

They have been chasing him all over this sprawling city since October, when a leaked recording surfaced in which de León and several colleagues spoke in racist terms as they schemed to carve up the city’s political boundaries to benefit Latinos.

De León stopped going to City Council meetings — though he made a brief attempt on Friday — to avoid the raucous demonstrations. He fled the bungalow he bought for nearly $1 million last year. A local women’s club hastily canceled a showing of “It’s a Wonderful Life” when protesters got word that de León would be there, apologizing in a handwritten note on the door. 

“The council member has received death threats,” said spokesperson Pete Brown. “We’re actually hiring security to come to our tree lighting events.” 

His life on the run has prolonged a painful chapter for Los Angeles following the recording’s October release. The episode has poisoned local politics just as Mayor Karen Bass takes office. Now, she’s forced to deal with the fallout in a city already confronting bitter divisions and an array of daunting challenges. 

[…] 

When de León tried … to emerge from exile, showing up at a council meeting for the first time in 59 days, the hearing devolved into shouting, and enough fellow members walked out that the council went into recess. When the session resumed, the embattled council member was gone — and critics were slamming him again. 

[…] 

De León has apologized for his comments on the October recording, sort of. In a handful of media appearances, he sought to minimize and explain his remarks. And he’s tried to keep a low profile, to the extent that’s possible in an era of social media. What he hasn’t done is resign, despite calls for him to do so from President Joe Biden and virtually every Democratic politician in California. 

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De Leon wants to endure two more years of these evasive maneuvers from protests, which are not willing to forgive or forget anytime soon, nor should they. I understand that everyone wants to tar and feather the guy, but this is still liberal California: I’ll believe it when I see it concerning accountability. If de Leon is popular in his district (or ward)—he can just hunker down and do nothing which is precisely what he has been doing besides a brief Thanksgiving turkey giveaway event cut short as he had to flee angry residents. Still, read the room, sir: no one wants you around.

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