Mayoral candidate Rick Caruso, Karen Bass, the Los Angeles Times editorial board, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti Senator. Alex Padilla (D-CA), Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and the head of the NAACP Los Angeles branch, Los Angeles Unified School Board President Kelly Gonez, LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, Lt. Governor. Eleni Kounalakis, as well as a host of less well-known people, demanded three Democrat Los Angeles City Council members resign following the revelation that they were found to have used racist language in audio recordings that were leaked. The only one not mentioned is governor Gavin Newsom.
Newsom did not officially demand resignations on Monday, but stated the following: “These comments have no place in our state, or in our politics.”
The LA Times editorial board did not shy away from a statement:
“There is no way that she (former Council president Nury Martinez] is able to effectively represent her constituents now that leaked audio recordings revealed her deplorable, controversial remarks about race and her political maneuverings to hold control at the cost of communities as well as her use of racism and homophobic slurs to describe her coworker, and, even more disturbingly, his son, who is only a toddler. Martinez should be removed from office immediately.”
While Martinez apologized, the Times stated that her mea culpa she offered was “wholly insufficient.” Martinez actually resigned Monday but it wasn't from the Council, rather, she resigned the position of president of the Council. It was a nice gesture she took to try and take some of the heat off the issue. It seems to not have resulted in any positive change, as real estate developer Caruso is among many who aren't happy.
The controversy centers around audio that was leaked by an unknown Reddit account which included Martinez, Councilmembers Kevin de Leon and Gil Cedillo, and Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera discussing redistricting maps during a 2021 council meeting.
The conversation, however, was laced with vulgar language, insults, and racist stereotypes. Martinez was the worst offenders she expressed her displeasure with District Attorney George Gascon (“f**k that guy because he's with the blacks”) she also called City Council member Mike Bonin who is gay, a “little bitch,” and Bonin's adopted son, who is black, a “little monkey.” She also compared Bonin's son as the concept of an “accessory,” while de Leon said to the fact that the kid was treated in the same way as the handle of a Louis Vuitton bag. Martinez was also known for calling the child “su negrito,” a Spanish word which refers to a Black person, which can be considered to be demeaning. Not done with her criticism, she also criticized the child's behavior, adding, “I was like, this kid is in need of a beating. Let me drag him to the corner, and then I'll take him back.”
Following the news the following day, protesters gathered at Martinez's residence on Monday evening (the LA City Council passed the law last year, making protesting in front of a home targeted for a police investigation unlawful).
It will be difficult for the trio of councilors to hold their posts amid this constant criticism and calls for resignations. On Tuesday, be prepared for those demands to be repeated, and do not be surprised if prominent national figures such as Joe Biden jump on the pile. But, perhaps staying clear of the snarky behavior from the Left has been working for him to date, so perhaps Biden will keep his distance.
There's a big question to be answered, but who leaked the audio, and how? Editor in chief at RedState Jennifer Van Laar has thoughts:
“Many of the veteran Los Angeles political observers believe the leaked audio was intended to harm those regarded as moderate Democrats in order to elect council members that are more aligned with organizations such as BLM as well as The People's City Council, and Democratic Socialists of America.”
I'd say it's a very plausible explanation.