|Notes from the Editor:
Jackie Goldberg's Conflict of Interest - Part II
Direct Conflict of Interest "May" disqualify Jackie from seeking LAUSD's Superintendent's Job
Posted September 5, 2006, 7:00 am
Huntington Park, CA - I am simply amazed at the local media, the top brass at LAUSD and the entire
No one has yet questioned Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg's first vote as chair of the Assembly's
Education Committee in favor of AB 1381, followed by her press release seeking the Superintendent's
job at LAUSD.
Jackie Goldberg actually may have a little problem with Conflict of Interest. And no one sees it. It may
disqualify her from seeking the Sup's job at LAUSD.
WatchOurCity.com reported on August 2 that Mayor Villaraigosa had cut a deal with Jackie Goldberg.
This was the deal: She makes sure the bill makes it through the State Assembly Education Committee
that she chairs and she gets to be the new LAUSD Superintendent. It's a perfect crime.
WatchOurCity.com knew about this Mayor-Goldberg deal since early May 2006 via an anonymous tip to
the website. The tip was only confirmed by the Mayor and Goldberg themselves by their subsequent
actions on the floor of the State Assembly and in the corridors of city hall in L.A. Certain well established
and well connected folks in the Latino community were already speaking in low voices about the deal,
weeks, if not months, before Jackie casually announced that she had a passing fancy to be LAUSD's
Then, on August 13, Goldberg issues a press release announcing that she "may" [emphasis by L.A.
Times] be interested in being a candidate for LAUSD Superintendent. Governor Roy Romer, current Sup,
has announced his retirement and a replacement search committee has been formed.
The search committee is mostly made up of State Legislators, virtually all with the dubious track record
of having voted in favor of AB 1381 (isn't there an inherent conflict of interest here, too?).
On August 16, WatchOurCity.com followed up and uncovered the conflict of interest issue with Jackie
Goldberg's vote favoring AB 1381 in the fist round, after a presumed deal was already cut between her
Finally, on August 31, when Jackie's Education Committee votes for the second and final time to
approve AB 1381, Goldberg "abstains" from voting. The reason, according to the L.A. Times and other
media outlets, was due to "an over-abundance of caution" on her part to avoid conflict of interest since
she was by this time a publicly announced candidate for the Sup's job at LAUSD.
Villaraigosa would benefit from that position.
Assemblywoman Goldberg's vote affects public policy. She is in a position to benefit directly from her
As AB 1381 flew by the entire California Legislature without any scrutiny, bypassing local voters and
parents, and by many first hand accounts, had criticism muffled via direct threats by the Mayor, Speaker
Nunez and other top ranking Democrats, the bill is now most certain to go straight to the Governor for
The Governor has stated he will sign AB 1381 into law (to take effect on January 1, 2007). AB 1381 is
not even signed yet into law and already Mayor Villaraigosa is making direct and threats against the
The two Education committees, in the Assembly and Senate each, were critical funnels for the bill's
Here's a dramatized version of a presumed conversation between Mayor Villaraigosa and Jackie
Goldberg regarding the deal (note: this is a fictionalized characterization only and is not meant to
reflect what was actually discussed between Mayor Villaraigosa and Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg,
that can best be left to a Grand Jury to look into; we can only speculate based on the timing and
results and public votes):
Mayor AV: Jackie, I want you to make sure your Assembly Education committee passes AB 1381 or else.
Jackie G: Or else what?
Mayor AV: Listen, we want the plebiscite to think that we are all for student achievement. Are you with me?
Jackie G: So what's in it for me?
Mayor AV: Listen, you'll be termed out and have nothing to do. Besides, you know the School District best.
I mean, look, you have the perfect credentials. And I have the power to appoint whomever I want. And I
want you. But you have to do something for me. Stop by my office in City Hall. We'll have coffee and pan
dulce. You love that stuff. I'll get one of my attendants to get the pan dulce from your favorite place in Echo
Park. And while they're there, I'll have them get breath strips for me. You know, all this wheeling and
dealing, arm twisting, cajoling, threatening and banging heads really makes my breath smell quite foul. So
what do you say, mi gordita?
Jackie G: I don't know. I don't want to seem coy, but wouldn't there be conflict of interest somewhere
here? I mean, I am the stalwart liberal Democrat that has always championed the underdog in society, be
they immigrants, gays, or lesbians. You understand, Antonio. I have principles.
Mayor AV: Listen, you can keep your principals. You'll have all 700 of them to yourself. That's the number
of schools LAUSD controls and you can call the shots with each and everyone of those guys. Oh excuse me,
Jackie G: Ay, An-Toe-Nee-O, but what about conflict of interest?
Mayor AV: Conflict of interest? You're funny. Have you heard of the "P" word? Power, baby. Power. I have it.
And I intend to use it. I have a mandate from the voters. Oops, that's W's line, but what the heck, I'll spend
my capital too! Is that capital with an "AL" or with an "OL". Come on, help me out, you were a teacher once.
I'll get one of my boys in the office to check on this. You see, mi gordita, I will spend my political "CAPITAL"
now so I can be in the "CAPITOL" later. Capiche? Comprende? Like my homeboys use to say, "don't f**k
Jackie G: Ay, An-Toe-Nee-O, a foul breath, and a foul mouth. Be careful, someone can construe that to
make your plans sound foul, too.
Mayor AV: I must apologize, it's the homeboy in me that comes out once in a while, you know. You can
take the homeboy out of the Barrio, but you can't take the Barrio out of the homeboy, even after being on
the cover of TIME Magazine. Boys, please open that second box of breath strips for me. Gracias, muchachos,
you can go back to your corner, now.
Jackie G: But, Antonio, I have many questions and you have not given me any reassurances of your plans
for improving student achievement scores. I question that.......
Mayor AV: Look, don't make me go ghetto on you. Don't f**k with me. Ah... what I meant to say was this,
you see, don't worry about conflict of interest. This is what you'll do. Do as I tell you and you'll be fine.
Fabian will cover your back in the Assembly. Look, on your first vote the committee takes, you can vote for
the measure. Then, before your committee's second vote, you issue a press release. My staff can help you
with this. This is what you'll say: you "may" be interested in being a candidate for LAUSD Superintendent.
Emphasize the "may" part. That way, no one can question your integrity and nobody will connect the dots.
Not the L.A. Times, I got them hoodwinked. Not even the L.A. Weekly, as much as that Daniel Hernandez
reporter keeps f**king with me, nobody will connect the dots. Then on the Assembly Committee's second
vote, you simply abstain from the vote, and make it seem like your ethics are beyond reproach. I'll have my
lawyer Saenz give you some language to feed the media. They'll eat it up. Isn't politics great? I'm the Mayor,
trust me. Oh, this just came in from Saenz. This is what you tell the media: tell them you've abstained
from voting for AB 1381 due to an "over-abundance of caution" to prevent even the appearance of
Conflict of Interest. Hee, hee, hee. Pendejos. Sorry, let me translate; that's Spanish for "Suckers".
Jackie G: Mr. Mayor, O.K. I'm with you. Just a couple more questions.
Mayor AV: How many is a couple?
Jackie G: Two. How will you deal with accusation that your school takeover plan actually muddles
accountability and the State Constitution explicitly prohibits precisely what you propose with AB 1381?
Mayor AV: Look, mi gordita, let me explain something to you right now, here. Remember the P-word. P is
for Power. Power grab. I have my attorney Saenz who's researched this whole constituti....constitutional...
Jackie G: Constitutionality?
Mayor AV: Yeah, that. Thanks. Constitutionality. You're funny. That's why I like you. You see, Saenz has
quietly studied the best Chicano Lawyer in the country. You've heard of Alberto Gonzales, right? If he can get
away with his bending the U.S. Constitution with his legal opinions on the Geneva conventions, on Gitmo,
and on domestic spying, so can Saenz. Come to think of it, when I'm Governor, I'll appoint Saenz to the
California Supreme Court. Heck, I can just have the Governor appoint him after the takeover is complete.
Besides, I have Fabian already laying the groundwork for more Latino judges in California. Maybe he'll get to
be Attorney General, too, one day. We need more Latinos in government. Conflict of Interest! Hah!