Blue-city politics meets wokester academia in Los Angeles: Corruption as far as the eye can see

Lefties love to talk about greed and "equity," but they never seem to notice its phenomenal growth in the one-party rule of their blue cities.

Here's the story from Los Angeles as the New York Post reports:

Los Angeles City Council member and the former dean of the University of Southern California's School of Social Work were indicted Wednesday in connection with a scheme in which the pol allegedly promised to steer lucrative contracts to the school if it gave his son a scholarship and a professorship.

Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas, 66, and Marilyn Louise Flynn, 83, were expected to be arraigned in the coming days on charges of conspiracy, bribery, honest services mail fraud and honest services wire fraud. They face decades in prison if convicted of all charges.

"This indictment charges a seasoned lawmaker who allegedly abused the public's trust by taking official actions to benefit his family member and himself," Acting US Attorney Tracy L. Wilkison said in a statement. "The corrupt activities alleged in the indictment were facilitated by a major university's high-ranking administrator whose desire for funding apparently trumped notions of integrity and fair play."

This one's interesting because Ridley-Thomas was no two-bit politician in Los Angeles.  He was a powerful county supervisor for many years before moving into his current slot at the Los Angeles City Council.  Both positions pay much more than any federal position supposedly above them, which is likely why a lot of Democrat federal elected officials, such as former Reps. Janice Hahn and Hilda Solis, to take two examples, have moved back into Los Angeles blue-city politics, in their cases as county supervisors following careers in the House.  A Los Angeles County supervisor makes $214,601 a year plus gargantuan bennies.  A lowly congressional representative makes "only" $174,000 a year along with the bennies.  Some jobs pay better than others.  On paper, at least, Ridley-Thomas took home $224,000, along with the bennies.

It wasn't enough.

In what's been called a "political earthquake," it turns out he was caught taking at least one bribe that we know of, according to the FBI indictment, from the now-former dean of the University of Southern California's school of social work, Marilyn Louise Flynn.  His price was steep: $100,000 plus admission with a full scholarship to the school for his worthless son (who was being drummed out of the state assembly for sex harassment), complete with a professorship at the university afterward.  It's actually not known if he completed that degree on that full scholarship, according to news reports, but it is well known that university professorships are convenient dumping grounds for wokester leftists who ought to be pariahs.  This little fellow did pretty well for himself at the University of Texas, as did Hunter Biden, another disgraced junior who "taught" at Tulane University.  So did Ridley-Thomas's handsy son.  In return, Ridley-Thomas would kick over city contracts to the school instead of holding fair competitions for them with the private sector.

Rigging?  Lots of rigging.  And if the dean was doing this for the school instead of herself, then others above her may be involved.

Meanwhile — and Los Angeles Times metro reporter Julie Wick on Twitter notes the irony — Ridley-Thomas has a Ph.D. in "ethics" from the University of Southern California.  It sounds as though maybe his involvement with the school in those profitable ways he likes might just go a little farther than his paycheck with the dean.

It's disgusting.  Ridley-Thomas is actually the third big Los Angeles city politician to go down like the Titanic.  Other big-daddy council members, Jose Huizar and Mitch Englander were indicted on comparable corruption charges in the last few years.  It's almost as if we now just wait for the rest of them to get it.  Peter Schweizer, in his latest book, Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America's Progressive Elite, lists Los Angeles's mayor, Eric Garcetti, as one of his eight, alongside the Biden family mafia, Kamala Harris, and Bernie Sanders, so it could easily go as far as Garcetti.

What's more, this information about Ridley-Thomas was already pretty well known.  The Los Angeles Times exposed some of the activity around the worthless son three years ago. 

A big part of the problem is all the cash sloshing around in the blue cities as congressional Democrats ramped up their stimulus packages — these date to the Obama era and involve huge cash transfers to corrupt blue-city machinery as well as pension and other bailouts.  Joe Biden, who's calling for more money-shoveling through his $3.5-trillion budget "reconciliation" package and his $1-trillion infrastructure package, is happy to grease these corruption skids along.

Meanwhile, over in academia, the cash has flowed, too.  The University of Southern California finds itself in the midst of yet another scandal.  They've had three scandals already involving the blue-city elites and admissions, protections of perverts and dissolute behavior, plus their involvement with Harvey Weinstein.  Now they've got a political bribery, admissions, and sinecure scandal with this Ridley-Thomas and Flynn case.

What do we have here?  A press corps that tries to do its job can't get traction.  We have a slow-moving law enforcement mechanism and one-party blue-city rule, where no one sees anything, apparently because these people are all so busy trying to make their own piles.  Meanwhile, federal cash flows in like gasoline to a burning Democrat dumpster, and the corruption cases keep coming.  And all along, the homeless crisis, the jobs crisis, the failing infrastructure, and the high crime in the city and county of Los Angeles continue.

If this isn't an argument to voters at least to take a look at how to end this Petri dish of corruption found in blue-city rule and start voting for some party that won't steal, what is? 

Image: Neon Tommy via FlickrCC BY-SA 2.0.

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