by Les Robbins
Published: March 26, 2014
The political mail is pouring into my mailbox like crazy. The mail I received from Councilman James Johnson, who wants to become our city's next City Attorney, was in my view just about the worst stuff that I have ever seen and I have been following the political goings on in this city for a very long time now.
In my view, what Johnson has done in the way of attempting to politicize this extremely important office is disgusting, some of the most partisan material I have ever seen, especially for an office that is NON-PARTISAN. Mr. Johnson somehow seems to think that he will be a better City Attorney because he is a Democrat. Well, I am a Democrat and I got some news for him: it doesn't matter.
If you read Mr. Johnson's mail and didn't know what office he was seeking, you might think he was running for Mayor or even running for re-election. He talks about things he will do that in my view don't fall within the Charter of the City of Long Beach with respect to the role of the City Attorney. To suggest that he is more qualified for the job current City Attorney Charles Parkin is in my view laughable.
With a port, an airport, one of only three municipal health departments in the entire State of California, a department of energy wherein we have one of the largest gas and oil fields found anywhere in Southern California with massive tidelands issues as well, this is not a job for a rookie or for someone who to my knowledge has no courtroom trial experience. Electing him to this office would be like sticking someone behind the steering wheel of an Indianapolis Race Car who just got his driver's license.
I realize that the office of City Attorney is perhaps not one of the most glamorous political offices in this city or in any city but it is crucial and imperative to have someone there who understands municipal law, has practiced municipal law, and who is aware of all of the critical uniqueness of a city the size and complexity of Long Beach.
Mr. Johnson's list of endorsements reads to me like little more than a who's-who of state Democratic party officeholders who don't have anything to do with practicing municipal law. The choice here is a no-brainer in the opinions of just about everyone I know whose views I respect on this.
In my opinion, Charles Parkin has the experience, expertise, and intimate knowledge of how the City of Long Beach operates. He deserves our support but more important we as residents of this city need him there, not a politically driven soon-to-be-former Councilman who is under the belief that he deserves to be handed this very important job.