I would have never expected such damaging political fissures to break out in the city of Torrance.
Perhaps I hold some of the blame.
In 2014, she ran as the outsider candidate.
She was a commissioner, but she was also dedicated to bringing business savvy to the district.
She was warm and alive.
I found her to be lively and engaging. She wanted to reach out to lots of people.
She was also working with Patrick Furey Jr.
I was not thrilled about that, yet at the time I just thought of the guy as a hard-nosed consultant.
Then the news hit the headlines, and it was clear that Mayor Pat Furey was peddling influence to McCormick, which had paid big money--along with the firefighters PAC, to help Mayor Pat get elected.
The FPPC exposed the collusion between the son and the PAC, all in violation of municipal and state law.
This is wrong.
I started writing to Leilani about her relationship with Pat Jr. She never answered my emails.
Then she had unfriended me on Facebook.
I had begun to detect that there was something wrong when she not only stopped responding to my emails, but also ignored me at public events.
Now she never talks to me. Other city residents have told me that she treats a lot of people like that.
She has a long history of gossiping about other people in the city.
She also bragged to me how much she was rubbing elbows with liberal Democratic politicians like Ted Lieu, Ben Allen, and Maxine Waters.
Yes! Maxine Waters. She even bragged about getting invites to her Christmas parties, with other city councilmembers (Tim Goodrich, Kurt Weideman, and Mayor Pat Furey)
She was already keeping close company with Democratic elements in the city of Torrance.
At the same time, though, she provided information to me about the city council's corrupt attempt to appoint Ray Uchima through a backroom deal--and a major Brown Act violation.
The next year, I attended one of her fundraisers, and behold - Ray Uchima was there.
What was going on? She was telling me all the conniving things that he was doing behind the scenes, along with Pat Furey and other elements in city hall ...
And now she was inviting him to her fundraisers? HUH?!
For a long time, I was still willing to support her. I spoke with civic leaders in the community. They shared their reservations, but they seemed inclined to work with her.
Now, it's too late. She has chosen to consort with corruption and with other illiberal interests in the city. Very disappointing.
She focuses way too much on identity politics, too. I respect the interest of certain Asian-American leaders who want to see more Asian-Americans on city councils, but the focus is all about integrity first, which in turn reflects on the ethnic community as a whole.
LIE-lani has no integrity left. I have spoken with leaders and participants in Torrance and around the South Bay. They do not trust her.
Looking back on everything that has unfolded, I can see why many friends of mine did not trust her, did not like her, or wanted her to have no elected office on city council.
It was a very disappointing day for me when I had to turn away my support for her.
Every politician, every elected official bears responsibility for their decisions.
Now, Leilani seems more like LIE-lani, and the last thing that the city of Torrance needs is another liar on the city council, a Furey puppet who will go along with the McCormick contract.
Sorry, Leilani, but you have deeply disappointed me. Such actions make us more cynical about civic participation. This is wrong. All wrong.
I do not want a union-hack Furey puppet on my city council. The city of Torrance needs better.