She was one of my top choices for Torrance City Council in 2014.
At the time, I respected her as connected, forthright, and business-oriented.
She opposed the Big Green nonsense, and as a registered Republican, I trusted her to advance conservative principles in a principled fashion.
She lost out for her first bid by 700 votes, and even when the city council appointed a replacement for Pat Furey, since he was elected mayor, the council passed on her and appointed Griffiths.
I did not think that outcome was fair.
Looking back at that moment, and seeing how far the council has progressed since then, it was a blessing in disguise.
Griffiths has stood up to the corruption on the city council, and has remained a vocal--and welcome--thorn in Mayor Pat Furey's side.
Leilani wanted to stand side-by-side with the corrupt mayor, and she ended up paying the price.
Election 2016, and once again, Leilani ended up in fourth place.
She is now 3,000 votes behind.
She lost the credibility of many supporters, including me, when she held onto Pat Furey Jr. as her campaign manager/consultant.
Following the money, the consultant company etc. it was pretty clear that Furey Jr. was still working for her.
How sad. She really could have made an impact on the city and for the better, if she had chosen integrity instead of ambition.
Rafu Shimpo, the Japanese-American newspaper based in Gardena/South Bay Los Angeles, reported one of the reasons why her second bid failed:
"An endorsement from Mayor Pat Furey may have been a factor in her fourth-place finish."
The headlines in the Daily Breeze spelled it out clearly that his campaign and his son, along with the Ambulance, were colluding in violation of municipal and state law.
Leilani never took a strong stance against this corruption. She had spoken with me directly and shared with the press that the city needed to "move on."
There is no moving forward when there is corruption and malfeasance in the midst.
Her latest rant against her opponents following her second loss was beyond telling in its lunacy:
"In a statement to The Rafu, Kimmel-Dagostino attributed her defeat to "a vicious hate campaign that was waged against me in the last three weeks of the campaign.'"
Oh brother. She plays the "hate" card. For the record, I am not ashamed to declare that I hate corruption and wrong-doing. I hate political candidates who refuse to answer uestions or to disavow themselves from corrupt actors.
LIE-lani continued to blame everyone else for her second epic loss:
"'It all started [when] The Daily Breeze published ... a story filled with inaccurate information about me,' she said."
Which stories? What information was inaccurate?
"'It continued with three more inaccurate articles and was followed by a paid advertising campaign by a hater on Facebook to all Torrance residents that I was a liar and a fake because I lied to The Rafu Shimpo about the associations I was involved with."
She claimed leadership roles which she actually did not have, and then she tried to back-pedal those claims in the same article! UGH!
"Then when I received endorsements from [Rep.] Maxine Waters, [former Assemblymember] Al Muratsuchi, [State Sen.] Ben Allen and several other prominent Democratic leaders, the salvo started because it was impossible that Democrats would endorse a Republican person. This was orchestrated by members of the Republican clubs that I belonged to.""
I am the President of the Beach Cities Republicans, and I supported with the rest of my club to endorse the three winning candidates long because Leilani received endorsements from illiberal, regressive Democrats like Maxine Waters and Ben Allen.
I am really surprised that Muratsuchi endorsed Kimmel-Dagostino. After all, he had openly despised her two years ago and would have nothing to do with her, She had told me this herself?
What would have caused Muratsuchi to change his mind?!
As for the endorsement from Waters ... I mean, who in their right mind would want her support for anything? She is corrupt, unethical, and just plain untrustworthy.
As far as I am concerned, anyone endorsed by Maxine Waters can go straight to hell!
LEI-lani plays the hate card, and she plays the race card to excuse her loss.
"I think the final insult was that The Daily Breeze kept publishing a racist photo of me with al the stories about the campaign."
Really?! Are you kidding me?!
Here is the photo:
|(Source: Daily Breeze)|
This headshot is appropriate and even flattering. What is she talking about?
"'I reason I objected to this photo was that several Japanese people who were imprisoned in camps during World War II said it reminded them of some of the caricatures that were done by the media to make fun of us."
One Japanese-American in Torrance objected to Leilani because of her unethical dealings, and her untrue claims of leadership and endorsements from non-profits groups in the city. Other Japanese-Americans shared with me that they did not trust her, and suspected bad things about her because of her tight alliances with Pat Furey.
"'By then the damage was done and it was too late because any people who saw the old photo and were deciding who to vote for would not cast their vote for someone who looked like the Wicked Witch of the East."
First, she claims racism, and then she claims that the photo was simply unflattering. She contradicts herself in the same statement in the same article. The woman has at best a loose connection to the truth.
"'I could not believe how nasty this campaign turned out to be ... It just goes to show you that Torrance still does not want Asians on the city council, let alone an Asian woman."
Asians of all backgrounds rejected LIE-lani. They did not want her scheming, selfish ways.
One restaurant owner informed me that from the first moment he met her, he could tell that she was out for herself. She refused to buy a meal at his restaurant when she was visiting prospective voters there.
One more time, she reverses herself on that blatantly false charge, when she claims: "Even The Daily Breeze kept publishing that the Asian population was not supporting me, even though this was not true."
OK ... she does not get elected because she is Asian, and yet the Asian population was supporting here? A number of leaders in the Japanese-American community were not supporting her, yet LIE-lani loses because of racism. Is she claiming that Asian voters are racist, self-hating, or confused?!
This lunacy was just disgusting and sad.
The city of Torrance dodged a bullet in 2014 and 2016.
The good news at the end of the Rafu article?
"Kimmel-Dagostino, whose term on the Commission on Aging ends Jan. 31, 2017, has indicated that she will no longer be involved in local politics."