The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Friday, July 09, 2004
 

Grievance politics goes bananas in Golden State


In a state whose politics are gripped by the thoroughly metastisised cancer that is the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, the standard of integrity and competence to which pols can reasonably be held is somewhere between the Chicago of Big Bill Thompson (snoot man William Hale Thompson, that is [1]) and the Kansas City of Tom Pendergast.

The case of Assemblyman Mervyn Dymally has a certain savour worthy of footnoting: the Sac Bee today (and every place else) has the story of CA Education Secretary Richard Riordan and the little girl called Isis - which, he told her, meant stupid, dirty girl. He was joking.

The grievance brigade sprang into action, with, in particular,
a Capitol news conference Thursday called by Assemblyman Mervyn Dymally, D-Compton, who was demanding that Riordan step down. Dymally's office abruptly canceled the event, however, after learning that the girl is white.

Yup, the knee jerked. And this was not the only jerk involved.

The grievance machine on a hair-trigger works on the Queen of Hearts principle: sentence first, verdict afterwards:
Dymally, who is African American, was quoted in Thursday's San Jose Mercury News stating that the girl was African American and asking whether Riordan "would ... have done that to a white girl?"

Dymally's career path as a legislator has been clogs to clogs in one generation [2]: he started off in the 1960s as a California assemblyman, moved via the State senate and Lieutenant-Governorship to the US House, before landing back in the California Assembly. I assume there's a story to his unusual trajectory.

A cursory search suggests Dymally has a colourful past: an interview with Fidel Castro, a Fugitive from a Chain Gang-style [3] extradition case, apparently
put people convicted of election fraud on his payroll
and, as Lieutenant-Governor, was
cleared of all charges claiming he misused Minority Aid Program funds
it says here.

And - in case you were wondering, Dymally's palm, it seems, was greased with silver by the CCPOA. Just a miserly $1,000; and how far he has repaid the CCPOA's 'kindness', I'm not sure.

  1. Chicago corruption explained further here.

  2. Rather than the proverbial three.

  3. Not really - it's only other extradition case that springs to mind!


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