Saturday, March 22, 2008

Torres LA Times Puff Piece

There is a story in today's Los Angeles Times about Norma Torres and how important she is as a hero to Guatemalan imigrants. As noted by Edward Barrera, Metro Editor for the San Gabriel Valley Tribune in the Editor's Corner blog, this article reads like a campaign ad. An obvious PR piece in the news business is usually called a "puff" piece and this certainly qualifies. How anyone can spin the mayor's "feud" with chief Romero as a positive, really doesn't understand the outrage of the community.

While noting that she supported the candidacy of Councilman Rodriguez, they failed to mention her support for Xavier Alvarez, which put him on the 3-Valleys Water Board, where he continues to collect and collect and collect for attending meetings, even while facing federal charges for claiming to have a Congressional Medal of Honor when he never even served in the military.

Somehow they made it appear as if her editorials blasting the chief made her a strong leader. Of course the Times also made it appear not to be a campaign piece as they stated that she was "considering" a run for the Assembly, even though she's now a confirmed candidate. I agree with Mr. Barrera in wondering when the Times will include nicestories about the other candidates.


Garrett Sawyer said...

It seems to me not many like Norma, may I ask why? I have no clue and the reasons that have been mentioned go way over my

John Clifford said...

While some may not like Norma, I'd hate to be included among them. I truly feel that she has the best interests of the city at heart.

Any comments that I make are less about her as a person and more about her actions and methods of going about the business of being mayor. So what bothers me about those actions? She seems to shoot from the hip and make decisions based on emotions rather than reason (not always bad, but certainly not always good). She also appears to have a personal agenda (moving past Pomona to the legislature. It causes us to look at her actions in those terms as well and ask "was that decision for Pomona or for her own interests?"

Again, this is only political criticism and is very far from any real dislike. I'm sure that Norma and I probably agree on more things than we disagree on, but it's more likely that disagreements would be the stuff that one would blog about.

meg said...

I hold her agenda against her more than you do, John. From the very start, she made it clear that this was just a necessary step on toward other things, and that's a recipe for neglect and generally putting in a poor effort.

And as you point out, during her time as mayor, she hasn't really made an effort to become a better leader. I consider this an ethical shortcoming.

That said, I don't hate her. I just wish we had someone better, someone more devoted, and someone with better vision. All wrapped up in a single package. Preferably an Aries.

(Just kidding about that last bit)

Anonymous said...

My problem with Norma is everything that was going on in that L.A. Times Piece....
We as Pomona residents are expected to belive that the person in that article is the same person that has been our mayor the last couple of years?
It's like she has bought a Mattel's Jr. Politician Kit and has made every calculated move to use being mator as a stepping stone to higher office. In my thinking a person that moves up in the ranks of a party should be a person that has a vision and has made a difference on a local level. Usually it is fairly obvious when there is political talent in someone.
I think Norma, her husband and apparently Guatamalla are the only people clamoring for her to go to a higher office in California.
I voted for Nell Soto to get her off the city council and now I fear that voting for Norma for the state assembly is the only way to get rid of her. I would put money on it that's been her plan all along.

John Clifford said...

Meg and Mark,

You both make VERY good arguments, that I do agree with for the most part. However, and I feel odd defending the mayor here, I don't think everything she's done has been bad. I think that she does wish to serve the public and I'm not sure that ambition is necessarily a completely bad thing either. I just wish that we had a leader more like Eddie Cortez who seemed to genuinely be only concerned about THIS city and its problems. I think Norma takes a larger view, not necessarily a bad thing, which overlooks (as Meg said) some of our important local issues.

Now that I've made nice-nice I'll go back to being my old curmudgeonly self.

Garrett Sawyer said...

John- Perhaps she wants to move up to legislature to help Pomona more than she can as a Mayor...has anyone ever thought about that? Theres no way to tell right now but I think we should give her the benefit of the doubt for now, ever since she's been Mayor, the city has turned around quite a bit. I'm not saying it's all her work or she did any of it single-handedly though. Empty lots have turned from fields into developments, etc etc. I think Pomona has made at the least a 80° turn around in the past few years.

Anonymous said...

Almost all of the improvements that you wrote about happened because of the private sector making it happen in spite of city hall. They are notorious for having staff that made even the smallest of projects incredibly hard to complete. Now that the real estate market has stalled so will most proposed projects that the city council takes credit for.
Also, When Nell Soto was elected out of Pomona's city council people thought that would help Pomona too. I'd bet that you couldn't find a person that could tell you a benefit of having her go to Sacramento.
Oh wait, free air at gas stations.
Roughly 10 years of being a resident has soured me to many things that come out of city hall.