Yikes, democrat politicians showing their real colors behind closed doors.
Behind closed doors, Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez made openly racist remarks, derided some of her council colleagues and spoke in unusually crass terms about how the city should be carved up politically.
The conversation remained private for nearly a year, until a leaked recording reverberated explosively Sunday and turned the focus of a sprawling metropolis toward Los Angeles City Hall.
By Sunday evening, three of Martinez’s council colleagues had called for her to resign. The leak had quickly become a new and incendiary issue in the coming Nov. 8 election, with candidates — some of them endorsed by Martinez — having to stake out positions.
Martinez and the other Latino leaders present during the taped conversation were seemingly unaware they were being recorded as Martinez said a white councilmember handled his young Black son as though he were an “accessory” and described Councilman Mike Bonin’s son as “Parece changuito,” or “like a monkey.”
Council President Nury Martinez makes racist remarks about Councilmember Mike Bonin’s young son while others chime in during this section of the conversation. The group was discussing a dispute between Councilmembers Curren Price and Marqueece Harris-Dawson, who were at odds last year over whose district would represent USC and Exposition Park once the new maps were finalized. The clip begins with Martinez recounting a conversation she allegedly had with businessman Danny Bakewell.
During the conversation with Councilmembers Gil Cedillo and Kevin de León and Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera, Martinez described Bonin at one point as a “little bitch,” according to a recording of the meeting reviewed by The Times.
Martinez also mocked Oaxacans and said “F— that guy … He’s with the Blacks” while speaking about Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón.
De León appeared to compare Bonin’s handling of his child to Martinez holding a Louis Vuitton handbag.
The conversation took place in October 2021 and focused heavily on councilmembers’ frustration with maps that had been proposed by the city’s 21-member redistricting commission.
Along with revealing cruel and racist comments, the leaked audio offered a rare window into the behind-the-scenes machinations of the redistricting process and the bare-knuckled fighting between various groups trying to secure political power.
On Sunday, after this article was published online, Martinez issued a statement apologizing for her comments, saying: “In a moment of intense frustration and anger, I let the situation get the best of me and I hold myself accountable for these comments. For that I am sorry.”
“The context of this conversation was concern over the redistricting process and concern about the potential negative impact it might have on communities of color,” she added. “My work speaks for itself. I’ve worked hard to lead this city through its most difficult time.”
Also on Sunday, De León called the comments “wholly inappropriate” and said he had fallen “short of the expectations we set for our leaders.”
“I regret appearing to condone and even contribute to certain insensitive comments made about a colleague and his family in private,” he said in a statement. “I’ve reached out to that colleague personally.”
Cedillo, contacted by The Times Saturday night, said, “I don’t have a recollection of this conversation.”
On Sunday night, Herrera apologized and asked for forgiveness, saying there is “no justification and no excuse for the vile remarks made in that room.”
Julie Gutman Dickinson, a lawyer representing the L.A. County Federation of Labor, sent a letter saying the conversation was “recorded in violation of California’s privacy and recording laws on LA County Federation of Labor property.” If The Times published information from it, “it is condoning this illegal conduct,” she added.