Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

News

Politicians Say the Dumbest Things: Nuñez is 'Middle Class'?

Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

5b2bdd944488b3000926be5d-original.jpg

I almost choked on my Cheerios this morning when reading a front-page story in the Los Angeles Times about California Assembly leader Fabian Nuñez's spending habits of campaign funds. According to the Times story:

The spending, listed in mandatory filings with the state, includes $47,412 on United, Lufthansa and Air France airlines this year; $8,745 at the exclusive Hotel Arts in Barcelona, Spain; $5,149 for a "meeting" at Cave L'Avant Garde, a wine seller in the Bordeaux region of France; a total of $2,562 for two "office expenses" at Vuitton, two years apart; and $1,795 for a "meeting" at Le Grand Colbert, a venerable Parisian restaurant.

But whatever. That part of the story has been told a thousand times over by other politicians throughout history. What really induced the gag reflex was this gem by the Speaker of the Assembly, who also reps LA's 46th district:

Support for LAist comes from
In the interview, Nuñez said he wouldn't need to use his $5.3-million "Friends of Fabian Nuñez" campaign account to offset travel costs if he were independently wealthy. The speaker's job pays $130,062 a year plus a tax-free $170 for expenses each day the Assembly is in session. "There's not too big a difference," he said, "between how I live and how most middle-class people live."

OK, so if according to Nuñez, If $130,000 is nearly middle class, then maybe he should help the federal government to change its poverty guidelines. After all, the 2007 federal poverty level for a family of four is set at $20,650.

Ain't no Louis Vuitton shopping with that chump change.