By Ana Facio Contreras
The Council District 14 candidate forum in Hermon last night featuring Councilman Jose Huizar and business man Rudy Martinez was a relatively sedate affair with none of the mudslinging seen in the news blogs over the last couple of months. But then emotions and confusion arose when both candidates were asked the following prepared question:
“So far, what has been the most unfair claim your opponent has made against you in this race and why is he wrong?”
“I’ve had a difficult and challenging life,” Martinez responded before a small audience at the Hermon Church Fellowship Center. He then recounted the story about a DUI he received when he was 21 and for being arrested for fighting with a security guard at his father’s restaurant in an effort to protect his father. And then Martinez said something about his wife, Kim, that caught everyone’s attention at the forum: “I was accused of – Kim , forgive me – beating my wife ”
At this point, Huizar interrupted, claiming that Martinez did not understand the question. “I never ever said something like that,” Huizar said.
The questions was reread. Then Martinez, who denied the wife beating claim, later apologized and said:
“I think my opponent is attacking my character. I have made mistakes in life and I have learned from them. And I have grown from them. Those three mistakes are mistakes that I have completely learned from.”
Then it was Huizar’s turn.
“Someone like me who came to this country as a young boy, who worked since the sixth-grade to pay his way through high school, to paid his way through college, who today provides for his family and juggle everything I’ve ever done, you can’t look at a person’s history like that and say they’ve been lazy,” Huizar said “In my job, I work 24 hours a day. I get calls in the evening by LAPD. I get the general managers in the city; there are issues in the city that I respond to. My wife and I take this job very, very seriously. For someone to claim that I am lazy, I just have to point to where I started in life, where I am now, and nobody can say that I’m lazy when they look at that.”
Other topics and issues covered included the graffiti abatement program, the city’s financial crisis and preserving the open green space in Hermon.
Arrests or laziness: L.A. City Council candidates discuss unfair campaign accusations. L.A. Now
Photos from RudyMartinez2011 and huizar2011 websites