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Jim Newton now wants DWP rate hikes...

It's shocking how former news schlub who was once interested in covering local government could become such a willful handmaiden to it.

But look at this: Jim Newton, who might as well be working for the city's PR office at this point, now says that to solve its problems, we all need to pay the DWP more.

Worse, he offers no supporting arguments other than this one:

But this isn't about union politics. DWP users pay far less for their water and power than customers in other California jurisdictions. Even with this hike, they'd still pay less.

In other words, let's not weigh the atrocious service and insouciance we get from our power agency. Technically, we pay a little less than some others for this atrocious service. Therefore, we should pay more.

Newton would have us ignore the fact that the average line worker at the DWP makes over $100,000 a year. He pretends to be totally unaware that salaries are so bloated at the agency that the DWP's PR office mostly makes more than the editorial staff of the LA Times. He seems completely oblivious to the fact that the DWP has been squandering money on the water side that could have been spent improving the city's infrastructure on the power side.

No, he thinks that the DWP will be fixed if only we all pay a little more.

Fortunately, nobody now listens to a word he says except the government agencies that game him. Unfortunately, the people at local news stations who once looked to the Times op-ed page for insight into civic problems now have nothing to follow from it except amplifications of the city's own press releases.

What a disaster for the City of Los Angeles the local paper's investment in this incompetent fool has been! He's engineered a complete commentary vacuum at the top of Los Angeles mainstream media opinion writing. He's a worthless, obsequious fool, a willful cudgel for the powerful, and a total tool of local government; he is the precise opposite of what an opinion writer should be.

EARLIER:

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Madeline Janis in the headlights