Jesse calls it the strangest story about local politics that he’s read in a long time, but there are many parallels to the rest of the electoral system. Here’s a glimpse:
In most cities, elections happen at least every four years. In Vernon, officeholders haven’t faced opposition in a generation.
Twenty-five years after its elected officials last had a contested ballot, eight strangers took up residence in the tiny city four miles south of downtown Los Angeles. Last month, after just a few days in town, three of the newcomers filed petitions to run for City Council in the April 11 election.
Within days, city utility trucks had turned off their power. The building they shared was slapped with red tags by inspectors who said the property was “unsafe and dangerous” as a residence. Strobe lights flashed through their windows. They and some of their relatives were placed under surveillance. Shortly, city police and other officials drilled holes in the locks and evicted the would-be office-seekers.
Having deprived the interlopers of city residence, Vernon officials on Jan. 27 disqualified them from the ballot.
Read the whole story here.