Democracy, Vernon Style.

The industrial city Vernon in Los Angeles County has only 93 residents, but it has its own utilities company that makes millions selling gas & electricity to local businesses.

There are fewer than 60 registered voters there, and almost all are either city employees or related to city officials. The elected officials in Vernon haven't faced an opposition in 30 years - in fact, every four years, they cancel the election!

Last month, after moving in just for a few days, 3 newcomers filed to run for office. Within days, they were evicted and disqualified from the ballot by city officials, who accused the men of electioneering and subterfuge.

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.

It's a bizzare story, and it's only here in Los Angeles.

Here's democracy in action, Vernon style: Link to a very interesting LA Times Article by Hector Becerra.


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