For a while now, Rick from California has been arguing that he has a worse slate of public officials representing him than I do. While I've been skeptical of Rick's past claims, this story may tilt the scales in his favor. Dispute grows between Assemblyman Bradford, Gardena ice cream vendor:
State Assemblyman Steve Bradford, D-Inglewood, has accused a 73-year-old ice-cream truck vendor of trying to run him over while he was home in Gardena last weekend during the Legislature's summer recess.
The alleged aggressor, Jesus Izquierdo of Hawthorne, counters that he was simply trying to drive home when Bradford pulled up next to him and began screaming.
"I'm just trying to sell ice cream, why would I try to kill someone?" Izquierdo, who speaks little English, said in Spanish when told about Bradford's accusation.
Izquierdo claims Bradford tried to represent himself as an officer, and even flashed something that resembled a police badge at him - something Bradford has been accused of doing before with an honorary badge he receives as an elected official.
To the best of my knowledge, my representative in the Minnesota House has never flashed an honorary badge to claim powers he doesn't possess. It gets better.
Izquierdo claims that Bradford has harassed him several times in the past two years about his business license permit. Izquierdo said he knows that Bradford is not a police or code enforcement officer and he countered by asking to see Bradford's identification. Bradford showed him a badge, which could have been a state-issued honorary badge given to legislators, Izquierdo said.
"He acts like he is an inspector but he is not," Izquierdo said through an interpreter. "This has been happening for two years."
In 2002, Bradford was arrested in Hawthorne on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest after he reportedly struck an officer with his car at an accident scene. The Hawthorne police officer said Bradford parked his black BMW in the middle of an area where emergency workers were battling a car fire and treating injured victims. Bradford refused an officer's orders to leave, physically fought the officer, and flashed his honorary council badge, officials said.
Bradford later sued the Hawthorne Police Department, claiming he was wrongfully arrested because he is black. The city awarded him a $50,000 settlement in 2004.
Unlike most politicians who at least can claim to do so accidentally, this guy is literally trying to drive small businesses out of his community. Yeah, this one is gonna be hard to top...