Despite changing her voter registration shortly before running for office with a (D) next to her name, Traci Park is not your typical Democrat. She was a registered Republican into her 30s and voted for George W. Bush even after his invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. She failed to gain the support or endorsement of the LA County Democratic Party or any Dem club. When Traci claimed to have organized for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, Obama field coordinators were quick to point out that she was lying.
Beyond partisan affiliation, it’s become clear that Traci’s campaign had uncomfortable ties to right-wing extremists. Her advisor, Bill Simon, was a Republican gubernatorial candidate and longtime trustee of The Heritage Foundation, one of the most powerful right-wing think tanks in America. The Heritage Foundation recently celebrated the judicial overturn of Roe v. Wade and has honored figures from Donald Trump to Andrew Breitbart. Speaking of Breitbart, the Park campaign paid at least $5,000 in consulting fees to Breitbart contributor Heidi Sigmund Cuda. Andrew’s widow Susie Breitbart worked with Park on the effort to block transitional housing in Venice, and Breitbart senior editor Joel Pollack told his followers that Traci Park was “a crucial vote.” The “parents’ rights” group UTLA Uncensored was an early endorser of Traci, signaling that the Councilmember is cozy with Republicans pushing a right-wing education agenda.
Traci impressed other right-wingers like Mark Ryavec, a “law and order” guest on Fox News. One of her biggest cheerleaders is Stuart Waldman, president of the Valley Industry and Commerce Assn., who lobbied against hero pay for grocery workers during COVID. In addition to her support from VICA and other anti-labor chambers of commerce, Park snagged an endorsement from the California Restaurant Association, a lobbying group that opposes raising the minimum wage, opposes the FAST Act and donates to California Republican candidates.
Traci worked on the Recall Bonin campaign with the ultra-conservative, dark-money Utah Republican Mike McCauley, and she received funding from Steven Dahlberg, “the polluter of Paradise Cove” who caused more than 2,000 gallons of raw sewage to run into Malibu waters. She was a vocal supporter of violent, disgraced former LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, even posing with fellow Recall Bonin advocates at a Villanueva campaign rally.
And of course, Traci is supported by all the cops, who gobble up more than half our city budget and siphoned off over half of our city’s funding from the American Rescue Plan. She supports increasing police funding at a time when police killings are up 160%. The Los Angeles Police Protective League, LAPD’s lobbying association, donated an astonishing $1 million-plus to the Park campaign, more than any other City Council race. LAPPL continuously defends police brutality and campaigned against transparency measures like public access to body camera footage. The lobbying organization is led by neo-Nazi Jamie McBride, who has shot six people. McBride’s daughters Jacqueline and Toni are also killer cops; Jacqueline shot and killed an unhoused woman in March 2023, and Toni, a notorious right-wing “influencer,” killed Daniel Hernandez in 2020.