LOS ANGELES — A powerful Los Angeles Democrat who was once among the highest-ranking members of the California Legislature is facing criticism after botching the Pledge of Allegiance on Tuesday.
The Los Angeles Times reports, “City Councilman Kevin de León had been asked by City Council President Nury Martinez to lead his colleagues in the Pledge of Allegiance, which is recited by council members each Tuesday during their Zoom meetings. The delivery was far from smooth.”
De León nailed the first line, but it went downhill from there.
Pledge of Allegiance fail at today's L.A. city council meeting… pic.twitter.com/cKdcB7HpEp
— Rob Pyers (@rpyers) January 26, 2021
After an awkward pause, he mumbled “undervisible” and then began again, Daily Wire reported.
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,” de León repeated on his second attempt.
After another long pause, de León skipped over four words and picked up with, “For which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
On Tuesday evening, Councilman De León appeared to make light of the situation on social media, tweeting an image of the cartoon character Bart Simpson writing the Pledge of Allegiance on a blackboard over and over. He took the opportunity to solicit donations to a nonprofit “to provide food security for undocumented immigrants.”
“Embarrassing, am I right?” he tweeted. “If you or someone you know got a good laugh out of my own ‘unique’ version of the pledge of allegiance (sic), consider donated a few $$ to nouswithoutyou.la. They’re doing amazing work in CD 14 to provide food security for undocumented immigrants.”
Embarrassing, am I right? If you or someone you know got a good laugh out of my own “unique” version of the pledge of allegiance, consider donating a few $$ to https://t.co/Ig5Qrkr4i2. They’re doing amazing work in CD 14 to provide food security for undocumented immigrants. pic.twitter.com/XBpc6V2fTQ
— Kevin de Leόn (@kdeleon) January 27, 2021
De León was elected to the city council in a special election last year and represents a district with a large Latino population. His predecessor, Jose Huizar, was arrested and charged in a 34-count indictment that alleged a conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Huizar is accused of agreeing to accept at least $1.5 million in illicit financial benefits.
Previously, De León served in the state Legislature where he became the Senate’s highest-ranking member, President pro Tempore, in 2014. At the swearing-in ceremony, De León asked, “Isn’t it time we shatter the great American myth about pulling oneself up by the bootstraps? It’s a fantasy. It’s simply not true. We all need help.”
“Reliance is not something of shame. It is the American Way.”