LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl calls irate speaker an ‘asshole’ and it’s awesome


As colorful as our City Council meetings get during public comments, we’ve never seen a show quite like this. But then again, we’ve never had a gadfly like John Walsh nor a badass like Sheila Kuehl.

Towards the end of Tuesday’s meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, a man named John Walsh came to the podium to chastise the board for their earlier vote to welcome Syrian refugees to Los Angeles County.

But when he called Supervisor Sheila Kuehl an anti-semitic “scumbag,” Kuehl punched right back.

SUP. SHEILA KUEHL: Listen, you asshole, I am a Jew! My mother was a Jew! And if you say that again, I will shout the entire time you are talking! Thank you.

Walsh continued yelling as his microphone was cut. Supervisor Hilda Solis, who was chairing the meeting, asked a sheriff’s deputy to remove Walsh before Kuehl intervened and asked him to continue his speech. Walsh goes on for a while, but with his microphone cut, we don’t know what he was saying.


John Walsh also spoke earlier in the meeting where he dropped at least one f-bomb in an anti-muslim tirade.

JOHN WALSH: …If you believe in Islam, you’re going to go to heaven and you’re going get 150 houris, H.O.U.R.I.S. and you’re going to fuck them all day and all night for the rest of eternity. And your wife disappears. That’s what it is. And I say it. And if you vote for these terrorists, let the blood be on your hands, Miss Kuehl. Let the blood be on your hands, Miss Solis and let the blood be on the hands of Mark Ridley-Thomas…

HILDA SOLIS, CHAIR: Time has expired. Next speaker, please.

JOHN WALSH: Scum bags!

LA Times story on the Syrian refugee vote here.

You can try your best to watch video of the meeting here, but it requires something called Windows Media Player, so good luck with that.

12 thoughts on “LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl calls irate speaker an ‘asshole’ and it’s awesome

  1. I never forget a face and never remember a name, not senility but “dysnomia”a real condition similar to dyslexia except, well you can’t remember peoples’ names. But here I am in LA from Maryland, and watching TV, and there’s Zelda! OMG! Of course to the LA family I was staying with this was old news, but to me here she was all grown up and an elected official. How cool was that? To no one’s surprise (me included) she was Gay, her “Tomboy” persona just a prelude to what was to come, but I remember her wit, her intelligence, and the way she “tweaked” Dobie. I think she used to twitch her nose and drive him wild. Listening to her talk about those days, especially her fear about being outed, and the realities for any smart, witty, strong young woman, trying to “find a man” in those “women should know their place” days also rung true for me. In my own family I have an aunt who is gay on my mother’s side, and an uncle on my father’s. Just pleased with the way Sheila has succeeded in spite of the odds, and especially like her style, calling it like she sees it…or him. Asshole! was a kind term.

  2. Sheila-good for you! Somebody-namely you- finally told that scumbag off! Your ole friend Dave Freeman


  4. When the history of this era and the events that shaped it is written, it will be shown that people like Sheila Kuehl stood up to be counted and did what was right. Good for you, old gal.

  5. Congratulations, Sheils, for saying what needed to be said. Keep it up. We need more public servants like you!

  6. I’m going to go out on a limb here – while the guy was off (his appearance suggest he is possibly suffering from a mental/emotional issue, which should elicit empathy and compassion) shouldn’t an elected representative hear him out and respond in a respectful manner?

    Has Los Angeles really dropped to this level, where the people we elect to govern us speak this way?

    • At some point, you hit your limit when you’ve been verbally assaulted so many times. Sup Kuehl has been in office for only 12 months, but she’s been yelled at by Mr. Walsh no less than 150 times in that time. Folks. That is a LOT. Mr. Walsh is also a regular at LA City Council meetings, where he’s always the first to submit his chit to speak. He was once banned from the LA Metro Board of Directors for several months for vulgar language. Most of the time, you learn to ignore him because he says nothing substantive.

      Fun Fact: Mr. Walsh was once a substitute teacher. For those of us in public service who have been subjected to Mr. Walsh’s tirades, it was a joy to see our elected official set firm boundaries.

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  8. I respect the fact that our public meetings are open to the public and we encourage public participation; however no one has a right to be disrespectful towards our public officials. Especially Supervisor Kuehl, considering her great public service.
    We should have a procedure in place to immediately remove persons who slander our public officials.

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