WitnessLA isn’t offering any endorsements at the moment. (Okay, maybe one little endorsement. But we’ll get to in a minute.)
Instead, we have linked to some of the more interesting and informative articles, interviews, mini-debates and what not that we thought you might find helpful as you make your decisions:
FIRST AN OVERVIEW: SO WHO REALLY HAS THE POWER IN LA ANYWAY?
Obviously, everyone knows in general what the Mayor does, and the City Council Members, and the City Attorney. But, past the generalities, a great many of us don’t have a really firm grasp on the details of who has control over what in Los Angeles.
With this in mind, LA Magazine has put together a handy GUIDE TO POWER IN LA that explains…well….everything (or nearly so.)
We highly recommend taking a look.
WHO’S GOT WHAT ELECTIONS $$$ AND WHERE DID THE MONEY COME FROM?
KCET has a great Who’s Funding Whom Database, which you can find here.
And here’s a rundown about how to get the most out of the database.
Warren Olney interviews the top 5 mayoral hopefuls—and the interviews are particularly good. Here’s the link, but scroll down, for each interview.
And for individual takes on the candidates:
KPCC’s Frank Stoltze looks at Eric Garcetti and asks if the candidate is tough enough to do what needs to be done as mayor.
Gene Maddeus writes about Wendy Greuel, whom he portrays as a down-to-earth, no-nonsense fix-it woman—with strong union support, namely by the DWP’s powerful workers union, IBEW Local 18—whose backing some voters find worrisome.
UPDATE: Greuel moved to counter that fear on Thursday when she told the Daily News that there would be no DWP raises if LA has a deficit.
Dakota Smith at the Daily News looks at Jan Perry and wonders if she’s too beholden to business groups.
Similarly the LA Times’ Jim Newton wonders if Eric Garcetti is too beholden to the teachers’ union.
In terms of endorsements, the Daily News thinks Wendy Greuel is strong and gutsy enough to take on “stubborn interests”—the unions and others—who “would make L.A. proud as the first woman to lead the nation’s second most populous city.”
The Los Angeles Times goes for Eric Garcetti, whom it says is the candidate with the most potential to “rise to the occasion…” and “the power to inspire.” “He could be just what Los Angeles needs.”
While we aren’t endorsing anyone, we do have a strong anti-endorsement. Here it is: ABC—anybody but Carmen. Incumbent Carmen Trutanich has good points, but the negatives greatly outweigh the positives. We went into more detail when Mr. Trutanich ran for District Attorney.
If you’d like a good one-stop-shopping destination that allows you to get a broad strokes idea of the three main candidates—Mike Fuerer, Greg Smith, and Carmen Trutanich—we recommend the on air debate, again, with Warren Olney.
We think it is fascinatingly character revealing for all three of the candidates. For some in a good way. For others, not so much.
Once more we refer you to the on-air debate between the candidates with Warren Olney on Which Way LA?
As for sorting out the candidates for voting purposes: LA City Counsel member, Dennis Zine, is the best known and, as such, has a long list of endorsements from unions and elected officials. However persons like former City Controller Laura Chick—and the LA Times, the Daily News, La Opinion, the Daily Breeze and others—are going for Ron Galperin.
Not endorsing, just sayin’…
For years, the teachers’ unions have poured gobs of money into the coffers of certain school board candidates whom they could then count on to vote the unions’ direction on any reform issue that the union didn’t like. And true to form, the unions’ presence is being felt in this year’s race too.
But the school board races that are up for a vote in Tuesday’s election have featured a new and muscular funding stream. The money comes from what is collectively known as the school reform movement—a coalition that does not think reform can take place if board members are forever hogtied by unions who put their own interests ahead of those of LA’s kids, with year upon year of demonstrably disastrous results. As a consequence, the the national reform movement has come up with its own big bucks, with some of the money even coming from outside the state. (Not surprisingly, the latter fact has caused controversy.)
Here’s what Education Week has on the matter.
So whom does one vote for in light of all this competing campaign funding?
Well, here’s what the Daily News has to say on the subject.
And here is the LA Times’ list of School Board endorsements.
(You will note both papers’ LAUSD board endorsements are exactly the same.)
The Daily News goes on to explain how it selected its three choices and why it thinks this school board election is of real importance:
What’s at stake is more than just three faces on the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education. The result could either confirm the slow move toward innovation and reform in the nation’s second-largest school district. Or it could reverse the course, destroying the few steps the district has taken in recent years to shake up the old, failing education structure.
For that reason, these races have attracted an astonishing amount of money – $4 million so far – as the unions and reform groups battle it out. How this election goes next week could well decide the fate of education reform in the city, state and nation.
That’s why we are strongly encouraging voters in the three districts - 2, 4, and 6 – to go to the polls and strike a victory for the students by choosing these three people:
Monica Garcia in District 2…Kate Anderson in District 4…Monica Ratcliff in District 6
We agree—most particularly about the choice of Kate Anderson. And, we don’t think the Daily News is overstating its case when it talks about how important this election is to LA’s educational future, and probably to the state’s.
So, yes, that’s an endorsement.
(Oh, and one more thing: Vote NO on Measure A.
BUT WHATEVER YOUR CHOICE….PLEASE VOTE ON TUESDAY, MARCH 5.