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      A lot of folks around the country are unaware that there are elections today 3/3/2009. Actually a lot of people here in L.A. are also unaware or don't care that there are elections today for Mayor and other city offices, as well as seats on the LAUSD School Board and the LACCD Community Colleges Board and city ballot measures. Those of us who do vote get to have our votes count for more because so few others bother to vote. Polls are open today until 8:00PM Pacific time. If you have an absentee ballot you can carry it in to any open precinct and it will count. I like to walk in my mom's and my ballots to the polling place at Squirming Oaks Elementary School (where I went to school many years ago). It saves the cost of postage and I know the election workers got the ballots.  Let's look at the ballot together, and I will tell you why I am writing in Lizard People for Mayor and Flying Spaghetti Monster for City Attorney

   Zack's picks for the 3/3/09 elections:

  Los Angeles Mayor:  There is no doubt that the incumbent Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will be re-elected, most likely today avoiding a runoff (by getting 50% + 1.)  You certainly could do worse than Tony V. (any other oldtimers remember Sam Yorty?...) While Antonio's ideas are mostly good sometimes he tries to do too many things at once and doesn't focus on the city enough. Last year he campaigned for Clinton and then Obama; later this year he may be running for Governor of CA. He is the most charismatic politician west of the Colorado River and has that kind of personal magnetism that makes you want to like him. In this election he refused to debate his opponents, which is bad for democracy. Zack's Pick: No Endorsement.  I am writing in Lizard People for my vote, but if you don't want to abstain or do a write-in there are other options like Craig X Rubin, the stoner pastor, Carlos Alvarez, a 22 year old Socialist activist and David "Zuma Dogg" Saltsburg, a community activist and regular attendee at city council meetings. You don't want to vote for Walter Moore, Phil Jennerjahn or David Hernandez, the Greedy Old Party oriented candidates.

  Los Angeles City Attorney: This race will be most likely won by Jack Weiss, who is the outgoing Councilmember  for CD5 (where I live). He is the best qualified for this position of those running but was not an especially responsive member of the City Council. He also was an unquestioning supporter of the LAPD's actions during the 2000 Democratic Convention, a topic I questioned him about when he first ran for CD5 back in 2001. I have doubts about his commitment to civil liberties and the rights of peaceful protesters.   Zack's Pick: No Endorsement. I'll probably go with F.S.M. for this one. I am not up on the other candidates  but think this may go to a runoff with Carmen Trutanich, who got the L.A.Times endorsement and has a somewhat visible campaign.

  Los Angeles Controller: Wendy Greuel will be an able successor to Laura Chick in this position. Zack's Pick: Wendy Greuel

  L.A. City Council:  

  Third District CD3--I like Jeff Bornstein, a progressive Democrat challenger against incumbent Dennis Zine.

  Fifth District CD5--The "Fightin' Fifth" features the only open seat race for City Council. Paul Koretz is the best of a half dozen candidates . He is a progressive activist, our former Assemblymember, a former West Hollywood Councilmember,and was a staffer to an L.A. Councilmember. He has been endorsed by a wide range of groups like the Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley  and the LACDP. He is a longtime environmentalist and has the enthusiastic support of the Sierra Club and CA League of Conservation Voters. He also has labor and other community support. He's a nice and modest guy but very talented and hard working. This is the most important race for me today, and I strongly endorse Paul Koretz.

  CD7: Richard Alarcon is OK and is unopposed, I believe...

  CD11: Bill Rosendahl, the incumbent, deserves reelection

  CD13: Eric Garcetti is another one worth keeping

  CD15: Janice Hahn will be back for one more term

  West Hollywood City Council: Jeff Prang and John Duran are the incumbents. As you might expect in WeHo they are liberal to progressive Democratic gay men. I dont know anything about the challengers, or much about WeHo politics...

  LAUSD School Board:  There are two open seats with four fine candidates. LAUSD4: Both Mike Stryer and Steve Zimmer are teachers. After hearing them speak at forums I give a slight edge to Stryer, but Zimmer is endorsed by the UTLA teachers' union so he is the likelier winner.

  LAUSD6: Nury Martinez is Mayor of the City of San Fernando, and Louis Pugliese is a former teacher and trainer of teachers. Both are good people, but I'd vote for Nury if I lived in the district (Northeast SFV), based on her experience dealing with intergovernmental issues while on the SF City Council (plainly speaking, she knows how to beg for money from Sacramento, a useful skill nowadays.) She has the UTLA endorsement as well.

  LACCD Community Colleges Board: These are elected at large (not by district) so you can vote for all four seats.  Seat 2: Angela Reddock
Seat 4: Kelly Candaele  Seat 6: either Nancy Pearlman or Robert Nakahiro
Seat 7: Miguel Santiago
  This board is functioning reasonably well. Kelly is the longest serving member; recently appointed incumbents Angela and Miguel bring youth and diversity to the board. Nancy always draws a bunch of challengers, but she is OK, though perhaps a bit eccentric. She didn't make it to any of the three forums I attended. Of the two Democratic challengers I heard I liked Robert Nakahiro better, but Greg Akili, a labor organizer and former Obama campaign staffer also had a lot of energy and ideas.

  Ballot Measures: A--Fire Department Independent Assesor: Yes
     B--Solar Energy: Yes   The process for putting this together was flawed and it is tilted in favor of the DWP's union instead of others, but we really need to get L.A. moving forward on developing local and renewable energy resources. On balance it is worth it so let's vote YES on B. It will provide local jobs and start programs to train the next generations of workers in this vital field.
     C and D--Survivor Benefits: Yes on both
     E--Economic Incentives: No

  So that is today's ballot in L.A. There are other local races in other local communities, while others like Pasadena are voting next week, and Burbank voted last week. The Burbank runoff is Tu 4/14, with six candidates running for three seats at large. I recommend Garen Yeghparian for Burbank Council. He is an environmental leader and community activist, a great grassroots candidate.

  Thanks for reading and for voting. What do you think about today's election? Who did you vote for and/or what are your predictions?

Originally posted to Zack from the SFV on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 11:24 AM PST.

Poll

Who should be elected L.A. Mayor

53%21 votes
10%4 votes
5%2 votes
2%1 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
28%11 votes

| 39 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips for Lizard People, and for voters today (10+ / 0-)

      I hope you like my diary...

    I'm not a Limousine Liberal; I am a Prius Progressive

    by Zack from the SFV on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 11:26:13 AM PST

    •  my precinct was very quiet - Jack Weiss recoil? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Zack from the SFV

      I was only the 5th voter of the day !
      Granted it was only 8 am, but the polls had already been open for at least an hour, and the 'before going to work' crowd is usually brisk, no?

      Although I voted for him twice, my antipathy to "Mayor Ambition" has grown -- I'm really not a fan.  For me, his charisma has turned unctous and fake.  His energy has shown itself as a nervous constant PR campaign for himself, whether as a stealth groundwork-laying for governor or otherwise.  His 'accomplishments' have either been largely smallish, and done for superficial purposes.  (Examples:  The school takeover bit never addressed what would change educationally, and now he runs a few schools, so what.  The tax measure he accomplished, the money got siphoned off.  The crime improvements he trumpets are only partially true and began before he took office. Etc.)

      As for City Attorney, I think you understate things with regard to Jack Weiss ("not an especially responsive member of the City Council").  He is hated in his district, even by many people who don't pay much attention to politics.  Not only non-responsive, he has been disdainful of local citizens groups, and has opened the door to unbridled commercial development in the 5th district, as well as supporting Mayor Ambition's poorly planned attempt to impose a freeway-style one-way traffic plan through the area.  Weiss also snoozed through the council's approval two years ago of the billboard sellout settlement (although he has belatedly become a champion against the billboarders together with his run for city atty).

      Controller: As for Greuel, although I don't know a lot about her, she appears to be bred in with the Villaraigo$a/Wei$$/Greuel troika - - - the polished, developer-fed locomotive of L.A.'s current city politics.  In that light, then I'm voting for Patsouras.

      5th District Council: This is my neighborhood, and we've been reamed by Jack Weiss; now we need better commitment.  I'm uncomfortable with Koretz, he has established the "correct" liberal positions, but seems to be job hunting rather than looking to represent the district.  David (Ty) Vahedi is strongly supported locally -- we'll see if he can squeak into the runoff (he lost to Weiss 4 years ago).  The others seems okay too, in various respects, including Bleich and Galperin and Ritter-Simon, but each with certain drawbacks.

      B - This one is hard to swallow, despite its substantive positives.  I'm always troubled by govermnent-via-initiative, whether on the state or city level.  I'd like to see the legislature/council tackle these things rather than monkeying with the constitution/city charter.

      my 2 cents

      •  thanks for your comments... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SamSinister

          I was too polite about Jack Weiss, I'll agree. I live in the district, too so I know what he is like. It is just frustrating that there is nobody else with a chance to win that is worth supporting.
          I like Ty Vahedi and supported him when he ran four years ago against Weiss. I know Paul Koretz enough to believe he is the real deal and not just looking for a job. Vahedi is my second choice this time so a runoff between those two would be fine.
          Reasonable people can disagree about B; I went back and forth before deciding. I think it will narrowly lose, but we'll know sometime late tonight.

        I'm not a Limousine Liberal; I am a Prius Progressive

        by Zack from the SFV on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 12:29:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Recommended! (3+ / 0-)

    "I gotta rec that sh*t, even though it is completely tasteless and rude." ... "luntz and his cretinous kabal are paid bloggers from AIPAC."

    by DemocraticLuntz on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 11:29:38 AM PST

  •  Looks like a landslide for Lizard People! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Banana Republicans

    "I gotta rec that sh*t, even though it is completely tasteless and rude." ... "luntz and his cretinous kabal are paid bloggers from AIPAC."

    by DemocraticLuntz on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 11:30:52 AM PST

  •  I'm not sure about B (0+ / 0-)

    this measure seems to put restraints on true and future progress on green development in Los Angeles

    "The Great White Hope" is half Black!!!

    by in2mixin on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 11:32:42 AM PST

  •  Villaraigosa should change his name back (2+ / 0-)

    to Villar - he became Villaraigosa when he got married by merging his and his wife's names, and now that he's divorced, shouldn't he go back to Villar?

    Pragmatic progressivism is the future.

    by Pragmaticus on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 11:35:17 AM PST

    •  yes, Antonio Villaraigosa is a mouthful (0+ / 0-)

        which is why I sometimes call him "Tony V." or "Mayor Tony".  Most people just call him Antonio, without a last name. Do the people in San Francisco call their mayor Gavin? I don't think either Antonio or Gavin can beat Jerry in the 2010 Gubernatorial primary (but I'm supporting John Garamendi for that as of now)...

      I'm not a Limousine Liberal; I am a Prius Progressive

      by Zack from the SFV on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 11:43:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What a lot of wonderful choices (2+ / 0-)

    Too bad 'None of the Above' isn't on the ballot. It would probably win, and leave us without a mayor for another four years.

    (Villaraigosa has made it out to my end of town once that I know of. For an early-morning press conference after the train wreck last fall. Made the train late, too.)

  •  nice diary Zack (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zack from the SFV

    I moved north many years ago, but this valley boy still remembers Sam Yorty. yecch.

    "Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war" - John Adams

    by esquimaux on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 12:21:47 PM PST

  •  Status Quo for Mayor! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bubbanomics

    I don't live in LA or know the politicians. Who would a progressive vote for? Villaraigosa is the only name I recognize.

    Lizard people would win if the GOP put money behind them.

    WTF?

    F#@k this Congress and the limos they rode in on!

    by MinistryOfTruth on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 12:54:43 PM PST

  •  i voted for the socialist... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zack from the SFV

    James Harris, union meat packer.

    (-8.00,-7.85) 'The idiot is not our greatest problem. It is the moron type that is our great problem." -- H. H. Goddard

    by bubbanomics on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 01:05:42 PM PST

  •  Thanks for the diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zack from the SFV

    NYC politics get a lot more coverage than LA's, it seems.

    Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað

    by milkbone on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 02:01:01 PM PST

  •  I am so disappointed with the CD-5 results (0+ / 0-)

    "The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again, but already it was impossible to say which was which."

    by Lefty the playwright on Wed Mar 04, 2009 at 03:01:53 PM PST

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