LA WATCHDOG - The LA Watchdog’s Voter Guide for the November election focuses on local elections and ballot measures.
It will also make recommendations on statewide ballot measures and other issues and races.
City of Los Angeles
My recommendations are heavily influenced by the lack of trust and confidence in our corrupt City Council. Think Jose Huizar, Mitch Englander, Mark Ridley-Thomas, and former City Council President Herb Wesson. This lack of trust and confidence was accentuated by the recent disclosure surrounding a secret meeting where City Council President Nury Martinez, Councilmembers Kevin de Leon and Gil Cedillo, and Ron Herrera, President of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, were caught making racially insensitive and derogatory comments about numerous ethnic and racial groups.
Mayor: Rick Caruso. It is time for a change. Caruso has a reputation for getting things done. Bass is part of the political establishment that is responsible for the mess at City Hall, whether it be homelessness or the deterioration of our streets, parks, and the rest of the City’s infrastructure.
City Attorney: Hydee Feldstein Soto. Hydee is an experienced corporate lawyer, honest, independent, not part of the political establishment, and extremely smart and hard working. Unlike her opponent who recently moved to the City, Hydee is a forty year resident of the City and lifelong Democrat with a strong social conscience. Her opponent, Faisal Gill, appears to be a mysteriously financed ambulance chaser with little relevant legal and administrative experience.
Controller: Paul Koretz. While not my first choice in the primary, Controller Ron Galperin and former Controller Laura Chick have endorsed him. He also has an excellent understanding of the City, having served three terms on the City Council. His opponent, Kenneth Mejia, lacks relevant experience and was a leader of the recent chaos at City Hall where protesters stormed the City Council.
The Los Angeles City Council
There are four open seats on the City Council that are on the ballot. In addition, Nury Martinez has resigned. The status of Kevin de Leon seat is uncertain now that a recall petition has been filed. My concern is the swing to the far left led by the Democratic Socialists of America who favor defunding the police and want no restrictions on homeless encampments.
Council District 5: Sam Yebri is independent of the of City Hall and has private sector experience that is needed on the City Council. His opponent is part of the political establishment.
Council District 11: Traci Park is a relative moderate who supports the Police Department and ending encampments on City streets and parks. Her opponent is Bonin 2.0.
Council District 13: Mitch O’Farrell is the incumbent and has a good record for constituent services. He has shown leadership after Nury Martinez resigned. His opponent, a former union organizer, is not supportive of the Police Department and opposed the anti-camping ordinance.
Council District 15: Danielle Sandoval is a Neighborhood Council Budget Advocate who was endorsed by The Times until she participated in wage theft. Tim McOsker is a City Hall insider. A tossup.
City Ballot Measures
Measure LH: YES. Authorization for Additional Low Income Housing. Allows for an additional 5,000 units of low income rental housing in each Council District. No opposition argument.
Measure SP: NO. Park and Recreational Facilities Parcel Tax. Do you trust our corrupt City Council? The City has made an effort to educate Angelenos. No listing of projects. City has failed to reverse the full cost recovery program that costs Recreation and Parks $100 million a year despite the rebound in City revenues. The Department is not capable of managing a capital expenditure program exceeding $200 million a year. Even The Times says no.
Measure ULA. NO. Funding for Affordable Housing. Do you trust our corrupt City Council? This would be the largest tax increase in the history of the City. Imposes a tax of 4% on sales of commercial, residential, and industrial real estate of more than $5 million and 5.5% on sales of more than $10 million. This tax will fund the very inefficient Homeless Industrial Complex that is responsible for permanent supportive housing units costing an average of $600,000. The City has no homeless plan other than to throw money at the problem. This tax will flow through to all Angelenos since there is no such thing as a free lunch. It will have a devastating impact on the residential and commercial real estate industry. It will create a massive bureaucracy that will radicalize housing and planning. There has been no attempt to educate Angelenos about this massive tax increase.
County of Los Angeles
Supervisor: Lindsay Horvath. Time to retire Bob Hertzberg.
Sheriff: Robert Luna. There is too much drama with the incumbent, Alex Villanueva, who wants to be reelected.
County Measure A: No. Providing Authority to Remove an Elected Sheriff for Cause. This was placed on the ballot by the County Supervisors as result of their vendetta with Sheriff Villanueva. Let the voters remove the Sheriff.
County Measure C: Yes. County Cannabis Business Tax Measure.
State Ballot Measures
State Measure 1. Yes. Constitutional Right to Reproductive Freedom.
State Measure 26. No. Allows In-Person Roulette Dice Games, Sports Wagering on Tribal Lands. Gambling is addictive and regressive.
State Measure 27. No. Allows Online and Mobile Sports Wagering Outside Tribal Lands. This measure is even worse than Measure 26.
State Measure 28. Yes. Provides Additional Funding for Arts and Music Education in Public Schools. A no brainer. No opposition argument.
State Measure 29. No. Requires On-Site Licensed Medical Professionals at kidney dialysis Clinics. This is the third time around for this special interest proposition that is not in the best interest of patients.
State Measure 30. No. Provides funding for Programs to Reduce Air Pollution and Prevent Wildfire by Increasing Tax on Personal Income over $2 Million. Even Governor Newsom is opposed to this special interest tax sponsored by LYFT, a ride sharing company. A marginal rate of over 15% will have an adverse impact on the state’s economy and tax revenues.
State Measure 31. Yes. Referendum on 2020 Law that Would Prohibit the Retail Sale of Certain Flavored Tobacco Products. Sponsored by Big Tobacco. Enough said.
Controller: Lanhee J. Chen. A Republican endorsed by the Los Angeles Times says it all because “California needs an independent fiscal watchdog.” His opponent does not have the necessary skill set.
Superintendent of Public Education: Anybody but the incompetent Tony Thurmond.
51st District: Rick Chavez Zbur has a strong environmental record and defender of civil rights.
Los Angeles Community College District
Measure LA: No. LACCD Safety, Repair, Job Training Measure. There has been minimal disclosure and no outreach to the voters. The Board of Trustees is not qualified to oversee a $5.3 billion bond measure.
Seat 2: Glenn Bailey or Jason Aula.
Seat 4: Ernest Moreno
Seat 6: A tossup.
Seat 7: Mark Dutton has a good understanding to LACCD’s shaky financial condition and management.
Judges of the Superior Court
A trustworthy and knowledgeable friend supplied the following recommendations.
Office No. 60: Abby Baron
Office No. 67: Fernanda Maria Barreto
Office No. 70: Yolande Chang
Office No. 90: Melissa Lyons
Office No. 118: Melissa Hammond
Office No. 151: Patrick Hare
(Jack Humphreville writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch. He is the President of the DWP Advocacy Committee, the Budget and DWP representative for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, and a Neighborhood Council Budget Advocate. He can be reached at: [email protected].)