Few voters — 10 to 15 percent of the electorate — will actually cast ballots in the Council District 2 despite the lavish spending by Chris Essel and the explosive, if specious, charges her campaign has leveled against Paul Krekorian in a barrage of mailers and ads.
Hers is the most expensive campaign ever run for a City Council seat with DWP union bully boy Brian D’Arcy and construction trade unions leading the big-spending pack. D’Arcy even went so far as to go to court in a futile attempt to get rid of all campaign spending limits and even the feeble pretense of ethical controls in this or any other city election.
This is a race that started out with as a contest between eight citizen candidates and two carpetbaggers who were financed by various interests that make up the City Hall political machine — a double entry that showed just how desperate the developers, unions and other special interests are to retain near absolute control of the LA’s political machinery.
They got away with it and the runoff was set with Krekorian, an Assembly Democratic leader, facing Essel, a former Hollywood studio lobbyist and head of the influential pro-development Central City Association.
It didn’t seem like much of a contest from the viewpoint hoping for change at City Hall until an old letter surfaced showing what pals, politically speaking, Essel and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa are and have been for many years.
Since the mayor is such a negative in most parts of the city, the Antonio-Chris connection — something that had been vehemently denied despite its obviousness — stirred interest in the race, especially when Essel called the cops and claimed Krekorian stole it from her house (outside the district) and the mayor himself went berserk.
Throw in her charges that Krekorian is a woman-hating devil incarnate and a million dollars in dirty campaign money and suddenly the election took on a whole new significance.
Desperation had become hysteria. But why?
These are both Democrats who will for the most part support the same
old politics at City Hall, sign off on sweetheart deals for unions,
contractors and developers and perpetuate this failed experiment in
municipal socialism and its war against the middle class.
biggest difference between them is that Krekorian actually represents
part of the East Valley district while Essel has no core constituency
whatsoever. He also is known as a hard-working legislator who pays
close attention to his constituents while she is an adequate
representative of the special interests who employ her.
million-dollar question is this What’s at stake that would prompt the
power structure to tilt so strongly for Essel when their voting records
will largely be the same?
My theory is that it has nothing to do
with Brian D’Arcy’s rapacious demands for more money from DWP
ratepayers for himself and his union. It’s clear the mayor, the
council, the DWP Commission will give D’Arcy anything he wants even if
it means doubling and tripling rates in the next few years and making
utility bills larger than many people’s mortgages.
No, the big
money in CD2 is in development. That’s Essel got the IBEW and trade
unions to cough up 90 percent of the million dollars in independent
expenditures outside city campaign finance limits..
dollars in massive projects are on the line from Universal City to
Victory Boulevard, thousands of acres of wide open space are available
for development in the Sunland-Tujunga region.
for so many to profit so handsomely is intoxicating even to the varied
special interests already drunk with money and power from living so
well for so long off the corruption of City Hall.
They look at
Krekorian with his impeccable environmental credentials, his
sensitivity to his constituents’ concerns, his ambition to reach higher
office and they see trouble ahead, obstacles to green-lighting
developments that will destroy the quality of residents’ lives, bring
traffic to a standstill and exhaust the city’s limited resources.
they look at Essel and they see somebody who has spent her whole career
carrying out orders from above, somebody who do what she’s told no
So they are pouring a fortune into her campaign, squeezing money everyone who does business with the city.
not a 15th unanimous vote they are seeking but the one vote that
matters in CD2 on development matters, the Council member’s.
that’s the issue voters will decide on Tuesday: Do you want massive
over-development without a say in what happens or a fighting chance to
mitigate some of the worst impacts and even block some of the most
Nothing else explains why the machine’s
win-win situation in this election has turned into such a bruising
The mayor is off in Copenhagen saving
the world from global warming while his city has the dirtiest air and
worst green energy record in America. He lost on his billion-dollar
Measure B ripoff in March. He lost on getting a stooge in the City
Attorney’s office in May.
Make him a three-time loser and defeat Essel on Tuesday. Vote for Krekorian, that’s my advice.