Editorial: Why L.A. needs independent redistricting
If history is any guide, the current mayor’s race in Los Angeles could be a watershed moment for what’s wrong with this city’s political process.
In a city where the mayor’s race was already a year ago and voters don’t have a single say in the process, City Council member Marqueece Harris-Dawson came up with a way to take the spotlight off the man who’s now running for mayor.
She announced that she was running for mayor as a write-in candidate for the unexpired term of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who resigned after his campaign was found to have a pattern of illegally making illegal payments to an ex-girlfriend.
Villaraigosa, who is also the city’s council president, is one of three people who has been convicted or charged with crimes since 1995 (not to mention three cases of lying about having convictions or charges) that have been publicly disclosed by the Los Angeles Times, as noted in an editorial on his resignation in September 2006.
Since the beginning of his first mayoral campaign, Villaraigosa was on the city payroll, in part, to pay for his campaign.
Villaraigosa continued to be on the payroll until he began campaigning to be mayor himself after losing to Antonio Villaraigosa, who went all in for the mayor’s job.
On August 24, Villaraigosa told the Los Angeles Times that “anybody who knows me, knows the truth about what’s going on with the mayor’s office. Period.”
“But it’s not my story to tell,” he reiterated on Friday. “That’s the mayor’s story to tell.”
In recent months, city voters have seen an increasing number of candidates make the accusation that they are the victims of harassment and illegal campaign contributions from the mayor and his chief of staff, Ed Reuschel, who was appointed chief of staff in 2003 and was the subject of a recent court battle in his effort to keep his job.