By Besha Rodell
By Patrick Range McDonald
By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
Then the voting public can get fairly vicious.
Take the case of state Senator Richard Alarcon, for instance. He played the perfect-family card strongly in his narrow 1998 win over Assemblyman Richard Katz. If Alarcon’s campaign literature wasn’t stressing his reception of Holy Communion from Cardinal Roger Mahony, there was news of his renewing marital vows. Alarcon even managed, in his diminutive, mustachioed person, to look like the little groom on the wedding cake. His election was nothing if not a 29-vote triumph for pure, Catholic family values.
Now the little bridegroom has walked off the pastry. He’s left Corina. On Valentine’s Day, community activists planned a rueful vigil outside the San Fernando church where the Alarcons plighted their troth.
According to Mrs. Alarcon, as quoted in the Daily News, the couple’s relationship had long been shaky. Probably it was teetering when their union starred in all that uxorious campaign mail. Which is why members of the public are angry — it looks like the perfect-marriage pretense was a fraud.
Just a handful of people showed up for that sad little demo on Sunday, but you can’t help wondering what might have happened had the truth come out earlier. If 15 voters had changed their minds about Alarcon before the last election, we’d be talking about Senator Katz.The 14th Fight
When was the last time 12 people qualified to run in a local Los Angeles city race? The best estimate out of City Hall last week was 30 years ago — that’s when the city Community College District was broken away from the L.A. Unified School District. No one could recall when this was last true in a council election.
As of last Friday, though, that’s how many qualified to run to succeed Richard Alatorre, the besmirched incumbent who’s decided not to seek re-election.
The challenger roster does not include anyone vaguely like a hand-picked Alatorre successor. Current 14th District chismeranks 1995 contender Alvin Parra, charter-reform commissioner Nick Pacheco and campaign consultant Victor Griego at the top of the tall stack. Parra, of course, was the man brave enough to show, on meager resources, that Alatorre was weak enough to be beaten. Pacheco is the prot√©g√© of Alatorre archenemy Henry Lozano. Griego once worked for Alatorre, but it’s said their parting wasn’t friendly. Reports in La Opini√≥nsuggest Griego may have problems with his 14th District residency claim.
Unqualified as of Friday — due to his late petition submission — was Jorge Mancillas, former Tom Hayden aide and progressive favorite. A majority of COPE, the county Federation of Labor’s political arm, last week voted to support Mancillas. But the committee’s 41 out of 71 votes fell six short of the 47 needed for an endorsement. The city clerk was also still tallying petitions of three other candidates. If all four qualify, there’d be 16 primary contenders. At 1,000 voter signatures per qualifying petition, that would represent about 4,000 more 14th District voters than the near 12,000 who turned out four years ago in the Alatorre-Parra race.