By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
The candidate Mayor Riordan recruited to run against Korenstein is Tom Riley, an affable, intelligent and very big (he played tackle at Notre Dame) guy. But he concedes he doesn’t know much about education except what he’s picked up in the last couple of months. He also acknowledges that he wouldn’t be running for this office absent the mayor’s financial backing.
In his day job, Riley runs a fledgling company that markets software for bingo machines. His political experience includes a brief stint working for a union and then for former Assemblyman Mike Roos and Senator Barbara Boxer. Like Huizar and Rodman, he has no children, and talks of wanting to send his future offspring to better public schools. Like every member of Riordan’s slate, Riley has some good answers to questions, but offers nothing that would be confused with expertise or insight.
On most questions that come before the current board today, Riordan endorsees already have a working majority. Absent a uniquely compelling candidate, we see no compelling rationale for handing Riordan the entire board, and some damned compelling reasons not to. Tom Riley is not that uniquely compelling candidate, and our clear choice for school board in this seat is Julie Korenstein.
LOS ANGELES COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT
MEMBER OF THE BOARD
OFFICE NO. 2 —
At this point, the lineage of 27-year-old Michael Waxman is still his most impressive selling point. He’s the son of Congressman Henry Waxman, arguably the most accomplished liberal legislator of the past 20 years, and young Michael can tell you tales from the Reagan and Gingrich wars that he learned at the dinner table. Barely beyond college age himself, he understands the needs of the colleges’ clientele, such as counseling, child care and varied class times. Currently a public-affairs director for a cable television company, Waxman sees himself as a team player who would bring energy and creativity to a board of trustees that has clearly begun to improve the district over the past half-decade. In a field without overwhelming options, Waxman is our clear preference.
OFFICE NO. 4 —
As president and de facto leader of the current board, Kelly Candaele is in good measure responsible for the district’s turnaround in recent years, a sea change best reflected in the considerable increase in district enrollment. Under the leadership of Candaele and outgoing board member Elizabeth Garfield, significant autonomy was returned to the presidents of the individual campuses and semesters were aligned with those of the Cal State system. Candaele is currently steering the campaign for Proposition A, a long overdue bond measure that would help patch up what over the decades became a rundown system. In his spare time, the multitalented Candaele writes essays on Irish politics and soulful meditations on baseball, makes documentary films (including A League of Their Own, later remade as a Hollywood comedy; and a biography of Swedish socialist Olof Palme, which Hollywood has yet to pick up), and noodles in rock bands.
OFFICE NO. 6 —
SAMUEL “JOEY” HILL
If you’re in the market for an anti-establishment candidate per se, your candidate in this race should be Nancy Pearlman, a part-time community-college instructor and full-time activist. She knows the campuses and is passionate about improving them. But moving a board and a district this vast takes more than passion, and Pearlman comes up short both in her knowledge of specifics and the political smarts it would take to accomplish what she’s after. Besides, sometimes the establishment makes the right choice. In this case, the establishment — in the form of the faculty union — has endorsed Samuel J. “Joey” Hill, an accomplished and progressive senior staffer for state Senator Kevin Murray. Hill is hard-working and intelligent, and would give the community colleges a representative who knows his way around state politics. He also would be the board’s only African-American member.
SPECIAL PRIMARY ELECTION, UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE
32nd DISTRICT — DIANE WATSON
Julian Dixon was first elected in 1978 to represent this district, which runs from the Westside to South-Central and centers on Crenshaw and Baldwin Hills — the most vibrant centers of L.A.’s African-American community. Dixon was a classic congressional workhorse, a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee who secured major funding for L.A.’s transportation projects. At the same time, he was also an effective champion of civil rights and police reform. Shortly after last November’s election, he died suddenly of a heart attack. Sad to say, none of the leading contenders to succeed Dixon strike us as particularly up to the task.
In all the other nonpartisan races on the April 10 ballot, the top two candidates move to a runoff if no one secures a first-round majority. Not so in this race: Whichever Democrat finishes first on April 10 is assured election, no matter how small his or her plurality. That’s one reason why we feel we can’t endorse Tad Daley for this seat, though he boasts the most impressive credentials and much the most thoughtful platform of all the 16 candidates in the race. Daley, who has a doctorate in policy studies from RAND, spent the past several years working with the late Senator Alan Cranston on his campaign to abolish nuclear weapons. Currently on leave from UCLA’s Burkle Center for International Relations, Daley is campaigning on his opposition to Bush’s Star Wars proposals, on creating a United Nations Rapid Reaction Force that could intervene to stop genocide, on increasing the U.S. commitment to stop AIDS in Africa, and much else that is as sensible as it is unconventional. He is the only world federalist in the field. ä Unfortunately, he has no real political roots inside the district or its key institutions; it does not help here that Daley is white in a district that is the heart of African-American L.A. Daley also lacks the assets required to get himself known.