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
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Your postmortems on the Villaraigosa campaign could be summed up as follows: “Ignorant Los Angeles voters were tricked and fooled into voting for Hahn by a racist and misleading ad.” The articles were severely lacking in one fundamental area: an admission that many voters might have different views than the L.A. Weekly. This time, your views were the minority, but next time, who knows? In the meantime, stop ascribing Hahn’s victory as a return to Sam Yorty and accept that outside your office and social circles, some people may reasonably disagree with you.
Yortyism? If that’s a euphemism for cracking down on crime, the new mayor ought to practice it. It is no accident that our nation’s two largest and most liberal cities had Republican mayors throughout the 1990s. Inner-city voters are far more concerned about violent crime, drug dealing and gang activity in their neighborhoods than they are about party labels or political correctness. Should the incoming city administration lose sight of this, they will surely lose City Hall again to the dreaded Republicans.
It is not up to the mayor to “unite” a city. A mayor’s job is to run the infrastructure, which we all use. It is the job of every citizen to create an everyday life of civility, respect and understanding. We are not a city of saints, and we cannot expect an elected official to bring us together as one happy family until we decide for ourselves that unity based on civility and mutual respect is the right and just thing to do.
In the end, it was the Weekly that played the role of the great divider, and has for some time. While taking the moral high ground week after week, you continue to project your own shortcomings onto others.
Harold Meyerson got too caught up in the spittle of petty politics to see that Hahn and Villaraigosa hold essentially the same views, and stop there. I have high hopes for Jim Hahn, having heard him on KPFK two years ago just as Rampart was starting to become a scandal. Could I be wrong in my hopes? Of course. But the sooner the recriminations stop, the better for L.A. Face it, those of us who support progressive, populist candidates won either way. Now, if only we could have a presidential election with fellas like we had for the L.A. mayoral race — including the primary season.
Harold Meyerson made it clear over several articles that he did not like James Hahn, and that he found Mr. Villaraigosa worthy to govern Los Angeles. Where he sees a consensus builder, I see a manipulator. Both views are matters of opinion. What bothered me most about the Los Angeles race was, well . . . race. Whites this, Jews that; blacks this, Chicanos that. I am not naive enough to believe we live in a racially harmonious society, but racial analysis such as I have seen in the pages of the Weekly seems to me to lay stress on facts, or purported facts, that may not be very useful in making informed political decisions, something Meyerson and I are both required to do.
Thanks for the great editorials on the unfortunate Hahn campaign, which resorted to smear, innuendo and race baiting. It is said you get the government you deserve, and that’s L.A.’s tragedy. Villaraigosa would have worked to support small business, saving all Ballona, alternatives to incarceration, et cetera. Instead, Hahn will continue the looting of L.A. Too bad — though if L.A. continues its spiral down, maybe Villaraigosa can come back next time.
I just want to thank Harold Meyerson for the best reporting on the L.A. mayoral election.
—Dr. Victor M. Rodriguez
Where does Harold Meyerson think he lives? Hungary? This is the U.S., where exercising the right to vote is about as popular as going to the dentist. How naive to write a lengthy elegy for a lost candidate [“The Era of Bad Feelings,” June 8–14], all the while avoiding the real reason for the loss. Nobody votes, especially young Latinos. Old people, white and black — they vote. Rich people vote sometimes, too.
With “historic” elections like this, a change in the power structure seems a long way off.
New York, New York
MAD ABOUT MADSEN