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
Shootout on the West Side
By 10 p.m., it became clear to the 100-plus supporters of 11th council district candidate Flora Gil Krisiloff that she would face two more months of campaigning.
But the reality of a runoff didn’t spoil the fun in the lounge on the top floor of the LAX Radisson Hotel. “It is because of you — the people,” said Krisiloff, flanked by her husband, Milton, and sons. “The city will be so much better because I will be all of your voices.”
Last week, the campaign took a nasty turn when Krisiloff accused Rosendahl of conducting a whisper campaign that she was anti-gay. “It has been going on for over a year under the radar,” she said. She also launched two attack mailers, one accusing Rosendahl of being “City Hall’s top lobbyist” for Adelphia cable television.
“Facts are not attacks,” said Krisiloff between congratulatory pats on the back. “I don’t think what went on in the last week was dirty campaigning. What I was representing was factual.”
As a jazz band played, the termed-out incumbent, Cindy Miscikowski, who had just hit Controller Laura Chick’s soiree, as well as Mayor Hahn’s bash at the Conga Room, made her rounds of the room decorated with Flora2005.com multicolored balloons and campaign posters. She stopped for a coffee at the crowded bar. “Flora is a candidate who can represent this district and work with everyone to get good decisions out there. She is very levelheaded. You don’t hear that often about an elected official. She has a real inner strength.” Miscikowski said she hasn’t decided what she plans to do when she is termed out of office in four months. “I am in denial,” she added. “I hope to still contribute to the city.”
While Miscikowski sipped her coffee, L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky arrived to give his support. “She has run a tough and thorough campaign and has made an impression on the district. She is the real deal. She is smart and committed to the community and has worked her way from the ground up. She knows a hell of a lot more about land use than I did when I became a councilperson. The community can depend on her.”
Only a dozen stragglers remained after midnight. “I came from nowhere,” said a smiling Krisiloff. “I had no name recognition, and now I am neck and neck. In the next couple of months it will become clear who Bill is and who I am. I have faith in the people, that in the end they will want to know who they are electing.”
Get Back to Work
The Los Angeles City Council looked, the day after Election Day, pretty much the same as it did the day before. Bernard Parks will be sticking around, having come up short in the mayoral derby. Antonio Villaraigosa will still be trying to leave, as he gears up for his May 17 mayoral runoff. Each of the seven incumbents up for re-election was re-elected. In the 11th District, where Cindy Miscikowski was termed out, Bill Rosendahl or Flora Gil Krisiloff face a runoff.
Now maybe the council can get back to work. But don’t bet on it. Much remains in flux as members wait to see who will be elected mayor in May. In the two months before then, they will face a tough budget process in a year that promises to present a staggering $300 million structural deficit. They’ll have to grapple with whatever cuts current Mayor Jim Hahn sends them, while trying to make good on — or hope everyone already forgot — their promises to find money for hiring new police officers.
Meanwhile, with Villaraigosa still on the council, at least until the new city year starts on July 1, and with council President Alex Padilla counting votes for his presidential re-election run, how much work can really be accomplished in the next eight weeks?
“All these council members who have been campaigning have really been neglecting their job,” Councilwoman Janice Hahn said Tuesday at her brother’s mayoral-campaign party. “It’s tough to campaign and do your job.”
Not that she had to. Janice Hahn, who represents an area reaching north from the harbor to Watts, was one of three council members who got a free pass into a second (and final) four-year term, having drawn no ballot opposition. Eric Garcetti was in the same club, and spent the re-election season registering voters in his Hollywood–to–Glassell Park district. Padilla cruised to easy victory in his east Valley district over a write-in challenger.
Dennis Zine easily overcame a challenge from Jeff Bornstein in his west Valley district.
Three races that could have been interesting weren’t. Ed Reyes avoided a runoff in his Pico-Union–to–Lincoln Heights district, beating both an ex-staffer of his, Ernest Sanchez, and an unhappy constituent, Stephen Sarinana-Lampson.
Jan Perry also won four more years, in her downtown–to–South L.A. district, without a runoff, beating police Officer Peter Torres, who made a run for the seat a decade ago, and Eddie Reyes, a neighborhood-council activist.
Jack Weiss hangs onto his Westside-Valley seat with less trouble than expected from challengers David Tyrone Vahedi and Gregory Martayan.
Half of the 15-member council was up for election this year. Elections for the other half take place in 2007.
Speaking at Jim Hahn’s election party at the Conga Room on the Miracle Mile, Councilman Tom LaBonge said the council would be able to pull itself together even after the stress caused by the mayor’s race, with two councilmen challenging Hahn.
“Council Member Parks has a very strong feeling about how he sees the world,” LaBonge said. “Antonio’s a politician, he’s been through it before. I come from a big family. I got seven brothers, so I fought my whole life, but [we] always loved each other at the end of the day, because that’s what our parents taught us.”