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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 Hahns 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 thats a euphemism for cracking down on crime, the new mayor ought to practice it. It is no accident that our nations 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 mayors 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.
Mitchell J. Freedman
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 thats 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 814], 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
Re: Character of the Happy Warrior [May 2531]. What a wonderful story on Mark Madsen! Lewis MacAdams did a great job writing, and Ted Soquis photos of Mark and Shaq are priceless.
Lewis MacAdams did a masterful job of presenting the character and talent of this young rookie, who is just one piece in the complex puzzle that defines this seasons Lakers team. What can I say? The Lakers are the best, and Mad Dog is just one of many reasons why.
Why is there so much interest in Mark Madsen? He has at least two commercials, and that, as far as I know, is more than any other Laker except ONeal and Bryant. In addition to that, I cannot tell you how many times he has been written about and featured in television sports profiles. And now he gets to be on the front page of the L.A. Weekly? Tell me, please, what are his accomplishments to qualify him for so much attention? Born white. I am truly sick of you white people.
Madsen is definitely a throwback to the athletes of the 1950s. He asks for nothing extra from the Los Angeles Lakers and gives no quarter to the opposition on the basketball court. He is, indeed, the epitome of the happy warrior. All he can do as a rookie is win a championship ring, learn from Shaq in the process and bring the Lakers many years of productive basketball. Thanks for featuring a class act.
Gary H. Roller
Re: Kristine McKennas Random Acts of Satire [June 17]. I am one of the expat New Yorkers so despised by Harry Shearer: I complain about the absence of community in Los Angeles. Could Mr. Shearer please give me directions to his Los Angeles, the one in which there is a thriving public sphere and an active street life? I think I may be missing a few pages in my aging Thomas Guide.
GERALDINE, HOW COULD YOU?
As regards every story youve ever run, every asinine editorial position youve plagued the public with, every candidate youve ever endorsed or even mentioned, and every opinion your (obviously public-school-educated) staff has ever touted . . . Who fucking cares?!
THE EDITORS REPLY: Some of us went to private schools, but naturally were ashamed of it.
In last weeks Film Special Events, the preview of LACMAs weekend presentation of Tall, Dark and Handsome: Cary Grant on Film was written by Hazel-Dawn Dumpert.