Will Budget Crisis Play A Role in Deciding LA's Next Mayor?

After reading a recent Huffington Post column by Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti, where he writes that "all eyes are on...Los Angeles leaders" as they "grapple" with financial disaster, we couldn't help but wonder how L.A.'s budget crisis will play some kind of role in the 2013 mayoral race.

It may seem a far way off, but already City Councilwoman Jan Perry appears to be gearing up for a run at the Mayor's Office, and Garcetti himself has said he may be interested in the job.

How they handle the budget crisis, with "all eyes" on them, will certainly come back to help or haunt them when running for mayor in 2013.

We can even imagine one of those seemingly moderate Republican types like real estate developer Rick Caruso getting huge mileage out of this budget crisis, which has happened during the watch of such Democrats as Perry, Garcetti, and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

If there was ever a time for a Republican to talk convincingly about "change" in a city run by Democrats, 2013 would certainly be that time.

With the City Council now meeting five days a week instead of its usual three, all of which will be televised on L.A. CityView, we can also expect a lot of mugging for the cameras from people who will not only be running for mayor, but lieutenant governor (San Pedro-area Councilwoman Janice Hahn), possibly U.S. senator (Westside Councilman Bill Rosendahl or Mayor Villaraigosa), and who knows what else.

The meetings for the budget crisis, in other words, are more than just a bunch of politicians earnestly trying to figure out how to make ends meet. It's actually high stakes political theater.

In his Huffington Post column, Garcetti writes that when tackling the city's budget woes, "failure is not an option." If the City Council President plans to run for mayor in 2013, truer words haven't been spoken.

Then again, some may argue, like possible mayoral candidate Rick Caruso, that the "failure" has already happened.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.


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