An Election Based on Style... and a bit of Race
In an exact repeat of last time, the Mayoral race between Jim Hahn and Antonio Villaraigosa, has tightened at the last minute, after racially tinged attacks against ACLU card holder, "soft on crime" Antonio. There may be no crack pipe on everyone's TV yet, but we still have 2 days. CW is that challenger Antonio will win this year, but I bet its much closer than the 18 point lead the Times showed a week ago.
The campaign is notable in how 2 such different campaigners can have such remarkably close policy positions. There was a slight difference on the hugley important, yet uncomprehendable, includionary zoning (IZ) issue (postponed for months) but this was dissolved after Antonio caved over the course of the campaign. (IZ would mandate a certain percentage of units in medium and large scale apartments and condos be affordable in exchange for zoning benefits). From watching him stand on the steps of City Hall with Reyes and Garcetti demanding this policy, I read last week that he agrees with Hahn in opposing the current proposal.
What else do they differ on... oh maybe Antonio is more pie in the sky about transport and Hahn is more unrealistic about schools. That is it. It turns out their reliance on shady money and friendliness with developers is the same.
I am with the LA TImes' guest editorial cartoonist that if I had to judge the campaign it would go to Hahn (for his earnestness) and against Antonion (for his cliches), but my heart still tells me Antonio will weigh in on the side of right and encourage the City Council to be even more bold. The real action is in the Planning Departmnet, as today's article (Pg 1 California) showed. Big changes may be ahead there...