Fun and Fluff at the Times
Steve asked Huizar, then the candidates, to do an algebra problem. My own favored candidate, Chris Arellano, the frontrunner, declined to sit up and do tricks for Steve, which I think was the smartest response of all. The other candidates, anxious for a dose of media oxygen, said "gimme that variable" and had meddling degrees of success. Monica and Ana passed, in fact. Steve made them suffer the further indignity of timing them while they solved the problem.
If this were a frivolous point of a frivolous race, it would be a fun feature. Fact is, this is a race that everyone's watching, and not just because it's taking place in two of LA's hottest political laboratories, Silver Lake and the East Side. It's a race that will certainly shape the future of the District, and may even have some ramifications on who becomes the next Governor of California.
Say Antonio gets his candidate in, and the Board scampers over to report to the Mayor, pronto. Antonio can declare success without even results; he just might "answer his party's call" should they choose to oust Arnold in the fall (you think Steve Westly can beat Arnold Schwarzenegger?). Anything in Antonio's past that would indicate a willingness to break a promise and run before his term expires? He wouldn't even have to give up his Mayor's seat. There's no downside to him taking a chance, as far as I can see.
So with seven days left before the primary, and with all these other real issues going on---like assimilation into the City, and reversing the dropout rate---its seems a bit of a waste of space to start talking about the various candidates' math skills under the gun. It's a waste of space eve if you're trying to make some dishonest point, like suggesting that the candidate who's most willing to play the Times' stupid games should attract the most votes. But the Times is like that these days, much into wasting space. Watch them blow another twelve inches on Jonah Goldberg again tomorrow...