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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Zev for Mayor?

On Friday, I predicted that County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky may be considering a run for Mayor of Los Angeles, challenging Antonio Villaraigosa for a second term.

To be sure, Zev is doing the things one who would challenged an incumbent who is viewed as vulnerable would do. He's getting out in public. He's scrapping with the incumbent on bread and butter issues. And he's speaking to concerns that a significant portion of the community - especially those active folks who vote - feel that the current Mayor has abandoned them on.

Zev had a ruckus a while back with Mayor Villaraigosa over plans to mitigate Westside traffic and create one way rows on Pico and Olympic. Though the Mayor seemed to initially overtake Zev on the issue, ultimately the Mayor acted without input from the City Council creating further division and leaving an opening for Zev. The Mayor and Zev also battled it out at an MTA meeting where both sit on the board.

The Mayor has shown near universal support for the significant development activity in Los Angeles. So much so that Villaraigosa has declared the building crane as the "official bird of Los Angeles." Yaroslavsky has spoke to community groups all over the City on the topic. Many of these community groups are up in arms over development.

At a recent meeting of Valley VOTE
, Zev told those assembled. "There's a new regime in LAs planning department that believes densification is the answer to all our ills." He referred to the Mayor, planning director Gail Goldberg and Council Members Eric Garcetti, Herb Wesson, Jan Perry and Bernard Parks as "development hawks" who want to approve everything developers request.

That kind of rhetoric is classic Zev but it could gain traction amongst the NIMBY factions in Los Angeles. Yaroslavsky in questioning the Mayor's planning policies could be quietly and slowly amassing the support of anti-development minded community leaders who could shift large chunks of votes his way.

Zev is no stranger to politics. He was first elected to the Los Angeles City Council in 1975, a race he was not expected to win, and stayed there for nearly 20 years. Since 1994, he's served as the Third District Supervisor for Los Angeles County. Indeed, Zev has considered running for Mayor before and many insiders say that its a post he's coveted for decades.

Besides his tour of anti-Villaraigosa speechifying, another sign of a potential run is Zev's girth. As one who's had a frequent battle of the bulge, insiders say that when Zev is ready to run for something, he trims down. In this recent video clip Zev is looking a bit more svelte than usual.

The video clip too is another sign. Zev has taken to using You Tube to post flattering videos of himself. Just in time for blogs like us to embed them and to create an archive for a future campaign site.

Zev isn't saying anything just yet, but if he does run, you read it here first.

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Blogger Joe B. said:

Run, Zev, Run!

February 25, 2008 12:09 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Zev better have some good ideas for Los Angeles biggest problems, LAUSD, Gangs and crime.

With so many latino gang members in Los Angeles, gangs are even in the LAUSD schools, this is the biggest obstacle to repairing Los Angeles.

Any real solution to Los Angeles gang problems needs to include tough enforcement of our immigration laws. But with so many of Los Angeles residents being illegal aliens from mexico, it is not a problem which any new Mayor of Los Angeles can fix. The federal government has been ignoring the illegal immigration problems in Los Angeles and other cities close to the mexican border for decades. No middle or upper-middle class families will move to Los Angeles as long as the LAUSD and city is full of gangs and crime.

Traffic is a problem but if you look at cities like New York, people will live in heavy traffic, high-density areas if they feel safe and can find employment.

February 25, 2008 12:27 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

development hawks

I like what I hear from Zev so far. The city's gone through enough development these past several years to last us through 2050.

February 25, 2008 1:04 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

See Zev run.

Run, Antonio, Run!

February 25, 2008 1:04 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Has Zev been waxing his moutstache?

Zev lobbed the Pico-Olympic idea out there and when the residents became furious at how radical it was, he ran for cover. The Mayor has a much more modified version now, but since Zev ran away as usual not sticking around to promote or take credit or discredit for his ideas, he can act like he forget all about it.

He's only been in office 33 years, and still complains like he just moved here from Idaho about traffic and development. It's fine for him to make noise and point things out, but he hasn't proven a consistent leader.

He's the one who banned funding for the subway 10 years ago because he was upset at how MTA was handling some things, and he'd gotten Waxman to push a federal ban against Calif. getting any fed transportation funds back in the 80's, using the methane spill as an excuse, but really caving in to the NIMBYs.

The EXACT SAME GROUPS like Cheviott Hills and Westwood, who oppose the subway now, any development, and who forced the Expo line so far south and to stop at Robertson in Phase I. Which is all there 's money for if that, thanks to having to dig up new funding sources because Zev himself banned the needed money.

If this weren't all true, it would sound too bizarre to make up. Before he can go forward, he must admit his past role and mistakes.

February 25, 2008 1:34 AM  

Anonymous doubting thomas said:

he is not running.
1) he goes to SOHA at least once a year
2) He's always been out in public; doesn't usually stay home
3) He has never been afraid to criticize the city leadership when he doesn't agree with it
4) He has a cushy job as Supervisor with just as large a number of constituents as City of LA, and more power to get things done (no "mayor" of the county; only needs two people to agree with him on board matters).
Seriously, what would be his motivation to run? What would he have to gain?

February 25, 2008 3:38 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Zev, Herb, Paul, and Janice. everyone wants a piece of Villar.

February 25, 2008 5:27 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Yup Zev should run. Antonio tried to take credit for everything everyone else does. Give me a freakin break, now Antonio is trying to take credit for the crime drop. What an idiot!!! Uhhh I guess cops have nothing to do with it but only his moronic gang czar who hasn't done a thing since last August. Jeff Carr is a joke in this city. Stay in your office and play with your computer.

Daily News...But despite the gains, some of the boldest initiatives of Villaraigosa's anti-gang plan are barely getting off the ground, while other efforts that have been touted as "successes" aren't so clear-cut. A gang czar appointed in June who was supposed to bring the problems into sharper citywide focus so far has little power.

Eight gang-reduction zones that were set up to bring an infusion of prevention and intervention have yet to see any new services.

"Let's face it: The issue of gang intervention and prevention in this city is a mess," Bratton acknowledged at a news conference earlier this month in response to City Controller Laura Chick's critical evaluation of the city's gang programs. And it's unclear if the mayor's gang plan, which included naming the czar, establishing special task forces and creating Top 10 lists of gangsters and dangerous gangs, should get the credit for the crime drop

February 25, 2008 6:41 AM  

Anonymous One Who Knows said:

Zev's weight loss can be attributed to the fact that he has diabetes.

His eating has become much more careful and he has been losing the weight gradually. In th epast, the weight loss has been overnight.

Zev's a big chicken and would never challenge an incumbent Mayor as strong as Antonio.

Better change for your boy Huggy to run than Zev.

February 25, 2008 7:42 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Stick to being silly, Higby. You're no pundit. My favorite line: "Zev is no stranger to politics." Jeezus. Want a real tip: His wife is seriously talking about running in the 5th CD -- again. She's no stranger to politics, either.

February 25, 2008 9:39 AM  

Anonymous the old redheard said:

I like Zev, but he won't run. It was like when he was set to take on Mayor Bradley in the 80's. His campaign consultants, Berman & DeAgostino prepared a strategy paper for him. Unfortunately for him, it got leaked to the media.

Zev once said that he never gets into fights that he can't win. A race against Bradley would have a tough one. A campaign to fill the Riordan vacancy would have been tough. Same for a challenge to MAV. Zev has never been in a tough political campaign.

The Supes now have term limits but it's three four year terms, so Zev can stay there for quite a while. The beauty of that position is you can pick and choose your issues (Zev loves the cameras), and being one of 5 you can duck responsibility for anything that goes wrong.

Yes, he and MAV have disagreed on traffic issues, but these aren't the kind of things that topple incumbents. When two candidates have a position that is defendable, it's asking a lot of the voters to understand the difference.

Elections like this are one on personality, big picture impressions, ethnicity, and money to deliver those messages. Issues rarely have an effect.

If he really wanted to be mayor, and I don't know why he would want all those headaches, why wouldn't wait 4 years for the empty seat.

Zev enjoys his work. He's going to continue to speak out passionately on issues he believes in or things that will get him in the media. But it's not valid to think that this means he's running for mayor.

February 25, 2008 9:51 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This is just a test, a test of the new moderated blog comments delay system. Posted at 10:08 AM.

February 25, 2008 10:08 AM  

Blogger Joseph Mailander said:

He's only been in office 33 years, and still complains like he just moved here from Idaho about traffic and development.

Hilarious. I don't really remember him doing much to block the Westside Pavilion expansion, for instance. Nor do I remember him being anything but obstructionist on a Wilshire subway. Zev has always been chameleon-like on development issues.

February 25, 2008 10:24 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Joyce Dillard for Council!!

February 25, 2008 10:32 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Don't you find it rather odd, that now "gangs" are the hot topic among the elected officials? Don't be surprised when the Mayor, City Council, Chief Bratton all come together to gain momentum for the Motion introduced in City Council by Janice Hahn to place a "gang" tax on our property taxes.

February 25, 2008 10:39 AM  

Anonymous Captain Jack Sparrow said:

Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen (removes hat and bows low with flourish):

So His Nibbs will not be running for Governor? (Sighs) We wish he would have, given that Lo-Retta Sanchez will also be running and a debate between those two would have been prime entertainment indeed.

It has reached our ears that the following individuals are considering throwing their hats into, if you will, the ring and run for His Nibbs's seat. And those brave souls would be: Keith Richman, Henry Cisneros, Fabian Nunez and George Deukmejian. (Looks wide eyed) Oh bugger. These are all big fish lookng to squeeze into a smaller pond. Looks like there will be blood in the water, savvy?

February 25, 2008 11:33 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

OK, Higby, you fire the most controversial guy on the blog a week after posting a kiss ass tribute to him -- and you don't offer an explanation????? So much for this new medium being more open than the main stream. You're all a bunch of freaking hypocrites.

February 25, 2008 11:41 AM  

Blogger Zuma Dogg said:


The reason ZD has gone solo from the blog doesn't have to do with any of the stuff in that thread you mention.

I'm kinda a hard-head as to the direction I like to see things go. And Mayor Sam doesn't want to keep the blog as strictly "niched" as I would like.

And it's called "Mayor Sam's Blog", and I can't post ten stories a day if I feel like it without being a blog hogg.

So consider it a spin off like when Robin Williams got a spin off show from Happy Days as Mork.

I'm sure Mayor Sam will be filling up my gap with his own stuff or new blogger...PLUS, you'll get a full blog of the stuff I am following.

So it's just more issues being blogged about. So we're still the same family, I just got my own room.

Luckily, you don't have to only pick one web site.

February 25, 2008 1:15 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Great, two Latinos who cheated and lied to their significant others. Cisneros embarrassed himself and was caught paying off his mistress and we all know about Metro Sexual Fabian. Henry Cisneros, Fabian Nunez

Yes, all of a sudden the politicans are all harping on the gang issue. No way in hell will Janice Hahn's gang tax go on the ballot. The idiots on council haven't even found out where the $82 million wasted is spent, but Connie Rice told them over a year ago and we're still waiting for that AUDIT Laura Chick N Shit refuses to do. Av's polling numbers are so low he should just go away instead of the humiliation he will suffers if he runs.

February 25, 2008 2:00 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Don't you find it rather odd, that now "gangs" are the hot topic among the elected officials?


No I don't find it's odd. How much money do you think Los Angeles and the state spends on police, prosecutors, public defenders, courts, jails and prisons for all the latino gang members. Billions of dollars is being spent on the gang criminals, and worse yet, is that 25% of Calif. inmates are illegal aliens.

The state of California is going bankrupt because of gangs and latino illegal aliens. The local cities and state should sue the federal government for allowing this situation to occur.

Los Angeles is going bankrupt paying for schools, welfare, and other social programs for the anchor babies of all the illegal aliens.

February 25, 2008 3:36 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Unless he's termed off the BOS, why in the world would he leave that for Mayor of LA? Never happen.

February 25, 2008 4:46 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

And nobody cared how many times he said Umm, but when Antonio does that you all go nuts.

February 25, 2008 11:12 PM  

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