Well...it's finally here...Election Day in the City Council Special Election. The "Little 7" candidates...the ones who didn't spend a quarter million dollars on their campaigns...they would appreciate your vote today.
If you vote for the "Big 3" candidates -- (two of them carpetbaggers) then nothing is going to change at City Council. More 15-0 votes. More bankruptcy talk. More slashing of crucial services to pay for ridiculous social programs and experiments...like Villaraigosa's failed attempt to hand your tax money to gang members to encourage them not to commit crimes anymore. (Hard to believe that government program didn't work!)
PAUL KREKORIAN - The Higby-endorsed Burbank Democrat has been leading this race from the start. He was crafty enough to rent his apartment in CD 2 before the final election totals were in on Wendy Gruels race for Controller. He has finely-tuned political instincts, and will probably get 30-40% of the vote today. However, you should avoid voting for him. His performances at the debates and forums exposed him as being arrogant and selfish. His election to CD 2 would cost voters another million dollars for the special election to replace him in the State Assembly. And if he is willing to turn around and abandon his voters in Burbank and Glendale after only six months...how much do you really think voters in LA can trust him? There is also the issue of him being a budget-destroying Socialist. He helped vote his way through the entire State budget -- and then some -- and he helped put California on the brink of bankruptcy. No excuses. Do not vote for Paul.
CHRISTINE ESSEL - Chris Essel has seen some of her best moments in this campaign met with the sound of crickets at forums and debates. She may be wealthy, but she is not deeply connected to the community. There seems to be no love for her. However, her endorsement from the LA Times may carry some weight with certain voters. Her carpet-bombing media campaign has left her quite famous and well known...but not necessarily well liked. Essel is in danger today of being surpassed by some of the other candidates because voters aren't "feeling" her. There is a danger Chris could crash out today and not make the runoff. If she does, it would be a costly misfire. I wonder if on Wednesday morning - should she lose - if Essel will go out in her front yard, fall to her knees, throw her hands to the heavens and scream (like George Costanza ) "SHALLMAN!!!"
Because of all her failings in the campaign (see multiple Mayor Sam stories) she is not the choice.
TAMAR GALATZAN - I had originally labelled Tamar Galatzan one of the "Axis of Evil candidates" for her ties to the politically poisonous Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. However, I may have been too quick to judge her... she says she is on the outs with the Mayor and her lack of labor endorsements or positive words from Antonio seem to back this up. Tamar has proven to me in the forums that she is a fighter...that she is very well prepared...and that she wants this job more than anyone. I have come to gradually respect her and her efforts.
She is the least offensive of the Big 3 candidates, and of the three, I could only see her having the ability to beat the other two. However, Tamar made a promise to voters to serve as a member of LAUSD Board. For reasons of personal integrity, she needs to keep that promise.
Now...here are the 7 candidates that you should consider...
FRANK SHEFTEL - Frank has been making positive moves for his whole campaign and has organized and run a real campaign with a headquarters and volunteers. I think he has done a better job than most of the grassroots candidates and will probably surprise a lot of people today with his good showing in the election. Frank has stayed out of the crossfire of the Big 3 candidates and has spent his time seeking votes and meeting voters. That will show up in results today.
DAVID SALTSBURG/ZUMA DOGG - David has been fighting for the community for three years now, trying to stop shady behavior at City Hall. He surprised many media members by finishing in fourth place in the Mayoral election just a few months ago in March. His showing will probably surprise many again today. Tomorrow morning he will still be "Zuma Dogg"...but will he also still be a Council Candidate?
MARY BENSON - Mary got the last-minute endorsement of KRLA Radio Show Host Kevin James. She also had former Mayoral candidate Walter Moore support her by dropping a ton of emails on his former supporters. One of the Sunland-Tujunga area supporters of Mary that I talked to described her actions during the Station Fire as "heroic". That is a word you don't hear attached to politicians too often. Will it be enough? We will know later tonight.
JOE ESSAVI - Joe is a friend of mine and I hope he does well today. He is unselfish and committed to doing the job. He also made Paul Krekorian look like a complete jerk at one of the forums. Something for which the voters in CD 2 should be thankful. He took some collateral damage that night, but in doing so -- he may have saved the whole district from the wrath of Krekorian.
MICHAEL MCCUE - McCue consistently gave stellar performances at the forums and debates. He also has the support of the Green Party. Not sure if that will be enough today, but he would not disappoint voters if he were elected to City Council.
PETE SANCHEZ - Deeply admired in Valley Village, Pete impressed many with his calm, cool, collected and analytical behavior on the campaign trail. He didn't seem to burn any bridges, and his endorsement will be sought by others if he doesn't make the runoff tonight.
AUGUSTO BISANI - Augusto is a nice guy with some good ideas...but I don't think he is cut out to be a politician.