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Thursday, December 25, 2014

2014 Predictions Recap

Every year I throw up a fresh batch of LA political predictions and every year almost none of them come to pass. Of course, most of them are silly. Let's see how we fared with 2014's prognostications.

Mayor Eric Garcetti's Chief of Staff, Ana Guerrero, will continue to earn electability chops in Jose Huizar's Council District, much to the chagrin of the incumbent and his supporters. Following her appearance in the Boyle Heights Christmas Parade - which included distributions from an 18 wheeler filled with toys and goodies - Guerrero will stage a special production of Ana Lloyd Weber's "Evita" where she will give a stunning performance of "Don't Cry for Me CD Catorce," at the bandstand at Olvera Street, followed up by Target gift cards raining from the sky.

Guerrero opted out of the CD14 race, only to be followed by East LA political heavyweight, Gloria Molina, fresh off the LA County Supes as the "Great Boo Boo Hope" to unseat scalwag incumbent, Jose "Charro" Huizar. However, reports say Guerrero did do some twerking at the Jay-Z "Made in America" concert at Grand Park.

Much to the chagrin of Blogger Scott Johnson and the community around the Arroyo Seco, the former site of the Southwest Museum will be rededicated as "Villaraigosa University," with a special degree program in broadcast journalism taught by the ex-Mayor.

Fortunately, this did not happen. However, just a week ago, a survey was released that shows that 91% of the local community want the facility to return to being a museum. That could very well give a boost to those who have battled the Autry Museum for years over the fate of the site.

Following a special election in the summer of 2014, LA Fire Commissioner and former teacher Jimmie Woods-Gray will pull out a surprise win in the race to replace the late Marguerite LaMotte. Woods-Gray's victory, will deal a severe blow to LA's charter school movement.

Woods-Gray opted not to run, however the eventual winner was George McKenna, who is seen as a teachers' union leaning candidate, and no fan of charter schools.

Blogger/Writer Joseph Mailander will sign a deal for the movie version of his non-fiction book "Days Change at Night: LA's Decade of Decline." Esai Morales will be signed to play Mayor Villaraigosa and the film will feature a cameo by Randy Quaid as blogger Scott "Red Spot" Johnson.

Ok, this was for fun but Mailander did add new publications he is penning for ranging from Forbes to an upstart newser in Sunland-Tujunga, The Foothill Record.  And he did follow up Days Change at Night: LA's Decade of Decline" with "LA at Intermission: A City Mingling Towards Identity." Mailander continues to keep an entrenched, grifting LA power structure looking over their shoulder with profound Facebook posts, blog entries, periodical articles with a new book always on the horizon. And those who yell the loudest appear to be the griftiest odd-jobbers of all.

The storied Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council, which spent it's salad days with wins such as blocking a controversial Home Depot store, but in recent years has found itself the subject of questions on finances and it's policies on the homeless issue, will find it's incumbent members facing an electoral challenge in the spring from a coalition assembled by controversial local newspaper publisher David "Doc" DeMulle. The uprising will fail when all realize that Joseph Mailander was right when he said that the community is "18 people arguing with 17 people over 14 microphones and 60,000 that don't care." (Turns out the finals of Dancing With the Stars featuring Chaz Bono and Kim Kardashian is on TV the same night as the elections.)

Ok short of whatever was on reality TV this DID happen, DeMulle did mount a slate that was not successful, however that didn't stop things from falling apart. Despite it's electoral victory, Sunland-Tujunga's establishment went ahead and wounded itself when a handful of brawls and restraining orders broke up the old gang. The STNC panel itself became less and less relevant, though a handful of individual members proved their mettle going rogue on various issues and an organic, targeted group of activists are now fighting ovedevelopment, homeless dumping and other issues. The anger generated locally at the city's power structure distilled into a significant number of votes for Patty Lopez, who won a surprise victory over incumbent Raul Bocanegra.

Former City Controller and failed Mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel will jump into the race to succeed termed out LA County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. Once again Greuel will use "Political Consultant/Private Citizen" John Shallman to helm her campaign and once again will lose, this time to former State Senator Sheila James Kuehl, "The Child Star Formerly Referred to as Zelda."

We got this half and half right. La Wendy jumped instead into the race to succeed retiring Congressman Henry Waxman, but did indeed lose badly in the primary. In the County Supe race, Zelda did indeed emerge victorious.

California Republican candidates for the State Assembly will pick up some unexpected wins in various races around the state, it won't be enough to assume control of the lower chamber, but it will take away the Democrats current veto-proof majority, leading to several deals between Republican legislators and Governor Jerry Brown, who will be by the way, re-elected handily.

Complete score here. While the raw numbers are not something one would generally celebrate, Republicans can take comfort in having picked up enough seats in the State Senate and State Assembly to deny Democrats their super majority and make things a little harder for them in raising taxes and increasing spending.

Former radio talk show host and Mayoral candidate and current President of the Board of Public Works, Kevin James, will announce he is leaving the Republican party and register as "Decline to State." James will then announce his candidacy for the Council District 4 seat being vacated by Tom LaBonge.

As far as we know, James has not changed his voter registration, the former conservative darling and once hero to Neighborhood Council types is now backing much of the tax and spend policies he once railed against on-air. James did not opt to enter any City Council races, but he gets to do neat things like install astroturf at soccer fields. The symbolism of such is not lost on this old, dead Republican Mayor.

County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas will announce that he has brokered a deal for an existing NFL football team to move to the LA Coliseum with the 2017-18 season, but the deal will fall apart at the last minute. An expansion team for Los Angeles will eventually be located in a yet to be built stadium outside the city limits.

No such football luck for Mark Ridley-Thomas, indeed the NFL recently announced LA will go at least one more year without football. However, Ridley-Thomas did manage broker for himself a county funded mancave.

And finally, on the steps of the State Capitol, just after Thanksgiving, Governor Jerry Brown will announce his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for President in 2016.

No announcement yet from Governor Brown, but many are urging Jerry or some other progressive Democrat to run and challenge Hillary Clinton. Stay tuned, anything can happen and it always gets weird somewhere.

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