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Monday, February 27, 2006

Fun and Fluff at the Times

Steve Hymon of your favorite fishwrap the LATimes seems to be making the transition from reporter to prankster fairly adeptly. This morning, the Times ran some impish Hymonia involving our favorite primary day race, the District 2 School Board seat formerly occupied by Jose Huizar. It was all fun and fluff.

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...


Anonymous Anonymous said:

Publishing Goldberg (aka "the Doughy Pantload" to those who know him) is the saddest tragedy to hit the LA Times in ages.

February 27, 2006 7:50 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

steve is such an ass-hole.

February 27, 2006 7:59 PM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

I loved that article! I think a pop-quiz was a great idea for people who want to run the schools. If they can't solve a simple equation quickly, why should we believe they have the brains needed to make billion-dollar decisions?

February 27, 2006 11:44 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I guess Mayor Sam isn't too familiar with District 2 because Silverlake is not in it. It's in Tokofsky's District 5 and he's definitely going down this time.

David has been calling anyone and everyone to raise money because he knows his antics on the Board are coming to an end. The process of fielding a candidate to remove this wart from the Board is moving quickly. Bye, bye David.

February 28, 2006 7:39 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Holy crap! what happened at the County Fed meeting last night? can someone who was there please fill us in on why the County Fed voted NOT to confirm the COPE recommendation to endorse Monica?
some people have got to be pissed about this!!!

February 28, 2006 8:39 AM  

Blogger Joseph Mailander said:

what happened at the County Fed meeting last night?

I don't have a lot of info on it, but some is here at Martini Republic.

Beyond that---Mr. Moore---are you kidding? Running a school district involves politics and determination more than it does algebra. If we tested the candidates on, say, high school chemistry or high school geography, we'd get a whole different set of "results"---would those results be any more useful to voters?

Steve knew what he was doing, taking the cheapest possible shot at the race itself, trivialize it all the more. Not what we expect from a major metropolitan newspaper.

Whatever, I'm sure Monica Garcia agrees with you---I see that without news to report, the Garcia campaign actually issued a press release trumpeting the test results. A very weird and very sad episode---too bad there are no journalists interested enough in the race to cover it substantively.

February 28, 2006 9:48 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I've talked with Steve on issues, he seems to be focused but does have a sense of humor with all this political gamesmanship.....

But whats the scoop on the Fed (Ludlow) position? Will it be an Asian from UCLA or a Hispanic Legislator (Cedillo)? Not much talk anywhere Ive seen......

February 28, 2006 10:13 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Go to open thread for Ludlow updates

February 28, 2006 11:08 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

No, don't go to open thread. MAYOR SAM started a new Ludlow thread

February 28, 2006 12:15 PM  

Blogger davescholnick said:

Two masters from USC is nothing to sneeze at. I took the GRE twice in the last five months and can tell you that you have to answer much harder math questions than Hymon's to get into that school. Arellano's no dummy.

February 28, 2006 5:37 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Excuse my ignorance, but I figured if the main union dealing with teachers endorsed Chris wouldn't the County Fed defer to that endorsement and go with Chris?

February 28, 2006 6:48 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

6:48: SEIU controls the County Fed. and AV, Fabian, and supposedly Maria Elena. that's why this is so surprising.

February 28, 2006 11:22 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Sure there's math, along with a logic and verbal section on the GRE, but you can get a really LOW score on one or two sections AND STILL MANAGE to get into grad school. Plus HOW INTELLECTUALLY DEMANDING is urban planning or social work??? YOU DO THE MATH cuz CHRIS CAN'T.

March 01, 2006 6:34 AM  

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