Last week,LA Clean Sweep endorsed a slate of candidates for City Council seats on the March ballot.
The organization was inspired by former LA Daily News editor Ron Kaye with the objective of encouraging and supporting alternative candidates.
For the record, I support LA Clean Sweep, but I was perplexed by a major inconsistency in the endorsements. On one hand, Clean Sweep took a neutral stand in the Paul Krekorian- Augusto Bisani race in CD2, but supported Bernard Parks for CD8.
Strange, given that incumbents Parks and Krekorian have almost identical voting records on major issues.
Neither Parks nor Krekorian have taken a fiscally conservative stand on the city budget – a problem they share with all of their colleagues – and both botched chances at blocking DWP rate increases.
Clean Sweep has been consistently critical of the Council’s inability to rein in the budget and just as vocal against the DWP rate increases that were passed.
Parks is not the budget hawk as he has been characterized by some. As head of the budget committee, he has allowed the city to become mired in ever-increasing red ink. He has allowed bloated budgets to pass year after year, ignoring the structural deficit created by excessive compensation and benefits.
Parks was the only incumbent to attend Clean Sweep’s candidate forum. Nice, but a person’s voting record should be the primary reason for an endorsement.
At least Paul Krekorian has worked to protect neighborhood councils and provided constituent service far superior to the level that was offered by Wendy Greuel, his predecessor in CD2 .
Krekorian’s opponent, Valley Village resident and local businessman Augusto Bisani , lacks knowledge of the local community and the issues affecting it. At last week’s CD2 candidate forum, it was reported that he did not even know that Valley Village was shared by two council districts – 2 and 5. He was equally unaware of local issues when he ran for the seat in the 2009 special election, a race I covered in-depth for this blog.
To be fair, Bisani has contributed to the community by operating a successful business, but you have to know what is happening in your backyard, too.
Overall the neutral stand on CD2 was a good call, but it is inexplicable when compared with the support for Parks.