Last night’s victories by Eric Garcetti and Ron Galperin represented what could be a turning point in Los Angeles politics. The voters, or at least all 20% of them, chose competence over big PAC money and backroom connections.
It is difficult to say what the message of Feuer’s victory was. Although he scored the most impressive win as far as the margin of difference, his opponent was virtually dead on arrival from day one of the campaign. People were not willing to forgive Trutanich for breaking his promise not to seek another office. It did not help that Nuch handled the negative reaction to his decision so poorly. Brian D’Arcy could have beaten Trutanich in this race. It remains to be seen how well Feuer will fair in managing the equivalent of a major law firm.
In the mayoral campaign, Garcetti’s crisp and articulate performances in the debates, a record of very specific results in his district, standing up to unfair comparisons to Scott Walker and his frank admissions of past mistakes were refreshing compared to Wendy Greuel’s overblown claims of finding waste, fraud and abuse, her alliances with the public unions, absurd promises of adding 3,000 highly paid sworn personnel when the budget can barely handle the current staffing, and very personal negative ads.
It was clear who had the best potential to serve as mayor. Garcetti will face the challenge of a lifetime but at least he has another competent partner to assist him, because Ron Galperin easily won the City Controller’s seat.
Galperin brings a level of technical competence the controller’s office has so desperately needed. It is not enough to read the results of an audit. The controller must be able to analyze the financial statements, provide long-term projections and stir the City Council to action, even if it means ruffling feathers. Dennis Zine would have brought nothing to the job – Greuel part 2.
I look forward to the Garcetti-Galperin era. They will introduce a far more effective management style than any other previous administration.
Good luck to them.