Republican voters, despite their lack of majority numbers in the city of Los Angeles, as well as the county and state, are repeatedly bombarded by slate cards with Republican-looking logos, candidate descriptions like “fiscal watchdog” and “pension reform”, and even photos and quotes from President Ronald Reagan. These slate cards are run by independent businesses who couldn’t give a fig newton about the principles and values of the Republican Party, and their endorsement slots go to the highest bidder.
The Republican Party of Los Angeles County, or RPLAC, has tried each election cycle to inform its voters about these deceptive cards. RPLAC Chairman Mark Vafiades sent out a statement earlier today: “One slate card … has a flag and an eagle and is from The Continuing Republican Revolution. It recommends Eric Garcetti and other Democrats and a yes on Measure A. Just the opposite of what we are recommending. You have to just ignore the slate cards. They are intended to deceive. The people on the cards have paid to be on them. Don't let Republicans think these slate cards are from Republicans, and don't take them to the voting booth to know how to vote.”
It’s interesting that these Democratic candidates, despite their liberal leanings, try so hard to woo the conservative vote. Most of their political careers have been spent supporting tax hikes, excessive government spending and regulations that pander to special interest groups. But to get themselves past the March 5th elections, where many face multiple competitors for the same union-loyal, uber-liberal leaning votes, the Republican vote, while still a significant minority in many districts, suddenly becomes the swing vote to get these candidates through to the May run-off elections or even to secure the majority directly on March 5th.
These voters need to be made aware of who the true Republicans are in these races. They should also know the “degree of Democrat” that the other candidates are. In many districts, especially those where no Republican is running, it is still essential that Republican voters get to the polls to ensure that they stay a effective influence on local government.
So with that, here are my recommendations for the City of Los Angeles elections, including LAUSD and the LA Community College Board.
Mayor: Kevin James –
No one has been a more adamant opponent of the wasteful spending and municipal mismanagement of government in the City of Los Angeles than Kevin James. I have dedicated multiple articles to my support for Kevin, so I will simply say that the City of Los Angeles needs a mayor that was not part of the downfall of the city; the other four viable candidates have either directly voted for municipal legislation responsible for this decline, or supported such.
City Attorney: Carmen Trutanich –
Carmen has been a true crime-fighting city attorney, and has transformed the City Attorney’s Office into a responsive organization that works with local neighborhood councils in both a supportive and an intelligence-gathering fashion to do what a City Attorney’s Office should be doing – reducing crime by 23% through tough prosecution. Trutanich has also taken a stand against the frivolous lawsuits and the former city council’s all-too-often rolling over with expensive settlements, forcing these ambulance chasers to bring a solid case and a justified reason for suing the city. The result has been far fewer lawsuit settlements and over $7M saved by challenging these lawsuits. Republicans worked together to help Carmen upset political insider Jack Weiss four years ago, and he has lived up to the expectations. He deserves a second term.
As a side note, the Democrats have endorsed Assemblymen Mike Feuer in an obvious political loyalty move that has nothing to do with being qualified to be the City Attorney. If voters want a City Attorney who has NEVER tried a single criminal case before a jury and voted to permit child molesters to have their police records erased, termed out Assemblymember Mike Feuer is a good choice. Feuer is obviously seeking the position to stay on the government payroll; not to serve the city of Los Angeles.
Controller: Dennis Zine –
Zine has been one of the few Republicans on the Los Angeles City Council, and has worked hard to promote conservative principles and values, including opposing every tax ballot measure since he was elected. This includes Proposition A, on the March 5th ballot, despite being a 30-year retired LAPD officer. His political courage to truly go after the fraud, waste and abuse that current Controller Wendy Greuel says is there (but somehow cannot produce) will be an example to the citizens of Los Angeles what a true conservative can do in the Controller position.
City Council #1: William Morrison (write-in)
The other three candidates are hard-core liberals. (Every conservative voter knows about “one-bill Gil” Cedillo – Mr. Driver’s Licenses for Illegals himself. He is the Democrat’s endorsed candidate, of course.)
City Council #3: Cary Iaccino
Cary has been a solid performer as the past chair of the Reseda Neighborhood Council, and has been extremely active in bringing the other district neighborhood councils together for the common good. He is the best choice for replacing Dennis Zine in this district and keeping this seat as one of those that still holds the rest of the city council accountable to fiscal responsibilities. I have personally watched Cary’s activism on key local issues over the past 6 years, including frequent challenges to the power grabs of the DWP, and I am proud to endorse Cary Iaccino for the City Councils’ Third District seat.
City Council #5: Mark M. Herd
Mark Herd is one of the original founders of the Westwood Neighborhood Council, along with his brother Easton, and has been an adamant defender of the neighborhood council system, government accountability and lower taxes on the residents of Los Angeles. While I have not agreed with all of his positions, those that deal with the City of Los Angeles have been much closer to my own than current city councilmember Paul Koretz. I recommend Republicans give Herd a chance to show what Libertarian-type politics would look like on the city council.
City Council #7: Jesse “David” Barron
Another supporter of neighborhood councils, Jesse also supports repealing the city’s business tax that is driving our employers out of town because City Hall has made this town undesirable for employers to do business. He will also push for our city to “Buy Los Angeles” instead of enriching out of town and out of state companies, as well as supporting the City Attorney’s proposed ACE Program, which will enforce violations of the municipal code, including, Conditional Use Permits (CUP) by penalizing offenders who don’t follow the rules. Jesse brings knowledge and experience regarding construction management, something desperately needed on the city council, and I have met and talked with Jesse frequently. Jesse has my strong endorsement for City Council District #7.
City Council #9: Manny Aldanna
As a board member on the South Central Neighborhood Council and a fellow leader from the No on Measure B campaign that fought the IBEW power grab within the DWP, Manny Aldanna has been a staunch fighter for resident rights and fiscal discipline in the City of Los Angeles. I believe Manny will continue this defense of these as a City Councilmember, and I strongly endorse his candidacy for the 9th District seat.
I personally debated candidate Curren Price, Jr. three years ago at USC during a State Senate Candidate Forum, and despite his appearance on all of those GOP-looking slate cards, he is about as conservative as Rev. Al Sharpton. Another reason to throw out these slate cards!
City Council #11: (no choice)
I reviewed the profiles and websites for all of these candidates and found none that even resembled a conservative or even a moderate. When two make the run-off, I’ll dive deeper into who we should be preventing from winning this seat.
City Council #13: Josh Post
The list of candidates for this seat is definitely a who’s-who within the Democratic establishment that has been strangling our city. Among them all, only John Post talks about a more business-friendly city, something Los Angeles desperately needs to become. Definitely avoid the “slate-chosen” Matt Szabo! Matt’s roles have been: Deputy Mayor, ED for Yes on Measure J, and Legislative Director for Wendy Greuel.
City Council #15: Joe Buscaino
My involvement with Joe is well-documented. In full disclosure, Joe is a personal friend of mine. However, I have plenty of friends who I do not support for public office. Joe has shown his commitment to represent ALL residents of the 15th Council District, and has earned my ONLY incumbent endorsement because he has carried through what he promised to do during his campaign in his special election. Many Republicans realized the opportunity to ensure that liberal Assembly member and Democratic Establishment candidate Warren Furitani did not get elected, and Joe has come through on actions like removing the parking meters from downtown San Pedro and moving forward with the redesign and reconstruction of Ports O’ Call, long overdue. Joe Buscaino deserves a full four year term to show that he is an independent leader who, while friendly with the local unions in the Harbor Area, understands the importance of the balance needed to sustain and grow business throughout the 15th Council District.
District #2 – Isabel Vazquez – only candidate not endorsed by UTLA or Mayor Villaraigosa
District #4 – (None)
District #6 – (None)
LA Community College Board Recommendations:
Seat #2 – John Burke
John Burke brings a fresh perspective to the LACCD, including the replacement of the student attendance/enrollment formula with one that stresses student success and performance. His opponent is termed-out Assemblymember Mike Eng, who has bought up the GOP-looking slate cards and is using language like “sound fiscal management”, something he NEVER practiced in Sacramento!
Seat #4 – Josef Thomas “Joe” Essavi
While Moreno is another Republican, Joe Essavi has been an active one, supporting campaigns and fighting for conservative values and goals within both the neighborhood council system and throughout Los Angeles County. I have personally worked with Joe on key issues, and know that Joe will be a staunch supporter of improved education performance through accountability and responsibility. I am proud to give my friend Joe Essavi my strongest endorsement.
Seat #6 – Tom Oliver
This is the seat I had originally considered running for myself; once I saw that Tom Oliver was running and looked at his experience and profile, I realized that I did not need to run this year. Tom brings a strong background as a past college president and charter school board chairman, and understands how our community colleges need to transform into the best viable option for our local students. I look forward to Tom Oliver being elected to the Los Angeles Community College Board.
Los Angeles Ballot Measures:
Measure A: Increase Sales Tax ½% NO
Measure B: Fire and Police Pensions YES (No cost to taxpayers)
I hope these recommendations and perspectives help you make the best decisions on your March 5th ballot. I always welcome feedback through this column or directly on my Facebook page. I hope the biggest takeaway for fellow Republicans is to resist the deceptive slate cards, do not be gullible to their marketing package, and realize that the Democrats know our principles and values are more popular and viable – which is why they need us to vote for them.