March 8 Election Analysis – City of Los Angeles

Although many folks don’t realize it, we have an election coming up in the City of Los Angeles. It covers about half of the council districts, some community college positions, and a number of city measures significant for financial purposes. I took a few minutes this morning to go over my sample ballot. Here’s my current thinking—as always, you are free to convince me otherwise:

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What Do You Mean There’s An Election Today?

There’s an election today in my home state senate district. The election is to replace our state senator, George Runner (R), recently appointed to the Board of Equilization by the Governator as he left office. The two candidates are Runer’s wife, Sharon Runner (R) and Darren Parker (D). This is a district that has been gerrymandered to be reliably Republican: it contains portions of Simi Valley, Santa Clarita, and Palmdale/Lancaster… as well as a little sliver of Northridge to provide a few Democrats for balance. Thus, even though there are a few of us that will be voting for the Democrats, it is pretty clear who is going to win. Hopefully we’ll have better balance under the new redistricting commission, but I digress.

Now, living in the district, you wouldn’t really know there was an election going on (unless, like me, your spouse is a precinct worker). We did get a sample ballot… the same day the ballot came for the March election. There has been one mailer from Runner, and a few calls and emails from Parker. That’s it. I’m expecting a low turnout.

This gets me angry. We’re hearing all these reports about budget problems at the city, county, and state level… and face it: elections cost these entities a lot of money. We have another election in March (LA City Council), and there will likely be yet another special election at the state level in June. Why these couldn’t have been combined into a single election is beyond me. I’d be perfectly happy with the governor appointing someone for two-three months to serve until the next scheduled Primary or General election. The overall savings would be well worth it.

P. S.: Yes, I didn’t post yesterday. I did two big reviews on Sunday, so I figured I was covered. Yesterday was a busy day.