Local business interests faced mixed results in Tuesday's municipal elections, losing a key ballot measure and council district race in Los Angeles but soundly defeating a business tax measure in Beverly Hills.
In Los Angeles , 56 percent of voters re-elected Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who had won the endorsement of major business organizations, including the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, despite his close ties to labor.
Local business groups also backed Councilwoman Wendy Greuel, who won election to the city Controller's post with nearly two-thirds of the vote. Councilman Jack Weiss, also endorsed by the L.A. chamber, fell short of a majority vote in his bid for city attorney. He will face prosecutor Carmen Trutanich in a May runoff.
L.A. city voters narrowly defeated ballot Measure E, which would have inserted language into the city's charter giving the City Council expanded powers to grant incentives to attract and retain business. It was opposed by 52 percent of voters.
Measure B, which would fund a massive Los Angeles Department of Water & Power solar power infrastructure program, also was heading for defeat Wednesday. Most local business groups opposed the measure on the grounds that it could shut out local companies from much of the program, which much of the work done by the utility and its unionized work force.
In the only seriously contested Los Angeles City Council race, business-backed candidate Adeena Bleich lost her bid for the Fifth Council district seat on L.A.'s Westside. Former state Assemblyman and West Hollywood City Councilman Paul Koretz and Century City area homeowner activist David Vahedi will face each other in the May runoff election. Koretz is backed by local Democrat Party leaders and many labor unions, while Vahedi has vigorously opposed many development projects on the Westside.
Meanwhile, business interests fared better in Beverly Hills, where 79 percent of voters cast ballots against Measure P, which would have hiked business taxes and parking fees. The measure had generated so much opposition from local businesses that some of the City Council members who voted to place it on the ballot last fall ended up opposing it.
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