Plenty for Valley Voters to Mull In Secession and Borough Bids
POLITICS by Howard Fine
For Los Angeles voters, Nov. 5 is shaping up to be one of the most complex ballots ever. Just consider the secession-related matters a San Fernando Valley resident would have to vote on:
– A measure on whether the Valley should secede from Los Angeles.
– One of five new names for the seceding area.
– A council representative.
– A mayor for the new Valley city.
– A measure on whether Hollywood should secede from Los Angeles.
– Possibly, a plan for boroughs in Los Angeles (with a possible additional measure on how many boroughs there should be).
If that weren’t enough, there are still questions about what happens if one or both of the secession measures were to pass and a boroughs plan also were to pass. Some say the measure with the most votes would win. But L.A. City Councilwoman Wendy Greuel, who has put forward a boroughs measure, says she has checked with the City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo’s office and learned that’s not the case, since there’s no direct contradiction between the two proposals.
The big question would be whether the boroughs measure would apply only within the remainder of the city of Los Angeles or whether it would also apply to the areas seceding from the city. Either way, Valley VOTE chairman Richard Close said last week he supports a boroughs proposal for the new Valley city.
Dead Heat for Governor
Six weeks ago, the governor’s race was being portrayed as a cakewalk for Gov. Gray Davis after the latest Field Poll came out showing Davis with a 14-point lead over GOP challenger Bill Simon.
Not any more. The steady drumbeat of political scandal emanating from the Davis administration chiefly surrounding the no-bid Oracle Corp. computer contract and the bad budget news appear to have taken their toll.
One poll by Sacramento-based Democratic polling firm J. Moore Methods Research showed Davis with 44 percent support and Simon at 43 percent. Another poll by the California Teachers Association taken in late May had Davis at 45 percent and Simon at 43 percent. With a typical margin of error of 3 to 4 percentage points, that’s a virtual tie.
“Each revelation that comes out hurts Davis,” said local political consultant Allan Hoffenblum, who has advised GOP candidates. Hoffenblum said the Moore Methods poll is in line with other private polls that he has seen, including ones from the Davis and Simon campaigns.
“Davis’ numbers have stayed constant, right around 42 percent to 45 percent. It’s Simon’s numbers that are moving up,” he said.
But he also noted that Davis has only just started his long-awaited advertising assault on Bill Simon. Davis released a television ad last Monday attacking Simon’s connection with a failed savings and loan.
When former L.A. Police Chief Bernard Parks kicks off his campaign for the 8th L.A. City Council District June 17, he will have a strong ally: Earvin “Magic” Johnson. “Magic Johnson will be at my side as I make the announcement in front of the Magic Johnson Theatres,” Parks said in a postscript to the fundraising letter he sent out to friends and associates last week.
Johnson is no stranger to 8th District politics. Besides building the highly successful theaters, he tangled four years ago with councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas over redevelopment of Santa Barbara Plaza shopping center.
Staff reporter Howard Fine can be reached by phone at (323) 549-5225, ext. 227, or by e-mail at