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Decision '93: A LOOK AT THE ELECTION IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY : The View From Room 305

April 11, 1993

When Tom Bradley announced he would leave his office--Room 305, City Hall--after 20 years, more than 50 people signed up in a bid to succeed him . The pack has since thinned to 24, but that's still record. Why the rush? True, the pay's OK--$118,000 a year. But look at the downside. The mayor has huge problems, long hours and receives uunremitting criticism from every quarter. Well, maybe it's the perquisites of office--the fringe benefits that make the job a little nicer. Here's a look at them, and some background informationon the voters who'll pick the next occupant of Room 305.



The mayor and family live in The Getty House rent-free, although the Bradleys pay property taxes and utilities for the second-floor living quarters of the Hancock Park mansion. Getty House--a 14-room, three-story French Colonial built in 1921-- was once the home of actor John Barrymore. It was given to the city in 1976 by the Getty Oil Co. The estate includes gardens, a tennis court, a swimming pool, six bedrooms, a large children's room and a library. In the basement are a game room, a bar and a vault. Although this perk comes wit the office, some of the candidates have indicated that, if elected, they might choose not to live here.

* SECURITY: A home security system. * HOME CARE: A full-time home maintenance worker whose duties include vacuuming. * AIR TRAVEL: The city has a six-helicopter fleet. Bradley rarely uses it, but his predecessor, Sam Yorty, is reported to have occasionally flown to work. * HOT LINE: A direct telephone line to the city administrative office; the mayor is never put on hold. * CAR: A heavy sedan of the mayor's choice, with free maintenance, insurance, washes and a police officer to drive and act as bodyguard. Bradley's selection: a Lincoln Town Car.

* TRAVEL: Official missions have taken Bradley to Israel, Egypt, Indonesia, Japan, China, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, the Soviet Union, Africa and South America.

* CEREMONY: Red-carpet treatment when ceremonially deplaning or banqueting. Actual red carpets are universally used for this purpose, Bradley reports. When he arrived in Athens in 1978 to deliver the city's bid for the Olympics, he was met by a tank. * DOOR-TO-PLANE SERVICE: When flying out of city-owned LAX, the mayor's car pulls onto the Tarmac, where he can work on his car phone until just before takeoff.

* PREFERRED SEATING: At the Academy Awards, sporting events and other functions.

* MEETING CELEBRITIES: A chance to shake hands with the rich and famous. Bradley once dined with Queen Elizabeth aboard the royal yacht Britannia. He was host to the Dodgers and Lakers at City Hall when they won their championships. Ex-mayor Sam Yorty met the Beatles, and his wife met Elvis Presley.

* PARKING: The best spot in City Hall, close to an elevator reserved for elected officials.

* WINING AND DINING: Lots of opportunities to eat for nothing. In 1992, Bradley attended 116 banquets. Some observers note that he often avoids the food by coming late, speaking briefly and leaving early.

* PARADES: An invitation to ride in all parades.


Anglos are no longer a majority of he Los Angeles population, but they are still the dominant political group. They are more than half the U.S. citizens who are old enough to vote. And they are nearly two-thirds of the registered voters.

* Voting age Population With Citizenship Anglo: 56% African-American: 19% Latino: 18% Asian-American: 7%

* Voting Age Population Anglo: 42% African-American: 13% Latino: 35% Asian-American: 10%

* 1990 Estimated Racial Breakdown of Registered Voters Anglo: 65% African-American: 21% Latino: 11% Asian-American: 3% Source: Pactech Data and Research

MAYORAL VOTE 1965-1989

Fewer people voted for mayor of Los Angeles in 1989 than in any mayoral elction in 24 years. Now Tom Bradley is on the sidelines for the first time since the 1960s.

1965: Yorty / Roosevelt 1969: Bradley / Yorty 1973: Bradley / Yorty 1977: Bradley / Robbins 1981: Bradley / Yorty 1985: Bradley / Ferraro 1989: Bradley / Holden

Source: Los Angeles city clerk's office and State Department of Finance.

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