Those who work most closely with him at City Hall often admire the councilman's nimble political instincts. Just as often, they are appalled about what they believe is his willingness to pander to his constituents' fears.
As others called for calm at the time of the second verdict for officers accused of beating Rodney G. King, Wachs insisted that the National Guard should be deployed around the city. He once backed a water reclamation project in the San Fernando Valley, only to claim last year that he and the public had been misled and that the water should not be used for human consumption.
Most recently he has been the lone candidate to say he would certainly oust Police Chief Bernard C. Parks. Supporters say that's decisiveness. Detractors say it's political opportunism.
Now voters must decide whether Wachs' ombudsman-in-chief style would be well suited to the executive suite.
- JAMES RAINEY
Other Mayoral Candidates on the Ballot