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California Briefing / LOS ANGELES

Third term upheld for City Council

September 26, 2008|David Zahniser

A three-judge panel issued a ruling Thursday upholding Proposition R, the ballot measure that allows members of the Los Angeles City Council the opportunity to run for a third four-year term.

The 2nd District Court of Appeal found that Proposition R, which was passed by voters in 2006, did not violate the law by having two different subjects in the same ballot measure.

Proposition R loosened term limits for the 15-member council but also placed new restrictions on lobbyists, such as prohibiting them from serving on city commissions.

Opponents of Proposition R had argued that voters should not be asked to consider such divergent proposals in the same measure.

A decision overturning Proposition R would have thrown the March municipal election into disarray, leaving five council members ineligible to run for a third term. With five incumbents barred from the ballot, a new crop of candidates would have been scrambling for those newly vacant posts.

Those five incumbents -- Eric Garcetti, Janice Hahn, Jan Perry, Ed Reyes and Dennis Zine -- were ushered into office by term limits in 2001. All five have amassed significant campaign war chests to help fend off any challengers next year.

Proposition R does not apply to the mayor, city attorney and city controller, who are still limited to two four-year terms.

-- David Zahniser

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