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June 12, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
Often, by the end of an election, the weaknesses of the existing campaign finance laws have become evident, and the need to update them has been made clear by the ways those weaknesses have been exploited. That is certainly the case with Los Angeles' most recent city elections. Some of the problems are not fixable locally. The explosive rise of independent expenditures, for instance, is constitutionally protected. The Supreme Court has held that the 1st Amendment protects the right of individuals, unions and corporations to spend unlimited sums on a political race, so long as the spending is not made directly to (or coordinated with)
June 11, 2013 | By Ben Welsh, Los Angeles Times
Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles' incoming mayor, won the office with fewer votes than any newly elected mayor since the 1930s, when the city population was less than half its current size, according to a Times analysis of final results. Garcetti's complete tally was 222,300, just 12.4% of the city's registered voters. That was well ahead of his opponent, City Controller Wendy Greuel, but a smaller vote total than any incoming mayor since Frank Shaw in 1933. The complete count from the May 21 election, released late Friday, represents another low mark in decades of declining voter turnout . The city clerk's final tally found that only 419,592 or 23.3% of the city's 1.8 million registered voters cast a ballot.
June 5, 2013 | By Angel Jennings and Abby Sewell, Los Angeles Times
Compton voters have ushered in a new guard by electing political newcomer Aja Brown as mayor over controversial former city leader Omar Bradley, and appearing to send the first Latino representative to the City Council. Initial results showed Brown, a 31-year-old USC-educated urban planner, beating Bradley, a former two-term mayor, by 4,143 votes to his 2,360. Bradley and Brown went to Tuesday's runoff after defeating current Mayor Eric Perrodin and a crowded field of challengers, including former child actor Rodney Allen Rippy, in April's primary.
May 30, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times
The day after a special election last week, Republican Andy Vidak declared victory in the race for a vacant state Senate seat. He had 52% of the vote. But provisional ballots counted since then put Vidak just below the majority vote he needed to win the 16 th District seat outright. As a result, he will face the second-place candidate, Democrat Leticia Perez, in a July 23 runoff election. The secretary of state said Wednesday night that the final vote tally was 49.8% for Vidak and 43.9% for Perez in a field of six candidates.
May 28, 2013 | By John Shallman
More often than not, columnist Jim Newton gets things right. But his analysis of Controller Wendy Greuel's campaign for mayor of Los Angeles, which I advised, is dead wrong.  Newton: "Greuel never introduced herself in a positive way to voters. " Greuel's first television commercial did precisely what Newton said she did not: It introduced Wendy in a positive way to voters. The ad, " All of L.A. ," featured her speaking directly to the camera as she described her record identifying waste as controller and her plan to create jobs, improve schools and reduce crime for all of Los Angeles.
May 18, 2013 | Laura J. Nelson
The 1st District City Council race has garnered more than four times the money of previous races there, buoyed by the deep pockets and independent spending of labor and business leaders. In the runoff to replace council member Ed Reyes in the district near downtown Los Angeles, a combined $1.97 million has been raised on behalf of former Sacramento lawmaker Gil Cedillo and Reyes' chief of staff, Jose Gardea, according to campaign finance reports. The election almost ended in the primary: Cedillo received 49.32%, less than 1% shy of winning outright.
May 17, 2013 | By Michael Finnegan, Los Angeles Times
Eric Garcetti's lead in the Los Angeles mayor's race has narrowed to seven percentage points, but his strength among conservatives has blocked rival Wendy Greuel from securing a San Fernando Valley base that is vital to her chances, according to a new USC Price/Los Angeles Times poll. As the candidates and their partisans swarmed across the city in advance of Tuesday's runoff election, Garcetti, a city councilman from Silver Lake, held a 48% to 41% lead, the survey found. Voters in the Valley and every other key region of Los Angeles favored him over Greuel, the city controller.
May 17, 2013 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
The race for a seat on the Los Angeles Board of Education pits the political savvy of Antonio Sanchez against the education skills of Monica Ratliff. And when it comes to campaign resources, politics trumps all. Sanchez, 31, has used his background in campaigns and ties to political figures to attract huge financial support from labor groups and a political-action committee headed by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Ratliff, 43, has used her background as a legal-aid attorney and respected teacher in a high-performing school to impress editorial boards and educators.
May 7, 2013 | By James Rainey and David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times
A day after a debate in which they told Los Angeles voters their prime focus as mayor would be promoting job creation, Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti took up the topic Monday, while also continuing a furious debate over union influence in their runoff election. City Controller Greuel met voters at a Century City mall and handed out her glossy 35-page "Leading L.A. Forward" brochure, which includes a multipoint plan that she said would bring more jobs to Los Angeles. City Councilman Garcetti talked with business leaders in North Hollywood about efforts to expand the aerospace industry in Southern California, saying he would look for ways to help with marketing, job training and government regulation.
May 1, 2013 | By Seema Mehta
The independent committee supporting Wendy Greuel's bid has bought $500,000 in television time to air a new positive 30-second spot supporting Greuel's mayoral bid, according to a source familiar with the ad. The 30-second spot , posted on YouTube by Working Californians, features former President Bill Clinton stumping for Greuel at Langer's Delicatessen on April 20. “You want somebody who hit it out of the park every time she had...
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