PERSPECTIVE-Perhaps the biggest surprise on election night -and the best – was Amy Swearengin finishing ahead of the field for State Controller. She had to contend with John Perez, Speaker of the Assembly.
Perez was heavily backed by the unions. He is now sweating out the final result. He may not make the final cut. There is a possibility of two Republicans in the runoff.
Swearengin (photo) was no fluke. She built an outstanding reputation as a prudent and effective mayor of Fresno, a city once teetering on bankruptcy. She won the endorsement of the Los Angeles Times, too.
Perez tried to claim credit for California’s financial improvement despite the fact it was higher taxes and an improving national economy that was responsible. He has done nothing to address the steady demise of the State Teachers Retirement Fund, which is over $70-billion in the hole or address the tax system that relies too much on high earners, causing volatile swings in revenue.
Two of the most hotly contested races were right here.
Sheila Kuehl and Bobby Shriver finished on top of an excellent field of candidates. The debates should be lively and informative. Both of them are articulate and intelligent. The County is not short on issues. Will either court Jim McDonnell, who will most surely win in the runoff for Sheriff? McDonnell could easily play the kingmaker, just as Kevin James did for Eric Garcetti in the mayoral race against Wendy Greuel.
And speaking of Wendy Greuel. Did anyone think I would overlook her latest train wreck of a campaign?
It was standard Greuel – no substance and insipid e-mail distributions.
Her own internal polling predicted she would lead the pack, instead she finished out of the money and is probably now packing her carpetbag to return to the Valley.
That’s two major losses for the former Councilmember and City Controller. Few politicians have ever come back from successive defeats. Richard Nixon is about the only name that comes to mind. Well, Greuel was once a Republican and probably admired him.
Her defeat is no loss for Los Angeles. At best, she was a mediocre Councilmember. She was certainly the least effective City Controller in memory. When it came to campaigning, she was the dimmest bulb in the ceiling. The 33rd District should breathe a sigh of relief and be thankful for the matchup between Ted Lieu and Elan Carr.
Will Greuel run again?
The question should be, will any groups be willing to bankroll the campaign of a two-time loser?
For that matter, has she settled her debt with former manager John Shallman?
She should consider a change of career.
(Paul Hatfield is a CPA and former NC Valley Village board member and treasurer. He blogs at Village to Village and contributes to CityWatch. He can be reached at: email@example.com)
Vol 12 Issue 46
Pub: June 6, 2014