Los Angeles is going to be holding an election for mayor on March 3, 2009. Less than a month away! This may be one of the most under-the-radar elections ever for an office that represents 3 million people. Our current Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, is running for reelection. He has almost no opposition. Rick Caruso, the developer of The Grove, considered running, but decided that this is not a good year to run for office in Los Angeles as a Republican. At this point, Antonio V's strongest opponent is a guy named Walter Moore, who is an independent. He's raised over $200,000, which is fairly impressive, but also irrelevant. Antonio has already survived an affair; at this point he would have to be convicted of some horrible crime to lose this election.
Antonio, naturally, doesn't want a debate with his opponents. Steve Lopez, a columnist for the LA Times, of course finds this appalling (Lopez will be portrayed by Robert Downey, Jr. in the upcoming movie The Soloist). He took a poll of his readers; 97% would like to see a debate. I think Antonio should engage his opponents in a debate, at the very least because I think it would be good for his future political career - he's probably going to run for either Governor or Senator. He's going to win this election in a walk - the only question is whether he's going to get 70% or 80% of the vote. He can afford to look gracious. By denying a debate, he looks small and petty. Not good, Antonio. I realize that part of the reason he only has token opposition is that Democrats completely dominate politics in LA, and he's actually done a decent job as mayor. But there are issues that I would like to hear debated. Tops on my list would be what the candidates plan to do about car alarms. Personally, I would outlaw all car alams in LA.
I can find reason to have fun in just about any election, but this one is boring. REALLY boring. I like Antonio, I think he's been a good Mayor, and might make a good governor. He's very energetic, I usually agree with him, and even when I don't, he takes clear, strong positions. The man is not wishy-washy. But he looks arrogant when he doesn't debate his opponents. Come on, Antonio, make this race just a little bit interesting.