Friday ‘House’ Mixer: So what are we being asked to vote for anyway?

Written by


Just a few more days before you go to the polls.  Let’s review, shall we?

We’re in the final stretch, so here’s some information you need to know about the candidates and propositions before you punch, pull or bubble-in that ballot.

KCRW’s Warren Olney, host of Which Way, LA? and To The Point joined us, as did KCRW reporter Saul Gonzalez, who’s been covering some of the campaigns this cycle as well. We call it our House Mix. Remember, politics can be fun.

The city of Los Angeles has more than 2 million eligible voters. But about 1.6 million of them are expected to skip the election on Tuesday – that means 80 percent of voters will let the remaining 20 percent choose their next mayor.

While we delved into the historic numbers over the years on Thursday, today the panel agreed that there isn’t much excitement in the mayoral race. And that’s because the candidates are very similar to one another.

L to R: Warren Olney, Saul Gonzalez and Steve Chiotakis

That similarity may be driving an uneventful race, but it’s also driving some negative campaigning. Something KCRW’s Avishay Artsy tackled in his report about outside money and influence in the race.

There’s a controversy now in the mayor’s race with Spanish-language ads by supporters of Eric Garcetti who say Wendy Greuel — who was a Republican in the early 1990s — was a proponent of Proponent 187. That’s the controversial proposal pushed by then-Gov. Pete Wilson that would deny state benefits to undocumented immigrants.

Guilt by association, they say.

But Greuel says she changed parties by 1992. Before Proposition 187 was on the ballot.

Garcetti then tweeted that he takes her at her word that she was against 187. But the accusation is still out there. And that’s a genie that’s out of the bottle — true or not.

Not to be outdone, supporters of Greuel tried to pin controversial Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his policy of Latino self-deportation on Garcetti. L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa even chimed in on both allegations, saying they went over the top and should ease up on the mud-slinging.

Speaking of campaign nastiness, our panel also talked about the race between incumbent Carmen Trutanich and former Assemblyman Mike Feuer in the City Attorney’s race. They appeared on Which Way, LA? last Thursday.


Neither campaign would agree with the other on debate rules, so Warren had to interview them one at a time.

Dennis Zine and Ron Galperin are competing for the City Controller’s chair, the seat Wendy Greuel is vacating. We talked about what the controller does. Which is not much. But the Controller does have a bully pulpit and the ability to hold budgetary feet to fire.

There are three marijuana measures on the city ballot on Tuesday.

Proposition D would hold the city to 135 dispensaries. Why 135? That’s the number of clinics operating in Los Angeles when the City Council imposed a moratorium on pot shops.

Proposition F would allow unlimited medicinal marijuana shops. But each one would have to abide by a list of requirements. Like not allowing minors inside. And forcing not only employees, but volunteers, to get background checks.

Yeah, I know. We left out E.

That’s because E is very similar to D — the one that caps the number of shops. But E doesn’t raise marijuana taxes like D and F would. And its support has waned tremendously since enough signatures were gathered to get it on the ballot.

Here’s a helpful guide to who’s running for what, courtesy of the City Clerk’s office.

Now you can educate yourself before taking that democratic dip on Tuesday.