The Mixer: Stick a fork in it

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Ladies and gentlemen, Los Angeles has a new mayor. If you’ve been under a rock, or refusing to follow the news for some reason, Eric Garcetti will succeed Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

The burning question in our LA election post-mortem centers on whether Mayor-elect Garcetti has the political chops to walk into City Hall and make it his show. The still-Councilman Garcetti – who represents Hollywood, Echo Park and Silver Lake – will take the baton from Villaraigosa on July 1.

Is Garcetti prepared to take over? Will he have friends there once he gets in? Will this look like a nice game of catch, or like an 8-year-old taking a fastball from Nolan Ryan?

Gene Maddaus from the LA Weekly and Seema Mehta from the Los Angeles Times joined us for our conversation today. Our panel thinks there will be a honeymoon period and a learning curve. But after that, they say Garcetti might have some trust issues with insiders who don’t know what to expect. Trust is earned, our panelists say, and that could take a little while to develop.

Meanwhile, Wendy Greuel is getting up from being knocked down.

Her campaign benefited tremendously from union support, which raised millions of dollars for (and on behalf of) her campaign. The IBEW, which includes thousands of DWP workers, most of the SEIU, police and firefighters unions and the LA County Federation of Labor all supported her. And she lost.

Did they?

Gene and Seema say they think Garcetti is plenty union-friendly, so it’s not like they will be shut out. Garcetti, after all, did get the endorsement of the UTLA teachers’ union. And with that honeymoon will come the bygones being bygones.

Finally, a school board race took place on Tuesday, and taught us all a few lessons.

The east San Fernando Valley district is primarily Latino, so name recognition was important in the runoff. Which means Antonio Sanchez should’ve been a shoe-in over a woman named Monica Ratliff, right? Sanchez had a gargantuan money advantage over Ratliff, thanks to Mayor Villaraigosa (for whom he worked) and Mayor Bloomberg (who writes big checks). So he should’ve been a shoe-in, right? That money bought TV and radio and mailers (oh my). A lot of folks (yes, me too) thought Sanchez was a shoe-in.

Ratliff, who is also Latino, took her modest amount of money ($52,000 compared to Sanchez’s $2.2 million) and made magnetic school rulers that featured her name, Monica – with a mark over the O to emphasize her ethnicity.

Ratliff won.

There are a lot of theories: Money turnoff. Low voter turnout. And maybe a hint of an accent for good measure.