On March 5, Los Angeles will be voting for a new mayor. This is more like a primary, since there will be a run-off unless someone gets over 50% of the vote, which is very unlikely.
Los Angeles is in the same position as many other large cities, with huge deficits and free-spending Democrats who cater to the unions. All of the candidates except one have actively participated in creating Los Angeles’ woes. Kevin James stands out as a clear choice. He is a former prosecutor and is currently a radio talk show host. American Thinker interviewed Mr. James to get his comments on issues facing Los Angeles today.
The overriding issue in the election is Los Angeles’ deficit of approximately $1.4 billion, which is mainly the result of huge pensions and salary increases handed out to city employees. James wants Angelinos to look hard and fast at the decisions made by all of his opponents. For example, in 2007, the city was already in a deficit, but that did not stop Jan Perry, Eric Garcetti, and Wendy Greuel from approving what amounted to a 25% wage increase over the next five years. James noted, “All three signed the contracts, maintained the raises, and it was Wendy Greuel who wrote the memo, as the LA controller, to raid the special revenue city funds. This was just irresponsible and reckless. The enactment of a city sales tax measure on this ballot will only go toward paying raises.” Once again, all city residents will have to pay so a few will be able to continue the spiral of unrealistic pensions and raises. That is why former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, who served from 1993 to 2001, has endorsed Kevin James. He believes that only James will be able to enact pension reforms and reduce salaries of city employees.
Many Angelinos have seen an increase in homeless people, experienced the smell of urine on the streets, and run over the numerous street and sidewalk cracks. These quality-of-life issues have turned LA into a mere fragment of the great city it once was. Why? Because of the poor budget decisions make by his opponents and by outgoing mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.