Learning curve

New L.A. councilman Bill Rosendahl from the Westside is interviewed by Howard Fine in this week's L.A. Business Journal. Rosendahl says that he has created an "Ambassadors Club" to tap the wealthy in his district to help raise money and lobby for transportation projects. He names "people like Bill Simon, Eli Broad, Haim Saban, Dick and Nancy Riordan." Other excerpts:

Q: After years of interviewing candidates, what was it like to actually be one?
A: I had been both a campaign manager and a fundraiser on several campaigns, so I thought I knew what I was getting into. But this was a totally new experience being a candidate myself. Itís always easier to sell someone else to the people than it is to sell yourself. Knocking on doors and meeting complete strangers was very humbling and satisfying. Not so satisfying was getting doors slammed in my face by other politicians. It really was a roller-coaster ride that helped me grow as a person.

Q: And what about having to raise all that money?
A: I learned that raising money was really about selling myself to the voters. You have to have a lot of self-confidence to get people to believe in you enough to open their wallets. But I didnít focus on this when I went raising money. I instead kept telling myself and anyone who would listen that I was running because I think I can make the world a better place.

Q: Whatís it like being one of them?
A: Iím now in a very unique club. The campaign is the tempering of the metal that makes a politician. Its length and nastiness are unique to the American political system. So when I interact with all these elected officials now, Iím treated as a colleague.

Also in this week's LABJ: James Nash explores the ratings dip of righty talk radio, especially KFI. David G. Hall, programming director for KNX and KFWB, says in the story that Rush Limbaugh's ratings are at an all-time low and that "thereís been an erosion in the number of people who want conservative political talk." Lefty talker KTLK (AM 1150), the Air America outlet, was the only talk station to gain add market share in the latest ratings, Nash writes.

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