Bill Boyarsky, the newest LA Observed contributor, used to be city editor of the Los Angeles Times, wrote a local column called "The Spin" for many years, and created the paper's first City-County Bureau. His books include Los Angeles: City of Dreams, Ronald Reagan: His Life and Rise to the Presidency and Backroom Politics: How Your Local Politicians Work, Why Your Government Doesn't, and What You Can Do About It, written with Nancy Boyarsky. His latest book, on the late California political giant Jess Unruh, will be published next year by UC Press.
All of this experience, and irregular columns for the Jewish Journal, would make Bill a great addition to the LA Observed lineup of writers. But he is also vice president of the City Ethics Commission, appointed to the City Hall watchdog panel by Controller Laura Chick. That puts him in the fray, observing City Hall from the inside. For his first post, he breaks free of a gag rule imposed on him by the Ethics Commission — and makes some news — by criticizing Measure R that L.A. voters just passed.
"This proposition was bad, and its advertising misleading," he writes. "Contrary to what the ads said, the measure extends term limits and weakens lobbyist control laws....At our meeting Tuesday I am going to ask our staff how it will enforce such a weak law."
Bill will post occasionally with his observations about City Hall and the local political scene, casting a journalistic eye unavailable elsewhere in the L.A. media or blogosphere. Like the other LA Observed contributors, his posts will run unedited and reflect his take on things, not necessarily mine or the other writers. A quick disclosure: for a few years in the late 1980s, I was a reporter for Bill in the Times' City-County Bureau.
Go to the new Bill Boyarsky blog.