2006 in review

2006: Politics

You can't make this stuff up. Some gems from the archive:

Antonio and the schools: Mayor Villaraigosa began the year talking tough about taking over LAUSD, compromised in the Legislature — and it's all in doubt now. The judge didn't laugh, but it sounded like she came close.

Mayor in ChinaCheckmate: While Villaraigosa was bragging about climbing the Great Wall, the Board of Education schooled him by appointing Rear Admiral David Brewer to run the LAUSD.

No wire coat hangers either: Villaraigosa banned bottled water at City Hall, but thanks to Duke Helfand in the Times we learned that the mayor likes his at room temperature and is addicted to Listerine strips and aides who follow orders well.

New blood: Gail Goldberg took over as chief of the city planning function (snicker) and Glora Jeff fled from Michigan to solve our traffic mess (ho ho ho.)

Clean win: Villaraigosa got the City Council to suck it up and approve a trash collection fee to pay for more cops. Too bad the LAPD can't hire them fast enough.

GarcettiGarcetti era begins: Eric Garcetti takes over as Council President and joins the Naval Reserve, does a masterful spoof of Villaraigosa, and gets to stay in the chair longer thanks to the unexpected victory for Measure R.

But can they ski?: Gov. Schwarzenegger shows us what he knows about hot Latin blood and other ethnic traits — followed by the inevitable apology.

LudlowWise guys: Martin Ludlow's political career flamed out in federal court. Longtime City Hall macher Leland Wong was finally charged with 20 counts, but the best part of the case was the revelation that Wong paid for happy endings at a downtown spa for ex-Hahn bad boy Troy Edwards. Hahn friends Doug Dowie and John Stodder were convicted in the Fleishman-Hillard case, but Stodder still has one of the best local blogs. Finally, Chris Arellano learns that lying about degrees and a criminal record won't get you elected even with UTLA's help.

Hail to the Chief: Crime went down again, a few new crises and scandals hit the department, and Chief Bratton is talking tougher. But he wants to stay for a new term despite East Coast speculation about his future.

Antonio's immigration problem: What do one million Latinos marching in the streets get you? A page one story in the Wall Street Journal speculating on how you might screw it up.

New Establishment: The Los Angeles Civic Alliance comes out of the shadows and insists it is no Committee of 25.

Fun with power: After Villaraigosa declared war on the LAUSD, Robert Greene in the LA Weekly felt inspired to propose ten other power grabs the mayor could take on.

Don't invite them: Erin Aubry Kaplan up and dropped a bomb on Councilman and former Speaker Herb Wesson. Also: Joel Bellman and Ramona Ripston.

Media muscle: David Zahniser jumps to LA Weekly and makes a big enough splash to get profiled in LA Magazine — then lands his biggest story of the year: how Miguel Contreras really died. The Times also reinvented the City-County bureau and added a politics blog in Sacramento (a bit late) and even Variety debuted Wilshire & Washington.

Bill Boyarsky joins LA Observed: He's not just the only ethics commissioner and City Hall official with an independent blog, he's the most experienced political journalist in the state with one.

More by Kevin Roderick:
Standing up to Harvey Weinstein
The Media
LA Times gets a top editor with nothing but questions
LA Observed Notes: Harvey Weinstein stripped bare
LA Observed Notes: Photos of the homeless, photos that found homes
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