City Hall

Herb Wesson begins every day with a bubble bath

herb-wesson-dn-musgrove.jpgDakota Smith of the Daily News writes in her Sunday piece that City Council President Herb Wesson soaks for half an hour every morning — meditating. "I try to think about nothing,” Wesson tells her. “I don’t want to say, ‘Zen out,’ but that’s kind of what I try to do. ... Then I’m in a real good mood for the rest of the day.” It's a good opener to a story that portrays Wesson as the most influential City Council president since the late, long-serving John Ferraro (I guess that's a dis aimed at Mayor Eric Garcetti, himself a former council president) and makes the connection that he's a former Assembly speaker who cut his teeth working for former councilman Nate Holden and former county supervisor Yvonne Burke. He favors colorful socks — and there's speculation he might run for mayor some day. But, writes Smith, people don't actually know much of what Wesson, 63, stands for.

As Wesson, the son of an auto factory worker, tightens the bolts on his political reputation, critics say he’s more interested in deal-making than policy. As council president, he negotiates behind the scenes, so even his supporters don’t always know where he stands.

With the city council set to consider several controversial proposals in the next year, including one to regulate blinking digital signs and another on sidewalk repairs, the question is whether Wesson will stake out his own positions more clearly.

“He’s the most powerful council president since John Ferraro,” said Cal State L.A. political science professor Jaime Regalado, referencing the politician who served more than three decades at City Hall.

Yet many voters “don’t know what his principles are and don’t know his record. Which isn’t a bad thing, except it means he’s got to get his name out on some big-ticket items, which he appears to be doing.”


His spokeswoman said he won’t weigh in the billboard law until it comes to the full City Council. Asked about his job creation panel, he said he’ll wait to see what the business community wants.

The photo with the story is by Dean Musgrove of the Daily News.

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