Thursday, November 8, 2012

Pomona mayoral race wrapup

Here's my takeaway on the mayor's race.

  • Rothman rules Phillips Ranch. Despite living in the Westmont area, Mayor Elliott Rothman cleaned up in District 5, which includes Westmont and Phillips Ranch. He gained over 60% of the vote in District 5, which is the highest turnout district in the city, and 52% in District 6 (north Pomona), the second highest turnout district in the city. While Councilman Freddie Rodriguez won his own District 2 (southwest Pomona) it was only by a 42% share. With District 2 being the lowest turnout district in the city, it didn't help in his insurgent campaign.
  • Will all this "Moochie" talk stop if he gets a majority? Once all of the absentee and provisional ballots are counted, it is likely that Rothman will get a majority of the votes in the mayor's race. Yes, the Mayor can have a "Mayor Quimby"-esque feel to his style. He seems lackadaisical, meetings start late, breaks run long, and as David Allen has noted in the past, he likes to dodge long meetings and squirm his way out of taking positions. The family picture of him in a Hawaiian shirt may seem cheesy. But the charges of corruption haven't stuck. (Why are secretaries from JC Penney and bank tellers giving him $1,000 contributions?) The story about the DA investigation of his contributors fizzled when no one made it a campaign issue. The talks of the instant recall when he got elected fizzled out. Despite losing money from the Kinde Durkee fiasco he was able to pull it off with a home-spun campaign of flyers and magnets. Tomas Ursua's camp did more aggressive door to door canvassing, and so did Freddie Rodriguez, but Rothman's base is where the voters are, and it shows. 
  • Less visible union involvement. Other than the shadowy "Citizens for Local Government Accountability" supporting incumbents with their single flyer mailing, there were considerably fewer independent expenditures dropped in my mailbox this cycle for the mayor's race. Maybe they know where to target (more when I do my council wrap up) but I did not receive anything from the unions on this race. Maybe they thought that unseating an incumbent was too difficult, or that the incumbent had it covered and they could focus their attention on other issues, like Proposition 32.
  • Tomas Ursua can't do math. Could it have hurt his campaign? Tomas Ursua, to use another Simpsons analogy, came in as the Lyle Lanley promising to balance the budget without new taxes by "realigning and restructuring services", and by hiring local youth to "patrol their neighborhoods" (a giant liability risk for the city if I've ever seen one). The problem is that, short of outsourcing the police department and the library (which residents have vehemently rejected), there is not enough money there. Pensions have been earned and any attempt at taking earned pensions away would result in a lawsuit. Pomona's pay is already below average and many middle managers refuse to take the promotions that would get them showing up to the City Council every Monday night. Promising the moon didn't help. In addition, despite having an urban planning background, Ursua pushed for more single family homes in Pomona, when the trend is going towards mixed-use development of the type that Rothman has been pushing for downtown. 
  • Freddie Rodriguez had a realistic vision, but he was unable to articulate substantive differences between the mayor. Looking back at my Twitter notes he had innovative, realistic ideas like partnering up with other cities for service delivery, expanding neighborhood watch, and streamlining business regulations and red tape. However, the mailers stayed positive, which is nice, but failed to make much of an impression in my mind to contrast with the status quo.
  • Game ball goes to Elliott Rothman: For (probably) winning a majority of the votes in the election, and for correctly predicting at the mayoral debate that every Pomona measure would fail. May you be more energetic in your second term.

1 comment:

Ren said...

Like always a great write up, about the money he gets. A little old lady can come up to him and give him 1,000 of course we all know that the money came from someone else, but that's their way of transfering the money into his pocket. And it's so simply that they do it right in front of our faces and everybody just shakes their heads and they let him get away with it. They just need to talk to some of these people who gave him the money and find out if they can even afford to give this guy the money. Well anyway like I said good story.