A ballot listing for Bill Rosendahl, candidate for the local Los Angeles City Council 11th District, has been challenged by an opponent for the seat, who claims the occupational title listed by Rosendahl is misleading and inaccurate.
Flora Gil Krisiloff, a former area planning commissioner and candidate for the seat now held by Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski in the Tuesday, March 8th, municipal primary election, filed a challenge Wednesday, November 10th, to opponent Rosendahl’s ballot listing as a university professor/journalist.
Other candidates who have filed for the 11th District seat include Angela Reddock, an attorney, and Paul Whitehead, school teacher.
Krisiloff — whose challenge letter was submitted by her campaign consultant, Rick Taylor — said Rosendahl should change his job title on the ballot because it is misleading.
Rosendahl teaches two classes, including Media and Politics and Public Affairs Television, at California State University, Dominguez Hills, but Krisiloff claimed that he is a lecturer and not an actual professor.
“This is serious and under the penalty of perjury,” she said. “It cuts to ethics and clarity and it is a big issue.”
The title of professor is advantageous and “means something,” Krisiloff said, especially in the 11th Council District, which includes universities such as UCLA and Loyola Marymount University.
Someone who teaches part-time and is a guest lecturer should not distinguish himself as a professor, which is the “highest level of faculty,” she said.
Rosendahl, a former vice president for political affairs at Adelphia Communications, said Krisiloff’s challenge is only a form of negative campaigning.
“I’m saddened that the sleazy politics that have been used in America today have been used on the local level,” he said. “I was surprised and taken aback. It’s a low class and cheap attack that has no merit.”
California State University at Dominguez Hills considers Rosendahl a “distinguished visiting professor” and the courses he teaches are accredited in the school course catalog, university officials said.
Rosendahl — who has been an adjunct faculty member at the university since Fall 2003 — said he discontinued his relationship with the university effective December 8th, to allow for his campaign.
He said he listed his title as professor on the ballot because “I am a university professor and a journalist.”
“I want an apology for this attack,” he said. “She should stick to the issues in the district. People are tired of negative campaigning.”
While Rosendahl is confident in his position as a university professor, Krisiloff, who is listed as an area planning commissioner on the ballot, begged to differ.
“He’s clearly not a professor, he’s a cable executive and he teaches part-time,” she argued. “I’d like to have him show the public what his job classification really is.”
According to Krisiloff, a university professor is someone who teaches full-time, has a Ph.D. and is on a tenure track at a university.
Edward Whetmore, dean of undergraduate studies at Cal State Dominguez Hills, said “distinguished visiting professor” is an honorary title and the university gave Rosendahl the title as part of his employment and based on his respected career.
“Someone of his caliber doesn’t come along every day,” Whetmore said. “We’re pleased to have that title bestowed upon him.”
Jamie Dote-Kwan, vice provost for academic affairs at Cal State Dominguez Hills, said professors have tenure-track positions at the university.
Adjunct faculty do not have tenure-track positions and are hired on a temporary basis, she said.
“Distinguished visiting professors” have no tenure at the university with visiting status, she said.
But Krisiloff said the visiting professor must be an actual professor before acquiring the title, which she alleges is not the case with Rosendahl.
“He was not even a professor before,” she said. “If he was, then he should produce the documentation.”
Rosendahl said he was given the title by the university out of respect for his work, and he supports his position, based on his experience.
“I stand on my character and my background,” he said. “I take running for office as a commitment to public service.”
Krisiloff said she filed the challenge Wednesday, November 10th, because of the Saturday, November 13th, deadline for candidate declaration.
Candidates have until Monday, December 13th, to drop out of the race.
Arleen Taylor, city elections chief, said the elections office received the letter challenging the ballot listing and referred the matter to the city attorney’s office.
Krisiloff said she will take the challenge to court if Rosendahl’s title is not changed, because of the seriousness of the issue.
“It’s unfortunate she has stooped to such a low level at this early in the campaign,” Rosendahl said.