The Los Angeles city clerk Saturday, March 26th, reported official results of the Los Angeles City Council 11th District primary election held Tuesday, March 8th.
The council district has 152,007 registered voters, but only 27 percent of them voted in the 11th Council District primary.
Bill Rosendahl got 18,274 votes — 42.62 percent;
Flora Gil Krisiloff got 17,088 votes — 41.72 percent; and
Angela Reddock got 5,597 votes — 13.66 percent.
Only 1,186 votes separated Rosendahl and Krisiloff.
Rosendahl missed outright election in the primary by 2,206 votes. He needed 20,480 to have gained 50 percent plus one vote to avoid a runoff Tuesday, May 17th.
MEETING RICK TAYLOR — We finally met Krisiloff’s campaign consultant, Rick Taylor, last week.
We had expected the worst — an angry, mean-spirited, hatchet man whose fame has been fueled by his successful campaign hit pieces.
What we found instead was a real charmer.
Lunch with campaign consultant Rick Taylor was one of the most stimulating 90 minutes we’ve had in recent memory.
Rather than playing it close to the chest, Taylor opened up and shared his political experience, his political thoughts and even his personal life with us in wild abandonment.
Our chubby little fingers were writing as fast as they could as Taylor offered his thoughts on the pre-primary, the primary and now the pre-runoff segments of this Los Angeles City Council campaign.
Not shy to share the assets — and a few of the problems — facing his present client, we found ourselves in unusual agreement on much about the local council race, even though we have endorsed Taylor’s opponent.
We had written that Rosendahl and Krisiloff pretty much agree on the local issues and that their differences are based mostly on personal style.
Taylor generally agreed.
One specific we definitely did not agree upon is the expected runoff turnout in May.
As regular readers remember, we wrote a few weeks back that even fewer folks will vote in the runoff than voted in the primary.
Not so, says Taylor, who sees an even larger turnout on Tuesday, May 17th, than last month.
“The turnout is going to be a little more,” he claimed, adding that the turnout for the mayor’s runoff and for the Council District 11 runoff “will be better.”
And while one would expect him to say that his candidate will win, Taylor was even specific in sharing how she will defeat Rosendahl in the runoff.
“Flora is going to be out there more, going door to door,” he told us.
Taylor is also not shy in suggesting that he thinks Rosendahl has peaked.
“He got all those endorsements and he still couldn’t win” the primary, Taylor said.
Not bashful about promoting what he sees as his own successes, Taylor elaborated at some length about how Krisiloff — “this really unknown” community activist — had come from nowhere and almost defeated an opponent who was a cable TV star and had received the endorsement of almost everyone in the L.A. region.
Taylor concedes that while Rosendahl picked up about five percent more votes in Pacific Palisades than the Krisiloff camp had predicted, Krisiloff ran five percent above Taylor’s expectations in Westchester and in Rosendahl’s own community, Mar Vista.
“Bill did well in the Palisades. We won it, but not as well as I thought we should have,” Taylor admitted.
Taylor sees another reason for a larger turnout in the runoff.
“Voters have an obligation to vote and to know what these candidates have done in their communities.”
Krisiloff won the endorsement of the Los Angeles Times.
But Taylor admits he is even more pleased that she was endorsed by the L.A. Weekly.
Taylor told us that the way Krisiloff handled the editorial interview in the Weekly really is indicative of how Flora will handle herself on the L.A. City Council.
“She just looked at (the L.A. Weekly interviewers) and dared them to look at Rosendahl’s experience, Taylor said.
“She said, ‘Just look at how little he has accomplished in the local community and how much I have done in the community in the last 20 years,'” Taylor said, obviously pleased with the feistiness of his candidate.
Then Taylor started to ramble off the list of Krisiloff’s achievements — all the things we all heard during what seemed like an endless parade of campaign forums during the primary.
“The most unique thing about our campaign has been the grass-roots effort,” the consultant said. “Our grass roots is full of the youngest, brightest people.
“They did a masterful job. Many of them had never worked in a campaign before.”
We couldn’t let Taylor escape without asking him about his reputation as a nasty, negative creator of hit mail pieces.
He seemed genuinely stunned by such an up-front confrontation, but we have to believe that he’s heard such allegations before.
“We didn’t say anything in these campaigns that is not factual,” he replied.
“I run strong campaigns,” he admitted, in what must have been the understatement of the hour and a half we spent with him.
But Taylor thinks the primary really wasn’t as dirty as some critics have claimed and he doesn’t see a runoff campaign that will be dirty either.
As for his candidate, Taylor concluded:
“She is a fighter.”
CLASSES IN 1959 — The Westchester Woman’s Club has announced it will close its doors next week after operating the club for 50 years in Westchester.
The site is being sold to the the adjacent Westchester Family YMCA.
The Woman’s Club has provided fond memories for many during its five-decade run.
No one has more fond memories of the facility than Gus Siamis, who recalls the classes he taught there for fifth- and sixth-graders back in 1959.
The building was also home for the Westchester Coordinating Council, which Siamis says served as an open public forum for the community.
Siamis was an elementary education teacher back in 1959 when Hughes Aircraft Company, Space Technology Laboratories and Ramo-Wooldridge Division agreed to finance classes between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays for 20 students, who were required to interview for the open class slots.
Siamis’s class was called “The Science of Flight,” but he says it dealt with more than airplanes.
“A study of flight necessarily concerns the entire universe and its physical laws,” Siamis told the Westchester News-Advertiser back in July 1959.
Siamis’s class included construction of a wind tunnel and launching and tracking a weather balloon, as well as more formal classroom discussion on such subjects as the solar system, gravity and the properties of matter, the News-Advertiser told its readers.
The Westchester Citizen — which described itself as “Fair…Independent…Non-partisan” — wrote in May 1967 that Siamis’ “Science of Flight” course was now entering its tenth year. Some of the financial partners had changed. McCulloch Corporation, North American Rockwell and Garrett-Airesearch were then supporting the effort.
Also involved in the program was A. Scott Crossfield, a well-known X-15 test pilot and one-time Westchester resident.
Siamis is quite upset about the loss of the Woman’s Club facility.
“No Westchester non-profit organization has offered as much to the community for free as the Westchester Woman’s Club