The lucky, the losers – and the termed out

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2But for Delgadillo, defeated by Jerry Brown in his race for state attorney general, there are still three years left in his city term – plenty of time to look around at other offices or hope that a coalition of business and civic leaders decides to try to change term limits for local and state offices. A number of local officials are in the same boat, including Controller Laura Chick. She’ll be termed out in 2009 after rejecting pleas to run for various statewide jobs. George Kieffer, who chaired the Appointed Charter Reform Commission and was recently named president of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, said he has been working with the League of Women Voters on a proposal to extend limits by one term for local and state officials. “Two terms is just not long enough locally, and six years in the Assembly is too short a time for anyone to get anything done,” Kieffer said. “We are still studying it, but we realize that we have to act quickly if we are going to get something before voters to have any impact on our local elections.” Kieffer said the package could include ethics reforms in return for extended term limits. Councilman Alex Padilla was one of the lucky ones. City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo wasn’t. Both were facing term limits in their city jobs and looking to last week’s primary to help them move on to other elective posts. Now that Padilla has won the Democratic nomination for the 20th Senate seat, it’s a virtual certainty he will be elected in November because there is no Republican opponent and only token opposition from Libertarian Pamela Brown. One practical problem, however, is finding a politician to take on the issue without being accused of being self-serving. While Padilla won the Democratic nomination for the 20th Senate seat, it doesn’t mean he took any time off. Joking with Padilla the day after the election, one official asked, “So, you’ve just won your party’s nomination. What are you going to do now?” Padilla’s answer should have been that he was going to Disneyland – or, at least, political Disneyland. Padilla actually went to Washington, D.C., where he participated in a panel sponsored by the American Diabetes Association. After one of the most consistently negative campaigns for governor in California history, the problem for Steve Westly was that he remained too positive for too long. At least, that’s the view of his campaign consultant, Garry South. South told the Sacramento Bee that Westly, who lost the Democratic nomination to Treasurer Phil Angelides, failed to push his image beyond being a founder of eBay. “What Steve could not bring himself to understand was that though his story is somewhat more compelling than Angelides’, you can only get so far with positives,” South said. “You have to engage your opponent and you have to define.” The problem might have been more that Westly’s definition of himself was – for most voters – murky at best, so when he tried to shift the attention to Angelides he hadn’t set himself up as a good alternative. For one brief moment this past year, a little-known Republican thought he had stumbled upon the winning political lottery ticket. That was when Michael Tenenbaum filed to run against Rep. Elton Gallegly for the 24th House District seat in Ventura County – and was as surprised as everyone when Gallegly announced March 10 he was retiring after 10 terms because of an undisclosed illness. The political newsletter, Flash Report, has an article by Ventura County GOP Vice Chairman David Tennessen that recounts Tenenbaum’s flirtation with fame ended six days later, when Gallegly changed his mind and re-entered the race. Tenenbaum ran a vigorous campaign, Tennessen said, without any response from Gallegly. But the biggest problem for Tenenbaum was that promises of campaign donations disappeared and he was never able to raise enough money to challenge the incumbent. Gallegly still has not revealed anything about the illness that prompted him to consider retiring. ——— TIPOFF Rick Orlov is a Daily News staff writer. Write to him at P.O. Box 4200, Woodland Hills, CA 91365-4200 or by e-mail at [email protected] For details on Neighborhood Council meetings, see Page 5.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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