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Marlboro Man Election Thread

Listen up, crooks...

Note: This post has been updated 5 times, last at 11:41 p.m., see below.

Ron Kaye smokes Marlboros, Marlboro Lights when the smog kicks up. He must have had a heady time last night, a Marlboro Man lighting up in a gale force, as the cycle that began in that hot box in the Valley last August--that wickedly promising, wildly sweltering Mayflower Club--began to come to closure. The gusts kicked up last night, even blowing power out across the town--power, Ron's favorite nemesis--and it seemed the winds of change might similarly come to City Hall at last.

As the wind died down to reveal another perfect day, as the polls close at last, we were hearing more and more that it is the Old Guard who is lovin' LA, &c., and LA's voting minority has opted yet again for...the status quo. We don't know yet for sure. We will in scant hours...

But even by the middle of this afternoon afternoon, consultants were spinning to me that "holding any Councilman to anything under 55% is a victory" and in a way it is. And in a way it is not, because alternative candidates representing 45% or less of XX% of all registered voters are a minority of a minority; Councilmembers are not representative, but if they aren't, then trailing candidates really aren't.

Everyone's next favorite analysis tactic is: blame media. Whatever happens. Me too, j'accuse. Yes, but...the Weekly put a candidate on its cover. Editors moderated candidate fora. The Times duly noted the UTLA shenanigans. The Daily News interviewed everyone. The happy hour memo famously ended up on the weekend news. And what has happened to the promise of information age and new media? We are fifteen years into that, and it turns out they're not so good at putting the necessary feet on the ground and getting people to the polls either. The status quo in the City aren't exactly social media giants...they are, in fact, largely technophobes, their touchtype bidding done by people who barely know them...

Either way, and whatever happens, make no mistake about it: though media won't much report it tomorrow, this election is Ron Kaye's, and pretty much his alone. He's often hitched to the wrong post and he's often wagging a finger with more contempt than caution. But he took a look at the City, did not like what he saw, and tried to do something about it. You? Offer him a light the next time you see him.

So here we go. Updates and comment as they come in.

UPDATE I: Eagle Rock, the most unscientifically polled community in this election. AOL Patch did it and now Simone Wilson and David Futch of the Weekly confess to spending a whole day (!) there. Verdict: nearly 50-50 Huizar/Martinez. This is Rudyville, so that's trouble for the challenger...and also consistent with earlier polling.

UPDATE II: Mail votes are in, and indeed looks like Cardenas--and maybe Parks--as we reported earlier, will be cutting it close. Others are fairly on target: All incumbents and Englander well over 50%. Huizar, LaBonge, Wesson over 60, Krekorian over 70. Incumbency = more money for mail campaign...numbers could go south for all. Rich Goodman looks good, man, if there's a runoff in Cardenas's district. Stephen Box with dismal mail performance, sets him about 3,000 votes behind LaBonge, way too many to make up.

UPDATE III: With 15% reporting in CD 14, Councilman Jose Huizar has only increased his lead, 63-36 over Rudy Martinez. Tomas O'Grady hit 25% on the money with 5% reporting, so he's done his part, but Box has faltered and things don't look good for him even catching O'Grady as the first precincts generally stayed constant with the mail-ins in 4. Only two precincts reporting in 8 and none yet in 12--stuck in traffic, I'm sure.

UPDATE IV: OK, 38% of CD 14 is in and Rudy Martinez has lost. Councilman Jose Huizar leads 66-34. Parks is looking headed for a runoff. O'Grady has picked up a little on LaBonge but Box still can't get it out of gear, or maybe that's a fixed gear thing he's got going. Cardenas now looks like he will avoid a runoff.

UPDATE V: With almost 40% of the vote in, O'Grady and Box need to gain 1,400 votes on LaBonge in aggregate in the last 60% to force O'Grady into a runoff. Box has run as weakly as O'Grady has run strong, so it's not going to happen. No runoff in CD 4. But Parks is right on the edge of a runoff. Englander is new Councilman in CD 12.