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Mayor Overreached Against Zimmer, Says Reformer

Alexander Russo | March 12, 2013

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Last week’s School Board primary outcome wasn’t a win or even a mixed result for Mayor Villaraigosa and his merry band of reformers, according to former state senator Gloria Romero. It was a big loss.

Romero has had public disagreements with Villaraigosa in the past, and she first made her negative assessment of the outcome in an LA Times piece last week.

Now, in a new Orange County Register commentary, the head of Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) – California writes, “The balance of power on the school board has shifted away from the mayor, who overreached, and from the broader reform community.”

Villaraigosa and the reform coalition weren’t the only parties at fault during the contentious primary, according to Romero:  “The union railed against ‘outside’ campaign money from millionaires – even as it solicited money from national labor political action committees.” But the Monica Garcia win was costly, and the claim that Steve Zimmer was a staunch reform opponent who would have voted to fire LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy was exaggerated, according to Romero. Zimmer supports the parent trigger as well as school turnaround efforts that a hard-line UTLA champion would have opposed.

“He was no one’s ‘yes man.’ That seemed to be the problem,” writes Romero. You can read the entire piece here.

DFER-California gave mixed grades to Zimmer in a pre-primary report card (which now seems to have been taken down), endorsed Garcia ahead of the primary, and called for supporters to give to her campaign — but neither formally endorsed Kate Anderson or Zimmer or contributed to the Coalition’s campaign fund.

According to Romero, the real question now isn’t who wins in District 6, but who becomes the next School Board president. It could be Zimmer, she says — echoing a notion floated in a recent commentary about Zimmer that you may recall reading a few weeks ago on this site.

Previous posts: Romero: The Real Power’s In Sacto; Analysis: Endorsements & Funding No GuaranteeZimmer Responds to Bloomberg, Gets Mixed GradesWhy Zimmer *Really* Switched Sides.

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