Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn, who was defeated for re-election yesterday, was unable to convince voters that his record in reducing crime and succeeding in other policy areas merited a second term. Nearly two-thirds of the respondents in a Los Angeles Times poll last month could think of nothing when asked to name his most important accomplishments.
Crime has fallen dramatically since Hahn tapped William J. Bratton to head the police department, the Times reports. Hahn expanded after-school programs, boosted funding for affordable housing and helped negotiate a deal with Sacramento to keep more tax revenue in Los Angeles. The mayor frequently blamed the media for missing those stories. His bid to raise the city sales tax to hire more police collapsed, in part, because few City Council members felt any loyalty to the mayor. The election winner, Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles’s first Latino mayor, has pledged to retain Bratton as chief.