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Tired of politics? You'd better get your second wind because local politicos descended on City Hall Monday to file the paperwork for the city wide election on March 8th.

Should be a noisy fight as 26 incumbents and challengers launch campaigns for Los Angeles mayor, eight City Council seats and a handful of other offices.

The Los Angeles Daily Breeze reported "the crowd of [mayoral] hopefuls included Mayor James Hahn and one of his opponents, former state Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg, who told reporters that city government is mired in a malaise and has "lost the greatness."

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The Los Angeles Times reported "Hahn and Hertzberg exchanged comments indirectly through the press Monday, but the mayor said he has still not decided whether to participate in a televised mayoral debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles on Dec. 2...when Hahn appeared at the clerk's office in the afternoon, he told reporters that there were several good reasons for Los Angeles voters to elect him to another four-year term, including improvements to the economy and tourism.

Hahn also noted that crime was down, including a 20% drop in homicides.

"We see more people coming back to Los Angeles, and the reason they are coming back is they know this is a safer city," Hahn said. "We have worked really hard to make this a safer city."

Addie Miller, Walter Moore and Mitchell Jackson also filed papers Monday to run for mayor, and State Sen. Richard Alarcon (D-Sun Valley) and City Councilmen Bernard C. Parks and Antonio Villaraigosa are expected to file papers later this week to challenge Hahn.

We like the LAVoice.org's take on the mayor's race: Bob Mack Reed's entry (sorry for the typo, Mack. bygones) for 11/9/04 includes "How to Be Mayor: Identifying L.A.'s Big Election Issues."

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Reed thinks candidates should focus on:
"Issue No. 1 - Jim Hahn: Barrel, fish, BANG. Sorry, but you can't leave the incumbent's performance off the table. He's been a lackluster, manipulative and generally aloof top exec who seems to be an engine for ethics troubles and disloyalty."

Education

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While Reed links affordable housing to the Other Jobs issue, we think affordable housing deserves its own spot on the issues list.

We'd also recommend dealing with city sidewalks, given the success ,of a pilot program in east San Fernando Valley, described in a 11/8/04 Daily News article, that splits the cost of sidewalk repair between the city and homeowner.