The Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association held their monthly meeting on Wednesday night and heard a speech from Bob Hertzberg. Before the speech, SOHA invited all the CD 2 candidates to meet and greet local voters.
Most of the candidates took them up on their offer. Because the candidates were freed from the normal structured forum/debate, it was an interesting opportunity to get to see them up close and personal and get in a few words with some of them. I had the opportunity to speak with many of them.
Joe Essavi talked about his name recognition in the area, and felt that it would help him get votes because he was a candidate who was fresh in voters minds from his recent run at the Community College Board of Trustees.
Frank Sheftel seemed very happy and pleased with how his campaign was going. He said more and more people are joining him every day. He mentioned he has a big event coming up on Sunday.
David "Zuma Dogg" Saltsburg was disappointed that this was not a regular forum, because he was looking forward to confronting Chris Essel and Tamar Galatzan over some issues. But Zuma Dogg seemed to be in good spirits. The last I saw of him, he was seated at one of the tables in the crowd, eating some food and chatting with CD 2 residents.
I tried to get in a word with Christine Essel, but she took off from the event fairly quickly. Maybe she was worried about the drive time over to Sunset/Doheny Estates.
Mary Benson discussed with me how she was using the internet to marshal her supporters. "All these blogs on the internet...it is really helping us candidates get out the word about our campaign", she said.
I decided to go over and introduce myself to Tamar Galatzan. I gave her my card and talked about the Mayor Sam blog. She acknowledged that she knew all about it. I told her that I have been a bit rough on her on the blog. "Yes, you have ..! " she replied, laughing a little bit.
We discussed a few details about things and Tamar scribbled a few quick notes on my card. A few things struck me about Tamar.... 1) She is very smart....and 2) She is competent. Very detail oriented.
Unfortunately, she is also a big-spending liberal...so I don't want her to win CD 2.
But I have to admit that I have begrudgingly started to respect this woman who I had originally labeled part of the "Axis of Evil". She seems to have the right temperament for politics. I suppose that of the "Big 3" that the forum moderators keep referring to...I would be least offended by her winning CD 2.
But, having said that...I still want her to lose. Anyone but the Big 3. Please.
I didn't get the chance to talk to Augusto Bisani, but I have one piece of advice for him.
Dude...button up the shirt. This is not 1978. You are not in a disco..you are running for political office.
On my way out of the event, I ran into Carmen "Nuch" Trutanich, the new City Attorney. If anyone is having a good year, it is Nuch. I patted him on the shoulder and said "Keep up the good work". Nuch was smiling, happy and confident at SOHA. It was his type of crowd, that's for sure. Nuch hasn't started going Michael Corleone on any of the corrupt politicians in City Hall yet...but I have a feeling that it might just be a matter of time. Things seem to be going his way.
One of the most interesting meetings of the night happened before I even arrived at the SOHA event. I was walking up the street towards the event and ran into Paul Krekorian, who was leaving the event early with one of his aides. I jokingly chastised him for leaving so early. He explained that he was leaving early because he had to get to another event. We chatted for under a minute, shook hands and he departed. In order to dispel a theory I had, I took a good whiff of the air around where we stood.
No burning smell. No odor of sulphur.
Nope. Paul Krekorian is just a normal politician.
He's not being guided by supernatural forces.
This is very good news for the other 9 candidates.
It means that Paul can be beaten.