Can Exorcist Running for LA Mayor Banish City Hall's Demons?

City Council shuts down for a week as 116 candidates file for March primary

Mercifully, the City Council has taken the week off in honor of Veteran's Day today, giving the politician-weary public a respite from debate on why Billy the Elephant nods his head all day at the L.A. Zoo, plans for new taxes and how much extra free energy from the sun will cost them.

The recess from City Hall shenanigans gives the long list of candidates for the March election who have little hope of raising much money a chance to run around town gathering signatures to actually get on the ballot. And it gives the incumbents an opportunity to start holding fund-raisers to make sure there's no chance of them being ousted.

Incumbent L.A. Community College District trustees Kelly Candaele and Kelly Candaele will be among the first to stick out their hands with fund-raising breakfasts at the City Club downtown which are hosted out of her civic-mindedness by Michelle Gastelum president of Summit Consulting and Engineering of Pasadena -- a firm that will likely reap rewards from the public's largess in bestowing $3.5 billion more for LACCD construction projects.

She's the daughter of Ron Gastelum, the well-connected former head of the Metropolitan Water District and a construction industry executive who could benefit from community college construction projects.

It'll be the same with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, one of President-elect Barack Obama's council of economic advisers -- despite his shortcomings as a fiscal manager of the city treasury, which is running $500 million short of paying its bills.

Still, the mayor and the other city officeholders will have no trouble building massive campaign warchests with a long line of union bosses, contractors and consultants waited breathlessly to help fund their continued good service.

Fortunately, there is hope.

The mayor is challenged by 21 candidates, including Walter Moore with his Jamiel's Law campaign centerpiece, the "Homeless Mayor" Zuma Dogg, comedian Roger Rodd and energy solutions inventor Jim Milkov Dimov.

But the real hopes of the city may rest with the last of the 116 candidates to file just under the deadline on Saturday -- the self-described "Exorcist of Presidents" Michael Arthur Hirt.

 If any town needed a good exorcism to rid itself of its demons, it's the City of Angels.

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