I expected the biggest debate fireworks in the Northeast Los Angeles race between incumbent Jose Huizar and challenger Rudy Martinez. A couple weeks ago the two joined me on AirTalk, and it was clear there was no love lost between the men. However, they seemed like pals compared with Thursday morning’s debate between incumbent Bernard Parks and challenger Forescee Hogan-Rowles.
Parks and Hogan-Rowles are vying to represent an 8th District that faces many economic and quality of life challenges. However, the final note of the debate wasn’t about differing views on development or job creation. It ended with the candidates calling each other liars.
At the center of the differences between the two are their approaches to dealing with the city’s budget deficit. Parks has pushed for reducing the city’s workforce, citing the more than 90-percent of the budget that goes to workers. Hogan-Rowles thinks that there are other ways to cut the budget that would lessen the impact on workers. City unions have given nearly $500,000 to her campaign, hoping that her election would benefit city workers. Parks has support from budget hawks who see him as one of the few council-members willing to say “no” to the unions.