Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Zimmer Irate Over Reform Coalition Attacks - LA School Report

Zimmer Irate Over Reform Coalition Attacks - LA School Report:

Zimmer Irate Over Reform Coalition Attacks

Zimmer, Villaraigosa, and Sullivan
It was perhaps no surprise that District 4 School Board member Steve Zimmer was visibly upset when he happened to run into Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s Deputy Mayor for Education, Joan Sullivan, at today’s United Way education event.
“RFK, Joan? Really?” said Zimmer as the two rode the escalator together. “That’s just wrong.”
“I don’t know what you want me to say, Steve,” responded Sullivan.
The exchange, followed by harsh remarks from Mayor Villaraigosa about Zimmer later in the day, reveals just how antagonistic things have gotten between City Hall and the District 4 incumbent who was once considered something of an ally.

The bad blood between District 4 Board Member Steve Zimmer and Mayor Villaraigosa’s allies goes back to 2009, when Zimmer was endorsed by Villaraigosa in his initial race for School Board as part of a cease-fire with UTLA. The two men even stumped together, as you can see from this 2009 Daily Bruin clip.
But then Zimmer failed to show sufficient support for Villaraigosa’s views about school reform once he was in office. Four years later, Villaraigosa’s Coalition for School Reform has spent over $900,000 supporting District 4 challenger Kate Anderson and opposing Zimmer – much of it in the form of  television ads and direct mail flyers attacking Zimmer for laying off teachers and approving the construction of the $500 million Robert Kennedy School.
In total, over $1.7 million has been spent by the Coalition, SEIU and UTLA on the District 4 race alone, with more than $550,000 of it going to negative ads.
In an interview with LA School Report during the United Way event, Zimmer called the Coalition for School Reform’s negative ad campaign against him “morally reprehensible.”
“There are very legitimate things to come after me about,” Zimmer told LA School Report. “Layoffs shouldn’t be