Lookin' Like a $Million, Parks wins again; this time it's official
With his third and final term as the Representative for the Eighth District now in hand, Los Angeles City Councilmember Bernard C. Parks says his overwhelming victory, that saw him win 70 of the 94 precincts in his district despite a $1.2 million special interest smear campaign against him, has inspired him to, "stop holding back" when it comes to expressing himself on the various issues that come to the horseshoe. "I've never been afraid to let people know what I think," Parks says. "But, my campaign's success tells me that the community wants more of my straightforward style, and that's exactly what they'll get." Parks beat his closest challenger 51% to 43%; nearly a double-digit spread even though he was outspent three to one. In the final break down, L.A.'s three most powerful employee unions spent $149 of their union members' money per vote and about $50,000 of their dues for each of the few precincts his opponent won.Councilmember Parks is laying out plans for his third term. He will immediately seek a review of how city elections are conducted, with a particular look at whether they are susceptible to fraud. He said he was concerned that some residents in the district were allowed to vote who were not legal residents, while others had confusion about provisional ballots and may have voted twice.The three-term Councilmember will also continue his theme of fiscal responsibility as Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee. Although the city's public employee unions went all out to get him out of office, Parks says he's anxious to get reacquainted with them professionally. "During this campaign, I've had a lot of time to think about new and not-so new ways to save our city money and keep it out of bankruptcy," claimed Parks. "I look forward to working with our various union leadership to make these tough decisions." The money spent against Parks in this last election and in the 2008 L.A. County Supervisor's race now totals nearly $10 million. His ability to survive such an onslaught is a testament to his current standing in the community and to his indelible place in the city's history.Finally, Parks concluded, "This election has given us the opportunity to fulfill many of the promises as it relates to development of Marlton Square, Vermont-Manchester, Broadway-Manchester and deal with a number of issues of bringing fresh food to the community. And I think, for me, it's a great victory because the community saw through the attempt by special interests to buy their vote, and they rejected that outside influence, even though we were outspent three to four times more money. So we are just pleased to be in this situation to be able to provide service for another four years to the eighth district."