From May 31 through Nov. 10, 2002, Kevin Roderick monitored the media coverage and political machinations of that year’s campaign over secession of the Valley from Los Angeles. He posted his observations as Secession Watch at America’s Suburb.com. Those archives remain online in their original form at this link. To make the postings more easily searchable, they are also republished verbatim here. Links may be expired.
• L.A. Weekly’s Meyerson speaks for the progressive caucus: Boroughs make sense if we must do something, but with reservations.
• Jill Stewart, the vociferous New Times political columnist, goes looong blaming Hahn and city hall for whatever support secession has, and implies that the Valley — her home — seethes with pent-up ire. That’s a fact not yet in evidence, as the lawyers say, with only small crowds at secession meetings and a recent past of pathetic voter turnout even in elections with a chance to send a loud message downtown. Maybe she has her finger on a pulse that others can’t detect, but her case for the Valley as put-upon victim would be stronger if she used the rants of true believers as illumination rather than as offers of proof.
• Secession through The Economist prism ends with a smart tagline: “If the Valley does not leave L.A., it may yet lead it.” True, the only mayor from the Valley in 87 years was Studio City’s maverick Sam Yorty. But the Valley’s clout matters at the polls. Without its vote, L.A.’s mayor today would be Antonio Villaraigosa and the last one would have been Mike Woo, not Richard Riordan.
• Two ex-LAT staffers visit the old home town and contribute stories which may be, more than anything, justifications for a free trip to the Coast. Still, worth a look at how outsiders view the fight:
• New York Times takes its usual detached voice in looking at the Latino split over secession.
• Joel Kotkin of Pepperdine, a Valley inhabitant whose rightward-leaning views might incline toward secession if its purveyors were more impressive, warms to the borough alternative in an LAT Opinion offering.
• Tony Ortega in New Times takes off from the Shaw series and delves into the Times vs. Daily News competition. He smartly pronounces both papers wrought with their own impulses and biases.
Q-and-A with Daily News managing editor Ron Kaye in L.A. Planning Report
• David Shaw’s May 30-31 series in the L.A. Times on media treatment of secession and the rivalry between the Times and Daily News is no longer free online, but worth a read if you’re a secession junkie. [It’s back online, click the links below.] Shaw, who has his fans and detractors, is the Times’ Pulitzer-winning media writer-cum-critic and quotes honchos of both papers.
• The L.A. Weekly pans everything about secession in a trilogy of bemused-to-irked commentaries from over the hill: