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TIPOFF CITY HALL FOLKS PADDLING AROUND IN A SEA OF ALPHABET SOUP.

Byline: RICK ORLOV

If you want to find your way around LACH, your best bet is to KISS and realize TTWWADI.

For those of us who speak English, that translates into Los Angeles City Hall, Keep It Short and Sweet because That's The Way We've Always Done It.

It is a bewildering maze of acronyms that is facing the City Council's newest members. One of its veterans - Councilman Hal Bernson - last week provided the six new members with a dictionary of acronyms developed by his staff over the years.

Called ``Alphabet Soup,'' the 47-page document lists the major acronyms used in local government to describe programs and agencies.

But even then, there can be confusion. AB, for instance, can stand for Absentee Ballot, Ad Hoc Budget Committee or Assembly Bill. And SOB at City Hall is the State Office Building.

Then there are the curious ones. FIFO stands for first in, first out. TCTC is too close to call and WIGO asks, What is going on? All of which leads some to wonder if there are just TMA - too many acronyms.

Sometimes, some people just seem to have more access. Particularly if you're a billionaire.

That apparently is the case for Eli Broad, who was very publicly (and financially) in the corner of former Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa in the recent mayor's race.

However, nothing deters someone like Broad, who has proved over the years that his determination can get things done. Witness the Disney Concert Hall, the Museum of Modern Art and the 2000 Democratic National Convention, among other things.

Broad held a lengthy meeting last week with Mayor James Hahn to discuss some of his concerns and projects involving downtown Los Angeles, in what the billionaire later described as a friendly discussion.

``I told him what (former President) Lyndon Johnson did after his first race for Congress,'' Broad said. ``Johnson called in all the people who had opposed him and told him they were allowed one mistake but never to let it happen again.''

Hahn also is involved in some other inside-City Hall fence mending.

Controller Laura Chick, who angered many Hahn supporters when she backed Villaraigosa, has started meeting with the mayor's top aides to find ways they can work together over the next four years.

Chick said she hopes they can put the election behind them and, for his part, Hahn - who also once served as controller - is said to have some ideas on how he and Chick can work together.

City Council President Alex Padilla is expected to announce committee assignments soon, possibly this week, and some major changes are expected.

In addition to rewarding allies, Padilla wants to deal with issues such as the new neighborhood councils, which he addressed when he beat out Councilwoman Ruth Galanter for the presidency two weeks ago.

He has met, sometimes several times, with council members to get their input and float ideas past them on ways to change the committees - either deleting some and adding new ones or changing their roles.

One idea he is said to have entails creating separate panels for Airports and the Harbor. That would allow him to keep Galanter in charge of doings at LAX - something she fiercely wants because it is in her district - and give new Councilwoman Janice Hahn control of the Harbor, which is in her district.

Such a move also helps alleviate potential opposition to his plans by not further angering Galanter.

Padilla did make a move last week which did not endear him to Galanter when he named himself chairman of the Rules and Elections Committee. Galanter had served as vice chairwoman - and was the sole member of the committee after the death of former Council President John Ferraro and the election of Laura Chick as controller.

While former Mayor Richard Riordan continues to insist he has not decided whether to run for governor next year, he is sure giving all the indications of a candidacy.

Consider that last week he issued a scathing statement on the state budget deadlock and a proposal to increase the sales tax by 0.25 percent - a move he said would hurt the poor and middle class the most.

Then Riordan made a series of telephone calls to members of the California GOP delegation in Washington, D.C., where the draft-Riordan movement began - all in the name of keeping them informed where he stands.

But if he thinks it will be easy to win the Republican nomination, his opponents have other thoughts in mind.

Secretary of State Bill Jones and millionaire businessman Bill Simon Jr. said they plan to remind the GOP faithful of Riordan's past support for Democrats - including Gov. Gray Davis.

Simon's campaign released a poll last week that showed declining support for Riordan after GOP voters were ``educated'' about Riordan's past contributions to Democrats, his opposition to Proposition 13 and his support for gay and abortion rights, as well as the Rampart Division corruption case.

``The results were startling even to us,'' Simon campaign manager Sal Russo said in a memo to reporters across the state. ``We expected voters to react negatively, but in each of the three questions, very large numbers of voters said they would be much less likely to vote for Riordan.''

All of which would make it difficult for Riordan to get beyond the primary election - and even more problematic in a general election without a strong GOP base.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jul 23, 2001
Words:910
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