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No Choice on Assessor

The race for Los Angeles County assessor is between two men who lack qualifications for the job and have used campaign tactics that call the soundness of their judgment into question.

Former state Assemblyman Jim Keysor lists himself on the ballot as a deputy assessor. In fact, he was named several weeks ago to a part-time, voluntary job in the assessor’s office where he serves as an adviser to outgoing Assessor Alexander Pope. He got the position only because he is an old political ally of Pope’s, a fact that does not deter him from criticizing Pope’s performance in office, often quite harshly. Keysor is a successful businessman, and if he is elected, it will likely be a result of spending lots of his own money on the campaign.

John J. Lynch has been a deputy assessor for 14 years, and claims this qualifies him to run the entire department. In fact, he has never had management experience in the low-level job he holds. Just as troubling is the way Lynch got his candidate’s statement printed and mailed at county expense prior to the June primary election. He filed a claim for indigency, despite having a full-time job and a home. He has since agreed to reimburse the county for the cost of that statement, about $47,000. Despite being an attorney, Lynch insists he did not understand the indigency form when he signed it. Either he does not pay enough attention to detail or his comprehension of county procedures is poor.

We choose to endorse neither of them.

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