In the rough and tumble of American politics, it has become a sad tradition that the closer we get to Election Day, the more charges and countercharges fly among the candidates vying for political power.
Although there is strong evidence that the electorate is fast growing tired of "in your face" negative campaigning, the race for the Los Angeles mayor's office is shaping up to be just that.
That this is happening in the race for mayor is particularly disturbing and destructive. The current City Charter provides for a strong City Council/weak mayor system of government. As a result, the mayor's effectiveness rests largely on his or her ability to build coalitions and persuade others to action by the force of personality and ideas.
Whoever succeeds in being elected to succeed the long reign of Tom Bradley must work with the unsuccessful candidates, many of whom will continue to be elected officials and will have strong influences with large constituencies in this diverse city. It is for this reason that the mayoral candidates should stop their personal attacks and distracting rhetoric.
ROBERT M. HERTZBERG