Craig X Rubin: L.A. mayoral candidate

Since Mayor Villaraigosa called for expanding the police department by at least 1,000 officers, 694 have joined the force. Considering that crime continues to be down in Los Angeles, should the hiring go forward even in the face of dramatic budget shortfalls? Or should hiring stop or be slowed until more revenue is available?

In the mayor’s ad, he says “hiring” 1,000 new officers to give a false impression of having done it already. My opinion is clear: The city needs to end the federal consent decree and 400 officers that we are already paying for are suddenly free to do our city’s police work rather than paperwork for the federal government.

I think I would fire Chief Bratton. I want to know how much he was paid to do the mayor’s commercial. Did he film it on city time or his own? I think it might be hard to support or work with a police chief who thinks Villaraigosa is so great or had anything to do with the reduction of crime.

The LAPD labors under a federal consent decree that arose from years of officer misconduct and scandal. Police disciplinary hearings had historically been open for public review until courts recently ruled that they could be closed under state law. Sen. Gloria Romero has attempted to pass legislation that would reopen misconduct hearings. But police unions strongly oppose it. Do you believe the public has a right to know the names of officers who commit misconduct and the details of their misdeeds? If elected, would you campaign for re-opening police misconduct hearings?

I think the consent decree should have been done away with 10 years ago. There is such a thing as a Pitchess motion that allows defendants to examine police records already, but I am for all openness when it comes to government. Therefore, I am for all hearings, whether disciplinary or not, being open the public. The public, the people who pay the bills, have a right to know what is being done with their money.

Who deserves credit for the steady drop in Los Angeles crime -- the mayor, the police chief or someone else?

God deserves the credit for the drop in crime. I have been in L.A. more than the mayor and I prayed to God for a reduction in crime. God is always in the City of Angels too, much more than the mayor. So, therefore, I claim God is the one responsible for the drop in crime much more than the mayor.

To what extent is it appropriate for a mayor to control the local school district? How well managed was the attempt by the current mayor to make this happen?

The mayor has run the school district as he has run everything else in the city . . . into the ground. More than 40% of kids who start high school drop out. The schools are failing our kids and it is not the mayor’s job to run the school. It is the Board of Education’s job. The mayor wasted time and money trying to do a job that was not his. I will visit the schools and inspire children to reach for more. That is the job of a mayor to set an example. That is how I’ll help our schools without trying to take them over.

Mayor Villaraigosa set out to take over all Los Angeles public schools and now oversees a small percentage of them. Do you believe his efforts have been worthwhile? Do you believe it has made a difference in the way children are being educated?

No, I think he wasted time and money that should have been spent on the city. Yes, some children are now in charter schools. Some are good; some are bad just like the whole system. We need to find a way to keep our kids in school, giving them tools the they’ll need to make it in a global economy.