Pay no attention to the mis-captioned candidate pictures (the names for Rodriguez and Thomas were switched but have now been fixed) or or the hipster spelling of "yamaka" (I blame Hillel) or even the sloppy screenshot job of the original version of the captions (courtesy: me).
The real news is that incumbent LAUSD District 5 member (and charter target) Bennett Kayser announced that he was pulling out of two United Way-sponsored debates against challengers Thomas and Rodriguez. Why? No one knows exactly. But it may well be that United Way LA “isn't exactly neutral” as it has been in the past, says LA Weekly's Hillel Aron. Yep, that's right. United Way.
In LA and a few other places, United Way organizations aren't just gathering donations and providing services. They're joining or leading coalitions, conducting parent information initiatives, and -- unavoidably -- taking sides.
As one Kayser supporter put it (in the LA Weekly article), “Anybody who thinks the United Way [LA] has run even-handed candidate forums should look into buying land in Florida."