Incumbent Los Angeles City Council member Paul Koretz is being slammed for his relationships with real estate developers as his the competition for his council seat heats up.
His opponent, attorney Jesse Creed, claimed Koretz accepted tens of thousands of dollars from real estate special interests and promoted a “pay-to-play culture.”
“Political money leads to bad developments that are not transit-oriented and…lead to a ton more traffic,” Beverly Grove resident Creed told the Los Angeles Times.
The fierce competition faced by Koretz is in stark contrast to his 2013 run, when he won 75 percent of the vote in his Westside-to-Encino district, Times reported.
Koretz defended his record, saying he stood up to special interest groups, including donors, by opposing projects such as Bel-Air mansions and the development of Playa Vista.
“If you look at the projects I’ve opposed, I’ve ticked off supporters. I’ve ticked off labor especially,” he told the Times.
Development has been a long-standing issue in Koretz’s district, which includes Beverly Crest, Cheviot Hills and Westwood. The district has some of the most organized NIMBY groups in the city.
Creed accused his opponent of being a follower, not a leader. After Creed publicly opposed developer Rick Caruso’s 20-story residential tower near Beverly Center, Koretz followed suit, rescinding his earlier support, Creed said.
If Koretz fails to secure more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two candidates will face off in a May 16 runoff, according to the Times. [LAT] — Subrina Hudson