Politics: Sad Sam

When he was seeking his first term in 1961, Los Angeles Mayor Sam Yorty insisted that "to ensure healthy democratic processes" and thwart any "self-interest group that feeds on continued control of city hall," eight years in the mayor's office should be the limit. That argument helped Sam to defeat a two-term incumbent. However, after eight years in city hall, he decided that they were scarcely sufficient after all.

The voters may well overrule him. In a mayoral primary last week, the flamboyant mayor polled only 26% of the vote. Yorty came in...

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