Hizzoner the CEO L.A.'s New Mayor Is a Manager in The Perot Mold

But can a Mr. Fix-It approach heal a divided city?

Richard Riordan has never met Ross Perot. His New York-edged voice sounds nothing like a Texas drawl. And where he resides, among the mansions of Brentwood, they think "clean out the barn" must be a line from a Beverly Hillbillies rerun. Still, when a deft Los Angeles Times cartoonist drew him with jug ears and labeled him "H. Ross Riordan," the subject of the caricature recalls with a smile, he was not only amused but flattered: "I felt I'd arrived."

Many citizens of Los Angeles felt as strongly last week that a Perot clone had arrived in city hall. Immediately after...

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