Hertzberg connects

I didn't see last night's TV coverage (if any), but the defection of four Jim Hahn commissioners got Bob Hertzberg's campaign for mayor the trifecta of local print coverage: stories on the front pages of today's Times, Daily News and Daily Breeze. It was the lead local story in the Breeze, and only the DN headline even mentioned Bernard Parks, who made his campaign official yesterday. The coordinated resignations of key Hahn fundraisers Lisa Specht and Doug Ring (and two other commissioners) and their switch to Hertzberg also was the teaser item on last night's "Which Way L.A.?" with Warren Olney on KCRW. The coverage helps the challenger in some important ways. It begins to elevate Hertzberg's low profile with Los Angeles voters, it signals to other high-level Hahn supporters that Hertzberg is a viable candidate they might want to get behind, and it adds to the image held by some that Hahn's star is in decline. The mayor made light of the defections, but they are the talk of local politics junkies. From the Breeze story:

For Hahn, a big worry now is that the trickle of departing supporters will become a flood, said Raphael Sonenshein, political science professor at California State University, Fullerton.

"If it's only a few people over the year, it will be forgotten pretty quickly," Sonenshein said. "The real question is if there's more to come. It's certainly not good news for the mayor."

Specht was a co-chair of Hahn's campaign for mayor last time around, and Ring has been a significant rainmaker for Hahn's campaign bankroll.

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