The mayor's race explained *

Robert Greene nails it in the LA Weekly:

It is high opera, a classic tale of ambition, betrayal, revenge and perhaps even a little lust and greed. It has to be. Otherwise, who would care about the campaign for mayor of Los Angeles?....

We in the news media tried to jump-start the campaign last week with a prime-time televised debate that we apparently agreed to call the very first of the year, even though it was not, and we insisted that it laid bare the issues facing the city, even though it didnít.

All the papers concurred that the coming election is crucial because it will determine the kind of city Los Angeles will become ó whether it will be a more abundant city, with opportunity for all, and with those hallmarks of the most highly evolved societies: humane care for the sick, dignity and respect for the aged, creative and caring education for our youth, and civic delight in cultural variety and artistic expression.

Just kidding about that last part. There has been very little discussion anywhere about what the mayor of Los Angeles does, what kind of changes the mayor can effect, and what our city will become.

He notes that the recent debate is archived at the Channel 36 website and that the true first debate from back in September can be heard at KPCC's website. In CityBeat, Dennis Romero—who also attended the debate—reports that the candidates are not yet talking about "the cityís most pressing topic," rapid growth.

Note: Yesterday's post about the Pasadena Weekly cover on Howard Blume has been updated with a fresh link and photo.

* 11:50 a.m. update: Mayor Hahn's office advises he won't be giving the State of the Valley speech at lunch today in Van Nuys after all. No immediate explanation was given.

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