Today in the campaign *

James Hahn[* Updated after the "More" link below]

In today's LA Weekly, Civic Center reporter Robert Greene argues that even though most eligible Angelenos don't vote in races for mayor, the coming referendum on Jim Hahn's four years is important. The crucial unknown for Hahn is whether voters trust him anymore, says Greene. He also steps back from the news of the race with a synopsis of what faces each of the challengers:

So if the primary question for Hahn is "Can we trust you," there are two questions for Villaraigosa: Can you advance an agenda for Los Angeles that moves beyond the measures Hahn has taken that won him the endorsement of key labor unions that formerly backed you? And can we count on you, this time, to commit to a full term as mayor, after breaking your vow not to run?
For Parks, who continues to chide and to charm, voters will remind themselves that as police chief he opposed the LAPD consent decree and the shortened work week for officers, and railed against City Hall control over the police department. The question for him is, To what extent will you attempt to reverse the changes that have been made at the LAPD?

For Hertzberg, perhaps the top question at this point is, "Who are you?" Is he the Jewish candidate, the business candidate, the Valley candidate, the policy-wonk candidate? He may be all of that, or none of it, but he has yet to distinguish himself from the rest of the pack. And voters don’t always have a very long attention span.

Then there is Alarcón. Perhaps the best question for him is, "Are you for real?" He has excelled at the televised debates but has yet to be embraced by large numbers of backers with money and endorsements.

Nice new pic of the mayor in the Weekly by Debra DiPaolo, by the way. Also in today's campaign news:

   • Former Hahn aide and Fleishman-Hillard exec Matt Middlebrook draws fire for leading the campaign to put a police tax measure on the May ballot, from his new perch as Vice President, Government Relations for developer and LAPD commissioner Rick Caruso. (Daily News)

   • City Council president Alex Padilla floats his own plan for a police tax hike on the May ballot, using a legal wrinkle that he says means it can pass with a simple majority. (Times, Daily News)

   • The candidates gathered yesterday to suck up to the Valley. Hahn didn't show. (Daily News)

   • Mack Reed critiques Hahn's new website. (LA Voice.org)


   • Bernard Parks says he has dropped out-of-town consultants Carol Butler and Eric Jaye off the campaign payroll. Parks says they did their strategy piece and now it's time to redirect his cash into field operations. Political consultant Jewett Walker takes over running things day-to-day.

   • The League of Conservation Voters endorses Antonio Villaraigosa. They went for him last time too. Bob Hertzberg's spokesman follows with an email arguing that he's the one with the 100% voting record on conservation issues.

   • Minor candidate Ted Crisell can't get any press in L.A., but Rebecca Schoenkopf elaborates in the OC Weekly on his "crazy-like" behavior and past runs against Rep. Dana Rohrabacher.

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