As expected, the name of Carlos Vignali has surfaced in the mayoral race. But this time it came from Bernard Parks, who charged that Jim Hahn's TV spots about Vignali in 2001 amounted to a racist campaign against Antonio Villaraigosa. The controversial ads questioned Villaraigosa writing a letter to the White House on behalf of Vignali, a convicted drug seller whose father was a political supporter of Villaraigosa (and of Bob Hertzberg, who also wrote a letter.) The ads juxtaposed grainy photos of Villaraigosa with a crack cocaine pipe being held to a flame and and questioned if the candidate could be trusted. In Saturday's Times story, Hahn's side said there was nothing racial about the ad.
They're off: Spending limits in the mayor's race have been lifted, as the campaigns expected. Independent expenditures on Hahn's behalf by labor triggered the action.
Big Valley: The fight for mayor could be won or lost in the Valley, where 42% of the ballots were cast in the 2001 election. "The Valley was an essential element of winning citywide then, and it is more so now," political consultant Arnold Steinberg tells Patrick McGreevy in the Times.
Dinner with Villaraigosa: He tells Steve Lopez that his passion will be there when it counts and those who see less charisma than last time are "comparing spring training to the World Series." Villaraigosa went unrecognized at Kate Mantilini in Beverly Hills, where the waitress thought the mayor of L.A. is Arnold Schwarzenegger.
On the air: Alarcon hits TV with ads, and Parks begins showing his too—in movie theaters.
DN Hahn hit of the week: A wind farm that the mayor and DWP pushed with help from Fleishman-Hillard is two years behind schedule.
Night at the Getty: Cinemocracy attends the "Politics of Portraits" seminar at the Getty.
New bloggers: Martini Republic adds a pair.
SPJ goes amicus: The Society of Professional Journalists chapter in L.A. has lent its support to the Copley Press lawsuit in San Diego seeking access to a peace officer's disciplinary appeal hearing.