The consultants

Today's Sunday Opinion section in the Times offers little info boxes (with photos) on the records and reputations of the main political advisers in the race for mayor. Excerpts:

Bill Carrick (Hahn)
Nicknames: The Sunny Assassin, Big Time Bill.
The Book on Carrick: Good locally and nationally. Great for a front-runner candidate with money. Southern charm. Will play hardball.

Parke Skelton (Villaraigosa)
Nicknames: Passion Player, Mailman.
The Book on Skelton: Consultant most likely to lose sleep over going negative. Known for left-wing politics and for picking candidate he wants to win. Skilled at direct mail campaigning.

Richie Ross (Alarcon)
Nicknames: Pulpit Bully, Sacramento King.
The Book on Ross: Plays to win at any cost, both financially and ethically.

John Shallman (Hertzberg)
Nicknames: Valley Boy, Longshot John.
The Book on Shallman: Early on, earned reputation for taking and sometimes winning with longshots. Works out of Sherman Oaks, especially clued in to Valley zeitgeist. Ready to go negative.

Jewett L. Walker Jr. (Parks)
Nickname: South-Central Sage.
The Book on Walker: No consultant knows black L.A. better than Walker, but he may have trouble extending Parks' campaign beyond this base. Took over from higher-priced consultants who had trouble dealing with Parks family and whose salaries ate up too much in funds.

The capsules were freelanced by Howard Blume. In the California section, Steve Lopez hangs out with Jim Hahn at the columnist's favorite South L.A. barbershop. He's surprised the mayor (the only candidate to accept Lopez's invitation) fits in, but shouldn't be. Hahn has spent a lot more time with the folks in South L.A. than Lopez has. On the front page, Noam N. Levey dissects Hahn's record and finds the mayor perplexed that he doesn't get more credit: "I think about what I wanted to do. I wanted to make this a safer city. I wanted to build more housing. I wanted to have more after-school programs. I wanted government to reconnect with people. And I think we've accomplished those goals."

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