Politics

Campaign Weekend *

* Updated

All three dailies (Times, Daily News, Daily Breeze) top their Saturday campaign stories with Mayor Hahn's Friday attack on Antonio Villaraigosa that he's untrustworthy and pandered to voters in 2001. Hahn played tapes and showed blow ups of news stories to make a case that Villaraigosa told black voters he would support Bernard Parks as police chief and told white voters he thought Parks wasn't doing the job. Hahn also hit on Villaraigosa's vow in 2003 to serve his full term on the council rather than run again for mayor, but the Parks issue seemed to be his main message. Parks has yet to endorse in the runoff, and Hahn no doubt would like to blunt Villaraigosa's recent momentum among black politicians—while also planting seeds of doubt about Villaraigosa with voters everywhere. Villaraigosa responded Friday that Hahn's tactic was "the words and the acts of a very desperate man." In the Times, non-aligned Democratic strategist Darry Sragow said Hahn is doing what he must:

"When you are an incumbent in trouble ó and the mayor clearly is ó you have one strategy available, and that is to dice and slice your opponent," he said. "You fundamentally have to say, 'I may not be great, but my opponent is totally out of the question.' "

Referring to the 2004 presidential race and the 2002 California gubernatorial contest, Sragow added: "George Bush did it to John Kerry, Gray Davis did it to Bill Simon."

Also:
• Hahn harbor commissioner James Acevedo, a big factor in the mayor's 2001 campaign in the Valley, is involved in two partnerships that defaulted on city loans totaling $4.1 million. The loans were for housing projects that never were built, the Times reports. Acevedo is one of the commissioners subpoenaed to testify before grand juries investigating possible pay-to-play corruption.
• The Jewish Journal's Howard Blume argues that the Hahn campaign has bungled the outcry over forged endorsement signatures, "the classic scandal that didnít have to be." In the piece, Blume reports that Jewish community leaders now believe thirty signatures are bogus, a big jump, but the Journal has so far confirmed ten. Blume also notes that the press conference where Rabbi Steven Weil and others blasted Hahn was orchestrated by the Villaraigosa campaign.
• The Villaraigosa campaign on Friday emailed reporters a release titled "The Question for Jim Hahn: Just How Hypocritical Can You Get?" It then showed up verbatim as an item from "Chief Parker" on the Mayor Sam anony-blog without mention of the source. *Update: As of 3 p.m. Saturday, the item has been pulled along with a few dozen or so comments.
• Monday's debate at Cal State Northridge is sponsored by KNBC, Telemundo and the Daily News.


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