So far today—and it's still early!—the Hahn campaign has challenged Villaraigosa to stop hiding and debate, the Villaraigosa camp has responded by calling that "the ultimate act of chutzpah" and listed twelve debates the mayor skipped in the primary, and Villaraigosa's people have demanded an apology from Hahn, saying his strategist Bill Carrick "verbally assaulted a Villaraigosa campaign volunteer outside the Hahn for Mayor office on Wilshire Blvd. Carrick also destroyed a piece of Villaraigosa campaign property brought to illustrate Jim Hahn’s record of missing debates....[Campaign manager Ace Smith said] campaign volunteers on public property shouldn’t have to fear Hahn’s henchmen."
On the debate issue, Hahn re-issued his list of nine suggested meetings, saying "Let's quit playing games and give the voters a chance to see us face to face. Antonio Villaraigosa needs to cut through the sound bites and the ads and have a real discussion about his record, the issues, and his vision for our city." Villaraigosa's spokesman says they have agreed to four debates: Last night's at CSUN, April 9 sponsored by the L.A. Sentinel and KJLH, April 17 by KABC and the League of Women Voters, and April 23 by Univision and La Opinión.
Meanwhile, UCLA Law blogger Professor Bainbridge is a voice not previously heard from (by me) on the race. He was unimpressed by both men in last night's meet-up:
Listening to the Los Angeles Mayoral Debate this evening while driving home, I was reminded of my favorite line from Master and Commander:
Do you not know that in the service one must always choose the lesser of two weevils?
The problem is that I can't decide whether Antonio Villaraigosa or James Hahn is the lesser weevil. Jim Hahn has not exactly covered himself in glory during his 4 years as mayor (except for hiring Bill Bratton as police chief). Villaraigosa is a smarmy opportunist. Neither came across as very smart. Sigh.
So I'm still undecided. Indeed, as Henry Kissenger supposedly said of Saddam Hussein and Ayatollah Khomeini during the Iran-Iraw War:
It's a pity they can't both lose.