Churches and politics

ComixBetween Hahn and Villaraigosa, I count thirteen campaign stops at Christian churches today, most of them in South L.A. Both are also working in an appearance (Hahn at 1:20, Villaraigosa at 2:45) during the Israeli Independence Festival in the Valley. Hahn's apparent goal all weekend is to press the "Villaraigosa can't be trusted" meme hoping it will swing white and black voters into the mayor's corner — or at least conjure up enough doubt that they stay home. So at 3 p.m. at Woodbridge Park in the Valley, Hahn will stage a news conference with mothers from Villaraigosa's council district, demanding yet again to know why he voted against that child killer bill. Villaraigosa, meanwhile, is acting like the confident winner. Engulfed by a clutch of supporters outside DuPar's at Farmers Market yesterday, he told one woman who congratulated him, "It has just begun. The easy part is getting elected. The hard part is leading." Curiously, his biggest cheerleader of the day was Melrose Larry Green, who carried a Villaraigosa sign through the market and kept announcing to tables of diners, "Here's Antonio, the next mayor!" Green didn't make the last campaign stop at a Beverly Hilton banquet alongside Bill Clinton, which was probably better: Green wrote a book called Why the Clintons Belong in Prison.

Sunday press:

• The main Times piece mixed in wrap-up of the race with some spot reporting, with a sidebar from the delis and other stops the candidates made on Saturday. Hahn's attacks on the trust issue, and Villaraigosa's dismissals, were featured. Also in the LAT, Steve Lopez goes cynical, Gregory Rodriguez says Villaraigosa's "ethnicity has shielded him from tough questions about his character," and "Jack Dunphy" — the conservative LAPD cop who writes undercover for National Review Online — is disappointed in Chief Bratton giving aid to the Hahn campaign.

• Mark Alan Stamaty's (perhaps final?) "Mayoral Campaign Comix" jumps across every page of Sunday Opinion, adds a new character in ex-DWP boss David Freeman, pokes fun at Hahn's ACLU attacks, scores Hahn's campaign performance the winner on points, then comes out as a converted Villaragosa cartoon: "If I were eligible to vote in L.A., I think I'd vote for Antonio to take a chance. Call Antonio's bluff, see what happens. It might be fun. It might work."

• The Daily News had Rick Orlov do a Sunday wrap-up, and runs an editorial saying Hahn is no moderate, but carries no coverage of the Saturday activity that I could find. No Daily Breeze coverage either.

• The Times plans to host an election night blog on its website, fed by "respected pundits, college journalists and a handful of cranks." It starts up when the polls close at 8 p.m. Tuesday, and at least one invitee has been told it will be "provocative" entries of 50-75 words.

• In the San Francisco Chronicle, James Sterngold reports that some experts believe the race has become closer and that "Villaraigosa still faces the challenge of energizing and holding his disparate supporters together." Says Bob Hertzberg: "I don't believe the polls. I am very concerned. There's not enough energy in the election." Hahn's man Kam Kuwata says, "With a very low turnout, you have a very manageable electorate."

• Channel 4 ran a piece Saturday by Doug Kriegel quoting Villaraigosa saying he would do away with the elephant exhibit at the Los Angeles Zoo. Hahn said he would keep it.

Unrandom notes: New York Times photographer Monica Almeida followed the candidates around on Saturday, for a future story...Pressed into campaign service Saturday was Times religion writer Larry Stammer, back after three weeks in Rome covering the new Pope. He's an old hand at politics, having covered Sacramento during the Reagan and Jerry Brown years...Council President Alex Padilla and Valley political consultant Richard Katz joined a gathering of Villaraigosa advisers at Art's Deli in Studio City on Saturday. Former Riordan chief of staff Robin Kramer wasn't there, but she is said to working already on transition stuff...After the Times' feature Saturday on Villaraigosa aide Nathan James and Hahn aide Jeff Millman, who often shadow the rivals' events, both got noticed. At Art's Deli, Millman tried to look inconspicuous but Villaraigosa came over to shake his hand: "You're a smart guy. We never get to talk." Millman acknowledged later, "He is very nice"...As TV cameras followed Villaraigosa greeting diners at Art's, "Desperate Housewives" actress Lesley Ann Warren scooted out of her booth just in time to hit the bathroom. Her friend stayed to be photographed...Channel 4 reporter Joel Grover was lunching with his mother as Villaraigosa came through Art's...At a later stop to throw out the first ball at a West L.A. Little League game, Villaraigosa was greeted by Councilman Jack Weiss, whose son plays on the Giants, and several politically connected parents...Villaraigosa plans to ride around the city on a chartered bus all day Monday, like he did in the primary, but this time without the press along. Too bad. Lost opportunity...City Controller Laura Chick is leaving after the election for ten days of Spanish language immersion in Oaxaca...Bob Hertzberg is planning a relaunch and major upgrade of his BigIdeas4LA website, linked to a nonprofit organization with an executive director yet to be hired.

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