For a campaign strategist, does Ace Smith get a lot of coverage or what? In the LAT over the weekend, the consultant for Antonio Villaraigosa's mayoral campaign — and before that for Steve Soboroff's — is profiled by Robin Abcarian as a key factor for Hillary Clinton in North Carolina. Smith, of course, has his fans and detractors in the piece:
Ben Austin, Democratic consultant: "He is one of the few balding, bespectacled guys who I wouldn't want to run into in a dark alley."
Kam Kuwata, who managed Jim Hahn's campaigns: "It's admirable if you can lie and get away with it."
Ken Khachigian, Republican strategist: "He'll be relentless and tough. He fits right in with the Clinton war machine."
Soboroff: "Ace is very mischievous, in a dark way."
Soboroff recalls that Smith once promised a scoop to a reporter who had annoyed him, inviting the scribe to a meeting. But when the reporter arrived, Smith closed an elevator door in the journalist's face and said "Oh no, it's too late." The story weirdly calls the Fleishman-Hillard scandal that the Times covered extensively during the last Villaraigosa-Hahn match "a minor billing scandal in the DWP." Its effect on the race was parsed a bit more in a profile of Smith last year in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Photo: Karen Tam / For the L.A. Times