Who celebrated Mayor Villaraigosa's birthday?

City Controller candidates Nick Patsaouras and Wendy Greuel have picked an odd issue to bicker over: who attended Mayor Villaraigosa's recent birthday party at the Santa Monica home of certified Friend-of-Antonio Keith Brackpool — and what it means. The LAT's David Zahniser has the blow by blow over who is or isn't more independent of the mayor. I'm more interested in Brackpool, a close confidant of the mayor's back to Villaraigosa's Sacramento days and the guy behind that scheme to extract and bank water near the Mojave Desert outpost of Cadiz. Brackpool employed Villaraigosa while he was briefly out of office and went along on the mayor's 2006 Asia trip. At the time Brackpool was involved in a relationship with a top Villaraigosa staffer. Zahniser has been covering him since the Daily Breeze days.

Also among the guests: Former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuņez, MTA board member Richard Katz, City Councilman Jack Weiss, public works Commissioner Cynthia Ruiz, Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, campaign strategist Ace Smith, MWD board member Jesus Quinonez, fundraiser Ari Swiller, labor chief Maria Elena Durazo.

Michael Hiltzik on Brackpool in 2006: "A walking illustration of how the generous bestowal of campaign donations and other largess can keep a man cozy with California politicians, even in the face of evidence that what he's selling may not be worth buying."

Also at City Hall: Weiss trotted out LAPD chief Bill Bratton's endorsement for City Attorney this morning, promoting criticism from rival Carmen Trutanich over Weiss's council attendance record.

More by Kevin Roderick:
Ralph Lawler of the Clippers and the age of Aquarius
Riding the Expo Line to USC 'just magical'
Last bastion of free parking? Loyola Marymount to charge students
Matt Kemp, Dodgers and Kings start big weekend the right way
LA Times writers revisit their '92 riots observations
Recent Villaraigosa stories on LA Observed:
Mayor walks out on Antonovich over 'gang-rape' quip
CicLAvia returns to the streets on Sunday
DNC chair does Villaraigosa no favors on KABC
Time jumps on the 'Antonio has revived' bandwagon
Villaraigosa sets sights 'beyond Los Angeles,' NYT observes

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