Campaign 2013

Roundup: With two weeks to go, Garcetti gets more pointed


Monday night's debate in the mayoral race, televised on ABC 7 and hosted by the Pat Brown Institute of Public Affairs, featured a different script than previous debates, according to the reporters. With just two weeks until the ballots are counted, and a Survey USA poll showing a tight race between Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel for the runoff, Garcetti "disparaged rival Wendy Greuel’s record as city controller and mocked her campaign platform," said the LA Times.

Greuel declined to take a direct shot at Garcetti, the LAT said, but she pointed a finger at the City Council — her old place of business. “They can attack me,” she said of the council. “They can attack my numbers. They can attack my auditors. But the one thing they haven't done is attack the problem.”

"Garcetti’s aggressive posture in the Cal State L.A. debate reflects the increasing pressure he faces as Greuel reaps the benefits of more than $1 million in advertising by independent committees funded by public employee unions and other supporters," analyzed the LAT's Michael Finnegan and David Zahniser.

Dakota Smith at the Daily News saw it this way: "Candidate Eric Garcetti stepped up his attacks over union spending in the Los Angeles mayor's race, challenging chief rival Wendy Greuel over her independence at a debate Monday. In turn, Greuel's campaign launched a new Web page to rebuff criticisms over her relationship with the Department of the Water and Power union."

ABC 7 anchor Marc Brown moderated the debate. Here's the ABC 7 web story. Excerpt:

When asked how he would differ from current Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, James said he would transform City Hall into a transparent city entity, and expose corruption from the inside.

"Let's start with honest and open government, something that we haven't had in Los Angeles," he said.

Emanuel Pleitez said he would like to see the LAPD build a better relationship with the people of Los Angeles. He said that as a child living in the inner-city, he is familiar with the animosity that can be felt between the community and police.

"The culture of the LAPD needs to continue so they could actually be more partners with the community," he said.

And in the ongoing battle with legalizing medical marijuana in the city, Garcetti said he would rally the federal government to reclassify the drug as a controlled substance, so that those who need it medically can have regulated access to it.

"It's time to end the hypocrisy on marijuana," he said. "This is used as a legitimate medicine. It starts from the top, and I will be a voice with our federal government to make sure that happens."

Video watch

The Police Protective League started airing its independent Wendy Greuel ad this weekend. LA Weekly

Orange flag at best

The LA Times' Jack Dolan reported that when Greuel led the successful charge to prevent Home Depot from opening a new store in Sunland, she never mentioned that weeks earlier, "she had inherited a 50% interest in a competing business — her family's building supply store about nine miles from the proposed Home Depot."

"A scenario like that should have raised red flags," said state Fair Political Practices Commission attorney Zackery Morazzini, noting that state regulations require public officials to disclose potential conflicts and recuse themselves from votes that could have a "reasonably foreseeable" effect on their business.

Frontier Building Supply, which Greuel co-owns with her brother Wes, is nothing glamorous. It's a dusty, wholesale outlet within a stone's throw of two strip clubs in North Hollywood. It sells materials like concrete and dry wall, mostly to building contractors, said Wes Greuel, who runs the business....

[Wendy Greuel] declined to be interviewed but released a statement to The Times saying that her efforts were about "standing up against City Hall lobbyists and powerful special interests" on behalf of her constituents. She noted that there were already five Home Depots closer to her store. "To suggest there was a conflict of interest is ridiculous," she wrote.

Brian D'Arcy speaks

Times columnist Steve Lopez got an audience with the DWP union boss who is pumping money into an independent campaign for Greuel. Full column. Excerpt:

Feared, coveted, respected, reviled — union boss Brian D'Arcy is all those things. But he likes to pull strings from behind the curtains and generally doesn't stoop low enough to speak to pesky media folks. So I was more than a little surprised by the response when I asked to chat with the man who represents about 8,600 well-compensated employees of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

Sure, I was told. Come on over.

I haven't always been kind to D'Arcy's union, which has a contract so sweet I once advised job seekers to "run, don't walk," to the DWP and try to climb aboard the gravy train. So it was a little intimidating to have D'Arcy greet me Wednesday afternoon with four henchmen, one of whom handed me a hard hat. This was at the DWP training center in Sun Valley, where employees learn to work with high voltage and climb power poles, and I wondered if I'd be conducting the interview while dangling from power lines.

D'Arcy was making a point with his choice of meeting spots, namely that his members do such dangerous work that they deserve their high compensation.

Big spender

Los Angeles magazine runs a short Q&A with controller candidate Dennis Zine. A highlight:

What’s the last personal expense that you splurged on?

None. My city car is a ’05 Mountaineer—they don’t even make them anymore.

More Campaign 2013 media coverage

  • The Times looks at the Hollywood factor LAT
  • The Harold Simmons factor for Kevin James LAT
  • Battleground areas like the Westside, the Valley and Wilmington want the next mayor to improve their daily lives LAT
  • Tensions rise between Feuer and Trutanich LAT
  • Blunt Carmen Trutanich fights to keep city attorney's job DN
  • Veteran lawmakers are trying to slide into two vacant City Council seats in the Valley. LAT | Plus CD 9
  • Daily News endorses in five City Council races: incumbents Paul Koretz and Joe Buscaino, and veteran lawmaker Felipe Fuentes, but not Bob Blumenfield DN editorial
  • LAUSD board races draw more than $4 million in donations and national attention DN
  • Former Daily News editor Ron Kaye's broken record comes around to this: "Kevin James or Jan Perry would make better mayors of L.A. than Greuel or Garcetti." But he says he knows it won't happen. Ron Kaye LA

Recently at LA Observed

Poll: Garcetti slightly ahead of Greuel; sales tax measure losing badly
LA Times endorses Eric Garcetti for mayor; Riordan picks James
Frank McCourt gives $50,000 to Greuel PAC

Coming up

Greuel's big Hollywod fundraiser at Haim Saban's Beverly Hills estate is Wednesday.

Town Hall Los Angeles will host a debate with candidates for City Controller on Thursday at the Theater at AT&T Center in downtown Los Angeles. It's free to the public.

More by Kevin Roderick:
Standing up to Harvey Weinstein
The Media
LA Times gets a top editor with nothing but questions
LA Observed Notes: Harvey Weinstein stripped bare
LA Observed Notes: Photos of the homeless, photos that found homes
Recent Campaign 2013 stories on LA Observed:
Shallman and Carrick on 'Which Way, LA?' tonight
Greuel consultant blames the LA Times
Morning Buzz: Friday 5.24.13
Campaign 2013 photo gallery by Gary Leonard
Election post-mortem in quotes (some very pointed)
Losers in the mayoral race: Latino leaders?
Yaroslavsky: No regrets and some advice for the next mayor
Garcetti thanks Greuel and LA, says election was 'never for sale'


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