Campaign 2013

Riordan and Soboroff take (opposite) sides in the mayoral race

city-hall-from-lat.jpgFormer Los Angeles mayor Richard Riordan signed on today as an unpaid adviser to Wendy Greuel. She vowed he would be her first hire as mayor; Greuel's chief campaign consultant, John Shallman, previously did work for Riordan. The former mayor, you may recall, backed Austin Beutner's nascent mayoral candidacy and Riordan admitted last summer he was not impressed by the Greuel- and Garcetti-led field of candidates without Beutner. He also recently tried but failed to ignite a pension reform movement at the ballot.

The Riordan news came shortly after Eric Garcetti announced he was endorsed by Steven Soboroff, the former candidate for mayor (in 2001) and civic leader who most recently helped bring the space shuttle Endeavour to the California Science Center.

From the respective flackages, starting with Team Greuel:

Wendy Greuel is pleased to announce that Mayor Richard Riordan has agreed to join her team as a “Senior Adviser”. Riordan will offer advice on economic issues.

Riordan served as mayor of Los Angeles from 1993-2001. Riordan spearheaded the rebuilding of many parts of the city after the Northridge Earthquake, and he was a powerful force for the economy with the creation of the Alameda Corridor, Staples Center and Disney Hall.

During his tenure as Mayor, Riordan also improved public safety, adding police officers and cutting crime dramatically.

“Los Angeles, the city of I love, is in a crisis – we need to bring business and labor together and I know Wendy Greuel is the right candidate for the job,” said Mayor Richard Riordan.

“Mayor Riordan will be my first hire in my new administration, he has agreed to come work for me for only $1 a year. I’m honored to have the assistance of one of the few men who knows firsthand what it takes to do the job of mayor of Los Angeles,” said Greuel. “Mayor Riordan is a force in Los Angeles. As Mayor he lowered crime and pushed for reform in our local schools, and he has been a leading voice in talking about what our City must do to address its economic challenges.”

And now from Team Garcetti:

Los Angeles civic and business leader Steve Soboroff has endorsed Eric Garcetti for LA Mayor....

Soboroff, a Republican fiscal conservative and social progressive, was a mayoral candidate in 2001 after serving in Mayor Richard Riordan’s administration as a Senior Advisor and as President of the Recreation and Parks Commission and the Harbor Commission. After playing a major role in the creation of Staples Center and the Alameda Corridor, he recently acted as a Senior Advisor to the effort bringing the Space Shuttle Endeavour to the California Science Center, and is Chairman of the Committee of 18 for the 2013 Maccabiah World Games in Israel.

In 2001, Soboroff ran a strong mayoral primary campaign that won him more than 106,000 votes. He won the Valley and Westside, and carried Republicans and Decline to State voters. The LA Times Exit Poll also showed Soboroff won Jewish voters, and finished in second place among Asian voters.

A graduate of Taft High School, Soboroff taped a video message announcing his endorsement of Garcetti at Balboa Park in the Valley.

“My simple message to those good folks who voted for me: vote for Eric Garcetti!" said Soboroff. "He and I believe in using scarce budget dollars in a balanced approach, and not putting 'all the eggs in one basket,' but being independent enough to deal with priorities like traffic, parks, libraries, schools, trees and street repairs, on both sides of the hill. He has proven to be a job creator and problem solver for all LA residents. Eric has led his district to be number one in job growth, while reducing crime, tripling the number of parks and ensuring an after school program for every school. My experience in business, in City Hall and in our community convinces me that Eric will be a great mayor for Los Angeles that appeals to my generation as well as the younger and hipper generation."

“I’m honored to receive this powerful endorsement from Steve Soboroff,” said Garcetti. “Steve is simply one of the most respected leaders in Los Angeles, and I know he will make a big difference in my campaign.”

Here's an unrelated but somehow timely question. Are Riordan, or Soboroff — or both? — part of Austin Beutner's group that is attempting to acquire the Los Angeles Times from Tribune Company? Both have shown interest in solving the city's media issues before, and both have played nice with Beutner and the one partner we do know about, Eli Broad. I'm told there may be as many as six principals already committed to be part of the Times deal, which reportedly would lead to the paper be operated as a non-profit. The Broad and Beutner effort was the topic of my weekly KCRW conversation on Monday.

More by Kevin Roderick:
'In on merit' at USC
Read the memo: LA Times hires again
Read the memo: LA Times losing big on search traffic
Google taking over LA's deadest shopping mall
Gustavo Arellano, many others join LA Times staff
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'