David Abel's Planning Report has decided to break with a 25-year tradition and endorse in the mayoral race. He's going with Eric Garcetti. There's an interview up on the report's site and it's going to press today for the print edition. Abel also sent to his list an explanation and a plea to take part in the election. His email in part:
My four questions to Eric related to: 1) his City Planning vision; 2) the fast-tracked but below the radar proposal moving through Council to merge Planning with Building and Safety; 3) his Transportation priorities; and 4) LA DWP - will he be positioned, by virtue of this campaign, to take a fresh look at what DWP must do to better respond to the challenges of climate change relating to both water use and power supply and conservation.
My reasons for moving from undecided to an endorsement of Eric for Mayor rest, in part, on my discomfort with remaining on the sideline in any LA City Mayor's contest - I've never done so. I do not wish to ever become a crotchety old baby-boomer who's consistently critical and overly concerned that the young folks aren't capable of leadership. We in LA City now have two experienced candidates who've stepped into the ring; given it their all; know the City and the issues well; and, most importantly, want to lead. Making a choice is now a voter's responsibility.
And in making my choice, I hope to prod many of my friends, who, like me, have remained uncommitted to date, to again engage in electoral politics and to vote. (I'm told privately that, to date, the number of absentee ballots returned is in the thousands... lower by far than is the norm.)
Frankly, I don't think any of us ought to expect the winner of this election to lead if he or she has no committed constituency willing to engage in the politics of governing in response to a Mayor's call. In other words, engaged voters are an elected Mayor's oxygen - as valuable or more than money.
Also in the mayoral race today, the Los Angeles Police Protective League has put another $850,000 into its independent campaign for Wendy Greuel. The league is now in for more than $1.43 million, says David Zahniser at the LA Times. It comes as Greuel has had to cut back on TV advertising as her fundraising lags.
Greuel and some of the her supporters also complained about phone calls to voters that are attacking her under the guise of conducting a poll. She accused Garcetti's campaign of being behind the push poll, but she apparently has no evidence of it.