Campaign 2014

Greuel's new team a little like the old team

Wendy Greuel meets the media in Van Nuys during 2013 mayoral campaign. LA Observed file photo.

Wendy Greuel went through her losing campaign for mayor last year (and her all of her previous winning campaigns, I believe) with Valley political strategist John Shallman as her chief consultant. That was then, this is now. Greuel will run for Congress this year with Ace Smith and Sean Clegg of SCN Strategies as her media and mail consultants. They have worked with Gov. Jerry Brown and helped get Antonio Villaraigosa elected mayor. Clegg, in fact, went to work for Villaraigosa in City Hall as deputy mayor for communications and strategy from 2006 to 2008. While it's a change for Greuel, Smith and Clegg are not strangers to her political ambitions or vice versa. During the 2013 race for mayor, Smith and Clegg were the consultants for Working Californians, a so-called independent expenditure committee that spent money from the DWP union, other labor sources and Hollywood to promote Greuel's candidacy for mayor — all officially without her team's input or coordination. Now they can officially plot strategy together. Smith and Clegg had advised mayoral candidate Austin Beutner when he was in the race.

Another key member of the new Greuel team is campaign manager Michael Trujillo, who also worked on Villaraigosa campaigns and on Greuel's mayoral race. Trujillo is currently a senior adviser to Ready for Hillary, the super PAC that is pushing Hillary Rodham Clinton for president. Trujillo was Clinton’s statewide field director in California, North Carolina and Texas in the 2008 presidential campaign. Smith too had worked for Clinton's campaign. Amy Levin, previously chief of staff to Obama confidante David Axelrod, will handle the polling, Roll Call says.

Just to make the 33rd congressional district race feel even more like last year's mayoral campaign, state Sen. Ted Lieu is being advised by Bill Carrick — the strategist behind Eric Garcetti's successful campaign for mayor. Lieu and Greuel are the main Democratic contenders to succeed Henry Waxman in Congress. Author Marianne Williamson and TV producer Brent Roske are running as independents. Los Angeles deputy district attorney Elan S. Carr says he is getting in, but Republican Bill Bloomfield is passing.

Clegg had been advising Greuel on a possible run for the county Board of Supervisors before she opted out of that race, then entered the race for Congress.

Shallman's firm, meanwhile, is running Robert Hertzberg's campaign for state Senate in the Valley and one of the sheriff candidates. After losing the mayoral race, Shallman complained that the LA Times favored Garcetti and never got the central messages of the Greuel campaign.

More by Kevin Roderick:
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