Sunday, March 06, 2005


The race for LA's vote

With less that 48 hours before voters head to the polls, the candidates in LA's mayoral race are grabbing whatever they can.
Mayor James Hahn, locked in a neck-and-neck battle for re-election, kept up the verbal attacks on his chief political rivals Saturday as the Los Angeles mayoral campaign entered its final weekend.

Hahn reiterated allegations that his two competitors - former state Assembly Speakers Bob Hertzberg and Antonio Villaraigosa - mismanaged California's budget and energy crises when they were in the state Legislature. He also singled out Hertzberg's law practice for criticism, demanding to know who pays him.

At his campaign headquarters, Hahn led supporters in chanting for TV cameras: "Who are your clients?"

Hertzberg, who has said attorney-client confidentiality agreements prevent him from naming his clients, spent the morning greeting people over breakfast at former Mayor Richard Riordan's popular downtown restaurant. Then he headed off to a political event at a park on the city's south side, home to a largely minority population.

Villaraigosa, seeking to become the city's first Latino mayor in modern times, was traveling from one end of Los Angeles to the other as part of a 32-hour bus tour.

"I wanted them to see a mayor who's got the energy, the passion, the readiness to embrace every community," Villaraigosa, now a city councilman from Los Angeles' predominantly Latino east side, said during a stop in a largely white section of the San Fernando Valley.

Polls show Hahn, Hertzberg and Villaraigosa - all Democrats - leading the pack of 12 in the nonpartisan race that ends Tuesday.

With no one likely to get more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two finishers are expected to meet in a May 17 runoff.

This is what we refer to as "crunchtime," and I hope each and every one of these guys has the coffeepot on full-boil over the next 48 hours, because they'll all have to be out there hustling like there's no tomorrow. Strangely enough, I haven't read anything about Walter Moore, who only need 125,000 votes to pull ahead of the pack. At this moment in time, I'm still waiting for the Hahn Campaign to e-mail information to me so I can report it.

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