Los Angeles mayoral candidates Linda Griego and Michael Woo on Wednesday began running new TV ads focusing on the candidates' pledges to create jobs and ban handguns.
THE WOO AD: The 30-second spot opens with people on the street commenting about the state of the city. It shows Woo with his sleeves rolled up talking to workers in hard hats and, in another shot, talking to schoolchildren. A narrator says Woo is committed to "protecting our neighborhoods and getting deadly handguns off the street. . . . Mike Woo will work to keep our jobs here in L.A. because a safer L.A. is one with hope and opportunity for all of us."
THE ANALYSIS: The ad fails to tell a complete story. Woo has made a ban on "Saturday night specials" a centerpiece of his campaign. But it is the state Legislature, not the city, that has the power to ban handguns, according to the city attorney.
THE GRIEGO AD: The ad provides a biographical sketch of Griego. Featuring a snapshot of Griego climbing a telephone pole, a narrator says: "She worked her way through college counseling Vietnam vets. One of the first women to run a telephone line crew . . . the deputy mayor for economic development who helped save thousands of jobs." The ad notes that Griego is committed to cutting 1,000 bureaucrats, adding 1,000 police and banning handguns.
THE ANALYSIS: The picture of her climbing a telephone pole is an effort to establish an image of Griego--the only politically prominent woman among the 24 candidates--as a tough boss capable not only of supervising a largely male crew but also of running a city. She climbed the poles in her training to be a supervisor. The reference to her as "one of the first women to run a telephone line crew" is part of her effort to appeal to women voters. As for her claim to having "helped save thousands of jobs" as deputy mayor, Griego was among a group of officials who prevented the threatened closure of the Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo.