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L.A. Votes: Testy mayoral debate, new charges and ads

April 19, 2013|By Seema Mehta
  • Mayoral candidates Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel in a debate hosted by the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Assn. at Notre Dame High School.
Mayoral candidates Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel in a debate hosted by… (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles…)

Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti are to meet Friday night for a debate at Univision's studios, and political observers are eagerly wondering whether they will see a repeat of Wednesday’s faceoff before the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Assn., the testiest L.A. mayoral debate yet.

In that matchup, the rivals each charged that the other could not be trusted to oversee the city's Department of Water and Power.

On Thursday, Greuel, who has been painted by some as the candidate beholden to the DWP because of its union’s spending on her behalf during the mayoral primary, sought to counter that perception by accusing Garcetti of doing the union’s bidding during a contentious 2009 ballot measure campaign.

FULL COVERAGE: L.A.'s race for mayor

She highlighted an email exchange between Garcetti and several people, including Brian D’Arcy, the head of the DWP union backing Greuel.

Greuel’s message in recent weeks has been retooled, with the city controller going on the offensive against City Hall, telling audiences that the place is mired in mediocrity and needs to "return to a time of strong leadership." Yet a Times review of campaign records indicates that Greuel has publicly supported much of the current city political leadership.

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Greuel also released the first broadcast television ad of the mayoral runoff, a $700,000 buy that airs a 30-second spot featuring some of her most prominent endorsers -- basketball legend Magic Johnson, Sen. Barbara Boxer and former Mayor Richard Riordan. 

Meanwhile, a pro-Garcetti independent committee bought more than $400,000 in radio advertising, and the candidate’s campaign claimed that Greuel’s ad vastly overstates her resume. Garcetti also said that a negative website by Greuel is a personal attack and a sign that she is losing, and he defended his frequent absences from City Council meetings.

In other races, third-place finishers are weighing in on who ought to be the city’s next attorney, with Kevin James backing Carmen Trutanich and Greg Smith backing Mike Feuer.

Feuer also received the backing of activists working to reduce gun violence, including victims of the 1999 shooting at the North Valley Jewish Community Center. However, a Westside neighborhood activist who backs Trutanich filed an ethics complaint against Feuer’s campaign.

In the city controller race, Dennis Zine was endorsed by county Supervisor Gloria Molina.

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Comments, questions or tips on city elections? Tweet me at @LATSeema

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