That the mayoral-endorsement carnival drew most of the media attention to City Hall last Wednesday was unfortunate in a way, because it drew attention from the last confrontation in a far more important city election. This being the one for city attorney.
More important because, while one can certainly argue that Villaraigosa is destiny’s tot, you can’t really maintain that Jim Hahn would be a bad mayor.
Those who attended the Central City Association (CCA) event caught what was, for practical purposes, the last pre-runoff debate between the two (there’s another on June 2, too late to matter much). If you’d hoped to catch the pair on TV, that’s too bad. Delgadillo won’t do televised debates, thus sparing most voters what critics of his previous campaign confrontations have called his “deer in the headlights” appearance when the tough questions arrive. But even at the CCA, which offered the business-friendly mayor’s deputy a friendly audience if ever there was one, Delgadillo found himself defending his debater’s shyness. Which is certainly a highly unusual attribute for an attorney running for public office.
Delgadillo maintained that “Rather than spend time debating Mike, I’ve been talking to real people.” Is implying that your opponent isn’t real a new campaign tactic? I don’t know. But from what I heard, Feuer looked more real than Delgadillo, even in front of a basically hostile audience (the moderator, Steven Weston of the law firm of Weston Benshoof Rochefort Rubalcava & MacCuish, had reportedly conducted a Delgadillo fund-raiser). Feuer contended that Delgadillo “is trying to hide his inexperience and lack of vision” by avoiding debates and media appearances. I’d prefer to think Delgadillo was simply shy about flaunting his forensic abilities.
Ironically, Delgadillo accused Feuer of being more interested in getting elected than in getting things done. Were this only true, the race wouldn’t be nearly as close. During the primary campaign, Feuer was busy with new gun-control measures and police reform. Apparently, the councilman figured his evening-news soundbites would offset Delgadillo’s TV ads and dubiously donated billboards. The close primary results suggest that Feuer guessed wrong.
But when Delgadillo bragged to his audience of bringing new jobs to the city, of helping poor neighborhoods prosper, of cutting red tape, he was talking like someone running for mayor. Feuer, for instance, when demanding adequate environmental review for the Taylor Yard project, which Delgadillo and the mayor proposed and the community opposed, focuses on the position he’s running for. He should win it.