Councilman Eric Garcetti is leaving the 13th council district after three terms, and from the looks of things, he's quite popular there.
Garcetti has not endorsed a successor, but all the candidates seem eager to tout their affiliation with him. The latest example of this is a mailer from Matt Szabo (posted after the jump) which lauds Garcetti and argues that Szabo is best suited to follow in his footsteps.
The mailer prompted outrage from John Choi, one of the dozen contenders. Choi's campaign argued that Szabo was trying to mislead voters.
"It's just a cheap shot," said Mike Shimpock, Choi's consultant. "If the guy can't win on his own merits, he has to try to fool voters into thinking he has Garcetti's endorsement."
Shimpock said that Szabo's campaign should apologize and "retract" the mailer.
It's not clear how a campaign would withdraw a mailer once it's been sent (ask people to send it back to you?), but in any case the Szabo campaign has no intention of apologizing.
"I think they're crying because it's worked," said Eric Hacopian, Szabo's consultant. "Is there anywhere on there where we say we're endorsed by Eric Garcetti?"
There isn't, but Szabo sure seems to be endorsing Garcetti's record as a councilman. Garcetti's name appears four times on a two-sided mailer. It includes this quote from Szabo: "As deputy mayor, there was no councilmember I worked closer with than Eric Garcetti." Szabo also vows to "continue his progress."
Garcetti has not complained, and really, why would he? Must be flattering.