L.A. Clean Sweep may have started small and controversial, but after a rowdy few months of almost mainstream redevelopment scandal and municipal mud-slinging, the out-with-the-old "political action committee" has seen a few of its candidates break into the Los Angeles sunlight.
Here are the Clean Sweepers who may have a fighting chance on the city ballot tomorrow (scroll down for video):
In District 4, Stephen Box snagged the LA Daily News endorsement -- the major newspaper's only non-incumbent nod, unless you count Mitchell Englander in District 12 (which you shouldn't). And speaking of District 12, Brad Smith has gotten his fair share of solid press.
Then there's Rudy Martinez in District 14, a relatable teddy bear of a community dude with enough personal wealth to push back against incumbent Jose Huizar, and all the right political instincts to do so where it hurts. (Now there's a race that's been worth watching. See: "Jose Huizar Unfriends Rudy Martinez.")
Clean Sweep co-founder Ron Kaye, LA Daily News editor turned rampant cityblogger, tells the Weekly today: "It shows how the political dialogue in L.A. is changing when the major newspapers endorse grassroots candidates."
Earlier this morning, Kaye blasted this proud release:
With help from some last-minute support, LA Clean Sweep filled mail boxes and hit the airwaves on cable TV with 30-second spots in support of our slate of candidates who represent change at City Hall and hope for the city's future.
Thanks to Ziggy Kruse and Andre Campbell with Amending LA with voice overs by Kevin James for putting together this 30-second spot that is running all day Monday on CNN, Fox News and TNT.
And the video in question.
Turns out 30-second, non-prime-time spots on major news networks only cost up to $80 these days. (Which gives us intense urges to love-bomb "Divorce Court" with the cutest-little-girl-in-the-world video every day for the rest of our lives.)
Believe it or not, mailers and door hangers for endorsed candidates (and against their challengers) devoured the bulk of Clean Sweep's contributions, which Kaye says came mostly from "community leaders." Then an extra $5,000 showed up sometime in the last few days -- but "I haven't found out where that was from yet."
Overall, the group spent under $2,000 on the boob-tube stuff, and over $14,000 on the mailers, according to the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission. Knowing full well who their best bets were, it appears Kaye & Co. splurged fattest on propaganda for/against candidates in District 4 and District 14 -- even gave them prime-time TV slots. Ooh la la.
Here's their full list of endorsements:
District 2: No Endorsement
District 4: Stephen Box
District 6: Richard Goodman, David Barron, and Jamie Cordaro
District 8: Councilman Bernard Parks
District 10: Austin Dragon
District 12: Kelly Lord and Brad Smith
District 14: Rudy Martinez
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The only endorsement offered to an incumbent is in District 8, where Kaye says Bernard Parks is "far and away the most fiscally responsible [current] councilmember." Plus, he's the only incumbent who agreed to an interview. (Why does this not surprise us.)
"We're often faced with the lesser of two evils," says Kaye.
We hear you, man.