While the Los Angeles mayor's race hasn't been the most inspiring contest — frontrunners Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel have been so careful with what they say that the average voter probably has no idea what one of them will do if elected mayor — candidate Kevin James has been trying his best to rattle the cages. And to take down Greuel.
James, an openly gay Republican and former talk show host, seems to get a certain glee from giving Garcetti and Greuel a hard time at candidates' forums and debates, and a prime example of his hard-charging ways is “WendyWatch,” which blasts the current City Controller.
“We will be 'reminiscing,' so to speak, and helping Wendy remember the things she may have forgotten throughout the past few years as the City Controller; all on the taxpayer dime of course,” James campaign manager Jeff Corless wrote in one WendyWatch missive to supporters.
WendyWatch gets regular placement on the Mayor Sam's Sister City blog and was once a blog of its own. But that seemed to peter out after the post on December 25, 2012 — guess the James campaign wanted to go in a different direction.
There's also the WendyWatch twitter account, which mischievously tweeted on February 3, “Clueless in LA. Wendy has no idea about her false claim of $160 million in waste, fraud, and abuse. Pixie Dust.”
The James campaign probably spends quite a few late nights writing and giggling over the newest WendyWatch communique they plan to send out.
James is turning up the heat on Greuel since he needs to find a way to land in the top two for the March 5 primary, and then move forward to the May runoff. Garcetti has been ahead of Greuel, James, Councilwoman Jan Perry, and businessman Emanuel Pleitez in recent polls, with Greuel behind Garcetti. So she's the softest target.
In a statement to L.A. Weekly, James campaign manager Jeff Corless writes, “Wendy Greuel has been a city hall insider for twenty years. Angelenos cant expect the person who broke city hall, to fix it. Electing Wendy Greuel to yet another office, would be like designating the fox to guard the hen house.”
He then writes that “Wendy Greuel's career has been one political campaign right after another – when does she ever find time to do the people's work?”
Corless adds, “Greuel is the quintessential corrupt career politician.”
Greuel's campaign is probably annoyed to the tenth degree with James, but her camp declined to comment about Corless' statement.
Recently, candidate Emanuel Pleitez (pronounced “play-tez”), a 30-year-old Latino and technology executive who grew up on the tough streets of South Los Angeles and El Sereno, joined the fray, telling Garcetti and Greuel that the all-important Latino vote is “not for sale.”
The underdogs are clearly looking to stir things up. Will Garcetti and Greuel stray from their cautious scripts and lash back?
Contact Patrick Range McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org.