Wendy Greuel's mayoral campaign has launched an attack on Eric Garcetti with direct mail targeted at the African-American and Latino communities. In two similar mailers, the Greuel campaign highlights Garcetti's endorsement from white Republican Kevin James, who finished third in the March 5 primary.
"He's an Obama hater!" the mailer says, highlighting some of James' more intemperate remarks about the president. "Say no to Eric Garcetti! He sold us out to win Republican votes!"
Only problem with that: Wendy Greuel also courted James' endorsement. And we have the texts that show just how eager the courtship was -- she even joked at one point "I am stalking u :)."
James, a former right-wing radio host, spent much of the primary attacking both Greuel and Garcetti as representatives of the corrupt City Hall establishment. But he was a hot property after the primary election, as both Greuel and Garcetti saw his endorsement as a key to getting Republican votes.
James met with both candidates before making his decision -- meeting five times with Greuel alone. And Greuel turned on the charm in an effort to win him over.
The day after the election, Greuel texted to James about setting up a meeting: "let me know what works today for you. Jake [Greuel's driver] will make sure I get to wherever we need to be.!"
A week later, on March 22, Greuel wrote to suggest times to talk. "I am all yours!" she wrote.
On March 25, Greuel wrote to thank James for yet another meeting, then asked if he had seen that she got President Bill Clinton's endorsement that day. James said he did.
Greuel: "U just never know until it really happens / I was still crossing my fingers on Saturday night. He is definitely appreciated by both dems and reps. Met a woman yesterday at palisades framers market (sic) who misses your presence in the race :). The palisades republicans!"
James replied that he still appreciates hearing from folks on the street.
"U are beloved - I hear it a lot" Greuel wrote back.
Greuel and James met for a final time on March 31. Their last exchange was to arrange dinner at Jerry's Deli in Studio City. The next day, James endorsed Garcetti, and the texts broke off.
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The Greuel mailers attack Garcetti for campaigning in the Valley "with his #1 supporter -- Republican Kevin James." The mailers describe James as a "divisive right-wing Republican talk radio host who compared President Obama to a Nazi sympathizer on national TV." The mailers aimed at Latinos fault James for calling illegal immigrants "illegal alien thug gang members." The mailers that appear to be targeted to the black community cite James' remarks disparaging affirmative action.
Asked what it was like to have been so assiduously courted by Greuel, and then slammed once he backed Garcetti, James said, "This latest stunt by Wendy Greuel further demonstrates the desperation, dishonesty and hypocrisy on which her campaign is based."
John Shallman, Greuel's strategist shot back, saying that James' release of the text exchange is "pathetic and reveals absolutely nothing." Shallman also noted that Greuel criticized James' comments about President Obama during an early televised debate.
"Wendy would never have accepted Kevin James' endorsement without his unqualified apology for his racist and insensitive remarks," Shallman said.