Former Mayor Richard Riordan has had a rough go of it in this year's mayoral campaign. First, he enthusiastically backed Austin Beutner, whose campaign fizzled on the launchpad.
Then, he threw his clout behind a former radio talk show host, Kevin James, who lost in the March 5 primary. (In between, he also had time to blow $800,000 of his own money on a failed pension reform initiative.)
Perhaps the third time will be the charm. Today, Riordan announced his support for Controller Wendy Greuel.
Greuel was sufficiently pleased to be Riordan's third choice for mayor that she offered him the position of “senior adviser” to her campaign. If she is elected, Greuel vowed to make Riordan, 82, her first hire, bringing him on for $1 a year.
“Los Angeles, the city I love, is in a crisis – we need to bring business and labor together and I know
Austin Beutner Kevin James Wendy Greuel is the right candidate for the job,” Riordan said.
Greuel said that Riordan would be offering advice on economic issues. Riordan's advice, lately, has been that the city will go bankrupt by 2017 if it doesn't address the looming pension crisis. He's been pushing for 401(k)s. Greuel's labor supporters, meanwhile, argue that the more modest pension reforms already in place go too far and are illegal. Greuel's own views on the topic remain a bit confusing — which is why the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce has invited her to come by Thursday to clarify things.
“Wendy Greuel is a strong supporter of pension reform,” said spokesman Dave Jacobson, “and while she didn't agree with the 401(k) plan, she was the only mayoral candidate who actually reached out to Mayor Riordan to try and bring labor to the table in an attempt to resolve the city's fiscal crisis.”
No luck yet on that front.
Staying on the theme of wealthy Republicans who have run for L.A. mayor, Steve Soboroff announced today that he is endorsing Greuel's opponent, Councilman Eric Garcetti. Soboroff, a real estate developer perhaps best known nowadays for his collection of typewriters, said in a statement that Garcetti would be “a great mayor for Los Angeles that appeals to my generation as well as the younger and hipper generation.”
Apparently nobody told him that hipsters love typewriters. Nothing to apologize for there.