Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Richard Riordan joins Wendy Greuel campaign as economic adviser

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Los Angeles Mayor race 2013

Richard Riordan endorsed Kevin James in the L.A. mayoral primary, but now he's joining the Wendy Greuel campaign as an adviser on economic issues, her camp announced Wednesday.

In a statement, Greuel called Riordan “a force” in Los Angeles. He served as L.A.'s mayor from 1993 to 2001.

“Los Angeles, the city I love, is in a crisis – we need to bring business and labor together and I know Wendy Greuel is the right candidate for the job,” Riordan said.

Riordan had backed fellow Republican James in the non-partisan primary. At the time, Riordan called James “the only candidate capable of creating real pension reform for the city of Los Angeles.”

The former mayor attempted pension reform last year with a proposed charter amendment that would have moved new city employees to a 401(k)-style retirement system. Riordan dropped that proposal when he was unable to collect enough signatures to get the amendment qualified for the ballot.

This week, the Los Angeles Times and Daily News reported on confusion surrounding Greuel’s position on pension reform. On Tuesday, The Times reported that Greuel said she wanted to return to the bargaining table on pension reform approved last year by the Los Angeles City Council. But in today’s paper, the controller said she supports the pension reforms and wants to meet with labor leaders to avoid a lawsuit.

The city's largest and most powerful unions are backing Greuel. The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, which has also endorsed her, asked Greuel to clarify to clarify her stance on pension reform.

James, who finished third in the primary, has not yet endorsed Greuel or Eric Garcetti in the May 21 runoff.

Steven Soboroff, a businessman who served as a deputy mayor to Riordan, endorsed Garcetti on Wednesday.


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