Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Latino leaders endorse Wendy Greuel for mayor of Los Angeles

Wendy Greuel

Greuel Campaign

Mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel announced a long list of endorsements from Latino leaders Monday, including many local politicians she would have to count on if elected.

To become the next mayor of Los Angeles, candidates must build coalitions and, to that end, Wendy Greuel announced Monday a slate of Latino leaders who back her run for the city's top job. 

The list is similar to a move made by Councilman Eric Garcetti, who is the only Latino in the mayor’s race. (He is of Mexican ancestry on his father’s side.) Several months ago, Garcetti released his own list of Latino supporters.

However, Greuel’s supporters include politicians whose votes she would likely need if elected. They include: current L.A. City Councilman Jose Huizar; Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes, who is running for city council; and LAUSD board member Nury Martinez, who will likely run for a council seat.

Also endorsing Greuel are: L.A. City Councilman Tony Cardenas, who is headed to Congress; State Sen. Alex Padilla, a former member of the city council; and Assemblyman-elect Raul Bocanegra.

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LA's mayoral candidates propose alternatives to sales tax increase

Mayoral Candidates

Photos courtesy of candidates' campaigns

The top mayoral candidates, Wendy Greuel, Kevin James, Jan Perry and Eric Garcetti, all oppose the proposed sales tax increase.

A final vote to place a half-cent sales tax on the City of Los Angeles’ spring ballot is scheduled for Tuesday, but the top mayoral candidates have already come out in opposition to the proposal.

The tax increase, backed by council President Herb Wesson, could bring in as much as $215 million a year. Mayoral candidates and current council members Eric Garcetti and Jan Perry voted no in last week's initial vote.

Fellow candidate Wendy Greuel, L.A.'s City Controller, is also opposed. So is attorney Kevin James, who calls the proposed tax shortsighted — with some pointed words about Wesson's argument that the tax would give officials "breathing room" to come up with long-term solutions.

“I can translate it for you in just a few words – kicking the can farther down the road. That’s what breathing room means,” James said of the proposal. 

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Eric Garcetti pulls ahead — slightly — in mayoral money race

Mayoral Candidates

Photos courtesy of candidates' campaigns

Candidates running to be Los Angeles' next mayor, in order from left to right: Wendy Greuel, Kevin James, Jan Perry and Eric Garcetti. Both Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti report $2.8 million in their latest campaign reports, according to the Ethics Commission.

Money just keeps rolling in for the 2013 race for mayor of Los Angeles, and it appears hopefuls Controller Wendy Greuel and Councilman Eric Garcetti are staying neck-and-neck when it comes to donations. 

In his quarterly campaign finance report, Garcetti reported $2.87 million – about $71,000 more than Greuel. Councilwoman Jan Perry reported $1.3 million, while attorney Kevin James had $275,000 and former aide to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Emanuel Pleitez, had $110,000.

Those figures are for the period ending Sept. 30. Of course, the question hanging over the race is whether billionaire developer Rick Caruso will run for mayor. Caruso has the power to significantly outspend whatever the declared candidates could raise from donors. (It costs an estimated $1.4 million to do a week’s worth of television ads in Los Angeles.) 

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Wendy Greuel backs Richard Alarcon's opponent in Assembly race

City Councilman Richard Alarcon

Andres Aguila/KPCC

L.A. City Councilman Richard Alarcon has had a rough week: first he was ordered to stand trial on voter fraud charges, and now a former council colleague has endorsed his opponent in a state Assembly race.

It hasn’t been a great week for Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon. First, a judge ordered him to stand trial on charges of perjury and voter fraud, and now comes word that his former council colleague, City Controller Wendy Greuel, is endorsing his opponent in the 39th Assembly District race.

Greuel announced Friday her endorsement of Raul Bocanegra. He's the chief of staff to Felipe Fuentes, who is leaving the 39th District to run for Alarcon’s seat on the L.A. City Council.

“Raul Bocanegra is a trusted Valley leader and a proven problem-solver,” Greuel said.  “We can count on Raul to work to protect our schools from budget cuts, secure tax incentives to help create jobs, and bring new economic development to the Valley." 

Alarcon and Greuel served together on the City Council when Greuel represented the Second District. According to a 2010 Los Angeles Times article, Alarcon at one time asked Greuel to move the boundary of her district so that his wife’s Sun Valley home could move into his Seventh District. Greuel declined.

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With Zev out, what happens to Caruso, Greuel and Garcetti?

Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky

Andres Aguila/KPCC

For two of the leading candidates in the race to be mayor of Los Angeles, Zev Yaroslavsky's decision not to run is seen as a win. Developer Rick Caruso, meanwhile, is still considering a run, though Yaroslavsky's decision isn't a factor, according to a source.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky's decision not to run for mayor may have been a win for two of the leading candidates, but for a billionaire sitting on the sidelines, the news seemed to have little effect.

Developer Rick Caruso is still "strongly considering" a run to succeed Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, according to a source close to Caruso. However, Yaroslavsky’s news, "really has no bearing."

"It's never been about that. It's been about whether he thinks it's the right thing to do."

The source told KPCC an increased number of folks have contacted Caruso since last Thursday's news, encouraging him to jump into the race. Austin Beutner had been the business community's favored candidate, but he left the race in May.

Yaroslavsky's early morning announcement was a starter pistol for Controller Wendy Greuel, who assembled a list of the supervisor's supporters almost immediately. Though some had already given money to Greuel, the controller said she now has public declarations of support. 

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