Politics, government and public life for Southern California

LA mayors race: Eric Garcetti, Wendy Greuel remain virtually tied in fundraising

Piles of cash

Photo by 401K via Flickr Creative Commons

L.A. mayoral candidates Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel remain virtually tied in their ability to raise campaign dollars. Garcetti has raised $1.2 million since the March primary, while Greuel has collected $1.1 million.

Los Angeles Mayor race 2013Los Angeles mayoral candidates Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel have had a busy month picking up endorsements, but more than that, the two have been busy fundraising since the March 5 primary.

The Garcetti campaign raised $1.2 million in the past month. With the addition of matching funds, Garcetti has a total of $2 million cash on hand. The Greuel camp raised $1.1 million and received another $800,000 in matching funds. After expenses, the campaign has $1.4 million in cash, according to the Ethics Commission.

"While the DWP union will spend millions to buy this election for my opponent, my people-powered campaign relies on everyday Angelenos who want an independent mayor who will create jobs and solve problems," Garcetti said. 

RELATED: KPCC's LA mayoral endorsement tracker

The union that represents Department of Water and Power employees supports a PAC that spent $1.4 million to back Greuel and another $519,000 to oppose Garcetti in the primary. 

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Maven's Morning Coffee: mayoral candidates debate, UTLA votes "no confidence," Alex Padilla runs for secretary of state

Mayor Race - Eric Garcetti

Grant Slater/KPCC

Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti debated live on ABC 7 Thursday evening. It was the first debate since the March 5 primary.

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, public meetings and announcements you need to know to fuel up and tackle your day.

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Today is Friday, April 12, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:

Headlines

In their first runoff debate, Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti differed on a proposed $3 billion bond to repair LA's streets, reports KPCC. "There’s a lot of waste fraud and abuse out there. There are things that we could do differently before you go to the voters and ask them for more money," Greuel said.

A poll from ABC 7 finds Garcetti leading Greuel by nine points. "Last week there were two polls that showed us literally in a statistical dead heat. I'm working every day to talk to people across the city of Los Angeles," Greuel said.

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Garcetti, Greuel throw jabs in their first LA mayoral debate

Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti

Wendy Greuel Campaign/Eric Garcetti campaign

Los Angeles mayoral candidates, Controller Wendy Greuel (left) and City Councilman Eric Garcetti (right) met Thursday in their first debate.

Los Angeles Mayor race 2013In a relatively tame debate, Los Angeles City Councilman Eric Garcetti and City Controller Wendy Greuel engaged in light sparring more than heavy punching Thursday night at American Jewish University in L.A.

“I am not the chosen candidate of the downtown power brokers,” said Garcetti, referring to how Greuel has been  the beneficiary of nearly $3 million in spending by city labor unions. “That is a difference that allows me to be independent.”

Greuel said the support of both city labor unions and the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce demonstrates she can build coalitions.

“I am proud of the diverse support that I’ve had,” she said.

Both are city hall insiders and longtime Democrats, but they sought to dispel the widespread sentiment among voters that there is not a lot of difference between them.

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Education leaders divulge what they want from LA's next mayor

A student on his way to school walks pas

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa wants the leading mayoral candidates to lay out their education platforms. KPCC talked to three education leaders about what those platforms should include.

In his final State of the City address this week, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa challenged the candidates hoping to succeed him — Eric Garcetti and Wendy Gruel — to make education a priority.

Ever since, there’s been a lot of talk about what the next mayor of Los Angeles should do for public education. KPCC talked to three leaders in the education field about what they expect from the city’s next leader.

The mayor of Los Angeles doesn’t control the public school system or have any formal role in the Los Angeles Unified District. But, whoever is elected in May will have something that most stakeholders lack.

"Clearly, the mayor often has a platform that many folks that are involved in education do not have," said Elise Buik, president of the United Way of Greater Los Angeles. 

Buik wants the school district to replicate high-performance schools and transform low-performing schools more quickly.

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Evacuation: White powder scare blows through LA Mayor’s Office

Alice Walton/KPCC

L.A. City Hall after an evacuation when a staffer received a letter with white powder inside it, Thursday, April 11, 2013.

A staffer for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa opened a letter Thursday that had white power inside. The front hall of the Mayor's Office was evacuated and closed off.

The male staffer who opened the letter is now stuck in the men's room, which is blocked off with yellow tape. He went to wash his hands, but was quarantined because a hazardous materials team thinks he could have been contaminated.

Others at City Hall seemed to think it was unlikely to turn out to be something dangerous, with people in the rotunda making jokes.

Mayor's spokesman Peter Sanders says the letter was opened at about 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

He says police and firefighters responded and 12 employees have evacuated. They remained outside waiting to return about an hour later.

Sanders says the mayor was in the office when the letter was received, but left for a meeting.

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