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Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Villaraigosa Down In The Dumps?

AntonioPerhaps leading to Jim Hahn's recent full barrell assaults on Bob Hertzberg is the general feeling that Antonio Villaraigosa's campaign just isn't going anywhere. Many are saying that Antonio just doesn't have the fire in the belly he displayed four years ago. Seeing Hertzberg as his potential runoff opponent (given the lack of traction Richard Alarcon's and Bernie Parks' campaigns seem to have), the Mayor is now focusing on the former Speaker as the other former Speaker and current Councilman is slowly sinking.

Crowds are smaller, he's lost endorsements of four years ago and friends say he just isn't himself. He doesn't seem to have the same coalition of supporters he was able to cobble together four years ago.

Two articles lay this point out, one by Howard Fine in the LA Business Journal (which also indirectly explains why Mayor Sam calls the Councilman "Tony Villar") and another by Jessica Garrison in the LA Times. An interesting point that Fine makes is that fellow candidate Richard Alarcon displays the same passion as the Antonio of old.

There may still be time for Villaraigosa to fire up the base, but its possible the clock may have run out on his hoped for re-match with James Hahn.


Anonymous Anonymous said:

Antonio's Pledge

Pledge to the People of the 14th Councilmanic District.

If elected, I will serve the full 4-year term as your Councilmember and not run for the office of Mayor

Antonio's BROKEN Pledge

January 26, 2005 6:34 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Finally Mayor Sam. Thanks for the info

January 26, 2005 6:51 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Another sign of Villaraigosa's sinking popularity on his own turf is the number of volunteers who turned out for his birthday rally. Antonio's camp say 300 showed up so let's agree on 200 at the most. That's a very low number if Villaraigosa is telling the truth when he says over 6000 participated in his many Days of Service. Or has it been the same people turning time and again? Whatever way you look at it, Villaraigosa's support is waning! And, I understand, after a slow start the Recall people are suddenly getting a lot of support and major bucks .

January 26, 2005 7:27 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Why can't people see through this guy? He is an opportunistic arrogant little man who puts his own ambition and lust for power over all else. He stains all that is "noble" about public service, and this attitude goes back to his days as the illustrious Speaker. True, he did inspire once and I have only heard stories from mutual friends that he used to actually appear to really care about making a difference, but what you see today is what you get: a bitter, angry power hungry remnant of a man.

January 26, 2005 7:57 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


I think i need to repost this martini republic post:

Noam Levey is talking to some political consultants who are either innocently misreading Mayor Hahn's true political strategy or sinisterly misleading the worthy scribe.

But the face-off between Hahn and Hertzberg is becoming a more pronounced feature of the campaign and might be an indication of how the beleaguered mayor is plotting to keep his job.

Several political observers and other campaign strategists speculated this week that Hahn's advisors would rather be in a runoff with Villaraigosa than with Hertzberg.

Noam Levey, Los Angeles Times, "As Race Heats Up, Hahn Aims Some Heavy Fire at Hertzberg," 1/24/04

Reporting this much, Levey is doing his job, and even responsibly, I think. But some graying Nestor on the op-ed page, however, might like to read the entrails here, and divine the true purpose of the Hahn heat on Hertzberg.


FWIW, I see things upside down of nearly everyone quoted in the article. It's all poker.

Hahn wants to run against Hertzberg, which is why he's singling him out.

By drawing so much attention to him, Hahn is only elevating Hertzberg, of course. This is a primary, not the big dance. In the eyes of those who are determined not to vote for the Mayor, Hahn's railing is counterpoint to its true political intent. He's actually marginalizing Antonio as best he can among the candidates.


From Hahn's POV, there are two kinds of voters at this point: for Hahn, and against Hahn. They're running about 30-35% for Hahn and 65-70% against Hahn right now.

Hahn has great brand recognition. But people who vote in apparent primaries aren't into brands, they're into quality of goods. The smorgasbord here has something for every taste. Primary voters get to vote their passion, not merely for a lesser among evils.

By singling out the third place candidate, and elevating him as best he can--maybe even turning him into candidate number two--Hahn can more easily splinter votes away from a weakened, defeated Antonio later.

Hahn in the runoff will need:

1) all the people who vote for him in the primary; and
2) about 35%, maybe even less (!), of the people who don't vote for either him or the other runoff candidate in the primary. (The percentage of voters who figure to vote for neither Hahn or the other runoff candidate figures to be about 45%).

So the question for Hahn is not precisely "Who can I do better against right now?" It is more precisely, Which losing candidate, between Antonio and Hertzberg, is more likely to produce a lesser-of-two-evils, Hahn-tolerant vote farm?


Answer: it's a losing, disgruntled Antonio voter, not a losing, disgruntled Hertzberg voter.

Among Antonio voters, Hahn can pander to and persuade eastside and northwest and south-central Latinos far more easily than Hertzberg can. At worst for Hahn, they simply stay home. But Antonio is way better equipped to pander to losing Hertzberg Vals than he was to losing Soboroff Vals this time around. Not to forget: in 2001, losing primary candidate Soboroff won the Valley; then, Hahn gobbled up the most third place votes in the runoff).

Also: losing, liberal Hertzberg Vals will not stay home in the 2005 runoff, which makes them a bigger problem for Hahn this time, the way losing Antonio Latinos are likely to stay home should the runoff pit Hahn against Bob Hertzberg.


Four years ago, Hahn beat Antonio in (Soboroff's) Valley by 12% and thereby won the election.

Since 2001, however, secessionist parochialism, decreasing xenophobia, slightly increasing liberalism, and inherent moral rectitude (F-H scandal is bigger in the Valley, whose voters sneer at it as yet more evidence that those folk downtown are up to no good) in LA's most conservative quarter will all conspire to make the Valley less warm to Hizzoner this time around.

Antonio makes up 6 points or so? I think so. And I think this is what Hahn people fear most of all.

Forgive me. Back to the hammock.

MEAT: If i were the other top 3 candidates -- Hahn paralyzing the city with corruption vs stories saying your energy isnn't has high. I take the energy stories.

If i were Hertzberg do i want the Low rating in the polls vs high poll numbers with a lock in the run-off along with the low evergy stories. Give me the low energy option.

I hope everyone continues to blog about this -- its the best non-story story ever.

blog away dum-dums.

January 26, 2005 10:58 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Reports of Antonio's demise are way premature. A strong Latino vote, a divided Valley, a divided South LA, and an undertain West Side........may just be the beginning of his road to success.

Politics makes strange bedfellows. Some are committed to support or support early, but behind the voter's booth.....well, you know the rest.

As for Antonio's promise. How much better would his community be with him as Mayor and not just representing a small part of their community.

January 27, 2005 8:02 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

HEELLLOOOO Antonio's constituents don't want to see him in city hall. The fact is he hasn't done a damn thing for CD14. He's losing the Latino vote to Hahn and Alarcon. Boyle Heights has a group of Alarcon supporters that are strong. When your best friend Gloria Molina comes out and states in the LA Business Journal that Antonio's basically "lost it" what does that say? When your strongest endorers are supporting you this time round what does that say? MEAT keep ranting...it's only a matter of time before the RECALL group comes out stronger than ever.

January 27, 2005 9:22 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

oh no, antonio is in trouble! he only got 800 people to sign up to volunteer last saturday and overflowed the room at his last meet up! and he only got a majority of the vote against an incumbent lefty democratic mayor at the Democratic Central Committee!

name me one other mayoral campaign that can pull this off. one.

well, you can name one: Villaraigosa.

the question isn't whether antonio has momemtum, the question is whether hahn even makes the runoff.

Mike Shimpock

January 27, 2005 9:36 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Yeh, Villaraigosa got 800 people to sign up at a meeting attended by less than 300 - and that's according to some guy called MEAT posting on Villraigosa's own website! These Villaraigosa guys sure know how to....LIE.

January 27, 2005 9:51 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

He's also the only mayoral candidate being recalled.

January 27, 2005 10:09 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Antonio and his people are known to Exaggerate numbers. MEAT all of a sudden is backing down on that 80 new neighborhood watches and now says "a substantial increase." Fact: less than 15 new ones. Antonio states that over 1,000 communty members came out to help clean on a Saturay. Fact: Maybe 250 people. Antonio says hundreds of volunteers came out at mobilization event. Fact: maybe 200. Even the LA Times said it was less than 300. If he lies about these issues guess what else he lies about?

January 27, 2005 10:39 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Mayor Sam....Villaraigosa is not in the dumps. Sure, many of those who endorsed him the first go around are now endorsing people like Bob Hertzberg or Richard Alarcon. Well, these people should back those people especially if they are personal friends and political allies. Its the political thing to do. Maybe not the right thing, but the political thing. Almost every person who is endorsing a candidate this time around has promised to vigorously back Villaraigosa in the runoff. I talked to this long list of hugely prominent people myself. Sure it could be BS, but I will hold them to their word.

Now you are saying well we don't think Villaraigosa will make the runoff. Well the polls disagree. The people all over the City disagree. Bob Hertzberg will not make the runoff. Sure, he's a funny guy and gives great hugs, but that isn't enough to make the runoff. You just need enough to make the runoff. Villaraigosa has the name recognition and a base of support. It's just a matter of coasting into the runoff. But then again we will see what happens come March 8.

January 27, 2005 4:17 PM  

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