Bolstered by surging poll results and a steam of momentum, Hertzberg decided yesterday to call Hahn out on the carpet and challenged him to keep the race clean, or at least have the courage to make the attacks directly and not hide behind independent campaigns and the bulldogs of Carrick and Kawata.
From the Daily News:
"James Hahn has demonstrated a pattern and practice of going negative in each (of his) elections," Hertzberg said. "I think Los Angeles deserves better."From the Times:
On the campaign trail, Hertzberg challenged the mayor to run a clean campaign in the final days before the March 8 primary, as well as to ensure that no negative attacks are made independently on his behalf.
Hertzberg vowed to vigorously respond to any negative attacks, those that are false, engage in the politics of "personal destruction" or involve innuendo.
"I won't stand on the sidelines. I'll hit back as hard as I can in response," he said during a press conference at his campaign office.
Attacking Villaraigosa and Hertzberg in a City Hall interview last week, Hahn appeared to indicate potential lines of attack should he run negative television ads. He renewed criticism of Hertzberg, who was speaker during the state's energy crisis, for taking campaign money from power companies.
And he pounded Villaraigosa for backing legislation that favored campaign donors whom Hahn described as "payday loan companies" that charge "450% interest over the course of the year and put poor people in terrible situations."
But, Hahn said he had no plans to run negative ads, but added, "If I'm put in a position of having to respond, we'll respond."
More from the Times:
"I will be fair and honest with the people, but I will hit back just as hard as I possibly can in response to what he seeks to do," said Hertzberg.Any guesses as to who runs the "crack-pipe" ad first?
Hahn strategist Bill Carrick, citing a series of Hertzberg mailings attacking the mayor, called the challenge "disingenuous political doubletalk."
"As far as I'm concerned, Bob Hertzberg already started running a negative campaign, and for him to suggest now that he wants to call it off is deceitful," Carrick said.
(Also seen at LAist)