NY Times Slaps Hahn
From the NY Times:
Pete's Café and Bar is an upscale place on a decidedly downscale corner in downtown Los Angeles. It is only four blocks from City Hall, so Mayor James K. Hahn thought it would be a good place to meet one recent afternoon.
This could be the start of a great "guy walks into a bar" story, except it has no punch line. The mayor of the second-largest city in America entered Pete's with two bodyguards and a press aide, and nothing happened. No heads turned, no conversations stopped, no well-wishers or job seekers or gripers walked over to bend his ear.
The midafternoon crowd was fairly sparse, but for a mayor seeking re-election less than three weeks from now, it was not a good sign.
The NY Times on Hertzberg:
"If we had a mayor, I wouldn't be running," Mr. Hertzberg said. "The guy is just invisible."
Mr. Hertzberg, 50, is in many ways the opposite of Mr. Hahn. He is burly and gregarious, famous for hugging strangers. During an interview at Art's Deli in the Studio City neighborhood, he was repeatedly approached by customers and waitresses as he wolfed down a corned beef sandwich, a plate of new pickles and three unneeded cups of coffee.
"Everything in politics is personal," Mr. Hertzberg said. "It's all personal."
Many people, including aides to the mayor, characterize Mr. Parks's campaign as an act of political revenge.
"That's the farthest thing from the truth," Mr. Parks said in an interview at his headquarters. "This is about the mayor's inability to run this city. He has an answer for everything, but he doesn't have a solution for anything."
Mr. Villaraigosa, slender and impeccably dressed, complained over a cup of coffee at a Starbucks in the Little Tokyo district that Mr. Hahn had sunk to race-baiting in their last contest.
"I believe Jim Hahn will do and say anything to get re-elected, including his efforts to create a climate of fear," Mr. Villaraigosa said. "It will not work a second time. People know me now. I've been councilman for a year and a half."
Yet this is just what Mr. Hahn's main challengers, all Democrats, say Los Angeles lacks. His top rivals are Robert M. Hertzberg, a lawyer from the San Fernando Valley and a former speaker of the State Assembly; Bernard C. Parks, a member of the City Council and the former chief of the Police Department whom Mr. Hahn pushed out of office three years ago; and Antonio Villaraigosa, a city councilman and also a former speaker of the Assembly. Not a typo above re: Alarcon. They didn't even include him...(OUCH!)