CARY AT LARGE – I was a Wendy Greuel supporter for most of the campaign, before I grabbed a life preserver and jumped off the ship late in the primary season. Greuel could have won the mayor’s race. She has the chops, the experience, the force of personality. But her campaign never rose to the occasion, and it certainly didn’t lift us up and motivate voters (not even women in large numbers) to turn out. Here’s how Greuel beat herself in the race for mayor of Los Angeles.
- ● She wasted the opportunity provided by the long primary campaign to define herself. 3,792 debates later, the Greuel campaign still seemed largely a cipher. As a result, it was difficult for supporters to make the case for her candidacy beyond a personal argument, and she was nowhere near insulated from the attacks that would come later.
- ● She didn’t run on her record of making things work. As an example, I can’t recall a single commercial featuring her former constituents talking about how she improved their neighborhoods and their lives … and there are many who would have testified!
- ● She made disingenuous attacks and false claims. She dissed one of her opponents for votes on the City Council that she likely would have cast had she been in his position. And she made claims about her own accomplishments that didn’t stand up to scrutiny.
- ● She made misleading promises. 2,000 more police officers? When we have the money? If we ever have the money? Bizarre.
- ● She barely acknowledged the need for government reform. She let Kev-Jan steal that show, and with it the remaining reform-minded voters in L.A., whom she never recaptured.
- ● She forgot the most important part of the political equation. She was, by her own account, the “Business-Labor” candidate. That’s fine. But what about the rest of us? The people who live in the city. The people who rely on city services. The people who own small businesses not necessarily represented by a lobby. The people who vote.
The Greuel campaign, almost from the start, seemed not to be about us. And so it goes.
(Cary Brazeman, a contributor to CityWatch, is a former candidate for City Controller of Los Angeles, an at large representative on Mid City West Community Council, and founder of LA Neighbors United. He can be reached at [email protected].)
Vol 11 Issue 42
Pub: May 24, 2013