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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Contradictory Campaign Messages in Los Angeles

It's one thing to target different messages to different segments of the electorate: candidates often stress pollution when communicating with environmentalists, taxes when talking to businesspeople, and so on. But it's something else to send contradictory messages. At The Los Angeles Times, James Rainey catchesmayoral candidate Jan Perry in a particularly blatant bit of inconsistency
The Los Angeles city councilwoman came out with a bulk-mail pitch Tuesday that shows her side by side with Mayor V. Both are grinning. The headline quotes Villaraigosa, in English and Spanish, saying: "Jan Perry would make a good mayor."
It doesn't say it's an endorsement, though a voter might read it that way. But that would be wrong because a) Villaraigosa has said he does not intend to endorse, at least in the March 5 primary and b) what he actually told NBC4 political reporter Conan Nolan was: "Eric Garcetti would make a good mayor. Jan Perry would make a good mayor. Wendy Greuel would make a good mayor."
Perry's mailer somehow neglected to mention the other two.
But the intrigue only begins there because Perry — who has been positioning herself as the truth teller among a gallery of panderers —sent quite a different message with a mailer a week ago. That one showed rival Wendy Greuel and Villaraigosa arm-in-arm. The headline: "Wendy Greuel: Brought to you by the same people who brought you Antonio Villaraigosa."
 The mailer attacking Greuel as a Villaraigosa toady appears to be aimed at conservative voters, many of them in the San Fernando Valley. A whiff of connection to the over-taxing, electric-rate-raising fools at City Hall lands like a stink bomb in those households.
The voters who contacted the Times about the Greuel-Villaraigosa hit piece live in the San Fernando Valley.
The Spanish-English mailer, meanwhile, clearly targeted Latino voters, who played a key role in 2005 in making Villaraigosa the city's first Latino mayor in modern times. Perry appears only too happy to snuggle up next to the mayor in front of that audience.