Greuel-Garcetti Absence Hurt... Perry? Looks Like It.By Ari L. Noonan @ 4:00 PM August 20, 2012
Second of three parts
Re “Mayor Kevin James? Mayor Emanuel Pleitez? For One Night.”
It happens every election cycle – dates for debates clash with dates for fundraisers or more attractive debates.
Certain heavily confident candidates take a pass on forums that seem less than sexy, sometimes, but not always, to their detriment.
This cyclical ritual is like precipitation at a picnic – complaints are filed by organizers of the shunned events but usually there is not a penalty.
No consequences devolve onto the absentees, especially if you are City Councilman Eric Garcetti or City Controller Wendy Greuel, inarguably two of the three top-tier candidates for Mayor of Los Angeles next March.
Both liberals, they said no, thanks, to blue-collar ethnics, Hispanics, whom the Left professes to care more about than their own families.
They blew off last Thursday’s mayoralty debate in Boyle Heights because of more attractive options. They picked a terrific time to snub a forum. The Los Angeles Times did not cover it. Therefore, for campaign purposes, it did not happen.
They Played Without Me?
With their profiles, they can pick the forums they will play in and ignore the rest.
The dust-blown setting in East Los Angeles could have been an outtake from a 1950s Western. The only part missing: wind-blown tumbleweeds crisscrossing the black and white screen.
No tumbleweeds were in view Thursday, but it was dusty around once-grand, church-like La Casa del Mexicano, a first landing place for Mexican immigrants in the middle of the last century.
Miles from a glamourous intersection, the destination was at the end of an undistinguished one-block street in the midst of a narrow-passageway blue-collar neighborhood,’
A passerby never could have guessed an important occasion loomed.
Instead of ascending the stairs to what may have been a spacious sanctuary, visitors were ushered into a darkened, ground-level, step-down room where perhaps 150 East Los Angeles residents, genuinely involved, not merely spectators, eventually would take in the program.
Sponsored by the community organization Ya Basta (Enough) and the East Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, the debate was worthy of a Coliseum audience.
It gave Kevin James and Emanuel Pleitez, second-rank contenders, a chance to showcase their gleaming skills, their considerable knowledge, political skills and thoughtfulness.
But here is the more interesting part of the Garcetti-Greuel blowoff:
It probably severely altered Councilmember Jan Perry’s attitude and performance – toward the downside.
As the third and final member of the front row of candidates, she should have drenched her opposition on this night.
Since her East Side profile already is questionable, she could have utilized this opening to stride like a giant through a land of people perceived to be knee-high to her.
Instead, she badly under-rated Mr. Pleitez and Mr. James, who shone like the favorite she is supposed to be. Her flippant, abbreviated, casual, stock answers made her seem as if she were double-parked.
At no time was her personality available to an audience that was as engaged as any she will encounter in the remaining six-plus months.
Likely, her showing will end up on an ash-pile of quickly dismissed campaign memories, if they are not there already.
The Greuel-Garcetti absence also provided a surprise opening for the most curious longshot in town, S. Deacon Alexander.
His story is tomorrow’s installment.
(To be continued)