Friday, March 22, 2013

Obama Staffers Quit Wendy Greuel Campaign as Candidate Turns Right

Political wags in LA were shocked Friday evening when four key staffers for the Wendy Greuel for Mayor Campaign, top veterans of the well oiled Obama get out the vote machine, abruptly quit over a "change in direction."

This news is on the heels of the announcement that Greuel received the endorsement of former Republican Mayor Richard Riordan, who had supported Kevin James in the primary. Not only did Greuel announce Riordan's backing, but said he'd be her first hire to play a significant role in handling the City budget. This revelation caught union leaders by surprise, the vast majority who have supported Greuel including spending millions of dollars in members' dues for the City Controller's campaign for Mayor.

MayorSam favorite political consultant Parke "Parque Esqueleto" Skelton, who is not associated with any mayoral campaign this cycle was dumbfounded by the move, telling the LA Times, "To adopt a new field strategy two months out seems like a recipe for dysfunction to me."

As noted by Joseph Mailander, writing at CityWatch, LA's progressives and union leaders are dumbfounded by the Riordan role in the Greuel campaign and potential administration, given that the financier turned Mayor is seen as a "pension buster." For sure, many a text message and email must have come out of IBEW, SEIU and LA County Fed iPhone, tablets and laptops with the subject line "WTF?"

We'll know soon enough if Greuel's change of field succeeds in turning out the mostly conservative Kevin James voters from the West Valley that Greuel needs to have a chance against frontrunner, Councilman Eric Garcetti. On the other hand it could fall flat should James announce for Garcetti and Wendy's campaign further alienates her most committed and loyal troops.