Garcetti adds Kevin James to his endorsement list
By Kevin Roderick, April 2, 2013
Mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti has a 10 a.m. presser scheduled with
Kevin James, the former radio talk show host who came in third in the
March 5 city primary election. They are doing the deed outside the Van
Nuys city hall, officially the Valley Municipal Building, on Sylvan
Street. During the primary campaign, James was hard on both Garcetti and
rival Wendy Greuel, calling them insiders who were part of the problem
at the downtown City Hall. But now James tells the LA Times
that "I had to look at both of those candidates and decide which one is
best to lead the city forward for the next four years. I think the
opportunity for independence is greater with Eric.… The potential for
independence he shows in the future I think is significant because of
the way labor has lined up for his opponent in this race."
James said that although he doesn't agree with Garcetti on all the issues, Greuel has made moves since the primary that troubled him, such as announcing an endorsement by an SEIU chapter the morning after the election, as well as statements that the city failed to engage in collective bargaining in the decision to roll back retirement benefits for new hires.
He also said he was impressed by the economic revitalization that has occurred in Garcetti's district.
"If I had been able to pick those numbers apart, I would have done so," James said. "We fact-checked them on our own."
Greuel has received the bulk of the blue-chip endorsements since coming in second in the primary, including from former President Clinton, basketball legend Magic Johnson and the county Federation of Labor. But James' decision to back Garcetti puts the councilman in the enviable position of having the unanimous backing of all other major candidates who ran for mayor. James said he anticipated that Garcetti would have the three of them campaign together.Those other endorsers for Garcetti are Jan Perry and Emanuel Pleitez. So far, Garcetti's endorsements combined with the 33 percent of the vote he got represent about 70 percent of the votes cast.
A James campaign ad in the primary depicted both Garcetti and Greuel as shifty characters driving through the dark streets to bury a dead body on some hillside.