Sunday, May 19, 2013

Union money looms big in L.A. mayor's race

Quoted in this one in the LA Daily News.

In race with two pro-labor candidates, with similar backgrounds, the unions' power is noticeable, say political observers.
"The outside spending is changing the campaign narrative," said Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School. "It's changing the tenor and tone."

The flood of money concerns Levinson, who said the outside spending dilutes the "one vote, one voice" concept of the electoral process. The spending also shapes the conversation along the campaign trail, she believes.
A confusing County Fed-backed mailer promising a $15 wage if Greuel is elected forced both candidates to weigh in last week. And Greuel has spent months seeking to prove to voters that she'll be independent from the DWP, despite the union's spending.
At a recent debate in Sherman Oaks, the moderator intervened, asking the candidates to stop bickering about DWP, and move on to new topics.
Outside money "changes what issues they talk about," Levinson said. "It's not even the candidates' debate anymore."

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