Friday Mixer: Did the Garcetti-Greuel debate disappoint?

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Mixer_575x200Los Angeles Mayoral candidates Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti took a few shots at each other, but kept their ABC7 encounter mostly friendly last night.

In our Friday Mixer, Gene Maddaus (LA Weekly) and David Zahniser (Los Angeles Times) recap the back and forth. And wonder why education wasn’t mentioned much given the Greuel campaign’s desire to get Garcetti to attend an impromptu debate the day before.

Outgoing Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa scolded both candidates earlier in the week for not talking enough about education. And Greuel quickly picked up that theme by challenging Garcetti to a one-on-one education forum at a school… with 2-hours notice. Garcetti’s campaign declined and called it a “political stunt,” and said it already had plans for a news conference with former primary candidates who had endorsed him.

We also tried to answer this question: did the optics of an empty podium across from a mayoral challenger hurt Garcetti? Or did it make Greuel look desparate?

There’s also this fact: United Teachers Los Angeles has endorsed Garcetti. The same teachers’ union that overwhelmingly gave Superintendent John Deasy a no confidence vote. Both mayoral candidates signed a petition supporting Deasy. Garcetti doing so late in the game, and just a few moments before debate time.

And now I’m curious. Does the fact that Garcetti has UTLA support diminish his ability to criticize Greuel for her union endorsements (SEIU, IBEW)?

That’s certainly debatable.