Campaign’s end. Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel are leaving no stone unturned as they engage in a last-minute scramble to sway undecided voters. The mayoral candidates were in constant motion yesterday, canvassing the city from Sherman Oaks and Westwood to East L.A. and San Pedro in a final push for votes.
Today, the campaigns turn their attention to mobilizing supporters to go to the polls. With low turnout expected, every vote could be important.
Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC, is anticipating that just 25 percent of eligible voters will cast ballots, which he calls “an embarrassing statement about the level of interest in this campaign.”
The mayor’s race has set a spending record for spending, with the candidates and their supporters burning through more than $33 million.
Whoever wins today will represent a breakthrough for city politics: Greuel is vying to become L.A.’s first female mayor. Garcetti would be the first L.A. mayor with Jewish ancestry. L.A. Daily News
Election info. In addition to the mayor’s race, L.A. voters will be casting ballots for city controller, city attorney and three city council districts. There’s also an election for a member of the school board and a trustee of the L.A. Community College District. Voters are also being asked to decide among three medical marijuana initiatives and a symbolic measure about campaign financing. The polls close at 8 this evening, with the first returns expected about half-an-hour later. L.A. City Clerk
Hospital strike. Medical workers at UCLA, U.C. Irvine, and other U.C. medical centers across the state walked off the job today in what’s expected to be a two-day strike. The union representing some 13,000 hospital pharmacists, nursing assistants, operating room scrubs and other health care workers is battling U.C. over staffing and pension issues. KTLA
Jail plan. Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky says L.A. County should tear down part of Men’s Central and Jail and build a new facility for inmates who are mentally ill or addicted to drugs. Yaroslavsky says his proposal would save money and give prisoners a better chance at rehabilitation. The county has been talking for more than a year about replacing the downtown jail, which is outdated and considered dangerous for inmates and jailers alike. Sheriff Lee Baca wants a major renovation of Men’s Central and the adjacent Twin Towers at cost of more than a billion dollars. L.A. Times
Left behind. California won’t seek a waiver of a federal law that requires that every student be proficient in math and English by 2014. The decision means that the state will once again fail to qualify for funds from the No Child Left Behind program. California’s bid for a waiver was rejected last year because of the state’s unwillingness to tie teacher evaluations to student test scores. L.A. Unified is part of a coalition of nine districts around the state seeking its own waiver in an attempt to get No Child Left Behind money. L.A. Daily News
Robbery plot. The FBI has arrested three men in connection with a bizarre East L.A. bank robbery. One of those in custody is the boyfriend of an assistant manager at the bank who told authorities that she was kidnapped, fitted with a bomb and forced to rob her own bank. Officials say there is not enough evidence to charge the assistant manager, but yesterday’s arrests make it clear that authorities aren’t buying her story. More than $500,000 was stolen. The money has not been recovered. ABC News