Friday Mixer: Mayor’s race enters the final-stretch run… OMG!

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The L.A. mayor’s race is entering the final-stretch run, with Monday being the final day to register  to vote in the May 21 election. In today’s mixer: union money, endorsements, and the dangers of texting.

Our panelists: Hillel Aron, a contributing writer to the LA Weekly, and Kate Linthicum from the Los Angeles Times.

So what happened this week? Candidates Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti, are trying to figure out how not to get hurt by a new report on the high salaries being paid to Los Angeles Department of Water and Power workers .

The Los Angeles Times reported this week that the average DWP employee earned $100,000 in 2011 – 50 percent more than all other city workers and 25 percent more than employees at comparable public utilities. Because Greuel’s campaign has taken so much money from the independent group funded by the DWP union, she appears the more vulnerable any public backlash.

The candidates are also in the precarious position of having to answer questions about city worker raises promised by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa that could push the city budget into the red.

Also this week, the dangers of texting while campaigning. After the Greuel camp made some negative comments about Kevin James, the former mayoral candidate released some texts that Greuel sent him shortly after the primary as she was trying to woo him for an endorsement.

Perhaps the most, um, notable the fawning texts sent by Greuel: “I’m stalking u :)”

James, a Republican whose potential sway over more conservative Valley voters is seen as crucial in this tight race, ended up giving Garcetti his endorsement.

John Shallman, chief strategist for the Greuel campaign, described James’ decision to go public with the personal messages as “pathetic.”

Is any of this sniping resonating in an election that does not seem to have captured the public’s imagination? Hard to say, although our two panelists seem to think few people are paying much attention. For those just waking up to the campaign, KCRW’s Warren Olney will host a live debate at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, May 7. We promise this will not be about texting.