Mayoral Candidate Eric Garcetti Gets The Coveted Will Ferrell Endorsement
This mayoral election feels a little bit different. We're used to seeing celebrities shill for national politicians or calling attention to crises in far-off lands, but they don't seem to pay heed to the less sexy issues in their backyard.
But this year's crop of mayoral candidates have enlisted an impressive string of celebrities, even if—like most endorsements—it doesn't affect the race all that much. Eric Garcetti, the piano-playing, break-dancing "cool guy," landed endorsements from Will Ferrell as well as Salma Hayek (in a silly English video and then a more serious Spanish video). Jimmy Kimmel, Moby and Amy Smart have also endorsed him and showed up at fundraisers. Wendy Greuel, a former exec at Dreamworks, has support from Tobey Maguire, Kate Hudson and Zooey Deschanel. Dick Van Dyke sponsored a fundraiser for Perry.
Hollywood has been opening their wallets for candidates, too. Actors, producers, directors and others members of the industry donated $746,000 directly to candidates, according to an analysis by the Los Angeles Times. Of that, $462,000 went to Garcetti and $226,000 to City Controller Wendy Greuel. Both are trying to reverse the job losses prompted by a tide of runaway TV and film production. But not all the money from Hollywood in this race is going directly to the candidates since this is the era of SuperPACs. Steven Spielberg and other power players have been donating to Working Californians, a SuperPAC that supports Greuel. Gary Sinise and screenwriter Dustin Lance Black have donated to the lone Republican Kevin James. (We're not sure about the other non-City Council candidate Emanuel Pleitez.)
But outside of Tinseltown, Greuel has racked up heavy-hitting supporters. The IBEW Local 18, the union that represents 90 percent of the workers at DWP, has endorsed and supported Greuel (to understand why this kind of support could actually be a liability, check out the Weekly's profile of Greuel's inside game). The Los Angeles Police Protective League, officer's union for the LAPD, has also offered its support to Greuel. The Los Angeles Daily News endorsed her in part because of her endorsements and because of her experience both inside and outside government.
The Los Angeles Times lamented the line-up of mayoral candidates but did endorse Garcetti, calling him the "obviously superior choice."
The mayoral primary is March 5, and the top two finishers will move on to the general election in May.