Hahn Caves, Will Debate
LA Mayor James Hahn has apparently resolved a "scheduling conflict" that aides said would have prevented him from participating in a Mayoral debate next week, clearing the way for all 5 major candidates to square off in the first rhetoric rumble of the campaign season.
Hahn had been taking a beating from his challengers over his initial refusal to debate, especially from Bob Hertzberg, the former Assembly Speaker who mounted a web-based petition drive to pressure Hizzoner to take up the gauntlet and face the competition (and the press).
It was a canny move by Hertzberg, who stood to win the battle of perception no matter what the Mayor ultimately decided to do. As it now stands, he has succeeded in forcing Hahn into taking on four aggressive and talented politicians at one time, all of whom are surely salivating at the chance to take turns teeing off on the out-gunned incumbent.
As for Hahn himself, his apparent flip-flop is yet another black eye in a week that saw serious revelations arise regarding overbilling of the DWP by a PR firm with which the Mayor is closely tied.
Certainly, this is not an opportune time for him to have to defend his record. He has, to quote that great American Desi Arnaz, "Some 'splaining to do." Howver, before his opponents become too cocksure, they would do well to note that, as the recent Presidential contest has shown, you can run on a dismal record, and win.