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Mayoral Candidates Roll Over for the Vote

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As all the blogs are reporting today, Jessica Garrison's 1/10/05 Los Angeles Times piece, "Hahn Rivals Court Pet Lovers" informs us that the mayor's challengers sought animal advocates' endorsement last Sunday at the Citizens for Humane Los Angeles mayoral convention. Some see it as evidence of the activists' increasing political clout. Garrison wrote, "In a sign of the growing political influence that animal advocates wield in Los Angeles, the top challengers to Mayor James K. Hahn showed up Sunday to address people attired in animal-themed clothes in a bid to win their endorsement."Charlotte Laws, president of the League for Earth and Animal Protection (LEAP), posted an in-depth report of the meeting for LA, including this howler.

Villaraigosa was the second speaker, mentioning the 44,000 dogs and cats killed at city shelters each year. This number differs from statistics provided by the L.A. Times, as well as those offered by Daily News, and are different yet from numbers thrown out by city employee Regina Adams at a meeting I had with her and the General Manager of Animal Services (GM) Guerdon Stuckey a month ago. The true number of animal deaths in the shelters seems to be a carefully guarded secret. To the predominantly vegan/vegetarian room, Villaraigosa said, "It would be easy for me to speak to the crowd and throw red meat" – an awkward cliché prompting whispers in the house, but which was intended to convey his promise to speak in a forthright manner, rather than tell the audience what they wanted to hear.

Oh, that's rough!

Republican dark horse Walter Moore won the group's endorsement.

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In other mayoral endorsement news, Patrick McGreevy reports in his 1/10/2005 "Inside Politics" column for the Los Angeles Times that Antonio Villaraigosa failed to win an endorsement from the Los Angeles County Democratic Party after its candidate review committee failed to reach agreement Sunday on which candidate to recommend for endorsement in the race for mayor of Los Angeles.

The panel voted 11 to 8 for Villagraigosa, but the vote was short of the 60% support needed to make a recommendation to the 200 members of the party central committee. As a result, the central committee will consider an endorsement on Jan. 18 without a recommendation.