Thursday, February 14, 2013

Behind the Ad: Will Ferrell endorses Eric Garcetti for Los Angeles Mayor

By Richard K. Barry 

(Another installment in our extensive "Behind the Ad" series.) 

Eric Garcetti
Who: The Eric Garcetti mayoral campaign

Where: Los Angeles. 

What's going on: Haven't done one of these since November, but that doesn't mean that elections of one sort or another aren't always going on somewhere. In this case, actor and comedian Will Ferrell does a hilarious spot for Eric Garcetti, who is running for mayor of Los Angeles.

I don't know much about Garcetti other than that he's a member of Los Angeles City Council; he's a Democrat and he has a lot of friends in show business. He was an early Obama supporter and he declared his intention to run for mayor of L.A. on Sept. 8, 2011.

The election will be held on May 21, 2013. Incumbent mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is ineligible to run because of term limits. I see 15 candidates have so far declared their intention to run. Here's a fun little process issue

Municipal elections in California are officially non-partisan. A non-partisan primary will be held on March 5, 2013. If no candidate receives a majority of the primary votes to be elected outright, the top two finishers will advance to the May general election.

About the most striking thing I've found about the race is that voters in Los Angeles don't seem to come out and vote in municipal elections. Apparently, in the last truly competitive race, which was in 2005, only 28 percent of registered voters cast ballots. Four years later the number sunk to 17 percent.

Perhaps the point is that without a credible Republican Party, LA is really a one-party city and voters apparently don't care much about coming out to vote for Democratic candidates that look much like each other.

According to one assessment:

The current Democratic frontrunners -- City Controller Wendy Greuel, City Council members Eric Garcetti and Jan Perry -- all have similar viewpoints and stances, making it harder for voters to discern their differences, believes Joel Kotkin, a fellow at Chapman University in Orange.

Maybe that's why Garcetti is so anxious to have a bona fide Hollywood star stump for him. Or maybe they can all attract stars. It is L.A.

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