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Another Terrace Morning

There are two schools of thought regarding the Mayoral candidacy of Kevin James. One is that he starts out at five percent. The other is that he starts out at twenty-five percent.

Consider the first school: five percent. On the political spectrum, gay, Republican and proud is infrared, invisible to all but honeybees. There's no real organization. There's a young political director who's apprenticed on citywide campaigns but never run one himself. There are not one but several eight-hundred pound gorillas all over the political map, some declared and some not, but all of whom know the city better than James, and all of whom (except Caruso, who most now believe is not running) know city politics better.

But the other school for the higher achievers is just around the corner. It looks at people like Brad Smith and Walter Moore: disloyal opposition, vastly underfunded, mistake-prone...and still, by simply not being attached to City Hall, made their heir apparent opponents extremely nervous. The nervousness was recently compounded by the fact that while Mitch Englander got more votes than any standing City Councilmember in the last election--which says enough on its own--Brad Smith bagged almost half as many as Englander, with many missteps and a tenth of the cash on hand. And Moore did what he did in a cone of media silence all about his candidacy--much of it attributable to the cantankerousness of Moore himself.

No, there is nobody else like Kevin James in the race. He is far more likable than Moore and at minimum as likable as Smith (consider this: Smith was on James' radio show once, but James is on James's show every night). Like Moore, he begins the race as the pitchfork people's candidate, and figures to remain so throughout. That would appear to start him out parking closer to the second school than the first.

° ° ° °

Some community meeting that was, on the downtown stadium for the team to be named later. "In attendance were lobbyists, carpenters, land-use consultants and transit activists, among others." Everyone but community people, it sounds like.

Councilman Tom LaBonge was astonished yesterday to discover that LA doesn't really have 4 million residents on the books. Tom, relax, there are about 5 million here if you count the undocumented.

The Weekly picks up the story on one of UCLA Chancellor Gene Block's most expensive staff expenditures. Block's wife, a medical technologist, also became an "Associate to the Chancellor" some time ago.