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James, Perry jump into 2013 Mayor's pool

Timing is everything...

The City may be shuttering swimming pools on Mondays this summer, but that didn't deter Councilwoman Jan Perry from jumping into the 2013 Mayoral pool this morning, along with talk radio host and AIDS Project LA vet Kevin James.

The present Mayor's office did everything it could to detract from the announcements, scheduling a hasty visit to an old switching station turned high school for the Mayor while the LAUSD extended its media availability from yesterday's Public Choice Initiative awards into this morning.

Perry touted her experience in bringing the City to record deficit numbers while James presented himself to an audience that included both DA Steve Cooley and jurisprudence antagonist David Berger, as well as Ron Kaye, David Hernandez, and "friends and important people from my past and present."

Sporting a basic baby-blue two-ply Oxford shirt and a very conservative navy-and-maroon repp tie, James's Clintonian declaration of candidacy echoed some of the late-night-into-the-wee-hours positioning that has made him one of the City's top assemblage artists of the fragments of discontent spread throughout insomniac Los Angeles. It's James's ability to dress down even while dressing up, affably standing alongside the public rather than cordoned off behind velvet ropes, and his folksy, Huell Howser-like persona, mixing it up with neighbor groups, that may give biological blueblood Austin Beutner fits should Beutner decide to run. We spotted James indulging all media, including Weekly scribe Gene Maddeus quite a bit--Beutner won't even talk to the Weekly, and it's hard to imagine the multimillionaire at a Rotary Club meeting.

James shares a lot with Howser, as a matter of fact, and I suppose we'll see how so in upcoming days as he continues to attempt to distinguish himself as a different kind of candidate.

LA Downtown News's Jon Regardie asked James how he intended to raise enough money to be competitive and James declared that he had "lower hundreds of thousands" pledged and was targeting the lofty figure of $3 million. The City Maven Alice Walton thought the James event was important enough that she opted to cover it herself, not even entrusting one of her half-dozen interns to the job.