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Expertise

It's quite a low bar, passing for an expert on Los Angeles politics. The LA Weekly offers six such prognosticators this week, inviting them to predict the future of the next Mayor's race. I suppose it should be duly noted that any true expert would be tempted not to respond to such a preposterous question at all.

When I looked at the piece at Kevin Roderick's prompting (I really can't bear to look at the Weekly anymore without prompting), I had to laugh. Wendy Greuel, number two, behind Zev? OK.

But rather than opine myself, I thought I'd ask Kevin James' consultant John Thomas about the expert poll in which James fared so poorly. Spoke to him yesterday and didn't need to tickle him very much.

"Hey, we were just pleased to be included," Thomas said. "Sure, a lot of them were biased; I mean [Beutner-backer Dick] Riordan is supporting a candidate and you're asking him? Riordan at minimum should have been excluded. We had to fight just to be included in the piece."

"These experts"--I think I heard irony in his voice, not sure--''for the most part are unaware and unfamiliar with Kevin. They don't know the loyalty and depth of the following, or that, like, half his show's listeners are Democrats. They don't know the Neighborhood Council side. I guarantee you Garry South has never been to a Neighborhood Council meeting in his life."

Well, that made me laugh. But Thomas was still tightly wound.

"The people who were surveyed don't value AIDS Project LA work. They don't know about his rape kit backlog advocacy. These people need to be educated and we have plenty of time to do that. We've got time to tell Kevin's story, and frankly I'm not concerned about refuting the Garry Souths of the world. What it did do is that it demonstrated that Kevin James is an outsider."

Now, we all know that a Patrick Range McDonald untethered from Jill Stewart's lust for quotes from any name still willing to talk to her publication could have done a better job than any one of the pack here. What puzzles is that in a city flush with violently bad news, the leading alt pub spends so much space in April 2011 over what might happen in spring 2013.

EARLIER: Dick Riordan and LA's collapsing orgs, Dick and the Daily News.