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Jim Newton as moderator

The City Maven tweets....

[UPDATE: Report of the debate is even worse than supposedEric Garcetti fears that "we're not optimistic as a city anymore" (after ten years of Garcetti, we note) while Jan Perry announces that she wants to sit on the School Board and meddle with the LAUSD even more than the present Mayor has.  Also, declared mayoral candidate Kevin James was not invited--and moderator Jim Newton has a history of excluding James on the Times' editorial page too.]

No actual journalist would be willing to pander to a group of mayoral candidates to the degree indicated in the above Tweet--but the Times' Jim Newton may no any longer be an actual journalist.  Why did three candidates have figures and stats in front of them as Newton lobbed them softballs at a low-stakes mini-debate at UCLA today? It's worth a little inquiry, given his track record of late.

Lately many around town have been expressing contempt for Newton's love affair with Madeline Janis's Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, a group with no known economist on board, and to which Council President Eric Garcetti is especially dialed in.  The group is a pastiche of the Villaraigosa coalition of affordable housing developer apologists and SEIU shills.

LAANE most particularly acts as a lobby for the SEIU, and that is a very worthy cause, but for some reason top civic leaders look to it for broader economic policy, as does Newton himself--which has been an unmitigated disaster for the working middle-class population of Los Angeles over the past decade.

I once went to a Mayoral "summit" at UCLA--and while there I identified 29 panelists who all agreed with the Mayor's approach to affordable housing, and zero panelists against.  Cisneros was the salesman/moderator at that event; I guess this time they finally owned that they needed an actual journalist to moderate, and asked the ever obsequious Newton to oblige--but on their own conditions.

By the way, for all the problems and shadowy deals of City Hall, today the Times publishes an op-ed about: what to do with the lawn there.

More City Maven tweets on mini-debate below.

EARLIER:

Newton hypes Janis, LAANE yet again
Madeline Janis "tight as ticks" with Times, Newton
Boycott Amazon? Garcetti might like to...
Madeline Janis in the headlights