The Note: Follow The Money

The Los Angeles Times' Michael Finnegan and Mark Barabak report that Antonio Villaraigosa was leading early in the Los Angeles mayoral race, with incumbent James Hahn and Bob Hertzberg competing for the second spot that will take one of them to a May runoff. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Matea Gold writes that the runoff will be much tougher for Villarigosa. LINK

" . . . [I]n the runoff, Villaraigosa is confronted with the challenge he faced in 2001: piecing together a multiethnic coalition in the tradition of the late Mayor Tom Bradley, the city's first black mayor, who won office in 1973 with the backing of African Americans, liberal voters and Jews, along with a narrow majority of Latinos."

"Pulling together such disparate groups is a difficult task. If he seeks to energize Latinos about the prospect of a historic first, Villaraigosa could alarm other voters who are wary of the group's growing political clout, analysts said. But shying away from the ethnic pride associated with his bid could deflate excitement among that important constituency."

Congratulations, Mrs. Matsui. LINK

Clarification: a run-off in the 5th Congressional District in California would have winnowed the field from 12 to six candidates; our writing implied otherwise yesterday, though it's moot by now. We regret the error.

The New York Post on Klein v. Weiner and Ferrer: "Schools Chancellor Joel Klein has come out swinging at two Democratic mayoral hopefuls who, he says, are all wrong about Mayor Bloomberg's education record." LINK

"The schools boss ripped Rep. Anthony Weiner and former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer in an interview on New York 1 News -- fuming that 'they don't care what the facts are.'"

"Klein's slashing broadside drew a rapid response from the Ferrer camp in the form of an error-riddled press release that twice misstated Klein's first name as 'Joe,' misspelled his last name as 'Kline,' and botched Ferrer's former title as 'Bronx Bureau President.'"

"Klein's jabs underscored the tone of an election season in which the performance of the public education system under Bloomberg is a key battleground."

The New York Post's McManus opines that Rep. Rangel's endorsement of a West Side Stadium suggests that the city's black establishment doesn't really support Freddy. LINK

The New York Observer's Ben Smith on Mayor Bloomberg's professed distaste for pandering and the necessity of said activity in his re-election campaign. LINK

2006:

California's Democratic state treasurer, Phil Angelides, plans to announce his gubernatorial bid next week, reports Robert Salladay of the Los Angeles Times. LINK

We saw him making the rounds in Las Vegas last week at the AFL-CIO convention.

The Schwarzenegger Era:

The Los Angeles Times' Peter Nicholas writes that Gov. Schwarzenegger, as he hits fundraisers across the country, is being dogged by protests by nurses and firefighters that he's previously been shielded from, prompting him to change his itinerary and acknowledge them in stump speeches. LINK

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