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Steve Lopez: Where's the passion in L.A. mayor debate?

January 29, 2013 | 11:11 am
Los Angeles mayoral candidates, from left, Jan Perry, Kevin James, Eric Garcetti, Wendy Greuel and Emanuel Pleitez enjoy a light moment before Monday's debate at UCLA's Royce Hall.

Oh, come on. That was a mayoral debate Monday night?

Steve LopezI want my money back.

The candidates didn’t even look like they were trying. Or maybe, worst-case scenario, they were trying.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we got some earnest and capable responses to questions, and some vague responses as well. No one was a disaster; but no one seized the moment, either.

Did Jan Perry have her eyes closed the whole time, or was it my cable reception?

Can somebody give Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel a few shots of Red Bull before the next debate?

This thing played like a tryout for junior high debate squad. No pizzazz. No passion. No star quality.

It was genteel, for the most part, but I don’t want genteel.

I want hardball, not softball.

I want details, not generalities, even if it means an honest response might rattle special interests like developers or public employee unions. And enough with the T-ball questions in a city with a projected $200-million deficit and three leading candidates who helped dig the hole.

In Wednesday's column, I’ll have more on the subject, along with reactions of several Angelenos I’ve recruited to monitor the campaign and report back to me with their reactions, which, on Monday night, were not particularly positive.

In the meantime, feel free to jump in and pound away.

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-- Steve Lopez

Photo: Los Angeles mayoral candidates, from left, Jan Perry, Kevin James, Eric Garcetti, Wendy Greuel and Emanuel Pleitez before Monday's debate at UCLA's Royce Hall. Credit: Robert Gauthier, Los Angeles Times
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