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Garcetti, Greuel brush off James' body-burying video

February 27, 2013 |  2:06 pm

The mayoral candidates portrayed as burying a dead body in a shallow grave in a new web video by rival Kevin James brushed off the controversial spot on Wednesday.

“I told Kevin: ‘We’re going to bury you. We’re going to bury the competition,’” said a chuckling Councilman Eric Garcetti after speaking at an education forum in downtown Los Angeles with James and the other three mayoral contenders.

An official with Wendy Greuel’s campaign similarly dismissed the video.

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"If the Kevin James campaign falls in a forest can anyone hear it? With 209 views on YouTube, the only people seeing Kevin James' ad is Kevin James,” said chief strategist John Shallman. “His campaign is like a bloated government agency -- money goes in, nothing comes out."

The video, released Wednesday morning, has only a few hundred views online but has drawn local and national media attention. That appears to be the goal for James, the only Republican in the race, whose campaign can't afford to pay for television ads.

Political ads on the Web rarely garner much attention unless they feature eye-popping imagery. In the James ad, Greuel and Garcetti look-alikes appear as shadowy figures burying what appears to be a dead body in a shallow grave.

WHERE THEY STAND: Los Angeles mayoral candidates in their own words

The video plays off a statement Greuel has made in debates, that she knows “where the bodies are buried” and can reform City Hall as mayor. James often retorts that Greuel knows where the bodies are buried because she buried them -- a message taken to a new level in the video.

Greuel and Garcetti look-alikes drive through an urban area then into a dark, rural landscape as a narrator says, “Meet Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel, career politicians running for mayor of Los Angeles. Together they have been doing the dirty work in City Hall for over 22 years.”

The pair stop the car, and take what appears to be a body wrapped in sheets out of the trunk and carry it into the woods. After they dump body into a hole, they shovel dirt on top as the narrator names programs James claims they have raided, including a parking revenue fund and a sidewalk repair account.  

The money has gone toward their salaries, union pensions and redecorated offices, the narrator says, which has prompted special interests to spend millions on their campaigns. Thus far, Greuel has been the main beneficiary of independent spending in the race.


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-- Seema Mehta