Campaigns for L.A. Vote Date Change Forced to Edit Message

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Members of a campaign in support of two measures on next week’s city ballot said they plan to edit a video about the measures to remove a statement claiming they have the support of Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Dave Jacobson, a spokesman for Citizens for Increased Voter Participation, told City News Service on Tuesday the campaign made an “honest mistake” in saying the mayor supports Charter Amendments 1 and 2, which would switch city and school board election schedules from odd-numbered to even-numbered years.

The first measure calls for switching dates for the mayoral, city council, city attorney and controller elections. The second measure calls for moving the dates for Los Angeles Unified School District board elections.

Garcetti earlier this month declined to say if he would support or oppose the measures, and he still has not taken a position on the issues.

Garcetti also noted earlier this month that the measures could affect him personally, because there would be a one-time lengthening of elected office terms from 4 years to approximately 5 1/2 years.

The extended term would affect the mayor if he were to run for re-election in 2017. It would affect a number of city council seats, including those on next week’s ballot.

A growing number of community groups and neighborhood councils have opposed the measure, which they say will cause local elections to take a back seat to state and national campaigns.

Two videos posted on the City Clerk’s website and recorded by the city television station, Channel 35, claim Garcetti supports the measures. Mayoral spokesman Jeff Millman told City News Service Tuesday that “Mayor Garcetti has not made an endorsement.”

Kathay Feng, executive director of California Common Cause — speaking in favor of the ballot measures — closes the two videos by urging voters to “join me, Mayor Garcetti, Common Cause, the League of Women Voters, Los Angeles firefighters, neighborhood councils, academics, business groups and our neighbors in supporting” and voting yes on the measures on March 3.

Feng told CNS in an email Tuesday night that she “understood from our campaign team that he (the mayor) had endorsed the two Charter Amendments — obviously we were super excited to include him in the list of supporters,” adding that “we are now looking into this question to figure this out.”

Jacobson said Wednesday the campaign was planning to “contact Channel 35 yesterday about editing out the line mentioning Mayor Garcetti.”

He also said that the campaign “had early conversations with a wide range of community leaders and elected officials including the mayor, and for all of those who have not yet taken a position, we are hopeful that they will join our effort at some point.”

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