Bloomberg and Hahn, among America`s most unpopular politicians, have a lot in common—most of it bad.
Both mayors have pandered brazenly to illegal aliens.
And who can forget Hahn`s statement about Los Angeles to Mexican President Vicente Fox? "Our city is a Mexican city," said Hahn to Fox during a cozy meeting in Los Pinos, Mexico.
But for Hahn the sailing will not be quite as smooth.
Among Hahn`s most pressing challengers is Republican Walter Moore who has dared to do the unthinkable in Los Angeles—make illegal immigration the cornerstone of his campaign.
As Moore told me,
"Whenever I mention my opposition to illegal immigration at a debate, the audience interrupts me — with cheers and applause! People are relieved they finally have a candidate who vows to fight illegal immigration."
(Note: I report with disappointment but not shock that the mainstream media has ignored and/or thwarted Moore at his every turn. The latest example is that a so-called "scientific" Los Angeles Times poll did not list Moore`s name as a candidate.)
Because of the quirky particulars of the March 8th ballot, Moore—with a break here and there—might be able to pull off one of the most spectacular upsets in recent political history.
To evaluate how the race might unfold, you first need to understand the process.
The non-partisan primary ballot will list Hahn and his opponents. Moore is the only Republican challenger.
Hahn`s other major opponents are Democrats: Los Angeles City Councilman and avowed Mechista Antonio Villaraigosa, former Los Angeles police chief Bernard Parks, former Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon and former California State Assemblyman Bob Hertzberg.
If any of the candidates receives 50% of the votes plus one, he is the next mayor. But—and this is where Moore`s chances improve—without a majority, then the top two vote getters proceed to a May run-off.
According to Moore`s calculations, he projects that he will need 125,000 votes to qualify. Moore points to the 2001 election where the top two candidates, Hahn and Villaraigosa, received 152,000 and 125,000 votes respectively.
Moore also notes that there are more than 300,000 registered Republican voters in Los Angeles.
And Moore, who describes himself as a pro-choice Arnold Schwarzenegger/Rudy Giuliani-type Republican, hopes that he can grab a few Democrats away from the unpopular Hahn. At the same time, Moore seeks to convince another block of Democrats that a vote for Villaraigosa is inconsistent with the urgent need to fight illegal immigration at every level of government.
Moore bases his optimism on asides made to him on the campaign trail.
During an interview on the Terry Anderson Show, Moore said that many of his "liberal friends from Brentwood" (where the Hollywood crowd hangs out) have mentioned to him in hushed tones that they are "concerned about illegal immigration." [Listen, MP3]
Adding to Moore`s cautious optimism are recent polls showing that none of his opponents have more than a 21% approval rating, 31% are undecided and one third of the voters who expressed preferences stated that they might change their mind.
And on a KABC radio debate hosted by Doug McIntyre, 73% of listeners proclaimed Moore the winner.
As one caller said to McIntyre after hearing all the candidates:
"With the exception of this fellow Moore, every other man I heard today sounds like they are on the payroll of Vicente Fox. It`s outrageous. "
Naturally, Moore is running on a full platform that addresses all of the issues confronting Los Angeles.
Noting that his rivals have raised more than $7 million, Moore vows to end "pay to play" politics by refusing to take campaign donations during his four-year term until the last three months before re-election.
And Moore pledges to end corporate welfare, hire additional police and to covert all of the Los Angeles animal shelters to "no-kill" status.
But what has really resonated with voters is Moore`s commitment to fight illegal immigration.
Among Moore`s promises are that he will:
Despite the positive impression Moore has made on the Los Angeles community, his climb to become Mayor of Los Angeles remains straight uphill.
Even with so little time remaining before the election, too many uncertainties—the biggest perhaps is what the turnout will be— hover over the race to predict the outcome.
But Moore has pushed the immigration reform envelope to the very edge.
And while the election will likely to go down to the wire, Moore has shown enormous courage by speaking out on behalf of the majority against illegal immigration.
That takes a lot of guts…especially in a city like Los Angeles.
Joe Guzzardi [email him], an instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.