Thursday’s Daily News/County Business Federation mayoral candidate forum might be the most interesting – and provocative – to date.
It will boil down to Austin Beutner’s skills as a moderator.
Mr. Beutner possesses the business acumen to challenge the candidates on their financial assumptions and strategic plans for the city. The question is, will he let the candidates slide and sidestep the questions, or will he follow-up until they provide a straight answer?
In particular, I hope he pins Wendy Greuel to the wall on her fanciful dreams of adding 2,000 officers to the LAPD on the premise she has uncovered $160 million in waste, fraud and abuse, not to mention her assumption of a robust 5% annual rate of revenue growth.
He should also press Eric Garcetti on the tax break for car dealers. Beutner should have him walk us through the underlying assumptions, otherwise Garcetti’s claim is nothing more than puffery.
The candidates must be made to substantiate their assertions.
If Beutner succeeds in flushing out the facts (or lack thereof), he will prove that he might have been one of the best candidates for the job.