Attack Ads Air as Mayoral Campaign Hits Final Weekend

With his political career at stake, Mayor James Hahn launched a barrage of negative TV advertisements against his two main rivals Thursday and then was hit with retaliatory attack ads from Antonio Villaraigosa and Bob Hertzberg, the Daily News of Los Angeles reported. Hahn took to the airwaves with a commercial that sought to link the two former speakers of the state Assembly with the energy crisis and the Enron Corp. scandal. The Villaraigosa commercial attacks the mayor over ongoing local and federal criminal investigations of his administration about "pay-to-play" contracting allegations.


DirecTV Sues 19 for Access Fraud in Piracy Case
On Thursday, the El Segundo-based satellite TV provider filed a $20 million civil lawsuit against 19 Canadians accused of fraud, as the focus of the firm's anti-piracy efforts shifts, the company said. The fraud, allegedly committed by the 19 people in Ontario, Canada, starts with a phony U.S. address used to sign up for DirecTV service, the Daily Breeze reported. A person then uses the customer account to acquire additional set-top boxes at a greatly reduced price, presumably for other rooms in the house.


NoHo Projects Will Be Mixed-Use
A Santa Monica developer has spent $9.1 million on land in North Hollywood for two developments that will meld apartments with commercial space, a real estate company said Thursday. JSM Construction expects to have the mixed-use projects finished sometime next year, the Daily News of Los Angeles reported. The company plans to build 299 apartments, with the commercial space on the ground floor of each building. JSM recently closed escrow on the last of three parcels with a combined purchase price of more than $3.3 million. Several months ago the company bought a 59,677-square-foot parcel located at 11049 Magnolia Blvd. for $5.8 million.


KABC Still Hot in L.A. News
KABC-TV strengthened its lead among English-language stations in most key local news races during the February sweep in Los Angeles, while KTLA pulled ahead of the a.m. news pack with a solid showing from its "Morning News" against local and network competition, The Hollywood Reporter said. KNBC clung to the number one spot at 11 p.m. by a razor-thin margin in the key adults 18 to 49 and adults 25 to 49 demos, though KABC boasted more viewers at 11 p.m. on a Monday-through-Sunday basis, according to Nielsen Media Research.


Campaigns Largely Funded by Those With City Contracts
The top contenders in the race for Los Angeles mayor have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from developers, attorneys and labor unions, many of whom have city contracts or other business with the city, the Los Angeles Times reported. Four of the leading candidates have accepted large donations from contributors with projects or contracts that require the city's blessing. Only state Sen. Richard Alarcon, who has raised much of his funding from Sacramento sources, has largely avoided such donors. The top three candidates in Tuesday's election collected considerable sums from lawyers who represent the city, developers with projects in Los Angeles and, in Hahn's case, unions with city contracts.

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