The five major candidates for L.A. mayor took the stage Tuesday night in the second debate leading up to the March 8 primary.


Sen. Richard Alarc & #243;n, attorney and former Assembly Speaker Robert Hertzberg and councilmen Bernard Parks and Antonio Villaraigosa issued sharp attacks on incumbent Mayor James Hahn. They said he failed to show leadership in reducing traffic and pollution in the city and that he had allowed contractors and other special interests to influence his policies.


Hahn shot back, calling Parks a failed police chief and Alarc & #243;n, Hertzberg and Villaraigosa Sacramento politicians who failed to bring L.A. much-needed money and projects. He also said that he was unable to reduce congestion as much as he wanted to as mayor because "Sacramento has been taking away our tax dollars."


That prompted the most heated exchange in the debate. Villaraigosa told Hahn: "All you offer is excuses, not solutions."


The debate which was sponsored by the L.A. chapter of the League of Conservation Voters, an environmental group also featured sharp volleys on pollution at the ports and Hahn's $11 billion plan to revamp Los Angeles International Airport. The debate was held at the Bing Theatre at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and will be televised Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. on KCET Channel 28 and again on Sunday, Dec. 26 at 11 a.m. on KABC Channel 7.

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