Mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel has been attacking her former rival Kevin James as a right-wing "Obama hater" now that he has endorsed City Councilman Eric Garcetti -- but that message is very different from what she was texting to James himself in the weeks after the mayoral primary.
"U are beloved -- I hear it alot!" Greuel texted to James on March 25, referring to his Republican supporters that she had heard from.
James this week released a series of text messages between him and Greuel from the days after the primary, when she was courting him for his endorsement in complimentary tones, complete with smiley and winking face emoticons and multiple requests for meetings.
The release was a response to a new attack mailer from Greuel's campaign that includes quotes about James from others calling him "a divisive right-wing Republican talk radio host who compared Barack Obama to a Nazi sympathizer on national T.V." and outlining his positions against undocumented immigrants. The mailer was done in English and Spanish.
The texts show Greuel aggressively wooing James, seeking his endorsement after he finished third in the March 5 primary.
Early March 6, Greuel sent a text congratulating James for garnering more votes than their mutual opponent City Councilwoman Jan Perry.
"U just surpassed her!" Greuel texted at 1:44 a.m.
Seeking a meeting, Greuel writes the
next day: "How is your day looking? I am ready, able, and willing!"
On March 10, she wrote him: "Thanks again for Friday night -- we could have talked for hours! I need your advice on something when u have a moment -- good time to chat?"
Weeks later, Greuel texts that she is sorry for missing James at a San Fernando Valley meeting, but promises to reach out again in a few days: "I am stalking you :)"
The tone of the texts is a stark contrast to the criticism of James this week by Greuel.
The Nazi sympathizer phrase in the anti-Garcetti mailer refers to comments James made on MSNBC in 2008, when he compared Obama to Neville Chamberlain, the former British prime minister who conceded territory to Adolf Hitler in an effort to avoid war.
James spokesman Jeff Corless said he released the texts to show Greuel's hypocrisy. "She is slamming him, but just weeks ago she was on bended knee, courting him," Corless said.
On Wednesday, Greuel political consultant John Shallman dismissed the release of the text exchange as "pathetic."
"Eric Garcetti claims to be an Obama supporter and yet only Wendy Greuel had the guts to challenge Kevin James and his radical and extremist comments that compared President Obama to a Nazi sympathizer at their first televised debate. Wendy would never have accepted Kevin James' endorsement without his unqualified apology for his racist and insensitive remarks."
Greuel has made her many endorsements, which range from President Bill Clinton to Magic Johnson, one of the main talking points of her campaign. She has criticized Garcetti for attacking her by going after her endorsers. Appearing at a Daily News editorial board meeting recently, Greuel said that Garcetti has "demonized" her endorsements, like the Department of Water and Power union that is backing her.