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Council District 15: That Maurice Wills?

January 5, 2012 |  7:06 am

I noticed the name "Maurice Wills" on Los Angeles City Ethics Commission records as a donor to City Council candidate Joe Buscaino and it had me wondering whether it was that Maurice Wills, as in Maurice Morning Wills, as it says on the back of one of my baseball cards. If I had scoured Buscaino's website more carefully, I need not have wondered; All-time Dodger great Maury Wills is indeed a Buscaino backer, as you can see in the video above of him making calls on the candidate's behalf.

Wills is not a political rookie. I last encountered him five years ago at the state Capitol, where he had come to attend the swearing in of Jack-O'Connell. O'Connell was then beginning his second term as state superintendent of public instruction.

I first encountered Wills (in person, anyway) just about 40 years ago at Fallbrook Square in Canoga Park, on the east side of the outdoor mall, on the opposite side from Sears and J.C. Penney. He was there with Don Sutton to sign autographs. I was there with my sister and her friend to see the players and get their signatures after a brief lunch at Lindberg Nutrition ("Keep in the Pink"). I asked my sister if she remembered. Ha! She even remembered what she was wearing: red shorts, short-sleeved navy-and-white striped top with a red anchor on it. I don't remember what I was wearing, but I still have the autographed photos of Wills and Sutton.

And by the way, nothing against Little D, who was a fine pitcher, but if you had told me then that he would be in the Hall of Fame and Wills would not -- Maury Wills, the first person ever to steal 100 bases in a season -- I'd have thought you were lying. I still find it imponderable.

I also wouldn't have believed you if you told me that that corner of the world would no longer be part of Canoga Park. It's now West Hills.

But back to Joe Buscaino and video. He's by no means the first Los Angeles candidate to make good use of video on his campaign site, but his video and web people clearly know what they're doing. Neither overly produced nor amateur hand-held stuff either. Check it out.

His opponent, Warren Furutani, has no linked or embedded video on his regular campaign site, but that doesn't mean he hasn't got the video goods. You just have to go to his campaign's Facebook page to see support videos from Mike Woo, the first (and so far, the last) Asian American on the Los Angeles City Council; Watts community organizer Sweet Alice Harris; and others. Buscaino's campaign Facebook page has a video or two but it's mostly geared toward keeping supporters up to date and getting them to come make calls for their candidate.

And of course you can find most of this and more on Buscaino and Furutani on YouTube. But if you've read this far down on a blog post about the City Council race for Los Angeles' 15th district, I'm guessing you already know that.


How uncoordinated are the candidates?

Who's donating to Buscaino, Furutani?

The Capitol contingent

--Robert Greene

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