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Opening salvos. Mayoral candidates Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti took a mostly upbeat tone in their first one-on-one debate. The two liberal Democrats spent much of their time attempting to distinguish themselves from one another. As expected, City Councilman Garcetti tried to make an issue of Greuel’s union support, insisting that he would be the more independent mayor. The City Controller pointed out that she’s also received the backing of many civic and business leaders. After being scolded by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa earlier this week for ignoring education issues, both candidates addressed that subject last night. The debate came as KABC Channel 7 released a new poll showing Garcetti with a 9 point lead over Greuel. L.A. Times, KABC

Hot seat. Sheriff Lee Baca is scheduled to be interviewed today by federal prosecutors looking into allegations of abuse by deputies inside L.A. County jails. One of the things they’ll discuss is the Sheriff’s handling of an FBI informant. When Baca learned about the informant in the summer of 2011, the prisoner was transferred to a different jail. The L.A. Times reports that at least 13 deputies were assigned to keep tabs on him around the clock. Prosecutors are expected to question Baca about whether that was designed to stop the informant from gathering information – or to protect him from rogue deputies. L.A. Times

Prison pushback. A federal judicial panel has denied Gov. Jerry Brown’s request to lift a court-ordered prison population cap. The panel also threatened Brown and other state officials with contempt of court if they fail to comply with the order. Brown has vowed to fight to end court oversight of California’s prison system, saying the state is spending billions it doesn’t have on inmate medical and mental health care. Brown says the money should be going to public schools, colleges, and social programs. Sacramento Bee

Credibility gap. L.A. teachers have overwhelmingly registered “no confidence” in Schools Superindent John Deasy. The teacher’s union says 91 percent of its members expressed disapproval of Deasy during symbolic week-long referendum. UTLA says it will now push harder against Deasy’s education initiatives. He’s angered teachers by promoting an evaluation system that uses student standardized test scores. Deasy has also worked to speed up the dismissal of teachers accused of serious misconduct or ineffectiveness in the classroom. He called the vote “nonsense.” L.A. Daily News

Bad break. The Dodgers new $147 million pitcher has a broken collarbone. Zack Greinke was injured during last night’s game after drilling San Diego Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin with a pitch. An angry Quentin stormed the mound and he and Greinke rammed shoulders. The incident triggered a bench-clearing melee. It’s not clear how long Grienke will be sidelined. The right-hander signed a six-year, $147 million deal with the Dodgers in the off-season. The Dodgers won the game 3-2. ESPN

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