Emily’s List, the women’s political action group intent on electing women to office, has begun to make its independent campaign for Wendy Greuel felt.
The group's California Women Vote has pledged to spend $400,000 to help elect Greuel mayor of Los Angeles. One of its first contributions is arriving in the homes of Angelenos this week -- a mailer depicting Garcetti as an elitist who is “putting himself first.” The missive features a picture of a young blond, starlet-type stepping from a limousine with the headline “Most Los Angeles Families Don’t Live Like This.” Subhead: “But Eric Garcetti does.”
The mailer goes on to detail what it describes as a series of ethical and judgment lapses by Garcetti -- from cutting Fire Department staffing to accepting tickets to awards shows without paying proper reimbursement, to using public funds on seven cars for his city staff.
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Most of the mailer’s claims have been aired previously. Garcetti has noted that he was one of a unanimous 15-0 council vote in favor of the Fire Department and other cuts in 2011. He said the cuts were painful, but necessary, given the shortage of tax revenue during the national fiscal crisis.
Garcetti previously paid a $4,800 fine to the city Ethics Commission for failing to fully reimburse the cost of tickets to the Academy Awards, another gala and attendant dinners. He acknowledged that he “messed up” by paying the cost of the show tickets but not the dinners.
Garcetti used a special office account to pay a staff member’s salary -- as the pro-Greuel group also charged in the mailer. But Garcetti said the spending -- similar to that by other council members -- was worthwhile because the employee helped him get street improvement projects completed in his district. The claim about the seven city staff cars is also true. But it’s a hard one for Greuel to score points on, since she also had seven taxpayer-financed cars for her staff when she was a member of the City Council.
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The pro-Greuel mailer also dings Garcetti for “opposing a plan to cut the City Hall office budgets for the Mayor and Council members by 25%.” Garcetti has said the cuts, proposed by Greuel during the mayoral campaign, would produce little real savings. He has suggested other budget fixes, including upping the share of healthcare premiums paid by city employees to at least 10%.
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