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Greuel first with TV ad in L.A. mayor's race

With the Los Angeles mayoral election five weeks away, City Controller Wendy Greuel began airing the first television ad of the campaign Tuesday in an effort to introduce herself to voters before rivals get a chance to define her in more unflattering terms.

City Councilman Eric Garcetti, Greuel’s top rival in the March 5 primary, is expected to follow suit within days by launching his own TV ad campaign.

The ability of Greuel and Garcetti to afford extensive TV advertising, thanks to their aggressive fund-raising, sets them apart from the six other mayoral candidates on the ballot.

Greuel’s opening ad stresses her experience as controller. She tells viewers that she has uncovered $160 million in waste and fraud at City Hall.

“As mayor, I can stop the waste because I know where it is,” she says. “And I’ll use the savings for job creation, better schools and faster emergency response in every part of our city.”

Garcetti’s campaign immediately challenged the content of Greuel’s ad, saying she has overstated the amount of squandered public money identified in her office’s audits and has actually only recovered $239,000.

“This would have a negligible impact on education, emergency response and job creation,” Garcetti’s campaign said in a statement to the media. "Her numbers don’t add up,” the statement said.

Greuel spokeswoman Shannon Murphy said the controller stands by the numbers in her ad.


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-- Michael Finnegan

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