L.A. Votes: Fundraising figures reported, more barbs fly in mayoral race
Thursday was the latest financial disclosure deadline, and reports show that the front-runners in Los Angeles' mayoral race, Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel, remain locked in a tight money battle with just days to go before election day on March 5. But Greuel continues to have a significant edge in spending by outside groups.
All of the major contenders in the race answered questionnaires from the Los Angeles Times on a host of issues facing the city, including the proposed downtown football stadium and the so-called Subway to the Sea. Their responses were published Friday morning.
The barbs continued to fly in the mayoral contest. Long-shot candidate Emanuel Pleitez filed an ethics complaint asserting Garcetti had a financial conflict of interest when he voted for a lucrative deal with a billboard company. Garcetti’s campaign countered that the councilman was unaware of the potential conflict at the time of the vote and therefore broke no law.
Garcetti frequently says that he was a leader in city negotiations with workers that saved the city $800 million. The Times examines his claims.
Garcetti began airing a new pair of ads touting his endorsement by the Los Angeles Times’ editorial board, and released a new attack mailer questioning Greuel’s record as controller and her proposals for the city’s budget.
An earlier complaint that Garcetti’s campaign raised about a pro-Greuel ad being aired by an independent committee backed by the Los Angeles Police Protective League proved inaccurate. The Garcetti campaign claimed this week that the league had failed to provide a script of the ad to the City Ethics Commission as required. The league did file a script with the commission on Feb. 12; however, because of a technology glitch by the commission’s website, it was not viewable online until Thursday.
Greuel, meanwhile, touted the endorsement of a landlords’ group, alarming tenant advocates. In a city where 60% of the housing is occupied by tenants, they worried that Greuel might weaken renter protections.
In the City Council races, the candidates vying to replace Garcetti are largely fine with new zoning regulations that will allow bigger and taller buildings in Hollywood.
Voters who wish to cast ballots by mail must make sure the City Clerk’s office receives their applications by Tuesday. But you can still apply in person through March 4. More information is available here.
Friday will be as busy as ever on the campaign trail. Disclosure reports by the independent committees that have spent more than $1.7 million in the mayoral contest are expected to be publicly released. Republican Kevin James plans to continue pressing Greuel about her relationship with the union that represents most Department of Water and Power employees, and which is providing major funding for one of the outside committees promoting her candidacy. And Greuel heads to San Diego for a luncheon fundraiser with local politicians, business people and community leaders.
-- Seema Mehta
Photo: Screen grab from The Times' interactive graphic.