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New Greuel radio ad attacks Garcetti in race for L.A. mayor

Photo: Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel at a debate at Cal State Los Angeles on Feb. 18. Credit: Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times

Wendy Greuel is out Tuesday with the first candidate-sanctioned attack ad of the mayoral campaign, criticizing rival Eric Garcetti as responsible for waste at City Hall and for taking junkets on the public dime.

The candidates have been blasting each other in mailboxes across the city, but until now they have only aired positive messages about themselves and their credentials on television and on the radio.

With just days to go until the March 5 primary, the new minutelong radio ad by Greuel reflects the tightness of the race as well as the increasingly testy tone.

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“As controller, Wendy Greuel uncovered over $160 million in waste and fraud.... Eric Garcetti says the numbers aren't true –- but that's because he was a big part of the problem. Over and over again, Eric Garcetti did nothing on the City Council to stop waste or recover the money,” the narrator says in the advertisement. “Even worse, Eric took luxury trips around the world, costing taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars -– to China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the Middle East, and stayed at five-star hotels on the taxpayer dime. So when Eric Garcetti attacks Wendy Greuel's numbers -– now you know why.”

The Garcetti campaign disputed the claims in the ad.

“Every part of this ad is obviously false,” said spokesman Jeff Millman.

FULL COVERAGE: L.A.'s race for mayor

The $160-million figure has long dogged Greuel in the campaign, because The Times found that much of that amount comes from two audits that depend on an accounting maneuver and a large revenue projection that the controller's office itself said was unrealistic from the start. Millman also noted that Greuel has taken several taxpayer-financed trips.


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Photo: Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel at a debate at Cal State Los Angeles on Feb. 18. Credit: Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times

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