Another day, another television ad, attack mailer and news conference in Los Angeles’ mayoral race.
Wendy Greuel is on the air Tuesday with a new 30-second spot touting her work as the city’s controller, highlighting audits that found that millions of dollars' worth of city gas was missing, and more taxpayer funds were spent on free cellphones and luxury travel for city employees.
“The waste I found could have paid to keep our libraries open, and fund millions of dollars for after-school programs,” she says, speaking directly into the camera. “As a parent with a child in our public schools, I’ll be a mayor for all of L.A. -– every school, every child.”
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It’s Greuel’s second television advertisement, and comes three weeks from election day. Greuel, seen as a front-runner in the race, is being bombarded by attacks from council members Eric Garcetti and Jan Perry, as well as attorney Kevin James and former tech executive Emanuel Pleitez.
Garcetti's campaign said the new ad was misleading.
“Once again, Ms. Greuel's numbers just don't add up,” Garcetti spokesman Jeff Millman said in a written statement. “…. The audits she mentions in her ad have not recovered any money for the city. In fact, the city has only recovered $239,000 from all of Greuel's audits combined since 2009. This is far less than the millions she cites in the ad, and would have a negligible impact on library and after school funding.”
Garcetti on Tuesday sent out his first negative mailer in the race, pressing his contention that Greuel is overstating her accomplishments in office. Greuel “Can’t Get Her Numbers Straight,” the mailer says. “L.A. Can’t Afford A Mayor Who Puts Personal Ambition Above The Truth.”
Greuel campaign manager Rose Kapolczynski said the attacks showed that Greuel had momentum in the race and were signs of desperation by Garcetti. The waste and abuse Greuel found happened under Garcetti’s watch, and still must be spotlighted even if they money can’t be recouped, she added.
“Through 77 audits, Wendy Greuel has identified more than $160 million in waste, fraud, abuse. Unfortunately, most of this money is gone forever, wasted while the City Council sat idly by,” Kapolczynski said. “Eric Garcetti must believe that waste, fraud and abuse is fine if it happened in the past. If we apply that logic to policing, no robbery would ever be investigated if the goods weren't recovered.”