Politics, government and public life for Southern California

DWP union attacks Eric Garcetti for treating every day at City Hall like Christmas

Eric Garcetti

Howard Pasamanick

A new attack ad accuses Councilman Eric Garcetti of living large on the city's dime. The Garcetti campaign says the ad is out of context and ignores similar actions by opponent Wendy Greuel.

The key to the good life – filled with lavish vacations and cars – is apparently as simple as getting elected to the Los Angeles City Council, according to a new attack ad from the union representing Department of Water and Power employees.

The TV spot from the independent political action committee, Working Californians, calls out mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti for allegedly treating every day at City Hall like Christmas. In fact, Garcetti’s voice provides the ad’s background music as he sings “White Christmas” at a convalescent home.

According to the ad, Garcetti stayed at five-star hotels while the city faced financial problems, drove seven city-owned cars, and cut fire services that led to slower 911 responses. In response, a spokesman for the Garcetti campaign noted that the trip cited in the ad was paid for by the city’s three proprietary departments – airport, harbor and DWP – which have budgets separate from the city.

As for the seven cars, that figure came from a 2009 audit that found both Garcetti and Greuel were assigned seven cars for their council offices. Greuel served on the city council from 2002-09.

“The DWP union is a bunch of hypocrites because Wendy Greuel has done the same things they’re attacking Eric for during her seven years on the city council,” said Jeff Millman of the Garcetti campaign.

“The DWP union is supporting Greuel because they know she will increase DWP salaries and pensions, and L.A. residents will have to pay for it.”

Working Californians, which also has received money from executives in the entertainment community, has spent $1.7 million in support of Wendy Greuel. The group also funded a $100,000 radio ad against Jan Perry and a $23,000 mailer attacking Garcetti. 

Independent groups have spent about $2.5 million on Greuel's behalf. 

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