Politics, government and public life for Southern California

LA Mayoral Race 2013: Wendy Greuel wants to increase LAPD, LAFD ranks without new taxes (updated)

Wendy Greuel

Alice Walton/KPCC

Controller Wendy Greuel says that as mayor, she will increase the size of the LAPD to 12,000 officers and LAFD to 4,000 firefighters and paramedics.

The unions that represent police officers and firefighters endorsed Wendy Greuel for L.A. mayor and on Tuesday, she announced a plan to increase their ranks by the year 2020.

Standing outside the headquarters of United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, Greuel pledged to increase the Los Angeles Police Department’s ranks to 12,000 officers by 2020. LAPD crossed the 10,000 cops threshold last month when it folded General Services officers into the department. The Greuel campaign also called for hiring about 1,000 paramedics and firefighters to get the Fire Department to 4,000 personnel.

“L.A.’s police officers and firefighters understand that keeping our city safe isn’t just about getting tough on crime. It’s about giving our first responders the resources and technologies they deserve,” Greuel said.

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LA Mayoral Race 2013: Firefighters' union endorses Wendy Greuel for mayor (updated)

Auto Shop Fire

Dan Steinberg/AP

The union that represents Los Angeles city firefighters is backing Wendy Greuel for mayor. In 2009, UFLAC spent almost $25,000 to support her race for city controller.

The union that represents Los Angeles’ firefighters endorsed Wendy Greuel for mayor Wednesday, saying she will make government more “accountable.” Unted Firefighters of Los Angeles City represents 3,600 firefighters and paramedics.

This is the second public safety union to back the Greuel campaign. Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Police Protective League endorsed her for mayor. 

“Wendy will work to create jobs and expand our middle class so families across the city can prosper," said UFLAC Local 112 President Frank Lima in a statement. "She’ll prioritize public safety so we can put an end to the dysfunctional Fire Department deployment plan that increases LAFD response times.” 

The endorsement could mean more money — and therefore more exposure — for Greuel. In Greuel’s 2009 race for city controller, UFLAC spent $24,982 on an independent expenditure in her favor. When Mayor Jim Hahn ran for reelection in 2005, the union spent more than $394,000 to support his candidacy, according to the Ethics Commission.

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Just how much waste and fraud has Wendy Greuel found as city controller?

Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association mayoral debate.

Rebecca Hill/KPCC

Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel answers questions during the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association mayoral debate. Her new TV ad - the first in this contest - raised questions from one of her opponents.

Wendy Greuel’s mayoral campaign released its first television ad Tuesday to promote the work she’s done as L.A. city controller. She says she’s identified $160 million in waste - but it turns out that numbers are a tricky thing.

The 30-second spot is the first TV ad in this year's Los Angeles mayoral campaign – and it immediately drew criticism from one of Greuel’s opponents.

“As city controller, I found $160 million in waste and fraud – your tax dollars squandered,” Greuel says in the ad. “ As mayor, I can stop the waste because I know where it is.”

On her campaign website, Greuel, who was elected controller in 2009, identifies a total of $175 million in what she calls “wasteful spending, fraudulent activity and abuse of city resources.” 

Before the campaign released the ad to the media , Eric Garcetti’s campaign cried foul. A statement from the Garcetti campaign argued that as controller, Greuel found $96.7 million in waste – a figure the controller's own website seems to back up. Statements from 2010, 2011 and 2012 indicated that Greuel's audits identified a total of $96.5 million. So, why the discrepancy with the $175 million figure on her campaign website and the $160 million number in the ad?

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Eric Garcetti pulls ahead in money race for Los Angeles' mayor (updated)

Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti

Wendy Greuel Campaign/Eric Garcetti campaign

LA Mayoral candidates Controller Wendy Greuel and City Councilman Eric Garcetti each expect to clear the $4 million mark in campaign fundraising, based on their most recent financial reports.

Los Angeles City Councilman Eric Garcetti pulled ahead in the money race for mayor Thursday, raising more than $727,000 over a three-month period. 

This latest haul brings Garcetti’s total campaign war chest to $3.6 million. With the matching funds he is entitled to receive, he has amassed $4.2 million for the contest.

“Eric has built a strong campaign with an agenda to solve problems for L.A. residents," said Bill Carrick, a Garcetti campaign consultant. "This will be one of the most expensive races in L.A. history, so we must keep raising money and getting out the vote every day until Election Day – and we will”

Controller Wendy Greuel raised close to that amount, with a total of $3.4 million. With matching funds, Greuel has also crossed the $4 million threshold. During the previous reporting period that ended Sept. 31, Garcetti and Greuel each had $2.8 million.

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Garcetti, Greuel get most show biz donations in mayor's race

Mayor Celebrities

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Steven Spielberg is supporting the mayoral campaign of City Controller and former Dreamworks employee Wendy Greuel.

Mayor Celebrities

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LA Mayoral candidate Jan Perry has the support of actor George Takei.

Mayor Celebrities

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LA mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti's long list of supporters includes actress Salma Hayek.


Show business companies and workers have given nearly a million dollars to candidates running in the Los Angeles mayoral race, with Councilman Eric Garcetti getting about half the money.

An analysis by the reporting partnership of 89.3 KPCC and NBC4 found that entertainment companies and their employees, along with actors, donated at least $960,000 in the mayor's race through the third quarter of 2012. Entertainment-related donations will certainly top the million-dollar mark before the March 5 primary election.

Entertainment companies have varied interests in Los Angeles. CBS, for example, owns a billboard company that has to abide by city regulations. NBC Universal has vast real estate holdings in Universal City. Disney owns El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, and parks its cruise ships at the Port of Los Angeles. 

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