L.A. Votes: Greuel launches new ad as union adds $850,000 to her bid

As Wendy Greuel released a new television ad hitting mayoral rival Eric Garcetti for his ties to a real estate developer convicted of bank fraud, a union backing her dropped another $850,000 into an effort supporting her bid.

The  new spending by the Police Protective League, which represents 10,000 officers, was reported on the city ethics website Wednesday and puts the union at devoting more than $1.43 million to support Greuel’s bid.

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The moves came one day after Greuel suspended television advertising. The controller reserved $300,000 worth of ad time Wednesday, though it is unclear over how many days.

In recent weeks, Greuel has been spending money at a faster clip than Garcetti, while raising campaign funds more slowly. A clearer picture of the candidates’ financial situation going into the final stretch of the campaign before the May 21 election will emerge Thursday, when the candidates’ financial disclosure reports are due.

Supporters of Greuel alleged an unknown individual or organization has been conducting a “push poll,” an effort to tarnish the candidate during an ostensible public-opinion survey. Such an effort would violate city codes.

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A woman on a call describes Greuel as being “in the pocket of the Department of Water and Power union” and suggests her audits of the city utility have found no waste because of her close connections to the union, according to a recording of the call provided to The Times.

Greuel has countered such accusations by noting a comprehensive audit of the DWP is not due until 2014 according to the city charter. She also notes Garcetti has received labor backing, and that she has received endorsements from business and labor, which she says shows she can bring all sides to the negotiating table.

A spokesman for Garcetti said his campaign had no knowledge of such calls being made.

Another city workers' union that is backing Greuel blocked public access to a video that shows union leaders calling for more aggressive political campaigns to protect members' pensions. Hours after The Times reported on the video, United Firefighters of Los Angeles City Local 112 changed the settings on the YouTube video, limiting viewing to its members.

Meanwhile, in the city attorney’s race, incumbent Carmen Trutanich picked up the endorsement of his predecessor, Rocky Delgadillo. Trutanich is in a tough battle against Mike Feuer, who Delgadillo narrowly defeated in a bitter 2001 race.

Comments, questions or tips on city elections? Tweet me at @LATSeema


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