Eric Garcetti Botches Hillary Clinton Endorsement

Associated Press
Associated Press

On Thursday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti found himself in a snafu after an endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president was released on a government email account.

Los Angeles and California law forbid the use of government staff time and equipment for campaign news releases, including endorsements, according to The Los Angeles Times. Garcetti’s office released the endorsement via email on Thursday, but within an hour, the Times questioned the propriety of the release, prompting the office to send a news release in another email, reading, “Today’s statement on Hillary Clinton was sent in error.”

When the Times probed further, a Garcetti staff member admitted the initial mistake but had no further comment, instructing the Times to ask Bill Carrick, Garcetti’s 2017 reelection campaign consultant. Carrick said the endorsement reflected Garcetti’s position and would be reissued through a non-governmental email account. He told the newspaper, “It was supposed to go out from me and someone in the (mayor’s) office inadvertently sent it out from the–I don’t really know what the explanation is,” adding that the staff rectified the situation with the second email.

Garcetti’s original endorsement read:

I’m proud to endorse Hillary Clinton for president because I know that she understands the challenges and opportunities facing our cities and will be a powerful leader in building our future. … Like Mayors across the country, I am working hard to bring shared prosperity to every corner of our city. And in Hillary Clinton, Mayors will have a partner–someone who is ready to stand up for our mainstream economy, and the people who need help the most.

Garcetti and the Clintons have had an uneasy relationship for years; in 2007, Garcetti, a Los Angeles councilman, endorsed Barack Obama for president over Hillary Clinton. Garcetti served as the Southern California chairman and was one of six state co-chairs for the Obama campaign. In that position, he traveled to eight states and spoke to crowds in English and Spanish on behalf of Obama.

In 2013, the Clintons got even in the Los Angeles mayoral election; Bill Clinton endorsed Garcetti’s opponent, former City Controller Wendy Greuel. The Times reported that Bill Clinton wrote a letter to his supporters, which stated:

In her many years of public service in Los Angeles … Wendy has personified good, honest and effective government, improving the lives of countless Angelenos while saving millions of their tax dollars. And she’s not done yet. Los Angeles is a great city with equally great challenges, so it’s vital that Angelenos elect a proven, creative problem solver to lead them. That’s Wendy Greuel.