Mayor Garcetti on the set of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" last week.
Yesterday afternoon, a rather surprising email went out from the City Hall office of Mayor Eric Garcetti. He was endorsing Hillary Clinton for president. No big news there — except that they have never been especially close — but such endorsements usually don't come on the official city account. The news was tweeted along by a couple of reporters and by me, and then came the terse follow-up: "Today's statement on Hillary Clinton was sent in error." There was a pause to re-set, then the endorsement was sent again from the political account that Garcetti keeps outside the taxpayer-supported virtual walls of City Hall. "I just came from a meeting with Hillary Clinton…," it informs his mailing list.
Statement of Eric Garcetti Endorsing Hillary Clinton for President
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 5, 2015
CONTACT: Bill Carrick
"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.
She will fight to transform the lives of hard-working Americans because she shares the values we hold dear — she has a passion for civil rights, the know-how to connect our communities, the drive to tackle economic inequality, and a commitment to ensuring millions know the benefits of citizenship.
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.
I look forward to working with my fellow Angelenos and others across the nation to assure that Hillary Clinton is the next President of the United States"
It's pretty basic City Hall savvy to keep political and campaign work separate from city work, and staffers even take leaves and vacation days when they work on the boss's reelection campaigns. It's definitely fuzzy but it's the mark of a good staff to know where the line is and stay on the side that doesn't generate bad press. On this, the media coverage nd social media treatment has not been kind to Garcetti.
Peter Jamison, the reporter on the mayor for the Los Angeles Times, went this way:
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s attempt to endorse Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential campaign quickly devolved into an embarrassment for the mayor Thursday afternoon….
In a subsequent interview, a Garcetti staff member said the original Clinton endorsement was sent from the wrong email account but declined to comment on whether the endorsement of Clinton was being retracted. The mayor’s staff referred that question to Bill Carrick, Garcetti’s 2017 reelection campaign consultant.
Carrick said Garcetti's endorsement of Clinton stands, and would shortly be reissued through a non-governmental email account. He said he could not explain the circumstances surrounding the first endorsement statement.
"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," Carrick said.
He said the mayor's staff sent the "error" email after realizing that the first news release was an inappropriate use of city resources.
Clinton was in town this week for presidential campaign fundraisers. Husband Bill Clinton was a visible Wendy Greuel supporter during the campaign in which Garcetti was elected mayor, and Garcetti supported Barack Obama in 2008 when Hillary Clinton was a rival. In September, Gene Maddaus of the LA Weekly did a piece on how Garcetti and Clinton had not spoken to each other.
Previously on LA Observed:
Garcetti puts himself on Clinton list for VP (sort of)