As we first reported a couple of weeks ago, Mayor Eric Garcetti is still not on great terms with the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce. At the time, he was on the fence about whether he would attend the Chamber's annual “Access D.C.” junket. Upon further reflection, he has come up with a definite answer: No.
“Mayor Garcetti cannot make the trip this year,” said Jeff Millman, Garcetti's spokesman.
Millman did not say what the mayor would be doing instead, though he is obviously quite busy.
Officially, of course, everybody's playing friendsies, because it's in no one's interest to pick a fight over this.
“Though the mayor is not able to join us in D.C. due to scheduling conflicts, he has been very helpful with the trip,” said Ruben Gonzalez, the Chamber's vice president for political affairs. “He may not be there in body, but he's definitely there in spirit.”
Let's see how well that explanation goes over with the business leaders who have each paid $825 (plus expenses) for the privilege of attending this schmooze-fest. Now, instead of rubbing shoulders with the mayor and his entourage at a hotel for three days, the attendees will have to content themselves with lobbying his “spirit.” Is it too late for a refund?
One other note. Antonio Villaraigosa made it a point to attend this trip every single year he was mayor. Now we have a different mayor, with different priorities.