Tuesday, 11:15 a.m. Updated below with video. Controller Wendy Greuel will be the first candidate to run TV commercials in the race for L.A. mayor, according to records filed with the Federal Communications Commission.
Greuel's ads will start airing Tuesday morning. The campaign spent at least $125,000 on its initial week-long buy with KABC, with an additional, unspecified buy at KNBC. The ads will air mainly during the local news, as well as during the Jimmy Kimmel Show. (Kimmel, by the way, is an Eric Garcetti supporter.)
The Greuel campaign declined to comment on the ad, but it is expected to be a positive spot introducing Greuel to voters and laying out her record ridding the city of waste as controller.
We'll update this post when we get the video. Update: Here it is.
In the ad, Greuel repeats her much-touted claim that she has discovered $160 million in waste, fraud and abuse as city controller. Greuel has been saying this several times a day for months, but now that it's part of a TV commercial, the Garcetti campaign has decided to challenge it.
In a release, the Garcetti campaign says that Greuel has actually recovered only $239,000 in actual cash — a trivial amount in the context of the city's $216 million deficit. The Garcetti campaign also notes that Greuel's own annual reports say she has discovered $97 million in waste, fraud and abuse.
Update: John Shallman, Greuel's strategist, accuses Garcetti of displaying a “reckless disregard for the facts.”
“It's clear now why Mr. Garcetti has failed to stop the wasteful spending in City Hall–he's not reading the Controller's audit reports,” Shallman said. “If he had, he would know that the Controller has identified more than $160 million in waste, fraud and abuse.”
Shallman also argued that the commercial claims only that Greuel “found” the waste — not that she had recouped the money. “Unfortunately, when the Council flushes money down the toilet, you can't unflush it.”
Campaign finance reports released last week showed that Greuel's campaign had paid Putnam Partners $87,000 to produce the ad. The firm worked on Greuel's controller campaign in 2009, as well as Carmen Trutanich's race for district attorney last year.
So far, there's been no sign of TV spots from Garcetti — Greuel's top rival — though they are sure to follow in short order.
The only other ad we've seen so far has been from the Better Way L.A. committee, which is backing Kevin James. Today the committee unveiled a pared-down, 30-second version of its “Henhouse” spot:
No word yet on when this one will hit the airwaves.
First posted 10:18 p.m. Monday.