Former Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, whose two terms were a disaster for the city, was confirmed by the Senate Wednesday to serve as Ambassador to India thanks to “yes” votes on cloture from spineless Republican senators like Todd Young, Lindsay Graham, and Susan Collins.
7 Senate Republicans voted Yes confirming former Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as the first U.S. Ambassador to India for the Biden Administration:
— Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) March 15, 2023
It is slightly fitting, though, since streets in slums in India are likely more sanitary and safe than many of the streets in the City of Angels. No wonder Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) said:
“I had an excellent meeting with Mayor Garcetti yesterday, and I was impressed with his knowledge of India.”
There were numerous reasons to oppose confirming Garcetti to any post, even dog catcher, regardless of political persuasion. Just in the pages of RedState we’ve referenced at least four corruption scandals in which Garcetti is a key figure. Former City Council members Mitch Englander and Jose Huizar pled guilty in separate pay-to-play scandals and Mark Ridley-Thomas is currently on trial. His Deputy Mayor, Raymond Chan is currently on trial for corruption in the Jose Huizar scandal, and a fundraiser who donated thousands of dollars to him is a co-defendant. Are we to believe that Garcetti knew nothing at all about these pay-to-play operations and that he didn’t benefit himself?
Then we have at least five documented sexual assaults (yes, assault, as in unwanted sexual touching) by his Deputy Mayor, Rick Jacobs, against staffers in the LA mayor’s office, with lawsuits ongoing. Then, there’s the retaliation against people who finally called him and Rick Jacobs out, and the perjury Garcetti committed during an earlier Senate hearing when he said he knew nothing about Jacobs’ ongoing sexual assaults — after 19 (yes, 19!) whistleblowers testified.
In addition, Garcetti’s office was deeply involved in the LA Metro sexual harassment hotline scandal in which a nonprofit organization run by a well-connected woman obtained a no-bid contract to run the hotline — at a cost of $8,000/cal. As we’ve reported, another Biden nominee, Phil Washington, was also a key figure in that scandal. No criminal charges have yet been filed there, likely because California Attorney General Rob Bonta yanked the investigation from the LA County Sheriff’s Department (back when Alex Villanueva was still in office).
If that’s not enough to disqualify the man, we can talk about things like the contract Garcetti signed with Chinese electric car manufacturer BYD (yes, the company that Newsom gave $1 billion to for masks during the pandemic) for electric buses that were so terribly made that they stalled out while going uphill. Oh, and that contract was signed in 2020, while the company was on a federal export blacklist championed by Rep. John Garamendi, a Democrat from California.
We can also talk about Garcetti soliciting donations to the Mayor’s Fund from Dominic Ng, known as a Beijing asset.
And if all of that’s not enough, we can talk about how crime and homelessness in Los Angeles skyrocketed during the years Garcetti served as mayor, and how third-world diseases like typhus saw a renaissance in downtown LA due to Garcetti’s horrific signature trash-and-recycling program, which left mounds of rotting garbage lying around the city back in 2019 and led to a rat infestation in City Hall. Remember that?
VIDEO: Rat at LA City Hall. Staffers say this is not the first time. This comes as an LA city hall worker was infected with typhus in an outbreak plaguing downtown Los Angeles. Story: https://t.co/9V01QwCcab
Video: Office of LA City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez pic.twitter.com/uOCtvloNTd
— FOX 11 Los Angeles (@FOXLA) February 8, 2019
Conditions in Garcetti’s Los Angeles are so terrible that he’s been sued by homeless advocates over the “inhumane conditions.”
Biden’s alliance with Garcetti has been tenuous for quite some time. Garcetti, son of legendary Los Angeles District Attorney Gil Garcetti, served as co-chair of Biden’s Vice Presidential search committee, but around the time of the DNC convention, a member of Garcetti’s LAPD security detail sued him and the City of LA, alleging that Garcetti’s Deputy Mayor, Rick Jacobs, repeatedly sexually harassed him and that Garcetti knew and did nothing to stop it. Garcetti’s response:
“This lawsuit is a work of pure fiction, and is out of left field. Officer Garza and I worked together for many years without incident. I will vigorously defend myself, my character and my reputation.”
Then in October 2020 Yashar Ali, a freelance journalist and former staffer for both Garcetti and California Gov. Gavin Newsom, published an explosive article describing how Jacobs sexually assaulted him while he was on the job, and that there were more victims who had not yet come forward.
[Ali wrote] that between 2005 through 2015, Jacobs forcibly kissed him on the lips, even commenting about how soft Ali’s lips were, on numerous occasions, always at events and in front of other people.
Ali had confronted Jacobs about the conduct and informed Garcetti’s office at the time Garza’s lawsuit was filed and received a complete denial from Jacobs and, after a brief conversation with one of Garcetti’s aides, silence from the Mayor’s office. In his conversations with insiders in the office, he found that two more employees had been the recipients of this unwanted sexual touching from Jacobs and that Jacobs’ behavior was somewhat of an open secret among the staff.
The week Ali’s piece was published, Garcetti was scheduled to accompany Biden on a tour through California and to moderate a virtual campaign event in which Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, and Tony Blinken were set to discuss foreign policy. Garcetti was pulled from those events as a result of the bad publicity, and many political observers believe that Garcetti wasn’t immediately nominated to any position with the Biden administration because of it.
Eventually, Biden nominated Garcetti to be Ambassador to India, but that came at an inopportune time since depositions were at that time taking place in the lawsuit filed by the LAPD officer and they weren’t going well for Garcetti and Jacobs. A former staffer, Naomi Seligman, testified in a deposition that Jacobs had assaulted her, too, and that she encountered a “Mafia-like culture that rewarded silence” and was told that Jacobs “was protected by the mayor” when she reported the incident.
A former high-level aide to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti testified last month that former Garcetti advisor Rick Jacobs kissed both her and her husband on the mouth without their consent, and that a male Garcetti staffer separately complained to her that Jacobs made a pass at him.
Former Garcetti communications director Naomi Seligman said in deposition testimony that Jacobs grabbed her and kissed her on the lips in 2016 in front of several staffers, an incident she called humiliating. Seligman, who worked in the mayor’s office from 2015 to 2017, also testified that she complained about the incident to Garcetti chief of staff Ana Guerrero but that nothing was done.
The LA Times reported that there were more “explosive allegations” in Seligman’s testimony but didn’t specify what they were. Perhaps that’s the information Sen. Mazie Hirono received in confidence that changed her yes vote for Garcetti to no.
Senators will vote no because they have seen the evidence and they believe the whistleblowers.
Thank you @maizehirono @senmarkkelly @sensherrodbrown
Two ppl below showed me this pic. It was circulated widely. Jacobs did it b/c there were no consequences. @ericgarcetti knew pic.twitter.com/MZk5jedDgd
— Naomi Seligman (@naomiseligman) March 15, 2023
Senators had the benefit of reading these text messages from former staffers that are in the public record about Garcetti, whether in discovery from the lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles filed by Garcetti’s former bodyguard, or in the Senate investigative file. Yet, seven Republican senators still voted yes.
3. Garcetti’s speechwriter Anna Bahr texts with Garcetti comms director Suzi Emmerling.
Anna says Rick Jacobs “abused and harassed me” “groped my fiancee” and “there’s nothing to say beyond its all true”
But she adds she won’t speak out because “I don’t want to bring down Eric” pic.twitter.com/ruGdhlyE9s
— Yashar Ali 🐘 یاشار (@yashar) March 14, 2023
5. These texts are all in a Senate investigative report and as part of discovery in a lawsuit against the City of LA.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of the evidence that Eric Garcetti was aware that his top aide was a serial sexual harasser and assaulter.
— Yashar Ali 🐘 یاشار (@yashar) March 14, 2023
What’s the use of having Republican senators when they bend over and vote for a terrible Democrat nominee with a long and well-documented history of corruption and ineptitude?