LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The contentious tone of the Los Angeles mayoral race has turned the attention of current mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
Villaraigosa weighed in on the campaign to replace him at a press conference Thursday, as KCAL9′s Dave Bryan reports.
The mayor said he was outraged about TV ads produced by independent groups supporting respective candidates City Controller Wendy Greuel and City Councilman Eric Garcetti, calling claims made in the commercials blatant lies.
“There is no room in a race for mayor in this great, diverse city, for the kind of commercials that two independent expenditure committees have put on TV,” Villaraigosa said.
“One described Wendy Greuel as a supporter of Proposition 187. That is a bald-faced misrepresentation of fact,” he continued, noting that Greuel has “never” been a supporter of the proposition that took away public services for people who were in the country illegally or those who were undocumented.
Villaraigosa also took aim at an independent expenditure committee supporting the City Controller – a group which he said made “outrageous claims” against Garcetti’s ancestry and associated the City Councilman with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whose strict law-enforcement and immigration policies have drawn global attention.
“I know Eric Garcetti,” Villaraigosa said. “Eric Garcetti does not support the policies of self-deportation, does not support the policies of… Arpaio.”
He urged the groups producing the ads to immediately remove them from air.
“I do want to call on the people who are funding those two ads to take them off,” he continued.
Villaraigosa noted that he is no stranger to tough political campaigns, but insisted there is “no place” for such ads in the ongoing race for mayor.
Greuel and Garcetti will face each other in a runoff for the seat on May 21.