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Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti speaking at Moving America Forward Forum, at UNLV. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Garcetti Squeezes Through Committee Vote

His India Ambassador Nomination Now Goes to Full Senate

By Thomas Buckley, March 8, 2023 3:55 pm

Despite being called “unfit to represent our country” by his own former communications director, erstwhile Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti squeaked through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today and his 600-day-old nomination to become ambassador to India is now headed – maybe – to a vote by the full Senate.

The committee vote 13-8 to push his nomination forward; all of the committee’s Democrats voted yes as did two Republicans, Sens. Todd Young of Indiana and Bill Hagerty of Tennessee.

Attempts to reach either Senator for comment as to why they voted “yes” and if that means they will automatically vote “yes” again in the final vote have been thus far unsuccessful.

Unlike the last time his nomination was before the committee – when it was approved on an uncontested voice vote – Garcetti did not testify at the closed-door meeting. 

“Today’s vote, on International Women’s Day no less, shows a real disconnect between the rhetoric we hear from elected leaders who claim to support victims of workplace sexual harassment and the pass they give to party loyalists in the next breath. It’s disheartening to say the least,” said Naomi Seligman, Garcetti’s former communications director and whistleblower who testified to sexual abuse at L.A. City Hall and was herself a victim.

“It was already clear from the time of his nomination that Garcetti was unfit to represent our country, and each passing month reveals new embarrassments to the President and the Senate – from prior perjury before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, strong arming senators to support his nomination, more witnesses and victims of sexual harassment, and multiple members of the Garcetti administration facing corruption charges and serving prison sentences,” added Seligman. 

Garcetti’s nomination was troubled from the beginning by his not-credible denial of any knowledge of the alleged gross sexual misconduct acts of friend, fund raiser, and political henchman Rick Jacobs.

Jacobs has been credibly accused by a number of other former Garcetti staffers of aggressive fondling, unwanted kissing, and racist comments (for a deeper dive into the details, see here.   

Despite this being public knowledge, Biden nominated Garcetti for the post, though he did, reportedly, pass him over for other administration spots.

Garcetti previously testified to the Senate committee that he was unaware of even the allegations against – let alone the actions – of Jacobs.  That testimony was met with significant skepticism and, along with new information presented by a number of whistleblowers, sparked an investigation by Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, (R).  The investigation found that Garcetti’s testimony before the committee was almost certainly false.

While today’s vote represents a certain amount of progress for Garcetti, he must still face essentially the same Senate that balked on even voting on his nomination last year.  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said he hoped to bring the nomination to the floor for a final vote soon, though as recently as last fall he indicated he did not have the 50 votes needed to put Garcetti on a plane to New Delhi.

As for this time around, Garcetti – who recently went to Washington to meet with senators and trawl for support – again may or may not have the votes needed for conformation. 

While certain Republican senators have made positive noises about Garcetti, Susan Collins of Maine, for example, a number of Democrats – such as Mark Kelly of Arizona – have expressed significant misgivings about the nomination.

With Pennsylvania’s John Fetterman and California’s own Diane Feinstein facing medical issues that may keep them from voting, presumably in favor of Garcetti, the picture becomes even murkier for the former mayor.

(The Globe has reached out to numerous potential swing senators for comment and will update this piece as we receive statements and comments.)

Senate observers believe Schumer will poll his members to see if he has the votes and if – this time – he can be reasonably assured of victory he will bring the vote forward to the floor as quickly as possible.

If Schumer thinks the votes may not be there and/or it’s too close to call he will most likely delay, postpone, or merely ignore the matter as he has done for nearly the past two years.

In other words, any vote could come to Vice-President Kamala Harris casting a tie-breaking vote.

He better hope he never cut her off in traffic.

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5 thoughts on “Garcetti Squeezes Through Committee Vote

  1. I’d like to know what the two Republicans are thinking who voted for this incompetent, lying idiot Garcetti.

  2. Why doesn’t that lame brain fool just retire? These Democrat hacks go from one political job to another and we can never be free of them.

  3. I know we have to take what we can get when it comes to these matters —- you know, such as having to go after a Mafia head on tax evasion instead of the more serious stuff —- but that in this case Yoga Pants Garcetti is being tarred and feathered for the sexual improprieties of his ridiculous aide when the real issue is that he is responsible for the City of L.A.’s present state as an almost-unrecognizable smoldering wreck of a dumpster fire is almost too much to bear.
    Nevertheless it would obviously be another U.S. problem and humiliation (added to the pile) for the infamous and clownish former L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti to be Ambassador to India. So whatever works…

  4. Ah Yes! The reward of being a stooge for the Democrats.
    More benefits at retirement, a rent free large house to live in!
    Isn’t it grand!
    the people, we don’ need no stinking people, we have precinct captains!

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