We will now all get to see exactly how long Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti can hold his breath.
Earlier this week, Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley asked that the confirmation process for Garcetti’s ambassadorial nomination be delayed while his staff further investigates allegations that not only did the mayor know about the predatory behavior of his top political fixer, Rick Jacobs, but that he also specifically lied about it during a Senate hearing last year.
Passed over – possibly due to Los Angeles’ massive and politically unsightly homelessness issue – for other plum Biden administration appointments, like Secretary of Transportation, Garcetti seemed in line to get at least a little something from the man he backed early in the 2020 election process when he was tapped as the potential ambassador to India last year.
Initially delayed, in large part like other ambassadorial nominations due to COVID-related legislation issues, Garcetti faced his only actual Senate hearing last December. During that hearing, he was asked a single question about the behavior of Jacobs and denied even being aware of the allegations, let alone of having direct knowledge of the alleged egregious activities.
“I want to say unequivocally that I never witnessed, nor was it brought to my attention, the behavior that’s been alleged, and I also want to assure you if it had been, I would have immediately taken action to stop that,” Garcetti said.
At issue are the numerous credible allegations – many made by former political allies and long-time Garcetti staffers – that Jacobs was not only a predatory sexual harasser but also that Garcetti was fully aware of the on-going situation and actively chose to ignore the problem.
It should be noted that alleged harassment is seemingly well beyond the garden variety comments and actions that would get any other employee instantly hauled into human resources for, at least, a stern warning and involve physically grabbing people, making very crude and very overt suggestions and comments to both male and female staffers – a deeper dive into the specifics of the allegations the history between Jacobs and Garcetti shows this.
After possibly lying to the Senate, the mayor’s former communications director, Naomi Seligman, filed perjury complaints again Garcetti with numerous law enforcement agencies and government boards and commissions.
It is this complaint, plus other information, that led Grassley to ask for more time to investigate Garcetti’s actions and delay his confirmation. While the entire Senate can vote on an individual ambassadorship, they tend to be done in bunches by voice vote rather than be brought to the floor individually for debate. For those familiar with the process, this is somewhat akin to how local government agencies group non-controversial routine activities, like paying the city hall electric bill each month, into the “consent” portion of each agenda to streamline meetings. Grassley’s actions essentially moved the nomination from the “consent” to the “regular” portion of the agenda, allowing for open debate and individual recorded voting, amongst other things, and causing a significant scheduling headache if and when the Senate actually takes up the nomination.
Grassley’s move lends credence to the impression that Garcetti – a beta-male if there ever was one – allowed Jacobs to run rampant through City Hall, at least in part because the mayor was so dependent on the predatory alpha-male Jacobs to handle the “dirty work” involved in politics.
This inherent Garcetti weakness – and a possible reason why the mayor tolerated the behavior – has been noted before:
This petulant, child-like disproportional foot stomping is a signature move of the empowered Beta, as is an absolute refusal to either tell the truth or face any consequences. From Garcetti’s ludicrous claim that he knew nothing of his top aide/political attack dog/actual alpha male fixer Rick Jacobs serial sexual harassment (a dozen witnesses say Jacob’s harassed both men and women in a way that would make the writers of “Mad Men” blush) to his admittedly innovative defense of “I was holding my breath” for not wearing a mask at a recent football game the elected Beta will do or say anything to shift and sideline topics he most likely truly believes he should not have to address.
(To see the entire piece, you can visit: https://thomas699.substack.com/p/letat-cest-blah?s=w)
Considering the perjury allegations, the numerous other corruption cases swirling around City Hall, and the practically dystopian landscape of portions of Los Angeles the likelihood that Garcetti will have to hold his breath for a very very long time – if not forever – is increasing with each passing.
But if he needs something to do after his term is over in a few months, maybe he could ask Mark Ridley-Thomas if USC is hiring…