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LA Mayor Eric Garcetti announces city furloughs on September 3, 2020. (Photo: lacity.gov)

No Garcetti Vote, But No Love Either

Sen. Grassley, women’s rights group issue statements blasting Garcetti

By Thomas Buckley, March 14, 2023 3:41 pm

Though the U.S. Senate vote on his nomination will not take place until Wednesday, ex-Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti still found himself the center of attention with multiple sources decrying his potential India ambassadorship.

Sen. Chuck Grassley – who investigated Garcetti last year and concluded he almost certainly lied to the Senate as to his knowledge of the egregious behavior of his political fixer Rick Jacobs – excoriated Garcetti in a written statement:

“Indefensibly, at the same time the Biden administration decries sexual harassment and racism, it has now twice nominated an individual to represent our country abroad who has enabled those very same disgusting acts,” Grassley writes.  “Accordingly, I continue to oppose Garcetti’s nomination and ask this question: what will it take for the Biden administration to believe the victims? That same question should be posed to every member in the Senate that’s considering voting for him.”

Referencing his report, Grassley said 19 credible witnesses and/or targets of Jacobs’ indiscriminately aggressive conduct have come forward to say Garcetti knew full well what was happening and how “toxic” Jacobs made the atmosphere in City Hall.

To bolster his “three monkeys” claim of seeing, hearing, and knowing nothing of Jacobs’ actions, Garcetti cites an “investigation” done at the behest of the mayor’s office that found no significant problems.  

Grassley was having none of that:

To defend himself, Mayor Garcetti has pointed to a report, which inconceivably purports to clear Jacobs of any wrongdoing. The report was conducted by a law firm hired and paid for by the city of Los Angeles. Mayor Garcetti and the city of Los Angeles would be liable if the report concluded sexual harassment occurred. The report was also delivered to the city of Los Angeles under Attorney Client privilege, apparently in the hope that no one outside the city would ever see it.

The report failed to interview multiple firsthand witnesses. The interviews weren’t taken under penalty of perjury. The report focused exclusively on allegations of sexual harassment made by the Los Angeles Police Department officer and failed to give due weight to other witnesses. For example, the report includes an interview with Jacobs in which he admits to using racist language, kissing, hugging, and squeezing people’s shoulders. The report also identifies the individual in the lewd photo I mentioned earlier. The report says that the individual stated that Jacob’s actions weren’t funny and embarrassed that person.

That makes it clear nonconsensual physical contact occurred. It’s evidence that sexual harassment occurred. And it literally occurred right next to Mayor Garcetti.”

Here is the picture Grassley referenced:

Rick Jacobs, Eric Garcetti crotch grab photo.

Grassley also directly criticized President Biden for nominating – twice – a predator enabler:

“So, on the one hand, the Biden administration says it supports victims. Yet, on the other hand, the Biden administration supports a nominee who enables misconduct that creates more victims,” wrote Grassley.  “The Biden administration’s positions are irreconcilable. They’re the very definition of tone deafness. The Biden Administration and all those who support this nomination have sent a message that victims will only be believed when politically convenient. The Biden administration has no credibility when it comes to protecting victims of sexual harassment.”

For background, the political fixer 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.

The founders of Lift Our Voices , a non-profit that works to end workplace harassment, Gretchen Carlson (formerly of Fox News) and Julie Roginsky were highly critical of Garcetti Tuesday.

Carlson said she is “deeply troubled” by Garcetti’s actions, while Roginsky added that  “(T)here are thousands of survivors watching this vote who are wondering whether they should come forward or whether they will be dismissed if they get the courage to speak up. As a nation, we have a choice to make about the message we send them.”

National liberal feminist group Ultraviolet also sharply slapped down Garcetti, even though he claims to be ideologically aligned with the goals of movements like Ultraviolet.

“Nineteen people, including survivors, have come forward to tell the truth about Eric Garcetti and how he enabled the culture of harassment and abuse in his office,” Ultraviolet said.  “The US should not send someone to represent us anywhere in the world who enables sexual harassment and abuse.”

All of this comes on the heels of Monday’s revelation of Garcetti’s possible ties to the Chinese intelligence community – and the CNN interview of his former communications director Naomi Seligman.

Seligman told Tapper that Jacobs left her pretty much alone until she and her husband attended a function together and Jacobs walked up to her and aggressively kissed her in front of her husband.

“It was a power move,” said Seligman, especially considering Jacobs is gay but acts sexually aggressive to any and all.

Seligman added that on one occasion Jacobs “dry humped” a Garcetti lawyer in a Capitol Hill elevator – making his harassment bi-coastal as well – until the mayor finally responded to the woman’s pleas for help by telling Jacobs to “cut it out.”

“On the eve of Garcetti’s confirmation vote, which should never have reached the floor of the Senate, we are heartened to see survivors and advocates raising their voices in support of standing with victims of sexual abuse, not enablers of abuse like Garcetti,” said Libby Liu of Whistleblower Aid, a group that has helped Seligman – a life-long Democrat – in her struggle to stop Garcetti.  “Senators will ignore them at their peril.”

Following discussions of other issues and a different nomination, the Senate this afternoon adjourned until tomorrow when the vote on Garcetti is expected, possibly about 2pm EST.

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3 thoughts on “No Garcetti Vote, But No Love Either

  1. Thomas, these vote delays indicate to me that Senators want Biden to remove Garcetti’s nomination and nominate someone else. They don’t want to vote on Garcetti up or down. It goes on the congressional record and they don’t want to be associated with this guy either way.

  2. Garcetti and all those associated with him are typical Democrats? They’ve got zero ethics and no morals.

  3. Senator Hirono of Hawaii is very left-wing on social issues. Although not stated, I suspect that Hirono’s purported reason for switching her support from Garcetti is related to the China connection revelation. Democrat Senators are caught between a rock and a hard place. On one side is Biden, on the other is #MeToo. Hirono is now choosing to go with the #MeToo side.


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