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The last time by Eric Garcetti the nomination to become US ambassador to India was before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in December 2021 things went quite smoothly for the then mayor of Los Angeles.
Only one member of the committee, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (DN.H.), urged him over allegations of sexual harassment against one of his former advisers. The following month, the committee voted to move his nomination to the full Senate.
But now some Republicans seem ready for a fight. The committee would reconsider Garcetti’s nomination Tuesday because it is a new session of Congress and all of President Biden’s nominations must be resubmitted.
sen. marco rubio (R-Fla.), a member of the committee, said Friday that he “holds on” Garcetti’s nomination, a move that slows the process. (Other Republicans have at times snagged Garcetti’s nomination, too.)
In a statement, Rubio claimed that Garcetti “disregarded credible allegations of sexual assault in his previous office.”
Rubio also detained other nominees to be included in Tuesday’s meeting.
Under committee rules, any member can postpone a vote on a candidate until the next committee meeting. That means a vote on Garcetti probably won’t happen take place on Tuesday.
A spokesman for Garcetti declined to comment.
The former mayor’s nomination stalled last year over questions whether Garcetti and top aides were aware of sexual harassment complaints filed against the former adviser Rick Jacobs. Jacobs has said he has not harassed anyone and Garcetti has denied being aware of any complaints.
The panel previously considered Garcetti’s nomination in January 2022, and no senator objected. But at the same time, no formal roll call vote was held by the committee chair, Sen. Robert Menendez (D.N.J.).
After that meeting, Garcetti’s nomination was expected to go to the Senate and be confirmed. Many in Los Angeles began preparing for the then-mayor’s early departure.
But then, sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) launched an investigation into the allegations involving Jacobs. Grassley’s office eventually released a report concluding that Garcetti knew or should have known of the alleged misconduct. Grassley also gave a speech on the Senate floor urging Republicans to vote against the nomination.
At the same time, Garcetti’s parents hired a lobbyist to pressure Congress and the White House over the nomination. Garcetti supporters have gathered religious and civic leaders to reach out to senators to support the former mayor.
Ambassadors are given to foreign service experts or political supporters. Garcetti co-chaired Biden’s presidential campaign. He has no expertise in India and has visited the country a few times.
Since leaving office, Garcetti has kept a low profile. The former mayor has been telling people about a recently planned trip to Ukraine, according to sources, though it’s unclear why he went to the country. Garcetti’s spokesman declined to comment on the trip.
— LATEST POLL: With sen. Diana Feinstein announcement that she will not seek another term, the race to replace her has heated up. Two Southern California Democrats, Reps. Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank) and Kate Porter (D Irvine), held a strong early position ahead of the top two in the state, according to a UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll, co-sponsored by The Times. representative Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) is well behind the pair.
Schiff has the support of 22% of respondents, including 20% for Porter, 6% for Lee, and 4% for Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Fremont), the bearing found.
Dakota Smith of The Times ran into Lee at Los Angeles City Hall on Thursday night and asked her about the poll, which was conducted before she officially launched her campaign. “I just launched my campaign two days ago,” Lee said, adding that she feels “good” about the race.
Smith also asked Lee if she feels like she has an edge because she’s from Northern California since Schiff and Porter are from the southern part of the state.
“I’m going to vote for anything,” Lee said, pointing out that she attended San Fernando High School.
— SIN CITY: The Times looked at how the issue of mistrust of City Hall plays into the race for the seat of City Council District 6 in the eastern and central San Fernando Valley. Will skepticism about the city council and politicians help or hurt the turnout in the race to succeed the former council president? Nuri Martinez?
— BAD JOURNEY: The Metropolitan Transportation Authority reports that since January 1, there have been as many deaths on his system as last year. Crime and drug use are leading some officials to call for greater security.
— TIME-OUT: There’s more drama in the city’s Department of Animal Services as the director of volunteer programs was placed on administrative leave.
— DEADLINE ANNOUNCED: City officials told families displaced by the failed 2021 South LA fireworks display to vacate the hotel they’ve called home on March 31, leading some to worry about shelter.
— BASS ON POLICE: In the clearest indication yet of her police priorities, Mayor Karen Bass said she wants the LAPD to hire more homicide detectives, overhaul its discipline system and root out far-right extremists within its ranks. She presented her police plans to The Times.
Critique of Valley debate site
District 6 candidate of the Los Angeles City Council Antoinette Scully criticizes the Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils for holding a recent debate (which was moderated by a Times reporter) at Osborne Neighborhood Church in Arleta.
Scully attended the debate and later tweeted images of a pamphlet which hung in the hallway of the evangelical church on the day of the debate. The pamphlet spoke of what marriage is like between a man and a woman, saying that “no human society” has ever “tolerated” marriage between two members of the same sex.
“I hope that in the future organizations will consider locations that are more inclusive of people of all backgrounds, ethnicities, sexual orientations and gender identities,” Scully said in a statement. The statement also noted that Scully is a “strange mom with strange kids.”
“I want my kids to feel safe when I take them to events, as any parent no doubt does.”
Linda Gravani, president of the Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils, said the “purpose of the forum is to get to know the candidates.” She said none of the candidates objected to the venue before the event.
Pastor of Osborne Neighborhood Church Ryan Donnelly confirmed that the pamphlets were in the church and said that the literature is there regularly because it is routinely sent to the organization or distributed by church members.
- Who controls the city? To install Karen Bass.
- More people run: Mayor of West Hollywood Lonely shine will seek the congressional seat is evicted by Schiff.
- approvals: endorsed by The North Valley Democratic Club of Los Angeles Mark Santana in the LA City Council District 6 race. Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez supported Imelda Padilla in the same race.
Times staff writer Jennifer Haberkorn in Washington, DC, contributed to this report.
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