Brian D'Arcy, leader of the DWP union

Brian D'Arcy is business manager and financial secretary for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times / March 27, 2009)

The union that represents Department of Water and Power employees has pumped another $300,000 into the effort to elect Wendy Greuel, cementing its status as the largest single contributor in the Los Angeles mayor’s race, according to campaign finance reports obtained Saturday.

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18 dropped $200,000 into the campaign group Working Californians for Greuel, whose treasurer is Brian D’Arcy, the DWP union’s top executive. The IBEW’s Washington, D.C.-based political action committee also put $100,000 into the pro-Greuel group, according to filings sent to the city’s Ethics Commission.

The influx of money means that IBEW organizations have put at least $2.1 million into the effort to elect Greuel, the city controller. That includes at least $250,000 from IBEW Local 11, which has been pressing lawmakers at City Hall to approve new policies allowing digital billboards in various parts of Los Angeles.

The money provides a timely boost for Greuel, who recently reported that her campaign had less than $275,000 cash on hand as of May 4. Unions and other contributors do not have to comply with the city's $1,300 limit on mayoral donations as long as they do not coordinate their efforts with the candidate's campaign.

Over the last three weeks, Working Californians has run TV ads featuring former President Clinton praising Greuel at a Greuel campaign event in Westlake. The group also has been sending mailers to voters accusing her opponent, City Councilman Eric Garcetti, of "driving L.A. to the brink of bankruptcy." The mailers mimic the cover of the magazine US Weekly.

Garcetti contends he made difficult cuts to the city budget during a financial crisis and has accused Greuel of standing on the sidelines. He has tried to turn Greuel’s DWP union backing into a negative, saying it shows she would not be independent when it comes to their issues.

Greuel called Garcetti's assertions hollow, noting that he backed a 2009 package of raises for DWP workers.

Working Californians for Greuel has taken in more than $1 million from other sources, including unions representing city firefighters, carpenters and the pipe trades, as well as executives with the studio DreamWorks, where Greuel once worked.

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Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel have spirited debate at Cal State LA

Twitter: @DavidZahniser

david.zahniser@latimes.com