L.A. election: Garcetti supporters cite Greuel's DWP, union ties

L.A. election: Garcetti supporters cite Greuel's DWP, union ties
Eric Garcetti, with wife Amy Wakeland, casts his ballot at Allesandro Elementary School in Silver Lake. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Encino residents Ian and Susan Buda said they voted for Eric Garcetti in L.A.'s mayoral race Tuesday. The reason?

"The DWP," Susan Buda said, pointing to a nearby white Department of Water and Power truck.


"The two of them haven't got much to say in terms of differences, so the DWP was a big factor," her husband added.

The biggest single contributor to the $33-million-plus, two-year mayoral race has been the pro-Wendy Greuel "super PAC," Working Californians. Fund-raising reports showed the group -- which raised more than $4.1 million -- received major funding from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the union that represents employees at the Department of Water and Power and elsewhere.

The Budas thought that Greuel accepting money from the group would have negative effects on both city finances and their own personal ones.

"When you get that much money from someone, they expect something in return," Ian Buda said. "And that something in return is going to be reflected on our next bill, or the one after that."

After voting at a polling station that neighbors a DWP distribution facility, Bill Knight, 81, of Encino, said he too was bothered by Greuel's ties to unions.

"She accepted money from a group," he said, gesturing his sunglasses at two DWP trucks parked across the street. "That one, and that was probably the main problem I had."

"Plus she made a few more phone calls than Garcetti," he said, noting he was glad the campaign was over.

"This business of getting hit by these candidates 50, 60, 70 times during the campaign -- it's just total overkill," he said. "You don't have a chance to think."

Diana Lorber, 72, of Encino said she didn't vote for either candidate. She supported Kevin James early on and decided not to vote for Greuel or Garcetti.

"They both [stink]," she said. "They're the same and neither has been very good for the city."

Allan Gerson, 70, of Encino, said he voted for Garcetti -- but only because they are family friends.

"I'm older, so I'm cynical," he said. "It doesn't matter who gets elected. Things will be the same."


Also at stake in Tuesday's election are the offices of city attorney and city controller and seats on the City Council, the L.A. Unified school board and the L.A. Community College District board, along with a handful of ballot measures. Polls opened at 7 a.m. and will close at 8 p.m.