Support for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s bid to become the next U.S. ambassador to India may be withering in the Senate, but he can still rely on Mom and Dad.
Garcetti’s parents have hired a powerful lobbying firm to work on getting his appointment moved through the Senate, where it’s been stalled for months, Politico reports.
On Thursday, McGuire Woods Consulting registered to lobby on behalf of Sukey and Gil Garcetti for the purposes of “Outreach Related to Confirmation for Ambassadorship Nomination.” The lobbyists on the account include Ryan Bernstein, former chief of staff to North Dakota Republican Senator John Hoeven. Also on the team is Garcetti’s own former deputy mayor and longtime advisor, Breelyn Pete.
Although Garcetti got through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in January, even there he was dogged by accusations that he ignored allegations of sexual harassment and making racist comments leveled against his former top advisor, Rick Jacobs.
In March, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) announced his plan to delay a vote on the nomination while his people investigated whether Garcetti “enabled abuse” writing, “The United States owes it to the Republic of India to send them a qualified Ambassador that will represent the values of the United States.”
While the report Grassley released earlier this month didn’t cover much new ground, it did state that Garcetti likely knew about Jacobs’s alleged “pervasive, widespread, and notorious” behavior.
“This partisan report was a hit job from the beginning,” the White House said in a statement at the time, “and many of the claims have already been conclusively debunked by more serious independent reports.”
And yet, Garcetti’s mission to India remains in shadowy limbo. Earlier this week, it was revealed that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York performed a May 6 “temperature check” on fellow key Dems who might be feeling a bit chilly toward the Garcetti nom.
When the Los Angeles Times asked some of the legislators about it, Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly said he’s “still doing the due diligence on it” and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York indicated she would review Garcetti’s information “if his name comes up for a vote” on the Senate floor.
Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii told the Times she has not decided whether she would vote in favor of Garcetti and put the weight right back on Schumer.
“Maybe you should ask the leadership what they intend to do with this nomination,” she said.
A rep. for Garcetti declined our request for comment.
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