Two days after she declined to denounce a misleading mailer targeting Latinos that benefited her own mayoral candidacy, City Controller Wendy Greuel criticized an ad by her rival that she said was inaccurate, and called for truth in campaign advertising.
Greuel called for the change following the release of a negative, 30-second TV spot by rival Eric Garcetti's supporters that suggests Greuel is two-faced in her immigration views.
The ad points out she was a Republican for 13 years. The spot also ties Greuel with former Gov. Pete Wilson's efforts on Prop 187, an initiative to stop undocumented workers from receiving state services.
The ad states Greuel was a Republican during Wilson's "anti-immigrant era."
The spot was released by Lots of People who Support Eric Garcetti, an independent expenditure committee backing the councilman.
Standing with supporters in Boyle Heights on Wednesday, Greuel called the advertisement "unbelievably disgusting." Her campaign said Greuel vehemently opposed Prop. 187, and campaigned against the proposition.
Greuel was a registered Republican until 1992. She said Wednesday she switched parties after deciding she was more interested in the social policies of the Democratic party.
The new TV advertisement comes days after Greuel declined to weigh in on controversial mailers that also targeted the Latino community, a key voting bloc in the mayor's race.
On Monday, she said she hadn't seen the mailers, and that they were sent by individuals she doesn't know.
The mailers, sent out by the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor's political group, suggest Greuel will raise the minimum wage from $8 to $15. No such hike is being proposed for the general workforce, though one would raise such wages for hotel workers.
Asked Wednesday if there were any similarities between the Wilson TV spot and the $15 wage mailer, Greuel replied: "I want every ad, every mailer to be truthful."
"In politics, people get cute....but they have to be factually correct," she added.
City Councilman Jose Huizar, a Greuel supporter who appeared alongside the candidate at the press conference, recently appeared at a rally that touted the $15 wage.
At Wednesday's event, he was asked about union-backed trucks that are driving around Latino neighborhoods, using loudspeakers to promote Greuel's promise of a $15 wage.
"They should stop the trucks, and they should correct the message," Huizar said.
Both Huizar and Greuel sought to portray the Wilson spot as more egregious than the $15 mailers.
Greuel also called on Garcetti to denounce the new ad.
In a statement, Garcetti spokesman Jeff Millman said the rival candidate should "run truthful TV ads, because her claim to have found $160 million in waste, fraud and abuse has been discredited by the LA Times, which called it an 'accounting maneuver' and an 'unrealistic' revenue projection."
Rick Jacobs, head of Lots of People Who Support Eric Garcetti, called the advertisement "100 percent accurate."
"She was a Republican for 13 years. She was a Republican 2 years after Pete Wilson was elected," Jacobs,said. "Why didn't she change her party affiliation? Who is the real Wendy Greuel?"
Greuel spokesman Dan Loeterman said she voted for Dianne Feinstein over Wilson in the 1990 California governor's race.