For Immediate Release:
May 16, 2018
Los Angeles, CA — The nonpartisan nonprofit PolitiFact California rated John Chiang’s attack against Antonio Villaraigosa “false,” noting Chiang’s ad “distorts the facts and creates a narrative that’s simply not supported.”
PolitiFact California reporter Chris Nichols said on Capital Public Radio, “Another thing that the ad leaves out, and it’s a big thing, is the fact that this backlog was eliminated – not just reduced – but eliminated under Villaraigosa’s watch… Under his leadership, the police force, the city, did go through and test all these thousands of kits.”
Law enforcement organizations and leaders have come out against the inaccurate attack ad and are calling on television stations to refuse to air the ad.
“Public safety was a top priority for Mayor Villaraigosa, and he was personally involved in making sure the rape kit backlog was eliminated in Los Angeles. This was a prime example of a successful partnership and not only did it bring justice – we saw a 20% decline in rapes and made the city safer. Not only is John Chiang misleading voters with false claims, he is dishonoring the efforts of Mayor Villaraigosa and the LAPD in bringing justice to these victims. He should remove this ad from the airwaves immediately,” said Craig Lally, President of the Los Angeles Police Protective League.
“Antonio Villaraigosa always stood for justice and prioritized public safety, even during economic declines, just as he did as mayor of Los Angeles when he partnered with law enforcement to tackle the decade old backlog of untested rape kits. As reported back in 2011, his leadership led to the backlog being cleared, and more importantly, the arrest of many serious sexual predators,” states Jennifer Tejada, Director at Large for the California Police Chiefs Association.
The inaccurate ad also attacked Mayor Villaraigosa’s financial management of the city during the recession.
“The great recession crippled Los Angeles’ finances,” said former Los Angeles City Administrator Miguel Santana. “Faced with an extremely difficult situation, Mayor Villaraigosa stepped up and made the tough calls to keep the city solvent and operating, and we came through it stronger than ever. He brought Los Angeles back to financial health and saved our city from bankruptcy. In a crisis, you need a leader who can bring people together and get things done. He saved our city.”