Capitol Alert

Los Angeles mayor on Jerry Brown’s tunnels plan: Just build one

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti came out Tuesday against Gov. Jerry Brown’s twin Delta tunnels project to carry water southward, saying he preferred just one tunnel.

Speaking at the Sacramento Press Club, the Democrat said he told the governor that he was taking the “Jerry Brown approach,” meaning making the correct, not the expedient, policy decision.

Garcetti said he worried that under Brown’s plan Los Angeles ratepayers would be burdened with a disproportionate share of the infrastructure costs, “And I think that’s unfair,” he said. “Secondly, I want to make sure that there are environmental protections that are much more aggressive,” he added.

Garcetti announced his position on the controversial, nearly $17 billion project just ahead of a crucial vote by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

The mayor, who is hosting a fundraiser for U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein Tuesday in Beverly Hills, signaled to ambitious Democrats considering a challenge that they should stand down in her re-election. He criticized the focus from the progressive left on finding an opponent for Feinstein as “ripped from the corrosive playbook of our enemies.”

He said Democrats should instead keep the focus on seven vulnerable House Republicans that will be key to the party’s efforts to retaking the House in 2018. Among those weighing a challenge to Feinstein is Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, another Los Angeles Democrat.

Garcetti, who has not ruled out a run for governor next year, suggesting that the polls “are crystal clear that it’s open,” also denounced the Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein after several women alleged he sexually assaulted them. He redirected a donation Weinstein had made to the Downtown Women’s Center in Los Angeles.

“I hope more women feel empowered to speak out,” Garcetti said, adding that for all it’s progressive credentials Hollywood has not been a bastion of woman’s empowerment.

Christopher Cadelago: 916-326-5538, @ccadelago

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