Garcetti is increasingly traveling outside California, raising eyebrows back in L.A.

One day after securing the in Peru this month, greeted reporters on a noisy tarmac at Los Angeles International Airport.

It was an appropriate setting for Garcetti, whose travels have taken him to Atlanta, Phoenix, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas and Berlin, among other places, in the last year.

The mayor logged 112 days, or nearly one-third of his time, away from California over the last 12 months, according to his public calendar.

In August alone, he was out of state for 19 days, travels that included vacationing in the Berkshires, meeting with firefighter union leaders in Boston and hobnobbing with billionaire Ron Perelman in the Hamptons.

Prior to that, he wooed the International Olympic Committee in Switzerland, talked transportation with U.S. senators in Washington, D.C., and met with mayors in Mexico City to discuss climate change.

Reelected in March with 81% of the vote, Garcetti has refused to commit to serving his entire second term. As he visits New Hampshire and Wisconsin, the mayor remains coy about whether he’ll run for president in 2020.

But as he flirts with the idea, Garcetti tests the public’s willingness to tolerate his absences.

The mayor’s office releases details selectively about his time away from L.A., furthering his reputation for being vague about some of his travel.

“Times are good, so that makes it easier for him to slip out of town,” said Steve Erie, professor emeritus of political science at UC San Diego. “But there’s always a threshold. The criticism will be that he was elected to be mayor, not to run for president.”

Garcetti spokesman Alex Comisar said the mayor’s travels over the last year landed the 2028 Olympics and Paralympics, and furthered Garcetti’s agenda on climate change, transportation, veteran homelessness and protecting immigrants.

His trade missions to Mexico and Asia in previous years brought deals with airline, transportation and development companies, Comisar said.

“Mayor Garcetti’s only job is serving the people of Los Angeles, and he is fully committed to that work every day,” Comisar said.

Garcetti ventured out of state far more in the last year than during his first year in office, when he spent 74 days outside California during the same time period.

The Los Angeles Times analyzed Garcetti’s daily schedule and campaign filings, and news reports for the last year, counting from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31, including weekends and holidays. The Times count included partial days out of state.

 

 

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