It’s no secret that many voters are skeptical about trusting the word of their elected politicians. One candidate vying to be the next mayor of Los Angeles says he’s putting his money where his mouth is and is challenging his opponents to do the same.
Craig Greiwe, a business exec and one of 12 people hoping to succeed Mayor Eric Garcetti as L.A.’s highest public official, held a press conference Wednesday to announce a challenge to his competitors: answer important questions about your campaign, while hooked up to a polygraph test, and share the results with the public.
“There is no difference between an empty promise and a lie. They are all lies,” Greiwe said in a news release. “There has to be an end to the lies. I am willing to stand on the steps of City Hall and go on record under lie detector about anything and everything the voters and political journalists want to know.”
Greiwe is considered a longshot in June’s mayoral election, with both U.S. Rep. Karen Bass and businessman Rick Caruso sporting sizeable leads in most polls, but the former chief strategy officer for marketing firm R&C PMK is hoping his apparent transparency will resonate with voters.
The mayoral candidate announced the results of his own polygraph test during a press conference at City Hall Wednesday morning. Greiwe said he completed the lie detector test on May 11 and provided an image of him apparently strapped up to the machine, as well as a document with his purported results.
He answered four questions as part of the polygraph test:
- Have you ever been under a criminal or ethics investigation or inquiry?
- Do you want to be more than mayor, such as senator or governor?
- Will you put the city’s interests above your own personal and business interests?
- Do you believe that Roe v. Wade is settled precedent?
Greiwe answered “no,” “no,” “yes” and “yes” to the four questions. John Grogan, who is listed in the document as a senior polygraph examiner for CertifiedPolygraph.com, described Greiwe’s responses as having “no deception indicated.”
Although used often in crime media and fictional whodunnits, the science on polygraphs is … up for some debate.
According to the American Psychological Association, most psychologists agree that “there is little evidence that polygraph tests can accurately detect lies” and natural emotions like nervousness can make a truthful person appear to be lying, while an actual liar might pass the test by keeping their anxiety in check.
In California, polygraph tests are not admissible in court, except in very rare circumstances.
So while Greiwe may have passed his lie detector test, and in the event one of his competitors decides to take him up on the challenge (none have so far), it’s probably not a reliable measure of a politician’s honesty or integrity.
But it does make for great television.