Steve Mozena said the doctored photo depicting the seven men and two women of the City Council nearly nude is not meant to be obscene, but rather a message about transparency for taxpayer funds with the caption "Get buck naked," KCBS-TV, Los Angeles, reported Tuesday.
"It was a play on words," Mozena said."We are accountable to the government in so many ways, whether it's the IRS, and now with our healthcare. I'm just asking them to bend over now and show us their finances."
Long Beach City Council member Suja Lowenthal said she was not amused by the billboard depicting her nearly nude.
"When you're asking someone to vote for you and these are the messages that you put out," Lowenthal said, "I think that we are going in the wrong direction."
She said the advertisement is in poor taste.
"It's really a mockery of the democratic process and the institution of civic engagement and city government," Lowenthal said.
Mozena is one of 10 candidates running for mayor of Long Beach.