Carmen Trutanich raked in almost $1M as he ran a 'stealth campaign' to become District Attorney, shaking down special interest groups doubtless keen to cash in on what they will be able to pick from the flesh of the City's budget in the last days of the Trutanich regime.
But as the rumors of Carmen Trutanich's 'Big Lie' became public and the launch of his ill-fated campaign to become District Attorney became a reality, his popularity and fundraising power tanked as his latest campaign finance statement shows.
|Trutanich's fundraising hit the rocks in 2012. The 'Chief Liar' spent $3 for every $1 he raised.|
Forms filed by Trutanich with the Los Angeles County Registrar show that the man who said he would raise $2.5M for his campaign, didn't even come close to squeezing that kind of cash out of a diminishing pool of supporters. He raised just 25% of what he reported in the previous period as the Los Angeles media and former supporters reacted to a slew of scandals rocked the Office of the City Attorney. He also spent money like a drunken sailor at a rate of three dollars for every one that he raised.
Trutanich's downfall started when he canceled the planned public launch of his campaign when he was tipped off that the LA Times was about to expose his lies about non-existent police agency endorsements. Strike 1, if you don't consider the 'Trutanich is a liar' headlines regarding his abandonment of his 'Pledge to Serve' as a strike prior.
Hiding from the public, Trutanich launched his campaign with a slick and very expensive campaign video featuring non other than Sheriff Lee Baca giving Trutanich his endorsement and dismissing the 'Pledge to Serve' as a 'he said she said' misunderstanding. But Trutanich failed to advise Sheriff Baca that the endorsement was illegal; state election law forbids the Sheriff from making political endorsements in uniform. Strike 2.
The slick video was rapidly removed from public view while the illegal Sheriff Baca endorsement was removed, but not before Trutanich boasted that, in less than 5 days, nearly three quarters of a million people had watched his video on YouTube representing "a vast online and grassroots audience." But the LA Times revealed that the claimed 724,875 views were false; paid-for views orchestrated by Trutanich to make it look like he had attracted a larger online audience than Presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. Strike 3.
Not surprisingly, Trutanich's popularity and credibility tanked. Former Los Angeles Mayor, Richard Riordan, was lost for words when publicly challenged over his endorsement of Trutanich in the face of one deception after another. "How can you want to associate yourself with someone who is willing to lie to the voters of Los Angeles?" a caller to KABC 790AM's Peter Tilden radio show asked.
The caller's challenges to Trutanich's credibility must have left both Riordan and Tilden wondering if they were discussing the same Carmen Trutanich they thought they knew, but it seems that the dramatic dollar drop in Trutanich's political capital speaks louder than any of Trutanich's lame excuses for his inexcusable conduct.
He might have been spending more time dialing for dollars than doing his taxpayer funded $216k a year job, but he's clearly meeting palpable resistance as supporters seem to be increasingly anxious to distance themselves from the 'guilt by association' reputation that could result from being defined as a Trutanich supporter. "How can you want to associate yourself with someone who is willing to lie to the voters of Los Angeles?" could well become the sound bite that defines the Trutanich brand in radio ads in the run up to the June 5, 2012 primary election.
3 Strikes and you're out Trutanich, but to use the kind of slick late night cable tv hard sell advertising that Trutanich seems to like, "But wait, there's more." Much more.
April 11, 2012 will see Trutanich given no option but to face his principal political opponent District Attorney candidate Alan Jackson in court over what will become Strike 4; Trutanich's narcissistic and blatantly misleading claim to the ballot title 'Los Angeles Chief Prosecutor.' While the man who thinks so much of himself as to give himself a 'self-aggrandizing' title (to quote the Daily News) has succeeded in hiding from public debates, such as this weekend's Peace Officers Research Association of California's Public Safety Forum, he cannot avoid a court hearing.
Recent media condemnation of Trutanich's campaign of deception, such as on KFI AM640's John and Ken Show, where they called him a 'Lying Boob,' seems to have inspired others in the legal community to speak out against Trutanich.
Noted Los Angeles lawyer Ronald Richards, a frequent legal analyst for tv and radio, recently joined the condemnation of Trutanich's attempt to mislead voters with his proposed ballot title.
On Sunday, March 25, 2012, Richards said "Obviously, the tactic of falsely labeling yourself in an election does not warrant disbarment or disciplinary proceedings, but it does create an ethical issue. If anything, the District Attorney should error on the said of clarity, straightforwardness, and truthfulness. Calling yourself a title that no one uses is clearly misleading to the average non-lawyer and would not pass muster in a courtroom in front of a jury. It should not be tolerated or ignored in an election for the County’s highest and largest prosecutorial post."
The points that Richards makes won't be lost as the court weighs the arguments that will be presented on April 11, just days before the ballots have to go to print. Richards continues "We as attorneys can see right through Mr. Trutanich’s false embracing of titles that are non-existent, but the average voter unfortunately would not.
I am surprised at the apathy of the other candidates running in this election and I am glad that someone has brought this to the public’s attention." he said.
With his fundraising on the ropes, the media engaged, and now the legal community empowered to condemn him, Trutanich may have hit the wall when it comes to his ability to lie and buy his way into the District Attorney's Office. He his neither wanted there, nor fit for the post. What say you Los Angeles?