When City Attorney Carmen Trutanich agreed to be interviewed by FOX News 11 anchorman Jeff Michael, he probably thought he was in for an easy ride; another puff-piece opportunity to brag, boast and misrepresent his poor record as City Attorney, and a chance to dismiss ethical questions about his campaign to become District Attorney. Trutanich got anything but an easy ride from FOX 11 News' seasoned anchorman, and Trutanich's shocked 'deer in the headlights' expression sparked speculation that Trutanich had been ambushed, and finally forced to answer awkward questions about his deceptive practices. FOX 11 News denied ambushing Trutanich on their website.
|A smug smile quickly turns to a 'deer in the headlights' worried expression|
as Trutanich is confronted with inconvenient truths about his record.
Although Trutanich had been told of the topics, he probably was not told that Jeff Michael would not passively accept Trutanich's evasive answers. Trutanich looked shocked and ill at ease as he was confronted with well-researched questions that probed the truthfulness of his responses, and the grueling cross examination clearly shook Trutanich and appeared to take him by surprise.
While much of the coverage of Trutanich's ambush has centered on the fact that Trutanich was trapped by a skillful interrogator, attention seems certain to turn to some of the remarks Trutanich made when caught off guard, in trying to defend himself.
Trutanich tells tall tales to defend his record
Trutanich made some false and inappropriate statements in response to Michael's questions. When confronted with the fact that Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley considered Trutanich unfit to be DA, Trutanich was stuck for an answer and said "let's talk about who is the best guy to run this office" arguing that he was because "I run the largest municipal office in the United States" with a staff of 1,000. Trutanich claimed that "no other candidate in this race" has that experience. False. District Attorney candidate Jackie Lacey, the Chief Deputy District Attorney, is responsible for the day to day running of the DA's Office with a staff of lawyers and support personal more than double that of Trutanich's.
Trutanich also claimed, bizarrely, that "I run the largest municipal utility in the United States, I handle the largest port in the United States, and I also run one of the largest airports in the United States." Perhaps realizing the utter ridiculousness of those claims, Trutanich then added that he was responsible for the legal issues that those entities refer to the City Attorney's Office. Even that statement, however, was misleading because the DWP, the Port of Los Angeles and Los Angeles International Airport employ outside counsel for their important legal issues.
When challenged over his use of $1M bail to jail a Los Angeles businessman who allowed a supergraphic advertisement be displayed on his office building during the 2010 Oscars Awards ceremony. Trutanich justified his actions stating that the businessman was "getting almost $600,000 in revenue a month!" Trutanich also stated that the businessman "didn't care about the safety of people in the winter in the middle of a storm where that thing could have fallen off and hit someone on the head!" Trutanich claimed the "thing" that could fall on someone's head was a "30,000 square foot board."
Trutanich's statements about this particular case perhaps provides the best evidence of Trutanich's utter unfitness for the Office of District Attorney. He knowingly misrepresented facts about this case in a manner designed to suit his personal agenda, rather than being an honest broker of the truth.
Whether or not businessman was getting a lot of money for the supergraphic is completely irrelevant to the charge of violating the LA Municipal Code. The issue is basically whether a permit was required for the supergraphic. However, Trutanich seemingly uses money to make the businessman look like a 'bad guy' because he earns a lot of money. In a trial court, a judge would likely rule the issue of income from the supergraphic inadmissible because it is substantially more prejudicial than probative. At the very minimum, it would be a matter for a pre-trial motion. But Trutanich clearly likes to try cases in the media, not the courtroom where a judge would ensure fairness to both the prosecution and the defendant.
As for the statement about the Oscars being held "in the middle of winter in a storm," we'll let a picture of the offending supergraphic the day after Trutanich had the businessman arrested speak for itself:
|A mid-winter storm, according to Trutanich|
Finally, Trutanich justifies the excessively high amount of bail with these words; "His bail was $1M because he had priors." Trutanich is implying that the already 'bad guy' is an ever 'badder guy' because he has "priors," in other words, he had been convicted of crimes for doing this same thing on previous occasions. But that was not true. There had been cases concerning the building not being brought up to code, but nothing remotely connected to supergraphics.
Trutanich also defended his use of payments to viewers to boost YouTube ratings for his DA campaign video, noting that he had spent a lot of money on producing the video. Trutanich had no answer for the reason why YouTube had removed his video for violating their deceptive content policy, calling his payment for YouTube views a "technicality."
Speaking of videos, FOX 11 has now posted video coverage of Trutanich's ambush interview on their website, and may also post it on YouTube. That could lead to an interesting test of Trutanich's justification for paying for YouTube views; if the Trutanich Ambush video goes viral thanks to paying internet sweatshops in Bangladesh and Indonesia to generate views, will Trutanich accept that those paid for views also represents a vast 'grass roots' opposition to his candidacy?
HUFFPOST Joins the anti-Trutanich Tsunami
six good reasons not to vote for Carmen Trutanich.
In stating that Los Angeles has "distaste" for Trutanich, Miles understates the growing media momentum against the self-proclaimed liar who has thus far succeeded in only one thing; reneging on his promises to the people of Los Angeles.
Day by day Los Angelenos are learning more and more about Trutanich, and it's hurting the former ambulance chaser slip and fall lawyer turned career politician so much that Ron Kaye, former Daily News editor and onetime Trutanich supporter, today posed the question "Can Trutanich stop the bleeding?" pointing out how, within days of finally confessing to having been running for District Attorney, Trutanich is taking a beating in the press that will ultimately lead to the kind of downfall befitting a thug, bully and liar.
John & Ken Show Blasts Trutanich, Again!
In what continues to leave Trutanich supporters scratching their heads wondering if the Carmen Trutanich that top rated KFI AM640 talk show hosts John and Ken blasted for the second time in a week, is the same person they voted for, the popular duo delivered another withering attack on City Attorney Carmen Trutanich.
On a day when Truanich was still reeling from the Fox 11 News ambush, and was labeled a liar by the Los Angeles HuffPost, John and Ken added to Trutanich's crumbling campaign woes saying the embattled City Attorney was "Moving into the category of Tony Villar when it comes to despised politicians." Their latest condemnation of Trutanich, "Strike 4 on Trutanich" as they put it, concerns his utterly misleading choice of ballot designation, "Los Angeles Chief Prosecutor." LA Weekly reporter Gene Maddaus broke the story of Trutanich's misleading ballot designation Friday, March 9, 2012, after examining filing papers submitted by Trutanich.
The Los Angeles Metropolitan News-Enterprise reported that Trutanich's choice of ballot designation is likely to be challenged, while John and Ken quoted Los Angeles Times speculation that Trutanich was desperate to avoid the use of the word "Attorney" in his ballot designation, given the negative connotations ascribed to the profession. It's a negative connotation that nobody more than Trutanich exemplifies.
Monday was a bad day for the Trutanich campaign with major media attention on him being exclusively negative. It is something that Trutanich will have to get used to in the run up to the June 5, 2012 primary election. It seems that the only good words Los Angeles will have for Trutanich are "Good bye, and good riddance."
FOX 11 News anchor Jeff Michael scheduled to be on McIntyre in the Morning at 8:25AM talking about how he did not "ambush" Trutanich's campaign for DA by asking straight questions, demanding straight answers, and getting more misstatements from Trutanich.