Monday, June 11, 2012

'A week is a long time in politics'

If ever there was an adage that defined the spectacular downfall of City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, it must surely be British Prime Minister Harold Wilson's prophetic observation 'A week is a long time in politics.'

A week ago today, the sense of community fear that DA wannabe Carmen Trutanich was the frontrunner who would 'win this thing in the primary' was palpable. One week later, many are still in a state of shock at the swift and stunning downfall of the man who shamelessly betrayed their trust and regarded his promises as nothing more than 'campaign gimmicks.'

Perhaps nobody is in a greater state of shock than Trutanich himself.

Trutanich faces the music at victory party (Credit: Daily Breeze)
Photos of Trutanich's lavish victory party suggest that even as the polls closed, Trutanich still believed he was the de facto incumbent and heir apparent to the DA's office.

Trutanich's main supporters, Sheriff Lee Baca, Tom Torlackson, and Councilmember Dennis Zine
were prominently in attendance at Trutanich's victor party (Credit: Daily Breeze)
The event, attended by leading supporters as Sheriff Lee Baca, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and Councilmember Dennis Zine, had all the promise of marking the continued political ascendancy of the former slip-and-fall lawyer turned career politician.

It was to be a repeat performance of Trutanich's 2009 shock defeat of then putative incumbent Jack Weiss, only this time Trutanich had out-raised his opponents by 3 to 1, dominated the airwaves with an expensive bombardment of tv ads, and had successfully dodged reporters seeking answers to disturbing questions about his claim to have been surrounded and shot at by gang members during the 1980's.

Trutanich did not, apparently, make an early appearance at his victory party. However, while those in attendance were likely looking forward to being rewarded for their support with perhaps promises of promotions or executive appointments, Trutanich may not have been as confident as he was in 2009.

Trutanich confidently awaits the results of the 2009 City Attorney Election
in an executive suite at a Universal Studios hotel before his victory party.
Reports suggest that as the first election results flashed on the big screen at the Croatian-American Club in San Pedro, the room fell silent. Truanich was in third place. It was a shockwave felt all the way from San Pedro through downtown Los Angeles, scene of second-placed candidate Alan Jackson's victory party, to Sherman Oaks where Jackie Lacey led the polls by a comfortable margin.

Any hope Trutanich held to 'win this thing in the primary' vanished rapidly as the reality of Trutanich's downfall dawned on the stunned audience.

A week is a long time in politics.



Anonymous said...

You know Joe, there is another story that has emerged in the last month that needs to be acknowledged and discussed: the improbable ascent of Jackie Lacey to “frontrunner.” A couple of months ago, many were ready to completely write her off.

Trutanich and Trujillo had raised more money. Trutanich had the endorsements of Sheriff Baca and Governor Brown and Dennis Zine Jackson and Meyers had the endorsements of the two major political parties. Trutanich had the best known advisors (even guys who worked for Cooley’s campaigns), and all the cool whiz kids were working for Meyers. Trutanich had the endorsement of the County Federation of Labor and Meyers had the endorsement of the ADDA, the very union representing Deputy DA’s. Every notable POA was lining up behind Jackson

On this blog and others, commenters consistently posted snickering comments about Lacey’s blood sugar. Her Employee Relations testimony was put on full on blast by the Trutanich campaign, the LA Times (who did eventually endorse her), various blogs, and even KPCC’s Pat Morrison did a segment.

Yep. Jackie didn’t stand a chance. Just ask any of the “informed” people in the office. So what happened?

Here are the numbers
Jackie Lacey-32.03%
Alan Jackson-23.6%
Carmen Trutanich-22.39%
Danette Meyers-13.36%
Bobby Grace-5.17%
John Breault-3.45%

Lets digest this. She beat the next closest candidate by almost 10%. And consider the “also ran’s”. For instance, Meyers’s numbers. Even if Grace and Breault dropped out and were able to pledge all their votes to Meyers (a tall order), Meyers would still only have 21.98%, falling short of Trutanich’s coveted 3rd place finish at 22.39% (he he he he, the phrase “Trutanich’s coveted 3rd place finish made me giggle!). Can Trutanich blame the “also ran’s?” Maybe. But that would be assuming all those votes go to Trutanich. You would have to consider other factors (like, for instance, the extensive ties Lacey, Grace and Meyers share to institutions in the African American community).

What’s the lesson? I’m not saying to vote for Jackie. I’m not saying she’s the best qualified. I’m not saying she’s gonna win.

What I am saying is that sometimes the loudest voices are the least informed. Many in the office and in the union were telling us they knew who would win. Now those guys are saying something different. In the end, it’s for the people of LA County to decide, and many of the loudest voices are shouting because they don’t even live in this county and many of the loudest voices are shouting because they don’t even live in this county and it’s the only way for the sound waves to cross the county line.

Listen to your community, not office gossip. And by the way, sometimes you have to stop talking first to be able to hear.

Anonymous said...

1:31PM What happened to all the Latino votes that Trutanich had counted on? Seems that Trujillo has som 'splainin to do.

Anonymous said...

4:40pm- those Latinos for Trutanich are on their way to the polls! They'll get there around the same time that organized labor shows up for Nuch! But they better hurry! All those Democrats and ADDA guys voting for Danette are crowding the front of the line!

Anonymous said...

Kamala Harris (minority, female Democrat) beat Cooley by 14 points in LA County in 2010, and that was without Obama on the ticket!!

The exact same dynamic is in play this time, except Obama IS on the ticket.

Jackson is a good little trial lawyer, but he is going to be blown out of the park in this election. If he can finish within 10 points of Lacey, it'll be a tremendous accomplishment.

Jackson's campaign manager ran a BRILLIANT campaign to pick off Trutanich. That guy is going places.

On another note, this blogs bashing of Trutanich is HILARIOUS at this point. It reminds me of a cage match where on fighter is unconscious and the ref is letting the other guy just pound on him anyway. Lord knows "Tru" earned all this. BTW, he will not run for City Attorney reelection. Even he knows when its time to pack up and go home.

Anonymous said...

It would not surprise me if Trutanich is busy calling Lacey and Jackson trying to sell his endorsement in return for their support for his desperate bid to hang on the his city attorney gig. I hope both of them tell Trutanich to stick his crooked deals where the sun don't shine.

Anonymous said...

@6:28PM The margin of Nuck's defeat is WAY bigger than Cooley vs Harris. That explains why he has been creeping around CHE looking like a beaten punch-drunk bruiser who 'could have been a contender.'

Folks, this wasn't even close. LA gave Nuch such a big kick in the balls that his nuts ended up in his throat looking like a pair of septic tonsils. The blackness around his eyes looks like he took a few good lefts from Lacey and rights from Jackson.

Nuch is on the ropes and going down in the March primary when he tries to hang on the his job, and with him will go all his henchmen. We look forward to it. Karma is a bitch, Nuch, why don't you hang that sign behind your desk. Asshole.

Anonymous said...

You mooks don't know what you're talking about. Da Big Toona has got it all worked out. Everything is going as he planned. He has positioned himself perfectly to sweep into office in November.

How will he do it? Can't tell you. It's a secret plan. Only a handful of people know, and they don't know they know. It's a sweeping conspiracy, it's an enigma shrouded in mystery, wrapped around a riddle, with a chewy nougat center. But it will happen.

And Once he storms into the 18th floor, boy are you gonna get it Berger! So say your prayers! Da big Toona will feed you to the fishes.

Anonymous said...

That photo of Nuch stretched out on his bed waiting for his life long dream of being a big deal in LA to become a reality is f'ing priceless. That was May 2009, when people really thought he was going to be a breath of fresh air in LA.

Three years later it was a different story. 78% of Los Angeles knew Nuch was a piece of crap. A lying deceitful arrogant thug. So instead of basking in glorying a plush executive suite, Nuch was holed up in the crapper at the Croatian-American Club in SP puking his guts out while reading graffiti on the walls about the price of hookers in the harbor.

Funny thing is that Nuch was worried about facing Jackson in the runoff, he never even thought it would be Lacey. But when the first results came in showing Nuch in third place, he messed himself.

Anonymous said...

801pm 'LA gave Nuch such a big kick in the balls that his nuts ended up in his throat looking like a pair of septic tonsils' ROFLOL!

Anonymous said...

If running a BRILLIANT campaign means leveraging past work product and resources pilfered for the betterment of present clientele, then I guess Jackson's campaign manager deserves some credit.

While they effectively slayed the dragon by going after Nuch early, often, and hard... they did so on the strength of having worked on Nuch's and Cooley's prior campaigns using donor lists and other inside info against the prime opposition.

Now all bets are off, Jackson has an uphill battle on all fronts against Lacey, and running on negativity will surely rub the electorate the wrong way.

I hope for a clean race; hopefully the Jackson brain trust will find something classier to do than throw mud.

Anonymous said...

There's 1,000 Deputy District Attorneys at the DA's office. About 980 of them are beyond ecstatic that Carmen Trutanich will not even have a chance of being their boss.

They won't have to cringe when that bullshit merchant makes crazy-assed public statements. They won't; have to cower when he gets in their faces with his bulging-eyed, red-faced, saliva-dribbling, finger-pointing, incoherently-ranting 'advice' on how to win cases. Yeah, they heard all about that from their friends at the City Attorney's Office.

They also don't have to worry about having the iron bitch running PID, Skeletor as Chief Deputy, and a bunch of failed 'politicals' sucking on the tax-payer dime.

Nuke's goons are stuck with the biggest looser in LA, and I wonder how long it will be before the first rat jumps ship.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of the final outcome of the election, either Jackie Lacey or Alan Jackson will make great DAs. They put their necks on the block running against Trutanich. They would have been toast if he had won. Thanks to their selfless sense of duty, we don't have to even think about Trutanich any more. They should both be honored at the next Saturday seminar for what they did for us.