Monday, July 30, 2012
Mystery of Trutanich's downfall remains topic of debate
Ironically, perhaps, Carmen Trutanich's downfall almost completely coincided with events commemorating the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. While the cause of the maritime disaster that claimed the Titanic is now known, the cause of the political disaster that ended the career of Trutanich remains unclear.
Many in Los Angeles' legal and political circles still express amazement at speed at which Trutanich's political career sank, making analogies with the sinking of the Titanic inevitable. While it is as easy to attribute the sinking of the Titanic to an iceberg, the reality is that it was a combination of many missteps that caused the Titanic to be on a collision course with an iceberg that could have so easily been avoided.
So too with the Trutanich disaster; the assassination-gate scandal that accused Trutanich of lying about being surrounded and shot at by gangmembers in Green Meadows Park was not the sole cause of Trutanich's downfall. Just as with the Titanic, there were many missteps that led to Trutanich's downfall.
It is often said that 'Pride cometh before the fall' and in much the same way that the White Star Line claimed the Titanic was 'unsinkable,' the Trutanich bragged that he was going to 'win this thing in the primary [election].'
Support for the Titanic's claims of invincibility were predicated on money; the Titanic was touted as the most expensive ocean liner ever built. By the same token, Trutanich boasted the most expensive campaign of all candidates and had long been bragging about his multi-million dollar campaign.
But while the two disasters have some common components; even surprisingly similar names, the similarities end when it comes to the issue of honesty and integrity. There has never been any suggestion that the sinking of the Titanic was due to deception or a deliberate act to mislead. The same, of course, is not true of the Trutanich. There was a well-established pattern of deceit and deception surrounding the Trutanich disaster.
Deception and betrayal were the hallmarks of the Trutanich administration, stretching all the way back to the very first days of the administration when he unashamedly reneged on his promise to support the City Controller's right to audit fraud, waste and corruption in programs run by elected officials.
From there it was 'no big deal' for the former ambulance chaser to renege on his promises to the medical marijuana community, any more that it was a problem for him to maintain his own off-site billboards while jailing a businessman on a million dollar bail over a different but equally un-permitted off-site billboard.
The 'Pledge to Serve' was soon dismissed as a campaign stunt, and for a solid year Trutanich was adamant that he had not yet decided whether he was going to run for District Attorney, even though it was obvious that he had orchestrated the bogus 'Draft Trutanich for District Attorney.'
When pressed as to his intentions, he avoided answering the question saying he was too busy caring for his son who 'just came back from Iraq, and he's got an injury,' implying that Trutanich was suffering the same plight and anguish of those with family members injured in the service of our country. In fact his son, an attorney, suffered a mild sports injury during a recreational game which may or may not have occurred in Iraq while on assignment with the Department of Justice.
Trutanich's troubled relationship with the truth continued to define his candidacy with glaring misrepresentations about non-existent police association endorsements, false claims about YouTube views of his campaign video, an attempt to use a false and misleading ballot designation proclaiming himself to be the 'Chief Criminal Prosecutor,' and of course, the most publicized of all Trutanich's lies - assassination-gate; the false claims about being the victim of an assassination attempt in Green Meadows Park.
Trutanich's response to assassination-gate was, perhaps, even more contemptible than the lie itself; he hid from the press claiming that he had to partially suspend his campaign in order to be at the hospital bedside of his ailing mother. It was a claim regarded by many with derision.
Whether assassination-gate or the response was the iceberg that finally sank the Trutanich campaign continues to be the source of entertaining debate in legal and political circles. All expect the very same credibility issues to be prominent in the City Attorney campaign that Trutanich now claims he will shortly launch. And just as his lack of character and credibility led to his downfall in 2012, so too will it lead to his downfall in 2013. Trutanich claims that the debate should be about the real issues facing Los Angeles, not his record of lies and 'missteps.' What he may finally be realizing is that the real issue isn't headline-grabbing bogus lawsuits against banks and billboard, but rather it is about the character of an elected official.