Monday, July 23, 2012

Trutanich 'unelectable.' Sounds unconvincing in re-election statement

Despite Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's recent statement that he is running for re-election when his term expires in 2013, many now consider him 'unelectable' based on his disastrous loss in the District Attorney primary election.

Trutanich was considered to be the front-runner even before he had officially announced his intention to run for DA and thereby renege on his 'Pledge to Serve' in February 2012; he had the name recognition, a slew of political endorsements and over a million dollars in his campaign coffers - three times more than any of his rivals. He seemed invincible, the heir apparent, the putative incumbent.

But four months later, on June 5, when the first results from the primary election became known, Trutanich was in a surprisingly distant third place. To describe the mood at Trutanich's victory party in his hometown San Pedro as somber would be an understatement; the local boy made good had bragged about winning the election outright, or at least being the leading candidate in a run-off election. But in an instant the mood in the room changed from jubilation to despondency.

Trutanich remained separated from his supporters as the night wore on, perhaps unable to face the reality of what had happened, or desperately hoping for an improvement as more votes were counted.

It was not to be. Trutanich remained solidly and remotely in third place throughout the evening. His loss to first-placed Jackie Lacey, the Chief Deputy District Attorney, and to second placed Alan Jackson, the Assistant Head Deputy of the Major Crimes Division, must have been insufferably humiliating and embarrassing for Trutanich; they were political novices with a fraction of Trutanich's campaign warchest.
Trutanich looked visibly shaken when forced to face the small group
of supporters who remained as his political career expired.
When he could no longer avoid the dwindling number of supporters who endured the victory party's funeral-like atmosphere, Trutanich emerged to offer his thoughts on his political castration. He told the small group of stalwarts and reporters that his devastating downfall was largely the fault of talk radio. Notwithstanding, his bitter blame-shifting, those close to him actually believe that outgoing District Attorney Steve Cooley's refusal to support Trutanich was the cause of his downfall.

Others in Trutanich's inner circle blamed campaign manager John Shallman for the many 'missteps' in Trutanich's campaign. Most notably, the false claims about non-existent police association endorsements, the phony 'viral' YouTube campaign video, the attempt to mislead voters with the false and misleading ballot designation of 'Chief Criminal Prosecutor,' and of course, Trutanich's lies about being the victim of a gangland assassination attempt in the 1980's.

But while it is easy to point the finger at Shallman for the many falsehoods that came to characterize Trutanich as untrustworthy, even 'truth challenged,' the fact remains that Trutanich approved of each and every one of those 'missteps.' His inability or reluctance to correct false or misleading campaign claims was likely the reason that voters so definitively rejected his candidacy for District Attorney.

Trutanich's conduct during his ill-fated DA campaign will continue to define him if indeed he is serious about seeking re-election as City Attorney. The serious credibility issues will not go away simply because Trutanich is running in a different race, and the media are unlikely to accept his 'sick mother' excuse for avoiding inconvenient questions again.

Last week Trutanich told KCRW's Warren Olney that he was 'definitely' running for re-election. Those familiar Trutanich, however, say that his voice sounded weak and unconvincing. 'He might want to be re-elected,' one source said, 'but it's not going to happen, he is unelectable after losing the DA race so dramatically.' He said. 

Trutanich's DA campaign manager, John Shallman, has made no secret of his belief that Trutanich is finished in politics; 'he [should] "finish his term strong," and then look for other ways to stay involved in civic affairs.' Shallman told the LA Weekly, adding that 'I did suggest to Carmen that he should consider what his options are at this point,' Shallman said. 'He could continue to do a good job as city attorney and finish his term strong, and focus on some of the issues he cares about ... without necessarily being city attorney. A lot of people have foundations that can help rehabilitate his name.'

Many see Shallman's comment about Trutanich's need to 'rehabilitate' his name as a discrete but clear signal that Trutanich's reputation for misleading and mischaracterizing the truth is an insurmountable barrier to his re-election. 'Los Angelenos don't like liars, and Trutanich was shown to be a liar on so many occasions that I lost count.' A former supporter said. 'I was not surprised that he lost, but I was surprised that so many voters found him unacceptable, I thought it would be a lot closer.' He said.

Shallman also confirmed that he will no longer work for Trutanich. Instead, the seasoned campaign strategist will work for State Assemblyman Mike Feuer's rival campaign to become Los Angeles City Attorney.

Weakened by the loss of the DA election, further weakened by the loss of his campaign manager, and still facing the same character issues that caused his downfall in the DA primary, few believe that Trutanich has a realistic chance at winning re-election. Rival City Attorney candidates Greg Smith and Mike Feuer both have already established campaign committees, have professional campaign managers, and have raised six-figures sums in campaign donations. Trutanich has thus far done nothing but say he is running for re-election, and if anything has defined Trutanich recently, it is that what he says cannot be believed.



Anonymous said...

Nuch was using his quiet voice, that's why he sounds weird. Someone once told him that it sounds more serious when you speak softly, so whenever Nuch is trying to make out that he is serious, he does that quiet voice thing. It is pretty stupid, but he thinks he is the shizzz.

Oh yeah, Nuch also believes that keeping people waiting for up to an hour for appointments is also a way of making them take him seriously. By being late he is signalling that he is more important than you. Asshole.

Anonymous said...

If Trutanich runs, and like you I also don't believe he either can or will, he will be filleted by Feuer and flayed by Smith. The arrogant asshole thinks its a new election so we wipe the slate clean? Not a chance! This is not a retrial where the jury doesn't hear all the evidence from the first trial. Trutanich's lies will continue to dog him for as long as he tries to con people into believing him.. Trutanich sounded like a very worried man to me, I don't buy the quiet voice story, I think he's finished in LA and he knows it.

Anonymous said...

It's been mentioned once before and should be raised again. Nuch got ALOT of DDA support in the courthouses south of downtown. With all his connections he should drop out of any further elected or appointed office; re-hang his shingle, and go back to work as a defense attorney. Hell, he probably can round up a bunch of these recent law school grads to do the work for him for peanuts while he charges top dollar. We'll all sleep easier, he'll make tons of dough, and we'll get a chance at a fresh perspective instead of another Cooley mistake (yes folks, remember how he got there).

Anonymous said...

How can Feuer hire Shallman knowing that every time he attacks Nuch there will be film of Shallman from 2012 saying that the attack is BS?

Anonymous said...

@11:36am exactly. Lookit, the relationship between Shallman and Feuer wasn't exactly made in heaven if you know what I mean. It was what had to happen when Trutanich was looking like the next DA and would grease the shute for Feuer to slime into the City Attorney's office. That's all gone pear shaped and word is that Feuer will dump Shallman ASAP if only because he made such a pigs ear out of Trutanich's campaign. Don't be surprised if Ace Smith takes over from Shallman - there's a score to be settled there as well.

Anonymous said...

Shallman really tooled Trutanich, worked him like a pro. When all the figures are in I bet Shallman made a pile of cash out of Trutanich.

Anonymous said...

That photo of Nouche at his victory party is priceless. You can see the fear in his eyes, he has rolled the dice and crapped out.

But what is more interesting is looking at the faces in all the photos that were in the Daily Breeze - there's a few DDAs who were at the party expecting to get their promotions from their new boss. Check it out Dragnet - you should name names so that everyone knows that Trujillo wasn't the only traitor.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see a real investigation of Sheriff Baca. First, there's his activity campaigning in uniform for Trutanich. Then there all these badge-related shenanigans. But it doesn't end there, because he has a huge trail of messes he's caused. Good grief the man's top assistant has a "Viking" tattoo!

Look, I'm not trying to pick on the guy, but c'mon. He really throws his weight around and he really tries to play kingmaker. Just look at all the crap he pulled during realignment just to increase his own power.

Anonymous said...

Nuche sounds weird on the radio because that's what happened to his voice when he got kicked so hard in the nuts by voters on June 5. He will be a real soprano after the city attorney election.