Friday, August 3, 2012

City Attorney race update - a real challenger emerges

With the March 5, 2013 primary election for LA's next City Attorney still somewhat below the radar as the November Presidential election dominates the political scene, the race to be the City's legal adviser and law enforcer is quietly taking shape.

Greg Smith, Mike Feuer and Eduardo Angeles have all filed papers indicating their intention to run and have started fund-raising. Carmen Trutanich, has stated that he will run, but is having to play catch-up due to the disastrous failure of his deceptive egocentric District Attorney campaign and currently has no money and no campaign staff - a situation that may not change.

City Councilmember Paul Krekorian (CD2) was widely tipped to be considering entering the race, but has now decided to skip this race and focus on his responsibilities as CD2's popular representative and chair of the City's Budget and Finance committee.

Counilmember Jose Huizar (CD14) is believed to be considering filing papers to oust Trutanich now that he can smell blood in the water and the stench of fear emanating from the 8th floor executive offices at City Hall East. Huizar has the credentials having served briefly as a Deputy City Attorney in order to build his political resume.He is currently spearheading the anti-medical marijuana lobby perhaps in an effort to establish himself as a 'law and order' candidate.

Huizar, or anyone else who wants the City's second highest paid elected office, has until noon on November 10, 2012 to file papers with the City Clerk's Office. With Krekorian out, Huizar on the fence, we now start our review of the candidates with Greg Smith.

Greg Smith - Police Rights Attorney

Greg Smith has made a reputation for himself as lawyer who aggressively and effectively fights for the rights of police officers and firefighters. As such it has earned him the respect of the police and public safety associations who will likely support his candidacy with endorsements and contributions. It has also earned him the respect of the City Attorneys he comes in contact with when handling cases involving the City of Los Angeles.

Smith probably knows more about how best to defend the City of Los Angeles than anyone else - he has a solid record of successes in cases against the City. Cases where cops and firefighters have suffered discrimination or retaliation for 'whistle-blowing.' Cases like the recent one involving police officers who spoke out about having to fulfill traffic ticket writing quotas. Cases where the City lost because Carmen Trutanich's facile schoolyard bully-boy 'porcupine defense' proved to be nothing more than a campaign catch-phrase gimmick that has cost the City millions of dollars.

Smith, a native Los Angeleno and life-long Democrat, served in the Navy in submarines before becoming an attorney.
A young Greg Smith and his 'boat' in 1971
Smith cannot talk about much of what he did in the Navy, most of the missions he took part in remain classified. What is clear that his service was both character building and certainly not for the faint hearted.

Smith's strong military background likely explains his successes not only in terms of his work ethic, but in his leadership ability. Simply put, Smith knows how to lead and it really is 'by actions not by words;' doubtless a jab at Carmen Trutanich who has succeeded in one thing only - demoralizing the City Attorney's office even more than Rocky Delgadilo.

Smith says he is is not only astonished but disgusted at the way the current City Attorney allows his deputies to suffer humiliating pay cuts and enforced work furloughs while steadfastly refusing to take a matching pay-cut himself. 'At a minimum, Trutanich should suffer the same pay cut as his deputies' Smith said, adding that if elected, he would take the same pay cut as most Deputy City Attorneys have been forced to take; believed to be in the region of 15%.

In terms of getting elected, Smith is clearly serious. He has hired John Thomas as his campaign consultant and expects to have his campaign website up and running next week. Thomas, of course, is no stranger to the City Attorney's race; he worked on Carmen Trutanich's successful 2009 campaign and continues to represent District Attorney candidate Alan Jackson. Under Thomas' direction, Jackson demolished Trutanich in the DA primary election with a well thought out campaign and a fraction of the money Trutanich had.

In addition to hiring Thomas, Smith also announced the rest of his campaign team; Jill Normington of Normington Petts and Associates will serve as Lead Pollster. Jill has over fifteen years of experience in survey research. She has helped elect candidates to some of the toughest Congressional seats in the nation and counts President Barack Obama among her many clients having conducted survey research for him.

Maria Jordan from the Prise Group joins Smith as Fundraising Director. Maria specializes in developing financial programs for national, state and local campaigns. Her career spans nearly a decade of experience in political fundraising and has served as finance director for multiple California campaigns. Several of her past clients include: Michael Antonovich for Supervisor, Carmen Trutanich for LA City Attorney, Rocky Delgadillo for City Attorney and CA AG and Rudy Giuliani for President. Also joining the team are Tim Lineberger as Campaign Fundraising Staff and Gary Crummitt of Crummitt and Associates who will serve as Campaign Treasurer.

Smith has raised around $200,000 so far without any coordinated effort. With the new team now in place he expects to seriously increase that figure and will be 'dialing for dollars' and attending fundraisers in the run up to the March 5, 2013 primary election.

Our review of the City Attorney candidates will continue with Mike Feuer, the termed-out State Assemblyman who has never stepped foot inside a courtroom, Eduardo Angeles a Deputy City Attorney who raised a remarkable $67,000, and Carmen Trutanich, who has raised nothing but  hackles and and alarm bells in his bid to hang on to the job he did not want to do.



Mark said...

I can't say that I have much faith in the creedence of what this journalist writes. I remember on two separate occasions at group meetings before the election, with Trutanich, when he was asked about taking a pay cut, he was very clear in stating he would not take a pay cut.

Anonymous said...

As an Angeleno, We need a strong leader in office to make a change for the best interest of the citizen's of LA. Time to get a "real sharpshooter" into office to best defend the City and stop payouts for frivolous law suits that cost the taxpayers of Los Angeles millions. Let's put that money to better use elsewhere. Let's get Greg Smith into office!