Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Feuer, Trutanich reported to City Ethics Commission

Embattled City Attorney Carmen Trutanich and termed out Sacramento Assemblyman Mike Feuer may have more in common with each other then both being a pair of political insiders vying for the second highest paid elected position in the City of Los Angeles. Documents received by the Dragnet shows that both have been the subject of complaints filed with the City Ethics Commission.

The City Ethics Commission has been asked to investigate Trutanich's billboard
The complaint about Trutanich relates to the gargantuan billboard that anonymously 'popped up' alongside the I-5 freeway. It not only lacks the required disclaimer statement indicating who paid for it, but the graphics used in its production look suspiciously like they were supplied by the Trutanich campaign, which would violate it's apparent 'Independent Expenditure' status and make it an illegal campaign contribution in excess of the $1,300 limit on individual contributions. The LA Times reports that 'A commercial sign along such a highly traveled freeway could command anywhere from $7,000 to $20,000 a month in rent, said a member of the billboard industry, who spoke on condition that he not be identified because his firm does business in the city.' The LA Times said.

As for Mike Feuer, the ethics complaint appears to be the result of an exclusive report at the Mayor Sam blog.
The Mayor Sam blog's report on contributions received by Mike Feuer from Bet Tzedek resulted in an ethics complaint.

Feuer's complaint relates to concerns first voiced at the Mayor Sam blog that Feuer has received campaign contributions from executives at city contractor Bet Tzedek Legal Services, seemingly in violation of Measure 'H' which prohibits those who contract with the City for sums in excess of $100,000, from making campaign contributions.

The Mayor Sam report is understood to have led to the ethics complaint appearing below to be filed with the City Ethics Commission. The Mayor Sam blog subsequently reported that additional contributions from Bet Tzedek 'associates' had been identified, bringing the total sum received by Feuer to a sum in excess of $30,000.00.

The Feuer campaign responded to questions from the Los Angeles Metropolitan News-Enterprise regarding the Bet Tzedek contributions by disputing that the contributions Feuer received were illegal. 'The donations identified in the blog are lawful. Although not addressed in the [Mayor Sam] blog, one contribution was made in error and returned. Anyone who tries to score cheap political points at the expense of the poor, the elderly, Holocaust survivors and disabled people who are Bet Tzedek’s clients should be ashamed.' A campaign spokesperson declined to answer MetNews questions about the donations.

The ethics complaints were filed after the candidates for City Attorney completed a pair of debates on January 14, and 17 and were not mentioned. However, the candidates will face each other in debates a third and fourth time next week, and it is likely that Trutanich and Feuer will face questions about these complaints.

Trutanich is, perhaps, the most vulnerable of the candidates, with his fundraising stalled and lagging far behind frontrunners Greg Smith and Mike Feuer. His reelection changes are likely irreparably damaged after his humiliating defeat in the June 2012 District Attorney race. Trutanich now admits that his failed run for higher office was a 'mistake,' however he has not apologized to voters for violating his 2009 'Pledge to Serve' under which he swore a written promise not to use the City Attorney's office as a springboard to the DA's Office. Trutanich also recently failed to secure an endorsement from his former supporters, the Los Angeles Police Protective League, and an attempt to wow the Firefighters' Union into endorsing him also failed despite an hour long pitch.

Trutanich has been touting his record of 'achievements' as City Attorney to anyone forced to listen to him, however, as he remains the sole source of information in support of that so-called record, his credibility is increasingly called into question. As rival candidate Greg Smith best put it, 'How can we believe anything you say?' after listing many of the instances where Trutanich was found to have made false claims such as his Pledge to Serve, his non-existent police endorsements, his paid for YouTube views, his false and misleading ballot designation, and of course, the now laughable claim that he was 'surrounded and shot at by gangmembers.' 

When defeated, Truanich will set a record for being the first incumbent City Attorney to fail at reelection since the position of an independent City Attorney was established under Charter Reform. He will also set a record for losing two elections in less than a year.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Trutanich will be lucky to beat Noel Weiss in the primary. He is dead in the water and going down like the SS Trutanich.