|Although far from a capacity crowd, the first City Attorney debate of 2013 was well attended.|
|All candidates but Trutanich (far right) appeared to be engaged and enthusiastic at the opportunity to debate their rivals.|
|As moderator Jim Newton laid down the rules for the debate, Trutanich (far right) looked like he would rather be elsewhere.|
|Greg Smith (center) surprised the audience with his opening statement, hailing his family history of fighting racism.|
Mike Feuer's opening statement summarized his long career in politics as well as his tenure as Executive Director of Bet Tzedek. Feuer declined to comment on the reports that he had received campaign contributions from that organization which appear to be in violation of campaign finance laws.
Once the opening statements had been made the debate moved forward with a series of questions where each candidate was given a minute to respond. Newton had also ingeniously, if not devilishly, assigned a series of questions to the candidates whereby each candidate was tasked with asking a question of a designated opponent.
Greg Smith was tasked with asking a question of Trutanich. It was, perhaps, the highpoint of the evening. In summary, Smith said 'Mr. Trutanich, you've been the City Attorney for almost four years, but you've spent half that time running for District Attorney, and the during that time almost every media outlet has found you to have been untruthful, whether it was going back on your pledge to serve, false claims to endorsements, or false claims about being surrounded by and shot at by gang members. How can we now believe anything you say?'
|Greg Smith's question, exposing Trutanich's record of untruthfulness, put the 'incumbent' on the defensive|
where he remained for the remainder of the debate as other candidates took the lead established by Smith.
When it was Trutanich's turn to ask a question of Noel Weiss, Trutanich wasted no time in letting his anger at Smith's question become clear. Trutanich asked Weiss to 'Punch Smith!' If the question was supposed to be humorous, if failed to draw but a muted laugh from his supporters, and simply reinforced his reputation as a bully.
If the first City Attorney debate of 2013 is anything to go by, then the second debate on Thursday night is sure to see Trutanich faced with further attacks and audiences reminded of all the reasons why they so roundly rejected him six months ago.
Trutanich now lags far behind Smith and Feuer in fundraising, and his performance on Monday night seems certain to keep him in a distant third place as Smith and Feuer emerge as the likely runoff candidates.